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Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks - 2/19/11

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Broncos DL Kevin Vickerson: "We are trying to get a deal done" - KDVR
The Denver Broncos have a lot of areas of need to solidify and bolster on their defensive unit with a group of players eligible for different forms of free agency this upcoming season, including defensive lineman Kevin Vickerson. "We are trying to get a deal done, but we are just in preliminary discussions," Vickerson told me in a phone conversation Friday morning. Vickerson emphasized talks with the team are just in the early stages, and that there is no guarantee that a deal will get done.

Draft Season "
1 – THEY CAN’T MISS WITH THE SECOND OVERALL PICK. I’m not sure if they’ll keep the pick, package it in a trade, draft a guy and then trade him or whatever else. The options are many yet the bottom line is they have to come away with at least one impact player. Again, this is often easier said than done but because of some recent slips in the draft, coupled with their place in the NFL pecking order right now, the Broncos have to come away with a player or players who can make a significant contribution next year.

Top 5 Plays: Defense
Broncos TV counts down the top five defensive plays from the team's 2010 season.

Doctors' opinions in demand at the NFL scouting combine - The Denver Post

NFL scouts say Bowers had knee surgery soon after Clemson's bowl game in Charlotte, N.C., in January. The scouts say Bowers' surgery repaired a partially torn meniscus. That's a relatively routine surgery in football involving a high-impact joint. But it's an example of what will get a second look by the Broncos and other teams as Bowers goes through the scouting combine.


Advanced NFL Stats Win Probability - Current Games
2010 Fully updated and online. news: Colts decide to release injury-plagued safety Sanders
Safety Antoine Bethea signed a four-year, $27 million contract last summer, and Melvin Bullitt, Sanders' backup, emerged as a competent starter. With the Colts still trying to sign quarterback Peyton Manning, a four-time league MVP, to a new long-term deal, there wasn't enough room to keep Sanders.

Titans drafting quarterback at No. 8 strong possibility in April - Don Banks -
He knows what it's like to have started from scratch before in the NFL -- been there, done that, twice actually -- so nothing about taking over an offense that was part of last season's 6-10 collapse in Tennessee is going to make Chris Palmer sweat. Shoot, six wins are the combined number of victories the 1999 expansion Browns and 2002 expansion Texans posted when Palmer was the head coach in Cleveland and the offensive coordinator in Houston.

Chargers have a good shot to win the Super Bowl — if there is one -
As for a long-term deal, Smith prefers to wait and see how Jackson, who can’t afford another slip after getting hit with two DUIs, performs on and off the lawn. "Vincent’s a good player and he’s always been a good player, which I’ve said repeatedly," Smith says. "I’m comfortable with not giving him a long-term deal right now and we are not negotiating a long-term deal. We’ll see how the year goes, but not at the present time." - AFC West 2010 season-in-review team reports
Team MVP: WR Brandon Lloyd has to be the Broncos' most valuable player, if for no other reason than a lack of legitimate competition. QB Kyle Orton was benched in favor of Tebow for the season's final three games, and although ILB D.J. Williams led the team in both tackles and sacks, his November DUI arrest detracted from his on-field performance.

Former Ram Claude Terrell arrested, charge with rape | National Football Post
According to a report by the Associated Press, Terrell held a woman for seven hours on Monday. He held her at gunpoint with a .38-caliber handgun he found in her home and the woman endured "a full day of terror" according to police.

Mark Cuban forms business for college football playoff | National Football Post
The billionaire entrepreneur has formed a limited liability company called Radical Football "to impact college football so that the last two teams playing are the best two teams," Cuban said in an e-mail. Radical Football was registered in Texas on Dec. 28, but the company has no website yet. Cuban declined to say how big the staff is, but he stated that the agenda for the company in the next year is to "advance towards our goal," he said.

Vikings took a hit at the ticket window in '10 | National Football Post
The Metrodome is an outdated multi-use facility that doesn’t have the luxury suites that the newer NFL stadiums have, the boxes that generate huge profits for owners. According to Hartman, the Vikings had $57.5 million in total ticket revenue in 2009 when they played eight regular-season games, two preseason games and a divisional playoff game at home against the Dallas Cowboys. Back out the playoff money, and the team had $50.3 million in ticket revenue.

Open season on the Hall of Fame, Part II | National Football Post
The knowledge and research that many board members bring to the table each year would blow you away. Trust me, these men are not spouting uneducated opinions about players they watched play a few times 25 years ago. The expertise of the board is impressive, but it could be even more impressive. That's why I would welcome an expanded board with voters from a cross-section of NFL involvement in part becasue it would expand our horizons more and give us perspectives we currently don't have. news: Panthers likely to use franchise tag on OL Kalil or DE Johnson
According to the source, the value of the franchise tag -- even with $10 million guaranteed for offensive linemen, a very high total for a center -- isn't a factor. The bigger concern is trying to determine which player to protect against the open market.

