The Biggest Winners and Losers of Broncos Preseason Camp so Far
The Denver Broncos have been engaged in training camp for three weeks now. They recently completed a 31-3 victory over the Chicago Bears last Thursday night in Peyton Manning's first in-game action in over a year and a half.
Although it was by no means a perfect performance, Manning managed to at least silence some of his doubters by at least showing he still has a lot of the skill and passing prowess that made him a four-time NFL MVP in Indianapolis.
Of course, Manning didn't face a single bit of what's considered a heavy pass rush on his seven passing attempts, nor did he even have to face two of Chicago's best defenders in Brian Urlacher and Julius Peppers, both of whom sat out the game.
Manning is one of several Broncos who appear on this list. So who are the biggest winners and losers of the Broncos' preseason so far?
Peyton Manning made his Broncos debut on Thursday in somewhat of a mixed performance, according to a lot of pundits.
Manning looked comfortable in the pocket, was crisp with his throws and was just about as accurate as he's ever been.
However, this drive was mired by two Manning errors. One of them was on an intended pass to Jacob Tamme, which should have been picked off by one of the Bears players. Instead, it deflected off of the defender and into Tamme's hands for a first down. The defender was there the entire way. Manning just never saw him.
Finally, the drive ended inside the red zone with the Broncos threatening to score on their first drive of the game. Manning threw a pass that Brandon Stokley should have caught, despite the fact it was thrown a little bit behind him, and it was picked off by Bears defensive back Major Wright.
Is it true it wasn't a perfect drive? Yes. Is it true that you never want to turn the ball over? Of course.
But this training camp and preseason thus far has been nothing short of positive for Manning. He has looked every bit the quarterback that he was in Indianapolis, and in the game vs. Chicago, he never looked rattled in the least bit.
He sidestepped and glided around the pocket while making extra reads during his one drive on the field vs. Chicago. That alone was a step in the right direction.
Winner: Peyton Manning
Chris Kuper broke his right forearm yesterday during practice in the midst of a team pileup. Kuper will miss the next four to six weeks, which means he might miss Denver's first three or four regular-season games.
Kuper has been a staple on Denver's offensive line since 2007 when he became a starter. He had missed the first preseason game due to injury, had missed numerous training camp practice before then and had suffered a broken ankle injury in Denver's regular-season finale vs. Kansas City in 2011.
Needless to say, Kuper has definitely not been a winner in the preseason thus far.
Loser: Chris Kuper
Derek Wolfe has been seeing playing time on the first team 4-3 base defense as the left defensive end.
Wolfe recorded two sacks in the opening preseason game, and with starting left defensive end Jason Hunter likely to miss the season after suffering a torn triceps during an individual drill on Tuesday, the spot will likely be taken up by Wolfe.
It was expected that amongst all of Denver's rookie draft picks in 2012, Wolfe would have the best opportunity to make an impact during his rookie season.
Through nearly all of training camp and one preseason game, that looks to be the case.
Winner: Derek Wolfe
Denver's last draft selection in the sixth round, LB Danny Trevathan has made the most impact of any Broncos rookie thus far in training camp, alongside with Denver's first overall selection, Derek Wolfe.
Trevathan has seen snaps on the first-team nickel defense, and the coaches rave about his performance on a seemingly daily basis.
Outside of Wolfe and RB Ronnie Hillman, Trevathan may have the biggest impact of any Broncos rookie in 2012, especially with D.J. Williams' six-game suspension looming.
Winner: Danny Trevathan
Moreno is on this list because he's currently the fourth-string running back behind the likes of Lance Ball and Ronnie Hillman.
Moreno is a former first-round draft pick of the Josh McDaniels regime. He is entering his fourth season in the NFL. You would think he'd be far ahead of the pecking order consisting of the likes of a rookie (Hillman) and a guy who is destined to be a reserve running back for the duration of his NFL career (Ball), but that is not the case.
Hillman has missed stretches of training camp practices due to injury. In fact, he missed the game vs. Chicago, which is perhaps the reason why Moreno was able to even carry the ball five times last Thursday night.
This was Moreno's make-or-break training camp, and thus far, he hasn't shown us anything that we haven't already seen from him in his first three seasons.
Loser: Knowshon Moreno
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