Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks - 4/4/11

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ProFootballWeekly.com - Bears interested in extension for TE Olsen

With so many other positions needing to be addressed, we hear the Broncos are content with the safety duo of Brian Dawkins and Renaldo Hill. The team is not expected to spend a lot of money to upgrade at that spot but could use one of their draft picks to bring in a player to learn from the savvy veterans.

NFL NEWS

Michael Huff talks about possible return to Texas | ProFootballTalk
The Cowboys and likely free agent Michael Huff look like a perfect match. Jerry Jones loves to overpay inconsistent safeties, and Huff grew up in Irving before playing at University of Texas.

Man who claims he developed Madden game sues EA for millions, possibly billions | ProFootballTalk
According to Reuters, Robin Antonick claims that he created the first versions of the Madden franchise in the 1980s for the MS Dos, Apple II, and Commodore 64 platforms. And he claims that he recently realized that he wrongfully has been denied a piece of the profits as it has exploded onto all sorts of other derivative platforms. He wants tens of millions in unpaid royalties and "disgorgement" of nearly $4 billion in profits from the sale of the game.

NFP Sunday Blitz | National Football Post
Despite the fact that all of them have holes in them, they aren’t supposed to last long on draft day. It’s starting to look like all eight could be gone by the end of round three. "Teams that think they’ll get the quarterback they want in the second round could be in for a rude awaking," the director said. "Teams could be trading up to late first round for those guys." Because no league-wide consensus has been reached on these players, what happens late in the process is likely to carry a lot of weight. That means quarterbacks coaches and offensive coordinators could be more influential than usual. And these late visits with teams could be the deciding factor in a lot of cases.

Lions won't make a habit of moving Suh around | National Football Post
The ratio sure worked out pretty well for the Detroit Lions. Rarely did they move Ndamukong Suh from his left defensive tackle position during his rookie season. But on the rare occasions they did, he produced two of his 10 sacks. Suh got the RedskinsDonovan McNabb coming from the right end position and the PatriotsTom Brady when he began in a standup position about three yards behind the line of scrimmage, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Don’t look for it to become a big trend, though.

Jamaal Charles to run track if lockout continues? | National Football Post
Charles, who ran the fastest 110 and 300 hurdle times as a senior in high school, is considering running in the Texas Relays with Chris Johnson, DeSean Jackson and Adrian Peterson, according to the Beaumont Enterprise.

Ed Reed says he won't need any surgeries, could play now if he had to | National Football Post
Unlike last year, Baltimore Ravens star free safety Ed Reed won't be going under the knife. One year removed from undergoing hip surgery to repair a torn labrum, Reed said he won't require any procedures this offseason as he continues to strengthen the joint. And the All-Pro safety said he could play now if he had to.

ProFootballWeekly.com - Panthers CB Marshall hoping for chance to hit open market
Marshall, frustrated that the Panthers had not signed him to the long-term deal he has been seeking, made it clear that he didn't expect to be back with the team when the 2010 season came to a close. The rules of free agency have not yet been determined, but Marshall, who has five accrued seasons, will be a restricted free agent for the second consecutive year if the league operates under the same free-agency rules it did last offseason.

ProFootballWeekly.com - The color of football
It's the colors that grabbed Chicago artist Al Sorenson, years and years ago. How they looked next to each other, and on top of each other, and how they looked standing naked and alone. That's how the real naturals, early on, find sense in the world. For them shapes only bind the book; colors spell the meaning. The next step, however, is the draining part — what the naturals choose to do with it.

RAVENS: Joe Flacco to throw to Todd Heap later this month - Carroll County Times: Ravens
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is about to change throwing targets from his brother to tight end Todd Heap later this month in Arizona. In an effort to keep his arm sharp during the NFL lockout, Flacco has planned workouts with Heap and other players. "It's really nice out in Arizona," Flacco said during safety Haruki Nakamura's charity event this weekend at Ripken Stadium. "We get together later this month. We're going to go out to Arizona and hang out with Todd and there's a facility out there. We could probably play a litlte bit of golf, too. It's a pretty nice time of year to do that."

Charley Walters: Coach Leslie Frazier admits Vikings have no clue on next quarterback - TwinCities.com
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Saturday the team still is undecided which direction it will go to determine a starting quarterback for next season, whether it be a veteran, a draft choice or ready-and-waiting Joe Webb. Frazier said he's not leaning any particular way.

