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Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks - 2/22/11

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Broncos should take a long look at A&M linebacker Miller, who's cast in the Dumervil mold - The Denver Post
Fifty-game starters. This group is almost a lock among offensive linemen, but across the board, 50-game starters seem to understand, beyond the physical skills it takes to survive in the NFL, that it's about work ethic, practice habits and working through the day-to-day grind of things. Broncos cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson, a 52-game starter at Cal, is a great example of this, having simply forced the Broncos to keep him after being a seventh-round pick last year by the way he conducted himself in his first training camp and first season overall.

Second Time Around
The tight end said his goals for his second NFL offseason include intensifying his training and returning to the team ready to develop a larger role on the squad. "I wish I could definitely always do more," he said. "Now I know this NFL experience is a grind. You just have to get better every day. You have to climb and you have to strive to achieve. There are a lot of things that I have on myself that I want to get done this offseason so I can help improve for the team."

Q&A: Don't look for the Broncos to ever move training camp from Dove Valley - The Denver Post
NFL Players Association may agree to reduce the number of days of two-a-day practices and perhaps the length of training camp, especially if the preseason has only two games because of a move to an 18-game regular season. The Broncos and other NFL teams limit distractions during training camp by keeping their players at the complex pretty much all day, capped by meetings each night. The Broncos' playoff drought has much more to do with personnel decisions than where the team conducts training camp. news: Uncertainty about Tebow leaves Broncos with draft dilemma
So Tebow is a man without much support in Denver, making quarterback a huge need. Can the Broncos be so focused on defense that they ignore an NFL team's most essential position? Or will they feel like Kyle Orton can manage the game well enough to allow them to replenish the defense, something near and dear to Fox's heart?

40 fans show up at Champ Bailey Rally | ProFootballTalk
He may be worth a short-term, Richard Seymour-like contract, but not with the Broncos. The Broncos are in rebuilding mode, and paying a 33-year-old cornerback huge money when the defense has so many problems doesn’t make a lot of sense. Will Bailey still be playing at a high level by the time Denver is contending for titles? Letting Bailey walk would show that John Elway is not afraid to make tough choices with long-term goals in mind.

LenDale White on Pete Carroll: "F— you" | ProFootballTalk
"If it ain’t the Denver Broncos or Chris Johnson . . . f— ‘em. Or D-Byrd [Demetrius Byrd] . . . or the Trojans . . . minus Pete Carroll — f– you," White told TMZ before looking into the camera. "Minus Pete Carroll I have Trojan love." Looks like we can rule out a return for White back to Seattle. (Frankly, we wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t play in the NFL again.)

Q&A with Tim Tebow: On his autobiography, competing to be a starter and his bachelor status |
How has the demands on your time from fans in Denver compare with what you dealt with at Florida? That’s a good question. At both places, they have wonderful, passionate fans. That’s one of the things I love about being a Bronco. There are different things I try to do now as far as fan interaction. At Florida, I was around them all the time going to classes. I don’t have to deal with that as much here, but I’m more involved with my foundation and the community. It always seemed like I’d have more time this offseason, but things fill up quickly. It’s training, growing my foundation or hanging out with my family. Those three things take up 95 percent of my time. That’s my life right now.

YouTube - Ed McCaffrey catches tipped ball for game winning TD (1996 @ Minnesota)


Mailbag: Super Bowl QBs With the Fewest Career Home Playoff Games " blog " Blog Archive
Question answered -- here are the fewest previous playoff home games (appearances, not just starts) by a Super Bowl-winning QB:

Cold, Hard Football A CHFF theory elevated to Man LawYet in the 2010 draft, the Broncos and Cowboys foolishly placed their first-round hopes and dreams in wide receivers. Denver selected Demaryius Thomas with the No. 22 overall pick. He battled a foot injury in training camp, later suffered an ankle injury and a concussion, and missed a total six regular-season games. He ended the year with 22 catches for 283 yards and 2 TDs. Oh, and he tore his Achilles’ tendon last week – an injury from which it could take him up to eight months to recover. So the 2011 season does not look to promising either.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Wisdom of Crowds Review: Quarterbacks
t's time to take a trip back to the summer and revisit our 2010 Wisdom of Crowds predictions. For those that have forgotten, it's an exercise we go through before and after each season with the help of my Twitter account. Each day, I ask users to predict three statistics for a given player while assuming that the player in question will play a full 16-game season. We use the average projection as our baseline projection of what the public thinks about a particular player's performance heading into the season. Now, we'll review those predictions and the thoughts I gave about them before this season passed.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | How Good Was Oakland's Offense?
Believe it or not, the Raiders ranked sixth in the NFL in points scored this year. I honestly had no idea. I've been going through the whole season thinking of them in terms of DVOA, where they ranked 23rd.

Ed Wang of Buffalo Bills hoping to grow game in China - ESPN
"There is no real basis or history of football in China so we rely a lot on the media to educate people about the game," said Stephanie Hsiao, the NFL's China marketing manager. As for staging an NFL exhibition game in China, Hsiao said that was a goal but no date had been set. At least four current or former NFL players boast partial Chinese ancestry, including New England Patriots second-year safety Patrick Chung.

