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Horse Tracks 12/10/09 - Dawkins practices, Bruton held out; Harris placed on IR, replaced by Herb Taylor on roster

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Good MORNING, MHR Friends!! Mrs. Lee and I are back from Barcelona, and we had a great trip; belated thanks for all of your kind words and wishes. Frankly, I wouldn't mind eating like a Catalan for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, we weren't able to see the Broncos' whipping of the Chefs, and I certainly feel a bit out of the loop here. Thanks as always to John for filling in more than admirably. I missed you folks! Now, let's get to the news!

DB - Week 14 - Wed: McDaniels - Broncos TV

NFL Films Presents - McDaniels high school roots

DPP - Dawkins healthy enough to practice - Mike Klis

DPP - Colts' pass-rushing defensive ends provide challenge for Broncos - Mike Klis
"In a 10-year span from 1998 to 2007, Broncos nickelback Ty Law registered 11 interceptions, including playoffs, against Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. No other defender has more picks against Manning...Harris was replaced on the roster Wednesday by tackle Herb Taylor, who spent two seasons with Kansas City before he was released in training camp...Special-teamer David Bruton was held out of practice Wednesday with a thigh injury."

DPP - Broncos' Buckhalter better than ever at age 31 - Jeff Legwold
"I am faster, no doubt, but when I first came in the league I was 231 (pounds)," Buckhalter said. "Then I hurt my knee. After my first knee surgery, I got down to 225 for the next couple years. Then I hurt my other knee twice, so I wanted to get down some more. So now I play at 218." Remember all those alarm bells when McD said Buck was the fastest Broncos back?

LTC - The Linchpin - Brian Howell
"The Broncos’ trust in Larsen as a fullback has become evident the past few weeks. He lined up at fullback on 22 of the Broncos’ 40 runs against the Giants, and he was on the field just as much Sunday."

DB - Remembering The Barrelman - Jim Saccomano
RIP, Barrel Man. Our thoughts go out to the McKernan family.

DPP - Mailbag: A 'Barrel' of fun - Woody Paige
"A lot has been lost in the move to the new stadium, and (Barrel Man's) absence is one of those missing pieces. I thought about it today and feel the Broncos should honor Tim at the Oakland game (a natural) with a moment of cheering, not silence, and honor him permanently in some way. "

DB - Week 14 - Wed: Orton - Broncos TV

DB - Week 14 - Wed: Dawkins - Broncos TV

DB - Familiarity Breeds Respect - Gray Caldwell

DB - Stepping Back Into Starting Shoes - Chris Gentilviso

INDT - Broncos’ mission is clear - Hunter Ansley

DPP - Colts' Peyton Manning more accurate than ever before going into Broncos game - Mike Klis

DPP - Q&A: How much planning resulted in the trend toward the running game? - Jeff Legwold

DPP - Analysis: Colts tough to stop in second half - Jeff Legwold

DPP - Almost all of Broncos' roads lead to Indianapolis (again) - Woody Paige

DPP - Broncos' Barrel Man deserves some Rocky Mountain Thunder - Woody Paige

DPP - Numbers: Broncos hope upset bid doesn't flag

CSG - Broncos' hopes rest on veteran secondary - Frank Schwab

CSG - Broncos notes: Coyer succeeds - Frank Schwab

CBS4 - Buckhalter: December Is Critical For Playoff Run - Matthew Buettner

CBS4 - Broncos Ryan Harris Out For Season, Taylor Signed

KDVR - Hard to think Broncos can beat Indy - Chris Tanaka

Y! - Belichick's clan replacing loyalty with ugliness - Mike Silver
"So yes, Mr. Vrabel – McDaniels was most certainly trying to show you who your daddy is. Or perhaps he was telling Pioli, "I’m Bill’s best and brightest, not you." Or maybe it had something to do with retribution for the Cassel trade, which didn’t exactly play out the way the Broncos had hoped, at least at the time."

SN - Broncos vs. Colts Preview - Mike Chappell & Lee Rasizer

Colts News

IS - Orton delivers only stat that matters - Mike Chappell

IS - Painter now No. 2 QB after Sorgi goes on IR - Phil Richards

IS - Colts' defense dominates after halftime - Phillip Wilson

IS - Other Colts step up as defenses take away Wayne - Mike Chappell

IS - Winning formula for Colts? No errors - Phil Richards

IS - Ask the Expert: Colts - Mike Chappell

NYT - Don’t Ask the Colts About Going Undefeated - Greg Bishop

AFC West News

SDUT - Phillips still has players’ hearts and minds - Chris Jenkins

SDUT - Chargers keeping in focus - Kevin Acee

SDUT - LT expects an 'emotional' game against Dallas - Kevin Acee

SDUT - McNeill's got his gigantic hands full - Tim Sullivan

FH - Gannon: Gradkowski What Raiders Need - Nancy Gay

OT - Defensive assistant Randy Hanson returns to work with Raiders but at different job - Steve Corkran

