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Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks - 3/7/11

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 Voting ends March 8th! - Broncos backing off idea of trading Orton
Following are whispers we've been hearing from around the AFC: • It sounds more and more like the Broncos are backing off a trade of QB Kyle Orton. We hear the team prefers to have a veteran quarterback on the roster, especially if a lockout causes a long layoff. The original rumor was that the organization was looking for a second-round pick for the signalcaller, something that could not happen with an expired Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Report: Vikings considered Orton, think Webb is "nowhere close" | ProFootballTalk
The Denver Broncos say Kyle Orton is their starting quarterback. The Minnesota Vikings don’t know who their starting quarterback is. But the Vikings reportedly considered trying to pry Orton away from the Broncos. Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that the Vikings considered trading for Orton, but have backed off those plans.

YouTube - Top Ten Linebacking Corps: #9 Orange Crush
Watch for the play by Randy at about 1:15....pivotal moment in Broncos' history....

YouTube - John Lynch # 10 most feared tackler
John Lynch # 10 most feared tackler

NFL NEWS news: Chargers LB Cooper believes time in San Diego is over
Stephen Cooper's rise from an undrafted linebacker out of the University of Maine in 2003 to one of the Chargers' most productive and reliable starters is one of those rare long-shot stories in the NFL. But having gone from special-teamer to backup to regular starter (63 games), the eight-year veteran thinks his time with the Chargers finally is coming to an end. "I think I'm going to have an opportunity to test the market," Cooper told the San Diego Union-Tribune on Saturday.

Boston College hockey team inspired by Bill Belichick meeting - ESPN Boston
"You could hear a pin drop in the room, all eyes locked on him," York recalled Sunday, the day after his club captured the Hockey East regular-season title. "You could just tell there is a great connection there with Bill and players." York credited Belichick's motivational words -- which came last Tuesday -- as a catalyst for the team winning the regular-season championship, which the Eagles sewed up with a come-from-behind 4-3 win over New Hampshire on Saturday. - Gallery-Cable reunion rumors already have begun
It didn't take long in Seattle before rumors started cropping up regarding a possible reunion between OG Robert Gallery — the second overall pick in the 2004 draft has been let go by the Raiders — and Tom Cable, who was Gallery's head coach in Oakland before coming to work in Seattle as Pete Carroll's assistant head coach/offensive line coach. "The team could be serious about him (Gallery) — but not at the price he was seeking from the Raiders," a Seahawks source said. "If they could get him, it definitely would help with the needs on the interior spots."

NFP Sunday Blitz | National Football Post
The Dolphins raised a lot of eyebrows when they put the franchise tag on nose tackle Paul Soliai, guaranteeing him about $12.5 million in 2011. Why did the team step out like that on a player who most fans aren’t even aware of? My sources tell me the Dolphins surveyed the free agent field and believed there were no other nose tackles close to Soliai in ability. Given the number of teams playing a 3-4 defense, the Dolphins feared Soliai would be the subject of a bidding war. In fact, there were rumblings that the Redskins and Texans coveted him.

Ron Rivera: Ron Rivera relishes first head coaching job with Carolina Panthers -
The work cut out for Rivera is considerable. There isn't a quick-fix phone call he can make to solve this mission. The Panthers own the No. 1 pick in the draft after tailspinning to a 2-14 record. The search is on for a franchise quarterback, and Rivera promises Jimmy Clausen, the former Notre Dame star, one thing: "There are absolutely no promises but the opportunity to compete." He has met face-to-face with Steve Smith but can't be certain the wide receiver will not be traded. When Rivera studied the Panthers before a six-hour interview in San Diego with general manager Marty Hurney and team President Danny Morrison, he quickly identified the offensive line as a strength.

All quiet on Gradkowski front - Inside the Oakland Raiders - A look inside the world of the highly classified Oakland Raiders from the writers of Bay Area News Group
Given the public endorsements for Jason Campbell as the Raiders starting quarterback from both Al Davis and Hue Jackson, it’s no surprise that Bruce Gradkowski was not tendered before Thursday’s deadline and had no talks with the club about a contract for 2011. Asked by beat writer Steve Corkran if he’d received a tender and at what level, Gradkowski said, "No, nothing," and said there had been no contact with the Raiders about playing this season.

Stanford Routt Q&A | National Football Post
Oakland Raiders starting cornerback Stanford Routt recently signed a three-year, $31.5 million contract that included $20 million in guaranteed money during the first two years of the pact. The former second-round draft pick from the University of Houston is coming off a breakthrough season, excelling in man-to-man coverage. He regained his starting job, intercepting two passes and deflected a career-high 15 passes. Targeted 99 times, Routt only allowed 39.4 percent of those throws to be completed. It marked a major step forward after allowing 62.7 percent of passes thrown in his direction to be completed in previous seasons combined. Last season, Routt's numbers were competitive with New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (33.9 percent) as well as Raiders star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (39.4 percent).

Chiefs' Player-Organized Workouts Sound Good But Is It A Good Idea? - Arrowhead Pride
First, what if I get injured? The best case scenario obviously is that it's a minor injury and I know how to treat it because the trained professionals normally standing 20 feet away won't be there to treat it. The worst case scenario is that I suffer an injury and get placed on the non-football injury list with my 2011 pay wiped out. Actually, the worst case scenario is suffering a career-ending injury. The chances of suffering a career-ending or even season-ending injury aren't very good but, looking at my salary, I'm not sure I'm willing to take that potentially multi-million dollar gamble.


