Thursday, July 31, 2008

Marshall Suspension: 4 Games?

UPDATE: The Fan has retracted their statement, stating that their source "expects" there to be a four game suspension. According to them the announcement will come early next week.

104.3 FM The Fan in Denver just reported (around 2:00 PM), rather quickly, that Brandon Marshall was suspended for four games. As of this moment no other authoritative source is reporting the same.

Granted this is the same station that said Terrell Owens had signed with the Broncos, several years ago.

Prepare yourselves fans, I will update as soon as I have a confirmation.

Mike Bell signs with Denver Jr.

Former Denver Broncos running back Mike Bell has signed with Gary Kubiak's Houston Texans. This after Bell's visit to the New England Patriots was cut short by the Patriots quickly snatching LaMont Jordan off the waiver wire.

We look forward to hopefully seeing Bell two Saturdays from now (August 9th) when Denver takes on the Texans.

Denver Broncos Training Camp: Day 7 (Morning)

The referees are here! Time for some action, as fans know, once the referees show up at training camp the first preseason game is not far away.

Out today of course were: Chad Mustard and Peyton Hillis (hamstrings), Tom Nalen, Michael Pittman and Ebenezer Ekuban all sat out as well. Montrae Holland was on sled duty for the seventh day in a row, working separately from the rest of the team.

Andre Hall continues to blow my mind.

  • Nate Webster is back with the first-team defense, it's not going to be apparent who has won the middle linebacker position until the season begins. Coaches are rotating Webster and Niko Koutouvides every two days it seems, on the first-team as middle linebackers.

  • Chris Kuper's hand is still wrapped up and appeared to give him even more trouble today, than it has any of other days. He's persevering though, his will and want to succeed on the starting Denver offensive line is endearing.

  • Defensive tackle DeWayne Robertson is part of the explanation for Kuper's painful hand. Robertson is giving both Kuper and backup center (in for Tom Nalen) Casey Wiegmann daily headaches, as they double team him during practice. today by the way.

  • In the absence of John Lynch, it may be corner back Dre Bly who steps up to fill that open veteran leadership role. As fans saw, Bly was standing on the sideline coaching rookie corner Jack Williams as he participated in the one-on-one drills versus the receivers.

  • Defensive tackle Josh Mallard saw significant time with the first-team defense, as did Marcus Thomas. Good to see my personal favorite (Josh Mallard) and fan favorite (Marcus Thomas) succeeding and doing very well.

  • At defensive end, last year's first two Denver draft picks, Jarvis Moss and Tim Crowder, rotated in for each other with the first-team defense.

  • The Broncos may want to get Cecil Sapp some help at fullback, with the amount of reps he's being forced to take in the absence of any other fullback. Tight end Brett Pierce is splitting reps with Sapp, but Pierce is also taking reps at tight end, he caught a fingertip roll from Jay Cutler. It's like the Broncos are screaming for an injury to either Pierce or Sapp though, with them both doing double time. Neither position (full back or tight end) can afford the loss of another player.

  • Knock knock... (Who's there) Brandon Marshall (Brandon Marshall who?) Exactly. That's how good Eddie Royal looks, the rookie at wide out is really benefiting from going up against two of the best corner backs in the NFL every day. Nate Jackson too, he's been taking reps with the first-team offense the whole of training camp and deservedly so. Whether he's in at tight end or split wide (past Marshall) he's turning heads and leaving defensive backs befuddled.

  • Wide receiver Keary Colbert looked good today, but is not going to threaten either Darrell Jackson or Brandon Stokley (for their spot on the roster), in my humble opinion.

Denver to find out fate of Marshall today?'s Bill Williamson says that there are, "Indications that Brandon Marshall will learn whether he will be suspended as soon as Thursday."

So, this could turn out to be quite the week for the Denver Broncos having two of their all-time great players retire and finding out about the possible suspension of Brandon Marshall all within a week's time.

Funny what funny what seven days can change. I'm going to stand on my soap box once again and say that I believe Marshall will most likely get a pass as I said last Friday night.

Lynch Out: What's next for Denver?

Sad, sad news out of Denver, I responded to Kyle's post over at fellow Denver Broncos Blog - BroncoTalk by saying that, "I feel like my girlfriend just broke up with me (out of nowhere)." When my cell phone started lighting up with text messages, I assumed that Brandon Marshall had been suspended... Is that wrong of me? Then the news came in, Marshall's fine, but John Lynch is splitting with Denver!?

Good news/bad news, if John Lynch does in fact decide that he'd prefer reporting or manning a chair with CBS Sports/ESPN/Fox/NFL Network, et cetera and he retires... Could John Lynch and Rod Smith actually go into the Hall of Fame the same year? It's possible, if in fact Lynch does decide to retire as a Bronco.

Early word out of San Diego is that they would love to have him. I'm sure that Herm Edwards over in Kansas City would as well. Though he's not likely to get more playing time at either location than he would in Denver. Anywhere Lynch goes, if he does in fact stay in the NFL, is fine with me as Lynch will not join a program unless it is a perfect suit for him and his family. Bless the Lynch's and thank you for being such great citizens to the great city of Denver. Most of all John Lynch, thanks for the memories, the fans of Denver Broncos will not soon forget you.

Now, let's get down to business. The killer in me, the day the Denver Broncos picked up Marlon McCree from San Diego, wanted to see both Lynch and McCree lined up together in the deep Denver backfield. Would anyone dare go over the middle against Denver? Not realistic though, as they are both just a bit iffy in coverage. However, as this training camp has shown, outside of the base package- four defensive line men, three linebackers, to corners and two safeties- Denver was not going to utilize Lynch. McCree was brought in for all passing opportunities and rookie Josh Barrett was also utilized in the nickel formation and 4-3-3-1 formations.

Hamza Abdullah has placed his flag atop the depth chart of strong safety and even as a strong safety has been quite the ball hawk in passing situations. You never heard from me that John Lynch had lost a step, I don't think that's fair to say of a man who made the Pro Bowl last season and has started and been effective in all of the four-years that he played in Denver. However, Marlon McCree was brought in as Lynch insurance and McCree is just as capable of splitting someone's helmet as John Lynch was.

However, there's a dark horse in Denver, his name is Marquand Manuel. Ever seen the video of Manuel thumping Dallas running back Marion Barber? If I could find it, I'd share it, but the man's an animal. Fans of the Broncos should feel very happy with the hands that they're left in, given the absence of John Lynch. Both Manuel and McCree look to be very effective and true to Denver safety form. There will still be fireworks coming from the safety position Denver faithful, not to worry.

Here's some vintage Marlon McCree:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: John Lynch is leaving Denver

KCNC-TV is reporting that "[Mike] Shanahan gave Lynch permission to look for a new team, consider a broadcasting career or retire." John Lynch was apparently not happy with the amount of time he was spending at the safety position in training camp.

