Today will mark the final day of the Broncos Quarterback Camp. There won't be much time off, however, as the team gets right back to work next week. AS a reminder, here are the important dates remaining for the Broncos this "Re-Loading Season" --
Team camp: June 2-6; June 9-13 (tentative).
* Minicamp: July 7-8.
* Training camp: Players report July 24.
Much of the news yesterday happened off the field as the Darrent Williams Teen Center was officially opened during a ceremony that was attended by Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen, Head Coach Mike Shanahan, Rosalind Williams, Darrent's mother and 30-40 Broncos players.
It was a moving day, complete with 27 Orange and Blue colored balloons being released into the bright-blue Denver sky and speeches from dignitaries and Broncos staff alike. I could grab all the quotes, talk about all that was said, but feel it would do the whole thing a disservice. There are two quotes I feel deserve mention, one from Darrent's mother Rosalind. The other from Shanny.
First, Rosalind Williams, who admitted the true emotional healing won't begin until there is an arrest made in her son's murder -
It's very important we have closure to this. However, we're not going to dwell on that. I do believe the people are in custody, not for this crime but for a crime. We'll get it done. I'm really working closely with the Denver Police Department. I feel like we will get it done.
Then, Mike Shanahan, who has been affected by this tragedy on a very personal level. At the end of his speech, he looked right at Rosalind Williams and said the following -
One thing I would like to promise you. I know when you look at the Broncos, you're looking at your son Darrent, and we're going to make you proud this year. I promise you.
There is no telling how much the deaths of Williams and Dameion Nash had on the Broncos in 2007. Perhaps we were expecting too much when we thought they would use it as motivation with the wounds so fresh. Now, with time to heal, time to remember, and time to reflect, the Broncos, and their Head Coach, seem ready to make good on those promises.
Ironically, the Rocky Mountain News broke a story today claiming they have a letter that implicates Willie D. Clark, a gang-banger who is already in jail on drug and parole violation charges and has been a "person of interest" in the D-Will case, as the trigger man in the fatal shooting.
According to the letter, the shooting was the result of the gang-members feeling disrespected. Apparently a big F-U was shouted out by someone in the group hanging with the Broncos players, and that, my friends, is disrepect --
The source who provided the letter to the Rocky said Clark told him that the men were talking trash - the athletes and their friends bragging that they had the money to rent out a bar, the gang members giving the players a hard time about losing to the lowly San Francisco 49ers.This case is wrong on so many levels that I don't know where to start. As it stands, the "source" is afraid for his life, claiming the protection being offered by the state is unsatisfactory -
At some point, someone in the crowd that included Broncos players said "f--- you" to the gang members, according to the account the source said he heard from Clark.
"And then you know of course, the gang is not going to be disrespected by no means and that's a disrespect," the source said.
At their most recent meeting Tuesday afternoon, the district attorney's office agreed to pay to relocate the source and to cover one month's rent in a new location, the source said.It has been my belief that the DPD feels they have the guys responsible for D-Will's murder behind bars. This letter affirms that to me. What will be interesting to see is what happens once the Feds are done with Clark. A slow, painful demise in a dark hole would suffice.
But on Thursday, he said he was unwilling to cooperate or testify at trial because he believes the protection being offered is inadequate given the risk he is taking.
He said he needs more money to relocate family and to have time to find a job, and said more witnesses might come forward if the state did more for them.
"It's not enough," he said. "My family's life is worth more than that. My life is worth more."
The source said he hopes he will receive a portion of the reward offered by the Broncos, or that the organization will help him financially because the state's offer is not enough.
Prior to approaching the Rocky, he said, he contacted the head of security for the team and attempted to reach Williams' mother and Walker. Those attempts were unsuccessful.
The source said that in addition to the reward he had several reasons for coming forward.
As a believer in God, he thinks what happened to Williams was wrong and "uncalled for." He also said he wants to make up for his own wrong acts.
"I've done my share of wrong in my life," he said, adding that he never killed anyone. "In changing my life I weighed this decision and it is the appropriate thing to do."
He said that sharing the information could get him killed, but he is prepared for the consequences.
For the first time in awhile, John Lynch spoke out about the defense, and what he thinks hi role on a unit that is loaded with fresh faces, especially at the Safety position -
My mind-set is I'm going to be first string. That's the only way I can look at things. I've always been of the mentality that you don't think negative thoughts.
As for the competition, with the Broncos having signed free agents Marquand Manuel and Marlon McCree --
There's competition. All I wanted was an assurance that I'd be given every opportunity to earn a job as an every-down player. Whether that happens or not, I don't know. They brought in a lot of guys. I welcome it.
That does raise the question of what would happen should Lynch not be the starter -
It would be really hard," he said. "To be honest with you, I don't know how much I'd be worth to a roster in today's world. I've always thought this 'Well, he's a great mentor to the younger players' stuff is overrated. I take that responsibility seriously because there were guys who mentored me. But if you're not playing and you're not productive, that's a bunch of hogwash.
Would Lynch retire instead of playing a bit role? Something to keep our eyes on to be sure.