Former Gator wide receiver Louis Morris Murphy Jr. arrested by GPD | Gainesville.com
Gainesville Police arrested former standout Gator wide receiver Louis Morris Murphy Jr. early Sunday morning, charging him with possession of a drug without a valid prescription, failure to obey a police officer and resisting arrest without violence -- all misdemeanors. Murphy, who plays for the Oakland Raiders, was taken into custody just after midnight.

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco unhappy over contract extension delay - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN
But Flacco told The Baltimore Sun, "Ideally for me, I would like to start talks this year ... If you're not confident with who I am, I'm not sure what a year is going to make."

 

NFL DRAFT

Carolina columnist: Panthers love Newton, Peterson, and Green | ProFootballTalk
We don’t know that the Panthers prefer Cam Newton to Blaine Gabbert. We do know that multiple national reporters and those closest to the team in Carolina believe that’s true. Writing for the Charlotte Observer Sunday, Tom Sorensen says that Cam Newton, Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green, and LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson are the three players the Panthers love.

Jaguars unlikely to trade up to get quarterback | ProFootballTalk
The Jaguars infamously haven’t drafted a quarterback since Byron Leftwich. Really. We expect that trend to change this year, and a lot of Jaguars fans hope it changes in round one or round two. The tricky part: Will the right guy fall to them? Choosing at No. 16, Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert figure to be off the board. Most analysts would argue that Jake Locker, Ryan Mallett, and Christian Ponder might be a stretch at that point.

Mallett falls into the Clausen trap | ProFootballTalk
Though not quite as lame as applying to oneself the label of "loving" and/or "caring," no one should refer to themselves as "great" in any way, if they want to truly be viewed that way. Really, how many truly "great guys" have ever referred to themselves as "great guys"? When we think of the next one, we will have thought of the first one.

Blaine Gabbert has at least one red flag | ProFootballTalk
Gabbert, his brother, Tyler, and Missouri linebacker Andrew Gachkar reportedly got into a fight last year with another group of men outside a pizza place in Columbia, Missouri. Police made no arrests and issued no citations, even though the police report indicated that all of the men involved likely had been drinking — and even though the Gabberts were under the legal drinking age.

Breaking down Muhammad Wilkerson and Phil Taylor | National Football Post
As we have stated many times in the past few weeks, the strength of the first round in this year’s draft is the defensive line. Insiders have told me that as many as 12 linemen could go in the first round, though I think ten is the better number. We have talked about most of these players but two big inside guys we still need to talk about are Muhammad Wilkerson of Temple and Phil Taylor of Baylor. Both of these players had strong seasons in 2010 and look to have a lot of upside. Like many of the other defensive linemen we have talked about, both of these players also have the versatility to play in more than one scheme.

Draft countdown podcast: DB breakdown | National Football Post
The NFP's Matt Bowen and Wes Bunting continue their position by position breakdown of the top prospects heading into the NFL with a discussion on the cornerbacks and safeties. Could LSU's Patrick Peterson go No.1 overall to Carolina, is Nebraska's Prince Amukamara a top ten pick and will Colorado's Jimmy Smith slip out of the first round?

Illinois DT Corey Liuget will attend NFL draft | National Football Post
For a player who got a third-round grade from the draft advisory committee when he considered leaving school early, Corey Liuget has done just fine for himself. Liuget projects now to be a first-round draft pick and that is the way it is looking after he was officially invited to attend the draft later this month in New York. Liuget told Bob Asmussen of the Champaign News-Gazette the news.

Mallett upbeat about Bengals visit | National Football Post
Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett was pleased with how his two-day visit with the Cincinnati Bengals wen. "It went real good," Mallett told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I definitely think I surprised a couple of the coaches." Mallett has drawn plenty of scrutiny and criticism. Is it fair?

Up next for Ryan Mallett: Seahawks | National Football Post
Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett's NFL tour continues past its opening drive later today when he'll begin a two-day visit with the Seattle Seahawks. It's a busy week for Mallett, who's set to visit the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday and Thursday and the Carolina Panthers on Friday and Saturday. He visits the San Francisco 49ers on April 11, the Miami Dolphins on April 14 and the Tennessee Titans on April 17.

ProFootballWeekly.com - Draft countdown: Pick No. 25
Overview: The 25th pick has been hit or miss over the years. Broncos QB Tim Tebow remains a question mark, while guys like former Eagles WR Freddie Mitchell turned out to be definite busts. But with a former Super Bowl MVP in the mix, PFW found that the No. 25 pick, which is held by the Seahawks this year, can go in a lot of different directions:

ProFootballWeekly.com - Lions' RB interest unrelated to Best
Keen Lions fans have noticed that the team has done a lot of homework on this year's crop of running backs, something that has elicited mild surprise given the fact that the team made a trade up into the back end of the first round last year to select RB Jahvid Best. It shouldn't, however. No one at the Lions' facility has any interest in burying Best on the depth chart, even after a somewhat disappointing rookie season.