The Broncos appear to be well prepared for this in that, Marlon McCree can immediately step up to fill in where John Lynch was playing before. Also on the depth chart is head splitter Marquand Manuel as well as rookie Josh Barrett (who looked very sharp today in pracitce).

UPDATE: Denver will release safety John Lynch tomorrow (7/31/08).

Denver Broncos Training Camp: Day 6 (Morning)

Defense rules, offensive drools...

And the Denver Broncos roll on:

  • Out today: tight end Chad Mustard (still on PUP list), center Tom Nalen, running back Michael Pittman, safety John Lynch, defensive tackle DeWayne Robertson, fullback Peyton Hillis and guard Montrae Holland is still being stalked by strength and conditioning coach Rich Tuten. Though fans should not stress at the list, Lynch had a personal day, while Nalen and Robertson were resting. Pittman sitting out is most likely due to the fact that the Broncos are wearing out their fullbacks left and right. Only one man, Cecil Sapp is still free of injury and tight end Brett Pierce has been pulled to help carry the load at fullback. Was the release of Mike Bell a little early?

  • The Denver defense was dominant and that was most evident in the play of Jay Cutler, who spent the day running for his life (despite the fact that he can't be sacked). Cutler got to experience Ebenezer Ekuban in beast mode as Ekuban smashed a ball out of the air intended for rookie receiver Eddie Royal. There's more on Ekuban's play later in the blog. Cutler didn't do entirely horrible, he seems to have his timing down with Royal and Darrell Jackson.

Kyle Sonneman over at the official site was able to grab this great picture of Eddie Royal laying out:

Royal split the seam during seven-on-seven drills, blowing by rookie corner Jack Williams and Cutler hit him before Roderick Rogers could make it over to help out.

  • Staying on the quarterbacks for a moment, did Darrell Hackney surpass Patrick Ramsey on the depth chart? Ramsey did not see nearly as much time as Hackney and the third string quarterback used every moment of the spotlight to shine. Hackney showed great poise and definitely planted his flag in the ground by the time morning practice was over. Connecting on deep passes to wide outs Keary Colbert and Brandon Marshall, both in traffic.

  • In the backfield, Andre Hall continues to be the star of the group, but it seems to me that the only place you're going to read about that is here in this blog. Until someone at one of the Denver papers takes notice. Selvin Young does have a firm grip on his spot atop the Denver depth chart, if there's going to be any movement on the depth chart it's apparently going to have to happen in the preseason. Defensive end Jarvis Moss took advantage of the youth movement in his onslaught of rookies Ryan Torain and Anthony Aldridge, blowing them both up on two consistent plays. Torain seems to be more of the grinder and Aldridge is the stampeder. The jury is still out on Cecil Sapp, as injuries to Peyton Hillis and Michael Pittman have forced Sapp to take far more snaps than usual and the fatigue is starting to show.

  • Moving on to the wide outs, as I mentioned Darrell Jackson is still good and will be Denver's number two (if not number one) at the season's start. Keary Colbert looked better than he has, but he will more than likely sit behind rookie Eddie Royal this season. Possibly even behind Glenn Martinez as well. Receivers such as Samie Parker, Lorne Sam, Taylor Jacobs, Marquay McDaniel and Clifford Russell all face steep uphill climbs to make the roster. Though if Marshall is suspended Parker looks to lead thus far in making it in as the sixth man for Denver's roster.

  • Tight ends Tony Scheffler and Nate Jackson continue to one up each other throughout drills and eleven-on-eleven's. The lack of tight end was a concern during team camps, but Jackson seems to be earning that raise.

  • Defensive tackle Marcus Thomas was the source of headaches to both backup center Casey Wiegmann and Jay Cutler as we was consistently busting through Wiegmann on his way to Cutler. Jarvis Moss is staying true to camp form, although Ryan Harris continues to grow and is looking more and more like the starting right tackle the Bronco staff so desperately wants him to be. If it were up to me, Denver's starting four at defensive line would be Elvis Dumervil, Josh Mallard, Ebenezer Ekuban and Jarvis Moss- all of whom Denver seems to be using when they line up first-team nickel formation. I'm not going to comment on the strength of Denver's defensive line for fear of jinxing them, but I don't think Denver will have the troubles that they did last season.

  • Domonique Foxworth and Hamza Abdullah are still ball hawking, combined they both had around six interceptions today. Rookie safety Josh Barret snatched a ball away from Tony Scheffler, not an interception though, he literally grabbed a ball away that Scheffler had caught. Foxworth may push Dre Bly for the number two corner back spot and as I've mentioned previously Foxworth does play second during the nickel and 4-3-3-1 formations. Marlon McCree took all of John Lynch's snaps, in his absence.

Pre-Emptive Attack: Andre Hall

Continuing on with where we left off yesterday, Andre Hall has come up while there's a lot to draw upon... The Kansas City Chiefs spent a lot of time with Hall, before deciding not to draft him, being that the Chief's had to roll with Kolby Smith last year and could have completely replaced Larry Johnson with Hall last season. Too bad, now the Broncos have him...

Here's a clip from Hall at USF:

And here's a Miami Dolphin fan advocating picking up Hall in the 3rd or 4th round:
"the star running back out of USF. If Ricky is suspended he can be a valuble option in the 3rd or 4th Rd."

ZING! Let's hope that Hall is all over Miami's defense this year, so they can regret letting Hall slip north to Tampa.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Calling Out Names: Jarvis Moss, Domonique Foxworth, Andre Hall and Darrell Jackson

I write for the people, the people that want to know what I have to say about the Denver Broncos. I appreciate every single one of you who visit the page every day, seriously, just wish you'd feel the need to comment =)

So here's what I'd like to do, it's been five days and yes, it may be a bit premature, but I feel it's necessary to point out a couple of the Denver Broncos' players who have looked exceptionally well over those five days.

Jarvis Moss - Defensive End

Granted training camp tends to favor the defense, Denver quarterbacks have to favor the fact that they're not allowed to be hit during camp. No matter what the drill it seems that Moss is playing for keeps, a certain Denver paper reported erroneously that Moss was being punished after practice. Moss has stayed late after every practice, the man is on a mission. He's got great competition in Elvis Dumervil, but Moss is excelling in both pass rushing and running situations. Too early to call? No, I don't think so, Denver will not be disappointed in last season's first round pick.
Domonique Foxworth - Corner Back

The Broncos have employed a new defensive scheme in training camp. A 4-3-3-1, if you will, the second three are the corner backs and granted this formation may just be in an effort to stop their own offense... However, in this defense it is Domonique Foxworth, not Dre Bly who shadows the number two wide receiver. It's a contract year for Foxworth and he's making it abundantly clear that he wants an extension in Denver. Rookie Jack Williams can wait and Foxworth is doing his best to make Bly look expendable, Foxworth means business. I only hope that he gets a chance to prove it in the playoffs against Indianapolis.

