Otto Kitsinger III
Spring Ball is rapidly approaching, and although it will only begin to tell the story of the 2013 football season—armchair quarterbacks like myself will draw conclusions from the proceedings. All is usually rosy in Broncoland, but there may be areas of concern this offseason. Let's discuss.
The Broncos allegedly open Spring Camp on March 11th, so we have a few weeks of thumb-twiddling before Bronco Nation is thrown some red meat. We could talk about the NFL scouting combine, but the first Bronco action won't take place till Sunday...so Spring Ball is back on the menu. This weekend, I thought we could discuss areas of concern heading into camp. My camp concerns are usually whether I brought enough bug spray or if Sasquatch can climb trees, but football camp will bring an altogether different set of hand-wringings. The Broncos are in pretty good shape for a title run next year, but there are some issues that keep me up at night (I was already up...worrying about tree-climbing Sasquatch).
Spring Camp concerns
That's definitely a fitting name for our cornerback situation this Spring as attrition, injuries, or just bad luck have led this to be one of the thinnest positions on the field next month, but also the position with the most questions surrounding it. Jamar Taylor and Jerrell Gavins are gone-zo and 2012's 3rd CB, Bryan Douglas is nursing an injury, so we're legitimately placing our 4th CB atop the Spring Depth Chart (Donte Deayon) and hoping the other 3 guys can push the pace. By my calculations, Deayon will only have Deontae Florence, Chaz Anderson and mid-year transfer Cleshawn Page to contend with. That's a promising crew, but a skeleton crew nonetheless. Could Ebo Makinde come back into the CB fold after rumors of a switch to safety? I guess we'll see, but it's concerning that the Broncos might end up starting a corner against UW with only a month in the program. Here's to you, medical science—heal Bryan Douglas's knee won't you?
Getting our kicks
I hate to do this annually, but kicking has been a bit of a sore subject for Bronco fans and Spring Camp will once again open without a viable ball-kicking guy. Michael Frisina gave us the closest thing we've had to a clutch kicker in some time last season...so naturally, he's now gone—leaving 2011 starter Dan Goodale still in the mix along with mid-year JC-transfer Tyler Rausa. Goodale, a walk-on, was not tremendously accurate in 2011 and Rausa is a great unknown. Redshirt Sean Wale was brought in to punt, but he could inject himself into the placekicking battle as well. Frankly, this is a position that no one wants to really think about—but we've been forced to of late...so might as well do the Band-Aid approach and rip it off quickly.
We'll beat you over the head with this one between now and the opener, but Boise State's tackle situation is "interesting" to say the least. Mike Atkinson and Darren Koontz have graduated and depth has taken a hit with the dismissal of Jeff Worthy. The bottom line is that Boise State has precious little experience at the position and this will need to be rectified quickly starting next month. Note I didn't say "little depth" because Boise State has sufficient depth there in the short term with Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, Armand Nance, Tyler Horn, Elliot Hoyte, Robert Ash, and mid-year transfer Deuce Mataele. However, just 3 of those guys have game experience for the Broncos—and one of them (Horn) is a converted DE. Hoyte and Mataele are intriguing Spring prospects—Hoyte, for his size and athleticism and Mataele, for his playing experience (albeit at the JC level). DT concerns are something that could have all but evaporated come Fall, but heading into Spring Camp, I think everyone should be at least a tiny bit worried.
There are plenty of things to get right before the Broncos are ready to tackle their 2013 slate, so let's all be Eeyores this weekend and air our worries. Once the season hits, we can go back to being myopic homers.