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Mason's Mailbag: Finding help from within

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The Broncos spent the early part of this week shoring up the depth of the tight end position. What other position groups could use some additional depth during this final stretch of the regular season to help ensure they stay in the win column?

-- Mike McGovern

Almost any move during the regular season would be a reaction to injuries at a specific position. That was the case for tight end, as the season-ending injury to Jeff Heuerman necessitated the promotion of Temarrick Hemingway from the practice squad. Then on Friday, the Broncos promoted Jeff Holland to the 53-man roster to give them a fourth healthy outside linebacker while Shaquil Barrett is sidelined.

For Hemingway and Holland, the Broncos get a chance to test the capability of young players with upside -- which is most often the best course of action when need arises. The Broncos did that on the interior of their offensive line in recent weeks. If injuries hit another position, they would probably take a similar path.

Many in Denmark are eager to see Andreas Knappe perform for the Broncos. When do you think this will happen?

-- Anders Nissen

Not this season. He was designated as practice squad/injured reserve this week. If the Broncos sign him to a reserve-future contract after the season -- which is typical for most practice-squad players -- then his best shot would be to work to make the team as a backup tackle next year, using the experience and technique work he had on the practice squad this season as a springboard.

If the NFL had a developmental league, as it did during the NFL Europe/Europa days (1995-2007), Knappe would be an ideal player for that circuit, as he needs snaps and repetitions to continue his development. Without that, the practice field will have to do until next summer.

Would it be possible for the Broncos to have co-offensive coordinators? They could each prepare a game plan which is different from the other by design. They could use one game plan for the first half and one for the second half. This would nullify the other teams' halftime adjustments. Additionally, if the first game plan is ineffectivem they could simply switch to the second game plan. They wouldn't know what hit them.

-- Cliff Cooper

It's enough work for coaches and players to implement and hone a single game plan in a week -- especially with restrictions on practice time implemented by the current collective bargaining agreement. Asking them to create and use two separate game plans is not realistic.

Further, simply switching game plans at halftime isn't always the best philosophy. What if your theorized second-half game plan involved emphasizing three-wide receiver sets and the no-huddle offense, and you were already ahead by three touchdowns thanks to an emphasis on running from two-tight end sets and the I formation? Making a change just because you had game plans for each half would be foolish.

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