Andre Hall - Running Back

Andre Hall is the biggest speed bump in Selvin Young's 2,000 yards or bust campaign. Hall may just "accidentally," take the starting spot from Young, once they get in, "Under the lights," as Shanahan says. Hold off on your fantasy drafts my men, I'm not just a member of the Andre Hall Fanclub, I'm the President. He's a triple threat, in that he can run up the middle or off the edge, he can catch and then burn you or he can lay you out in a passing down. It's up to him, I wish I had a clip of him lifting unsuspecting defenders off their feet, but I don't. Even if I did, I'd be scared that I'd get sued for posting it.

Darrell Jackson - Wide Receiver

Proving that there are two constants in life, the sun will rise and Darrell Jackson will prove to be efficient. I've down played the drops that Jackson had in Seattle before, but let this be my thesis, it rains in Seattle, balls get slick- if that's not good enough for you, it might just be that your quarterback sucks (see San Francisco last season). In Jackson there is proof that Denver just may be okay in the event that Brandon Marshall gets suspended and with the consistent Brandon Stokley and the highly likely emergence of rookie Eddie Royal... Denver may not need Marshall at all this season. Take that Denver media, blow his situation out of proportion all you like, but it's not doomsday in Denver until Elvis says so... And even then we'll be okay.

Denver Broncos Training Camp: Day 5 (Morning Practice)

A little late, I apologize- ran into some traffic, here's the highlights:

Rookie fullback Peyton Hillis, starting center Tom Nalen and tight end Chad Mustard (who's been out since team camp) were not suited today. Right guard Montrae Holland again spent time on the sideline with strength and conditioning coach Rich Tuten.

  • Fans who have followed should notice that the Broncos defense will in fact look towards the past with their new scheme. This means blitzing, especially from the edges, we've seen Champ Bailey come off the edge so quickly that had it been a game the quarterback may have been annihilated. Today it was Dre Bly's turn and while he gave his best effort to sack Jay Cutler, Cutler seemed to exhibit a thing or two that he's been working this off season- scrambling. Cutler broke past Bly with a spin move that was called canceled out by coaches who ruled the play a sack, based on the fact that defensive players are not allowed to hit the quarterback. Denver fans have a lot to look forward to though, as the bootleg is back and rookie fullback Peyton Hillis possesses two of the best hands in Denver.

  • Where the Broncos may be in trouble at their quarterback position is with their backup, Patrick Ramsey does not seem to be able to gel very well with the new guys. Over throwing backs in the flat and give me interceptions to the Denver defensive backs (one of which newly acquired safety Marlon McCree picked off).

  • As I mentioned earlier, Tom Nalen sat out and we got to see Casey Wiegmann at center with the first team. He did not disappoint, the offensive line, with only one single returning starter from last season (Chris Kuper) looked leaps and bounds better than they have over the last couple of days as a unit. Charging the way for Cutler to connect consistently during the eleven-on-eleven scrimmage, resulting in a touchdown pass, on a bootleg to wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Right tackle Ryan Harris continues to improve, making every day better than the last for him. That's the good news, the bad news (for Ryan Harris) is that Erik Pears and rookie tackle Tyler Polumbus are breathing heavily down his neck, both had very good days. At right guard Kuper was able to fend off defensive tackle DeWayne Robertson (whom has been a nightmare for Broncos interior linemen thus far). Though Robertson proved to be too much for Wiegmann once or twice. Rookie center/guard Kory Lichtensteiger also got a lot of work in and he looks good.

  • At tight end, Tony Scheffler and Nate Jackson lined up opposite each other, with Daniel Graham looking improved in the short passing game. The heavy involvement of Jackson over the last couple days may indicate depth chart movement at this position- meaning Jackson may have bumped Scheffler down. However, I don't see that being the case, as Scheffler has always been Cutler's favorite option on the field.

  • In the offensive backfield Michael Pittman played the entirety at fullback. Andre Hall was once again the best running back of the committee, catching and running better than the others. That is not to say that Selvin Young isn't still brilliant at running back, because he is. Hall's just looking better. Rookies Ryan Torain and Anthony Aldridge both continue to shine in training camp. Denver's offense seems to be using the running back more and more as a pass option than they have in recent years, one if not two of the backs in Denver could draw comparisons to great receiving backs of the past. Torain knocked over defensive end Elvis Dumervil in a pass block, while both Aldridge and last year's starting fullback Cecil Sapp struggled a bit with dropped balls that should have been caught. Where Sapp failed (catching passes), Pittman excelled and both quarterbacks (Cutler and Ramsey) used him as a constant option throughout the day. Sapp also drew the teeth of Mike Shanahan and running back coach Bobby Turner, over his apparent lack of focus.

  • At receiver both Brandon Marshall and Darrell Jackson looked great, though Jackson fumbled on a reverse from Cutler. Glenn Martinez may have surpassed Keary Colbert on the depth chart, as Martinez played predominantly with the second-team and Colbert played mostly with the third-team. The Martinez "**** in his hat," as Shanahan says, dropping a nice pass from Cutler that may have gone for a large gain, had Martinez caught the ball. Rookie Eddie RoyalBrandon Stokley were both very quiet, which may have had more to do with corner back Dre Bly stepping up his coverage game than the level either receiver is playing at.

  • Rookie Eddie Royal did do exceptionally well as a punt returner, Glenn Martinez and Marquay McDaniel also fielded punts. Punters Sam Paulescu and Brett Kern continue to go head-to-head with Paulescu's performance today, Kern may not be able to run away with the roster spot.

  • On the defensive line, Tim Crowder saw time with the first-team at defensive end and Alvin McKinley spent some time at defensive tackle. Defensive end Jarvis Moss also rotated with Elvis Dumervil and continues to dominate (despite a newspapers report that he was struggling). Crowder went head-to-head consistently with Ryan Harris and the two seemed to draw the best from each other. Ebenezer Ekuban maintains at first-team tackle, but I think that coaches are resting him, giving room for Josh Mallard to continue to dominate. Defensive tackles Kenny Peterson and Marcus Thomas both are doing very well, but mostly against second-team offensive linemen.

  • The linebackers, Niko Koutouvides is back "honing," (as Horvil Tiki would say, guy) the mike position for the first-team defense. Koutouvides got beat at times in coverage and Nate Webster continued to work on his camp highlight reel, while working with the second-team defense. Boss Bailey earned cheers from fans and coaches alike and DJ Williams, replaced punter Brett Kern with offensive lineman PJ Alexander as the leader of the stretches, drawing laughs from the team. Illustrating that there are more than a handful of leaders on the defensive side.

