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Horse Tracks - 9/2/10


Broncos' running game remains in limbo - The Denver Post
"We may not be in midseason form on Sept. 12, but it doesn't matter — we can't take a mulligan," Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said.

Woody's Mailbag: 18-game NFL season is doable with certain changes - The Denver Post
Woody, what's your take on an 18-game season? It seems easy to figure out. Expand the rosters by five players and rest the starters for two games or a few quarters along the way. This brings a little more strategy to the game, like a baseball manager having to bring relievers to the mound or figure out which games are best to rest the superstars (also good for talent disparity).

Starters will play most of first quarter - The Denver Post
And the Broncos close out the preseason tonight, trying to walk the line between staying healthy and being ready. Unlike Mike Shanahan, who often kept his starters and top backups out of the preseason finale, Broncos coach Josh McDaniels figures to play some of his starters well into the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings.

Five goals for Broncos in preseason finale at Minnesota - The Denver Post
NFL reporter Mike Klis provides five goals for the Broncos in their final preseason game tonight:

Analysis: Moreno a big piece of the Broncos' puzzle - The Denver Post
It has taken some time for running back Knowshon Moreno to heal enough to return to the practice field, yet the Broncos need him to have a quick start when the regular season begins Sept. 12 at Jacksonville.

Q&A: Brady Quinn doesn't have firm grip on Broncos' No. 2 QB job - The Denver Post
Q: Where does Brady Quinn stand today?

Sources: Ben Roethlisberger to ask NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to reduce suspension - ESPN
In Friday's meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Ben Roethlisberger's representatives plan to ask the commissioner to reduce the six-game suspension by at least three games, bringing along team president Arthur J. Rooney II to the New York meeting to support the quarterback's case, sources with knowledge of upcoming proceedings told ESPN.

Teams in discussions about trading for Matt Leinart, sources say - ESPN
The Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders and New York Giants have had discussions about trading for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart, league sources tell ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

49ers coach Mike Singletary separates Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree - ESPN
Mike Singletary had to separate tight end Vernon Davis and wide receiver Michael Crabtree after the players got into a heated discussion at practice Wednesday.

Arizona Cardinals sign defensive tackle Darnell Dockett to contract extension - ESPN
Darnell Dockett finally has the contract he feels he deserves.

NFL makes adjustments with umpire positioning - ESPN
The NFL will move umpires back to their old spots during the final five minutes of Thursday's preseason games.

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant wants to play in preseason finale, but won't - ESPN Dallas
Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant wants to play in Thursday's preseason finale against the Miami Dolphins at Cowboys Stadium, but understands why he can't.

Maurice Clarett sidesteps past, focused on future in UFL - ESPN
Maurice Clarett sidestepped questions about his past Wednesday in his first comments since signing with Omaha's United Football League team, saying he wants to discuss what lies ahead.

Ochocinco talks up new touchdown celebration against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium - ESPN Boston
In anticipation of the season-opener against the New England Patriots on Sept. 12 at Gillette Stadium, Ochocinco is already planning his touchdown celebration.

Sources: Two trades being monitored by NFLPA - ESPN
The NFL Players Association is monitoring a little-known "85-percent rule" after two minor trades this week involving rookie players were made even as confusion reigned over the rule's application.

Rookie guidelines for a final impression | National Football Post
For most rookies (outside of the top draft picks), tonight is one of the biggest games they will ever play in. For starters, it is their final audition to make the club, see their locker on Monday and join that opening day roster. In addition, it is one final chance to get on tape. The same tapes that are passed around to every pro scouting department in the league. In reality, you are playing for the entire NFL tonight. A big audition. With game checks on the line.

Patriots and Chargers do what they do | National Football Post
While the stalemate between the Jets and Darrelle Revis continues, there is one important fact about that stare down that separates it from other situations around the league. The Jets are trying to negotiate with Revis despite the fact he is only halfway through his six-year rookie contract. They may not be agreeing on the terms, but as anyone watching HBO can tell, Revis has clearly been on their minds. Contrast that with the approach of a couple other teams.

