AFC WEST FOCUS: Broncos

AFC WEST FOCUS: Broncos

The Broncos tried to squash any talk of a quarterback controversy by declaring Kyle Orton the unquestioned starter. Then Orton went out and had a ho-hum game in Denver's preseason opener while backup Tim Tebow completed all but one of his pass attempts.

Although Tebow continues to have a huge wave of critics, Orton has done little in the Mile High city to secure a lock on the starting position and new coach John Fox might have an issue on his hands if Orton continues to struggle. There is still talk of a possible Orton trade, too. It hasn't helped either player, either, that the two operate in virtually silence along one another. There is very little interaction between the quarterbacks and there's a feeling in town that Orton is icing out his younger teammate. … Players have been heaping praise for creating a much looser and lighter atmosphere in training camp. Denver's players had grown weary of the regimented routines of former head coach Josh McDaniels. … Injuries have taken their toll on the Broncos receiving corps but Fox believes it's only a short-term issue and doesn't anticipate Denver making a move to trade for a veteran receiver or sign one. … The Broncos have spent four draft picks over the last three years on safeties but don't count out Kyle McCarthy, a second-year player who went undrafted out of Notre Dame in 2010. Rookie Rahim Moore has getting the most work with at free safety with Denver's starting offense but McCarthy has been taking a handful of reps in practice with the starters as well. McCarthy started last season on the Broncos practice squad then was promoted to the 53-man roster before a season-ending injury cost him the final three games of the season. … Kick Matt Prater was charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident following an Aug. 2 incident in Denver. It will be interesting to see how commissioner Roger Goodell handles this.

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