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Published on 08/25/2010 at Wed Aug 25 16:47.
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Eddie Royal, Lions @ Broncos pregame

After bulking up in the offseason and being moved to the slot, Eddie Royal is primed for a career year. (Photo courtesy of Paul Cloud.)

Following a sensational rookie season in which he amassed nearly 2,000  yards (receiving, rushing, and returning), Eddie Royal fell into a sophomore slump during the 2009 NFL season.

The cause for Eddie’s drop in his production on offense–37 receptions for 345 yards and no scores, opposed to his rookie campaign of 91 catches for 980 yards and five scores–last season is debatable. The most commonly accepted view is that Head Coach Josh McDaniels didn’t do a good job of utilizing Royal’s unique talent. Another view is that Royal’s size was his weakness,  instigating defenses to press cover him, “jamming” him at the line of scrimmage, and limiting his productivity. Whether it was the play-calling, McDaniels, or Royal’s fault, or a combination of all, the point is Royal wasn’t much of a weapon for the Broncos last season.

This season however, it looks as if that will change. The Broncos have moved Royal to the slot, where fans anticipate him to flourish in a role similar to that of New England’s Wes Welker. The slot and Royal were practically made for each other, and McDaniels has taken note of that.

“When we evaluated things, we came to the conclusion that we didn’t do near a good enough job of getting (Royal) involved,” McDaniels said. “We think he’s capable of doing a lot of things in our offense.”

There are pros and cons of putting Royal in the slot,

“The results have been mixed through two preseason games,” writes Jeff Legwold. “Royal has only two receptions. But one was for a touchdown at Cincinnati when the Broncos got exactly the matchup they wanted, with Royal beating a linebacker to pull in Orton’s pass.”

“It’s kind of a one-shot deal,” said Eddie Royal. “If you hit that you can get big plays. It’s tough. Sometimes you’re going against bigger guys, your linebackers. You’ve got safeties, and that’s an adjustment I’ve had to make.”

Getting Royal more involved than he was last season is what the Broncos are trying to accomplish, but that’s not to say he wasn’t a factor at all in 2009. Royal is the only wide receiver in NFL history to post at least 1,400 yards from scrimmage and 1,400 return yards through his first two NFL seasons. He also returned both a punt and kickoff for touchdowns last season, in the same game. The Broncos however will now have Royal focusing more at receiver, as rookie conerback Perrish Cox appears more than capable of handling the return duties.

With a new position, and same team-first attitude, Royal’s desire is to not let his team down.

“I want to be able to look in my coaches and teammates faces and say, ‘I gave everything I had, and I did everything I could to help you win,'” said Royal.” If I do that, I’ll be fine.”

Royal’s role at slot with Broncos [The Denver Post]

Eddie Royal 2010 Promo [YouTube]

  • areferee

    Don't forget the fact that we had a new “gunslinger” in town, as well. But McD will have to take most of the heat for this one.

    All will be forgiven if Eddie, Kyle and a few others have a pro-bowl year.

    Little else will do!

  • Jon


  • Bpmtatom

    Somebody please make a trade for Willis Mcgahee

  • anthony33

    Eddie has the speed, quickness, hands, heart and smarts to be a great receiver.

    It's up to McD to figure out how to get the ball to him.

  • areferee

    Not much experience behind Rice other than McGahee. What makes you think the Ravens would deal? Would you then waive White? Who would you offer to Baltimore?

  • Dan

    Eddie will be used more than just in the slot. He will have a great year.

  • herc_rock

    Word 'round the campfire (Alfred Williams and a couple of other radio clowns in town) is that Eddie isn't smart enough to run the Welker role in McD's offense.

    Kyle, did you see anything like that at camp? Getting yelled at for turning it up instead of in or something?

  • Mark Angeletti

    The only problem with Eddie Royal is he's not Brandon Marshall. 5'9 simply can't become 6'4.

  • luna-tic

    Sometimes I wonder if Alfred is smart enough to play the role of a talk radio host. Eddie will thrive this year.

  • Joshua Manning

    Or Kyle Orton

  • Joshua Manning

    Can Royal have a bounce back year??? It depends on Kyle Orton and McD.

  • dogheadbrew

    It seems to me the biggest hurdle Eddie has to overcome to get catches this season is the chemistry Kyle has with Jabar. I know this is designed to be a no number one, five live hands on every play offense (or so I've been told), but it seems to me that Orton just trusts Jabar. I don't think the trust is ill founded by the way.

    Big Al has an ability to let a lot of things fall out of his mouth based on his emotions rather than solid analysis. He makes fun radio, but he is always between a grain and a shaker of salt.

  • anthony33

    Lots of conversation, debate out there on the 18 game schedule. I can see the points of sides of the fence and have not decided where I stand. I hate four preseason games, but like the 16 game schedule because every game matters so much.

    How about this, simply cut out 2 preseason games and call it a day. Yes, it does cut some revenues out of the owner’s pockets, but it seems like the best solution if you truly want to make it better.

    Need to get a post up on this.

  • MiamiMike

    If we can get Decker and Thomas healthy and live up to the hype they just might take some some pressure off the middle and allow Royal a little more freedom in the slot position. Just maybe they will pull coverage their way. I also Like this Willis rookie. He seems to have speed and pretty good hands. Bottom line we have to stay healthy in order for us a chance to develop as a unit.
    Playing this preseason with so many star players and star rookies on the sideline hurts us with continuity.I really think we have a very good group of receivers. As a total unit I think this (has potential) to be one of our best as (a group).

  • Allen Tyger

    sick of hearing every slot receiver who is GOING to be the next Wes Welker. Royal is so much quicker than Welker.

  • lars94

    I'm definately not disagreeing with you but, the owners will never agree to cut revenues. A 18 game schedule will increase revenues, season tickets and possibly game day tickets will increase. I'm also in the middle of this debate, but owners will never decrease revenues, after all it's a business.

  • Dr.Bailey

    solid article here…but can we get some editing with some college education haha…weather=whether*

    just playin with ya though…well written

  • areferee

    The author of the preceding ungrammatical diatribe should not be casting aspersions toward anyone. The usage of whether instead of weather is absolutely correct in this context unless Jon was referring to postings from writers that are still “wet behind the ears.”

    Still giving out PhD's in Grenada, are they?

    Just playing with YOU… :-)

  • RedRaiderBronco

    went to school with Wes at Texas Tech…nice guy, dumbest kid you'll ever meet. stereotyping him as smart cuz he's white

  • Josh Temple

    It doesn't make better revenue as far as season tickets are concerned. It's a wash financially, it's a better deal for the fans in that they're still paying full price for 10 home games, but now one more of those games will be real.

  • Anonymous

    The Broncos are definitely a lot more fun to watch now with Tebow mania in full effect! Tebow is a unconventional quarterback as far as the NFL standard goes, but he is winning games for the Broncos so far. NFL Tickets