Denver Broncos 2013 training camp primer

Doug Pensinger

The Denver Broncos open training camp on July 25, looking to put the memory of Joe Flacco's 70-yard touchdown bomb far behind them.

Don't fault the Denver Broncos for feeling like they deserved more last season. They tied the Atlanta Falcons for the best regular season record in the NFL at 13-3, and may have gone on to glory if a 70-yard Joe Flacco touchdown heave at the end of regulation didn't send their divisional round game against the Baltimore Ravens into overtime, where they eventually lost.

Expectations will be to once again win a Super Bowl. A Peyton Manning-led offense backed by a solid defense with a (hopefully) improved secondary should be good enough to compete with and beat anyone in the NFL. Whether circumstances align remains to be seen, of course.

Offseason changes

The Broncos wasted no time addressing the culprit for their loss against the Ravens. Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was signed away from the Philadelphia Eagles at the starting gun for free agency, giving Denver a player that was once considered one of the best young corners in the game. Rodgers-Cromartie struggled in Philadelphia, where he was asked to be play physical as a slot corner. As an outside corner with the Broncos, the hope is that he can be a lock-down presence across the field from Champ Bailey.

Additionally, the team signed Quentin Jammer from the San Diego Chargers. Jammer played most of his career at corner, but he ended mandatory minicamp on the first-team defense at safety. Given the struggles of Rahim Moore and Mike Adams last season, Jammer's ascension could be a good sign.

The Broncos won't have Elvis Dumervil next season. A bizarre fax machine fiasco caused the team to release the talented pass rusher in March. Compounding the situation is a potential four-game suspension for Von Miller, the team's best defensive player and one of the brightest young stars in the game. The loss is big blow, one that Shaun Phillips may or may not be able to make up for. Phillips recorded 9.5 sacks with the San Diego Chargers last season, but he is also 32 years old.

On offense, Willis McGahee's release leaves the Broncos without a proven running back. Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hilliman return, but the former has struggled through bouts of injury and ineffectiveness and the latter had limited touches as a rookie. The Broncos drafted Montee Ball in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. The rookie may be expected to take over the starting role.

The passing game shouldn't miss a beat, however. Manning returns, and will have Wes Welker with him to work out of the slot. Welker was a reception-machine with the New England Patriots, and should make the Broncos' receiving corps one of the league's best when teamed with Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.

Training camp location and schedule

Broncos training camp will begin July 25 at the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre in Dove Valley, Colo. Dove Valley is a town of just over 5,000 people that isn't known for much except for hosting Broncos training camp and owning an airport.

Last year, the team set a franchise attendance record for training camp. They will look to break that record again this season with plenty of open sessions for fans to take in. Admission is free to open practices. Gates will open one hour before the listed start times. Space is limited, so showing up early is recommended.

On Saturday, Aug. 3, the Broncos will host their annual Summer Scrimmage at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Last year, 41,304 fans attended the scrimmage. Even more could show up this year given the Broncos' expectations.

You can check out the full practice schedule courtesy of Broncos blog Mile High Report. Open practice dates below, via the Broncos' official site:

Thursday, July 25
8:50-11:30 a.m.

Friday, July 26
10:25 a.m.-1:05 p.m.

Saturday, July 27
8:50-11:30 a.m.

Sunday, July 28
10:25 a.m.-1:05 p.m.

Monday, July 29
8:50-11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, July 31
10:25 a.m.-1:05 p.m.

Thursday, August 1
8:50-11:30 a.m.

Friday, August 2
10:25 a.m.-1:05 p.m.

Saturday, August 3
5-9 p.m.
(Summer Scrimmage at Sports Authority Field at Mile High)

Monday, August 5
10:25 a.m.-1:05 p.m.

Tuesday, August 6
8:50-11:30 a.m.

Saturday, August 10
8:50-11:30 a.m.

Monday, August 12
10:25 a.m.-1:05 p.m.

Tuesday, August 13
8:50-11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, August 14
10:25 a.m.-1:05 p.m.

Thursday, August 15
8:50-11:30 a.m.

Position battles

Running back - How the running back situation shakes out will be one of the more intriguing storylines during camp. Ball is the hottest name as the Broncos' latest acquisition, but Hillman has good size and great speed, and some believe he will be the team's bell cow to start the season. Moreno appears to be the odd man out for now, but his varied skillset makes him an effective stop-gap when called upon.

Safety - There's a real chance that both of the Broncos' 2012 starters, Moore and Adams, will be on the bench to open the 2013 season. Despite his age, it's not surprising that Jammer made his way to the top of the depth chart by the end of minicamp given his career. The fact that Daniel Bruton was reportedly starting beside him is surprising, however. Much has yet to be decided.

Middle linebacker - The middle of the Broncos' defense has the potential to be a sore spot in 2013. Keith Brooking is gone, and in his stead the team will look to a trio of young linebackers to make up for the loss of veteran presence. Nate Irving, entering his third season, appears to be on top of the depth chart, but Steven Johnson has earned a lot of praise, as well. Ditto offseason pickup Stewart Bradley. Surprisingly, Joe Mays hasn't been mentioned much this offseason by coaches, despite starting last season.

More from SB Nation:

David Roth: Robert Griffin III gets up

5 QB battles heading into training camp

Titans rookie saves family from burning car

Bucs Mike Williams gets paid

How to defend the read option

Complete NFL training camp coverage

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.