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Horse Tracks - 5/27/10

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Get to Know: Matthew Willis -
Matthew Willis has always been versatile.

Getting Eddie Involved -
"I really can't put a finger on it," Brandon Stokley said of Royal's 2009 statistics. "He worked hard in the offseason, he was kind of the same guy that he was the year before, just sometimes it doesn't work out for you. Sometimes that year your numbers are down, and you really can't put a finger on it."

Smith poised for bigger role in '10 - The Denver Post
The Broncos signed a cornerback in free agency and selected two more in the draft, but don't exclude 2009 second- round draft pick Alphonso Smith from playing a big role.

Broncos' O-line battles injuries first, foes later - The Denver Post
As Kuper and the Kids lined up to block, an imposing portrait of pessimism limped out of the nearby weight room.

Broncos' Ayers plans to start at OLB in second NFL season - The Denver Post
The Broncos would like Ayers, one of their first-round picks in the 2009 draft (running back Knowshon Moreno was the other), to be a defensive starter when the season begins in September.

Q&A: Climbing the Broncos' depth chart a big challenge for Brandstater - The Denver Post
Q: Why don't we hear more about Broncos quarterback Tom Brandstater? It's always Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn or Tim Tebow. From what I saw in the last preseason game last year, Brandstater looked pretty good. Is he not an NFL quarterback? At 6-feet-5 and 223 pounds, he has the size. And from what I saw, he has a good arm for the longer throws. But I'm not sure about his mobility. What is your take on him? Who actually has the best chance to be the Broncos' starting quarterback this year?

Broncos fantasy football forecast: Not good | All Things Broncos
I figure that since the NFL world has spent so much time this week focusing on something that won’t even happen for three more years (the 2014 Super Bowl), it is totally fair game to talk about something that normally I would consider out of bounds for late May: Fantasy Football.

Woody's Mailbag: Orton not the guy to lead Broncos to Super Bowl championship - The Denver Post
Hey, Paige, why do you spend all your time ragging on Kyle Orton? He is a great young quarterback and will lead the Broncos to the Super Bowl championship. The coach says that Orton is No. 1 and will be the starter, and you want to trade him. When are you and Tim Tebow getting married?

Teammate: Moss did not use HGH - The Denver Post
Washington Redskins receiver Santana Moss has told teammates he received three treatments from the Canadian doctor who was charged last week with smuggling and supplying human growth hormone.

2014 Super Bowl should be labeled the Big Chill - The Denver Post
February in New Jersey — what better place to spend thousands of dollars for a ticket to watch your team in the Super Bowl . . . outside?

Ex-Browns RB Reuben Droughns heads overseas to coach in the CEFL |
Reuben Droughs, who gained 1,232 yards for the Browns in 2005 and built a reputation for toughness in his short NFL career, is moving to Belgrade to coach in the Central European Football League, according to the CEFL's online arm.

Inside the playbook: Brady to Moss | National Football Post
Today, let’s look at another route, one that was put on display by the New England Patriots during the ’09 season when they traveled to Indy to take on the Colts — a club that still plays plenty of Tampa 2. First, we’ll break it down on the chalkboard and then move over to the video replay to see how Tom Brady was able to use play action to get the ball down the field to WR Randy Moss.

Diner morning news: Is Fisher a voice of reason? | National Football Post
Titans head coach Jeff Fisher wants to sit down with star running back Chris Johnson in an effort to bring Johnson into camp. Little known to many people, Johnson’s agent, Joel Segal, was in Nashville last week discussing multiple proposals with general manager Mike Reinfeldt in an effort to reward Johnson for out-playing his rookie contract. Segal knows he’s fighting an uphill battle, but he has Johnson’s two-year production on his side. Segal is attempting to be proactive in his effort to get the team to reward Johnson, and the Titans want players to honor their contracts — at least for the first three years. Both sides have strong positions, and working behind the scenes is best for both.

A deep group of underclassmen DBs | National Football Post
There are no elite Eric Berry-type prospects expected to enter the 2011 draft class, but what we have is a deep, athletic group of players at both safety and cornerback who have the skill sets needed to mature into talented high draft picks by next April. Today, the National Football Post takes a look at the nation’s top underclassman DBs and breaks down their games going into the 2010 season.

A philosophy for a successful career | National Football Post
Over the last 60 days, I’ve had the opportunity to chat closely with my 2010 rookie class about their transitions into the NFL, what to expect and how to be successful.

American Needle decision affirms status quo | National Football Post
Everyone, from the leagues to the teams to the unions to the sports law experts, waited for it, as it was going to potentially be a game-changer in sports. But then the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in the American Needle v. NFL case on Monday, and the only real change or surprise came from the court itself, which seems divided 5-4 on just about everything from abortion to whether it’s blue cheese or ranch dressing with Buffalo wings. It was unanimous in striking down two lower court decisions which said the NFL enjoyed a blanket antitrust protection as a single entity.

