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



Q&A: Running back help likely to come through free agency - The Denver Post
They have neither run the ball well nor have they attempted to run the ball enough to sport the kind of offensive balance they've talked about having.

No matter, it all boils down to the fans picking up the tab - The Denver Post
But the average ticket price is $160 per Cowboys game, which is more than double the $77 average ticket price for a Broncos game. Whether picking the best stadium dollar for dollar, or choosing sides between the owners and players in the labor dispute, know this: The fan always pays in the end.

Tebow a test case for this year's crop of QB prospects - The Denver Post
Of the six quarterbacks in Mobile last week, Kaepernick and Washington's Jake Locker faced most of the questions Tebow did. And the 6-foot-6, 225-pound Kaepernick, who turned down a baseball contract to play at Nevada, fared well. He showed a powerful arm to both sides of the field and set his feet well when dropping back into the pocket.

300-pounders are really big deal - The Denver Post
Hampton is one of 26 players on the Green Bay and Pittsburgh Super Bowl rosters who tip the scale at more than 300 pounds — an eye-popping number made even more startling when you put it in historical context.


Do players really love money more than the game? - The Denver Post
"The majority of the guys — I'd say probably close to 70 percent — are in the game only for the money. They don't care about winning," writes the player, who's identified only as an NFL star.

Legwold: Cold-weather Super Bowl talk heats up - The Denver Post
The NFL has long said it's not just about the Super Bowl, which will be played outdoors in the Meadowlands' new stadium in 2014. It's also about the events leading up to the Super Bowl that determine whether a city is worthy of hosting the game.

Call Cowboys Stadium the Jones Mahal - The Denver Post
That would be about $1.2 billion, B.J. Arlington taxpayers came up with $325 million. Jones' predisposition for the lavish kept tacking on a painting here, another video board there and enormous, retractable glass doors everywhere until he was responsible for about $875 million in personal financing.

Goodell’s clarified comments on Roethlisberger raise questions | ProFootballTalk
Something doesn’t make sense here, and it would be naive to assume that the call from Goodell to King that resulted in King’s clarification wasn’t preceded by a much more heated call from someone named Rooney to Goodell demanding that the toothpaste be crammed back into the tube before the Crest hit the fan at Media Day.

Packers, Steelers Had Similar Super Bowl Blueprint -
Look at the breakdown of the starting lineups for the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers. It's as if these old-school franchises were using the same throwback playbook because the numbers are identical:

Report Puts a Number on Counterfeit Jerseys -
A new report from MarkMonitor, a brand protection company, estimates that almost 1.2 million suspicious jerseys are sold online each year. The company found more than 1,300 Web sites – the vast majority linked to Chinese domain names – selling dubious jerseys that posed as real jerseys made by major American brands.

James Harrison Takes Aim At NFL Over Helmet - to - Helmet Hits -
"You can't just have a flat-out rule that says if you hit someone in the head, you're fined, because the majority of the time you have guys that are protecting themselves," he told reporters Tuesday. "He's going to duck his head to protect himself and we hit helmet-to-helmet."

Steelers Owner Expects NFL Back in Los Angeles by 2016 -
But if the NFL is going to expand outside the United States, a likely destination is Toronto, which has hosted Buffalo Bills regular season games the last three seasons. "I don't see one in the next five years," said Rooney. "I would think if there is going to be an international franchise, it's either going to be Mexico or Canada.

Bracelet New Charm in Athletes' Search for Edge -
That helps explain the latest juju to become this season's must-have fashion accessory in the NFL — a slim rubber wrist band with holograms the size of small watch faces on either side. Although claims that the bracelet improves the wearer's balance and power have been widely debunked, try debating that with a guy who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 318 pounds.

Brett Keisel’s Beard Is the Talk of the Super Bowl -
Which is why Passion knows all about Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel. Or, more specifically, the two-toned tangle of tonsorial madness hanging off of Keisel’s face. news: Jones' derring-do in building stadium offers NFL inspiration
"Rather than scale back, I pushed the gas pedal and basically increased the scope of the stadium and increased the cost of the stadium," Jones said. "I did that -- you can say crazy -- but I did that because I really do feel like there is a huge future, not only economically in the country, but there is a huge future in the NFL. So that stadium represented that."

