The 2009 Denver Broncos Envisioning a Change In the Backfield

Mark SchaferContributor IMay 25, 2009

ENGLEWOOD, CO - MAY 03:  First round draft pick running back Knowshon Moreno #27 of Denver Broncos participates in practice at minicamp at the Broncos training facility on May 3, 2009 in Englewood, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

For the Denver Broncos of 2009 with the coaching change I envision the backfield of both sides off the ball may see most of the play changes.

Of course after the 2008 season, the Denver Broncos released Mike Shanahan who was the head coach of the Broncos from 1995-2008. Shanahan in his tenure in Denver established the team as a running dominant team.

In that era such running backs such as Terrell Davis, Mike Anderson, Clinton Portis, Tatum Bell and others all became great running backs in the National Football League.

Now, however, a wave of change has come with the name of Josh McDaniels. Already McDaniels has started his quest to find a new Quarterback after the trade of Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears.

Next, looking at the draft picks that McDaniel’s and crew made it appears that the running game in Denver may not be what it was in years past. McDaniels in his previous job as offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, has shown that he may be more of a pass coordinated coach than run coordinated.

After all as the offensive coordinator for New England, the Patriots of 2007 had an undefeated season, and a record setting 75 touchdowns.

Then as the 2008 season started, and Tom Brady went down, Matt Cassel, who never started an NFL or even college game before took the starting quarterback position. With McDaniels calling the plays Cassel and the Patriots went on to an 11-5.

During his tenure at New England, McDaniels and the Patriots were not known for their running game, suggesting that the ball may fly high this year in the mile high city. Looking at the draft picks however, the Broncos may not be so eager to abandon the running game that they have been known for in the past.

Off season moves and draft picks have shown that Denver could still run the ball in 2009 as the Broncos picked up running backs, J.J. Arrington, Correll Buckhalter, LaMont Jordon, and drafting running back, Knowshon Moreno.

Developing a quarterback will also be a key point that Denver and McDaniels is going to have to make in the upcoming 2009 season. Luckily for the Denver Broncos McDaniels does have experience in training new quarterbacks, as previously mentioned Matt Cassel was helped along by McDaniels in his transition into a NFL quarterback.

Even though a quarterback for the 2009 Denver Broncos, there are several rookies that have time to grow and may serve that time under McDaniels. In addition to offensive moves the defense of Denver may be on the course for change as well.

Although McDaniels may be known mostly for his offensive past (including playing wide receiver) it may come as a surprise that McDaniels also has a history in defense as well.

From 2002 to 2003 McDaniels was the defensive backs coach for the New England Patriots. And it may be the defensive backs that will change for Denver.

Draft picks indicate that a big change in defensive schemes and it could very well start for the defensive backs. Denver still has corner back Champ Bailey. Notable additions to the Denver Broncos defensive back field include safety Brian Dawkins.

Also in a bold trade for the first round pick of 2010, the Broncos also received CB Alphonso Smith from the Seahawks. Smith might fit right in as he holds the ACC record for most career interceptions, taking the record away from former Broncos corner, Dre Bly.

The Broncos also drafted two more defensive backs a safety and a free safety in the second and fourth round respectively.

As the 2009 season and training camp roll closer, it appears that under the new coach Josh McDaniels that the backfield of both sides of the ball may be where the biggest changes could come from last year to this year.