Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks -3/24/11

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Woody's Mailbag: When will Rockies' Stewart bloom? - The Denver Post
On to the more important question: No. That deal with the replacement players was a complete mess for everybody. Nobody wanted to watch them, although season-ticket holders were forced to pay for the games. The coaches and the owners hated it, even though the players union caved in. Either the players will be back in by then, or the games will be canceled. I've talked to enough people to know that they won't try that stupid mistake again.

New Rules and the Roster
Brian Xanders and John Elway talk about how the modification to kickoff alignments will affect the roster and who plays on special teams.

Is Cam Newton heading to Denver? - KDVR
While Newton looked quite comfortable throwing the long ball, he and coach George Whitfield were particularly determined to show progress on intermediate routes and his five-step and seven-step drops during his round of scripted plays. As the former Tiger showed confidence in his arm strength throughout the workout, he also discussed the areas he’s willing to work on given he's still raw out of a spread system. As for the Broncos, sources say they’re also planning to set up about 30 visits with various top draft prospects per their "routine and common practice."

Family Tradition
Casey Matthews has a lot to live up to. Not only does his brother currently play in the NFL -- Clay is a Super Bowl-winning linebacker for the Green Bay Packers -- but his cousin is a center for the Tennessee Titans, and his father, grandfather and uncle all had long, successful careers in the league.

NFL NEWS

NFL Kickoff rule changes: Impact on offense " Pro-football-reference.com blog " Blog Archive
Fan reaction has been mostly negative. Cries about player safety from fans discussing an 18-game schedule have turned into cries about "ruining the game" when it comes to minimizing special teams. In reality, most of these complaints are due to a general resistance to change, with whatever the flavor du jour serving as a comfortable red herring. But what about the claim that this will decrease scoring?

NFL star Ochocinco to try out with Sporting Kansas City - MLS News | FOX Sports on MSN
Ochocinco wants more than that, at least that’s what we’re being told. He’s determined to make the team and believes he has the skills to do it. You can admire his confidence, but he seems destined to discover that the sport he played as a child is a far cry from the sport played by the pros in MLS.

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Pick Six: Better choices for HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ "
1. Oakland Raiders Compelling storyline: This is a tough one because remaking a popular series from the 1970s into TV shows has recently failed, just look at Hawaii Five-0. But even their press conferences are more interesting than most teams in general. Seriously, why hasn’t this happened yet? Potential breakout star: Al Davis‘ overhead projector.

Seahawks not playing down their interest in Kevin Kolb - Don Banks - SI.com
From my vantage point I couldn't quite see whether Pete Carroll wore a cat-ate-the-canary look on his face when he heard the question. But when a Philadelphia-based reporter inquired whether his Seahawks have had conversations with the Eagles regarding a trade for quarterback Kevin Kolb, you could almost hear Carroll's brain whirling as he very carefully chose his words.

2010 Redskins: What the Film Revealed - NYTimes.com
Donovan McNabb regressed as the season went on, before being replaced by Rex Grossman. A mediocre receiving corps didn’t help. Santana Moss was the exception to this mediocrity, although his big numbers didn’t accurately portray his week-to-week impact.

Lawrence Taylor on girl, 16: 'I don't card them' - ESPN New York
Taylor blamed the institution of prostitution for the fact that he ended up with an underage girl. "It's the world of prostitution," he said during the Fox News interview. "You never know what you're gonna get. Is it gonna be a pretty girl, an ugly girl or whatever it's gonna be." Or a young girl? Smith asked. "You can only ask," Taylor said. "I don't card them. I don't ask for a birth certificate."

Former Players Flutie, Kelly Recall 18-Game Grind - NYTimes.com
Doug Flutie remembers feeling how his arm was ready to fall off during his one year in the USFL. Nate Newton recalls how he did absolutely nothing but rest for an entire month after playing his two USFL 18-game regular seasons.

Americans May Look to Neighboring Canada for Football Fix - NYTimes.com
The Canadian Football League (CFL) could prove an exotic alternative with its three downs, 12 players, bigger field and more backfield motion than a conga line, but it delivers the same bone-jarring action that has made the NFL America's most popular game. The eight-team league has been around since 1958 and the Grey Cup - Canada's equivalent to the Super Bowl - will be contested for the 99th time this season.

Top 10 kick return touchdowns of 2010 | National Football Post
If the excitement that is shared from the kicking game is coming to a close, we might as well look back on some of the best return touchdowns from the 2010 season. Here are the top-ten kick return touchdowns from last year. As always, I have a feeling that those of you who disagree won’t hesitate to let me know.

