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Broncos' new staff begins evaluation process

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Alex Mayster
Editorial assistant

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Posted Feb. 03, 2011 @ 4:20 p.m. ET
By Alex Mayster

With their new coaching staff completed, the Broncos are now entering the evaluation stage.

The organization is currently in the process of reviewing tape, critiquing players and absorbing knowledge from position coaches as executive vice president of football operations John Elway and head coach John Fox prepare to get the team turned around.

The focus is on the defensive side of the ball, according to a source close to the team, where defensive coordinator Dennis Allen is trying to identify the team's strengths and weaknesses. The unit finished last in 2010 and needs to increase its speed and athleticism, according to Allen.

The players who likely would be tabbed as the most athletic of the bunch — CBs Champ Bailey and Perrish Cox and LB D.J. Williams — all have question marks around them for one reason or another. Bailey is set to be a free agent, Cox faces sexual assault charges and Williams was stripped of his captaincy last year following his second DUI arrest.

One daily team observer expects there to be a major overhaul on the defensive side of the ball. DT Marcus Thomas and OLB-DE Robert Ayers are players that figure to have a role on the defense moving forward because of their versatility, and CB Syd'Quan Thompson seems to fit the bill because of his athleticism.

With so much attention being paid to the defense, the Broncos aren't likely to make many changes on the offensive side of the ball.

The team is expected to upgrade the tight end position, as veteran Daniel Graham is limited in what he can do in the receiving game. Look for Denver to bring in a dual-threat tight end next season.

The offensive line figures to retain at least four of its five regular starters from a season ago, with ORT Ryan Harris entering his free-agent year. With so many other holes to fill, the Broncos don't have the ability to upgrade there regardless of whether Harris returns.

It wouldn't be shocking if Denver added another reliable running back behind Knowshon Moreno, as RB Correll Buckhalter appears to be slowing down. Fox always has been big on the running game, and if QB Tim Tebow is the starter next season, the coach likely would want to have a reliable rushing attack to help ease Tebow into his first season as a full-time starter.

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