Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks - 2/12/11

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Q&A: Dumervil, Ayers likely headed back to defensive end - The Denver Post
The Broncos, and every other team I've talked to about their personnel, think Dumervil as an every-down player who should flourish in Fox's system. Capable rush ends always play a big role in Fox's scheme, so there is no reason to suspect Dumervil won't succeed in it as well. Fox was very high on Dumervil during the initial interview with the team and sees Dumervil's return from his missed season of 2010 as a key component in the improvement of the defense. Ayers figures to play at left defensive end — the so-called power end — rushing against the right tackle. Thus far his play has tagged him as an early-down player.

Kwong has not examined Thomas nor has he been consulted - The Denver Post
On the total timetable of six to eight months, the Broncos are hoping for, Kwong said: "That's fairly reasonable, but I think six months is on the optimistic side. The eight months is probably doable."

Watching the Mocks: Feb. 10 " DenverBroncos.com
Rang’s thoughts on picking Fairley: "The Broncos haven’t invested a first-round pick on a true defensive lineman since 1997 (Jarvis Moss and Robert Ayers, defensive ends in college, were moved to OLB). The hiring of John Fox means that the Broncos will be switching back to a 4-3 defense. Considering they finished dead last in the NFL with a measly 23 sacks, this pick will almost certainly be a defensive lineman. Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers is a consideration here but with 2009 NFL sacks leader Elvis Dumervil returning from injury and the Broncos hopeful that Ayers will give them something, the team may instead look inside.

A Force Up Front " DenverBroncos.com
Fairley helped lead Auburn to a 22-19 win over Oregon in the BCS National Championship game. He was a consensus All-American and the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He also won the Lombardi Award given to the nation’s best lineman. He had 60 total tackles and set single-season Auburn records with 24 tackles for loss and 11-and-a-half sacks. This week, he joined Dave Logan and Lois Melkonian on 850 KOA’s "The Ride Home" show.

Brandon Marshall: Incognito in Denver? | All Things Broncos — Denver Broncos news, stats, analysis — Denver Post
But there was almost no reaction from the Pepsi Center crowd, even after several close-up shots of Marshall’s face. At halftime, Marshall said he didn’t realize he had been on the Jumbotron and said it was OK folks didn’t seem to recognize him. "They probably would have booed," he said, laughing.

Broncos Support Jake Snakenberg Youth Concussion Act
The proposed bill is named in memory of Jake Snakenberg, who was a 14-year old freshman football player at Grandview High School when he passed away after suffering from what doctors diagnosed as Second Impact Syndrome. Doctors believe that in the previous week’s game, Snakenberg suffered an undiagnosed concussion and had not recovered before returning to the field and subjecting the brain to further injury.

Carson Palmer trade, Peyton Manning franchise tag, AFC questions - Don Banks - SI.com
Denver Broncos Though both John Elway and John Fox are being evasive on the topic, does second-year quarterback Tim Tebow have to win the starting job from Kyle Orton this offseason? Think of it this way: Tebow just has to avoid losing it. The Broncos new brain trust can't come out in February and say Tebow is their opening-day starter in 2011, for all the obvious reasons. First, there goes any real leverage you might have in Orton trade talks if you signal that he's definitely not in your plans this season. Secondly, it does Tebow no good to be elevated without having to work for it and earn it.

Contender or Pretender? | National Football Post
DENVER BRONCOS 2010 Record: 4-12 Super Bowl Odds: 60/1 Analysis: The Broncos ranked dead last in total defense last season and have the luxury of choosing between Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow to run the offense next year. Tebow has some upside, but the guy isn’t headed to Indianapolis for the Super Bowl in 2012. Oh yeah, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is out for the next eight months due to an Achilles injury he suffered on Thursday.

In lockout, Broncos' players take health reins - The Denver Post
Kwong, who is not treating Thomas, said players with this type of injury usually have a cast on their leg to protect the repair and cannot put any weight on the leg for at least six weeks. Depending on the severity of the tear and the condition of the two ends of the tendon that need to be reattached, most athletes don't begin normal walking for at least three months.

