DENVER — The Denver Broncos drafted for speed, Vance Joseph said it himself.
The team wanted to get more explosive, so they selected four offensive players—Carlos Henderson, Jake Butt, Isaiah McKenzie and De’Angelo Henderson—that are expected to help that side of the ball become more potent. Had they stopped there, the football world would have tipped their caps, nodding in respect at a pretty solid group of additions.
No, the Broncos wanted more ‘pop’, so they went out and got one of the best running backs of the last decade, Jamaal Charles. A “home run hitter” as Emmanuel Sanders called him, something the Broncos backfield has been missing for quite some time.
On Friday, at the annual John Lynch Salute the Stars Luncheon, Joseph—the event’s keynote speaker—met with media for the first time since the team added the former Kansas City Chief.
“Jamaal Charles has been a great player for a long time in this league, in this division,” he said of his new weapon. “It’s our goal to get Jamaal healthy, and if he’s healthy, he’s going to provide a spark in the element of speed that we needed as far as being an explosive offense… We wanted to add more speed to our offense, and that was accomplished, along with a left tackle, knowing [OT Garett] Bolles would add more size to our football team. I feel good about where we are.”
“We’re hoping to get Jamaal full speed by training camp,” the head coach added. “He’s going to rehab and have some time to get healthy during the entire OTAs and the entire summer. Our goal for Jamaal is to have him on the field during training camp.”
All of the sudden, a team who was quite thin at the position last season, has a competition on their hands. Between C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker, Charles, De’Angelo Henderson, Bernard Pierce and Juwan Thompson, there are going to be many names left out of the rotation. Just how Joseph likes it.
“Every position on our football team is going to be competitive, and that’s the way you want it every year. You want guys to come in and compete for the job every year. Obviously, there are the guys that will win the job, and the guys who don’t will be capable backups. Every spot on the football team is going to be a competition. The running back position; you need two or three guys that can carry the load. It is no longer a one-guy position. I’m excited to have Jamaal, [RB] C.J. [Anderson], [RB Devontae Booker] Book, even De’Angelo in the mix there. It’s a good group. It’s going to be competitive, and that’s the way it should be.”
All eyes will certainly be on the quarterback position when training camp opens up in July, but the second-most interesting competition may just be those guys lined up behind them.
After speaking in regards to the timetable for Charles, Joseph shed light on the timetables for a couple of banged up rookies:
“[TE] Jake Butt is on the same plan as Jamaal Charles. We want to get him through OTAs and continue to rehab him and get him healthy enough to be ready for training camp—and the same with Chad. Chad should be totally cleared with his wrist by August, so right in time for training camp.”