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Five Broncos things you should know: DeMarcus Ware taking his time, Billy Turner's role and more


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- **With everyone but outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware taking part in practice, the Broncos concluded their full-scale on-field preparations for Monday night's game against the Texans.

Here's what you need to know from Saturday:



In 2015, Ware returned to action just three weeks after injuring his back against Oakland in Week 5 -- and then promptly lasted just a game and a half before aggravating the injury. That forced him to the sideline for four weeks, with another two weeks spent being eased into the rotation.

He's determined to not make the same mistake this time as he recovers from a fractured forearm.

"I learned last year with my back. I came back a little too early, and then had a setback," Ware said. "So I don't want to have any setbacks this time -- especially with a broken arm. If you break it again, you're out for the whole season, but if you come back healthy, you can be very effective for whatever games you're out there."

Despite the fractured arm, Ware has been able to maintain a workout regimen that has him at 100 percent in all other areas.

"It's all about my arm now. So we're just waiting for it to heal so I can out there and punch bags, punch against somebody, an opponent or whatever, and do my pass-rush moves, do the normal stuff -- and be comfortable doing it, instead of going out there and being timid."


Photos from Saturday's practice, where the Broncos honored nearby Longmont High School for their work in the community. (photos by Ben Swanson)


Players and coaches alike pointed to effort as one of the reasons behind the recent slow starts, which included four first-possession touchdowns allowed this season.

"If you don't start practice fast, if you're not aggressive in practice, you're not running to the ball, [doing the] fundamental things of pulling the ball out, contesting passes, it carries over into the game," Ware said. "So everybody has been on the same page in saying, 'We have to go back to the small fundamentals of football things.'"

Ware said he's seen that from his teammates in recent days.

"They've practiced real well this week," Ware said. "A lot more aggression, and we don't make the mental mistakes. It's usually the physical tenacity that we bring to the game, and that's the edge that we have to have back."


A look at the matchups that may decide Monday night's game between the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans. (Photos by AP).


After extra practices Monday and Tuesday and on-field sessions Thursday and Friday that were longer than usual, Kubiak throttled back on Saturday, getting the Broncos off the field just before noon.

"We were good, fast, sharp mentally and physically today," Kubiak said. "We had a good week. We worked well."

Kubiak was pleased with how his team handled the work earlier this week. Following the Thursday night loss at San Diego and a weekend off, the Broncos had two teaching-intensive sessions Monday and Tuesday to focus on correcting the mistakes that piled up in consecutive losses to the Falcons and Chargers.

"We pushed ourselves Monday and Tuesday when we came back," Kubiak said. "I don't know that I've ever been a part of an NFL season with a [non-bye-week] break that long between games, so what we did was try to work, then stop, then get back in our routine Thursday, Friday and Saturday."



In the short term, don't expect new the Broncos' newest offensive lineman to be among the players active for Monday night's game against Houston; he's still getting up to speed as he absorbs himself in the Broncos' scheme.

But that scheme is one Turner knows well, and should aid his long-term development.

Turner spent his first two years with the Dolphins under the tutelage of offensive-line coach John Benton, who joined the Dolphins three months before they drafted Winn after working under Kubiak and current Broncos Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison on the Houston Texans' staff. The Dolphins leaned heavily on zone-blocking principles while Benton was there, but went away from them in 2016.

"It does have a lot of carryover here. I've just got to change my mind back to that and lose some of the techniques that were taught to me earlier this year," Turner said.

Settling at the guard spots he knows best will also help Turner. In Miami this year, he worked at all five positions on the line "every day," he said. That included center; he said he snapped the football before practice, which was his first such work since high school.

"I think that was part of the reason why I ended up struggling a little bit, because I was in a different position every day," he continued. "Showing up to games not sure where you're going to end up playing, that can be a handful for a player. It was a handful for me at times, but I'm very fortunate to be where I am."



It took three training camps for Casey Kreiter to finally stick on an NFL roster, but those seasons had the benefit giving Kreiter plenty of repetitions to make him ready for the opportunity he finally received when he landed in Denver this year.

"I think Casey has done a good job," Special Teams Coordinator Joe DeCamillis said. "He made a tackle last week on [Dexter] McCluster that really helped. He's been a great influence as far as the way he works and does things.

"He's a real pro. He's been good with his field goal location and his punt location. Hopefully that continues because he's done a good job."

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