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Broncos vs Cardinals: The meaningless preseason No Bull Review

Even with some interesting angles (Montee Ball, QB performance, 4th or 5th WR), it is hard to get excited about the 4th preseason game of the year. I hung in there though and found a few items of interest to discuss as we get ready to cut down to 53 for the regular season.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

I'm keeping this pretty short and sweet for a couple of reasons:

1. Largely not much of this game really matters. Save your stories about Terrel Davis and Rod Smith...I get it. But overall from the perspective of a game of football, who cares?

2. Since the quality of players on the field is so much lower than normal, a lot of guys look bad because their teammates aren't handling their responsibilities. So if your favorite critique of the game is missing, this is probably why.



Seriously now, Brock Osweiler looked pretty darn good running the offensive 2nd team. His play action bootleg to open the game was Gary Kubiak at his finest. The throw could have been more on a rope and in front, but the results aren't something we should ever complain about, so no big deal there.

Trevor Siemian came back down to earth a bit in this game. He took sacks that he shouldn't have (even with his line blocking like junk). He missed a bunch of throws. His downfield to the sideline accuracy needs a lot of work. That is an NFL QB throw and he missed at least 3 of them by a wide margin.

Care for a Bibb or a Ball?

The biggest storyline going into this game was the running back position. Montee Ball has solidified himself to me as a bust. your comments about Knowshon Moreno. He sucks. There were multiple times where he had cut back lanes and chose not to take them and instead plowed into defenders. He looked slow. He had no appreciable burst. He didn't make guys miss. Sorry Montee. You are the weakest link.

Kapri Bibbs looked better than Montee Ball. That's all I can say really. CSU fans should slow their roll. He wasn't completely useless. He had some speed to him. He needs a lot of work, though. Keeping him means you think he has potential.

Overall if we keep Montee, it is because he was a 2nd round will not be a choice based off of performance.

Wide receivers showing the goods

Standing applause for Bennie Fowler. You played one helluva game, man! For those of us watching, it was nice to see a player leaving it all out on the field and showing the coaches that he has the goods. I loved his route running. He played physical after the catch. He showed soft hands. This guy has potential and value today.

Andre Caldwell isn't going anywhere Broncos Country. And you want to know something? Rightly so. He's played fantastically for us this preseason. Sure he might fall apart during the regular season, but there is no way you can cut a guy who's played as well as he has. A big hat's off to Caldwell. You've proven me wrong up to this point in 2015. Show me in the regular season now...I'm looking forward to a big plate of crow.

Other quick hits from the offense

  • I liked Isaiah Burse's play. If he's eligible, we should try to get him on the PS.
  • Corbin Louks had a gimme NFL TD and let it drop. If he stays or makes the PS it isn't because of his play at WR.
  • Jordan Taylor also dropped some catchable balls. He wasn't really going to make the team anyway though.


Let's talk linebackers

Shaquil Barrett is a monster. He would start on about 20 other teams in the NFL without a doubt...maybe 25. Whoever found him needs a raise. Don't really fret the offsides penalties as that is something that can be coached out of him.

Shane Ray also looks like the real deal. He was just as disruptive as Barrett in this game and really has only been a step behind performance-wise than the 2nd year player.

Steven Johnson whiffed badly on a tackle in the open field. Good linebackers don't do that. I think he's a good depth guy inside. He plays the run very well and that showed tonight with a superb TFL.

Todd Davis showed up early with a sack. I still like his game and feel very comfortable if he had to start for us that we wouldn't see a big drop in production from our excellent starting ILBs.


Curtis Marsh looked as bad as his stat lines from previous seasons hinted at. He was pretty terrible in coverage mostly having to recover after letting scrubs get a step on him. His technique is bad, his speed isn't great, and he doesn't appear to have the ball skills to deny the pass once it gets there. Marsh was the Montee Ball of the defense to me.

Kayvon Webster looked overall pretty good. I liked his tackling. His coverage was solid as well. He's probably going to make the team over Tony Carter due to price from what I've seen.

For safeties, I thought Josh Furman looked poor and Josh Bush looked decent again to me though I don't know if he's decent enough to make the team.

Special Teams

Brandon McManus had the chance to solidify his spot as the "sure choice" at placekicker by nailing a makeable 51-yard field goal to win the game. He was weighed, measured, and found lacking. It is just one kick though..he made a 50 yarder earlier. His other kicks looked superb.

I loved the big tackle by Kapri Bibbs...had I not been sick I probably would have jumped out of my seat. Well done Bibbs! Here's another reason for this guy to make the team over Ball.