I hope you all had a great Holiday weekend. I know I did and I once again thank those of you that kept the site rolling along. The Broncos also enjoyed the weekend before getting back to it yesterday. Let's take a look at was was seen and heard on Day 5.
Travis Henry has been officially put on notice. The Broncos reached a tentative agreement with Free Agent RB Michael Pittman, which should become official today after the 32 year-old passes a physical. You can read more about it HERE and HERE. We'll get to Henry in one second. As for Pittman, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus for those keeping score at home, thinks he can get some things done for the Broncos -
There's a lot of ways Michael can help the Broncos, he can play fullback, halfback, he can catch the ball out of the backfield, return punts and return kicks. He's a versatile back.
Pittman, whose arms dwarf most mens' thighs in terms of pure girth, feels healthy and ready to go --
I know I can play. I've got a lot of games left in me, I may be 32, but I feel more like I'm in my 20s. I plan on making the team, I don't plan on taking over anything. I'm just here to help.
In a time where there are "sexier" names available(Shaun Alexander), Pittman is the perfect signing for the Broncos, the exact type of player the Broncos have targeted this "Reloading Season", a low-risk, high-reward guy who is hungry, and most important, extremely flexible on the football field. Pittman can run, catch and return kicks and is the type of tough runner that will give the Broncos a boost in the red-zone and in short yardage situations. Solid acquisition.
What does the addition of Pittman mean for Travis Henry? Initially, nothing. Pittman isn't an every down back, and the Broncos would still like to see a return on their investment. It does put Henry on notice, however, that if he doesn't get on the field, and soon, that his likelihood of making the team decreases each day Selvin Young impresses and Henry is in the hot tub. After surmising Henry would be back for this week's work, Shanny gave a bit more realisitc report yesterday -
He can't go yet. Those hamstrings, you never know how long it's going to take, so I would say that chances are he'll be ready for the June camp. He will not be ready this week.
Translation: Be on the field next week, or else.
Elsewhere, WR Darrell Jackson is definitely ready to get 2008 going. One of the newest Broncos, Jackson is looking forward to going out and having fun on the football field again -
It just feels good anytime I come out, run around and catch a couple balls. There’s excitement with a new team, new philosophy, high expectations, great coach, great chemistry at wide receiver and catching balls from an awesome quarterback.
OK, schmoozing won't get more balls thrown your way, but every little bit helps!
Jackson, who has had injury problems in the past, including a painful toe injury in 2005 that forced him to miss 10 games, says he is healthy heading into camp -
The toe is feeling pretty good. I didn’t have any problems with it last year, and this is just another year to give it a chance to rest and heal. It’s all good to go.
In what must seem like a broken record, Jackson seems to have gotten the same memo that all the new guys did when it comes to their role with the 2008 Broncos --
I want to be that guy anywhere I go, but I’m just trying to do my part. I’m just coming out here doing like I do, going 100 percent, catching my balls and my routes. All those starting things, I don’t make the final decisions. I know how those things go sometimes. I just come out and try to play to the best of my ability and leave that up to the coaching side.
This is a team that definitely has the character and the players. We should be able to compete and get to our goal, which is the Super Bowl. Things happen. I’ll just let nature take its course. Then if I’m starting or I’m backing up or doing whatever, I’m happy with that. I just come to play and compete. I just want to do my part as a teammate and play to the best of my ability.
The offensive line is likely to be a hot-bed of competition all the way to Oakland on September 8th. Early on, it appears Chris Kuper has the early nod at Right Tackle -
We’ve got (Chris) Kuper, Ryan Harris behind him, and Erik (Pears) is playing left tackle now. We’ve got some competition. We start with a depth chart – it doesn’t mean we’re going to finish there – but that’s where we start.
As for the rookie, Shanny likes what he has seen from "Twinkle Toes" but knows there is a long way to go for Ryan Clady --
There’s a learning curve, but any time you’ve got a guy that has those type of feet you feel pretty good about his chances. But he’s got to do it on game day, and like we talked about, that learning curve. It’s going to take some time, but he’s given some great effort and he’s got a great upside.
The Broncos' starting offensive line as it blocks today: Ryan Clady, left tackle; Ben Hamilton, left guard; Tom Nalen, center; Montrae Holland, right guard; and Kuper, right tackle.
You can't blame a guy for being confident, can you? Selvin Young has set lofty goals for his 2008 season -- 2000 yards --
The key to that to me is staying healthy. Everything else, I believe in wholeheartedly. It's not like I said something to try to get a laugh or to smile or to get people to pay attention to me. It's something I believe is in me.
With 15 pounds of added bulk to the right spots, Young's body does look a little like the last Broncos to go over the 2000 yard mark, Terrell Davis, who rushed for, you guessed it, 2008 yards.
As for Young, he is trying to take full advantage of the injury to Travis Henry --
It's more opportunity to get the game plan learned like the back of my hand. It gives me an advantage in getting ahead on offense and also gives me an advantage to jump ahead on my goals.
Of course, getting to 2000 yards takes a little bit more than just staying healthy. A little luck doesn't hurt. A solid offensive line is key. Oh, and simply being on the field is pretty important too. If Selvin Young is going to approach 1000 yards, let alone 2000, he needs to prove to Shanny he is more than a 10-15 carry back --
I'd like for him to prove that to me, and he could very well do it. There's a big difference from your first year to your second year.