Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks - 1/28/11

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Q&A: Fox's new Broncos coaching staff rated solid top to bottom, with some rising stars - The Denver Post
People in the league also point to the fact that Fox gave several members of the Broncos' former coaching staff the opportunity to stay on as an example of his open mind when he arrived. Most of the Broncos assistant coaches did have contracts for at least the coming year in place, though Gase and McCoy were among those who did not have contracts that ran past the end of February before signing new ones to be on Fox's staff.

Paige: Broncos' Fox has lots of work ahead - The Denver Post
Simon says: "If this Broncos player were a lifeguard, a lot of swimmers would drown." I might say: "If Zane had played with the Beadles the past season, he would have been Ringo." At the conclusion of The Lost Season, the Broncos had connections to 70 players — 53 on the active roster, eight on the practice squad and nine on injured reserve. Half won't be allied with the Broncos next season.

Q&A: Williams is Fox's kind of tailback - The Denver Post
And certainly the Broncos are expected to be on the hunt for plenty of defensive talent, but Fox will also be looking to shore up the running game. And Williams, a player Fox used plenty in his time as Panthers coach, will easily get some consideration. Williams will be an unrestricted free agent. A new collective bargaining agreement will have to be hammered out between the players union and the NFL before that happens, however.

Denver's roster Fox focus now - The Denver Post
Fox said the process of contacting coaching candidates and working through interviews and contracts kept him away from getting down to the nuts and bolts of rebuilding the Broncos by evaluating the team's talent.

Krieger: Denver's new DC will stop a trend - The Denver Post
"Here's what I think: I think that the three most important things in playing defense in football are points allowed, take the ball away and red zone defense," Allen said while cleaning out his office at Saints headquarters, where he coached the defensive line for two years and the secondary for three. "If you can be good in all those areas, then you're going to win a lot of games."

'A Switch of Pace'
"If Daniel Graham is here, I'm going to be here," White said, gesturing toward the veteran tight end seated a few lockers away on a late December day. "He's got the record for attendance, so I'm going to try to catch him." After a lost season, White, who topped the 1,000-yard rushing mark in 2007 with Tennessee, said he's more focused than ever on becoming a productive NFL rusher once again. The Colorado native vowed to finish his rehab strong, closing a period that has proven one of the toughest challenges of his five-year career.

Q&A With Brian Xanders
Did you gain a new perspective on any players? "You more look for the flash plays that stand out. There were a couple players that had really good catches in traffic and got hit. There were some defenders that covered really well. There were some offensive linemen that gave a push on the pass rush drill. There were some defensive linemen that showed power and explosion. So you look for the traits that are live there in the drills, and you want to convert them eventually over to what our system is."

"Wink" has drawn interest from at least three teams | All Things Broncos
Martindale is liked elsewhere, too, as he has drawn interest from the New York Jets and head coach Rex Ryan, the Dallas Cowboys and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and the Baltimore Ravens and head coach John Harbaugh.

NFL NEWS

Super Bowl XLV: Cowboys Stadium to be 'biggest and best' host - ESPN Dallas
Cowboys Stadium is not yet 2 years old but the $1.2 billion facility is in the process of getting a makeover for Super Bowl XLV. When Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones pitched the idea of a new stadium it was with the intent to bring many Super Bowls to North Texas.

Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington is expected to break record for attendance - ESPN Dallas
The NFL record for attendance at a Super Bowl occurred on Jan. 20, 1980 when 103,985 fans attended Super Bowl XIV between the Steelers and Los Angeles Rams at the Rose Bowl. The largest crowd for any NFL game came when the Dallas Cowboys played the Houston Oilers in front of 112,376 fans in a preseason game in 1994 at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

Packers-Steelers Super Bowl proves sports are a waiting game - Steve Rushin - SI.com
But then 95 percent of sports, like life, is waiting. We wait in line for tickets, at turnstiles, for beer and for bathrooms. Football games and baseball games are largely waiting games -- waiting between snaps, between pitches, between endless commercial breaks. These are examples of micro-waiting. But we also do macro-waiting: Waiting five months for spring training or waiting four years for the World Cup. If you're a Cubs fan, what is life but a perpetual wait 'til next year?

