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Horse Tracks - 2/23/10 - Darrent Williams' murder trial set to begin


Good Morning Broncos Country!  Today is a somber day, but one that we all hope will be the beginning of healing for the family of Darrent Williams.  The man police believed killed Williams in the early morning hours of January 1, 2007, Willie Clark, will go on trial with opening arguments set for today.  Time as a way of desensitizing us, but my goal here at MHR is to keep Williams memory alive and as such will be keeping close tabs on the trial.

How about some football talk for a minute.  The offensive line was an issue for the Broncos, especially in the middle.  We know we likely need a center - and they certainly don't grow on trees.  How about a quick fix while we develop a guy?  One of the nastiest centers in football is set to become a free agent.  Kevin Mawae is set to become an Unrestricted Free Agent after it appears the Titans want to go a different direction.  Anyone share my interest??

VIDEO - 2009 Special Teams Plays of the Year -
Special teams highlights and radio calls from last season.

Fielding His Role -
On the first day of 2009 training camp, Ronald Fields was direct about his plans for the regular season.

Broncos coach McDaniels, GM Xanders on same page - The Denver Post
Broncos coach Josh McDaniels received accolades as a young genius when Denver started the 2009 season 6-0. He also received the full brunt of criticism when the Broncos lost eight of their last 10 games.

Opening arguments to begin in Darrent Williams' death - ESPN
Opening arguments are set for a man on trial for the drive-by shooting death of Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams.

Jurors chosen for trial in killing of Broncos' Darrent Williams - The Denver Post
Ten men and eight women of diverse age, race and ethnicity were picked to serve as jurors for the two-week trial of Willie D. Clark in the killing of Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams. Six of them will be alternates.

Chargers release veteran RB LaDanian Tomlinson | All Things Broncos
The Chargers on Monday released veteran running back LaDanian Tomlinson, who was one of the league’s biggest stars over the last decade. The move isn’t surprising — few expected Tomlinson to be back in San Diego in 2010, which will be his 10th year in the NFL — but it still is startling to see it in print.

Patriots use franchise tag on defensive tackle Vince Wilfork | All Things Broncos
With the start of the free agency now about a week and a half away, the New England Patriots made the first major move by slapping the franchise tag on free-agent-to-be Vince Wilfork.

MMQB - Peter King -
The top candidate, I think, will be Baltimore investigating Marshall or Jackson. The Broncos, despite what coach Josh McDaniels might say about being open to keeping Marshall, want to get a good deal for him and be rid of the guy who averages two or three team-dividing headaches a year.

So what of the receiver situation? - Extra Points -
I spoke with Marshall in December after his record-breaking day in Indianapolis, and while he was affable and open about his big afternoon, the receiver would really only say about Josh McDaniels' offense that "The transition took some time for me" and "We're still jelling." So even though he's a good enough athlete to fit anywhere, it's clear he was a little lukewarm about the system. And then there's what McDaniels said about trading for Matt Cassel at last year's owner's meetings.

Is too much stock put in the combine? | National Football Post
The issues is — and always has been — directed at judging players, football players, out of pads in stale, dry testing environments. Can we really judge an offensive tackle, a safety, a corner or even a quarterback by what he does standing in a controlled environment — an inside controlled environment — in front of scouts, coaches, GMs and owners, most of them equipped with stopwatches and notepads?

Diner morning news: Do 40 times really matter? | National Football Post
The question most often asked at the NFL Combine this week will be, "What did you run?" No other event will generate more interest than the 40-yard dash. Paul Brown, the great Browns coach and Bengals founder, never could have imagined that the test he invented would become so significant and vital in evaluating potential NFL players. But does the 40 really matter? Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith both will enter the Hall of Fame this year, yet their 40 times were not Hall of Fame-worthy. So is this test the real deal when evaluating prospects? For example, have you ever heard of Greg Richardson from Alabama? He ran 4.26 and 4.28 in 1987 and was drafted in the sixth round by the Colts, but he never played for them and bounced around the league, spending just two years in the NFL.

The combine’s ‘wow’ players | National Football Post
With the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine just days away, the National Football Post takes a look at prospects who seem poised to impress this week at Indianapolis.

Offseason stories to watch: part two | National Football Post
On Friday, we took our first look at five of the top 10 stories percolating in the long, cold and potentially divisive NFL offseason. We now continue with the top five, dominated by the labor strife that seems to be settling in over football these days. The sides appear to be moving farther apart rather than closer together, with a high-ranking league official commenting to me over the weekend about the union, "They just don’t get it." Strong words.

Report: Peppers will be a free agent | National Football Post
If there was any doubt about it, apparently the Carolina Panthers will erase it later today when they announce that they will not apply the franchise tag to defensive end Julius Peppers.

Biggs: Playgirl will donate $1 million if Vick poses nude | National Football Post
Playgirl has offered the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback an offer it hopes he can’t refuse. The magazine claims it will donate $1 million to PETA if Vick takes it all off and poses for the magazine, according to Life & Style magazine. Talk about a naked bootleg.

Wilson: LT looking for new team, Super Bowl ring | National Football Post
In the wake of his release from the San Diego Chargers, veteran running back LaDainian Tomlinson is looking forward to the future.

Wilson: T.O. not heading to Cincinnati? | National Football Post
Terrell Owens' latest job search isn't expected to wind up with him playing for the Cincinnati Bengals despite a lot of lobbying from Chad Ochocinco.

Wilson: Eric Berry signs with Chad Speck | National Football Post
Following a hotly contested recruiting battle, University of Tennessee All-American safety Eric Berry signed with Chad Speck.

Wilson: Mawae to hit free agency | National Football Post
In the latest confirmation that veteran center Kevin Mawae could be leaving the Tennessee Titans via free agency, the eight-time Pro Bowl blocker's agent said that there are no talks happening with his current employer.

Saints decide not to use $6.455M franchise tag on safety Sharper
The New Orleans Saints informed free safety Darren Sharper on Monday that they will not apply the franchise tag to him, according to a league source.

Franchise and transition tender amounts
Get the amounts due for franchise tags and the top cap figures for every position.

Work in progress: Tebow won't throw in Indy while he alters delivery
Tim Tebow struggled at the Senior Bowl last month and said afterward that he was "definitely open" to improving his fundamentals. It appears that he's a man of his word.

Devaney: Rams not discussing blockbuster draft trade with Bucs
St. Louis Rams general manager Billy Devaney denied Internet reports that the team was discussing a trade to send the No. 1 overall draft pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for first- and third-round selections and quarterback Josh Johnson.

L.T. could be the missing piece for a Super Bowl contender
LaDainian Tomlinson will play football again. But wherever he lands, don't expect him to be the missing piece to maybe get you to football's Holy Grail. If Tomlinson's next team gets to the Super Bowl, he will be a part, not the reason.

Fringe first-rounders have shot to assert themselves at combine
It is time to shift gears from the playing field and head to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis to evaluate the draft prospects for 2010. I will be broadcasting my radio show from the combine Friday, Saturday and Sunday and posting my observations from the big event all week.