Mark Schlereth: Control freak Mike Shanahan should let his coaches coach | ProFootballTalk
Schlereth said Shanahan’s refusal to let his coaches coach is largely because he thoroughly enjoys the detail-oriented aspects of coaching more than he enjoys the big picture. "He loves that stuff," Schlereth said. "I think that’s one of the toughest things for any coach to do is let go of that stuff."

Woodson: Favre had lots of opportunities to reach out to Rodgers | ProFootballTalk
Charles Woodson said today on ESPN’s Jim Rome Is Burning that if Favre wants to reach out, that’s fine. But Rodgers should get to savor his status as the reigning Super Bowl Most Valuable Player without any Favre-related distractions.

Brandon Banks released from hospital | ProFootballTalk
"Brandon Banks was released from Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington earlier today," Gould said. "The tube was removed from his chest, and his lung is fully inflated. Brandon should be fully recovered and able to resume offseason training in three to four weeks. He will continue to follow up with Redskins team physician, Dr. Anthony Casolaro throughout this process.

Evidence against Lions included public statements and contact with Chiefs player | ProFootballTalk
The player and agent weren’t named, but the player possibly was safety Jarrad Page, who held out for most of the offseason and training camp as a restricted free agent. Page later was traded to the Patriots. Given that players and agents typically deny any such contact once the allegations are made, making it impossible to prove that contact occurred, our guess is that the league discovered some sort of electronic paper trail, either via e-mails or text messages or both, that confirmed contact between the Lions and the Chiefs player/agent.

UFL faces another lawsuit | ProFootballTalk
As the UFL tries to convince the public that it’s not in a possible death spiral, the league continues to find itself . . . in a possible death spiral.

NFL executives fumbled ball at Super Bowl festivities - Page 2 -
Part of Jerry Jones' bid to bring the Super Bowl to Dallas was a package of perks for the league's owners, including gift certificates to Dallas-area stores, along with several hours of free use of a limousine. Well, when New Orleans Saints owner/executive vice president Rita Benson LeBlanc, who is the granddaughter of majority owner Tom Benson, and the heir to the team, called from the airport for her free limo, she was informed that the perks were only for each team's principal owner. In other words, only grandpa. According to a source, Tom Benson was furious with Jones.

Cowboys Stadium Super Bowl may have missed attendance record by thousands more than thought | Super Bowl XLV News - Sports News for Dallas, Texas - SportsDayDFW
The NFL reported that the total crowd at this month’s game was 103,219, but paid attendance was 91,060. "Traditionally, paid attendance is what we’ve announced," Aiello said. "In doing some research before the Super Bowl, we couldn’t find anyone — including at the Rose Bowl — who knew exactly what that number entailed. …We knew it was paid attendance, but there is some belief that it may have included media credentials."

NFL executives fumbled ball at Super Bowl festivities -
If you're looking for likely fall guys, you can start with Eric Grubman, the league's executive vice president/business ventures, and Frank Supovitz, the league's senior vice president/events, who essentially were in charge of Super Bowl XLV, if you don't count the guy who owns the stadium they played the game in, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. And Jerry's not going anywhere, except into seclusion. If Grubman's and Supovitz' names both still are on the league's staff directory in 4 months, I'll be shocked.

Josh Freeman on Lockout Workouts: 'Hit Up a Couple of the Local High Schools' -- NFL FanHouse
"I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of our offense, and I feel great about all the defenses we've been seeing, but the league is constantly changing and you have to have a good understanding of those changes,'' Freeman told The Tampa Tribune. "So, I've basically got every blitz that every team in the NFL ran last year all on my computer at home. I've got a whole storage device there that has all the blitzes, all the (interception) reels, stuff like that. You just watch and watch and, eventually, you get an understanding for what it is all these defenses are trying to do."

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | 2010 Football Outsiders Awards
Which playoff team is most likely to miss the playoffs in 2011? (Last year's choice: Cincinnati) 47.8% Seattle 21.2% Kansas City 17.6% Chicago


Q&A: CU's McKnight unlikely to get drafted, but that could change - The Denver Post
McKnight, a wide receiver, needs one team to believe in him to be selected in the seven-round draft, which is April 28-30. He's unlikely to be drafted at this point, despite finishing his CU career as the Buffs' all-time leader in receptions (215) and touchdown catches (22).

NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Nick Fairley Replaces AJ Green in Top Spot -- NFL FanHouse
2. Broncos: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU (Previous pick: Prince Amukamara) Champ Bailey is almost certainly leaving the roost, creating a pretty big opening in the defensive backfield. Peterson has the size and athleticism to fill it with little problem, and he'll add life to the return game to boot. news: Teams in need of top-flight blockers will find talent in Indy
In this year's class, Mike Pouncey is hoping to follow the example set by his twin brother, Maurkice (of the Pittsburgh Steelers), and become an instant difference maker at center. Baylor's Danny Watkins and Florida State's Rodney Hudson also have shown signs of being future stars, but they rate a notch below Pouncey on most boards. Regardless, they are likely first-year starters with the chance to make an immediate impact. Blogs " Blog Archive Getting to know … Wisconsin TE Kendricks "
Overview: Kendricks is an interesting prospect because the H-Back/Tight End hybrid has become a valuable commodity in today’s NFL. He was very productive as a senior and he possesses the speed and athleticism to be a weapon down the seam at the next level. He will have to work on his ball skills and field awareness, but he appears to have a good work ethic. His size prevents him from being an in-line blocker, but he should be able to contribute as a situational receiving tight end in the spread. Overall, Kendricks looks to be a middle round pick. Blogs " Blog Archive Mayock’s keen on Georgia’s Green "
Mayock elaborated that what really caught his eye was Green’s first game back after his four-game suspension for selling a jersey he wore in the Liberty Bowl. "Colorado had two corners in Jimmy Smith and Jalil Brown but he came out with seven catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns," said Mayock. "He dominated the game."

