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Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks - 3/21/13

Horse Tracks: Your Daily Cup of Orange and Blue!

Hagen Hopkins

Building on 2012 for a Better 2013
The Broncos know that they have the tools in place to improve on the team’s 2012 finish.

Abraham, Freeney Reportedly Scheduled to Visit
The Broncos have offered a contract to Elvis Dumervil, and two more pass rushers will reportedly visit Dove Valley this week.

Fox Expecting Improvement from 'Explosive' Hillman
Head Coach John Fox said RB Ronnie Hillman had a 'great rookie season,' and he expects even more in the back's sophomore campaign.

Denver Broncos Videos

Madden 25 Cover Round 2: Russell Wilson vs. Von Miller - ESPN Video - ESPN
Russell Wilson takes on Von Miller in the second round of the Madden 25 Cover Vote on SportsNation! Cast your votes at!

NFL32OT: NFL Passes Helmet Rule - ESPN Video - ESPN
Suzy Kolber and Herm Edwards discuss the new helmet rule that could affect running backs. Todd McShay breaks down the upcoming NFL Draft. The NFL32 crew discuss which free-agent pass-rusher will have the biggest impact on a new team.

Lotulelei Works Out At Utah's Pro Day - ESPN Video - ESPN
Star Lotulelei works out at Utah's pro day less than a month after an abnomal test result forced him to miss the NFL scouting combine.

SoonerNation: Landry Jones interview - ESPN Video - ESPN
After his pro day, Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones talks about his NFL future with Jake Trotter. Jones also gives his pick on the frontrunner to take his place under center for the Sooners.

Draft Lab: Offensive Linemen - ESPN Video - ESPN
Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay discuss the top offensive linemen in the NFL draft.

Manning Willing To Rework Deal To Keep Cruz - ESPN Video - ESPN
Eli Manning is willing to consider restructuring his contract if it helps to keep Victor Cruz.

Brian Urlacher, Bears Unable To Reach Agreement - ESPN Video - ESPN
Brian Urlacher unable to reach agreement on contract with Bears for next season.

RG III Has To Alter His Game - ESPN Video - ESPN
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan says QB Robert Griffin III must alter his game to stay healthy.

Tomlin Calls Read-Option "Flavor Of The Month" - ESPN Video - ESPN
Herm Edwards, Nick Lachey, LZ Granderson and Ryen Russillo discuss Mike Tomlin's comments about the read-option and putting quarterbacks in harm's way.

Reports: Ed Reed To Join Texans - ESPN Video - ESPN
Paul Kuharsky with the latest on Ed Reed and the Texans.

Denver Broncos Blogs

Dwight Freeney, John Abraham to meet Broncos; Dumervil looks elsewhere - The Denver Post - Mike Klis
One way or the other, the Broncos need a pass rusher coming off the right edge.

Denver Broncos' Von Miller, Champ Bailey on USO tour to visit troops - The Denver Post
Equipped with communication devices more modern than a fax machine, Von Miller was on his way to a USO tour in Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan when he heard about the paperwork gaffe that led to the release of pass-rush partner Elvis Dumervil.

NFL puts a lid on players using their helmets - The Denver Post
The desire for additional player safety overwhelmed questions about enforcement as the NFL took what Rams coach Jeff Fisher called "an important step" to prevent players from using their helmets as weapon

Broncos offensive line has four starters returning from surgery - The Denver Post - Jeff Legwold
Q: Now that the Broncos have (Louis) Vazquez, it appears the last position of concern on the offensive line is center. With Dan Koppen an unrestricted free agent and J.D. Walton and Philip Blake injured, what's the plan at center?

Ryan Jensen of CSU-Pueblo continues to climb NFL draft boards - The Denver Post - Jeff Legwold
In what should be music to the ears of every NFL hopeful who doesn't play at a school in the BCS rankings, who doesn't get an invitation to the Senior Bowl or isn't one of the select group asked to show up to the NFL's scouting combine, CSU-Pueblo's Ryan Jensen just keeps gaining momentum heading toward April's draft.

Division News

PFT Live: Reid believes the Chiefs will improve in 2013 | ProFootballTalk
Andy Reid knows that he is faced with a tough task in turning around the Kansas City Chiefs next season.

PFT Live: Will the Raiders turn heads in 2013? | ProFootballTalk
Even though the Oakland Raiders have a lack of draft choices and little salary cap room to move around, head coach Dennis Allen believes the team will surprise people in 2013.

Khalif Barnes stays with Raiders | ProFootballTalk
The Raiders have held onto one of their own free agents.