  • In the secondary, during eleven-on-eleven scrimmages, the Broncos have started to fore go the nickel formation, keeping three linebackers in, three corner backs and one safety. That safety is Hamza Abdullah, who has been everywhere during camp and does not look at risk of losing his safety position at camp. In this formation, Dre Bly is covering the slot receiver with Champ Bailey on one side and Domonique Foxworth manning the number two receiver. Foxworth is handling the number two receiver very well and in this contract year, he may earn the extension that he expressed interest in during interviews yesterday. Rookies Josh Barrett and Jack Williams continue to do very well. Barrett shut down a run in the backfield and Williams shut down none other than Brandon Marshall, leaping to break up a pass to Marshall during eleven-on-elevens.
The Afternoon Practice will is a walk through, so don't expect a ton of exciting news. Although, keep it here, we've got some stuff for you.
photo taken by Jake Grilley ©

Pre-Emptive Attack: Anthony Aldridge

Here's a little column that I thought up, should be fun in jest. What we're going to do is feature a youtube clip of a rookie and a posting from before the draft of a rival making a case for why that rookie should be on their team. Today we have Anthony Aldridge:

Here is Aldridge running for a nice 50-yarder for Houston (courtesy of CBS):

And here is a Raiders fan pleading for him to be picked up in the draft:

From the blog

and features such lovely commentary as:
"Another running back who impresses the hell out of me who i truely expect to blossom in a zone blocking scheme is Anthony Aldridge from Houston. Dude runs a 4.26 40 and in 2006 ran for 959 yards and 8 TD's all on 95 CARRIES!!!! He's sick. Then in 07 he ran for over 1,500 yards and was second in the nation with like 6.41 YPC. He's proven he can take 30 carries a game and if mixed with Bush could be an all out dynamic duo. best part he's projected to go in the 6th round due to questions about his receiving ability."

Monday, July 28, 2008

Denver Broncos Training Camp: Day 4 (Afternoon Practice)

That picture's from the morning practice, but it's of Marcus Thomas doing an impression of a brick wall...

Not a ton of notes from the Afternoon Practice, but- here's what we've got:
  • This practice focused on punting and kick offs, specifically the blocking for those specific acts.
  • Matt Prater is looking very good on kick-offs. No longer will fans have to suffer through opening kick-offs where teams catch the ball at their ten yard line and end up advancing it to their own 35.

  • We reported earlier that the kick returners looked to have slimmed down (only four practicing in the AM practice), they came out thick for the PM practice though: Anthony Aldridge, Glenn Martinez, Michael Pittman, Eddie Royal and Clifford Russell all returned kicks.

  • Domonique Foxworth did not suit for afternoon practice.
Told you that it was slim pickens this afternoon. Next afternoon will be just a "walk through" as well. So if anyone's planning on going to training camp tomorrow, get those autographs after the second practice when players are good and about as relaxed as they will get.

Credit: for the picture.

Denver Broncos Training Camp: Day 4 (Morning Practice)

Thought that we took the day off didn't you?

We didn't, sucker...
Here's some notes from Day 4-
  • Selvin Young was out for the first part of camp, no word on why just yet, but he did take the field later on. Peyton Hillis was out this morning, Michael Pittman was playing mostly as a fullback. Montrae Holland was still absent from first-team workouts. DeWayne Robertson returned, as expected to practice. DJ Williams and Boss Bailey were absent from most of the morning practice. Williams later explained that he Bailey and Young were being drug tested as per NFL policy.

  • Jay Cutler hasn't looked bad, but until today, he hadn't really ever looked anybody off. Meaning in coverage, the receiver he's throwing it to is the one that he's staring at. After watching the first three days of camp, he's working specifically on that- looking off his receivers.

  • There's two other quarterbacks on the Broncos and it's Darrell Hackney who is looking like he's aiming for that number two spot. Backup Patrick Ramsey has not looked impressive at all at camp, today the Broncos secondary teed off on Ramsey picking him off several times.

  • Anthony Aldridge is looking very competitive as is Ryan Torain, not to say that Torain is bad, but Aldridge just looks better at this point. Torain did have a great day, but not enough to push either Selvin Young or Andre Hall from their spot on the depth chart. It is not too early to declare that Denver is in very good hands this season in the backfield. Guaranteed fresh legs, whenever called upon. Pittman did take a few snaps at running back, he also looked better at fullback than Cecil Sapp.

  • Brandon Marshall, read my column and ate his Wheaties this morning- burning his defender in the eleven-on-eleven drills, resulting in an eighty-yard touchdown. Rookie Eddie Royal, Keary Colbert and Samie Parker could use some time after practice to work on their timing with Cutler. Royal's close though on the verge of pushing Colbert into the fifth spot on the Broncos receiving depth chart. In the possible event that Marshall is suspended or someone in the top three is injured, it almost makes sense to have Royal as the number two at wide-out and keep Brandon Stokley in the slot. Speaking of number two, Darrel Jackson has definitely solidified his position as the Broncos number two receiver.

  • As for the tight ends, it's Nate Jackson, not Tony Scheffler taking the first team reps as the "receiving" tight end. Scheffler has been incredible at camp, so Fantasy Fans don't be too worried. Daniel Graham may have another season as a blocking tight end, however. The offensive line at this point, just doesn't seem to be strong enough to allow Graham to become the type of tight end that he came to Denver to be.

  • Ryan Harris is getting better, working in tandem with Chris Kuper the pair was able to open up several decent holes in the defensive line. Though, it is still unclear who will be the right tackle as Harris has yet to out right earn it. Rookie Ryan Clady is dominating just about everyone, except Jarvis Moss, who has only got the best of him once or twice over the last couple of days. Where the offensive line is struggling most is in pass protection, expect to see a move on the depth chart, possibly Erik Pears, PJ Alexander or Tyler Polumbus moving in with the first-team offense.

  • On the defensive side, Ebenezer Ekuban and DeWayne Robertson may be the starting defensive tackles this season. Ekuban is playing very well at tackle and with Robertson forcing opposite teams to double him, he could be in for a great year. Depth at tackle also looks very decent, Denver employs a seven-man rotation on the defensive line. With Josh Mallard playing the way he's been playing, you'll remember Mallard came in at the very end of the season (playing in only four games) and managed three and a half sacks and fifteen tackles. In camp he has carried on that domination, packaged with Marcus Thomas, Alvin McKinley, Kenny Peterson and the previously mentioned defensive tackles Denver appears to be much better off than last season. Speaking of Marcus Thomas, he shined during eleven-on-eleven scrimmage, bursting through and wrecking havoc on Denver's offensive line.

  • Jamie Winborn and Louis Green filled in on the first-team during the absence of DJ Williams and Boss Bailey. Niko Koutouvides played once again with the second-team defense, with Nate Webster playing middle linebacker with the first-team once again. Koutouvides had a strong day, playing heady to Webster's all out kamikaze style. The Koutouvides vs. Webster battle is the most interesting battle in training camp.

  • In the background on defense, John Lynch put on a hitting clinic during one-on-ones then continued the clinic during team camp, thumping on two different Denver running backs. Domonique Foxworth went yard on a Patrick Ramsey interception, Karl Paymah was the man who got beat on the Brandon Marshall eighty-yard touchdown reception. Dre Bly and Champ Bailey stayed true to form and looked like two of the best cover corners in the NFL.

