Horse Tracks - 8/23/10

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Broncos' ground game grounded in preseason - The Denver Post
One doesn't exactly have to strain to figure out reasons why the Broncos' rushing attack has been virtually nonexistent during their opening two preseason games.

Krieger: Lifeless rush a threat to offense - The Denver Post
After two triple-digit preseason passer ratings and a shiny new contract extension, Kyle Orton is finally getting some love as the Broncos' starting quarterback. The passing game looks better than many of us expected.

Denver defense ranks low in key categories - The Denver Post
But through the Broncos' first two warm-up affairs, their defense has not fared all that well — starters or backups — in two losses. Without the benefit of much game planning, the Broncos rank near the bottom of the league in some key categories.

Analysis: Improving the Broncos' running game had better be a rush job - The Denver Post
Last season, when the Denver running game limped through most short-yardage situations and was unable to close the deal in several games because the team couldn't pound away at defenses to score touchdowns and eat the clock, coach Josh McDaniels was peppered with questions. Why didn't he use Peyton Hillis? Was first-round draft pick Knowshon Moreno tired? And why didn't the running backs seem to explode through the holes?

Q&A: Patriots' claim of Barrett a brash move - The Denver Post
You said teams don't normally claim a player in (former Broncos safety) Josh Barrett's situation because they don't want the same (thing) to happen to them. Does the claim by the Patriots reflect any animosity between the two organizations?

Ex-Broncos RB Hillis winning over fans in Cleveland - The Denver Post
Peyton Hillis was a fan favorite when he played for the Broncos. Now he's developing a following among Cleveland Browns fans, who roared as Hillis broke six tackles on a gutty 9-yard run to start the second quarter Saturday night against the Rams.

What preseason says about 2010 Broncos | All Things Broncos
Ordinarily, I have a pretty good feel about what kind of team the Broncos will have heading into training camp.

Shanahan says Haynesworth must practice - The Denver Post
The showdown between Albert Haynesworth and Mike Shanahan goes on.

Minnesota Vikings' Brett Favre stresses desire to play in team meetings - ESPN
Brett Favre, in an effort to assure his Vikings teammates he was fully committed to playing a 20th NFL season despite missing training camp, stood and addressed them and most of the team's coaching staff twice in two days after returning to Eden Prarie, Minn., on Tuesday.

Report: Washington Redskins' Albert Haynesworth suffers muscle condition - ESPN
One day after Albert Haynesworth accused Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan of underplaying the two-time All-Pro's medical condition in recent days, The Washington Post reported that Haynesworth has rhabdomyolysis.

Sources: New York Jets, Nick Mangold close to new deal - ESPN New York
With the Darrelle Revis holdout dominating headlines for three weeks, the New York Jets quietly have been negotiating a long-term extension for All-Pro center Nick Mangold. The two sides are close to a new deal that likely will make Mangold the highest-paid center in the league, league sources told ESPN.com.

Sam Bradford may start for St. Louis Rams - ESPN
Sam Bradford could take over as the St. Louis Rams' starting quarterback in the next preseason game, although the promotion would be by default.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman expects to return for opener - ESPN
By the time Tampa Bay closed out an exhibition victory over Kansas City, Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman had regained his composure and was talking positively about the thumb injury that will sideline him until at least the opening week of the regular season.

Seattle Seahawks lose left tackle Russell Okung to ankle injury - ESPN
The Seattle Seahawks will be without sixth-overall draft choice Russell Okung for at least two weeks after he left Seattle's second preseason game with an ankle injury, a source told ESPN.com's John Clayton.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is among a host of starters returning to practice this week - ESPN New York
Tom Coughlin will have more healthy bodies to work with this week, and just in time, as the New York Giants approach the all-important third game of the preseason, against the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday.

Philadelphia Eagles left guard Todd Herremans returning to lineup - ESPN
Philadelphia left guard Todd Herremans, sidelined by a foot injury since the Eagles' minicamps in May, will return to the lineup when the team travels to Kansas City for its third preseason game Friday night.

2010 NFL training camps: Dallas Cowboys safety Gerald Sensabaugh out 3-4 weeks with shoulder injury - ESPN Dallas
An MRI on Sunday showed that Dallas Cowboys starting strong safety Gerald Sensabaugh suffered a subluxation in his left shoulder. He is expected to be sidelined three to four weeks, which could force him to miss the regular-season opener at the Washington Redskins on Sept. 12.

Post game notes: Vikings-49ers | National Football Post
Let’s run through some notes from Sunday night’s Vikings-49ers preseason game. Plenty of starters sat for both teams, and we saw a generally sloppy game overall, but there is always something to take from a game in August. Coaches break down this film for a reason.

Bears notice the long snapper when he's not there | National Football Post
Entering his 13th season as the long snapper for the Chicago Bears, Pat Mannelly has never gotten as much attention as he has since missing Saturday night’s preseason game, the result of a stinger suffered the week before.

Billy Cundiff off to good start in Ravens kicking competition | National Football Post
Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff knocked in field goals from 26 and 42 yards in his first attempts of the preseason in a 23-3 win against the Washington Redskins.

Cary Williams: two games, two interceptions | National Football Post
Cary Williams: two games, two interceptions

Big night for Jason Phillips | National Football Post
Baltimore Ravens reserve inside linebacker Jason Phillips had an impressive game against the Washington Redskins as he battles for a roster spot.

Falcons trade Quinn Ojinnaka to the Patriots | National Football Post
The Atlanta Falcons have traded offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnaka to the New England Patriots for an undisclosed draft pick.

Bills place Marcus Easley, Danny Batten on injured reserve | National Football Post
Buffalo Bills rookie wide receiver Marcus Easley and rookie linebacker Danny Batten have been placed on injured reserve, ending their seasons.

Rams sign Danario Alexander, waive Brooks Foster | National Football Post
The St. Louis Rams have signed undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver Danario Alexander, an imposing former Missouri standout who has battled knee problems.

Kubiak concerned after bad loss against Saints - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Houston coach Gary Kubiak thinks his defense regressed to its poor form from early last season in Saturday night’s 38-20 loss to New Orleans.

For moment, Favre just in a cameo - NFL News - FOX Sports on MSN
Of course, this was an exhibition game, completely meaningless despite the presence of NBC's cameras. Say what you want about Favre, he has succinctly pointed out the folly of the NFL's annual ritual of training camp and preseason games. Favre doesn't need any of it. He jogged onto the field to a chorus of boos from 49ers fans, put in his work, then retreated to the sidelines, the better to prepare for his 20th NFL season.

NFL.com news: Vikings owner Wilf: Money not a factor in Favre's return
Wilf is adamant that money had little to do with Favre's decision to return for a 20th NFL season. Wilf and Vikings coach Brad Childress were confident that Favre had too much fun in 2009 and wanted another shot at the Super Bowl after last season's heartbreaking 31-28 overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game.

NFL.com news: Bears LB Urlacher downplays calf injury as 'no big deal'
Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher suffered a left calf strain on the opening series Saturday night and was ruled out for the remainder of a 32-17 preseason home loss to the Oakland Raiders.


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