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Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks - 3/10/11


Q&A: Broncos need more speed to play the style of defense Fox prefers - The Denver Post
Look for Denver's new defensive players to be fast for their position and size, including the ones the Broncos select during the April 28-30 draft. But if the Broncos can't get many of the type of defensive players that Fox and Allen prefer, they probably won't be able to implement everything they plan to do eventually. The Broncos can't fix everything that needs to be repaired in just one offseason. But they hope to get enough done to turn up the heat on opposing quarterbacks this year.

Woody's Mailbag: Nuggets-Lakers could be Denver's best bet - The Denver Post
However, it is my strong belief that if the NFL settles its collective bargaining agreement in the next few weeks (or couple of months), Orton will be traded, and Tebow will be the quarterback. Of course, the Broncos are going to say that Orton is the starter. Otherwise, they couldn't get anything for him. But no way will the Broncos pay two quarterbacks $16 million next season. Fox and Elway are posturing, and Orton is still renting his house. If the Broncos were to start Orton next season, the revolt among the fans would begin again. And I'll lead the revolution.

Broncos check out DT Dareus at Alabama - The Denver Post
Dareus is rising on draft boards because he played in a pro-style defense for Alabama coach Nick Saban and would fit a 3-4 look or the kind of 4-3 the Broncos will play. Scouts on hand Wednesday said he showed good agility in drills with exceptionally quick feet for a 6-foot-4, 319-pound man. Fox has called the defensive linemen awaiting the April 28-30 draft "the best I can remember from top to bottom."

Memories of Our Six Best DB Draftees "
Billy Thompson, drafted in the third round in 1969. A member of the Broncos’ Ring of Fame, BT started out at cornerback before setting into his safety position. To this day, he remains the only player ever to lead the league—he led the American Football League—in punt and kickoff returns in the same season (1969). "Bronco Billy" had 61 career turnovers and is the NFL’s all-time leader in opponent fumbles returned for touchdowns, with four.

Broncos Player's Attorney Wants Hearing Closed -
An attorney for Perrish Cox, a Denver Broncos cornerback charged with sexual assault, is asking a judge to hold a court hearing in secret because allowing the public and media to attend could taint a jury. The Denver Post, The Associated Press and the New York Times oppose the move. Blogs " Blog Archive Green: Orton should start in Denver "
One of the biggest questions facing Broncos coach John Fox is what to do at quarterback. Tim Tebow or Kyle Orton? NFL Network analyst Trent Green believes that Orton is the obvious choice because with the team’s struggles on defense, a veteran quarterback can add some stability. With so many issues facing this team, why compound it by having an inexperienced quarterback?


Tiki Barber Comeback Will Not End Well -
In a story Tuesday that broke news about Barber's possible comeback, said Barber reportedly left his wife, Ginny, who was eight months pregnant with twins, for 23-year-old Traci Johnson, a former NBC intern. Last year, NBC cited its morals clause and terminated the contract that reportedly paid Barber $300,000 a year. The New York Post reported last June that Barber was broke and couldn't pay his divorce settlement with his ex-wife. Now he wants back in the NFL, and it's easy to see why. The minimum salary for a 10-year veteran is $865,000 and a contract containing some incentives could push that salary even higher.

Cold, Hard Football MIT's Dorkapalooza: where intangibles go to die
In a nutshell, the MIT Sports Analytics Conference is where intangibles go to die. If it can’t be quantified, it didn’t happen. To put it another way, invited speaker Charles (Sandy) Weill gave a presentation entitled "What Optical Tracking Says About NBA Field Goal Shooting". This was hardcore geekdom – the meek need not apply. I felt right at home – especially with the post-conference open bar.

63-year-old John Riggins says he can match Tiki Barber | National Football Post
Anything Tiki Barber can attempt, John Riggins can try as well. The Hall of Fame running back has taken to his Twitter account and discussed a comeback. At age 63. The Super Bowl XVII MVP says he found out he doesn’t need to be reinstated like Barber, who remains under the control of the New York Giants for the time being, because he was a free agent when he walked away from the NFL after the 1985 season.