Notre Dame debuts HelmetCam at first spring practice | National Football Post
Notre Dame debuted the HelmetCam on the opening day of spring practice in South Bend on Wednesday. Rising senior Dayne Crist practiced with the new gadget, which mounts on the side of the helmet and lets coaches track the eyes of the quarterback.

Marty Schottenheimer is new Virginia Destroyers coach | National Football Post
"I am excited to lead the Destroyers and am eager to return to the football field in Virginia," Schottenheimer said. "I have been impressed with the fervor and passion that has been created in the region for a team that has yet to play a down of football. I promise the fans there that we will repay them with a great product on the field and a franchise to make them proud."

Josh Cribbs, Devin Hester aren’t happy with kickoff changes | ProFootballTalk
I’m very upset about it," Josh Cribbs of the Browns told Adam Schein and Rich Gannon of Sirius NFL Radio. "I highly disagree [with] the rule changes. Especially while there’s no CBA in place I’m just baffled by their reasoning behind it, you know, changing the rules. Of course I know the reasoning behind it. I just disagree. Trying to make the game safer, I commend their efforts. I just think it could’ve been handled a lot better. Changing those rules will affect a lot of people including myself and incoming college [players] as well."

Dave Duerson autopsy: Flag, helmets, trophies among items left behind | ProFootballTalk
Dave Duerson placed a chair against his door and an American flag at the head of his bed before undressing, getting into his bed and shooting himself through the chest, according to the official autopsy report released by the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner.

Haley mum on changes to Chiefs’ offensive line - KansasCity.com
Running back Thomas Jones, who will be 33 in August, said after the playoff game that he would need some time before deciding whether he would return for a 12th NFL season. Haley said Jones would play again this season. "I couldn’t be more excited about what Thomas Jones has brought to this team both as a player and as a leader," Haley said of Jones, who had 15 more carries than Jamaal Charles last season but almost 600 fewer yards. "He’s the epitome of the same guy every day. We’ve got a little plan for Thomas that I’m excited about getting to. I’m excited to have Thomas back. He’s a big part of what we’re doing."

Spags won't hire QB coach
It will be all Josh all the time for quarterback Sam Bradford. Coach Steve Spagnuolo confirmed what had become increasingly obviously with each passing week during the offseason. Namely, that the St. Louis Rams will not hire a quarterbacks coach. Which means Josh McDaniels will serve the dual role of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Rams in 2011.

49ers play in Santa Clara redevelopment shell game
How's this for the latest redevelopment agency shell game? In an ad hoc meeting Monday night, the Santa Clara City Council voted to transfer $4 million in redevelopment agency funds to a San Francisco 49er entity, Forty Niners Stadium LLC, for "make ready" work on a new 49er stadium that may never get built.

Sports Law Blog
While the facts of the incident are in question, the incident is clearly embarrassing for Bryant and the Cowboys, and maybe the NFL, too. And under the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy, commissioner Roger Goodell can issue a sanction for any behavior that he deems detrimental to the league's image. But is the league's personal conduct policy still in effect during the lockout? The league says yes and that it will assign penalties for misbehavior during the lockout after the lockout ends. The NFLPA has chosen not to opine on whether the policy is still in effect.

NFL DRAFT

Scouts locked out of AJ Green's pro day, must watch on TV - College Football News | FOX Sports on MSN
No NFL scouts watched A.J. Green's workout in person at Georgia's pro day because of a six-mile technicality. Green, likely to be the first receiver drafted next month, went through a 30-minute session Tuesday that private coach George Whitfield had scripted.

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Getting to know … TCU QB Dalton "
AR: Well, you have time. So you grew up in Texas and played football at Katy High School. Which movie do you identify more with, "Friday Night Lights" or "Varsity Blues"? AD: "Friday Night Lights," for sure. The whole town of Katy shuts down when there is a football game. A funny story, when we first moved to town when I was in the first grade, a neighbor asked my mom if we had already got our season tickets for the upcoming season. My mom said, ‘I only have children in fourth and first grade.’ But it didn’t matter because everybody went to the games.

ProFootballWeekly.com - Draft Dose: Two-sport athletes
With the possibility of an NFL lockout next season, there was some speculation that QB Jake Locker could take the lack of an NFL season as an opportunity to try his hand at a baseball career. Locker has been drafted twice by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who hold his rights. One anonymous baseball scout quoted in Baseball America said Locker "could be a potential Hall of Famer." However, Locker has since reaffirmed his commitment to sticking with football.