NFL NEWS: HALL OF FAME HUBBUB

The Hall of Fame selection process has some major flaws - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN
The Hall of Fame process is far more broken than college football’s BCS system. But it’s nowhere near as fun or profitable to demonize the peers you run into at the media buffet. Plus, who wants to jeopardize their chance of securing a spot on the committee, arguably the most prestigious and influential position in sportswriting? I do.

Hall of Fame Dunce … Weekend Cup O’Chiefs | Chiefs Football at BobGretz.com
I’m talking about Jason Whitlock, Kansas City’s long-time sports media bully extraordinaire. Listen, if I blogged something about that blob every time he was factually incorrect or didn’t know what he was talking about, then I would never stop. With the shrinking of his audience and no outlet for his special brand of yellow journalism in Kansas City, Whitlock tends to flail about willy nilly these days, trying to pick journalistic fights so he can save a dead career.

Hall of Fame voter Len Pasquarelli rips "idiots like Jason Whitlock" | ProFootballTalk
"What argument does Mr. Whitlock have that Willie Roaf deserves to be in the Hall of Fame more so than Richard Dent?" Pasquarelli said. "I’m dumbfounded by the logic of that because it’s totally illogical." Pasquarelli also rejects the idea that players should have some voice in determining who makes the Hall of Fame. "The argument made by Mr. Whitlock that players should vote on this? Players in some cases have a different agenda than people in that room," Pasquarelli said.

Whitlock strikes a nerve with some Hall of Fame voters | ProFootballTalk
In past years, any complaints regarding the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection process usually evaporated the next day, once the Super Bowl kicked off. This year, the complaints have legs.  And now some of the persons to whom the complaints relate are helping to lace up the running shoes.

NFL NEWS: GENERAL

Age is not the only reason Cleveland Browns released Shaun Rogers and 5 other players this week | cleveland.com
"Shaun's a different cat," Heckert said. "Shaun's whole thing -- and he's stated a million times -- is that he's never been on a team that's any good. Every team he's ever been on has been bad. Right or wrong, I think it's taken a toll on him." In 10 years in the NFL -- seven with Detroit and three with the Browns -- Rogers' teams had nine seasons of double-digit losses. The best record of a team Rogers played for was 7-9 -- his last season in Detroit. Overall, Rogers' career record is 45-115 (.281).

Jim Harbaugh digs up Bill Walsh tapes as teaching tool | ProFootballTalk
To the delight of 49ers fans, Jim Harbaugh wants to bring the identity of the West Coast offense back to San Francisco. Bill Walsh endorsed Harbaugh for the Stanford job back in 2007, and Harbaugh has made it his mission to bring Walsh’s principles back to the franchise.

Marshall Faulk: Bears don’t have the receivers Mike Martz needs | ProFootballTalk
"In this offense if you run a slant and a defender is coming down on you then you have to cross his face," Faulk said. "But every time I see Johnny Knox run a slant he goes behind the defender and you see an interception go the other way and everyone looks at Jay Cutler and says, ‘How did he throw that pass?’ That is going to be a mistake no matter who the quarterback is. . . . If you are still teaching that stuff to your wide receivers then in this offense you can’t blame the QB." So Faulk votes for blaming the Bears’ receivers instead. And we have a feeling that before saying that publicly, he talked to Martz about it privately.

Inside the Panthers: Rivera: Smith part of the plans "right now"
"We have to go through the process and see how things fit and where he sees it. It's a touchy thing," Rivera said of Smith. "We're going to have to wait until everything's cleared up and see where he is.

Jeremy Green pleads guilty to possession of child pornography | ProFootballTalk
Last year, former NFL scout and ESPN employee Jeremy Green was arrested for possession of child pornography, along with drug-related charges. Green has now pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography, according to the Hartford Courant. During a two-hour online chat in June 2010, Green allegedly sent "sexually explicit photos and videos of a toddler" to an undercover officer using the screen name ‘lendingmom12,’ and Green allegedly said he couldn’t wait for her to bring her three children to Connecticut.

