Now that we are at the bye week, this is as good a time to give some plaudits on a few Broncos who have stood out but may not be getting the credit or press that is due. Of course in many instances the astute talent of the MHR will have already made mention of these unsung heroes. Still I think it would be fun to examine the great Broncos who have made this 6-0 start possible. I have chosen one defensive player, one offensive player, and one special teams impact player.
Unsung Hero #1: Kenny Peterson
Nothing made me so happy about the make up of this football team than to see Coach McDaniels jump up on big #90 after the New England Game. Last year in the 4-3 Kenny played DT. In the switch to a 3-4 Kenny moved to the 5 technique meaning he plays defensive end in our 3-4 alignment. Kenny has been an unsung hero this season and has been tremendous as a 3-4 defensive end. He has been extremely stout at the point of attack, taking on 2 to 3 blockers on running plays so that DJ Williams and Andra Davis can attack the ball carrier. On passing plays Kenny can move to NT and generate a push up the middle. Allowing Elvis Dumervil and Darrell Reid to attack the quarterback without fear of the QB stepping up in the pocket. Also, I think that Kenny Peterson has emerged as one of the leaders on the defense. It is easy to see his teammates respond to him and that he is a constant professional. #90 has become one of my favorite players.
Unsung Hero #2: Chris Kuper
I'll admit it, I did not know that Chris Kuper was this good. First, as far as the offensive line goes, I think the RG position is much tougher than the LG position, because the LG can usually rely on the LT. The RG is usually forced to block in 1 on 1 in pass protection. This is where Kuper has really become quite good. Chris anchors well on pass plays and also does a good job of communicating with Casey Wiegmann and picking up interior blitzes. Also Chris is really becoming a devestating run blocker especially when he pulls. He has the speed to get across the line and open up holes for our running backs. He has gotten credit on this blog before, but he deserves it because he is really protecting Kyle Orton back there.
Unsung Hero #3: Josh Barrett
Josh Barrett is still a work in progress but he is getting the nod here for his special teams play. Josh is always the first one down on punt and kick coverage, and is often able to make the tackle or force the returner to defensive help. Also in the past couple of years Barrett has started to be utilized as a man who can cover the best TE 1 on 1, as was seen last year versus Tony Gonzales and last week versus Antonio Gates. What is most intriguing to me about Barrett is he has the same physical gifts as the heralded Taylor Mays of USC. Barrett is 6'2", 225 pounds but can run a 4.3 40. He is raw but with continued development (Dawkins, I"m asking you to help) Barrett has the physical skills to be an elite safety. Also, more is in store for Mr. Barrett as during training camp he was seen utilized in a LB spot at times. He provides the coaching staff the versatility that they always seem to look for. This is a 7th round pick that I thought at the time and still believe was brilliant. It's too bad Shanny's best draft was his last, in my humble opinion.