Eugene, Loper as starters? - Inside the Oakland Raiders - A look inside the world of the highly classified Oakland Raiders from the writers of Bay Area News Group
Contract figures made available to Bay Area News Group indicate the Raiders may be looking at free safety Hiram Eugene and guard Daniel Loper as potential starters. Eugene, signed before last Thursday’s deadline, signed a four-year contract which pays him $2 million this year, $2.25 million in 2012, $2.75 million in 2013 and $3.25 million in 2014.

Palmer's not playing: He's done if he's not traded - NFL - Football
The Cincinnati Bengals have a dilemma, and this time it doesn't involve one of its wide receivers. Nope, now the Bengals must decide what to do with Carson Palmer, a quarterback whom two sources I trust insist will never, ever, ever play for the team again. I know what you're thinking, and it's that Chad Ochocinco tried this ploy a few years ago, and it didn't work. But this isn't Chad Ochocinco. This is the face of the franchise and the voice of reason, and Palmer is determined to retire if the Bengals don't accommodate his wishes to be traded, sources said.

Saints assistant gets three years’ probation in real estate scam | ProFootballTalk
Although Jones made only $86,225 from the scheme, which required him to make false statements in loan applications in order to obtain money that was never repaid, he is required to fork over $1,148,678 in restitution, which represents the full amount of the loans paid out in his name.

Brandon Meriweather accused of shooting two people | ProFootballTalk
Early this morning, Deadspin reported based on a conversation with the alleged victims’ lawyer that Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather is accused of shooting two people during a fight that broke out at a house party in Apopka, Florida on February 27. John Morgan claims that Meriweather fired at his clients, with the bullet grazing one of them and hitting the other in the head.

NFL DRAFT Blogs " Blog Archive Casserly mock top 10: No room for Newton "
Former NFL general manager Charley Casserly was full of surprises while unveiling his mock draft top 10 on "Path to the Draft." Casserly has Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers going No. 1 overall to the Panthers. So far, so good, right? Next up he has the Broncos at No. 2 taking Alabama DT Marcell Dareus, who he calls "the best defensive lineman in the draft."

2011 NFL Mock Draft has Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton in top three - Don Banks -
Dareus went into the combine with Warren Sapp and some others higher on him than they were on Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, but that refrain became a full-throated chorus coming out of Indianapolis. When they started comparing them side by side, Dareus turned out to be bigger and have better burst than the more celebrated SEC defensive tackle. And the NFL also likes that he comes with a Nick Saban seal of approval. - Cream of the 2010 rookie crop
What follows are the Top 10 2010 draft classes in this 24/7 league observer's humble opinion: (1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - No team in the league was served better by youth this past season than the Bucs, who became the first team since the 1970 merger to start 10 rookies and finish the season with a winning record. A stellar rookie crop was spearheaded by fourth-round WR Mike Williams, who led rookie pass catchers in receptions (65), yards receiving (964) and touchdowns (11), and undrafted rookie RB LeGarrette Blount, who burst out of the woodwork to lead all rookie rushers with 201 carries for 1,007 yards (5.0 ypc) and six TDs.

Inside the NFL Combine | National Football Post
Mason Foster is a 6-2, 242-pound senior linebacker from the University of Washington who will be keeping a running journal for the National Football Post as he prepares for April’s draft. This is his fourth entry.

The Player's top ten mock draft | National Football Post
2. Denver Broncos: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson John Fox could look at LSU CB Patrick Peterson when the Broncos are on the clock, but after the new four-year extension for veteran Champ Bailey, I see Denver addressing a much-needed upgrade to the defensive line. With Bowers, the Broncos get one of the top edge rushers in the draft and start to build their overall talent in the front seven. And, if he clears medically at his pro day, I expect his stock to rise quickly.

Kiper calls Newton ‘one-year wonder,’ like Akili Smith | ProFootballTalk
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper hosted a media conference call on Wednesday morning. Toward the end of the call, Kiper was asked about Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, and the possibility that the 2010 Heisman winner might land with the Bills. Kiper says he’s spoken to people he "trusts" in the league, and came away feeling that Newton isn’t necessarily on Buffalo’s radar.

