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Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks - 2/11/11

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Q&A: Under a new CBA, Panthers and Saints players might be on Broncos' radar - The Denver Post
That said, linebacker Thomas Davis, cornerback Richard Marshall, quarterback Matt Moore and center Ryan Kalil would all be scheduled to be unrestricted free agents under the last CBA. Marshall signed a one-year deal after skipping offseason workouts before the 2010 season.

Broncos rookie Tebow has autobiography coming soon | Denver Business Journal
HarperCollins’ website describes the book this way: "At every step, Tebow’s life has defied convention and expectation. While aspects of his life have been well-documented, the stories have always been filtered through the opinions and words of others. ‘Through My Eyes’ is his passionate, firsthand, never-before-told account of how it all really happened."

Broncos WR Thomas tears Achilles tendon, could sit out eight months - The Denver Post
Thomas now faces months of recovery time from what can be a difficult injury. Former Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in December of 2006 when he was still with the Colts and recovered quickly enough after signing in Denver as a free agent to play in the Broncos' season opener in September of 2007. To do that, however, Stokley has said he "did everything possible to get back. I worked harder than any offseason before that, I think, getting through the rehab."

Tebow, Elway divert eyes from Broncos considerable woes | broncos, tebow, elway - RAMSEY - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO
Give Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen credit for showmanship. His franchise is an utter disaster, but he’s been magnificent in diverting attention from the wreckage.

Team Reports | NFL at
Prior to suffering a rib injury in the San Francisco game in London, then aggravating the problem in December, Orton demonstrated a solid rapport with receivers Jabar Gaffney and Brandon Lloyd but eventually fell short of his second straight 4,000-yard passing season. It's clear Orton would relish a one-on-one competition with Tebow, but it's probably fair to say that given Orton's popularity with the fan base he'd be put in a no-win situation, regardless. Every interception, every overthrow - and yes, every loss -- by Orton would be scrutinized from outside the organization differently than one tossed by Tebow, who would be viewed as part of a rebuilding project. Orton wouldn't get that benefit of the doubt, certainly.

Team Reports | NFL at
General manager Brian Xanders said that retaining Mike McCoy as offensive coordinator was an easy decision, given his strong knowledge of several systems and previous relationship with Fox in Carolina. Xanders sees the scheme evolving into a hybrid of the Panthers strong rushing attack and Josh McDaniels' powerful passing concepts. "I think we'll have a good offense with balance that adjusts quickly to a defense and does a good job scoring points," he said.

Team Reports | NFL at
1. Defensive tackle: The Broncos have tried a long line of patchwork fixes in the middle of the front four for years. Now is time to get serious about rebuilding from within. If Auburn's Nick Fairley doesn't go to Carolina at No. 1 in the draft, he'd have to be considered near the top of the team's list.

Top of NFL draft to be heavy on defense - The Denver Post
Some believe defensive players might be able to move into the lineup more quickly if the current offensive trend continues in college football. Last year, six of the top 10 players selected in the draft were defensive players, and 20 of the 32 first-round picks were defensive players. My top 100 this year — only a sketch, really, because it's so early, before the pro days, the combine, etc. — had 21 defensive players in the top 32, with an either/or for a 22nd.

McCaffrey speaking out in favor of youth concussion bill - KDVR
Former Denver Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey is expressing support for a bill that would prevent high school athletes believed to have suffered a concussion from returning to a game unless a medical provider has evaluated them.

Broncos WR Thomas Tears Achilles' Tendon -
When Fox was hired last month to oversee the Broncos' massive makeover, he mentioned the deep receiving group as the primary luxury he was inheriting in Denver. Fixing the defense remains priority No. 1 in Denver, but the Broncos will have to at least consider taking a wide receiver in the draft, where they have just a half-dozen picks, three of which are in the top 50, including the No. 2 overall selection.


