2009 NFL Preview: #25 Denver Broncos

Check out all of our 2009 NFL team previews.

Offseason Additions: Kyle Orton (QB); Brian Dawkins (S); Andre’ Goodman (CB); Renaldo Hill (S); Jabar Gaffney (WR); LaMont Jordan (RB); Correll Buckhalter (RB); Andra Davis (LB); Chris Simms (QB); J.J. Arrington (RB); Brandon Llyod (WR); Ronald Fields (DT); Nick Greisen (LB).

Offseason Losses: Jay Cutler (QB); Dre’ Bly (CB); Erik Pears (RB); Michael Pittman (RB); Nate Webster (LB); Jamie Winborn (LB); Ebenezer Ekuban (DE); Darrell Jackson (WR); Dewayne Robertson (DT); Patrick Ramsey (QB).

Player to Watch: Knowshown Moreno, RB.
Moreno will excel as a pass catcher in Josh McDaniels’ offense and should find plenty of running room behind the Broncos’ solid offensive line. He has outstanding vision and has picked up the art of pass-blocking. Although he’s been limited the past few weeks after suffering a MCL sprain in Denver’s preseason opener, Moreno is on track to play in Week 1. As long as he stays healthy, he could emerge as the Broncos’ every down back.

Team Strength: Led by tackles Ryan Clady and Ryan Harris, the Broncos have one of the best offensive lines in football. As a rookie, Clady demonstrated outstanding run-blocking skills and strength at the point of attack. Harris isn’t as athletically gifted as Clady, but he surrendered just 2.5 sacks last year and has excellent technique. Center Casey Wiegmann and guards Ben Hamilton and Chris Kuper are solid pass-blockers, although they could struggle with run-blocking as the team transitions out of the old zone-blocking scheme.

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Jay Cutler traded to Bears

Several media outlets are reporting that the Broncos have traded quarterback Jay Cutler to the Bears in exchange for first round picks in 2009 and 2010, a third round pick in 2009 and Kyle Orton. Denver will also give up an undisclosed draft choice in the later rounds.

It’s amazing how this entire situation unraveled. Two months ago there wasn’t a peep about a potential Cutler trade and now he’s set to become a Bear. One has to wonder whether Cutler wanted out as soon as Denver fired Mike Shanahan and when he saw an opening (i.e. Josh McDaniels’ supposed interest in former Patriots’ quarterback Matt Cassel), he took it and ran with it.

Even though they gave up a king’s ransom to acquire him, Chicago fans have to be ecstatic. They get a young quarterback with plenty of starting experience and one that has a strong arm to play in poor, late-season weather conditions. The bottom line is that the Bears haven’t had a reliable quarterback in nearly 20 seasons and now they have one who has the potential to succeed. Two first round picks are a steep price, but as I wrote yesterday, GM Jerry Angelo was probably going to blow those picks anyway (Chris Williams instead of Branden Albert, Jerry? Really?!) so Chicago might as well get a franchise-type quarterback instead.

Another note about the compensation, you have to remember that Cutler is a young quarterback with starting experience and who was sought after by multiple teams. And when you factor in how weak the quarterback class is this year, any team that wanted Cutler was going to have to give up several high draft picks like the Bears eventually did.

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