Owen Daniels to miss Texans' training camp | National Football Post
Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels will be out for training camp due to his torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Former Ravens, Browns scout heads to Philadelphia | National Football Post
The Philadelphia Eagles have hired former Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns scout Daniel Jeremiah, author of the popular Move the Sticks blog and podcast.

Orlando Scandrick sidelined with "shattered" finger | National Football Post
Orlando Scandrick, who in two seasons has gone from a fifth-round draft pick to a building block for the future of the Dallas Cowboys defense, will be sidelined perhaps until the start of training camp.

Keith Bulluck nearly back from torn ACL | National Football Post
Veteran free agent linebacker Keith Bulluck is nearly healthy enough to get a job.

Agnone to work out for Dolphins today | National Football Post
Former New England Patriots tight end Robbie Agnone is set to work out for the Miami Dolphins today, according to his agent, J.R. Rickert.

Dwayne Bowe tells Eddie Kennison he didn't make 'importing' comments | National Football Post
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has come up with a novel explanation for his controversial claims about players 'importing' women to the team hotel during his rookie season: He didn't say it.

Travis Johnson signs his restricted tender | National Football Post
San Diego Chargers defensive lineman Travis Johnson signed his first-round restricted tender, a one-year contract worth $1.226 million.

Ray Rice: 'It's all about having fun' | National Football Post
Ray Rice accelerated into the end zone and didn’t break stride until he left the ground, leaping into the air to dunk the football over the crossbar.

Judge dismisses lawsuit against Brady, Gisele | National Football Post
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen, scored a touchdown in the courtroom today.

Reed Doughty signs tender with Redskins | National Football Post
The Washington Redskins announced that veteran safety Reed Doughty has signed his tender as a restricted free agent. That leaves the team with only two RFA’s who have yet to sign – linebacker Rocky McIntosh and cornerback Carlos Rogers. The deadline for RFA’s to sign before clubs can reduce the amount of their tender to 110 percent of their 2009 base salary is June 15.

In New Orleans, four RFA's remain unsigned | National Football Post
In the first week of OTA’s, four of the club’s restricted free agents have yet to sign on the dotted line. With 20 days until the deadline where teams can reduce an RFA’s tender offer to 110 percent of his 2009 base salary, it is unclear when those players will be under contract.

Antonio Gates gets his foot examined | National Football Post
San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates was excused from minicamp to have his foot examined by a North Carolina specialist, the team announced.

Chargers tell Ellison to skip minicamp; Gates to see foot doctor
Many players were noticeably absent Wednesday when the San Diego Chargers reconvened as a full team for the first time since their playoff loss to the New York Jets.

Don't buy into myth that rookie pass rush flops will improve
A few weeks ago, I presented what the expectations should be from rookie pass rushers in the NFL. Even the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Tamp Bay's Gerald McCoy, agrees with me that 30 tackles and three-to-four sacks is a heck of a rookie season.

Don't buy into idea that NY/NJ Super Bowl is a one-time thing
Before and after the New York/New Jersey area was awarded the 2014 Super Bowl, several NFL owners said not to expect a rash of cold-weather teams to apply for or be awarded Super Bowls in the future. It's New York. It's New Meadowlands Stadium. It's a one-time thing, with the New York element carrying major sway, some of them said

Urlacher, defense need to lead charge if Bears are to rebound
Brian Urlacher took exception to the critical comments recently issued by Hall of Famer Gale Sayers, but the former Bears great was simply pointing out the elephant in the room.

Giants hope rehabbing safety Phillips will be back for training camp
The New York Giants remain optimistic that they will have top safety Kenny Phillips back for training camp this summer, a source with knowledge of the situation revealed Wednesday.

Labor issue about to blow up on NFL - NFL News - FOX Sports on MSN
In homage to one of television’s greatest action shows, here is a 24-style way to view labor negotiations between the NFL and its players union.

Natalie Gulbis calls Ben Roethlisberger 'a great guy' - News - FOX Sports on MSN
LPGA golfer Natalie Gulbis played a round of golf with ex-boyfriend Ben Roethlisberger and called the troubled Steelers quarterback "a great guy.''

Holmgren shows why he's the boss - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
He is a man in charge of everything now and yet nothing is like what Mike Holmgren’s football world has ever been.

Jared Allen abandons the mayonnaise-laden mullet lifestyle - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
Minnesota Viking defensive end Jared Allen(notes), perhaps the world's foremost proponent of the mullet, is abandoning the lifestyle for his future wife. It's a lifestyle to which he seemed to have committed to just a few months ago.