Kevin Kolb trade, Donovan McNabb to Vikings, other NFC questions - Don Banks -
But with the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis just two weeks away, teams are starting to prepare for whatever may unfold in the coming months. Amid all the uncertainty, it's time to start previewing the particular issues NFL clubs will get around to dealing with at some point this year. Here's a team-by-team look at key questions facing the NFC's 16 teams. We'll tackle the same exercise for the AFC's clubs on Friday:

Browns head coach Pat Shurmur also planning to run team's offense - NFL -
He's been hiring assistants, evaluating Cleveland's roster and preparing for the NFL draft while not knowing if there will be a 2011 season because of the league's uncertain labor situation. Shurmur's moving forward and he confirmed he'll also handle duties as the offensive coordinator in his first year as a head coach.

Colts are ready to use franchise tag on Manning | The Indianapolis Star |
If the Colts are unable to meet Manning's demands, they'll once again play "tag" with him. That was the case in 2004. To provide the necessary time to finalize Manning's seven-year, $98 million contract, the team tagged Manning Feb. 23. On March 2, the multiyear deal replaced the tag. Blogs " Blog Archive Pick Six: Things to do on first football-less Sunday "
4.) Put together your own Top 100 list NFL Network spent a lot of time this year putting together its list of the Top 100 players in NFL history. And it was a good list, except for having Peyton Manning way too high at No. 8. And the fans had him inexplicably at No. 5. Manning ahead of Dan Marino? Heresy. But sometimes the most enjoyable part of an NFL Sunday was sitting around discussing anything football related. No reason to stop now. Put together your list, start arguing with your buddies, and then resolve things the mature way by unfriending each other on Facebook.

Ex-Jets QB Ray Lucas sharing rehab details on Facebook - NFL -
The 38-year-old Lucas recently checked into a Florida rehabilitation center for an addiction to pain killers, and is sharing his experience with fans in a Facebook diary to try to help others.

Schwartz Hopes Lions Can Stay the Course -
After losing 24 of his first 28 games as Detroit's coach, Jim Schwartz remained as upbeat as possible. Finally, his patience was rewarded when the Lions won four straight games to finish last season.

Looking at the teams with the most work to do this offseason | ProFootballTalk
The teams with the fewest unrestricted free agents include the Broncos, Bills, Cowboys, Dolphins, and Patriots. The AFC Champion Steelers are in the middle of the pack, while the Super Bowl champion Packers have the seventh-fewest expected UFAs.

Vikings support new Metrodome roof, still want new stadium | ProFootballTalk
But the Vikings won’t be satisfied until the taxpayers build them a new stadium, and they also used the statement as an opportunity to make clear that they think a new stadium is the best thing for the Vikings and for Minnesota.


NFL offers refund for those who sat in temporary seats | National Football Post
Those fans in temporary seats on Sunday for Super Bowl XLV who did actually get to sit in their temporary seats and watch the game are receiving an offer from the NFL too. The league is offering them a face-value refund for their ticket or a free ticket to a future Super Bowl. This group totals roughly 2,000 fans, and it doesn’t include the 400 who were booted from temporary seats that were deemed unsafe and were forced to watch the game from video monitors inside the stadium.

Behind the Super Bowl Spin: The Depressing, Dangerous Stories of Seatgate - TIME NewsFeed
Goodell has said he will conduct a full review of everything that unfolded. He might consider calling McCarthy too. "Had I known the other sections had been closed because they were unsafe, I would have been extremely concerned about the fact bolts were falling off and nuts were missing," she says.


NFLStatAnalysis: What happened to the Hall of Fame QBs?
The last quarterbacks enshrined were Aikman and Moon in 2006. That was only five years ago.....but, looking out over the next half dozen years, unless Drew Bledsoe sneaks in (I'm a big Bledsoe fan, but I think his enshrinement is highly unlikely) we could be looking at a 9-10 year gap between Aikman and Moon's enshrinements and the next likely candidates - Kurt Warner in 2014 and Brett Favre in 2015

How can a pass-first team score more touchdowns in the red zone? | Smart Football
We run the Airraid offense, and we’ve noticed that it’s very easy to move the ball down the field to the 20 but then it gets really difficult as the field compresses. We can’t power run because that’s not what we do and it’s hard to throw a lot of stuff because the field is compressed. The options shrink dramatically. Any suggestions?

