Updated: July 27, 2009 at 12:00 am
ENGLEWOOD • On Monday, Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels could speak calmly and diplomatically about first-round picks Knowshon Moreno and Robert Ayers remaining unsigned as training camp started.
By the end of the week, their holdouts will become a more serious problem. Moreno, a running back who was the 12th pick, and Ayers, a linebacker who was the 18th pick, did not practice with the rest of the Broncos rookies when training camp started.
McDaniels said both negotiations were moving in a positive direction. Only four of 32 first-round picks in the NFL had signed or agreed to terms by Monday evening, so he wasn’t too worried.
“We’ll hopefully have them here as soon as we possibly can,” McDaniels said. “I know that most of the league is going through the same thing.”
The Broncos have their first full squad practice on Friday. McDaniels said the first part of the playbook installation occurs Friday, and if the two rookies are not present, they will start to fall behind. As he put it, the coaches aren’t going to install those parts again on Saturday.
“As you start putting things in and start putting responsibilities on players if they miss those meetings, those sessions and those practices, they’re going to have some work to catch up,” McDaniels said.