DeAngelo Williams' Health Creates Tough Decision for Ron Rivera at Running Back -- NFL FanHouse
Is DeAngelo Williams done in Charlotte? Next question. Could he be playing for the Saints next season? The Panthers have not yet put a franchise tag on Williams, so perhaps they feel they can come to a reasonable long-term deal with him. They have until Thursday before Williams gets out on the open market, provided the terms of any new collective bargaining agreement on franchised players remain in place.

49ers' Proposed New Stadium Jeopardized by California Budget Crisis -- NFL FanHouse
According to KGO-TV, Brown is looking at cutting redevelopment funds, a move that the governor's office said could save the state $1.7 billion per year. It's his proposal to give that money back to local governments and schools, but Santa Clara says it needs its share of the redevelopment money to help fund a new stadium for the 49ers.

YouTube - Eli Manning: The Meek Clown Of The Sporting Field
Eli Manning on The Onion Sports Dome

Jets will begin furloughs in event of lockout | ProFootballTalk
Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal reports that the Jets will being placing employees on furlough, if a new labor deal with the NFLPA isn’t reached by March 4. Jets executive V.P. of business operations Matt Higgins said that employees in business operations will be required to take a one-week, unpaid leave of absence every month until a new labor deal is negotiated. Employees on the football side will be safe at least until after the draft, in late April.

News Article " Telegram announcing Matson's trade
This is the telegram sent by the Los Angeles Rams to the National Football League office on Feb. 28, 1959 announcing the trade of nine players to the Chicago Cardinals in exchange for Hall of Fame halfback Ollie Matson. The deal was orchestrated by the Rams’ general Manager and future NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle.

Doug Williams says "good ol’ boy network is alive and well" in front offices | ProFootballTalk
"The good ol’ boy network is alive and well," Williams tells Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times, via "But it’s changed from the good ol’ boy network to the fraternity. I always find a way to overcome and just keep going forward." Williams is referring to his desire to become a General Manager, the goal of his jump to the Bucs after leaving Grambling the first time around. Currently, only five of the 32 NFL G.M. jobs are held by minorities.

540 ESPN Milwaukee
On the idea of moving to safety to accommodate Asomugha: "If I talked to Dom (Capers) and he thought that was the best thing for us to win another championship I would do it. This thing is about winning. If this would have been my fifth year in the league I probably would have told you hell no but at this point if that was going to get me another championship why wouldn’t I?"

Bears coach answers questions from fans
"I think he’s been a great leader. First off, guys always watch you—in the classroom, on the practice field and of course your play on game day. And they like what they’ve seen from him in that sense. Jay is a tough guy, and the quarterback of the Chicago Bears should be a tough guy. The number of hits Jay took this past season, our guys saw that he constantly got up, didn’t complain, and took responsibility for what was happening with our offense. To me, that’s a leader."

Bob Sanders will visit Buffalo next | ProFootballTalk
Sanders paid a visit to the Jaguars on Monday and reportedly underwent a medical exam. It’s unknown whether he can currently even pass a physical, so contract offers may be tough to come by this month.



Carolina at the NFL Combine: No Quarterbacks Worthy Enough for No. 1 -- NFL FanHouse
It's make or break time for those players who want to be Carolina's top choice in the draft. The NFL Combine will get underway this week with the glare on quarterbacks, as usual. Here are some players the Panthers are not going to pick: Missouri's Blaine Gabbert, Washington's Jake Locker and Auburn's Cam Newton. They are not No. 1 material. - Draft Dose: Linebacker U.
ver the years, Penn State has developed a reputation for being "Linebacker U." Hall of Famer Jack Ham played at State College in the late 1960s before playing a key role on the Steelers' Super Bowl teams, Greg Buttle was a force during the early '70s before being a standout for the Jets, and recently a new generation of star-studded linebackers has come up through the ranks. LaVar Arrington ushered in this new wave of 'backers in late 1990s, before going on to star in the NFL with the Redskins. In the sixth installment of the Draft Dose series, we look back at some of the most recent 'backers who continue to uphold the tradition of "Linebacker U." in the order in which they entered the league.

Who really are the best quarterback prospects in the draft? | National Football Post
In my view, the "it" factor is a combination of leadership, poise, intelligence, football instincts, work ethic, passion for the game, drive, winning attitude, willingness to compete and mental toughness.

Who’s the draft’s late round RB gem? | National Football Post
Every year we hear about a late round/free agent running back who makes a roster and ends up fighting for playing time early in his NFL career. Therefore, today we highlight some of the top potential late round/free agent type backs who could all fit that mold for this year and end up out producing some of the "more talented" running backs drafted before them.

The need for speed | National Football Post
Today we’re going to take a look at the nine players who posted a sub-4.3 40-yard dash since the Combine implemented electronic timing back in 1999. Did these guys improve their draft stock? Did they have or are they having a productive NFL career?

NFL Scouting Combine: Workout Warriors
40-YARD DASH SLEEPER WR Andre Holmes, Hillsdale- He runs better than you think at 6’4 ½ 209 pounds as he ran a 4.44 at 200 last spring. It will be interesting to see if he can improve his time despite gaining weight. We just want to throw it out there that he has ran 4.4s before and is a name to look out for as a possible surprise blazer.

