By Arnie Stapleton, Associated Press
Are DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib fit to defend the title?
Two big question marks still face Denver’s defense: DeMarcus Ware’s balky back and Aqib Talib’s wounded right leg. Ware didn’t participate in a single snap in the offseason as his bad back that limited him to 11 games last season acted up again. Talib said he feels fine and is full-go after recovering from a gunshot wound to his right thigh and calf last month in a shooting in Dallas. Even if he returns to his superstar level, Talib, who’s had firearm incidents in the past, could face legal consequences and punishment from the NFL.
How good is the new offensive line?
The Broncos won it all behind a patchwork offensive line that was dissembled not long after the victory parade attended by more than a million fans. Elway jettisoned right guard Louis Vasquez and let left tackle Ryan Harris and left guard Evan Mathis sign elsewhere. With Max Garcia moving to left guard and Michael Schofield to swing tackle behind free agent acquisitions Russell Okung and Donald Stephenson, only center Matt Paradis returns at his 2015 position.
Oh, also, how good is the new offense?
The Broncos ditched their hybrid offense when Manning retired. Expect more two tight end sets and heavy doses of hand offs to C.J. Anderson and rookie Devontae Booker, who will be running behind fullbacks Andy Janovich and Juwan Thompson. At tight end, the Broncos said farewell to Vernon Davis and Owen Daniels and brought in Garrett Graham and Henry Krieger Coble. Jeff Heuerman, who missed his rookie season with a knee injury, returns alongside veteran Virgil Green.
Will Emmanuel Sanders get his deal?
Elway said he had a trio of priorities this summer: re-signing linebackers Miller and Brandon Marshall along with receiver Emmanuel Sanders. He’s 2 for 3 with Miller and Marshall (four years, $32 million) done. Sanders is entering the final season of his three-year, $15 million deal.