Kyle Orton "Picks" Up The New Look Offense In Preseason Opener

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Kyle Orton
(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

The Broncos had some exciting moments and some down right infuriating moments, in yesterday's Preseason opener in San Fransisco.  In their first offensive possession, the Bronx dominated the 49ers, taking the ball all the way down they field.  This uber long drive was capped off by a superb pass to the other team in the endzone.  Turnovers negated anything good the offense would accomplish in the first half. 

The first game was a wash.  With this many turnovers, you can't expect McDaniels to call a clean offensive attack.  We will have to wait, until next weak to get a realistic view of the starting offense. 

Quarterbacks

As a Bronco fan, you hate to see this kind of thing happen to your starting Quarterback.  I've been to training camp this year.  Orton looked like a gamer!  He threw accurate lasers into the back of the endzone (he even threw one at my head!). 

In yesterdays game, Orton looked great on the first drive.  Completing short passes, that spread out the defense.

I'm pretty sure he'll bounce back next week.  If not, then McD will have some decisions to make at QB.  For now, let's give him a chance.

Chris Simms looked awesome!  I have to say it's weird watching a left handed QB man the offense, but if he plays like that, I'm fine with it.

With Simms at the helm, the Broncos came to within one point of the 49ers with two minutes to go in the game.

It was definitely more exciting to watch Simms play yesterday than Orton, but let's not get ahead of ourselves though.  The 2nd string QB ALWAYS looks like a superstar in the preseason.  In my humble opinion, it is easier to run a second string offense then it is to run a second string defense, hence the backups usually seem to play better than the starters.

Wide Receivers

Kenny McKinley, Eddie Royal, and Brandon Lloyd led the team in receiving yards.

I really like this McKinley kid!  He looks really fast out there and he can also help on Special Teams.

Eddie Royal ran some superb routes and it looked like Nate Clements was giving him about 15 yards for every down.  Now that's respect!

Lloyd made some exciting catches and was part of the reason why Simm's was able to attempt a second half comeback.

The Offense looked wide open yesterday and the QBs were able to spread the ball around effectively.

Tight Ends

Who?  Did McDaniels play any TEs yesterday?  From the looks of the stats sheet, the first team TE squad was primarily used as a blocking unit. 

We know that Orton attempted to pass the ball to Daniel Graham in the end zone on the first drive, but until Jeb Putzier's touchdown catch in the second half, the TEs were nonexistent in the passing game.

We did get to see the rookie TE Richard Quinn push around some defensive ends, which is always fun to watch.

I definitely want the TEs to play a bigger role in the passing game in the future.

Backs

Peyton Hillis was the stud of the day, big surprise, as he averaged 4.9 yards a carry and added two passing receptions for 18 yards.

Superstar rookie Knowshon Moreno looked like a freight train in his NFL debut, averaging a whopping six yards a carry.  Unfortunately, he had to leave the game early with an undisclosed leg injury.  I look forward to this stud playing in Denver for many years.

Lamont Jordan was a steady force in the backfield.  He even got into the passing game, with a nine yard comeback route in the first half.

Correll Buckhalter was unimpressive in his debut as a Bronco, but I attribute his paltry one yard per carry average to the play of the offensive line.  Buck should show his true colors as the season goes on.

Offensive Line

The Offensive Line was "GODLIKE" in pass protection, not allowing any sacks all game.  Orton should do wonders with all the time he will have in the pocket this year.  However, the O-line will have to be much stronger in their run blocking.  Preseason or not, the Broncos should average over 100 rushing yards a game. 

Defensive Line

I liked these guys!  The big men up front (Fields, Peterson, Baker, and McBean), filled the gaps effectively and even created a lot of pressure in the pocket.  However, the Niners still found enough holes to get over 100 rushing yards on the day.  I attribute this to Preseason gitters.  The big runs were caused by missed gap assignments and missed tackles.  These mistakes should be taken care over by game one. 

Linebackers

The Outside line backers (Haggan, Dumervil, and Moss) looked really fast.  Elvis Dumervil looked like a freak, breaking into the backfield numerous times.  I am really pushing for Jarvis Moss to break into the second team defense.  I think he can be a special player in the 3-4. 

First round draft choice Rober Ayers was a little disappointing in his NFL debut.  This just shows that he needs more practice time, before showing his real potential.

The inside linebackers looked out of place to me.  Spencer Larsen showed he is a great force at linebacker and should add a wealth of depth to the linebacker corps.  This whole group needs to work on their pass defense skills.

Defensive Backs

These guys showed good recovery speed and tackling skills, but seemed out of place.  The defensive front provided enough pressure, that the defensive backs should have been better against the pass, but the Niners tore up their zone defense.  However, with more practice, this unit is going to be sweet.

Special Teams

So far, I don't know who I want returning kicks and punts for the Broncos.  Alphonso Smith and Kenny McKinley are both tremendous, in my book.  Both have super speed and cat-like reflexes.  Who ever wins the starting spot, will definitely add a highlight reel or two to this years special teams unit.

The kicking team was fine.  With only one rep given to each player, you really can't form an opinion yet.

At the end of the day, I was happy with the performance.  The brunt of the mistakes can only be attributed to one player.  I think the Broncos are on the right track to greatness this year.

GO BRONCOS!!!

 

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