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Super Bowl winners not relying on featured backs "
It’s not a new trend, but a continuing one, that NFL teams are relying less on the concept of a featured running back, many opting for specialization and backfields-by-committee in today’s NFL. Plenty of evidence suggests that we’re seeing offenses go other directions as the game evolves. Doing some quick math, I count nine teams last season where one running back had more than 60 percent of the team’s rushing attempts, although injuries certainly factor in.

NFL.com news: Decision time: LeBeau to make retirement call by next week
LeBeau told the club he will give them a final decision early next week, and the Steelers are hopeful he will be back for another season. "It looks very positive," said one source with knowledge of the situation.

Investigator: Wait to see if Philadelphia Eagles' Michael Vick has changed - ESPN
"The only way the public is going to know if he's sincere is to revisit it five to eight years from now, when he's not playing in the NFL and getting endorsements," Knorr said. "Is he still going into the neighborhoods, preaching to the kids?

NFL NEWS: SUPERBOWL FALLOUT

Super Bowl class action lawyer chides league’s latest offer | ProFootballTalk
We realize that it’s cheaper for the league to give folks a free ticket to Super Bowl XLV and to allow them to scalp the thing in the hopes of recouping their travel and other costs, but compensation shouldn’t come from the secondary market. For those 400, the NFL screwed up. And the NFL needs to make it right. And the failure of the league to offer unequivocally to do so five full days after the game was played makes us wonder whether the same kind of logic and tactics are being applied at the bargaining table with the NFLPA.

Documents outline Cowboys' involvement with troubled Super Bowl seating project | Super Bowl ...
Dryden sends several e-mails to the Cowboys, Seating Solutions and the Arlington fire marshal about numerous deficiencies, mostly missing or improperly installed handrails, missing guardrails, loose seats and loose steps. "Looks like we will be here until noon," Dryden tells his boss, Jim Parajon, director of community development and planning. "There's still no absolute finality on the seat count. I think that the Cowboys are not going to correct certain items and assume the risk. This is not a good situation!" Parajon responds, saying city administrators have been apprised. "Bottom line is if it is not right, don't approve it," Parajon said.

NFL DRAFT

Draft insider: Newton faces many obstacles - The Denver Post
Hmm, a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback who has taken shotgun snaps for virtually all of his college career is now trying to convince the NFL's decision-makers he can spend a few weeks with a quarterback guru and be ready to go to work as a pro. Perhaps Cam Newton's first call should be to Tim Tebow.

Caution on Cam Newton From Mayock - NYTimes.com
"A choreographed day like today is fine, but the N.F.L. is not really even allowed to be there, so they’re looking at the clips, the same that you and I are. They want to see him throw the ball at the Combine with the other quarterbacks, and then they want to see him at the Auburn pro day. And even then, that’s really not going to tell the tale because he’s going to throw the football beautifully in those controlled environments. To me, there are two issues with this kid. Issue number one is he came out of a shotgun, and if you watch the tape it’s basically a very simple offense. One read and either the ball was out or he was out. Can he adapt to, can he process and assimilate a very structured and complex pro offense against a complex pro defense? And secondly, and most importantly, when you get to a certain skill level in the N.F.L., which this kid certainly has, at the quarterback position what kind of kid is he?

ProFootballWeekly.com - Draft Dose: The green room
2007 — QB Brady Quinn Quinn was similar to Rodgers, in that he was in the discussion to be an early pick. However several teams decided against drafting a quarterback in the early part of the first round, including Quinn's eventual destination, Cleveland. After selecting Joe Thomas with the third overall pick in the draft, the Browns traded back into the first round and picked up Quinn with the 22nd overall pick. Quinn battled Derek Anderson for the starting job for a couple years, but when his turn came, he never delivered on the promise that made him a first-rounder. Quinn has now been relegated to a backup role with the Broncos, to whom he was traded in March 2010.

