Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/8/13
Football season is finally here. Today marks the first game of the Denver Broncos preseason. With the depth chart finally released expect the first team to play at most the first quarter, the second team the second and third quarters and the third team the last quarter, according to head coach John Fox. In an interview Monday, Peyton Manning said that no matter how long he plays for he wants to be in a mix of situations for the coaches to see. This is an important step in not only getting Manning prepared but also evaluating the undetermined positions. Some of those undetermined positions that should be looked at are, like I’ve been saying all preseason, the running back spot, safety, and cornerback. Ronnie Hillman should be one of those starters playing in the first quarter. Fans should expect to see a stronger, bigger running back who has made a lot of improvements this season according to Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase who said last Friday that, “it’s really good to see [Hillman] develop. With the limited playing time he got last year, and now it is increased more, every day is a huge improvement for him.” Rookie Montee Ball is (un)surprisingly already at the second string spot and I think he is the player that most fans are excited to see. In training camp there has obviously been limited contacted and Ball hasn’t really had a chance to go into full tackle-breaking mode. Hopefully the strength that he had in Wisconsin will still work in the pros. It seems Denver Broncos Analyst, Andrew Mason can’t go one training camp report without mentioning safety Duke Ihenacho and there is a reason why. Mason describes Ihenacho as having a “premature ability to anticipate run plays before they develop.” Ihenacho’s enthusiasm and drive is evident through not only his skills but in the way that he has been able to hype up the team/crowd through his enthusiastic shouts and hollers after making a play or walking on to the field. Hopefully he will have the same confidence Thursday making fans wonder where has he been. With Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie out for probably the entire preseason and Tony Carter also having a minor injury, Omar Bolden and rookie Kayvon Webster will get an opportunity to show the coaches they deserve a spot on the team. There will also be a few temporary changes because of Orlando Franklin’s hip injury. Now at the offensive line in the center spot is still Manny Ramirez, Louis Vasquez was moved to outside tackle and Ryan Lilja was put in as guard. Also because of Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen’s temporary injuries Julius Thomas and Virgil Green should also get increased repetitions.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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