Green Bay homeless couple wins free trip to Super Bowl
"We had 90 cents in our pockets and we have won a package that people have offered thousands and thousands of dollars for," Wright marveled during the interview. "And all I could think of is, oh my gosh, these corporations that put this on. They must be thinking 'Yes, finally a contest that we put it on and the parameters were so that somebody who never in a million years afford to go, can go.'

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones readies for collective bargaining agreement battle - ESPN Dallas
"It is incumbent on us to recognize what we had in place is not a good model," Jones said. "Rather than waiting until we're in the shape the country is in or the world is in when things have gone to hell in a handbasket economically, we make some of those changes we'd love to have made 10 or 15 years ago in this country or other countries. You do it before you're off the cliff rather than when you're driving off the cliff."

Ice storm putting damper on Super Bowl XLV activities - Super Bowl XLV -
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was shut down briefly, and primary tenant American Airlines canceled 800 flights - about half its daily service. A spokesman said it was too early to tell whether the trickle-down would affect the heavier passenger loads for the Super Bowl later in the week.

Dick LeBeau, Dom Capers brought zone blitz into modern NFL - Tim Layden -
A phone rings, and the writer answers. A voice on the other end says, "This is Coach LeBeau. You want to talk about the zone blitz?" It was hard to tell if there was a question mark at the end of the sentence. Maybe his words were a statement rather than a query, but the topic on the table was, indeed, the zone blitz. A request had been made through the Steelers' media-relations department. There had been e-mails and phone calls. All declined. LeBeau didn't want to talk about himself. Finally, there had been a letter -- old school -- sent to LeBeau's office. It was the letter that prompted the phone call.

Rodgers, cold-weather Pack feel at home with indoors Super Bowl - Don Banks -
"I love it, man,'' said Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, speaking of the climate-controlled environment that will await the Packers offense on Sunday night. "It's kind of sacrilegious to say when you play in Green Bay, but I love playing indoors. I like the fact we've got a lot of speed on offense. If I can just get the ball to those guys (his receivers) and let them work.''

Texans are worth $1.17 billion | National Football Post
"Don't pay attention to the valuations you read about," McNair told the Houston Chronicle. "Those people publish magazines. They don't buy teams. And it does you no good anyway if you have no intention of selling, which I don't."

Pouncey says there's 75 percent chance he'll play | National Football Post
"I'm defintely not going to count that young man out," Tomlin said. "I don't think anything he's done this year would lead you to believe that he's incapable of showing up. So we're going to give him every opportunity to do so."

New England Patriots' Tom Brady named Offensive Player of the Year - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN
Brady won the honor Tuesday for the second time in four seasons. The record-setting quarterback, who had a string of 355 passes without being intercepted, received 21 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. He easily beat Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick, who got 11 votes.

Cold, Hard Football The statistical oddity of the 2010 Packers
It’s pretty easy: The 2010 Packers are one of the oddest teams statistically in NFL history, and without question the best six-loss team the NFL has ever produced. They are lobster thermidor masquerading as cafeteria fish sticks.



NFL scouting combine has the attention of CU's Solder, other draft prospects - The Denver Post
Every year, NFL personnel evaluators discuss the danger of putting too much value on what players do at the combine. That is valid. All of the work is done without players wearing pads. And before they get to the combine, the players have done the drills over and over again to maximize performance in Indianapolis.

Florida's J. Bernard Machen: grayshirting morally reprehensible - NCAA Football -
Imagine the feeling if the student finds out, literally a few months before enrolling, that the institution is backing out of the contract. It is too late in the summer to go back to one's second choice. The student is told he will have to wait until next year. Sorry, but no acceptance, no scholarship. That's it.

