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Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks - 1/24/11

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Welcome to the "Broncos?  What Broncos?" Edition of Horsetracks.  There was barely a whisper of Broncos news out there today, and frankly, unless it is bad news, there probably won't be anything until after the Superbowl and Trgovac stops playing. Today's news was dominated by discussion of, what else, yesterday's championship games, and something about a guy named Jay Cutler...

Power trip to Arlington, Texas: Traditional winners Steelers and Packers meet for the ultimate prize in Super Bowl - The Denver Post
But even with all that, this game's signature will likely be written by the two former co-workers now calling defensive signals for these two teams. Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers were on Bill Cowher's first coaching staff in Pittsburgh, Capers as the coordinator and LeBeau as the defensive backs coach.

Former Bronco Trevor Pryce a fan of Fox | All Things Broncos
"I think they are heading in a direction that will make that town very, very pleased. They hired the correct man for that job. That’s the best decision they could have made," Pryce said. "You guys watch what happens."

Paige: The real America's teams will stand up in Super Bowl - The Denver Post
They convene near Dallas, home of the counterfeit America's Team. The Pack is back; the Steel is for real.

Steelers-Packers Super Bowl a dream scenario for fans, more Snap Judgments - Don Banks -
If there are two more fervent fan bases in the NFL, with loyalists who are willing to pick up and travel wherever their favorite team is playing, I couldn't imagine who would rank higher than the good folks of Pittsburgh and Green Bay. By the time the hype ends, Super Bowl XLV might just wind up being one of the toughest tickets in NFL history.


Super Bowl XLV, Packers and Steelers, is one for history books - Peter King -
The matchup is a reward to two organizations that built teams. Part of the reason is history, part is big-time quarterbacks, part is that it's the Super Bowl. But I contend part is what each team has gone through to get here. The depth that Steeler director of football operations Kevin Colbert built may be rivaled this year by the depth built by only one man -- Green Bay GM Ted Thompson.

Dusty Saunders: Analyst Aikman makes his words count - The Denver Post
Aikman's analysis was superior to that of CBS' Phil Simms in the AFC title game. Simms, who also has an extensive quarterback background from his playing days with the New York Giants, is knowledgeable but tends to talk too much. Aikman, unlike many of his mouthy contemporaries, rarely offers commentary or hindsight after leaving the Sunday booth.

Steelers Notebook: Running game took flight against Jets
Pouncey said he knew he would not be able to return to the game as soon as the injury occurred. He said he heard a pop in the ankle after a Jets defensive lineman rolled up on him. "It was the worst pain ever," he said. Pouncey said he had a similar injury when he was a sophomore at Florida, and he came back to play the next game. He said he expets to hear from trainers today how badly the ankle is injured.

NFL Playoffs: Mark Sanchez says headset malfunctioned during New York Jets' loss - ESPN New York
"It never really happened for that long of a time," Sanchez said. "We had to use a walkie-talkie at one point and [offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer] was just yelling calls in at one point. It was just another challenge, and we almost overcame it." Blogs " Blog Archive By the numbers: Jets-Steelers "
The Steelers will make their eighth Super Bowl appearance, which ties the Cowboys for most all-time. It’s their third Super Bowl appearance in the last six seasons.

Vegas insiders install Packers as slight Super Bowl favorite - NFL -
The Glantz-Culver line made the Packers an early 2 1/2-point favorite and put the total score at 45 1/2 points for the Feb. 6 game in Arlington, Texas.

Rex Ryan says those who criticize the Jets "really got no right" | ProFootballTalk
A defiant Rex Ryan took to the podium after Sunday's AFC title game loss to the Steelers.  And he said plans to be back next year.  And he said he plans to make good next year on this year's vow to get to the Super Bowl and win it. "Our goal for next year, I got news for you," Ryan said.


Jay Cutler Branded a Quitter by NFL Players on Twitter -- NFL FanHouse
Derrick Brooks, former Buccaneers LB -- @DBrooks55 "HEY there is no medicine for a guy with no guts and heart"

Criticism of Cutler mounts | ProFootballTalk
Former NFL lineman and current ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth wrote, "As a guy how had 20 knee surgeries you’d have to drag me out on a stretcher to Leave a championship game!"

Lovie Smith's Postgame Remarks on Jay Cutler -
On whether Jay tried to talk his way back in "Hey guys, he hurt his knee and he was out, alright. There’s nothing else for me to tell you on that. I don’t know exactly when it happened, he couldn’t go and that was that. Let’s go to some other questions."

Don't question Jay Cutler's toughness - Jim Trotter -
Cutler appeared genuinely hurt when asked about the comments, saying: "No comment on that." He then turned his back to reporters, fiddled with some things on a shelf and bit his lip as tears welled.