SFC - QB Gradkowski making case that he is 'the man' - Ron Kroichick

SFC - Gradkowski is the bull in Al Davis' china shop - Ray Ratto

KCS - Chiefs' streak of sellouts appears doomed - Randy Covitz

KCS - Chiefs notes: Bills QB Fitzpatrick could have been a Chief - Adam Teicher

NFL News

NFL - Jets' Sanchez no fan of Ryan's decision to rest him, start Clemens

NFL - Lions QB Stafford will rest shoulder vs. Ravens; Culpepper to start

NFL - Patriots WR Moss, three LBs sent home for being late to meeting

NFL - Week 14 injuries: DeAngelo returns; many Vikes hurt

NFL - Now holding on Cowboys' kicks: Tony Romo?

NFL - Fat and sassy: Eagles' Reid jovial after signing three-year extension

NFL - Eagles' Westbrook practices, says he previously returned too soon

NFL - Rams place FS Atogwe on injured reserve, make other roster moves

NFL - Texans RB Slaton out for season after seeing specialist about neck

NFL Opinion

ESPN - Coming to grips with poor tackling - Jeffri Chadiha

SN - Five offenses get over the hump at midseason - Vinnie Iyer

FH - Dirty Dozen: Rookie(s) of the Year - Dave Goldberg

SI - How Tom Brady messed up; NFL helmet mandates coming? - Peter King
"I'd say Josh McDaniels will see how Orton plays down the stretch, and if McDaniels thinks he can significantly upgrade in the draft, he'd do it."

SI - Cincinnati Bengals use practice squad to their advantage - Ross Tucker

Y! - Tebow to Jags would be disastrous - Charles Robinson

FOX - The NFL's biggest bargains - Alex Marvez
Doom, BMarsh make the list

FOX - The NFL's biggest rip-offs - Alex Marvez

ESPN - Wild-card races not so wild - John Clayton
"The true value of the trade will be who ends up with the better quarterback. Orton is in the last year of his contract. Cutler has to change his game, but he has talent. You win in this league with quarterback play." Apparently, Clayton has rewritten history; not sure if you got the memo, but the Broncos traded Jay Cutler straight up for Kyle Orton awhile back.

NFL - NFC favorites are clear, but conference playoff picture is unsettled - Steve Wyche

NFL - Patriots have fallen from grace but not the AFC playoff race - Bucky Brooks

NFP - Should the ‘Skins bring back Clinton Portis in 2010? - Matt Bowen

FH - Could Clinton Portis Call It a Career? - R.J. White

NFP - Diner morning news: Should the ‘Skins keep Campbell? - Mike Lombardi

NFP - Rice misses the mark on Green Bay - Andrew Brandt

CBS - Rodgers moves into MVP neighborhood -- not that you've noticed - Mike Freeman
Rodgers is now a .500 QB and rising, with a 96.5 career QB rating. Still don't think he's great?

SI - Chris Johnson more than just speed for Titans - Lee Jenkins

NFP - Tavern talk: Quinn still needs improvement - Mike Lombardi

Picks/Previews/Stats/Power Rankings

NYT - Thursday’s Matchup: Steelers at Browns - Mike Tanier

PFW - Week 14 matchup tidbits

SN - Week 14 picks: Mannings home in on tough matchups - Vinnie Iyer

FOX - Cheat Sheet: Cliffnotes for Week 14 - Peter Schrager
"The Pick: Colts 34, Broncos 20"

NYT - Week 14 N.F.L. Game Probabilities: The Unluckiest Teams - Brian Burke

NYT - Week 13 QB Ratings: Rivers and Brees Entwined - Luis DeLoureiro

SI - Saints, Colts remain at top - Don Banks
"I don't see Denver making any real noise in January, but just getting into the Super Bowl tournament after the offseason the youthful McDaniels endured is no small accomplishment."

FH - NFL Power Rankings, Week 14: Best of the Rest - Josh Alper

ESPN - NFL Power Rankings Week 14

SI All-Decade Columns

SI - 2000s: The Decade in Sports - NFL: 10 signature moments

SI - Tom Brady, Patriots are tops in NFL decade; Lions at bottom - Peter King

SI - Patriots scored in decade with trades for Randy Moss, Wes Welker - Don Banks

SI - Peyton Manning, Randy Moss, Ray Lewis lead NFL All-Decade team - Peter King