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Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks -7 Things to watch for

Good Morning Broncos Country! Here are some of the things you should be watching for when the Broncos take on the 49ers in pre-season action.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The continuing development of Brock Osweiler

Wouldn't be surprised to see the starting offense play the entire 1st half.  It will give Manning and the 1st team offense an opportunity to get some live action when it comes to the 2-minute drill.  But with a half to work with, Brock Osweiler will have an opportunity to build on last week's performance.  I will do a thorough evaluation of Brock's game much like the post I did after the Seattle game early this week.

Running back pecking order

An impressive performance coupled with an injury and selective reporting from the media had some Broncos fans swooning over the prospects of Juwan Thompson taking over the starting gig in Montee Ball's absence.  CJ Anderson has been fully cleared so I expect Ronnie Hillman and the #2 back (see what I did there) to get the majority of the reps with the 1's while the #2 back gets the lions share of the carries with the 2's.  The overall pecking order should still be Ball, Hillman, Anderson, Thompson heading into this game, but this live audition can have serious implications on the lineup behind Montee going forward.

Eatin' greedy or starvin' Marvin?

Von Miller has impressed many in practice as he continues his recovery from ACL surgery.  I'm not sure if Von will see any playing time, but if he does, it will be interesting to see how the Broncos decide to use him.  In the regular season you can bet the farm he will be used extensively as a spy on Colin Kaepernick, but this is preseason baby and the less you show, the better off you are.

It is quite the opposite situation for Marvin Austin.  Austin is looking to continue an impressive and injury-free offseason when he lines up today.  Something that he has been praised for is a quick first-step.  I will be watching to see which of the starting linemen have the quickest get off from the snap.

500-pound dancing elephant with zebra stripes and a strobe hat

How does Brandon Marshall fare with Danny Trevathan out of the lineup? His success or failure is going to tell us a lot about how this defense will be schemed going forward.  Success will keep plans going forward as if #54 was meant to be our WILL from the beginning.  Failure can open the door for other players and leave Del Rio scheming to find a way to patch the hole.

To that end, I wonder how the defense will operate with Brandon Marshall as the green-dot helmet bearer?

With the real Cody Latimer please stand up?

Impressive this, impressive that.  You dropped a deep ball last week that hit you right in the hands and failed to register a catch.  I want to see what all the noise has been about.  Make someone in the Niner secondary look stupid kid, capish?

Is the secondary pecking order already set, or will people start to push each other?

My read on the top 5 players at both corner and safety remain more or less the same as they did when camp started (even if the order has changed a bit).  I see Tony Carter, Omar Bolden and the rest of the camp bodies battling for one corner spot, I see a safety pecking order of Ward, Moore, Carter, Bruton, Ihenacho and the legend that is John Boyett failing to make inroads on those five.  Bolden might have an edge with his stellar special teams play, but I want to see someone get pushed because the potential bodies at the bottom of each position group do not inspire a lot of confidence when contemplating their possible contributions.

Thought I forgot about Bradley Roby huh?  This will be a big test for him.  Whether or not he can leapfrog Kayvon Webster for that 3rd spot in the rotation will depend largely on his performance today.

Hurt no more

So long as our major players check out of the game healthy, I will be a happy camper.


Horse Tracks

Klis: Broncos training camp awards, serious and otherwise - The Denver Post
Training camp ended Friday night with kicker Matt Prater parking a tractor behind the vehicles of Peyton Manning and Wes Welker.

Golden Nuggets: Levi's Stadium gets proper football debut as Broncos come to town - Niners Nation
Sunday, August 17, 2014 edition of the Golden Nuggets, a daily compilation of San Francisco 49ers links from around the Internet.

Broncos-49ers: Three Questions
The Broncos are the opponents for the first NFL game at Levi's Stadium. Get a look at three questions heading into the second preseason game.

Scouting the 2014 Broncos: Brandon Marshall’s chance - It's All Over, Fat Man!
Doc considers the story of Brandon Marshall, who's getting a chance to start at Will in place of the injured Danny Trevathan

USC 4-3 Under Defense – Pete Carroll | Trojan Football Analysis
This article is a re-post that I have been meaning to move over onto the new area of the site for some time now. USC is not strictly and under front as the

Guide to N.F.L. Defenses, Part 5: The Zone Blitz -
It seems counterintuitive that a scheme praised for its aggressive nature was born out of a desire to be safe and protect against the big play.

Guide to N.F.L. Defenses, Part 7: Nickel Subpackages -
Defenses are part of the N.F.L.’s turn toward specialization: situational edge rushers, pass-rushing defensive tackles, nickel defensive backs and linebackers who excel in coverage.

Rams' Jeff Fisher concerned Isaiah Pead tore ACL -
St. Louis Rams tailback Isaiah Pead may have suffered an ACL injury that could end his season after a non-contact injury he suffered on a kickoff return in Saturday's 21-7 preseason loss to Green Bay.

Raiders' Dennis Allen: Derek Carr suffered concussion -
Raiders coach Dennis Allen told reporters that rookie quarterback Derek Carr suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of Oakland's 27-26 preseason win over the Detroit Lions.

Bills' Sammy Watkins suffers rib bruise vs. Steelers -
After taking a hit from Steelers rookie Ryan Shazier, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins left Saturday's 19-16 preseason loss to Pittsburgh with a rib injury. Ian Rapoport reports the injury isn't serious.

Falcons tackle Sam Baker carted off with knee injury -
Atlanta Falcons tackle Sam Baker went down Saturday night against the Houston Texans with a right knee injury. How does a Baker injury affect the team's plans for rookie Jake Matthews?

Jeremy Hill leaves Bengals game with shoulder injury -
Cincinnati Bengals rookie running back Jeremy Hill left Saturday's 25-17 preseason loss to the Jets with a shoulder injury. Reserve Rex Burkhead didn't last much longer, leaving after taking a shot to the knee.