Broncos Position Battle Review: Who Made Strides During Win Over Bears?

Aug 09, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Nate Irving (56) tackles Chicago Bears running back Kahlil Bell (32) in the back field during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

The first pre-season game is in the books and while we may have not got enough to see everything we wanted from specific players or positions, we were still able to learn a lot about a number of positional battles. So while we will cover a few of the battles for a roster spot, we won't be able to cover them all either because of space or we just weren't able to learn anything.

So with a very nice win behind us, we shouldn't waste any time in looking at some of the biggest position battles for the Broncos and how they played out in pre-season week 1.

Running Back:

Game Statistics

Name Atts. Yards Y/A TD's Rec. Yards Y/R Touches Total Yards Y/T
McGahee 4 16 4 0 0 0 0 4 16 4
Ball 7 16 2.3 1 1 3 3 8 19 2.4
Moreno 5 20 4 0 1 6 6 6 26 4.3
Johnson 10 33 3.3 0 0 0 0 10 33 3.3
Omon 7 36 5.1 1 1 4 4 8 40 5

There really was little change here, all running backs showed something of value:

- Willis McGahee: Saw limited action, but ripped off a nice 11 yard run, but outside of that was quiet.
- Lance Ball: While he struggled in the run game at times, he was solid in pass protection and did have one touchdown run.
- Ronnie Hillman: Sat out the game while recovering from his hamstring injury.
- Knowshon Moreno: Showed the balance Fox and McCoy were looking for with a nice open field reception and had some impressive runs when the offensive line allowed him through.
- Jeremiah Johnson: Was possible the most impressive runner for the Broncos, though he did have a missed block that lead to a sack.
- Xavier Omon: Had a touchdown and a very nice 10 yard run, looked solid, though he was playing against the 3rd team, but against his competition, he played well.

Overall not much happened and don't expect much change in the depth chart from this game

Defensive End:

Like running back, nearly all the ends played well:

- Elvis Dumervil: Had two surprising penalties that hurt the defense (had this been a real game) but due to his limited snap count he made a limited impact.
- Jason Hunter: Was able to get some pressure and played the run contain well, but didn't have an impact in his limited time.
- Robert Ayers: He took Del Rio's statement and focused on it recording a sack and had two beautiful contains that lead to runs for a loss.
- Derek Wolfe: While Wolfe did see most of his playing time on the inside, he did play very well from the outside in his limited time there.
- Jeremy Beal: Looked very good against his competition recording two sacks and was all over the field, very active, trying to move up from the practice squad.

Overall nice effort, though the biggest statement is that if Ayers continues to have a good camp, look for him to have his 1st string spot back soon.


Man, we just can't learn much from this game when it comes to the big camp battles:

- Rahim Moore: Had one very nice tackle early in the game near the line of scrimmage, but had little much else to note, though he did jump around a bit in his zone rather than reading the QB.
- Quinton Carter: Sat out the game due to injury.
- Mike Adams: Had very few snaps and due to a terrible Chicago passing game had almost no impact.
- David Bruton: Like Adams saw 0 passes thrown his way, but he was able to penetrate the backfield on a number of occasions, playing well as an in-the-box safety.
- Rafael Bush: Recorded 4 tackles but saw little success in terms of stopping passes, but wrapped up well.
- Jim Leonhard: Sat out the game.
- Duke Ihenacho: Had a missed tackle, but played well, moving very fast around the field.

Safety is still a confused mess and will likely remain that way unless someone steps up or struggles for a while. Carter's return seems to be the lynchpin of the whole depth chart.

Well that wraps up three of the biggest positional battles for the Broncos.

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