HOW THEY RUN
Coach Mike Shanahan may be gone, but his spirit—and utter disdain for fantasy football—lives on in Denver. During the off-season, the club brought in running backs Correll Buckhalter and LaMont Jordan to add to Ryan Torain, Andre Hall and Peyton Hillis, already on the roster. And then on draft day, with the defense in need of a serious overhaul, the Broncos devoted their first pick (No. 12 overall) to Knowshon Moreno. As Denver's most athletic runner, Moreno should see a steady workload between the 20s and in red zone situations, but the pecking order in the Broncos' backfield remains a free-for-all, much like the backfield in New England, from where new Denver coach Josh McDaniels comes.
HOW THEY PASS
The pass-catching quartet of Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, Brandon Stokley and tight end Tony Scheffler (284 combined catches in 2008) will command plenty of defensive attention. Then again, if the quarterbacking is not up to snuff—whether Kyle Orton or Chris Simms wins the job—suddenly, the special bounty of playmakers won't be so special. The Broncos might even hear a Jay Cutler-related catcall or two from the Mile High faithful.
Before we induct Moreno into the Broncos' Ring of Fame, it's important to note that McDaniels was the Patriots' offensive coordinator during the same period in which Laurence Maroney devolved from a highly touted rookie to an afterthought. That said, there's much to like about Moreno as an RB2. As for the rest of the offense, including Marshall (high-end WR2) and Royal (high-end WR3), growing pains seem inevitable in this transition season.