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Snap counts: Broncos vs. Texans and entire preseason to date

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Offensive and defensive snap counts and snap percentages for the Houston Texans preseason game, as well as the entire preseason.

John Fox and crew will have some tough decisions to make in the upcoming week.
John Fox and crew will have some tough decisions to make in the upcoming week.
Dustin Bradford

Offense:

Quarterback:

Player

# Offensive Snaps

% Offensive Snaps

Peyton Manning

43

64%

Brock Osweiler

24

36%

Zac Dysert

0

0%

Bryn Renner (Cut)

0

0%

There is absolutely zero doubt as to who is the starter in Denver, and almost just as little question as to who is the Broncos' backup QB. Peyton Manning (64%) and Brock Osweiler (36%) were the only quarterbacks splitting snaps in the 18-17 Saturday night loss; Manning's advantage in snap percentage and count is testament to both his ability to orchestrate long drives and hang onto the ball, as well as the second and third string defenses having a harder time stopping the Texans in order to give Osweiler the ball.

Running Back:

Player

# Offensive Snaps

% Offensive Snaps

CJ Anderson

19

28%

Ronnie Hillman

17

25%

Juwan Thompson

11

16%

Montee Ball

10

15%

Kapri Bibbs

6

9%

Brennan Clay (Cut)

4

6%

Jerodis Williams (DNP/Cut)

0

0%

Montee Ball made his return to the Denver lineup on Saturday, getting work on just the first drive of the game. Despite such a small snap count, it was clear that the Broncos wanted Ball to get in some game action, giving him seven touches on that first drive.

CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman continue to battle for the second slot on the depth chart behind ball, splitting snaps almost equally in last night's game. Hillman had four more carries than Anderson, who had just three carries; however, Anderson continued to provide dependable pass protection and had a respectable 5.3 yards per carry, compared to Hillman's 3.4 yards per carry.

Juwan Thompson continued to make a push to compete with Anderson and Hillman, totaling 33 yards on just four carries (8.3 yards per carry). Thompson has almost certainly solidified a spot on the final 53-man roster with his preseason performances. The Broncos have two options with Kapri Bibbs; either start him and see what he's made of in the final preseason game, hopefully finding something worth keeping on the roster, or give him the same body of work he's had all preseason with the hope that nobody else takes notice of his talent, allowing Denver to sneak him onto the practice squad.

Wide Receiver:

Player

# Offensive Snaps

% Offensive Snaps

Emmanuel Sanders

39

58%

Wes Welker

33

49%

Andre Caldwell

25

37%

Demaryius Thomas

21

31%

Cody Latimer

20

30%

Isaiah Burse

18

27%

Nathan Palmer

13

19%

Bennie Fowler

11

16%

Greg Hardin (Cut)

6

9%

Greg Wilson (Cut)

3

4%

It was quite clear on Saturday night that Emmanuel Sanders was the focal point of the offensive game-plan. Sanders played more snaps than any other receiver on the team, and was targeted a team-high eight times against the Texans. The speedy receiver delivered in his first game in the Broncos uniform, making five receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns.

With Hardin and Wilson already cut, it's very hard to foresee Fowler or Palmer making the 53-man roster; both players may be options for the practice squad, however, as they're unlikely to be snatched up by other teams. Burse's chance of making the team has undoubtedly improved with the injury to Norwood, but he will have to show something in the final week of camp and in the final preseason game if he hopes to ensure himself of that final spot.

Tight End:

Player

# Offensive Snaps

% Offensive Snaps

Julius Thomas

41

61%

Cameron Morrah

23

34%

Jacob Tamme

15

22%

Julius Thomas has shown this preseason that he can be a true three down tight end, with improved run blocking; he will often be the only tight end on the field for the Broncos, so it is not surprising that he saw the most playing time on Saturday night.

The Broncos appear to have wanted an extended look at Cameron Morrah as cuts approach. Morrah squeaked through the first round of cuts but is far from being in the clear yet. With Thomas, Tamme, and Virgil Green locks on the 53-man roster, the Broncos will have to make a decision on Morrah soon.