Scouting the Offensive Line | National Football Post
Different offenses will look for some different traits in a player depending on what they ask the player to do but overall there are many similarities. The one common trait, no matter what the offensive line position, is intelligence. As a whole, offensive linemen are very level-headed guys, and may have dominant personalities. You want a player to have some nasty to his play but controlled nasty.


DeAndre McDaniel NFL Draft Scouting Report - Mocking The Draft
I understand he has had an off the field issue, but that was three years ago. He has been a model citizen ever since. He is a true leader on and off the field who has learned from his previous mistakes. Wants to be the best and is willing to put in the hard work to get there. Ball Hawking safeties who can also stop the run aren't easy to come by. For that reason I think DeAndre McDaniel is the first SS prospect off the board in the early to mid 2nd round.

All eyes on Cam today (just like Dad planned it) -
For the first time since the BCS Championship game, Cam Newton will be throwing passes in front of a live audience. Unfortunately, the audience will be a group of selected media, rather than NFL decision-makers at today's private workout outside of San Diego, California. Only select media were allowed at the event. Among them is a representative of The Sports XChange, who will be contributing a report for - DE Bowers living up to expectations
"I was fortunate to coach in the Under Armour game with him when Da'Quan was a senior," Duncan said. "The NFL guys there raved about his ability. (They said) if they could pick two or three guys that were NFL-ready, he was one of them."


Sources: NFL's owners balk at 50-50 split - ESPN
Wednesday's meeting in Washington started badly, one source said, when the owners' negotiating team interpreted the union's proposal of a 49 percent to 51 percent take as "total revenue," instead of the union's intended percentage take of "all revenue."

Who's Greedier, the Millionaires or Billionaires? -
It's always risky trying to fix the main obstacle to an agreement until one is signed. But the early deal-breaker appears to be the owners' demand to take $2 billion from the pot — instead of the $1 billion set out in the last deal — even before discussions start on how to split the rest of the economic pie.

League should be blamed for breakdown in labor talks | ProFootballTalk
So establish the floor, NFL. Otherwise, all this talk about wanting to do a deal is meaningless and hollow and phony. The NFL is behaving like it doesn’t want to do a deal, and for the first time we’re detecting a sense that the fans are starting to realize that a lot of the talk from the league is just that — talk — and that the league won’t take action until every ounce of leverage has been applied to the men who put their bodies on the line every Sunday, either via a lockout or the threat of one.

NFL calls characterization of Wednesday’s meetings "inaccurate" | ProFootballTalk
It tried to take the high road. Essentially the purpose for the statement was to say the NFL won’t negotiate in public. But the league couldn’t resist calling the reports coming out of Wednesday’s session with the NFLPA "inaccurate." That’s basically negotiating in public.

NFL appears headed for a costly lockout  |
Some of the teams have used public funds to help build stadiums, in a public-private partnership. Public funding is not as viable an option in hard economic times, and the NFL needs its own funds to build the new mega-stadiums that would allow franchises, such as the Falcons, to generate their own revenue.

League, union sharply disagree on rookie wage scale, too | ProFootballTalk
But here’s the reality. Roughly 60 percent of the league already falls under an unofficial rookie wage scale, which after round one pays players reasonable amounts about which the NFL rarely complains — especially when a mid-round pick becomes a star. The issue here is the amount of money paid at the top of the draft, and that’s where the focus should be.

Owners’ Greed Pushing League Toward Lockout - The Hoya - Sports
Jones' unquenchable thirst for profits — at the expense of Super Bowl ticket holders — solidified for me the picture of the "fat cat" ownership of the NFL. There's no question in my mind that Jones and his fellow owners are not willing to give up the potential profits from an 18-game season or the financial benefits of a 20-percent "giveback" from the players.

The Reporter: Films to check out if there is an NFL lockout
With the 2010 NFL season now history, here are a few flicks that may satisfy your appetite for pigskin.

Sides cancel latest negotiating session - The Boston Globe
The union sent a memo yesterday to player agents updating the status of discussions on a rookie wage scale. A union proposal to decrease the maximum length of rookie contracts to four years for players selected in the first three rounds, and three years for players chosen after that, also included a limit on financial incentives and salary escalators that could be included in rookie deals.