Broncos: Can the RBs get back in the saddle?
Aug. 19, 2008
Once upon a time, Mike Shanahan could plug in seemingly any old running back and produce a 1,000-yard season. (Remember Olandis Gary?) But that changed last year when Denver failed to have a back top that magic number for the first time since 2001.
Travis Henry was supposed to be the next great Broncos runner, but he turned into "oh no" Henry instead. Knee and rib injuries cut short his 2007 season, and the Broncos released him during the offseason shortly after he tested positive for marijuana.
Now, the spotlight turns to Selvin Young, a second-year player from Texas who showed flashes of brilliance while rushing for 729 yards and one touchdown in 2007. While Young has potential, there are no guarantees among Broncos backs because Shanahan makes changes even when you least expect it.
Besides uncertainty over playing time, Broncos backs also are dealing with a rebuilt offensive line. Center Tom Nalen is the lone link to the line's storied past, so the Broncos are hoping rookie tackle Ryan Clady can make an immediate impact. But it will take time for this unit to live up to its former reputation, so dipping into the Broncos' running back pool looks murky at best.