5 Questions Denver Broncos Must Answer During Training Camp

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5 Questions Denver Broncos Must Answer During Training Camp

5 Questions Denver Broncos Must Answer During Training Camp
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos head into training camp this summer with expectations as high as they can be. The AFC West title should be a formality, but it will be how this team performs in the playoffs that matters.

After all, it wasn’t the regular season that was the problem last year in Denver. It was the postseason, where the Broncos suffered one of the more devastating playoff losses in recent memory.

The team is looking to make that memory a long forgotten one this year, and going to a Super Bowl will do that.

They’ve done all they can do as far as personnel goes to get there. Peyton Manning answered all the questions regarding his health with one of his best years as a pro in 2012. Wes Welker, the former workhorse receiver for the New England Patriots, joins an already-talented receiver group that includes Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.

Not to be outdone by Manning and the offense, the Denver defense is one of the best units in the league. Tied for the lead in sacks last year, the Broncos are as good on the defensive side of the ball as they are on the offensive side.

Everything points to another great year in Denver, but there are still questions that need to be answered. Not questions on whether or not the team is going to be good, but questions on whether or not the team has what it takes to live up to it’s potential and win it all.

These are the five questions that the Denver Broncos must answer this summer during training camp.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. Is Montee Ball A Franchise Running Back?

Montee Ball
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos drafted Montee Ball out of the University of Wisconsin in the second round of this year’s draft to be the franchise back.

Ball, one of the most productive backs in college football history, comes into the NFL with a lot of wear on his tires already. He carried the ball a lot in college, but the Broncos think that means he will be NFL-ready when he comes to camp. They thought so much of Ball that they let veteran Willis McGahee go.

Ball will compete with second-year back Ronnie Hillman for carries this summer, but the Broncos hope that he takes a firm hold on the no. 1 job.

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4. Is The Secondary Going To Be A Liability?

Secondary
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

We all remember how last year ended for the Broncos. For the Mile High faithful, I won't rehash all the sordid details, but let's just say it wasn't the best showing for the Denver defensive backfield.

The bad news? Rahim Moore, the safety who took the bad angle and let the ball go over his head, returns as a starter. The good news? Denver signed former Philadelphia Eagles corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to replace Tony Carter, the corner who was beat on that play. Mike Adams returns at the other safety spot and the once-great Champ Bailey mans the second corner slot.

The pass defense wasn't a problem in Denver last year when they finished third in the league in opponent passing yards. But that stat wasn’t as much about the secondary as it was the team's dominant pass rush. The Broncos finished tied for first in the league with 52 quarterback take downs last year.

If the pass rush is as good this season, the secondary might not matter again; but if it comes back down to earth, the question marks in the defensive backfield could be a problem.

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3. Will Wes Welker Make The Team Better Or Worse?

Wes Welker
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

I know, it sounds crazy, but bear with more for a second. Sometimes receiver groups are like basketball teams, if you have too many scorers you can have a problem with not enough shots to go around. Just like that, you can have too many receivers on an NFL team and not enough receptions to go around.

Welker is used to being the no. 1 option on his team. He’s used to getting double-digit targets every game. The thing is, can he accept a role that, on paper, will make it look like he’s having a worse year than he used to when he was in New England?

I’m guessing the answer is yes, because he keeps saying how happy he is in Denver and Peyton Manning is masterful at keeping all his receivers in the game, but these things can get messy fast.

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2. Will Von Miller Have A Career Year?

Von Miller
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Von Miller has already put his name in the ring of the best linebackers in the NFL. The second overall pick in 2011, Miller has 30 sacks in just his first two years in the league, including 18.5 last year.

But the scary thing for the rest of the AFC is that he still has room to grow and get better. His speed and quickness off the edge have gotten him by this far, but the third year is the year you would expect him to add another layer of technique to those natural physical skills.

If Miller can have a career year, the kind of year that gets you talked about in comparison to history and not just your immediate peers, he will take the next step in his career and bring the rest of the Broncos along with him.

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1. How Much Does Peyton Manning Have Left In The Tank?

Peyton Manning
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chances are Peyton Manning has at least one more elite year left in him, but the question has to be asked. Manning is 37-years old, and we haven’t seen a quarterback win a Super Bowl at that age since, well, another Denver quarterback name John Elway. I think you may have heard of him.

Much like Elway, Manning has a great team around him. If he can stay at an elite level for just one more year — and I don’t want to bet against him at this point — the Broncos will again be a contender for the Lombardi trophy.

Manning and his ability to stay at the top despite his age will be the most important question for the Broncos to answer this summer.


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