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Horse Tracks - 8/31/10


Broncos Mailbag: Is a playoff berth a proper goal in Denver? - The Denver Post
Hey, Mike. I am starting to warm up to this Kyle Orton guy. He looks to control a game very well. I personally think the Broncos will be above .500. What do you think? --Armando Villegas, Woodalke, Calif.

Krieger: Broncos may be forced to admit mistake on Smith - The Denver Post
In the long run, Syd'Quan Thompson's 48-yard pick-six and 62-yard punt return might have been the best things to come out of Sunday night's Broncos preseason victory over the Steelers, establishing the rookie's bona fide status as an NFL player.

Broncos won't rush back walking wounded - The Denver Post
There is a distinction Daniel Graham makes, one that won't necessarily bring panic-stricken Broncos fans down from the ledge when it comes to wondering when some of the team's mainstays may be returning to the field, but an idea that makes perfect sense when placed in context.

Broncos' running game still gets incomplete grade - The Denver Post
Three preseason games down, and with the work of the Broncos' starters largely done, the team's rushing attack still is a work in need of progress.

Analysis: Broncos showing signs of why they're playing big linebackers - The Denver Post
The proof will always be in the regular-season pudding, but the Broncos tinkered with their defense during training camp and have flashed a couple of the changes in their three preseason games.

Broncos' Harris anticipating land of 10,000 delicacies - The Denver Post
Broncos offensive tackle Ryan Harris said he wouldn't mind playing four quarters in the final preseason game Thursday night at Minnesota because Minneapolis is his hometown.

Jason Hunter moving up | All Things Broncos
Indications are the Broncos will be moving Jason Hunter into more playing time _ either as a starter or on passing downs _ at the outside linebacker position opposite Robert Ayers in their 3-4 system.

Q&A: For the Broncos' sake, their four first-round picks in the last two drafts had better produce - The Denver Post
Q: Am I nuts? I look back at the Broncos' last two drafts, and they could have had Brian Orakpo, Maurkice Pouncey and Mike Iupati and still may have been able to select Knowshon Moreno. What am I missing in terms of drafting talented players? Tim Tebow was a reach as a first-round pick in this year's draft and probably cost the Broncos at least one future all-pro lineman. Oh, yes, and a real pass rusher. Robert Ayers has some tools, but where is his production?

The Broncos defensive line is experimenting with 4-man front | All Things Broncos
The Broncos are — and will remain — primarily a 3-4 defense, but the team is experimenting with a four-man front.

Aaron Smith treats Steelers to local dinner after game | All Things Broncos
After the preseason game here Sunday night, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith, who stared at Northern Colorado and Colorado Springs Sierra High School, picked up the tab on the post-game spread for his teammates and coaches tonight.

Maurice Clarett to play with Omaha | All Things Broncos
Former Broncos running back Maurice Clarett is a professional player again. news: Gimme 5: Which rookies will have the biggest impact?
1. Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers The Chargers cleared the path for Ryan Mathews by releasing LaDainian Tomlinson and moving up in the draft to select the Fresno State running back. Mathews will be the featured back for a team that fell to 31st in rushing last season. With Philip Rivers directing the offense and checking in and out of plays to put the team in the best situation, Mathews is going to get a lot of plays against two high safeties worried more about the pass more than the run. Tomlinson had 223 carries last year, and Ryan will get all of those and more. news: Del Rio on Jones-Drew: surgery 'is not necessary'
Jaguars Pro Bowl running back Maurice Jones-Drew has not had knee surgery, Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio said Monday. news: It's complicated: How to get to the final 53-man roster
Most of you have put together your fantasy teams with great detail and thought to ensure you have a great season, covering as many situations as possible. Well, the same applies to every team in the NFL. As teams cut down their rosters, they are not always picking the best 53 players, but trying to assemble the best team possible. Building the best possible team means having great players in every phase of football -- offense, defense and, most importantly, special teams.

Arian Foster of the Houston Texans among Week 3 preseason winners - ESPN
Dress rehearsals are over in the NFL as 32 teams completed the critical third week of the preseason, the week in which starters generally play until the second half.

Cleveland Browns expect Ndamukong Suh facemask penalty to be reviewed - ESPN
Detroit Lions rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh grabbed Jake Delhomme's face mask, twisted it, wrapped his arms around the Browns quarterback's head and slammed him to the ground.

Veteran CB Cortland Finnegan finally healthy, returns to practice - ESPN
Tennessee veteran cornerback Cortland Finnegan returned to practice Monday after missing the past three weeks and the first three preseason games with an injured groin and hip flexor.

Oakland Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell practices, appears OK - ESPN
Oakland Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell is practicing again. Whether he'll play in Thursday's preseason finale is uncertain.

Buffalo Bills RB Marshawn Lynch set to test sore ankle in practice - ESPN
Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn Lynch is scheduled to test his sore ankle in practice Tuesday.

