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Broncos May Have 4 Rookies In Starting Line-Up Opening Night

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Von Miller runs onto the field before the game against the Bills on Aug. 20 in Denver. (credit: CBS)

Von Miller runs onto the field before the game against the Bills on Aug. 20 in Denver. (credit: CBS)

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DENVER (CBS4) – It’s going to take some time for the Broncos rookies to pick-up on all the vague rules, but the team doesn’t have much time. They may have up to four rookies in the starting line-up on opening night.

NFL teams never know what they’re going to get out of a rookie. Some live up to expectations, some exceed them, and of course some are a bust, which has been the Broncos’ problem as of late.

But every so often there is a rookie who is a can’t-miss kind of player. The Broncos believe they have found that in rookie linebacker Von Miller.

“There’s nothing you can argue about that. He is who he is. He is our first-round draft pick and he has a gift that (others) don’t have,” Broncos rookie safety Rahim Moore said. “He has the strength; he has the speed of a corner or a wide receiver. He has the smarts and he comes from a great program. He’s blessed and there’s nothing you can say about it.”

“My role on this team is just to apply pressure on the quarterback and be a complete linebacker for my defense,” Miller said. “That’s why they brought me here and that’s the goal I’m working on every day.”

If Miller is soft-spoken and modest, Moore isn’t. He can’t afford to be because he is the last line of defense.

“I’m pretty much back there babysitting everybody. You know, Champ (Bailey) and (Andre) Goodman are relying on me to babysit them. For any leakage, I have to be over the top,” Moore said.

Rookie tight end Julius Thomas only played one year of college football. At times, he’s been out there running with the first team.

“I didn’t come into camp with any expectations. My whole focus was to get better every day, come out there and give everything I have and try to make plays,” Thomas said. “If coaches feel that I’m ready to be up there with the ‘ones’ and they think I have something to contribute, then I’m going to do my best every day and go out there and do what I can to help out the team.”

Don’t forget about Orlando Franklin, drafted specifically to replace Ryan Harris as the starting right tackle. They even gave him Harris’ old jersey number.

“Orlando, he’s a hog in there. We go at it every day in practice,” Miller said. “It’s hard to beat somebody once, it’s even harder to beat somebody twice, but to come to practice every day and do it in a consistent basis, it’s a challenge. Especially with a challenge you’ve got with Orlando.”

Several rookies are expected to play right away, but they’ve got some other guys as well. Nate Irving, Quinton Carter anda Virgil Green will ease their way in on special teams.

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