  • Could this be the year that Bly returns to the Pro Bowl? Rookie safety Josh Barrett lined up a couple times at corner, Marlon McCree continued to sub in on running plays and was beat by both rookies Ryan Torain and Anthony Aldridge during eleven-on-eleven drills. Rookie corner Jack Williams exhibited his speed after being beat by Brandon Stokley, only to catch him and break up a pass from Jay Cutler.
Other notes:
  • The Broncos began a new drill, six-on-four: Three linemen, a quarter back and two running backs on two defensive linemen and two linebackers. They also implemented the three-on-three a quarterback and two receivers vs. two defensive backs and a safety. Rookie Josh Barrett played safety during every snap of the three-on-threes.

  • The kick returners depth seems to have been shortened with only Eddie Royal, Andre Hall, Michael Pittman and Anthony Aldridge returning kicks.

  • Kicker Matt Prater continued to shine connecting on seven of eight of his field goals from 40-45 yards out.
All photos © and credited to Kyle Sonneman

Dear Denver Media:

I've spent some time outside of New York recently in places like Tampa, FL and the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee and I realize that everyone has their own local celebrities. For example, in Tampa I've found that it was hard to avoid even non-news about the Hogan (as in Hulk) family. Through several intense evening broadcasts I was able to see the cell that Nick Hogan was spending his days and nights in, there were government released phone calls to his father, we even got the exciting opportunity to learn what Nick would be eating on a day-to-day basis!

Let me go back to New York for a second and tell you a story that involves the television show Extra! and my former company. One of the shows producers called just as we opened for the day and wanted the owner of the company to appear on camera to discuss possible image manipulation on a new Brittney Spears clip. I think the show was alleging that the girl may have had a dimple on her thigh, science forbid. So the owner of the company agreed to appear on camera and the small crew quickly made it our offices in downtown Manhattan.

Quickly setting up inside of our busy office, lights, tripods, preinterview and they're off- setup was a small television monitor with side-by-side images of Brittney Spears, the reporter asked that my boss watch the clips for a moment. He obliged, placed the ball of his fist loosely around his chin and said to the reporter, "Let me ask you a question... Have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ to be your savior?" (My boss was Jewish).

He immediately followed up that little ditty with, "Do you realize what's going on in Iraq? Or Darfur? Get the [omitted] out of here..." Then he turned around and walked away. Leaving a confused crew and reporter gasping for a response.

That story is sponsored by Complete Colorado's (whom I will not link to) new "exclusive" story on Brandon Marshall. Essentially someone; Whom may or may not be trying to use this "exclusive breaking news" to piggy back into a larger market where they can cover other exclusives like whether or not a pop star has cellulite Has searched through some public records and pulled anything that had the receiver's name on it.

Regardless, they've got an "exclusive" story finding that there were as many as six phone calls to 911 stemming from incidents that occurred at or around Brandon Marshall's Highlands Ranch home. The Denver Post's going to be pissed! Why didn't they get to this first? So let me spare you the effort of Googling the article and point out that in five of those phone calls no police report was even filed. In the one report that did get filed it appears that a Denver Bronco, presumably someone other than Marshall, was threatened by a security guard.

They shouldn't just suspend this guy from the NFL, he should do hard time! I'm serious, if this were The McCarthy Era, the man would have been blacklisted already. If this were Salem, witchcraft would be blamed for the way no one can seem to tackle Marshall in the open field. Listen up media, this is Brandon Marshall:

And that's the only one we should be focusing on. Digging through dumpsters in an effort to further kick a man while he is down will do nothing for your life, career, paper or website. Let's give it a rest... Shall we?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Training Camp: Day 3 (Afternoon Practice)

  • Several of the veterans got the afternoon "off": Champ Bailey, John Lynch, Tom Nalen and DeWayne Robertson, are amongst the most notable. Though the players participated without shoulder pads and only with helmets.
  • Nate Webster remained the middle linebacker with the first-team defense.
  • Selvin Young:

"I’m not the type of person that stays on one side of the fence my whole life and sees what everybody else sees and tries to accomplish what everyone else tries to accomplish," he explained."I’m the guy who wants to get on the other side of the fence and accomplish what other people never reach for."

  • Publicly scorned guard Montrae Holland was allowed to practice and saw time with the first team offense at right guard.
  • Eddie Royal, Glenn Martinez, Andre Hall, Clifford Russell and Anthony Aldridge all fielded kickoffs during the PM practice. My money's on Hall and Royal...
  • Safety Marquand Manuel:

“You can tell, the pads are on, the gym shorts practices are over with,” Manuel said. “Now we are having real man practices, and you can see who the real men are,” he said. “You can just tell by watching practice that our focus to detail is at an all-time high, the best that I have been around,” he said.

  • Mike Shanahan on why Brandon Marshall looks like he's dragging ass:
"Anytime you miss all of those OTA days and the majority of the offseason program, it takes some time to get back in football shape," Shanahan said. "He hasn’t skipped a beat, he’s making plays left and right and he is just going to keep getting better and better as his body gets back into football shape."

Training Camp: Day 3 (Morning Practice)

Here it is, let's get the ball rolling.

Apparently yesterday Ryan Harris got blown out worse than we had speculated. Orange Mane's "24" posted this picture which pretty much sums it up, you can view that picture here. (Hope that he doesn't mind me including that link!)
  • Spencer Larsen is back and participating in training camp and faced off against Peyton Hillis in one-on-one drills (and looked good).

  • Keary Colbert again took reps with the second-team, Brandon Marshall, Darrell Jackson and Brandon Stokley all took first-team snaps with the offense.

  • Rounding out the rest of the offense was: Ryan Clady, Ben Hamilton, Tom Nalen, Chris Kuper and Ryan Harris remained the starters on the line and Jay Cutler (who looked better than he has all TC today), Daniel Graham and Selvin Young rounded out the rest of the first-team o.

  • Fans saw a new defensive line as the first-team fielded: John Engelberger and Elvis Dumervil on the bookends with Alvin McKinley and Kenny Peterson in the middle. Peterson is filling in for DeWayne Robertson who is not suited today.

  • Guess the major story is that Nate Webster, not Niko Koutouvides played middle linebacker and he looked great. Boss Bailey and DJ Williams started at Sam and Will, respectively. In the backfield were Champ Bailey, Dre Bly, Hamza Abdullah and John Lynch. With Josh Mallard, Domonique Foxworth and Marlon McCree still coming in for nickel formations.

  • During one-on-one drills, Champ Bailey blanketed Marshall and basically made him ineffective, with the exception of one pass in which Marshall beat Bailey and went yard. Scheffler looked very good in his drills... I mentioned Harris earlier, during one-on-one he looked great, handling Dumervil easily- Clady had a bit of trouble with Dumervil. Defensive tackle Josh Mallard continued where he left off last season, strong- This man will be a monster this season.

  • Tight end Daniel Graham looked exceptional during one-on-ones as well, blocking wise.