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan expects to have a great defense, even without Darrelle Revis - ESPN New York
The New York Jets agreed not to say anything publicly on the Darrelle Revis contract dispute, but coach Rex Ryan said plenty on Monday, delivering a not-so-subtle message to the Revis camp.

Four key Dallas Cowboys starters ready to return after injuries - ESPN Dallas
Four key Dallas Cowboys will return to practice Tuesday after extended absences due to injuries, coach Wade Phillips said.

Coy Ken Whisenhunt says Arizona Cardinals QB decision yet to be made - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals are home after a week on the road, dragging a quarterback controversy that shows no sign of any quick resolution.

Troy Polamalu's hair insured for $1 million by Head and Shoulders - ESPN
Just call Troy Polamalu the man with the million dollar hair.

NFL suspends Purify for one game | National Football Post
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Maurice Purify has been suspended without pay for one game for a violation of the NFL personal conduct policy, according to the league.

Rashad Jeanty's agent sounds off | National Football Post
The Cincinnati Bengals have drawn heavy criticism for failing to disagnose that wide receiver Antonio Bryant had a major knee problem, which ultimately led the team to dump him Sunday after signing him to a $28 million contract this spring.

Jim Brown says Browns violated his agreement | National Football Post
Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown reiterated that he won't attend the Cleveland Browns' upcoming Ring of Honor ceremony, making those intentions clear in a letter addressed to team president Mike Holmgren.

Lardarius Webb not expected to play in preseason finale | National Football Post
Baltimore Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb is unlikely to play Thursday night against the St. Louis Rams, according to coach John Harbaugh.

Bears waive QB Matt Gutierrez | National Football Post
The Chicago Bears are down to needing to make one roster move to reach the 75-man limit by Tuesday afternoon.

Report: Cardinals could wind up cutting Leinart | National Football Post
Ken Whisenhunt hasn’t gotten around to announcing yet that Derek Anderson will be the team’s starting quarterback. We explained here on Sunday how this is a no-brainer. While Leinart was measured with his comments on the issue last week when he was replaced as the starter just for the third preseason game at Chicago, he was more forthright today.

Colts place Kevin Thomas on injured reserve | National Football Post
The Indianapoilis Colts have placed third-round rookie cornerback Kevin Thomas on injured reserve, getting down to the roster limit of 75 players.

Owen Daniels passes physical, activated | National Football Post
Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels passed his physical and was activated from the physically unable to perform list today. news: Redskins WR Kelly reinjures hamstring; McNabb, Portis still out
Washington Redskins receiver Malcolm Kelly pulled his left hamstring again Monday, a major setback in his bid to make the opening day roster, while Donovan McNabb and Clinton Portis remain unable to practice with sprained ankles.

Greed is good for Titans, Johnson - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Chris Johnson has heard the skeptical chatter, and he dispels it as quickly as he hits the crease on a cutback run. In the wake of a sensational second season in which he became the sixth NFL runner to eclipse the 2,000-yard plateau, the Tennessee Titans’ Autobahn-fast halfback scoffs at the notion that he’ll settle into the spoils of stardom and lose some of his drive.

Childress says he's seen 'evolution' in Jackson - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Tarvaris Jackson(notes) is entrenched as Minnesota’s backup to quarterback Brett Favre(notes), despite sharp play in exhibition games this month by Sage Rosenfels(notes).

Peyton Manning worried new rule will slow down hurry-up offense - Peter King -
Odd, sort of, to be reviewing the most important week of the preseason and writing mainly about the impact of an officiating decision. But the most intriguing event of the third round of games has to do with officiating, and the effect of moving the umpire from the defensive to the offensive side of the ball so he won't be such a defenseless target in the middle of pass patterns.

As NFL season approaches, Jets, Patriots hate each other - Dan Shaughnessy -
The pro football season can't start soon enough. Here in New England, we can't wait for Week 2 when the Patriots play the Jets at the new football theatre off exit 16W in the Meadowlands.

An 18-game NFL schedule would be bad for the players - Jeff Pearlman -
Dear NFL Player: As you surely know, your league is in the process of trying to increase the regular season from 16 to 18 games while eliminating two preseason contests. Perhaps you're excited about this. A little more money in the pocket. Extra exposure. Increased dashes through the secondary and rushes toward the quarterback. You love football. You live for football. You've probably said, "I'd play this game for free" 500 times -- and you've always meant it.

Cincy chemistry just one of NFL's mysteries - NFL News - FOX Sports on MSN
Three weeks through the NFL preseason, we’ve answered several of the lingering questions from the summer. Will Brett Favre be the Vikings quarterback? Yes. Will the Panthers start Matt Moore over Jimmy Clausen? Yes. Will Tom Brady really sport a Justin Bieber haircut? Absolutely.