Brian Urlacher: Don’t question Jay Cutler’s toughness | ProFootballTalk
"Jay was hurt," Urlacher said.. "I don’t question his toughness. He’s one of the toughest guys on our — he’s tough as hell. He’s one of the toughest guys on our football team. He doesn’t bitch, he doesn’t complain when he gets hit, he goes out there and plays his ass off every Sunday, practices every day. So, no, we don’t question his toughness."


Dick Jauron Joins Browns' Coaching Staff as Defensive Coordinator -- NFL FanHouse
Jauron made his mark in the NFL in 2001 when he was selected by the Associated Press as the NFL Coach of the Year, in which he led the Bears (1999-2003) to their first Central Divisional title since 1990 and topped the league in total points allowed at 203 and second in rushing yards allowed at 82.1per game with a 13-3 record. After the former fourth-round selectee (from Yale where he set numerous records) by the Lions in 1973 left the Bears, Jauron had a two-year stint with the organization that drafted him before he ventured to Buffalo to coach the Bills from 2006 to 2009. news: Report: Colts make first contract offer to Manning's agent
Manning's franchise tag, at 110 percent of last year's salary, is projected to be slightly more than $23 million, according to ESPN. news: Report: Palmer might retire if Bengals don't grant trade request
The Bengals' official website said text messages and phone calls to Palmer weren't returned. The Bengals, whose coaches arrived in Mobile, Ala., for the Senior Bowl, didn't have a comment on the report.

Dick LeBeau's contact with Pittsburgh Steelers expires after season, sources say - ESPN
The Cardinals have been suspiciously quiet while other NFC West teams have made high-profile moves. The 49ers hired coach Jim Harbaugh, the Rams hired offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and the Seahawks hired former Raiders coach Tom Cable and former Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. news: Idonije, Asomugha, Williams nominated for Man of the Year
Three community-minded NFL players will be recognized during Super Bowl week as finalists for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, it was announced Sunday. Nnamdi Asomugha of the Oakland Raiders, Israel Idonije of the Chicago Bears and Madieu Williams of the Minnesota Vikings are the top candidates for this year's award, named for the legendary Chicago Bears running back who died in 1999.

Sonar search finds what Kenner police suspect is NFL safety's brother |
Volunteer searchers in the Mississippi River today found what was thought to be the body of the missing brother of Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed, Kenner police said.


DeMaurice Smith Takes On the N.F.L. Owners -
"Nobody gets strong without fighting," Mr. Smith, 46, said to the players. "Nobody stays strong without fighting. Nobody negotiates their way to strength. Nobody talks their way to a good deal. Nobody sits down and just has miraculous things happen."

Roger Goodell refutes counterpart on labor talks: This is not 'a war' - The Huddle: Football News from the NFL -
"This is not anywhere near a war," Goodell said. "This is a business dispute that we've got to get resolved."

Gene Upshaw, N.F.L. Union Chief, Dies at 63 - Obituary (Obit) -
Mr. Upshaw was the longtime head of the N.F.L. players association and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. [Ed.note- I'm linking this older Upshaw profile for comparison. Let me know what you get from the differences between Upshaw and Smith.-styg]

Will Goodell Take The Fall For A Lockout?
Initially, I believe that most "mainstream" media types will turn against the players. The most visible faces and outlets naturally gravitate toward the supposed authority figures, the commissioner and the NFL owners....But the anti-player sentiment is unlikely to win mass-market appeal. Football fans want to see football players. They don’t want to see owners or commissioners (unless some sort of trophy presentation is involved). The media depends on these figures for sources and access, but the customer base at-large has no need for either. So when the time comes to assign blame, most folks will be looking for someone in a position of authority.

NFL Labor Dispute: Should Owners Show Players the Money? - TIME
And for fans, well, no football wouldn't just be a bitter disappointment that could rearrange their fall weekend schedules, but also a betrayal of intense loyalty that could permanently damage America's best sports brand.

Poll: 99% oppose Congress acting on NFL lockout - Game On!: Covering the Latest Sports News took a poll on whether Congress should intervene in the NFL labor dispute, and the answer was a resounding no. Out of 3,798 votes, a whopping 3,762 (or 99.05%) said no.

Potential NFL labor dispute clouds future of draft picks | The Tennessean |
While peers such as Stocker and Boling would at least know which teams they'd eventually be playing for, Reveiz and his fellow undrafted free agents — who'd normally be signed in the days after a draft — wouldn't get that answer for who knows how long.


Cam Newton to work with Ben Roethlisberger's QB tutor before NFL draft - ESPN
Whitfield Jr. said he will start preparing Newton for pre-draft evaluations on Monday. Whitfield said that Newton came to him on the advice of Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon.