We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2009 fantasy football questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2009 Broncos Fantasy Football Preview comes courtesy of Predominantly Orange.
1) The biggest trade in the NFL this offseason, and perhaps the biggest trade in Broncos franchise history, was the trade of QB Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears for Kyle Orton and draft picks. What impact will this trade have on the Broncos plethora of remaining young playmakers, most notably Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, and Tony Scheffler?
I think a lot of QBs in this league can get big numbers with a great supporting cast. That’s not a knock on Jay Cutler. That’s a compliment to the Broncos receivers, tight ends, and offensive line. With young talent coming back like Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal, a solid tight end in Tony Scheffler, and an offensive line that only allowed 12 sacks all season, those guys should have a very good season. They may even have bigger numbers than they had last season since Josh McDaniels is a passers coach. We still got a very talented QB in Kyle Orton who can reportedly learn the playbook quickly. I’m confident the young guys will continue to flourish.
2) Who wins the QB battle in wake of Cutler’s departure, and what type of season do you expect from the signal caller that snags the starting job?
I think Kyle Orton will win the starting job. If Josh McDaniels (who groomed Tom Brady and Matt Cassell) was willing to trade a guy like Cutler for Orton, then Orton is bringing something to the table that maybe we don’t see right now. Because McDaniels was a QB coach, he’s a pro at analyzing talent at that position. I think McD will take Orton and make him a special player because he’s got that certain skill set that meshes well with the Broncos young talent mentioned above. As long as we’ve got Ryan Clady and Ryan Harris on the outside protecting Orton, he’ll have enough time to find guys like Marshall and Royal who are arguably two of the best in the league at creating space between the CBs. Harris and Clady combined to give up just 3 sacks last year. I think Orton’s jersey will stay clean and he’ll have a very successful year in Denver.
3) The Broncos signed a stable of free agent running backs (LaMont Jordan, Correll Buckhalter, and Darius Walker) in the offseason and then used 1 of 2 first round draft picks to draft Georgia stud RB, Knowshon Moreno. Which of these guys can we expect to be Denver’s “go to” runner, or are we looking at a RB by committee situation?
The team will see how Moreno does in camp and then make the call. Should he perform well, I think he and Buckhalter will initially get most of the carries. Don’t forget about the versatility of Peyton Hillis and the strength and quickness of Ryan Torain. I think the battle for the backfield is actually more interesting than at any other position. These backs could have some long runs this season if McD uses 4 potential receivers to spread the field. Regardless of who gets the carries, this is going to be another fun offense to watch.
4) Emergent star receiver, Brandon Marshall, was suspended for the first game of last season due to off the field incidents, and again this season questions loom from an altercation with his former girlfriend. Do you think the NFL commissioner will impose another suspension on Marshall, if so how long?
Marshall’s latest charges (disorderly conduct) were dropped, but I think the Commissioner is waiting until his upcoming case (misdemeanor battery charge) is over before deciding on a possible suspension.
5) The 2008 Broncos nearly had two, 1000 yard receivers in Brandon Marshall (1265) and Eddie Royal (980), but it was the much vaunted Broncos running game that was the real surprise last season. After seasons of consistently churning out 1000 yard rushers, no RB topped 400 yards in 2008. Will new head coach, Josh McDaniels, return to Broncos roots and pound the ball, or can we expect a more pass heavy attack from the former Patriots assistant?
The Broncos may have had a 1,000 yard rusher last year had the position not been plagued by injuries. I think there were seven injured backs last year, so it’s hard for anyone to get big numbers when that happens. As far as the pass-rush attack, I think we’ll see a very balanced offense with the scales slightly tipping towards the pass. The Broncos will pound the ball at the beginning of the game to control the clock and open up the field. From then on, it all depends on what the defense is giving them, and who the hot guys are on the field.