NFL draft rumors | National Football Post
Baylor DT Phil Taylor is the one prospect I’m hearing could be the guy who gets drafted a lot higher than most assume. With his combination or size and athleticism paired with the need/lack of 3-4 nose tackles in this year’s draft, hearing it’s possible a team could end up reaching for him in the top-15.

5 questions for next week's Combine | National Football Post
3. Will Robert Quinn and Marvin Austin erase doubts after last year’s suspensions? The scandal that rocked the UNC football program last season resulted in numerous suspensions and decimated what could have been the country’s top defense. Both Robert Quinn (DE) and Marvin Austin (DT)—two highly-touted prospects entering 2010—were lost for the year and now must work to show NFL teams that their past transgressions are exactly that—a thing of the past.

Scouting Defensive Linemen | National Football Post
To keep this simple, I could say that the traits of a 3-4 defensive end and a 4-3 defensive tackle are similar. They are big men who are powerful enough to occupy blockers yet quick enough to provide a pass rush. A scout would generally look for a player who is between 6-3 and 6-6 and weighs in the 295 to 340-pound area. Great strength and power goes without saying. They need to be more quick than fast, have good snap reaction and the quick first step to penetrate.

Warren Sapp: Marcell Dareus is better than Nick Fairley | ProFootballTalk
"He doesn’t use his hands," said Sapp on Total Access, after watching film of Fairley. "He’s just bigger and more athletic than most of the guys. … He must work on his technique." Like Mayock, Sapp believes that Alabama’s Marcell Dareus is the better defensive tackle prospect.

How will the NFL Lockout affect the Dolphins’ draft philosophy? | The Daily Dolphin
Mayock said teams have to resist the temptation of overvaluing players that are ready to play immediately instead of investing in projects who have higher ceilings. "You have to look at the big picture, and not just, ‘Uh oh, if we don’t have training camp, do we need a guy that’s ready to play today?’" Mayock said. "If you start to answer questions in the short-term, you’re going to get beat on the long-term."


As a lockout looms, NFL must realize it can't have it both ways - Jeff Pearlman -
Or, put differently: Who the hell charges people $200 to watch a game on TV outside a stadium? Even if there's coin to be made. Even if 4,000 people are dumb enough to fork over the cash. Even if you could hear the cheers and smell the popcorn from inside. Even if a couple of Cowboys' cheerleaders visited the suckers, eh, I mean, patrons. Seriously, what genre of insidious, money-hungry, tone-deaf, suit-wearing homo Sapien thinks this is the proper way to treat your most diehard fans?

Who benefits from a long lockout? Maybe the Atlanta Falcons | Mark Bradley
If this lockout amounts to anything, the winners will be teams with a plan in place and the management to carry it through. It was no accident that the Washington Redskins won two Super Bowls in post-strike seasons: They had Joe Gibbs and Bobby Beathard to steer. It would be no great surprise if the post-lockout NFL sees the Falcons in Super Bowl XLVI. They’ve got Mike Smith and his little buddy in charge.

Roddy White doesn’t like "millionaires vs. billionaires" line | ProFootballTalk
But here’s the problem. Despite the labels, NFL players make a lot more money than the average person. So whether it’s $250,000 per year or $500,000 per year or $20 million per year, most folks can’t appreciate the difference. In the eyes of the general public, every NFL player is rich while playing in the NFL, even if they don’t stay rich for long after they leave the NFL.

Day one of mediated talks ends, with silence | ProFootballTalk
Breer didn’t mention seeing NFLPA outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler, a man who has been a divisive presence in past talks, and whom the league regards as the instigator of the union’s litigation-based strategies. If De Smith left Kessler out, and if in turn the league asked Panthers owner Jerry Richardson to stay home, it could be easier for the two sides to get past personalities and focus on progress.

NFL 'Mediation' Won't Work Unless Attitudes Change -- NFL FanHouse
The problem right now is that the hard-liners have no reason to move. They're not going to lose any money by locking out the players March 4. Heck, as long as they're guaranteed the TV money from the deals they have with the networks, they're not going to lose any money by canceling a game or two come September. Given what they'll be saving in overhead by not having to pay the players or open their stadiums, it's actually easy to see why some owners might be willing to wait out the players and see if they break. It's not that bad a business strategy.

Sides Still Far Apart - ESPN Video - ESPN
Sides Still Far Apart