Oversigning and grayshirting take center stage in college football recruiting | National Football Post
While Machen’s disdain for the current system is ironic considering Meyer helped the school earn a lot of money during his tenure, the school president should still be commended for speaking out. It just would have been a little more powerful if he referenced Meyer's application of the grayshirting practice.

NFLPA Game practice report: Day one | National Football Post
Call me crazy but I still have a soft spot in my heart for Texas A&M DL Lucas Patterson. He was back playing inside as a DT today and looked good playing the run off his frame, cleanly defeating slide-down blocks and making plays on the football. He’s not a great pass rusher and wasn’t as effective this season as a first-year starting five-technique, but I think with some time the guy could develop into a solid rotational guy in either a 34 or 43 scheme and has the kind of high motor and mental makeup that just makes me think the guy is going to find a way to stick.

TEX vs Nation game boasts impressive roster -
This year's class, however, boasts a roster that can match the Shrine Game and, unlike the Senior Bowl which scouts complain caters to the media as much as NFL personnel, the Texas vs. Nation game makes things easy on scouts. Teams are given "unbelievable access to the players" according to one long-time scout, making the interview process that every team makes a priority during these events a much more efficient process.

NFLPA Game Measurements -
OT Trevis Turner (Abilene Christian) and DTs Kendrick Ellis (South Carolina/Hampton) and Frank Kearse (Alabama A&M) will get big looks despite playing at small schools this year, because of their size and builds.


Union Loses in Bid to Keep N.F.L. From Lockout Money -
In its statement, the league said "that if the union commits to invest as much time, energy and other resources in negotiation as it has in its litigation strategy, a new agreement could well be reached by March 4." It continued, "The special master squarely rejected the union’s demand that the N.F.L. be denied access to payments that the league’s television partners are obligated to make for the 2011 season."

Court Ruling Lets NFL Owners Keep 'Lockout Insurance' TV Money -- NFL FanHouse
The ruling shifts the negotiating landscape in favor of the owners just days in advance of a scheduled Saturday negotiating session between the two sides. The back-and-forth on Twitter probably says more, though, about where things stand. A new deal by March 4 looks extremely unlikely, especially since the owners' incentive to get one done soon took a big hit with Tuesday's ruling.

The Associated Press: Happy to talk labor, Ward worries about lockout
"If nothing happens by March, no games will be missed at that point, so they still have time to work to get something done," Clark said. "But I am afraid that games will be missed, and as a guy going into his 10th year, you want to play every game you can."

Steve Malkenson: Say it Ain't So, Mr. Goodell
NFL owners are among society's most privileged group. Forbes estimates the value of the average NFL franchise to be $1.02 billion, up 254% since 1998. Regardless of their vast wealth, the league was granted limited antitrust exemption allowing the merger of the NFL and AFL. Additionally, taxpayers often subsidize owners by bearing much of the cost of new stadiums built specifically for NFL teams.

Hey, NFL, don’t ignore the fans  |
Fans and taxpayers agreed to fund new stadiums and renovations with the implicit promise that there would be games and the games would benefit the community. To then take these games away from local communities and the fans because of a contract dispute would be utterly shameful.

Ward Backtracks From Criticisms of N.F.L. -
Ward had wondered to GQ how if league officials "care so much about our safety, why don’t they mandate that we wear" the newer helmets marketed as reducing concussion? On Tuesday, Ward boasted that he wears an "old-school" Riddell model.

NFL labor timeline: Lockout, then what? - NFL - Sporting News
What could happen at key dates if no labor agreement is reached and owners declare a lockout:

How a lockout would affect the NFL - NFL - Sporting News
One big-market team executive told SportsBusiness Journal its contract language requires no reimbursements for suites or club seats in a work stoppage, and similarly for any potentially prorated reimbursement for personal seat license fees. However, this executive said it is not always cut and dried, especially when a key partner might own the suite or club seat in question.

Tagliabue claims 2006 deal was never intended to last | ProFootballTalk
Then again, current Commissioner Roger Goodell also was working at the elbow of Tagliabue when the last deal went down. If Goodell believed that it was accepted that the players would adjust the deal, Goodell would most likely be saying so.