Scouting Tight Ends and Receivers | National Football Post
When you scout a tight end with the way the game has evolved in the last few years, you are really looking for two types of players — a blocker and a big receiver. In each draft, there are very few that can do both real well. Last year seemed to be an exception because there were two that have turned out to be "complete" tight ends. They are Rob Gronkowski, who New England took in the second round, and Tony Moeaki, who was drafted in the third round by Kansas City.

Amukamara surprised his speed is in question - CBSSports.com
I spoke to Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara yesterday in preparation for an upcoming feature for NFLDraftScout.com . He was very open and honest as to why he elected not to play in the Senior Bowl, how difficult it was to remain at Nebraska when they asked him to switch from running back to cornerback and what happened on the 80-yard touchdown reception he gave up to Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon.

NFL LOCKOUT

League downplays cancellation of CBA session to owners | ProFootballTalk
Fine, but dinner is due to be served in three weeks, and the two sides haven’t been able to agree on the method for killing the pig. Look at it this way. If the league wasn’t able to get enough seats in place in time for Super Bowl XLV, the changes of getting the labor deal worked out by March 4 currently stand at somewhere between slim and none.

Roger I. Abrams: NFL Owners vs. NFL Players: Isn't It Always the Players' Fault?
One thing for sure -- if there is a work stoppage, the fans will blame the players. They always have blamed the players by overwhelming numbers. There have been times when the players -- or, more precisely, their union -- deserved part of the blame, but fans just think the players are being greedy and that their avarice cause all interruptions in the game. They are millionaires, no? No one even thinks it is possible that the billionaire owners might be at fault.

Your NFL Questions, Answered; George Atallah on the Lockout and Other Pressing Matters - NYTimes.com
Last week, we solicited your questions for George Atallah, the assistant executive director of external affairs for the N.F.L. Players Association. You responded with typical vigor, and Atallah took the bait, answering the vast majority of your questions. Thanks to him and all of you.

The Canadian Press: Player agents says NFL, players' union labour situation is a 'mess'
Ralph Cindrich has been through every labour dispute between players and owners dating back to the 1970s and the union's infancy. While saying of the state of negotiations "it's fair to call it a mess," Cindrich also concludes "it's too early to panic" and when both parties want to seriously negotiate, they will.

Ten things to know, right now, about the labor situation | ProFootballTalk
1. A lockout is virtually certain at this point. Last time around, we explained that a lockout would happen long before September. It’s now clear, given the comments of NFL lawyer Bob Batterman and subsequent remarks from Commissioner Roger Goodell, that a lockout will begin on March 4.

Lack of a new NFL labor deal may delay free agency for many - NFL - SI.com
More than 700 NFL players have contracts expiring with the labor deal, a group that includes players like Indianapolis running back Joseph Addai finishing up his fourth season in the league to Titans linebacker Stephen Tulloch who missed out on free agency in 2010 when rules for the final year of the CBA allowed Tennessee to keep him with a one-year deal.

Yee Has Solutions for CBA Negotiations - NYTimes.com
Though agent Don Yee believes 18 games mean more bodily punishment, leading to shorter careers and possibly shorter life spans, he had these suggestions for making the change more acceptable: —Increase the roster from 53 players to 58, and make all eligible to play on game day; currently, only 45 can play. —Institute a rule that prohibits any player from appearing in more than 16 games.

Krieger: Lockout is a lock, sadly - The Denver Post
The owners walked because they consider it a given that the revenue split must shift in their favor because of . . . well . . . you know . . . stuff. Prove it, say the players. You're signing record TV deals. You're soaking the fan at every turn. We're the ones getting our heads knocked in. If you have genuine financial issues, open your books and show us. Goodell and the owners dismiss this as a bargaining ploy, but their evasions don't pass the smell test. If you're going to claim you can't survive under the existing agreement when your league is an $8 billion profit machine and your stadiums, many of them publicly funded, offer luxuries Marie Antoinette would envy, you need to prove your case. Goodell's disdainful insistence that the players take his word for it makes him look like a patronizing patrician.

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