ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Broncos released the team's initial depth chart on Sunday, but according to players, the buzz has little bearing on what happens on the field.
Just ask 12-time Pro Bowler Champ Bailey, who – in his 15th season – has certainly seen his share of preseason depth charts.
"I've said before, it shouldn't affect many guys whether it's up or down, because it's too early," Bailey said after practice on Monday. "You've just got to keep working. Things will work themselves out. You kind of take your eyes off what's important (if you focus on the depth chart), and that's when it affects you."
Although Ronnie Hillman is listed at the top of the running backs depth chart, the second-year pro was quick to point out that the order doesn't hold much significance for him until the regular-season opener against Baltimore.
"We haven't even had a preseason game so you just take the reps and take it for what it is," Hillman said. "You could ask me that Sept. 5."
Rookie running back Montee Ball, who is listed second behind Hillman, said he agrees with the current structure of the order.
But that doesn't mean he's not taking direct aim at winning the starting position.
"Yeah I've most definitely seen it but I think that's right because Ronnie has done a great job," Ball said. "He's been doing a great job this camp and he most definitely deserves it right now. But like I said I'm most definitely going to try to take it."
For safety David Bruton – who is listed alongside Duke Ihenacho with the second unit at safety behind Mike Adams and Rahim Moore – the release of the depth chart helps push players to fine-tune their game and work even harder in practice.
"It gives you an idea of where you are at, an understanding of what more you may need to do and an opportunity to ask questions if you have them," Bruton said. "It can be used as a motivator for a lot of guys who are fighting for roster spots and those guys that might be on the bubble to go out and put more work in."
Rookie defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, who was listed with Mitch Unrein on the second unit behind Kevin Vickerson and Terrance Knighton, said he's more concerned about improving on the field than where he sits on the depth chart.
"Today I had the chance to run with the ones, but for me it's all about getting better every day," Williams said. "I'm definitely working to be a starter and I'm working towards that."
Williams noted, however, that he believes the competition for the starting positions at defensive tackle will lift the play of the entire unit.
"I'm competing with a bunch of great defensive tackles so all-in-all we're going to have a great defensive line this year," Williams said.
Ball had perhaps the definitive statement on the matter.
"Everything is a motivation because we all want to be a starter," he said.