A five week break for the Denver Broncos has started. Players will take this time to rest and get ready for a new season of football, and to improve on the disappointment of last year.
With a solid draft, new coaching team and new outlook, the Broncos have a vital training camp approaching in late July, where they will look to improve on the preparation that has been undertaken so far.
Looking ahead to the end of the summers training programme, the Broncos must cut players on their team to enable what would be a 53-man roster. With strong competition for places, this will not be an easy decision for Vance Joseph and his coaching team to make.
Here are some of the players that may struggle to make the final roster:
Running/Full-Backs: No players cut
If we look at each running back for the Broncos, you have to argue that no player should be cut. It is really the viewpoint that if a player is healthy in this position, they should be fine going forward. Jamaal Charles, CJ Anderson, Devontae Booker, De’Angelo Henderson, and full-back Andy Janovich if healthy, should be fine.
Some may view five running backs as excessive, but it could be a bonus.
With the tough schedule and the start the Broncos have, it is vital for the players to rotate on downs and give that extra level that the team needs on the offensive side of the ball. With the addition of Charles, this could be a masterstroke if this plays in the correct way.
Wide Receivers: Opinion – Bennie Fowler, Marlon Brown
Fowler and Brown fall to make the final 53 due to the depth we have at WR. With Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas, Carlos Henderson, Isaiah McKenzie, and Cody Latimer to name a few.
Bennie Fowler has had an interesting career in Denver. While he is a Super Bowl champion, his record over a two year period could be vastly improved, and he could find it difficult to survive the final cut.
He has two touchdowns over this period of time, and he has a career total of 348 yards to date. Compare that to Cody Latimer: in his two years he has even lower amounts – 158 yards, with one touchdown. Looking at their respective contributions, they are way off the levels of both Thomas and Sanders. With the addition of Henderson to the ranks to provide the juice and versatility Vance Joseph coverts, this limits both Fowler and Latimer. It is quite simply a make or break season for both of them. If both get past the 53-man roster cut, they will need to show improvement to be in Denver in 2018. A sudden emergence from Henderson could stop that quickly.
Tight Ends: Opinion – In danger – Jeff Heuerman
There is no doubt going into this season that Jeff Heuerman must stay fit and healthy. If he was to pick up an injury during the training camp period, concerns would surely start to be expressed at Dove Valley. The tight end out of Ohio State came to Denver off the back of winning the National Championship in 2015 and there was a lot of excitement at the time when he was drafted. There is no doubt however with the ACL injury sustained in May 2015 that this has hampered his start in the NFL. Therefore, he may find it difficult when it comes to the roster cut due to the performance of other tight ends. Regardless, this is a make or break season for the Ohio graduate, who must come out strong in the first part of the season if he makes the cut. The addition of Jake Butt from Michigan is an exciting prospect for the Broncos, but this could hinder Heuerman’s chances now and, with the presence of Derby and Green, Heuerman has a huge amount of work to do going into training camp. Let’s hope they balance well together.
Next time, we will look at the defensive side of the ball.