Offensive Tackle:

Player

# Offensive Snaps

% Offensive Snaps

Chris Clark

43

64%

Ryan Clady

43

64%

Paul Cornick

24

36%

Michael Schofield

24

36%

Winston Justice (Cut)

0

0%

Ryan Miller

0

0%

It was unclear originally why Winston Justice didn't play a single offensive snap in last night's game, but it makes much more sense now that the Broncos announced Justice was one of eleven cuts on Sunday. At this point in the preseason, two offensive line units have been plainly established. Clady, Franklin, Ramirez, Vasquez, and Clark make up the first unit, playing entirely with Peyton Manning, while Cornick, Painter, Montgomery, Garland, and Schofield played all 24 snaps with Brock Osweiler in Saturday's game.

Chris Clark struggled against the Texans' talented defensive line on Saturday night, allowing Manning to get hit very hard on a sack in the first quarter. Clark has had an up-and-down preseason and will need to be stronger in the regular season if he wishes to maintain his hold on the right tackle position.

Offensive Guard:

Player

# Offensive Snaps

% Offensive Snaps

Louis Vasquez

43

64%

Orlando Franklin

43

64%

Vinston Painter

24

36%

Ben Garland

24

36%

Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary for the Broncos when it came to the guard position vs. the Texans.

Center:

Player

# Offensive Snaps

% Offensive Snaps

Manny Ramirez

43

64%

Will Montgomery

24

36%

Matt Paradis

0

0%

If the Broncos choose to hang onto two complete offensive line units, rookie Matt Paradis appears to be the one on the way out, playing zero of the 67 offensive snaps against the Texans. Ramirez and Montgomery will almost assuredly make the final roster.

Defense:

Free Safety:

Player

# Defensive Snaps

% Defensive Snaps

David Bruton

31

45%

Rahim Moore

27

39%

Charles Mitchell (Cut)

11

16%

Mitchell was on the cut radar from the start of camp, with Moore a lock as the starting free safety and Bruton a lock as the Broncos' special teams specialist.

Strong Safety:

Player

# Defensive Snaps

% Defensive Snaps

Quinton Carter

29

42%

TJ Ward

27

39%

Duke Ihenacho

23

33%

John Boyett (DNP)

0

0%

Duke Ihenacho's snaps came with the third-team defense; after starting at strong safety for the Broncos in 2013, Duke is in serious danger of missing the cut with Quinton Carter healthy and playing well.

Cornerback:

Player

# Defensive Snaps

% Defensive Snaps

Omar Bolden

39

57%

Bradley Roby

25

36%

Jerome Murphy

24

35%

Aqib Talib

24

35%

Tony Carter

24

35%

Louis Young

14

20%

Jordan Sullen

14

20%

Omar Bolden has separated himself from other defensive backs on the bubble because of his ability to play both corner and safety, as well as his abilities on special teams. Bradley Roby stepped up big-time in Saturday's game, looking as though he has finally become comfortable with the speed and physicality of the NFL level after being picked on earlier in camp. Of this group, Sullen, Young, Murphy, and possibly Carter are likely to be trimmed from the final 53-man roster.

Linebacker:

Player

# Defensive Snaps

% Defensive Snaps

Corey Nelson

37

54%

Lerentee McCray

37

54%

Brandon Marshall

27

39%

Steven Johnson

26

38%

Lamin Barrow

19

28%

Nate Irving

17

25%

Shaq Barrett

15

22%

Von Miller

9

13%

Jerrell Harris (Cut)

8

12%

Jamar Chaney (DNP/Cut)

0

0%

Von Miller did not dominate in his first game back, but it was certainly good to see him back for a positive, albeit short body of work. Jerrell Harris' cut was no surprise; Barrett is the most likely to still be cut from this group.

Defensive End:

Player

# Defensive Snaps

% Defensive Snaps

Quanterus Smith

33

48%

Demarcus Ware

25

36%

Derek Wolfe

19

28%

Malik Jackson

16

23%

Will Pericak (Cut)

13

19%

Kenny Anunike

12

17%

Chase Vaughn (DNP/Cut)

0

0%

Kenny Anunike is the only player of this group who may get cut, simply due to the rest of the talented players at the position. The Broncos may try to slip Anunike through to their practice squad, but this may prove futile if another team has taken notice of Anunike's play through three games in the preseason, especially his first game performance against the Seahawks.

Defensive Tackle:

Player

# Defensive Snaps

% Defensive Snaps

Kevin Vickerson

24

35%

Mitch Unrein

23

33%

Marvin Austin

23

33%

Terrance Knighton

18

26%

Sione Fua

17

25%

Sylvester Williams

15

22%

Cody Larsen

8

12%

Brian Sanford

4

6%

Larsen and Sanford are almost assuredly going to be cut from the final roster, while Fua, Unrein, and Austin remain on the bubble for the final couple spots. Austin has impressed thus far, and Unrein has been around for longer than Fua and is seen as a leader on the team, which should help his cause.