Report: North Carolina to deal with multiple suspensions | National Football Post
After North Carolina suspended its star defensive tackle indefinitely on Wednesday for violating unspecified team rules, we may begin to see the real fallout from the ongoing academic and agent-related investigations at the school.

Santonio Holmes not banned from Jets' facility during suspension | National Football Post
New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes isn't banned from the team's headquarters while he serves a four-game suspension for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy.

Reebok withdraws offer to Brandon Spikes after sex tape surfaces | National Football Post
In the wake of a sex tape surfacing that features New England Patriots rookie linebacker Brandon Spikes and a woman, Spikes has lost an endorsement opportunity.

At long last, Darnell Dockett gets paid | National Football Post
Dockett was playing on a bad contract for him and he hadn’t been happy about it for years. The Cardinals finally made right by him, giving him a four-year contract extension through 2015. The deal reportedly is worth $48 million with $30 million guaranteed. Of course, until the final numbers come in, we won’t know for sure.

Redskins sign John Beck to two-year, $2.25 million extension | National Football Post
Traded to the Washington Redskins this preseason from the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for cornerback Doug Dutch, quarterback John Beck has made a strong impression.

Bears will rest Jay Cutler Thursday night | National Football Post
The Chicago Bears are following the path of many teams as they are going to hold starting quarterback Jay Cutler out of Thursday’s preseason finale at Cleveland. news: Derailed by injuries, depression, Andrews on road to recovery
Shawn Andrews has heard all of this firsthand, whether on talk radio, through the grapevine or, at times, even in his own locker room in Philly. This became his unsightly brand in league circles and even now, as the former Pro Bowl tackle progresses in his comeback with the New York Giants, the whispers haven't really subsided. news: Still The Man? Tomlinson reaches a crossroads with Jets
What aging athlete deemed past his prime by everybody but himself hasn't gone to that well? Let alone a future Hall of Famer with something to prove to the franchise (Chargers) he was once the face of and a city (San Diego) where he is endeared? news: Ex-Bengal Bryant to have bothersome knee examined, agent says
Antonio Bryant will see a doctor this week to determine the severity of his knee injury, according to his agent, Peter Schaffer

Vikings need to pursue Chargers' Jackson - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Last month, when Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf upgraded Brett Favre’s(notes) deal so that the 40-year-old quarterback could earn up to $20 million in 2010, some of Wilf’s peers rolled their eyes.

Jets, Cowboys don't look like real contenders - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Rex Ryan stepped to the podium on Tuesday wearing his typical smile and playfully mocked the hyper-intense coverage of NFL training camps. The New York Jets coach had a scoop after all, so with a laugh he noted that defensive back Antonio Cromartie(notes) had suffered a "hip thing" and missed a whopping two plays of a team drill.

NFL holdouts need a better plan - NFL News - FOX Sports on MSN
But this year it just seems like an epidemic. All-Pro Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is only the most obvious. There are also Chargers left tackle Marcus McNeill, Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson and another All-Pro, Patriots guard Logan Mankins. We’re heading into the preseason’s final stretch, and some pretty key pieces have yet to report.

Buzz: Latest news from NFL training camps - NFL News - FOX Sports on MSN
Cleveland Browns third-round pick QB Colt McCoy will get his last chance this preseason to impress his coaches. He’s scheduled to split the snaps with Brett Ratliff during Thursday evening’s home game against the Bears.

Saints aim to become NFC South's first repeat champion - Don Banks -
In the eight-division NFL, the NFC South stands alone as a remarkable testament to the model of parity the league strives so diligently to achieve. Everyone truly has a chance to win every year in the NFC South, where for seven years in a row the last-place team from the year before has made the playoffs the following season, and there has not been a single repeat playoff qualifier yet in the eight-year history of the division (2002-2009).

Matt Leinart's future with Arizona Cardinals is shaky; Jim Brown feuding  with Cleveland Browns - Peter King -
I still think it's more likely Leinart is on the opening day roster than he isn't. But he's not doing himself any favors by speaking out against the decision to give Derek Anderson snaps with the first unit over him -- either with the coaching staff or in the team-chemistry department.