Sean Payton Tips Hand on Broncos' Likely Lloyd Cushenberry III Replacement

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The Denver Broncos are hosting an open competition for the starting center job and Alex Forsyth seems to be the early frontrunner.

allowed four-year starting center Lloyd Cushenberry III to depart in free agency this offseason, and he'd go on to sign

“We knew when we drafted him he was extremely intelligent," Payton said of Forsyth last week. "We knew we were drafting a highly intelligent player, and you could see that in his film. I think it’s a trait, certainly, that helps at center." Then the Broncos drafted Nix's No. 1 target at Oregon — Troy Franklin — showing an early commitment to the rookie quarterback's comfortability by adding another familiar face, along with Forsyth. In Nix's first year at Oregon, Forsyth snapped him the ball, while no other Duck received more passing targets than Franklin.

Payton also did his level best to play down Nix's reps with the first-team offense, chalking it up to a "coincidence" that every time the Broncos have opened OTA practice to media scrutiny, the rookie has received first-team reps. Perhaps there's some truth to it, but it's not the whole truth. Payton was weaned in the Bill Parcells School of NFL Coaching, with a major in Espionage/Coach-speak, so we have to not only take what we can get when he's at the podium, but also work a little harder to extract the true meaning of his remarks.


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