Former Pro Bowl center Dan Koppen, who spent 9 season snapping the ball to Tom Brady in New England Patriots, will now have the opportunity to work with Peyton Manning.
Koppen signed with the Broncos on Tuesday, 2 weeks after his release from the Patriots, where he played from 2003-11.
Koppen, who turns 33 years old on Wednesday, adds experience and depth to the interior line and might push starting center J.D. Walton for playing time.
Manning was sacked twice in his Broncos debut, once when it appeared the wrong line call shifted everyone to the right and led on to left tackle Ryan Clady having no one to block. RB Knowshon Moreno was left to hamper 2 men, and Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds dropped Manning for an 8-yard loss.
The offensive linemen weren’t in the locker room during the media access period Tuesday.
The Broncos also waived backup center C.J. Davis and re-signed backup QB Caleb Hanie, who was released in a procedural move Saturday to supply the Broncos with some financial flexibility. His $1 million base income is no longer guaranteed.
As anticipated, the Broncos also placed defensive tackle Ty Warren on injured reserve after he re-tore his right triceps in the opener, his 1st game since 2009. NFL lines
”It affects us a lot, actually,” expounded 2nd-year DT Mitch Unrein, who played a career-high 40 snaps after Warren got hurt. ”He’s a great leader. But as Coach (John) Fox always says, next guy up, so that kind of opens the door for guys like me.”
Warren, 31 years old, re-injured himself early in the Broncos’ 31-19 win over the Steelers. He missed all last season after tearing the same muscle during training camp, and he missed the 2010 season, his last in New England, with a hip injury.
Warren’s return lasted 2 plays into second quarter when he came up injured after shaking off a blocker and trying to tackle RB Jonathan Dwyer.
”That’s a pretty sad reminder of how brutal this game can be and how speedily it can all be over,” Unrein expounded. ”This injury thing is difficult, particularly for how great he’s played in the NFL for so many years and to go out that way, that’s kind of a bummer.”
Warren was the 13th overall pick by the Patriots in 2003 and he helped New England win 2 Super Bowls before signing a 2-year contract in Denver in 2011. Although he restructured his deal over the summer, Warren will end up collecting more than $5 million for his 5 snaps with the Denver Broncos.