Questions loom at Broncos interior O-line spots

Posted Sept. 28, 2012 @ 9:47 a.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

The Broncos’ interior O-line got a boost this week with the return to practice of ORG Chris Kuper. His replacement, Manny Ramirez, has been flagged for two penalties and allowed 3½ sacks, but things are also a bit tenuous at center and left guard. C J.D. Walton and OLG Zane Beadles, might not be considered long-term options at their respective positions, we hear, even though both players very well could maintain starting jobs throughout the season. Walton and Beadles were both draft picks from the previous regime, and Walton’s hold on his job might be the slimmest.

The Broncos signed former Patriots C Dan Koppen following Week One, a move that head coach John Fox said was for depth reasons, but it’s hard to ignore Koppen’s pedigree and experience playing with Tom Brady, a similar quarterback to Peyton Manning. For now, Koppen is a solid insurance policy, but he wasn’t the only addition on the interior. The Broncos used a fourth-round pick on OG-C Philip Blake, who is spending his rookie season on injured reserve. In February, the Broncos signed OG C.J. Davis, who spent two seasons with Fox in Carolina.

With the added reinforcements behind them, the scrutiny on Walton and Beadles is higher this season as they work to protect Manning and create holes for the run game.

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