Fisher out with Titans - The Denver Post
"It became evident that consensus was increasingly hard to find and reality wasn't matching the vision we discussed. It is unfortunate that this decision is coming at this juncture, but we believe that we have reached the point where change is in the best interest of both parties," according to the statement.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: 2010 Special Teams Tackles
[Ed.Note- Quick hit stat piece from FO. Denver ranks as one of the teams that didn't have anyone at the league average of 15 return tackles. Woodyard, the STs captain, clocked in with 13. -styg]

Advanced NFL Stats: Two of 2009's Boldest Decisions Made by Tomlin, McCarthy
McCarthy made some bold gambles in the Packers' playoff shootout with the Cardinals. The Packers ultimately lost the game abruptly, but it was McCarthy's tactics that engineered a 21-point comeback to force overtime. Unlike some coaches, he did not throw in the towel. McCarthy went called for a surprise onside kick when down by 14 in the third quarter, and he went for multiple 4th down conversions throughout the 2nd half.

NFL.com news: LeBeau: 'If I'm coaching, it will be the Pittsburgh Steelers'
LeBeau didn't specifically mention the Cardinals scenario Wednesday, but he said, "I'm not thinking about leaving tomorrow, I'll put it that way."

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive SB ticket sales: State-by-state breakdown "
1. Texas 25.9% 2. Wisconsin 7.4% 3. Pennsylvania 7.2% 4. California 6.7% 5. Florida 3.9% 6. Illinois 3.3% 7. Georgia 2.9% 8. New York 2.5% All others 40.2%

Fisher’s firing opens spot on Competition Committee | ProFootballTalk
Fisher’s firing will spark a skirmish for the vacant seat. Since Fisher’s spot was held by a head coach, we’d appoint Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

Everyone wants to know Asomugha's plans - AFC West Blog - ESPN
"There hasn’t been as a single day since the ESPN story came out that I haven’t been asked about it, and I’m not talking about reporters," Asomugha said. "I’m talking about the person at the grocery store or the person at the airport. If they recognize me, they are asking me about it. It happens every day … I think people see it as an opening. It doesn’t bother me. I just smile and keep walking and enjoy my day."

Formal update on downtown L.A. stadium coming Tuesday | ProFootballTalk
Once the league’s labor situation is resolved, filling the void in Los Angeles becomes the next agenda item, and a sense quickly is developing that the NFL will be back in L.A. before too long. The one major question not yet addressed is the identity of the team that will play in L.A. Leiweke recently said that "one or two teams" are ready to move.

Ted Mondale takes center stage in Minnesota stadium push | ProFootballTalk
Mondale has said that he believes a deal for a new stadium can be reached in the current legislative session. If not, the Vikings could be joining Minnesota’s former basketball team in Los Angeles.

Louisiana Superdome undergoing $85 million renovation - ESPN
Gone will be the groundlevel oval familiar to Superbowl viewers. In comes a jazzier, new rectangular configuration. Workers are also adding thousands of larger leather seats with cupholders, new concession stands and other upgrades as part of an $85 million makeover.

Tiger Woods No Longer Most Powerful U.S. Athlete - BusinessWeek
Who, then, is the new No. 1 atop the 2011 Power 100? That honor goes to the Indianapolis Colts' Peyton Manning, popular among fans and advertisers—and one heck of a quarterback.

NFL DRAFT

NFL Labor pains, part six | National Football Post
What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue to be decided in this negotiation? The splitting of $8.5 billion of gross revenues coming into the NFL. There are two parts to the division: (1) what percentage goes to the players, and (2) what overall revenue number is the percentage coming from.

Senior Bowl impressions | National Football Post
owever, the one guy who did do a nice job was Washington LB Mason Foster. He’s a natural striker who finds the football quickly and runs well in pursuit.

2011 NFL Draft thoughts on Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton, more - Andrew Perloff - SI.com
5. LSU star Patrick Peterson is a monster, but there are questions. He was listed at 6-1, 222 pounds at LSU. Isn't that too big to play cornerback in the NFL? Peterson has talked about setting records with his 40 time this Spring. But even if he does, at that size he'll likely end up being an Antonio Cromartie-type cornerback -- great running a straight line, not as great turning with quick, smaller receivers.

Colin Kaepernick may be making Cutler-like climb | ProFootballTalk
Cutler went on to blow away scouts in Mobile with his quick release, accuracy, and arm power. He earned the Senior Bowl start for the North squad, winning 31-14. Three months later, Cutler was selected with the 11th pick in the draft.

Don't overrate the Senior Bowl | National Football Post
The players who benefit the most are usually small school players who get to compete against the big school boys. It’s their chance to show scouts that they can do it against the best of the best. It’s an opportunity for evaluators to see how those players can compete against a higher level of competition. The Senior Bowl provides a stage for these players to show that they may belong.