Raiders should grab CB when they can - AFC West Blog - ESPN
The once-stout cornerback market is beginning to dry up.

NFL News

NFL Communications - Transcript: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Annual Meeting Press Conference – March 20, 2013 "
Opening statement: Goodell: We finished our session this morning a little bit in advance. We only had Competition Committee matters this morning

NFL Communications - NFL Health and Safety Update—March 20, 2013 "
For the complete release, click here

Coaches get guidance on offseason workout rules | ProFootballTalk
One of the common concerns we heard at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis related to the still-new restrictions on offseason workouts.

Pro Bowl survives another year | ProFootballTalk
The NFL has made it official: The Pro Bowl will take place on Sunday, January 26, 2014 in Hawaii.

NFL Rule Changes

NFL passes Jim Schwartz rule | ProFootballTalk
NFL coaches who wrongly throw a challenge flag for a replay review that was going to be conducted automatically will no longer cost their team the opportunity to have the play reviewed.

NFL owners end tuck rule, approve helmet penalty - ESPN
NFL owners went into a speed voting mode before concluding their winter meeting in Phoenix on Wednesday, voting to eliminate the tuck rule, penalize crown of the helmet hits by players who are outside of the tackle box or at least three yards downfield and change the replay challenge rule so that a bad coaches' challenge doesn't prevent officials from reviewing the play.

Trent Richardson: I feel like crown rule is my fault -
The NFL easily passed its controversial crown-of-helmet rule on Wednesday, banning a runner or tackler from delivering a blow with their helmet against an opponent when outside the tackle box

Mike Brown voted against helmet rule because it’s hard to officiate | ProFootballTalk
Bengals owner Mike Brown, the only one of the league’s 32 owners to vote against the new rule against initiating contact with the top of the helmet,

Jeff Fisher calls helmet rule "a huge victory for the NFL" | ProFootballTalk
Rams coach Jeff Fisher is a member of the NFL Competition Committee and has been the most vocal proponent of the new rule that bans runners from leading with the crown of their helmets outside the tackle box, and he was elated when the rule passed today.

Mike Mayock thinks the NFL has crossed a line with the helmet rule | ProFootballTalk
Add NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock to the list of football observers who don’t like the NFL’s new rule banning running backs from lowering their heads into tacklers.

Jerry Rice likens helmet rule to "powder puff football" | ProFootballTalk
The man who was recently voted the greatest player in NFL history is not on board with the NFL’s latest attempt to make the game safer.

Jerome Bettis says NFL’s new helmet rule “makes no sense” | ProFootballTalk
Add Jerome Bettis to the list of current or former NFL running backs who don’t like the new rule against runners delivering forcible blows with the top of the helmet.

Charles Woodson happy tuck rule’s gone, feels "shunned" in free agency | ProFootballTalk
Charles Woodson played a pivotal role in the play that made the Tuck Role famous and he was happy to see the rule die on Wednesday.

ProFootballTalk: Is ‘crown-of-helmet’ rule fair? | ProFootballTalk
Former Cardinals GM Rod Graves joins PFT to give his take on the new rules set to take effect in the NFL.

New helmet-use rule is more narrow, limited than believed | ProFootballTalk
The Commissioner’s traditional end-of-meetings press conference quickly morphed into a panel discussion, with a variety of coaches, executives, and officials explaining to the media (and, necessarily, to everyone else) the ins-and-outs of the new rule regarding the use of the helmet.

NFL wants coaches to not complain about new helmet-use rule | ProFootballTalk
Before Wednesday’s 31-1 vote that prevents players in the open field from using the tops of their helmets to ram opponents, plenty of coaches expressed concerns about the proposal.

Spinning their wheels? | National Football Post
The NFL introduced a new rule on Wednesday in an effort to cut down on concussions. But will it make a difference?

Free Agency Signings

Captain Munnerlyn indicates he’s re-signing with Panthers | ProFootballTalk
Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn looks to be re-signing with Carolina. Here’s what he tweeted on Wednesday night:

Ed Reed reaches deal with Texans | ProFootballTalk
CBS’ Jason La Canfora reports that the Texans and Reed have reached a contract agreement.

Redskins sign E.J. Biggers | ProFootballTalk
The Redskins have added depth to their secondary with the acquisition of free agent E.J. Biggers.

Report: Safety Mike Mitchell agrees to terms with Panthers -
A person familiar with the situation says the Carolina Panthers have agreed to a one-year contract with unrestricted free agent safety Mike Mitchell.

