So the number one story this training camp has been the quarterbacks, and it has been close. Each time a new report from Kaptain Kirk or the Denver Post, fans start scanning for any news about Orton, Tebow and Quinn. It makes sense, but a lot has gone unnoticed, and I was hoping to share some information on players at key positions that may have gone unnoticed or overlooked. Since so many fans forget about anyone other than the quarterbacks, I decided to do the leg work and do some research to bring some names to the forefront.
I will be calling upon interviews with our own Kaptain Kirk as well as two friends (Rebekah and Jeremy) who attended training camp. I will also be using tweets and articles written by MHR's best Sayre and John Bena, as well as MaxDenver, Vic Lombardi, and others who attended training camp. So I'll be taking what these men, and one women, have seen from camp and compiling their thoughts on a number of topics. Now not all of these players are super stars, heck a few of them did pretty poorly, but these names kept showing up in almost ever report I read from those who actually attended training camp, not just the cliff notes version.
Lets get to it!
Kaptain Kirk Interview:
Excerps from my interview with Kaptain Kirk:
Myself: Larsen, has he been taking all his snaps at FB or has he been spending time at LB?
Kirk: He has a blue jersey (offense) and hasn't played any defense. He has been on ST's. I have seen him line up in the backfield (at FB) and he may have caught one pass that I can remember, but it doesn't seem like they have used him catching passes out of the backfield like we used to see Howard Griffith do. I HAVE seen him lined up out at Wide Receiver, and he doesn't go in motion or switch places pre-snap like I've seen Knowshon do.
Myself: How has he looked in blocking?
Kirk: I haven't noticed anything--good or bad. you can interpret that as; not drawing attention to himself and doing his job. Or not. He is a vet and even though he has the same job as last year, I don't think the job description is the same. I have seen Julius Thomas and Richard Quinn lined up at FB, and Austin Sylvester and Mario Fannin have taken reps at FB. Sylvester is a straight FB, but Fannin could be a force if he is a good blocker. We already know he is fast, elusive and can catch.
Myself: So we are seeing TE's and FB's be used interchangeably?
Kirk: So far yes.
Myself: Okay, I like that, we saw some of that last season with Gronk and Larsen. Okay next question I do have to ask, we know Doom and Ayers are likely going to be our starters at DE. But we have a lot of other players there as well. Hunter started for us last season and played well enough, we also have a lot of younger talent there, so has anyone stood our or who do you see being our main back ups
Kirk: On Defense, I've seen Doom and Ayers lined up next to each other on the right and Miller on the left at SAM. Then on the next play, they are switched with Ayers at LE, Doom at RE and Von lined up over by Doom. I have seen Von lined up around where the MLB should be too. Dennis Allen has got them moving 2 and 3 times before the snap and I think he will have a lot to do with how good the defense will be.
Myself: So staying with the defense, and my final train of thought, let's go to the safeties. Are Fox and Allen running them like a typical cover 2, is there usually one in the box, Are Fox and Allen staying basic or switching up the style.
Kirk: One in the box and one centerfielder with the CB's playing man. I have seen the LB's drop into coverage too, so they must be doing some Cover 2.
Myself: Okay, so we are seeing more nickle play then? Also, who is playing deep safety?
Kirk: Cox has been the nickel. It seems like Moore has been deep and Carter in the box. McBath has had reps and if I'm not mistaken, both Moore and Carter have played with him. I do remember Carter and McBath together and Moore and Carter together.
Myself: Okay that is what I was thinking, Moore is just replacing Hill as a deep safety while Carter is coming in to replace Dawk in the long run. McBath makes sense to play deep S as well to me.
Notes on Other Players:
So for these I will list the sources I used, and then compile the quotes into a paragraph. There were small edits for punctuation due to Twitter. Also any "..." indicates a new tweet, author or paragraph.
Based on, Kirk, Rebekah and MaxDenver
Is really struggling to pick up a block, from the outside, inside or anywhere... Is dropping passes more often than you'd expect from a FB, which usually don't catch well... Is showing off his ability to trip at the snap, did so twice today... Sylvester is really struggling the passing game, can't catch... Hands like lead, no speed or vision, yea there's a reason this guy didn't even make the draft... This guy makes the team, I'll have to do a number of things to fulfill some bets I have.
Based on Rebekah, Sayre, Jeremy, and Cecil
Showing speed enough to beat on DB in the open, and just out muscled Williams for a catch... Man handling any CB who tries to hold him at the line, just seems like he picks them up, moves them then runs, it's great... Speed and size are helping him, just needs work on his routes and stopping DB's from making a play, let Champ get an interception today... Just blazed by Goodman, speedy guy, even if he wasn't thrown at... I love what I'm seeing from Decker, he has every skill to be successful, just some more time running the routes and he could be a #1 WR any day.
Syd'Quan Thompson (Squid):
Based on MaxDenver, Jeremy, Rebekah, John Bena, and Vic Lombardi
Okay so I did some research, every single practice, Squid has had an interception, Champ hasn't done that, nor has Goody or Cox, no safety either, that's something to me... When camp started, my ceiling for Syd'Quan was "solid nickelback." I would upgrade that now. Think he can be a solid starter... He's all over the place, making picks on the right, left and center of the field, can you say roaming safety?... Anyone who says this guy is slow is crazy, just kept up with Royal, turned and swatted the ball away, while he's no CJ2K, he can move.. He just read Tebow like a book, it was like Tebow said "Hey Squid, I throwing to you." and Squid was like "That's cool man, just put it right here" and Tebow did so with great accuracy... He's a little ninja!
Based on Rebekah, Vic, and MaxDenver
Has made the switch (from OLB to DE) very well... Has he been working out because it looks like he's doing something differently from the past two seasons... Not built to be a sack machine, even at DE, but with Doom and Miller, he's make it easy for that side by crushing the pocket and flushing who ever is QB at the time into Dooms arms... Is still lacking production numbers wise, but should be a much bigger part in creating pressure on that side, look for increased sack on the side opposing him... Needs work on a lot of levels if he's to create sacks, but he is improved, and should put away any "bust" fears, unless you purely look at numbers, but from watching camp, he's doing a lot of work down there, it's just not going to show up in the stats on Sunday.
Based on Vic, MaxDenver and Cecil
This kid plays strong... Moves fluidly, but just isn't making the reads he needs to be a starter at MLB yet. Besides that, he's strong, got decent speed, and is quick in the hips, just isn't ready mentality and is biting too often, or misreading backs... I saw he just lifted Green up, which was impressive, but that was about it, is physical, but not making good tackles or reading the QB or the running back... I like him, he looks and plays tough, but he just isn't there yet. I think Mays is a decent MLB, not great, but Irving is making Mays look pretty good... Irving, he's just got to get used to the game, some time as a 2nd string guy, watching a lot of game film, and practices, and he'll be a solid player in the future, but he just needs to learn more, at this point, he's not ready, not by a long shot, way too many mistakes for a starter.
So there we have it, Denver has a team, let's focus on that. Remember that we have other players, some who are making an impact, some who are struggling. But there is more to this season than Orton and Tebow, heck my favorite player on this team isn't a quarterback, and I'm more excited for our pass rush and running game than I am to see either Orton or Tebow play. Let's focus on the team, while I know Orton and Tebow create waves and send traffic to Mile High Report, I'd love to see as much attention paid to some of our other players as we spend on our QB's.