3 days are in the books and the Broncos suffered their first significant injury, though it has lingered for a year now. Let's take a look at what(and who) went down yesterday --
Tony Scheffler will miss the next month of action due to recurring problems with his broken foot. It was during Quarterback Camp in 2007 that Scheffler initially broke the bone in his foot and played through pain all of last season.
There is concern that Scheff may have actually re-fractured the foot, though the Broncos are taking a wait-and-see approach. With Scheffler out of the lineup, old friend Nate Jackson will be counted on to take his place. With Daniel Graham proving last season that his strength is blocking, not running routes, the Broncos need a down-field threat from the Tight End position. Jackson signed a 1-year/$605,000 contract in March with a $425,000 signing bonus.
I have always felt an injury to one's foot, especially if you are a running back or tight end, can be extremely problematic. Scheffler has never been right since originally breaking his foot, but still was productive last season. After two seasons I was hoping 2008 would be a breakout season for Scheff who had become Jay Cutler's favorite target. Despite not notching his first grab until week 5, Scheff still put together a solid season, totaling 49 catches for 549 yards and five touchdowns.
Back in March, Scheffler spoke about the importance of keeping the foot healthy --
"I've been continuing to keep maintenance on the foot. It's still in a little bit of pain, but it's something that's going to be gone by the time the season rolls around.
Scheffler took his confidence about the injury from QB Patrick Ramsey who dealt with a similar injury. As I have said, however, playing Quarterback is a lot different on your feet then playing Tight End. Keep your fingers crossed.Running Back Selvin Young is dead-set on making sure his Head Coach is wrong. We all remember...Mike Shanahan stated early in the Rebuilding Season that Young was not a workhorse back. Shanny considered Young a "change of pace back" worthy of 15-20 touches a game. At the time I remember thinking it could be Shanny using his motivational tactics to get Young in the weight room, adding bulk, to become a tougher, stronger runner. If that was the case it has worked.
Of course, that's motivating. That's been motivating me ever since I played football. I've always been one of those guys where, at the beginning, they'd pick me last until I took off running, and then people started to want me out there.
Young's workouts have added 15 pounds of muscle, mostly in his legs and shoulders, and is working on running with more purpose, something that seemed to be lacking, especially in the Red Zone.
Taking snaps with the first-team while Travis Henry nurses a hamstring injury, Young is confident he can do what it takes to be an every-down runner
"I feel I have the ability, common sense and strength to do every single thing a running back is asked to do on the football field.
There has been a lot of talk about the O-Line situation. Early on it appears Shanny is set on trying a little bit of everything to see what is going to work best. Through 3 days of workouts, it's been Erik Pears lining up at Left Tackle, along with rookie Ryan Clady, while Ryan Harris has been over on the right side with Chris Kuper.
Pears is no stranger to Left Tackle, starting 10 games on the left side in 2006 after Matt Lepsis injured his knee. With Lepsis returning to the lineup in '07, Pears moved over to the right side starting all 16 games at Right Tackle. Pears welcomes the challenge of moving back to LT.
I feel like I'm pretty comfortable there. It's always a little rough when you first get back over there, but a day in and you feel right back at home.
As for all the competition on the line, Pears is OK with that, too...
There's a ton of good guys and competition for the tackle spots and wherever I am, I'm trying to fit in.
The Broncos appear to have more depth at Wide Receiver in 2008 than at any time in recent memory. Bringing in new faces Samie Parker, Darrell Jackson and Keary Colbert give the Broncos several options all over the field. While all three want to start and catch their share of passes they know Denver is a unique opportunity. Jackson, in particular, is excited to be wearing Orange and Blue.
This is a great football city with winning tradition, especially the last 13, 15 years under (head coach Mike) Shanahan. That's all I was really looking for. I could have gone somewhere and been a starter off the bat but go through the growing pains. You have a great offensive line here, you have a good quarterback and you have a great running back.
Parker knows the competition will be fierce, but he's ready.
It's a little unusual, but it's a good experience because we can push each other and show the quarterback we can make plays.
As for Colbert, who suffered through the worst season of his career in 2007, he knows how important stability at quarterback is for a receiver.
We went through a lot of injuries at the quarterback position, so we had to kind of scale back a little bit at times. It was one of those seasons last year. You can't predict what kind of season you're going to have, you hope for the best and see how it plays out.
Colbert also admits he wouldn't mid seeing all this talent on the field at the same time.
That's every wide receiver's dream, to go four-wide. With the group we have, that would be a good thing. We have a lot of playmakers and I think we can spread some things out and make some plays.
It's "so far, so good" for a couple of D-Ends trying to return from season-ending injuries in 2007. Both Jarvis Moss and Ebenezar Ekuban have participated fully in workouts to date. Moss is recovering from a broken ankle while Ekuban is trying to come back from a torn Achilles.