Kim Constantinesco of Predominantly Orange says the Steelers should be on the look out for rookie Derek Wolfe on defense. Credit: Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

Know Thy Enemy: Steelers v Broncos


The FanSided Network covers all 32 NFL teams.  In an effort to gain more knowledge about the Steeler’s opponents each week, I’m writing to each site’s editor.  This week the Steelers face the Broncos and Peyton Manning.  Kim Constantinesco is the senior editor of Predominantly Orange, so I sent her a few questions to gain some early perspective about the 2012 Denver Broncos.

Peyton Manning is back in the NFL and with the Broncos but got off to a slow start.  What’s the overall feeling of the team?  Fans?

Fans are thrilled with Peyton Manning and his performance in the preseason, particularly the last game he played when he went 10-for-22 for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns in less than one quarter of play. He’s connecting with his receivers and brings a ‘win now’ attitude to the team. 

Out at training camp, you could hear his voice booming over the practice field, even more so than any of the coaches. His teammates look up to him as a leader and want to play better for him. It’s going to be an exciting season in Denver.

Tim Tebow in New York – are folks joyous that he’s gone or sad to see him go?

Some are sad that he’s gone, but John Elway’s move to bring Manning in was the only one that could delicately put a needle in Tebowmania. The Broncos caught lightning in a bottle last season thanks to Tebow, and I think every Broncos fan wishes him well, but most are happy with his replacement. 

The defense was ranked 20th overall last season yet somehow helped scrap enough wins together for a playoff run.  What are the glaring weaknesses this year, and how do you think the team/coaches are addressing this?

The Broncos are weak at linebacker right now. Our leading tackler D.J. Williams is suspended for at least six games, and the team has had to deal with injuries at the position. Veteran newcomer Keith Brooking missed nearly all of training camp with a hamstring injury. Add in some youth at the position, and that’s where you have your biggest question mark. 

How did the Broncos do in the offseason with acquisitions and draft picks?  Who should we be looking for on Sunday?

Aside from Manning, the team brought WR Brandon Stokley back and added TE Jacob Tamme to give Manning some familiar targets. They also added S Mike Adams and CB Tracy Porter to provide experience in the secondary. Last season, teams would simply throw away from Champ Bailey, and find a wide open man down field. That was a glaring weakness that the team had to address in the off season. 

Keep an eye on the Broncos first draft pick from last year, defensive tackle Derek Wolfe. No player moved up the depth chart as much or as quickly as Wolfe. His first preseason game, and he records two sacks. While at Cincinnati, he once took on a triple team against Pittsburgh and forced a fumble. This is a hungry kid who will do the Broncos right in the future. 

Predictions?

The Broncos squeak out their first win 24-17 on Sunday night. It will be a close game, but I believe Manning will throw a touchdown late in the game. 

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Tags: Denver Broncos Pittsburgh Steelers