Updated: December 24, 2009 at 12:00 am
Brandon Marshall seems to be the only Broncos receiver catching passes lately, but the disparity isn’t quarterback Kyle Orton’s fault. Orton said he hasn’t forced the ball to Marshall. Over the past seven weeks, Marshall has 60 catches. Eddie Royal is second on the Broncos with 17.
“I go through my reads, and a lot of times, he’s the guy who I’m going to,” Orton said. “He does a great job of getting open. I try to just continue to go through my reads, and if he’s the one that’s open, then I’ll give him the ball.”
Orton has said he has never played with a receiver like Marshall, who can elevate and catch a pass when covered. The Broncos offense is meant to spread it around, taking advantage of coverage weaknesses, and Orton said he has stuck with that.
“Certainly, in critical situations and you need a play, you’re going to go to your best guy, and he’s our best guy, for sure,” Orton said. “I’m not necessarily trying to force him the ball at all.”
Defensive line surprises
Defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely joked when he came to Denver, he was concerned about the state of his position group after reading negative media reports about the Broncos’ linemen. Although the defensive line could still be an offseason priority, Nunnely said he has been pleased with that unit.
“I think the guys have come through and done a good job,” Nunnely said. “They’ve probably met our expectations, and maybe beyond that.”
The Broncos got Royal (head/neck), linebacker D.J. Williams (ankle) and safety David Bruton (illness) back to practice Thursday. All of them missed practice Wednesday. Royal and Williams were limited.
Cornerback Ty Law (hamstring) was out after he was limited Wednesday and linebacker Spencer Larsen was out with a hamstring injury as well. Law missed last week's game. If he can't play, Denver's two backup cornerbacks are rookies Tony Carter and Alphonso Smith.