2011 draft visits and workouts tracker | ProFootballTalk
Denver Broncos *Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray (3/?).

Gabe Carimi: Most NFL scouts think I’m the best tackle in the draft | ProFootballTalk
Carimi said at the NFL Scouting Combine that he considers himself the best offensive tackle in this year’s draft. And he said at today’s Wisconsin Pro Day that when he talked to NFL scouts and coaches about those comments, most of them told him they think he’s the best, too.

Post-Combine Consensus Big Board - The Gold Standard of Big Boards - Mocking The Draft
Your best source for 2010 NFL Draft coverage and NFL Mock Drafts from the fan perspective.

Allen Bailey NFL Draft Scouting Report - Mocking The Draft
Final Word: Bailey is a tremendous athlete and physical specimen. He is a super versatile football player that has the size, speed, agility, strength, and toughness to play at a high level at multiple positions such as DE, DT, and strong side OLB in a 34 defense. He has outstanding lateral quickness to make plays against the run or the pass. Bailey has all of the tools to be a dominant football player. He would be an ideal fit for any team who uses the 34 defense. Once he adapts to the pro level and learns how to utilize his talents more effectively the opposition is what I call "thru booking" thats the ballgame.

Texas A&M OLB Von Miller wows scouts with 4.49 -
Miller and Willis were each recorded at 4.51 seconds in the 40-yard dash at their respective Combine workouts. While Miller was unable to match the eye-popping 4.37 second time Willis had at his Pro Day at Ole Miss in 2007, he did wow onlookers with a 4.49 second showing this morning at Texas A&M's Pro Day, according to a source on the scene.

Ingram/Dareus run-jump-weigh well @ 'Bama Pro Day -
Dareus, like Ingram, weighed in one pound lighter today (318) than he did at the Combine and posted an 8'10" broad jump -- a drill he did not participate in at the Combine. Ingram and Dareus measuring in at similar weights as they did at the Combine may seem insignificant to some, but prospects are notorious for dropping or adding signficant weight following the measurements and workout in Indianapolis. Consider that Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley was six pounds heavier at his Pro Day yesterday than he was at the Combine. Colorado offensive tackle Nate Solder, on the other hand, was a full 12 pounds lighter today than at the Combine, according to Chad Reuter's Pro Day report.


De Smith says fans have been "abundantly clear" about not wanting 18 games | ProFootballTalk
Apart from citing player safety, Smith explained that the fans have made it "abundantly clear" that they don’t want 18 regular-season games. Of course, the league consistently has said the fans want 18 games. As far as we can tell, most fans want a shorter preseason, but not a longer regular season. The sooner the NFL realizes that, the sooner this mess perhaps can be resolved.

If NFL Stops,' Innocent Bystanders' to Take Hit -
Local tax districts would suffer, too, most of all in places where there are tariffs on tickets or parking spots to repay stadium costs. The way things are set up in Foxborough, Mass., revenue from the Patriots' stadium pays for big-ticket items such as school buses, school computers, highway trucks and fire engines. The town's capital budget — the line item that would be hit — already has been "starved out" for several years, skimping on all but the school buses, said Randy Scollins, Foxborough's finance director.

Battle Line Hardens Over N.F.L. Financial Data -
The differences could collapse the talks, with the union possibly decertifying at the Friday night deadline, sending the league into turmoil and perhaps imperiling the 2011 season. "When one side says everything is negotiable and the other starts taking things off the table and drawing lines in the sand, that side is getting ready to walk," said one person briefed on the negotiations.

NFL Work Stoppage Could Dim Lights in Sin City -
"I can't see us losing a whole NFL season," said Lee Amaitis, chief executive of Cantor Gaming, a company that operates sports books in four Las Vegas casinos. But if it happens "it won't be good." "If this town doesn't have the Super Bowl, it'll be a disaster," he said.

