CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The Broncos have a quarterback. At least for this week. And likely the season opener in Trevor Siemian. It doesn't matter who is under center, however, if the Broncos can't establish the running game.
Nothing takes pressure off an inexperienced quarterback like a methodical ground attack. The Broncos boast questions and potential. Lost in the quarterback shuffle last season, the Broncos regained their footing on the ground when Brock Osweiler went under center. The Broncos were a top-10 rushing team over the season's second half. They averaged 3.7 yards per carry in the first eight games, compared to 4.6 over the final eight.
C.J. Anderson believes the Broncos can improve.
"We know the system better. We brought in two guys who know the system, and who've played the system (in left tackle Russell Okung and right tackle Dwight Stephenson)," Anderson said. "The only thing that was different was the terminology. We'll get to see Russell (on Saturday). He's in full action with us. It's going to be exciting."
The Broncos offensive line remains in transition. If Okung is ready to play a full game with his healed right shoulder, as the coaching staff believes, it alleviates a concern. But the right guard spot is open. Darrion Weems isn't expected to play Saturday because of a concussion, though he's the favorite to start the opener. Michael Schofield and Connor McGovern will receive additional reps.
Anderson also will receive a boost from a rookie. The Broncos have reintroduced the fullback to the offense with rookie Andy Janovich filling a role vacated by James Casey early last season.
"It seems like a single back. He gets out of the way so fast and he gets on his man. It's pretty amazing," Anderson said. "He's everything you'd think he'd be. He's nasty. And he will go hit you."
Wolfe's return; Talib's debut
Defensive end Derek Wolfe was expected to return to the team on Thursday night after missing three practices to tend to a family matter. It's uncertain if Wolfe will play on Saturday. If he's rested, it will provide more playing time for Darius Kilgo, Adam Gotsis, Billy Winn and newly-signed Henry Melton.
Cornerback Aqib Talib (gunshot wound lower right leg) will make his preseason debut after showing steady progress over the last few weeks.
"He's moving well. He's making plays," defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said. "He's a smart player. But his movement looks good."