Denver Broncos Rookies Humbled By First Mini-Camp Experience

Sayre BedingerSenior Writer IMay 2, 2009

LEXINGTON, KY - OCTOBER 11:  Kenny McKinley #11 of the South Carolina Gamecocks runs the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats during the game at Commonwealth Stadium on October 11, 2008 in Lexington, Kentucky. South Carolina defeated Kentucky 24-17.   (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos commenced their first full-team mini-camp today, and reports out of Denver are that the new-look Broncos were still trying to get past the initial learning curve.

"They made a lot of mistakes, and that's what you expect them to do at this point in time," coach Josh McDaniels said, "but you know, there's enough to look at out there, and there's some promise out there.

"We'll get better, and I'm sure we'll make some more mistakes tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon. They're trying. They're working hard, but they've got a long way to go."  

Despite McDaniels' analysis that the youngsters struggled in their first NFL practice, he was not overly concerned about it.  Even the team's head coach has to be having his first year jitters, as he himself is participating in his first full-team organized practice. 

He's not letting it show.

Criticize McDaniels all you want, but the man finally has Bronco fans back on his good graces after the controversy between he and now Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.  A solid draft and a great free agent signing frenzy have the Mile-High Faithful giddy to the point where Broncos bloggers are even reporting a list of the new players' names.

I would even go so far as to say, this is the most excited Denver fans have been since some kid named Elway brought his laser of an arm to the Rockies.

Is there still skepticism out there?

Of course, but Bronco fans are intrigued, captivated, and ever alert for the next development in what has been the most active off-season for the Broncos this decade.

Much of that excitement has come from the team's 27 new rookies, ten of whom were brought in via last Saturday's NFL Draft. All of those first year players, hoping and praying for a roster spot, have already jumped into Josh McDaniels' complex playbook.  For wide receiver Kenny McKinley, a fifth-round pick out of South Carolina, the transition has been challenging, but exciting at the same time.

"Me and [Running Back Knowshon] Moreno, we're roommates, and we were up last night studying for a long time," McKinley said. "I know he wants to play, I want to play also, and you've got to know your plays to get on the field. It's a job, so we're both taking it very serious."

McKinley went on to emphasize the fact that he, like many rookies, are willing to do whatever it takes to "help the team", and that he hopes to see the field on special teams as well as catching passes.

As for McKinley's roommate, Knowshon Moreno, there has been no reported news in regards to his first practice as a Bronco, other than the number on his chest and back.

Moreno will don the No. 27 uniform, one that was previously worn by Broncos great Steve Atwater, as well as the slain Darrent Williams.

The subject of Williams is a tender one for Broncos fans, who all hold him in very high regard. His death was undoubtedly one of the most tragic events in Broncos history, and couple that with the stellar career of Hall of Fame snub Steve Atwater, the number 27 is not one to be taken lightly.

According to Bill Williamson of ESPN.com, the Williams family wants Moreno to volunteer at the Darrent Williams Memorial Teen Center in exchange for the privilege of wearing that particular jersey number, and it is assumed that Moreno will agree to do so, no questions asked.

Another number that is very familiar to Broncos fans, No. 30, will be worn by rookie safety David Bruton. Bruton will not have the tall task of living up to the man who wore that number just 10 years ago, as they do not play the same position. That man of course is none other than Bronco great Terrell Davis.

There are no shortage of storylines in Denver these days, and the Broncos will continue their offseason activity tomorrow afternoon at Dove Valley. Hopefully the team will provide the fans with some screenshots of the new players in action, but stay tuned Broncos fans.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.