Q. and A. With N.F.L. Talent Evaluator Russ Lande - NYTimes.com
There was a kid in this morning’s practice, Kendric Burney. He was covering a guy; he didn’t do it exactly right. But when the coach pulled him over, he took the coaching. Sometimes you watch other guys and their eyes are rolling, they don’t listen, or they walk away. Burney was mentally present and actually repeated back to the coach what was expected of him.

Senior Bowl, Day 3: Risers, Fallers and Steady as They Go - NYTimes.com
DE Cameron Jordan, Cal: Jordan proved to have the strength to bull-rush tackles in Mobile, plus the burst to come off the edge. He also dazzled scouts with the spin and a rip move to get to the quarterback in one-on-one drills. Jordan was a lock as a second-round pick before the Senior Bowl. Now he’s rising up draft boards and he looks more like a first-round pick.

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive North linebackers leave a bit to be desired "
Michigan State’s Greg Jones had a lot of buzz entering Senior Bowl practices this week, but he has failed to live up to the hype. He’s way too stiff and struggled during blitz drills. Perhaps most concerning about Jones is that he continually got caught up in the wash during running plays. If you aren’t able to escape blockers and avoid traffic in the middle of the field during a practice in which you know a particular running play is coming, that’s a bad sign.

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Day 3 Senior Bowl standouts "
Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin Davis: "This guy will also block people. So when you watch him, he gives you a nice combination. He’s known more as a pass catcher because he’s a former wide receiver, but he’s gotten big and developed as an in-line blocker. He’s done a nice job this week."

NFL.com news: Canadian O-lineman taking leap from fire into pro football
Watkins started working as a volunteer firefighter at 17, being paid per call and spending one year living in a fire hall with guys who were mostly years older. "That was awesome," Watkins said. "I was young and single, and it was great. There were some sleepless nights, but it was with a great bunch of guys, and you wouldn't want to be anywhere else."

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Burney stands out during the North practice "
North Carolina cornerback Kendric Burney had a sensational session at the North’s morning practice Thursday. He was excellent at reading the offense and getting a great jump on the ball.

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Two tight ends to watch at Senior Bowl "
Wisconsin’s Lance Kendricks of the North team has displayed savvy route-running ability and good hands. He is not an exceptional blocker, more of a willing blocker, but he is good at getting out ahead of opponents and clearing space. He reminds me a lot of Texans TE Owen Daniels, who was in the Pro Bowl last season.

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Miller will take center stage during game "
I want to see if the South coaches let him put his hand in the dirt and go. If they do, he’s going to challenge the North team’s three first-round caliber offensive tackles (Colorado’s Nate Solder, Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi and Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo). That will be a great battle between some of the best players in this year’s draft.

ProFootballWeekly.com - Senior Bowl notebook: Thursday
During lineman drills, Texas DE Sam Acho, who could be a 3-4 outside linebacker in the pros, made a great inside move on Alabama OT James Carpenter, the best move I saw by a D-lineman today.

ProFootballWeekly.com - Senior Bowl notebook: Thursday
During lineman drills, Texas DE Sam Acho, who could be a 3-4 outside linebacker in the pros, made a great inside move on Alabama OT James Carpenter, the best move I saw by a D-lineman today.

Rule of 26-27-60 predicts NFL quarterback success, failure - John P. Lopez - SI.com
Here is the gist of it: If an NFL prospect scores at least a 26 on the Wonderlic test, starts at least 27 games in his college career and completes at least 60 percent of his passes, there's a good chance he will succeed at the NFL level.

A.J. Green NFL Draft scouting report - Mocking The Draft
Green’s combination of size and strength remind many, us included, of former Miami Hurricane Andre Johnson. Johnson was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. A.J. Green could hear his name called even earlier.

Senior Bowl Day 3: North Team Practice Notes " MaxDenver
California defensive end Cameron Jordan wasn’t as dominant as he was on Tuesday, but I liked one play that showed discipline and savvy, when he didn’t bite on misdirection and stayed with Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick, stalking him and forcing him to the outside, effectively destroying the play. Jordan worked at end and defensive tackle Wednesday.

Senior Bowl Day 3: South Team Practice Notes " MaxDenver
Even Derrick Locke was able to block Miller, which is telling because he struggled in the running back blocking drills more than anyone else at his position. While he displayed some nice vision and decisive cuts when he carried the football during the team period, he struggled to keep linebackers away from the quarterback, including one play where Sheppard bounced off him in the snap of a finger.

Measuring of prospects is a key dimension of NFL predraft prep - The Denver Post
Folks often ask why so much time is taken to get the players' actual heights and weights before the NFL draft each April. The truth is that college football teams often don't tell the truth when it comes to their players.

