Monday, May 17, 2010

What to watch for: OTA's

Today will be the first time in 2010 that the entire Denver Broncos roster will be on the field at Dove Valley for the first Organized Team Activities in 2010. The team helt a rookie minicamp two weeks ago to give the rookies a first glance at life in the NFL. Now the rest of the veterans will join them for a three day minicamp starting today. Though officially listed as a 'passing' camp, the minicamp will give all veterans their first opportunity to get back on the field since the 2009 season. Here are a couple of interesting stories to watch during the first Broncos minicamp of 2010:

Tebow Watch
This morning, NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi tweeted he was on his way to Denver to cover the three-day minicamp for NFL Network, and he likely will not be the only journalist there. Jim Saccomano, the Broncos' vice president of public relations, mentioned a "crazy interest" by the media in the minicamp, the "greatest interest since John Elway came in as a rookie". Though headcoach Josh McDaniels has said on numerous occasions that Kyle Orton will be the starter for the Broncos in 2010, look for the media to be around Dove Valley in large numbers for every mini camp this off season, as well as record attendance during training camp. If Tim takes one snap more than Kyle, they will likely be the first to declare a quarterback controversy in Denver, Colorado.

The Dumervil Dilemma
Earlier this week, the Denver Post reported Elvis Dumervil would arrive in Denver on Sunday to attend the organized team activities. Dumervil will be on the field practicing, as well as working out with his team mates and join them in meetings. Dumervil has yet to sign his tender, and is looking for a long term contract. Though I expect Dumervil to be around the facility for all the upcoming minicamps, he will likely not sign his tender until the very last moment (June 15) to show his unhappiness with his contract. I would not be surprised if Dumervils agent accompanied him to Denver to meet with Brian Xanders about the situation. I expect Denver to work out a long term contract with Elvis before the start of training camp.

Offensive Line Concerns
Going into the off season, we all knew about the two main concerns the Broncos had. The offensive and defensive line. The Broncos signed several big name free agents to shore up the defensive line, and it will be interesting to see how much they improve from last year, especially against the run. And while the team drafted several young, talented players for the offensive line, it remains the #1 concern going into the 2010 season. Lef tackle Ryan Clady injured himself while playing basketball and looks doubtful to return when the regular season starts in september. Ryan Harris, who injured his foot in the middle of the 2009 season, will likely be able to join the team on the field when training camp starts, but a date has not been confirmed. Guard Russ Hochstein is also recovering from injury, and backup Matt McChesney will likely retire after a freak injury while playing golf. It looks like Chris Kuper is the only starter from last years offensive line who will be on the field when minicamp starts today. Look for an interesting battle between rookies Zane Beadles, J.D. Walton, Eric Olson and second year players Tyler Polumbus and Seth Olsen to see who will fill the holes on the line until Clady, Harris and Hochstein return from their injuries.

Voluntary mini camps: May 17-19, May 24-27, June 2-4, June 7-9.
Mandatory mini camp: June 11-13.

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