Combine preview: Top performances, player projections - NFL - -
Note that before 2006, many of the top players did not fully participate in combine workouts. The theory was they were more concerned that it might hurt their draft status -- many times on the advice of their agents, not because they were not willing to run -- and instead opted to work out in the comfortable environs offered at an on-campus workout or Pro Day. Five years ago, when the event was first televised live, most every player decided running the 40 and other at least partially participating in on-field drills was in their best interest. Worth noting: Many first-round picks prior to 2000 didn't work out in Indianapolis, leading to many past second-round picks being listed in the notable performers category below.

Fairley and Newton Poised to Make NFL Draft History - Track Em Tigers
So how does Auburn get itself in position to have two players taken at the top of the NFL draft? Amazingly, it's doable and realistic. The Panthers have made no secret they are in the market for a quarterback. Should Newton's stock continue to rise after his appearance at the upcoming NFL Combine, the Panthers may take a second look at Newton. Should Newton go first, that makes Fairley available to the Broncos. Then the question for Denver becomes whether it wants Bowers or Fairley. Most NFL Scouts rate Fairley slightly ahead of Bowers.

Hamstring healed, Rudolph pumped for NFL draft - Chicago Tribune
Kyle Rudolph's celebratory bellow last Monday cut through the commotion at Velocity Sports Performance. His lead strength coach, Ken Vick, looked over, and Rudolph raised one finger on one hand and four on the other: He'd reached 14 mph on a self-propelled treadmill. Rudolph then signaled that he distributed weight evenly between both legs, and he smiled a goofy smile. Seventeen weeks after hamstring surgery, and just two weeks before the NFL scouting combine, it was the fastest the former Notre Dame tight end had moved. For Rudolph, everything was in balance.

Corey Liuget NFL Draft Scouting Report - Mocking The Draft
Run defend: One of Liuget's biggest strengths is his ability to quickly locate the football. As a run defender you need to be able to quickly identify the ball carrier and work your way towards him. Liuget possesses both the awareness and skills to be an effective run defender. His first step and leverage allow him to take control of the offensive line and drive them towards the football. He uses his quick and heavy hands to disengage from the blocker and then his closing burst to make the play.


Gabriel A. Feldman: NFL Labor Negotiations: Are We Headed for the Doomsday Scenario?
In the current negotiations, we're not dealing with fights over the creation of free agency or the implementation of a salary cap. The players have free agency and the owners have a cap. But, are the owners asking for a sea change? That's a difficult question. One could make an argument that the NFL's latest proposal for a rookie wage scale--which could actually impact a majority of NFL players--would represent something close to a sea change. But, despite the NFL's proposal, it's difficult for anyone to argue--even the owners--that the system is broken. The NHL owners were willing to cancel an entire season because they believed they lost less money by not playing games than by playing games. That is certainly not the situation facing the owners and their multi-billion dollar television deals.

Negotiating an N.F.L. Contract in the Social Media Age -
The N.F.L.’s labor negotiations are the first of a major sports league to be played out in the social media age, giving hundreds of players, dozens of agents, millions of fans and even a handful of owners the equivalent of a gigantic microphone to offer instant — sometimes frustrated — analysis of the once-cloaked minutiae of contentious negotiation. The real-time reactions on Twitter may sometimes give the impression that events surrounding the labor talks are moving quickly — in fact, they have been barely moving at all — but they are also opening a filter-free pipeline with fans that players have long said they wanted.

Sports Radio Interviews " Blog Archive " Matt Birk Advocates Adding Playoff Teams Instead of Regular Season Games
One of the seemingly many sticking points during the negotiations — or currently non-negotiations — is the owners’ desire for an 18-game season and the players’ arguments against it based on health concerns, amongst others. Baltimore Ravens center and players union rep Matt Birk argues, instead, that the NFL could add two playoff teams. Adding a pair of postseason teams would force the top two seeds to go without a bye in the playoffs, but would present the opportunity for two more televised games and, therefore, more revenue. Maybe it’s not the end-all, be-all of fixes, but adding more playoffs while taking away meaningless preseason games sounds pretty good to me.

NFL, union exit from 4th day of mediation - NFL- NBC Sports
"Things are going well," said Batch, a member of the NFL Players Association executive committee. "We'll see how things progress over the coming days." He didn't discuss any details.

Mike Ditka says "crazy" 18-game season idea is all about the money | ProFootballTalk
"I’m not for an 18-game season," Ditka said on ESPN’s Outside the Lines. "If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. And the only thing it’s about is money." Ditka was appearing on a panel discussing the suicide of his former player, Dave Duerson, and whether it could have been tied to depression stemming from brain damage suffered on the field. Ditka said that he can’t square NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s desire for two more regular season weeks with the league’s claims that it’s serious about player safety.

18-game season: $500 million issue | National Football Post
Today’s "myth versus reality" comes from the owners’ side in the negotiation: "The "enhanced" 18-game season is what the fans want" Not really.