Competition Heating Up At Wide Receiver For Broncos

By: AP/11 Sports
By: AP/11 Sports

With Javon Walker now in Oakland, the Denver Broncos have an opening for a wide receiver to line up on the other side of Brandon Marshall.

Marshall is expected to be the team's No. 1 receiver, but the No. 2 spot is up for grabs.

Denver brought in some experience in Darrell Jackson, Samie Parker and Keary Colbert, and drafted Eddie Royal out of Virginia Tech. Those four, along with Glenn Martinez and Brandon Stokley, give the Broncos plenty of talent to work with.

"It's a little unusual, but it's a good experience because we can push each other and show the quarterback we can make plays," Parker said Wednesday during Broncos quarterback camp.

He signed with Denver after playing in Kansas City the last four years.

Darrell Jackson and Colbert joined the Broncos with something to prove this season. Both were in passing systems that struggled last year -- Jackson in San Francisco and Colbert in Carolina.

"I want to go out and have fun and a have chance to win," said Jackson, who had 46 catches for 497 yards and three touchdowns for the 49ers last year. "This is a great football city with winning tradition, especially the last 13, 15 years under (head coach Mike) Shanahan. That's all I was really looking for."

Colbert is hoping to get back to where he was as a rookie in 2004 when he had 47 catches for 754 yards and five touchdowns for the Panthers. Last year he didn't catch a TD pass and had only 32 receptions for 332 yards.

"We went through a lot of injuries at the quarterback position, so we had to kind of scale back a little bit at times," Colbert said. "It was one of those seasons last year. You can't predict what kind of season you're going to have, you hope for the best and see how it plays out."

They both like the stability of Denver, and the fact that Jay Cutler is a strong-armed quarterback entrenched as the starter.

"I could have gone somewhere and been a starter off the bat but go through the growing pains," Jackson said. "You have a great offensive line here, you have a good quarterback and you have a great running back."

The Broncos' depth at receiver may pay dividends if Marshall is not 100 percent to start the season. He is still recovering from an accident in March in Orlando, Fla., in which he cut an artery, a vein, a nerve, two tendons and three muscles in his right arm.

He is practicing with the team during this week's quarterback camp, but he won't be able to start catching balls until June 22. He is expected to be ready when the team reports for training camp on July 24.

If the Broncos are fully healthy at wide receiver, Colbert wouldn't mind seeing the offense use four receivers at a time.

"That's every wide receiver's dream, to go four-wide," he said. "With the group we have, that would be a good thing. We have a lot of play makers and I think we can spread some things out and make some plays."


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