Broncos to take field under new coach McDaniels
DENVER, Colorado ” Josh McDaniels gets his first real look at the team he’s spent three months reconstructing when the Denver Broncos begin a three-day predraft minicamp Friday.
With a storm moving over the Rocky Mountains, the Broncos might have to move the first couple of workouts indoors at their nearby bubble, but they plan to be in the sunshine Sunday at Dove Valley.
Quarterbacks Kyle Orton and Chris Simms are expected to split snaps as they vie to replace Jay Cutler as Broncos starter.
On April 2, the Broncos ended their relationship with Cutler, the franchise quarterback who owner Pat Bowlen proclaimed was “the man around here” in January when he introduced McDaniels as the team’s new head coach after firing Mike Shanahan.
Now, the man around here appears to be McDaniels, the 32-year-old rookie coach who tutored Tom Brady and Matt Cassel in New England.
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The Broncos sent their Pro Bowl passer to the Bears along with a fifth-round draft pick for Orton, two first-round draft picks and a third-rounder. So, the Broncos own the 12th and 18th selections in next weekend’s draft.
McDaniels hasn’t ruled out drafting a quarterback, but right now he’s declared the job will go to Orton or Simms. Orton would seem to be the front-runner.
One player they won’t see running routes this weekend is Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall, who is recovering from hip surgery while he awaits word on whether he’ll face a lengthy suspension to start the season.
Marshall was arrested last month in Atlanta after getting into a fight with his fiance. Although charges were quickly dropped, the NFL doesn’t require convictions to punish players under the league’s code of conduct.
Marshall was suspended for the opener and two paychecks last season after seven police-related incidents with his former girlfriend.
“Brandon is doing fine,” McDaniels said recently. “We’re not going to discuss details of anything with Brandon, but he’s doing fine. That will be handled with the league, if there’s anything to be done with it. The chargers were dropped, we’re just waiting to see if there’s anything that the league feels is necessary.”
Marshall is expected back on the field in time for training camp in late July.
If commissioner Roger Goodell is going to come down hard on Marshall, it stands to reason he’d do so before the draft. That way, the Broncos would know whether they’ll need to add a wide receiver to their long wish list.
The Broncos already signed free agent wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, who followed McDaniels over from the Patriots along with long-snapper Lonie Paxton and running back LaMont Jordon.