We’re very lucky here at BLD to be part of Fansided, a wide-reaching network with blogs for every NFL team (as well as a huge selection of NBA, NHL, MLB, and other blogs as well). We’d be dumb not to take advantage of these resources, so welcome to our new feature: Behind Enemy Lines. Each week, we’ll be checking in with the staff from the Fansided blog representing the Bills’ opponent for that the week.
This week, we’ll be hearing from Kim Constantinesco, editor of Predominantly Orange. Kim and her staff do a great job keeping tabs on all things Broncos, and I highly recommend checking out their work. She was nice enough to answer some questions for us, and hopefully will give you a bit more insight heading into the Bills/Broncos preseason tilt tomorrow night.
BLD: Obviously, the sins of the Josh McDaniels era aren’t going to be washed away immediately. Realistically, when can this team return to competitiveness?
KC: I think this team needs a couple of years, but the reason why John Fox was hired as head coach was because he’s proven that he can bring teams back from the brink very quickly. He took his Carolina Panthers from a 1-15 record to a Super Bowl appearance in his second year as head coach. The Broncos will likely be competitive within in their division this year because they already had a solid passing attack. Coach Fox brings a defensive focus, and with the return of Elvis Dumervil and the signing of Von Miller, the Broncos will have a much improved defense.
BLD: The biggest “national” story about the Broncos seems to be the Kyle Orton/Tim Tebow quarterback battle. What’s the latest on that front?
KC: The Broncos have three very good quarterbacks on their roster in Orton, Tebow, and Brady Quinn. Each has shown great qualities in camp and in their preseason games, but as we know, all eyes are on the Orton-Tebow battle. Barring an injury, Orton will start in week one, and I expect the Broncos to use Tebow around the goal line and in third-and-short situations. From what I’ve seen in camp, Orton is performing very well, and you can tell he’s a leader on this team. While Tebow does have leadership qualities, his coaches still need to feel better about his fundamentals in order to make him the starting quarterback.
BLD: A lot of Bills fans were a little upset that the Broncos took LB Von Miller in the draft right before Buffalo selected. I know it’s very early, but how is Miller looking thus far?
KC: Von Miller looks great so far. He has the quickest first step off the line and he’s already built for the NFL. The biggest thing we’re excited about, however, is the fact that the rookie wants to succeed immediately. In the Broncos first preseason game against the Cowboys, the Dumervil-Miller combination brought too much pressure for Tony Romo and his group to handle. If he can stay healthy and adapt to the rigorous NFL schedule, he should have a very successful first year in the league.
BLD: Any other big training camp stories or positional battles to watch for?
KC: Second year wide receiver Eric Decker is making a big push to be a go-to receiver on the team. He played in 14 games last season and had just 6 catches for 106 yards, but he worked out with Orton in the off season, and you can tell his hard work is paying off. There’s a big-time position battle at safety. The Broncos have Brian Dawkins and rookie Rahim Moore listed first on the depth chart, but Kyle McCarthy is making a push to back up Dawkins. McCarthy has brought all kinds of energy to the field on defense and on special teams. He’s an underdog that could end up writing his own story and cracking the starting lineup at some point this season.
BLD: How much can we expect the starters to play?
KC: The starters will likely get two series in the first half. In the first preseason game, offense and defense played in one series each. Fox wants to give them more reps, but he’s not willing to risk anyone to injury. The coaching staff will likely also want to continue evaluating Tebow and how he is coming along, so look for him to see a lot of action.
BLD: Obviously, it’s meaningless, but what’s your prediction for the game?
KC: Broncos – 21 Bills – 14
A big thank you to Kim. Be sure to check out Predominantly Orange for any and all Broncos info.