  • Andre Hall will definitely give Young a run for his money this training camp. Hall is quickly proving that he's the best receiving option Denver has in the backfield. Michael Pittmann may be in camp literally to provide veteran guidance to the very young backfield, he's been a non-factor for the offense thus far and has looked especially bad catching balls out of the backfield. Rookie Ryan Torain continues to prove that he is a rookie, after a very disappointing day yesterday, he looked better today, but had a false start and dropped pass.

  • Which running back did we forget to mention? Oh! During nine-on-nine drills (no receivers/corners) the defense stuffed the run. These drills are done at full speed, however, I'm now knocking on wood. As I said at last year's training camp the Broncos defensive line looked impressive as well. Of all the running backs the Broncos played, only Anthony Aldridge was able to find real success. Scampering for several 15-yard gains.

  • One eleven-on-eleven drills, second-year safety (former Wisconsin Badger) Roderick Rogers continued to shine, picking off two balls (both tipped one by Marshall, one by tight end Nate Jackson). While Marshall again made a tough catch in traffic, Young ended the drill beating Jarvis Moss around the end to gain that could have gone on forever, if he didn't end up being knocked out of bounds.

  • Speaking of Young, he beat Boss Bailey on a pass coming out of the backfield and the mistake quickly drew the wrath of his older brother.

  • It wasn't all bad for Boss though, he drew acclaim from Coach Shanahan after breaking up several passes.

Training Camp: Day 3 (before morning practice)

Defensive tackle DeWayne Robertson will not participate in practice today. Don't know whether to read anything into that or not... Speculating based on OTA's the decision has probably more to do with insuring that Robertson will still be healthy come the regular season.

A note that I missed from yesterday was Mike Shanahan getting on tight end Tony Scheffler, after Scheffler had dropped a deep pass. “I told him don’t throw your helmet down, we don’t do that,” Shanahan said. “You lose your poise, people see it, your teammates see it. He’s going to be an excellent player, we know what type of receiver he is, but if you can’t handle yourself out here, you’re not going to handle yourself in games.”

And some quotes from corner back Dre Bly, "I don't have nothing to prove," he said. "Just be consistent, just keep doing what I've done, make plays and help this team win. Every year, I've been one of the top in making plays and that's what I plan on doing this year."

"I'm glad to be here again this year," he said. "Last year, I was blessed to be here and excited to be here. I told coach Shanahan the other day, even though we struggled last year, it was uplifting for me to be here and be a part of an organization like this.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Training Camp: Day 2 (Afternoon Report)

The afternoon practice focused on special teams, last year there tended to not be a lot of focus on special teams. Did we even have special teams last year?

Out are Jason Elam, Todd Sauerbrun and kick returner (now Super Bowl ring owner) Dominik Hixon. Returning is Special Teams Coordinator Scott O'Brien, for his second season with Denver. O'Brien is regarded as one of the best special teams coordinators in the NFL and was honored in 1994 as Special Teams Coach of the Year (voted on by other NFL coaches). Under O'Brien six players have earned a total of ten trips to the Pro Bowl.

So what the hell went wrong last season? I'm not sure...

Denver seems to have imploded, if you ask an average fan and it was right around the game against Chicago when the stadium caved in on itself. Are we being realistic though? How many games did special teams win for Denver last season? I'm just counting off the top of my head, but I've got at least four and five if you want to say that a field goal got us into overtime with Green Bay. "Toro!" anyone remember that call? That was the special teams hauling ass at the last minute to pound out the NFL's version of a buzzer beater.

Yes, losing Sauerbrun and Elam stings, but Sauerbrun was a scorn NFL punter and Elam was willing to leave despite Denver offering him three-million dollars this season to stay. So Denver's getting younger. Ditching Garrett Hartley, to sign some draft picks and going full-steam into the season with one unproven kicker in Matt Prater (who was five of six today).

So take a look at the depth the Broncos are most likely carrying into the season this year, there are extra linebackers, corner backs, safeties, running backs and linemen. Take a look at some of Denver's draft picks: KR/PR (second round), lineman (fourth round), corner back (fourth round), linebacker (sixth round), safety (seventh round) and fullback (seventh round). Not to mention the undrafted free agent pickups. All of those picks figure to get a lot of their playing time this season on special teams.

Now get this, we're not through with O'Brien's past accolades, three of the eleven players that have scored multiple touchdowns in an NFL game have been coached by O'Brien (Eric Metcalf, Jermaine Lewis and Steve Smith). There's more to that little tidbit, in Baltimore in 1998, under O'Brien, two different returners (Corey Harris and Patrick Johnson) scored on back-to-back returns. Let's go back to a former student of O'Brien's though, Steve Smith, anyone draw any comparisons between Smith and a new Bronco rookie kick returner? Me either, I was just asking...

Onto Day 2 afternoon notes:
  • Eddie Royal continues to impress just about everyone at all. Mike Shanahan says that, "It doesn't take long to realize that he'll become a top notch receiver as well as an excellent returner." Then Royal himself spoke, "It is great to hear that, but you always know that you have to get better," he said. "I want to be one of the best receivers in the league, one of the best to ever play the game, so I always have to work harder and harder."

  • Andre Hall scored a touchdown on one of the scoop-and-score exercises.

  • The Rocky Mountain News is reporting that veteran corner back Tyrone Poole was in this morning for a workout. Poole has not played since 2006 and played for Denver in 2002, Shanahan likes to bring on older players in camp to guide younger players along. For example, Jerry Rice retired as a Bronco.
That's it everyone, be back tomorrow with Day 3 updates. However, not done for tonight, make sure to check out Sam's finale to the 2009 Draft, which will be revisited often throughout the upcoming season.

Edell Shepherd placed on IR Taylor Jacobs resigned

Edell Shepherd has officially been placed on the Broncos injured reserve.

Now the official site is reporting that the Broncos have resigned receiver Taylor Jacobs. Fans will recognize Jacobs more from special teams than as a receiver. Last season Jacobs participated in six games, returning a kick for 35 yards and had four special teams tackles.

Training Camp: Day 2 (Morning Report) Part II

More notes from the AM practice:

Brandon Marshall out duels Dre Bly for a reception:

Picture taken by Kyle Sonneman ©

  • DJ Williams looked so good, no one seemed to notice who's taking the majority of reps at middle linebacker, Niko Koutouvides started off the day with the first team. Are bothKoutouvides and Nate Webster that good or that bad?

  • Coach Shanahan on Koutouvides, "We've been watching him for the last 17 days, and try to get the pads on and the chance the evaluate everybody day by day. That's what all the preseason is about; To get a pecking order and see these guys compete and see what they can do in special situations. It's only the second day."

  • Boss Bailey has done well in pass coverage and loves being back on the field with Champ, "It's a lot more easier for me to be back on the field with my brother. It's a comforting thing for me," he said. "It's just been fun playing with him and watching and learning and trying to steal some moves from him."

