|Smith will start out Broncos' training camp on sideline|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 28 July 2007 11:15|
However, Rod Smith, the team's career leader in receptions and touchdowns, is among a handful of veterans who will start camp on the physically unable to perform list, coach Mike Shanahan said.
Smith is still recovering from offseason hip surgery and hasn't run routes since last season. He insists he hasn't entertained thoughts of retiring but acknowledged earlier this month he doesn't have a roster spot secure.
The Broncos are the last team in the NFL to start training camp and joining Smith on the sideline when they do will be wide receiver Brandon Marshall (thigh) and tight end Tony Scheffler (foot), two second-year players who are expected to play big roles in the offense led by second-year quarterback Jay Cutler.
Marshall is expected to unseat Smith as the team's No. 2 wide receiver, although his injury-filled offseason - he also had a groin injury - has put a crimp in those plans.
``It never helps you when you're not practicing,'' Shanahan said.
New defensive boss Jim Bates said free agent strongside linebacker Eddie Moore will also begin camp on the PUP list because of a lingering knee injury.
``He's still having trouble with the knee, probably will have to have it scoped again,'' Bates said. ``And we'll just have to see where he is four or five weeks from now, wherever the timetable or his rehab would be.''
That doesn't mean the job will necessarily go to fellow free agent Warrick Holdman, although the nine-year veteran will get the first shot.
``The Sam (linebacker) position on the defense is as wide open as any,'' Bates said. ``We're going to try as many as five guys, watch it unfold.''
D.J. Williams, who played the position last year, has moved to middle linebacker with the release of Al Wilson, a team captain whose neck injury and high salary led to his offseason departure.
Of the Broncos' four draft picks, three are defensive linemen, Moss, Crowder and Marcus Thomas. Crowder signed a four-year deal. Neither his agent nor Moss's returned phone messages seeking comment.