Nick Fairley Will Face Particular Scrutiny as Panthers' Potential No. 1 Pick -- NFL FanHouse
Can Fairley pass the big boss' taste test? He is going to have to be clean, not of drugs, but in personality and work ethic. The SEC did not have a marquee guard/center combination, so you wonder if Fairley can pass the test of the talent scouts. He had one sensational season, so some eyebrows are being raised about what happened before this magical season.

ROCKOUT WITH YOUR MOCKOUT LOCKOUT

NFL Lockout 2011 - Dangers of the Game Health Report Revealed - Esquire
"Players should know what the scientists know," said Morey, the NFLPA executive member and a former Pro Bowler, during an afternoon break from a lockout primer at NFLPA headquarters this fall. "It's tempting to always try to keep playing, to pretend that there are no long-term effects to what we do. But I believe we can make this game safer, and that's a key position for the union — that the health of the players in non-negotiable."

NFL Facing 2012 Without A Super Bowl | Markets | Minyanville.com
Think a dark year can't happen? Ask baseball fans who spent October raking leaves when the World Series was scrapped by a strike in 1994 or hockey fans who spent a year without the Stanley Cup when the NHL locked out its players in 2005.

NFL News Feed: NFL projects $1 billion in lost revenues if there's no labor settlement until September - Mark Maske
NFL officials said Thursday that because the players would be paid based on a percentage of league revenues if the sides agree to restore the sport's salary cap system under a new labor deal, the players would be affected by any revenue losses suffered by the teams.

NFL: Staggering financial losses would follow lockout - USATODAY.com
NFL treasurer Joe Sinclair said the potential for an interruption is already taking a toll. "Uncertainty affects our ability to generate revenues," he said. "We have already begun to see the effect of that uncertainty." League spokeman Greg Aiello said half of the 32 teams either have announced, or plan to announce, that they will not raise ticket prices for next season.

Packers’ Report Sheds Light on N.F.L. Finances - NYTimes.com
The Packers are without the sort of debt that some teams accumulate from financing stadiums or buying their franchises. The Packers partly financed the renovation of Lambeau Field that concluded in 2003 with proceeds from seat user fees — a form of personal seat licenses — a stock sale and a league loan. "The average team has debt service of about $20 million a year," Murphy said.

Return of Franchise Tag Indicates NFL May Avoid Lockout in March - NFL - NESN.com
Now, the NFL and its owners are going to start this string of concessions, which started with the franchise tag and will turn into an invitation to start offseason workouts at the team facilities. Once the players begin working out, the owners might be banking on the hope that the NFLPA gets ticked off over a lack of progress with the CBA discussions and stages a strike. Thus, the players would turn into the bad guys in the eyes of the fans. (If the discussions really break apart, some speculate the owners could do something to push the NFLPA in that direction, especially after the players report for workouts.)

Sources: NFL Lockout Rumors Take Optimistic Turn, 18-Game Schedule Likely for 2012 - NFL - NESN.com
"Biggest snag remaining, sources say, is revenue sharing between owners, who need to come together before CBA can be reached," Howe also tweeted.

Colts Owner Jim Irsay: Salary Cap Needed in New Collective Bargaining Agreement -- NFL FanHouse
"Working 2 shape the 2011 roster," Irsay tweeted. "If there would have been a (salary) cap last year we would have been millions over it,so future planning is critical." As he has said before, Irsay also tweeted that while the NFL owners and NFL Players Association have yet to agree on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams must plan as if a CBA for 2011 and beyond will include a salary cap.

Jeff Faine Not Optimistic About Resolution of Labor Issues Before CBA Expires -- NFL FanHouse
"No one is budging," Faine said. "We're not one to give up what we've already negotiated. And they're not real willing to change." Richardson said owners arrive at negotiating sessions with players facing a stone wall. There is no negotiation, he said, only demands by players. The owners, it seems, want the players to give back some of what the players got in the last excursion into labor strife. The players, quite naturally, will not budge and retreat from their 60-40 split.

Mawae says he "can’t sell" an 18-game season | ProFootballTalk
"Can’t sell it," Mawae said. "I can’t sell it to the players. DeMaurice Smith can’t sell it to the players. The players don’t want it, and quite frankly the fans don’t want it. Could you imagine, if this was an 18-game season this weekend would just be the second round of the playoffs. Think about that. How long would the season be? And then on top of that, the stars you think might be playing in Week 18 were probably on the bench because you lost another 12 or 15 guys throughout the league due to injuries late in the season from overuse and stuff like that. It’s not a sell. I can’t sell 18 games."

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