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Horse Tracks 11/4/09 - Orton has sore left ankle; Broncos add two to PS, bringing back DT Carlton Powell

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Good Morning, MHR Friends! Try not to lose much sleep over Darius Walker - I know a lot of folks liked what they saw from him in the preseason, but he gained his yards in garbage time against second- and third-teamers and still managed only 3.8 YPA. He's merely this year's version of Anthony Alridge, sans blazing speed. On an editing note, I feel like I've got to tighten up Tracks a bit; a return to quality over quantity (and more blurbs to help you decide which columns you want to read before you click on them). So I'm going to run some polls over the next few days - I need your help (because obviously what you want is what really matters, here). Don't worry, this doesn't mean I'll decrease the amount of Broncos-centric news. It's more a matter of the other stuff... Please be honest, as your input will help me improve Tracks and determine its direction. Thanks!

LTC - Orton thrives with Broncos, rookie coach - Brian Howell
"I’ve learned a lot," he said. "I think I’m a better player. The coaching has been great, and they’re making me a better player. I think this is the system that fits me." Sounds to me like a player who knows where his bread is buttered (hometown discount at contract time?). Then again, we don't really know how McD will value Kyle at a much higher price (versus his current $995,000 salary). Maybe he'll like Brandstater's value better...

DPP - Broncos rookie Moreno learning on job - Mike Klis
Although he's on pace for over 1,100 yards from scrimmage (very good for a rookie, especially as part of a backfield tandem), Knowshon is yet to break a run of 20+ yards. However, as Moreno himself says, "I didn't really have too many big runs at Georgia, either. It's all about those hard yards."

DPP - Defense ready for no-huddle from Steelers - Jeff Legwold
"Quarterback Kyle Orton may show up on the Broncos' injury report this week because of a twisted left ankle he suffered in Sunday's loss in Baltimore. Orton was hit by Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs in the second quarter and played the rest of the way with the ankle wrapped. Orton received treatment on the ankle Monday and Tuesday"

DB - Ball, Powell Added to Practice Squad - Gray Caldwell

NFLN - Playbook: Broncos vs. Ravens recap - Video
Billick & Mayock look at how B-more beat the Broncos. It's just as Orton said - two safeties sitting deep, tons of pressure - can't go deep, don't have time to make good throws underneath.

DB - Preparing For Pittsburgh - Patrick Smyth

DPP - Analysis: McDaniels will have his hands full with LeBeau's Pittsburgh defense - Jeff Legwold

DPP - McDaniels' involvement with Spygate not clear - Jeff Legwold

CSG - Loss should help keep Broncos humble - Frank Schwab

CSG - Coaches: Orton deserves some of shared blame in loss - Frank Schwab

LTC - Broncos’ loss is chance to find, fix flaws - Brian Howell

KDVR - Tanaka: Broncos still among the NFL's best

HSB - Elam comes full circle - John Hollis

Steelers News

FH - Hines Ward: Ryan Clark Should Sit Out This Week - J.J. Cooper

PPG - On the Steelers: Carter capable of filling in for Clark - Ed Bouchette

PPG - How do teams adjust to Denver's altitude? - Ed Bouchette

PPG - Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript

AFC West News

ESPN - How I See It: AFC West Stock Watch - Bill Williamson

SFC - Creepshow: Raiders hitting an all-time low - Scott Ostler

OT - Poole: Bottom line is that bad NFL coaches are safe

OT - Peterson: Finding Raiders coaching candidates no easy task ... unless you get creative

SI - Oakland Raiders can't allow abusive Tom Cable to continue - Ann Killion

KCS - Chiefs add Chris Chambers

KCS - Chiefs use bye week to fine-tune offense - Kent Babb

SDUT - Chargers' defining time - Kevin Acee

SDUT - Jackson's DUI case on hold for now - Brent Schrotenboer

NFL News

NYT - N.F.L. Seeks Help in Enforcing Drug Policy - Ken Belson

FH - Congress Shoots Down NFL's Request for Help on StarCaps Ruling - Dan Graziano

NFL - Goodell meets support, critics in Congress over drug programs

NFL - Goodell, Smith to join latest round of labor negotiations

FH - Dan Snyder 'Sorry' for Redskins' Fans - Matt Snyder

NFL - Browns coach Mangini remains quiet about Kokinis' departure

NFL - Seahawks release 11-year veteran RB James

NFL - Bills' McGee expects to miss 2 weeks after arthroscopic surgery

NFL Opinion

NFP - Diner morning news: Kokinis never had a chance - Mike Lombardi
"Every time Mangini was given more responsibility in New England, he was not successful. Conversely, every time Josh McDaniels’ role was increased, he kept getting more and more successful." This is one of Lombardi's best columns - not for the McDaniels praise, but for the insight into how Eric Mangini has gone wrong already in Cleveland.

NYT - Circumstances of Kokinis’s Exit in Question - Judy Battista

NFL - Another 'do-over' on horizon for perpetually rebuilding Browns - Jason La Canfora

NFL - In-season coaching change is nothing but a knee-jerk reaction - Vic Carucci

SI - Cleveland Browns are mess; New Orleans Saints success is run - Peter King

SN - These elevators are going through the roof - Clifton Brown

CBS - Game-breaker Jackson becomes draft home run for Eagles - Clark Judge

NFP - Tavern talk: How Falcons gave away points - Mike Lombardi

FOX - Schein 9: These aren't same, old Texans

ESPN - Frustration and growing pains in Green Bay - Kevin Seifert

NFP - Packers defense comes under fire - Matt Bowen

Y! - Packers looking far from prime-time worthy - Mike Silver
"If Brian Dawkins and Ray Lewis had engaged in a pregame staredown Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, would it still be going on right now?"

PFW - Can it get any worse in Washington? - Keith Schleiden

Y! - Lost identity contributing to Giants' woes - Jason Cole

SI - Alex Smith has San Francisco 49ers headed in right direction - Jerome Bettis
"There's an unwritten rule, Jay Cutler: You can talk crap to players on the field, but you don't direct that at coaches. I don't know how the chatter between the Bears QB and Cleveland defensive coordinator Rob Ryan started this week, but it's just not the way Jay should carry himself. Play the game. Rob Ryan can't make a play; he can't kick your butt on the field. So it shows a complete lack of class to bring him into the fray."

FH - Studs and Duds, Week 8: The Ginn Mill - Shane Bacon
You know, the guy probably took a lot of heat as a kid. But once past that, how awesome is it to have the name "Bacon"?

NFP - Scout’s notebook: defensive review - Wes Bunting

Power Rankings, Etc.

ESPN - NFL Power Rankings Week 9

CBS - Power Rankings: Texans have passing chance against Colts - Pete Prisco

FH - NFL Power Rankings, Week 9: There Will Be Blood - Josh Alper

FOX - NFL Power Rankings - Adrian Hasenmayer
"It was bound to happen. The skeptics were waiting patiently the past few weeks for the Broncos to come back to reality. But don't kick too much dirt on 'em, it's never a good idea to overreact to one game — win or loss."

USAT - USA Today's NFL power rankings

NYT - Week 8 QB Ratings: Favre Rising and Eli Falling - Luis DeLoureiro

PFW - MVP Meter: Favre chasing down Peterson - Dan Parr

PFW - Rookie Meter: Byrd finally cracks top 10 - Mike Holbrook