Show us (more of) your books! | National Football Post
As has been he basic problem of these negotiations, the issue of trust, the NFL has not shown the level of trust in the NFLPA to allow them access to the individual team statements. Owners have felt that line item expenses such asprivate travel, personal expenses, salaries for top employees and other information that may cause awkwardness would be parsed through and perhaps even leaked to the media, causing undue embarrassment due to untrustworthy behavior by the union. More importantly, the owners’ argument to not turn over the financial is bolstered by the CBA provision discussed here.

League, union dispute the contents of the players’ past information demands | ProFootballTalk
That said, we still don’t believe the union needs audited financial statements. While profit information alone possibly isn’t enough (as our friend Ross Tucker pointed out via e-mail, profit data doesn’t reveal the salary payments made to family members), full-blown financial statements are too much. The challenge for the two sides will be to find an appropriate middle ground. The problem is that tempers are flaring. The players, we’re told, weren’t pleased with the comments NFL general counsel Jeff Pash made to the media this morning, and the two sides are dangerously close to having the situation spiral out of control.

The league needs to give up more than profit information | ProFootballTalk
So beyond purely disclosing profit, the league needs to identify — and an independent firm must verify — all payments made to the owner, his family, or any related companies owned by the owner or his family members. This goes beyond the embarrassment of revealing that a son-in-law who never shows up for work makes $500,000 per year; this is about finding additional profits that have been treated as something other than profits.

Union says no to 18 games | ProFootballTalk
Speaking at the union’s Washington offices during an event arranged jointly with 106.7 the Fan, Smith was "categorical" that the union won’t agree to the change, according to Jim Trotter of "First of all, the league has never presented a formal proposal for 18 games," Smith said. "But more importantly, it’s something that our players don’t want. Eighteen games is not in the best interest of our players’ safety, so we’re not doing it."

Owners ask for a lot, offer very little in return - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
"It’s really the same argument we’ve been making for the better part of two years," one player active in union affairs told Y! Sports. "We’ve conceded a lot already, and we can’t go any further just because they’re asking us to ‘trust’ them. We saw how trustworthy they are with the TV case." To be fair, there may be some very logical reasons why the owners are resisting this revelation. The financial statements could contain embarrassing information that could be used against them if made public, or even shady dealings that might attract outside attention from authorities. In addition, owners may not want their specific financial information revealed to their peers given the obvious competition between franchises for on-the-field success.

Are NFL Owners Fumbling at the Goal Line? -
The league is holding firm on its demands to reduce player pay by some $750 million. The league declined to comment on specific decisions. In a statement, league spokesman Greg Aiello said the NFL is "not surprised" by the current state of the talks. "We have properly and fully prepared for all contingencies. Collective bargaining is always challenging and we are working hard to reach a fair agreement that ensures the long-term future of the league. There will be plenty of time for analysis when the agreement is done. And there will be an agreement." Here are some of the key assumptions the NFL owners made before the talks began, and how they have fared so far:

Union asks Judge Doty to unseal "lockout insurance" records | ProFootballTalk
The next big ruling in the lockout insurance case relates to whether Judge Doty will prevent the league from receiving the $4.3 billion in 2011 TV revenue in the event of a work stoppage. Last week, Judge Doty found that the league violated the CBA by failing to maximize the revenue shared by the NFL and the players when negotiating the term that will pay only the owners during a lockout. The NFLPA claims that the league has yet to explain why the information should remain sealed, and that the league has failed to cooperate with efforts to agree on strategies for protecting third parties, specifically the networks.

For NFL players, 'surviving' lockout easy if they go by the book - Baltimore Sun
"Leave the club with your wallet and budget intact" is another, which might as well be titled "What to Say To Your Entourage." "Let your friends know that you intend to have a good time, but they will be responsible for their own food and drinks," the handbook advises. "Don't allow yourself to be taken advantage of by people who want you to pay for their fun." Oh, boy, does that one ring a bell. I remember being out of work back in 1987 when the Newspaper Guild went on strike and we manned picket lines outside The Baltimore Sun. And the first thing I told my wife was: "Honey, we're still going clubbin' with the fellas. But they're picking up their own tabs. We gotta cut back."