|04-23-2007, 01:33 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Broncos Team Report 4/22/07
Broncos Team Report
For Sporting News
The return of Todd Sauerbrun as punter after a special master freed him to sign with Denver could be a boon for a special teams unit in the process of undergoing a much-needed overhaul. New position coach Scott O'Brien has a long-standing, extremely close relationship with Sauerbrun dating back to their days together in Carolina. And Sauerbrun made all three of his Pro Bowls under the assistant's prodding. Last season, first-year player Paul Ernster was among the league leaders in kickoffs but was inconsistent with his punting technique and finished 28th in gross average and 22nd in net average. That was a significant dropoff from Sauerbrun's averages the year before, before an ephedra suspension ended his first Broncos tenure, when he finished in the top eight in both categories. His second chance is a sign of just how serious Denver is about upgrading the overall unit and the feeling Sauerbrun's off-field issues don't reflect his overall character. . . .
At this early stage, it appears that the Broncos are intent on at least giving SLB D.J. Williams a look as Al Wilson's replacement in the middle. Williams has the size and speed to handle the new role, a position he's played only sparingly in the past. And outside of his inexperience, he'll have to prove he can handle the mental aspects of the position in terms of aligning his teammates properly. But having Williams potentially available to slide inside doesn't box the Broncos into a corner in the draft. They can perhaps pick someone such as Michigan's David Harris to handle the middle but have the flexibility to possibly grab a Lawrence Timmons of Florida State at outside linebacker if their comfort level in Williams is high enough.
Scouting report: TE Tony Scheffler used the first three months of the offseason to eat and lift his way to a 30-pound increase -- to 265 pounds -- in an effort to hold up better as an in-line blocker and become an every-down player. The danger is that too much bulk will make him sluggish and slow; speed and quickness out of his breaks were strengths as a rookie. Scheffler has acknowledged he didn't run much heading into the offseason conditioning program and was somewhat sluggish at the higher weight once he took the field. Still, through organized team activities and working with strength coach Rich Tuten, he expects to trim down some and eventually settle in between 255-260 while still being able to stretch the field vertically. Daniel Graham's addition likely will reduce Scheffler's snaps in base formations, so being able to work his way into two-tight end formations is critical if he's going to build on his strong finish last season.
Offseason star: The Broncos are thin at defensive tackle, and Antwon Burton is doing everything possible to fill that void. The former Temple star has increased his effort, strength and conditioning through the first month of workouts. And like many players, Burton is applying the study habits and technique work he's learned as a rookie in an attempt to make an anticipated leap in his second year. Burton, at 318 pounds, fits the bill as a possible space-eater in the middle. His continued progress and the draft hold the key to his playing time. The Broncos believe in a rotation system with their front four. Bur right now he and Demetrin Veal are the top two backups.
|04-23-2007, 01:40 AM||#2|
Anybody want a peanut?
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ceti Alpha V
Antwon Burton? Well at least he's working hard but I'll be surprised if he's anywhere up the depth chart like this suggests...