  • Here's what Coach Shanahan has to say about the younger Bailey, "He's been great. He did a great job during the offseason conditioning program and adjusted to our system very quickly. He's got the ability to cover the tight end by himself. He plays as a coach... So far so good."

  • Both Domonique Foxworth and Josh Barrett got interceptions in the morning 7 on 7 drills.

  • Jarvis Moss made Ryan Harris look bad more than once, even pushing him to the ground once. Is it that Moss is good or Harris is bad? Or are they both good and Moss is just better?

  • When the first-team offense squared off against the first-team defense, the offense did not score.
Other offensive/defensive scrimmage notes:
  • Peyton Hillis scored on a dump pass out of the backfield.

  • Eddie Royal caught a pass in traffic that brought the crowd to their feet.

  • DeWayne Robertson broke through the offensive line to bat down a screen play.

  • John Lynch and Marlon McCree appear to be swapping when the Broncos bring in nickel formation McCree's playing free safety. While Domonique Foxworth,is coming in as the nickel back.

  • Darrell Jackson appears to be the number 2 receiver as of right now.
That's the end from the AM, here's a thought or two from me:

Why isn't Casey Wiegmann filling in for Montrae Holland? Most likely, because it would mean someone else giving snaps for the second-team offense, but if this were the season... I don't know who would be manning the right side of the offensive line.

Are we in trouble at middle linebacker?

Don't be fooled, last year our defensive line was said to be "very impressive." Wait until Denver goes up against Dallas to decide how good the offensive/defensive line is.

Training Camp: Day 2 (Morning Report) Part I

As reports begin to filter in, I'll do my best to decipher them for you guys.

So far:
  • The Denver Post is reporting that Ebenezer Ekuban and DeWayne Robertson played defensive tackle with the first team, as well as Elvis Dumervil and Jarvis Moss (also playing defensive tackle). I think she's confused and meant to say that Dumervil and Moss played defensive end. Either way, that's a whole lot of guys that can make sacks on one defensive line.

  • The starting offensive line this morning was: (left to right) Ryan Clady, Ben Hamilton, Tom Nalen, Chris Kuper and Ryan Harris.

  • Notes on o-line: normal right guard Montrae Holland is still working privately with strength and conditioning coach Rich Tuten. Kuper (who apparently broke his hand yesterday) filled in for the injured Hamilton is an obvious replacement for Holland. Erik Pears, who started at right tackle last year, apparently is struggling early in camp.

  • Being that Kuper is filling in for Holland, it is unclear who is leading in the battle for right tackle.

  • Peyton Hillis might not have the starting fullback handed to him as predicted, Cecil Sapp is still taking the first team reps. Expect a challenge later in camp, towards the preseason games.

  • Darrell Jackson looked incredible, while Glenn Martinez was mostly quiet.
  • Marcus Thomas was handling left guard Ben Hamilton easily.

  • Josh Mallard might mess around and become a huge force on the defensive line this season.

  • Spencer Larsen has missed all of camp, thus far, for a family emergency.
There is much more to report, from morning practice, but this has been part one.

Preparing for the 2009 NFL Draft; pars decima.

In the effort to wrap up this series which developed an out-of-control life of its own, I am affected by what has transpired at Dove Valley since training camp began yesterday morning. After having scouted Carlton Powell in a couple of his Senior year/VA Tech games and concluding he is a special run-stopping DT, boom, he's out for the year with a ruptured Achilles (something Hector wished for sooner rather than later).

That has ramifications for the 2009 draft. Montrae Holland is running around trying to lose some weight. I hope that and the inevitable dogging/nicknaming that will follow puts him in a suitably nasty mood to do some hitting. If so, then Carlton may not be the only DL casualty especially if that group engages in some intra-squad smack. What? One group of fat guys calling another fat guy fat? Never!

Having observed high school football programs up close and personally for many years, I wonder about the way Shanahan and Co. orchestrate the off-season especially leading into TC. The Broncos are a group of mature athletes, not the squirrel-boy teenagers I've been around. The former have years of training and should have developed some sense of discipline, even the rookies (with the jury still out on Brandon Marshall). The latter must be guided with a carefully planned program with much strengthening, conditioning, stretching and gradually increasing running in which they have absolutely no input and very little time in which to develop bad habits.

High School football players who try to invent their very own (no adult supervision) off-season workouts often end up hurting themselves and/or each other (it's what they do). We expect more from NFL Players with the possible exception of Marshall who seems capable of hurting himself with the most innocuous items (hamburger wrappers?!?!). Please! Keep the pens and pencils away from him! Too sharp! Question is, "Is Shanahan trying to create an environment in which injuries are bound to occur, thus establishing a Darwinian weeding out process to produce the least injury-prone group?" If so, that didn't go very well last season, did it? Just wonderin' ...

If you read "pars nona", you may have noticed the introduction of a postion not mentioned in the previous partes: Punter/Plackicker and Placekicker/Punter. In the event you think a redundancy is apparent, it's just a matter of emphasis: one guy who does both with his strength lying in one of the two. Back in round six speculation we listed Sam Swank from Wake Forest who does all the punting, placekicing AND kicking off. I admit to being obsessed with one guy doing all of those in the interest of saving a roster spot with the contingency of injury dealt with by constantly carrying a kicker or two on the PS. All of the PS kicker guys would be kicker-multi-taskers, too. Staying with the same line of reasoning, how about a LS who isn't just a specialist but is another position guy (e.g., TE, LB, OL, DL with several on the depth chart)? That's why I'll be very interested to see if Josh Mallard can unseat Mike Leach as LS.
Here are some possible seventh rounders to consider in '09:
  • Ryan Succop, K/P, South Carolina, 6-2, 224, 37/37 XPA, 13/17 FGA, 49 long, 56 P, 2330 yds, 41.6 avg (34.4 net), 3 blk, 15 in +20 in '07.

  • Demonte' Bolden, DT, Tennessee, 6-5, 292, 26 tkl, 2 sk, 3 tfl, 2 pbu in '07.

  • Brandon Hughes, CB, Oregon State, 5-10, 184, 57 tkl, 7 tfl, 12 pbu, 2 int in '07.

  • Thomas Morstead, P/K, SMU, 6-4, 232, 43/43 XPA, 13/20 FGA, 53 long, 57 P, 2545 yds, 44.6 avg (39.3 net), 1 blk, 21 in +20 in '07.

You may have noticed that all the kickers listed are larger guys, not the teeny-tiny field goal kickers you often see on college teams that suit up eighty players for a home game and still manage to take several specialists on the road. That is because if one guy is doing ALL the kicking, he must be able to cover and tackle on his own punts and kickoffs.