ProFootballWeekly.com - Prospect Q&A: Colorado's Jalil Brown
With a little more than five weeks to go before the NFL draft, PFW recently caught up with one of the two Colorado cornerbacks expected to be selected in April, Jalil Brown, who led the Buffaloes in interceptions (three) last season. He's continuing to prepare for meetings with teams — Brown was headed to a workout as soon as he got off the phone with us.

ProFootballWeekly.com - Prospect Q&A: Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan
Defensive end is a loaded position in the upcoming NFL draft, with a slew of young pass rushers predicted to go in the first round. PFW talked to Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan, who could be an end or an outside linebacker in the NFL.

Concern rising for Da’Quan Bowers | ProFootballTalk
Former Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers told NFL teams at the Combine he was "100%" and couldn’t wait for his Pro Day. And then just before his Pro Day, he postponed his workout and didn’t even show up to the session. Mike Mayock joined Florio on Wednesday’s PFT Live and mentioned Bowers right away when asked who could be sliding in the NFL Draft.

Mayock: Von Miller’s antitrust involvement won’t hurt draft stock | ProFootballTalk
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock confirmed on PFT Live that Miller’s draft stock shouldn’t be hurt whatsoever by his involvement in the antitrust case. Miller should be a top-ten pick. "Anybody I’ve talked to could care less," Mayock said.

Mike Mayock thinks a top-10 team will take the chance on Cam Newton | ProFootballTalk
Mayock thinks that someone in the top 10 will feel strongly about Newton as a quarterback and as a person, and that both Newton and Blaine Gabbert — the guy Mayock regards as the top quarterback in the draft — will be taken among the first 10 picks. Mayock also touched on the chances of Jake Locker and Ryan Mallett being taken in the next 10, or the next 10 after that.

Updated 2011 NFL Mock Draft: 2nd Round - Mocking The Draft
36. Denver- Rahim Moore- S- UCLA - Moore will provide youth and playmaking ability to an aging secondary.

SF coach Jim Harbaugh gushes about Cam Newton - CBSSports.com
"Yeah, the ability to make people miss as a quarterback is critical. Avoid. Being able to go with your legs. We’ve got some quarterbacks in this draft like Cam Newton and (Blaine) Gabbert in particular, and Jake Locker that not only will make people miss and avoid people, but they can run and keep defenses out of certain coverages, which is quite the trait to have. And they can pick up first downs with their legs, keep the chains moving."

NFL LOCKOUT

Trent Dilfer echoes view that 2006 CBA was a great one for players | ProFootballTalk
"I’ve always said the big chips didn’t put in yet," Dilfer said. "Sometime after the draft, in the middle of May, the big chips are going to be put on the table. Whether it’s the President, Congress, the networks, the big dogs are going to step in and say, ‘There has to be football. You guys figure this out or there is going to be severe consequences.’ At that time we will see a deal put in place. I don’t think it is going to affect the OTAs in the summer, or training camp at all, and we’ll be playing football in August as we always expect to."

League continues to bask in its bad deal from 2006 | ProFootballTalk
And, of course, the league wants to engage in collective bargaining now because the league knows that it will work well for the owners, with their ultimate collective bargaining weapon — a lockout — eventually causing the players to take the deal that the NFL is offering. The league is so intent on making that happen that the NFL is willing to tell the world that we’re all currently in this mess because 30 billionaires blew it in 2006 by giving their blessing to a bad deal.

True Blue - Josh Ellis Blog
Speaking to reporters at the NFL owners meetings in New Orleans on Monday, Jones said the union should already have enough of the numbers to make a deal. He also hinted there are privacy concerns and possibly competitive reasons teams don't want to open the books. "I'm very impressed with the financial information that we offered when we were talking," Jones said. "That information, with what other is available, can be reconciled and you can easily ascertain where you are financially. So there's no issue on our part relative to the financial information that was offered. It exceeds anything that we've ever done in any negotiation.

Prelude to April 6: primer on NFL's brief | National Football Post
What are the NFL’s main arguments? 1. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) must resolve the NFL’s unfair labor practice charge prior to the U.S. District Court in Minnesota (the Court) making a ruling; 2. The Players do not meet the legal standard for the issuance of a preliminary injunction; and 3. The Norris-LaGuardia Act (the Act) prevents the U.S. District Court in Minnesota (the Court) from issuing an injunction to block either lockouts or strikes in cases arising from labor disputes, as here

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