How the medical exam affects a player's draft stock | National Football Post
Clubs will have put a preliminary medical grade on players soon after they finish their physical exam, but until the team doctors have a chance to review MRI’s and X-Rays they can’t make a final determination. By the end of this week, the clubs will have most of the results of the MRI’s. As a director, I wanted the information as soon as it was available because I didn’t want my scouts or coaches wasting time on a player that was not going to get by the medical staff. Time is too short to have any wasted minutes.

Is NFL Combine turning into a Soap Box? If so, Julio Jones doesn't mind : Lindys Sports
Consider the strident reactions heard after it was learned that Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones ran the 40 in 4.39 seconds ON A BROKEN FOOT! Just think how fast he would have run, if healthy, was the reaction of many analysts. You’d think some thought Jones was running with a bone sticking out of his foot. The truth is, the fracture that was diagnosed by the NFL at the Scouting Combine can actually be a rather common injury among athletes, medical sources familiar with Jones’ said. "Many players have it, play on it and never realize they have it," the source said. The stress fracture, known ironically as a Jones fracture, is in the fifth metatarsal bone of the foot, near the small toe. It shows up as a micro-crack in the bone, and the source explained, "There can be a little bit of pain or sometimes no pain at all."

Terrell McClain preparing for NFL Draft - Bright House Sports Network
McClain has been projected as a first day pick, with some scouts believing he could go in the 1st round. That’s where Saddlebrook’s athletic compound comes into play. Since ending his 4 year playing career at USF, McClain has been training 6 days a week at the facility with a personal trainer. He’s also still going to class, working on finishing his requirements to graduate. The results seem to have paid off; McClain has shed some weight from the season, measuring out at the combine at a trim 297 pounds. Stopwatches clocked his 40 time at 4.98, much faster than his time before this new training regimen took place.

A.J. Green's NFL draft diary  |
I knew that going to the NFL scouting combine would be a super major deal for me. At first, I was a little concerned because I didn't know what to expect. But it was easy going into each interview. The people were pretty down to earth. They'd ask me some general questions, and we'd watch some film from last year. Then, I'd have to give them what I learned and draw up some of the plays that we ran at Georgia. I just had to tell them little things like, what's my favorite route and how I read defensive backs.

Sources: Fairley, not Cam, "one to worry about" -
By "JUCO" the source is, of course, referring to the fact that Fairley played junior college football (Copiah-Lincoln Community College) prior to starring at Auburn. Asked to elaborate why being a "JUCO kid" is a bad thing, the source explained. "Just because a player went to a junior college doesn't mean, he's a bad guy or won't be successful at this level, obviously. There are lots of junior college players who have gone on to great NFL careers." The stereotype is that JUCO players aren't as smart, hard-working, and well coached. They are also viewed by many clubs as players most likely to have had off-field troubles in the past and potentially more in the future. The source refused to go into specifics, but said, "Everyone is coming down hard on the quarterback, but [Fairley] is the one to worry about."


Brian Frederick: Fans' List of Demands for New NFL Labor Agreement
Since 1960, NFL rules have prevented public ownership of any teams other than the Green Bay Packers. Specifically, the rules state: "Charitable organizations and/or corporations not organized for profit and not now a member of the league may not hold membership in the National Football League." Of course, the NFL's rules are not actual law and states could actually seek to keep a team threatening relocation in town by using eminent domain. (This is what led the Baltimore Colts in 1984 to hurriedly pack everything into moving fans and rush to their new home in Indianapolis. By the time the state had passed legislation to seize the Colts, there was nothing left to seize.) Imagine if the people of Minnesota could buy shares in the Minnesota Vikings to keep them in the state. As it is, their only hope now to hold onto the Vikings is to have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes for a new stadium. Otherwise, owner Zygi Wilf may move them to Los Angeles. Keep in mind that Minnesota is $6 billion in debt.

Source: Robert Kraft’s rant was directed at Jeff Kessler, not Bob Batterman | ProFootballTalk
Specifically, Silver reported that "on Wednesday, according to several people familiar with the meetings, . . . Kraft snapp[ed] at Bob Batterman, the labor attorney retained by the league for these negotiations, because he felt Batterman was speaking in legalese platitudes." A source with knowledge of the situation claims that Kraft’s comments were directed not at Batterman, but at union lawyer Jeffrey Kessler, whom the NFL owners almost uniformly despise for his sue-first-and-ask-questions-later reputation.

In N.F.L. Talks, Optimism but Still Obstacles -
But the hope that the N.F.L. might avert an all-out labor war is tempered by a dose of reality: the two sides remain so far apart on the economic issues at the core of the negotiation — how to divide annual revenue and a new rookie compensation system — that it seems unlikely a deal could be finished by the Friday deadline. The hope, say people involved in negotiations, is that enough progress could be made by the end of the week on the key elements necessary to start a new league year — what the salary cap will be, what the rules of free agency are and what the rookie compensation model will look like — that the sides could then firm up the rest of the details in another week to 10 days. The league would then resume off-season business as usual, with free agency likely to open just past mid-March.

Bottom Line Might Not Be Bottom Line in NFL Talks -
"We have made player safety our biggest concern, and we won't back off on that," said Tennessee Titans guard and player representative Jake Scott. "There are so many moving parts, so much that goes on," added Saints tackle Jon Stinchcomb, also a player rep. "When you have these CBA negotiations, what we establish now will affect how we do business for years to come. It's more than just how to slash the pie. It's how you go to work, what your offseason will look like, benefits for former players, how protected are we when injuries come along. There are so many aspects being negotiated, it takes time to come to an agreement on all these different fronts."