ProFootballWeekly.com - Q&A with Missouri DE-OLB Aldon Smith
Despite a small body of work in college, Missouri DL Aldon Smith is one of the most intriguing draft prospects among a deep and versatile crop of defensive linemen. Smith played only two seasons for the Tigers and spent much of the 2010 campaign at less than 100 percent because of a fibula injury suffered early in the season. Still, his versatility and production have teams early in the first round intrigued by his skills as a defensive end, linebacker or three-technique tackle.

ProFootballWeekly.com - Giants might hone in on offensive line
There's a groundswell among Giants fans for the team to draft Florida OG-C Mike Pouncey, brother of Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey, who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie last season. This comes with good reason: The draft-eligible Pouncey not only has good genetics but also improved as the season went on and could play any of the three interior positions.

N.F.L. Draft: Lance Kendricks, Fourth-Ranked Tight End - NYTimes.com
No. 4 Lance Kendricks, Wisconsin (6-2, 243) If Kendricks had the frame of Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph, he would give Rudolph a run for his money as the best all-around tight end in this class. I’m impressed with Kendricks’s run-blocking skills. He gets his hands on a defender and has enough dexterity and strength to keep them there while generating a push. In the games I watched, Kendricks repeatedly funneled defenders away from runners with his initial punch and hand placement.

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Draft Countdown: The good, bad of 24 "
We’re just 24 days until the biggest day of the year for the best college players in the country, team scouting departments, and all of you draftniks out there. The NFL Draft is right around the corner. Twenty-four days. Know what else 24 reminds us of, besides Kiefer Sutherland wiggin’ out?

Titus Young NFL Draft Scouting Report - Mocking The Draft
Final word: Young is a very dangerous playmaker that will likely have an impact in the NFL. He is a versatile prospect in that he can play wide receiver and return kicks. A team looking for someone with speed and game breaking ability will likely consider Young. However, he needs to work on his route running especially those over the middle. His size makes him a likely candidate for a slot roll but he limited experience with the position. It is not out of the question that he could fill a spot on the outside. Overall, Young looks to be a solid prospect likely to come off the board on day two of the draft.

TE Rudolph, RB Jones last of the top Pro Days - CBSSports.com
The Pro Day "season" is coming to a close, but not before two of the more intriguing skill position talents get their chance to work out for scouts. Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph , NFLDraftScout.com's top rated player at the position , will be among the former Irish players working out on campus this upcoming Thursday, April 7. Unlike many of this year's tight end prospects, at 6-6 and 259 pounds, Rudolph has the size to compete as a blocker, as well as be a security blanket over the middle.

RB Ingram to slip out of the first round? - CBSSports.com
If I've learned one thing in my years as an NFL Draft analyst it is that when several of us come to a consensus that Player A will be drafted by Team A at any spot other than the No. 1 overall, we're all usually wrong. This may prove to be the case again this year. Many draft prognosticators, including Chad Reuter and I , have pegged the Miami Dolphins to select Alabama running back Mark Ingram with the No. 15 overall pick. This selection, in fact, may be the most agreed upon pick in the entire first round, including No. 1 overall, at this point.

NFL LOCKOUT

Brady case gets rolling on Wednesday | ProFootballTalk
It’s been 23 days since the NFL and its players stopped trying to work out a new labor deal. As the negotiations collapsed, the NFLPA decertified as a union and a group of ten players — including Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, and Saints quarterback Drew Brees — filed a class-action lawsuit against the league office and the 32 NFL franchises. On Wednesday, the case heads to court for the first time, as the players attempt to obtain an injunction that would force the league to lift the lockout while the antitrust lawsuit proceeds.

Jaworski: Players don’t give a damn about guys who laid the foundation | ProFootballTalk
Former Eagles quarterback and current Monday Night Football analyst Ron Jaworski says that he tends to side with the players in the ongoing labor dispute. He just wishes the players would give a little more thought to the guys who came before them.

Boies, Star Lawyer, Represents N.F.L. in Lockout Hearing - NYTimes.com
At 70, Boies is one of the country’s pre-eminent litigators, having built a long, storied career by arguing complex, high-stakes, often headline-making cases. In 2000, he represented Al Gore before the Supreme Court in the case that decided the 2000 presidential election. On Wednesday in St. Paul, he will present the N.F.L.’s argument against the players’ request for an injunction to stop the league’s lockout.

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