It would be nice if the loss of Powell for the '08 season is the last season ending injury sustained by the Broncos in '08. Some other nice things might be: solidification of MLB w/Niko Koutouvides and Spencer Larsen; a strong RB committee which stays healthy; quality depth at most positions; and, the return of all five CBs in '09. These would facilitate a more planned and predictable draft without the necessity of acquiring too many UFAs. I still feel that the position needs of FS, G and TE will definitely be there in '09 and that they can be dealt with via the draft. I hope I didn't jinx Carlton by saying nice things about him and then listing some '09 DTs. We all wish him a good rehab from this injury, but even if he returns at full strength in '09 it appears a DT or two should be added.

The draft could be utilized for this as well as FA or both. The short life-span of NFL (especially Bronco) RBs may necessitate the addition of one via the draft. Kickers will probably be needed, but it's possible to get some without drafting at that position.

The Denver Broncos may only have six draft choices in '09 due to the DeWayne Robertson trade. FS + G + TE + RB + DT + ? = 6. That would be a very efficient usage of picks if the Broncos could get six guys at those positions who would make the team. It seems as if UFAs will be inevitable along with a trade or two. NO ONE will be more surprised than me if Denver actually drafts any of the players listed in this series. The purpose of the exercise was more to inventory, evaluate and speculate rather than predict. That is why each round had several "players of interest". This is what we football junkies do. We watch college football and wonder which players our NFL team will draft.

Edell Shephard injured.

Forgot to mention that The Denver Post reported that tight end (huh?) Edell Shephard left the field yesterday.

DP reports that Shephard was carted off the field in tears, quoting Mike Shanahan as saying, "He might have torn an ACL today, but I don't know..."

Brandon Marshall: My speculation

Now, let me throw in my two pennies regarding the current report that Brandon Marshall will be suspended anywhere from four to eight games this season...

Anyone who has read Stefan Fatsis' new book A Few Seconds of Panic may have noticed there's a tiny little piece tucked inside of one of the chapters where Fatsis writes about pleading with Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen to kick in a preseason game. Bowlen says he won't bring it up with the NFL, because he doesn't want to make other owners jealous, of his relationship with (then commissioner) Paul Tagliabue. The other reason was that he didn't that jealous to hurt the chances of the man he'd been lobbying for commissioner. That man is Roger Goodell.

If I thought for any reason that this blog might get noticed by someone inside the NFL, I'd never write this, for fear of Marshall being suspended, but I'm not too worried about that. I say, Marshall gets a pass. Just this time... For two reasons, Goodell isn't in Bowlen's pocket by any means, but you don't go around biting the hand that got him into the position he holds in the NFL. If he does in fact suspend Marshall, it will not be without a conversation with Mr. Bowlen. The other reason, Goodell has made his example, several times over, not with a Bronco, but with players like Adam Jones and Chris Henry.

This is just pure speculation by me, but being a blogger, I'm able to maybe point out things that other journalists may not be able to. So that's what I did, all for your faithful ones.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Welcome Back (self)!

Okay, a little sunburned, but relaxed four-hundred plus pages later I'm back home and sorry that I have been away so long loyal readers. A lot to catch up on, let me get that out of the way:
Here's the function of reporters at training camp, not very much. Aside from the quotes, they're only there to see whether someone gets hurt or who's playing with which team (first team, second team, et cetera).

That being said here's a great picture care of Barry Gutierrez © The Rocky:
My money's still on #23 Andre Hall, don't think that Selvin Young has it in the bag, as Kevin Jones said, he was looking forward to his trip to Denver... Just before he was signed.

They're all in the bag...

Good friend Adam Schefter at NFL Network is reporting that the Denver Broncos have signed their first round pick Ryan Clady.

Terms of the contract appear to be: five years worth $17.5 million, with $11.5 of that million guaranteed.

The Broncos now have every draft pick signed and may look to add further veteran depth in the near future. Possibly free agent linebacker Takeo Spikes?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Brandon Marshall verdict coming soon...

The Denver Post's Mike Klis reported that Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last week for two and a half hours. Also in on the meeting were Broncos great Rod Smith and Broncos great attorney Harvey Steinberg.

This is how it started for Dallas Cowboys corner back Adam Jones, Cowboys defensive tackle Tank Johnson and free agent wide receiver (soon to be Dallas Cowboy) Chris Henry... The later two were suspended for eight weeks, while Jones received a full-year suspension.

Despite not being convicted of a single crime since being drafted by Denver, Marshall still most likely will receive some form of suspension. As Goodell has said previously, it is not enough to just avoid conviction, the employees of the NFL should avoid the situation all together. No more wrong place at the wrong time waiver.

The fact that Smith accompanied Marshall could mean that he could avoid a suspension... Depending on what was said.

We will keep you updated.

Denver Broncos will still go 13-3.

2007 was a dark place for Denver. I hope that I never write about it again in this context, at this point it's been brought up again and again, fans now bat it around lacking the tact it deserves. The night after the Denver Broncos lost the opportunity to go to the playoffs against San Francisco, Darrent Williams was murdered, gangland style and died in Javon Walker's arms.

Barely a moment to recuperate from the fact that they wouldn't be making the playoffs and the 23-26 overtime loss to the San Francisco 49ers- and now this... A man amongst the 60 plus of them that had survived the OTA's, the month long hell-hole known as Training Camp; The five to six practices a week, a man who had rose above his age, above his perceived talent level and who had played so well as a rookie in Champ Bailey's shadow that Denver had almost made it to the Super Bowl- was gone. Forever.

Echoes of his smile, Texas accent and young raw talent were everywhere. The death of a friend is haunting enough, the death of a team mate, a fellow soldier is down right devastating- shaken to the core. Every single one of them reminded of their own mortality. Then, after not even a moment to catch their breath- Damien Nash, collapses during a basketball game. Two of their sixty, gone.

How must Denver go on? A month from the time they must reconvene and face the questions when they yet to even come to grips to find the answers. Jay Cutler, who will start, who almost got them to the playoffs- a rookie by any standards, untested and unproven. The new Defensive Coordinator, the new system, the new back with a history of trouble making...

Finally July, training camp, then they all started dropping like flies, no Rod Smith, no Ebenezer Ekuban, no Ben Hamilton, Al Wilson's gone and DJ Williams is going to play middle and we've got Dre Bly, but even the best corner in the league can't fill the gap that the loss of Williams left.

More season, more injuries, seriously how the hell were they supposed to do well? Walker's gone, Travis Henry's not clean, we've got Cutler running for his life and now Tom Nalen's gone... Oh and Bailey, our corner's leading the team in tackles...

Really? 2007??? Really? That's how you want to judge us? That's what you want to give Mike Shanahan credit for? So called experts would like to point out that we can't stop the run, nor the pass rush, guess we can't take Brett Favre into overtime or knock Minnesota out of the playoffs, beat Pittsburgh and Jay Cutler can't go head to head with Vince Young and show him who deserved to stay in Tennessee. Let Philip Rivers talk, because seriously, look at his numbers, compared to the second year Cutler, that's all he is good at, talking. The San Diego Chargers may very well be favorites to go to the Super Bowl this season, but that's never stopped Denver from knocking them on their ass...

13-3 folks, follow me.