Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

OTAs could shed plenty of light on Samaje Perine’s role in Denver

Chris Simms explains to Mike Florio why Jarrett Stidham's “sneaky-quick release” earned him No. 32 on his Top 40 QB Countdown and how Russell Wilson has his work cut out for himself.

Veteran running back Samaje Perine has never had a chance to be the guy. With OTAs looming in Denver, there could be concrete evidence as to whether and to what extent Perine will become the guy, or something close to it, in his first season with the Broncos.

As noted by Nick Kosmider of, Perine “figures to have a significant role” in the offense. Much of that depends on the recovery of Javonte Williams, the development of other running backs on the roster, and the possibility that more talent will be added at the position.

But the Broncos added Perine for a reason. Coach Sean Payton previously called Perine an “important piece for us,” especially in light of the Williams injury.

Last weekend, Payton provided good news regarding Williams’s recovery from a torn ACL, sharing the observation that he “was taught a long time ago to stack them up at that position.”

Payton also likes to use the players he has, rotating them in and out and never putting all of the tailback eggs in one basket. There likely will be more than one regularly carrying the ball and/or catching passes. One of them getting his fair share of the touches likely will be Perine. But there’s a chance necessity will give Perine even more than his fair share.

For now, as noted by Kosmider, the upcoming OTAs will provide the first glimpses of what Perine will be doing in the offense, and it will show Payton more about how his new veteran tailback fits within the confines of the offense that is being adapted to quarterback Russell Wilson and the rest of the players in Payton’s new town.