Overall Preseason Snap Counts:

Overall snap counts for the entire preseason to date:

Player Name

Offensive Snaps

Offensive Snap %

Player Name

Defensive Snaps

Defensive Snap %

Ben Garland (OG)

119

57.2%

Omar Bolden (CB)

106

50.7%

Paul Cornick (OT)

106

51.0%

Lerentee McCray (LB)

98

46.9%

Vinston Painter (OG)

104

50.0%

Bradley Roby (CB)

97

46.4%

Will Montgomery (C)

104

50.0%

Quanterus Smith (DE)

92

44.0%

Chris Clark (OT)

96

46.2%

Brandon Marshall (LB)

88

42.1%

Peyton Manning (QB)

89

42.8%

David Bruton (FS)

86

41.1%

Ryan Clady (OT)

89

42.8%

Sione Fua (DT)

83

39.7%

Brock Osweiler (QB)

89

42.8%

Marvin Austin (DT)

80

38.3%

Manny Ramirez (C)

89

42.8%

Duke Ihenacho (SS)

76

36.4%

Louis Vasquez (OG)

89

42.8%

Corey Nelson (LB)

70

33.5%

Orlando Franklin (OG)

89

42.8%

Quinton Carter (SS)

69

33.0%

Michael Schofield (OT)

80

38.5%

Shaquil Barrett (LB)

68

32.5%

Julius Thomas (TE)

80

38.5%

T.J. Ward (SS)

67

32.1%

Wes Welker (WR)

70

33.7%

Tony Carter (CB)

64

30.6%

Cameron Morrah (TE)

69

33.2%

Jerome Murphy (CB)

63

30.1%

Cody Latimer (WR)

68

33.2%

Mitch Unrein (DT)

63

30.1%

Emmanuel Sanders (WR)

60

28.9%

Steven Johnson (LB)

62

29.7%

Demaryius Thomas (WR)

59

28.4%

Lamin Barrow (LB)

59

28.2%

Andre Caldwell (WR)

55

26.4%

Rahim Moore (FS)

58

27.8%

Ronnie Hillman (RB)

51

24.5%

Will Pericak (DE)

58

27.8%

Isaiah Burse (WR)

51

24.5%

Aqib Talib (CB)

56

26.8%

Bennie Fowler (WR)

48

23.1%

Sylvester Williams (DT)

54

25.8%

Juwan Thompson (RB)

48

23.1%

Nate Irving (LB)

54

25.8%

Winston Justice (OT)

47

23.0%

Kenny Anunike (DE)

53

25.4%

C.J. Anderson (RB)

45

21.6%

Jordan Sullen (CB)

52

24.9%

Jameson Konz (TE)

41

19.7%

Derek Wolfe (DE)

49

23.4%

Nathan Palmer (WR)

41

19.7%

Demarcus Ware (DE)

48

23.0%

Jacob Tamme (TE)

41

19.7%

Cody Larsen (DT)

46

22.0%

Gerell Robinson (TE)

40

19.2%

John Boyett (SS)

45

21.5%

Greg Wilson (WR)

40

19.2%

Malik Jackson (DE)

43

20.6%

Jordan Norwood (WR)

33

15.9%

Terrance Knighton (DT)

43

20.6%

Zac Dysert (QB)

30

14.4%

Charles Mitchell (FS)

38

18.2%

Kapri Bibbs (RB)

30

14.4%

Jerell Harris (LB)

33

15.8%

Greg Hardin (WR)

28

13.5%

Louis Young (CB)

30

14.4%

Brennan Clay (RB)

21

10.1%

Brian Sanford (DL)

26

12.4%

Matt Paradis (C)

15

7.2%

Kayvon Webster (CB)

24

11.5%

Ryan Miller (OT)

15

7.2%

Kevin Vickerson (DT)

24

11.5%

Montee Ball (RB)

10

4.8%

Danny Trevathan (LB)

23

11.0%

Virgil Green (TE)

5

2.4%

Jamar Chaney (LB)

21

10.0%

Jerodis Williams (RB)

4

1.9%

L.J. Fort (LB)

21

10.0%

Von Miller (LB)

9

4.3%