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Broncos will start Evan Mathis, just not in preseason

The Broncos are excited about the signing of 33-year-old Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis. So excited, in fact, that they aren't going to use him for a while.

Denver head coach Gary Kubiak said as much Thursday when asked if Mathis might sneak into the team's all-important third preseason game.

"That wouldn't be very smart on my part," Kubiak said via "I'm not going to do that. He might suit up, but he's not going to play. I can tell you that."

Mathis has been working out five days per week during an elongated offseason so he's not concerned about game shape. Kubiak isn't either.

At this point, both sides seem all-in on the notion that this Broncos team is ready to make one last good run at the Super Bowl, but they need Peyton Manning upright and injury-free long enough to do it.

Slotting Mathis ahead of rookie guard Max Garcia is the best way to do that for now. While it might seem counter-productive, Kubiak's zone principles should mesh well with the basic steps and technical moves Mathis has to make. Terminology will be the major issue, and it's something Mathis can learn while on the sidelines.

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