Free Agency Rumors

Bears make Urlacher insulting offer before walking away | ProFootballTalk
The Bears fired a coach who won 10 games last year, so it’s no surprise they’re taking a "just-a-business" approach.

Shane Lechler to visit Texans | ProFootballTalk
There hasn’t been much action around punters in free agency yet, but we’ll get some on Thursday.

Osi Umenyiora visits the Falcons | ProFootballTalk
The slower-than-expected (at least by them) market for free agent defensive ends is starting to pick up

Bears bring in Turk McBride | ProFootballTalk
With the Saints switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4, there’s been much discussion about which of their players fit the new scheme.

Browns meeting with Kellen Davis Thursday | ProFootballTalk
The Browns have signed Gary Barnidge and shown some interest in Fred Davis, so they’re clearly looking for ways to bolster the tight end position this offseason.

Tony McDaniel visiting Seahawks | ProFootballTalk
The Seahawks have signed Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, but they aren’t done looking at additions to their defensive line.

Ahmad Bradshaw holding off on visits for the moment | ProFootballTalk
Running back Ahmad Bradshaw has generated some interest around the league since his release from the Giants, but he said Wednesday that he’s not yet ready to go meet with any of those teams.

2013 Draft/Pro Days

March 21: Boise State, Eastern Kentucky, Georgia, Kentucky, Miami (Ohio), New Mexico State, Old Dominion, Stanford, Stony Brook, Temple, William & Mary

Boise State - D.J. Harper, RB; Jamar Taylor, CB

Eastern Kentucky - Tyrone Goard, WR

Georgia - Marlon Brown, WR; Sanders Commings, CB; Kwame Geathers, DT; John Jenkins, DT; Abry Jones, DE; Jarvis Jones, LB; Tavarres King, WR; Alec Ogletree, LB; Bacarri Rambo, SS; Cornelius Washington, LB; Shawn Williams, SS

Kentucky - La'Rod King, WR; Larry Warford, G

Miami (Ohio) - Zac Dysert, QB

New Mexico State - None

Old Dominion - None

Stanford - Terrence Brown, CB; Zach Ertz, TE; Stepfan Taylor, RB; Chase Thomas, LB; Levine Toilolo, TE

Stony Brook - Miguel Maysonet, RB

Temple - Montel Harris, RB

William & Mary - B.W. Webb, CB

Mike Glennon is a future NFL starting QB, Bucky Brooks says - and NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks is convinced that North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon can be a starting NFL quarterback after watching him work out on his pro day.

Cordarrelle Patterson is still draft’s top WR, Mike Mayock says -
Mike Mayock was in Knoxville, Tenn., to watch the University of Tennessee’s pro day and continued to be impressed with wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.

Wide receiver prospects get close look at Baylor’s pro day -
Representatives from 27 NFL teams gathered at the pro day held at Baylor on Wednesday, where 14 players went through a workout held indoors on FieldTurf.

EJ Manuel earns more praise from Mike Mayock after pro day -
Mike Mayock was on hand to witness Florida State’s pro day, where quarterback EJ Manuel — a player rated as the No. 2 QB in the draft by Mayock — was one of the key prospects working out.

Star Lotulelei makes most of opportunity in front of NFL scouts -
Representatives from 31 NFL teams gathered at the pro day held at Utah on Wednesday, where 21 Utes players — joined by 12 other players from smaller schools in the area — went through a workout held indoors on FieldTurf.

Star Lotulelei performs well at pro day | ProFootballTalk
Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei wasn’t able to work out for scouts at the combine because doctors found his hear was pumping below normal levels, leading him to return to Utah for more evaluation before resuming his normal workout schedule.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Futures: Three in the Boiler
A series I started this year at the RSP blog is The Boiler Room. One of the challenges involved with player analysis is to be succinct while still delivering the goods

Pro Day Preview for March 21st & 22nd | National Football Post
Russ Lande breaksdown the Pro Days coming up in the next two days.

Scout Talk | National Football Post
Do NFL teams really value game tape over workouts? These players may tell the story

The importance of Pro Day | National Football Post
What are scouts really looking for at the college pro days?

Miscellaneous Stuff

Vikings not planning to try Joe Webb at another position | ProFootballTalk
The Vikings signed Matt Cassel to back up Christian Ponder at quarterback last week, leading to questions about what the Vikings might have planned for Joe Webb.

Arians not sure Cardinals need another QB | ProFootballTalk
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians made a statement with more than his red hat this morning.

Go Broncos!

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