Broncos agree with center Dan Koppen

Five and a half months after getting outbid for the services of center Jeff Saturday, the Broncos have agreed to terms with former longtime Patriots center Dan Koppen.

Like legendary Denver center Tom Nalen, Koppen was drafted out of Boston College, and he started 120 of the 121 games he played for New England from 2003 to 2011.

The soon-to-be 33-year-old fractured his left ankle during the Pats' 2011 opener and missed the rest of the season; he was among several notable veterans cut by the team two weeks ago.

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Broncos lose Warren, will re-sign Hanie

Denver's season-opening 31-19 over Pittsburgh came with a heavy price, as defensive tackle Ty Warren tore the same triceps that had cost him the 2011 season; he is likely done for the year.

Warren departed during the second quarter of Sunday night's game; it was his first regular-season action since the 2009 season. The former Patriots star had agreed to a reduced $1.5M salary (down from $4M) after a brief holdout over the summer.

John Fox also confirmed the team will re-sign QB Caleb Hanie, who had been released over the weekend in order to keep Denver from having to guarantee Hanie's salary as a vested veteran.

Late Week 1 wrapup Lard

Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! Still stuck away from home here and fighting a balky internet connection, so please pardon the late links.

Following Denver's 31-19 season-opening victory over Pittsburgh last night (Gamebook, BTV & GameDay highlights), John Fox gave out one game ball (video), appropriately to Peyton Manning - for his 400th career touchdown pass.

Fox, Manning, and several others spoke afterward; here are some of their quotes.

Ty Warren left in the second quarter with a sprained elbow and will undergo testing today.

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Manning saves Fox, McCoy from themselves

Better late than never. That was the theme for much of last season in Denver, but one that didn't figure to carry over to 2012.

Yet, it took quite a while (about twenty minutes' worth of game clock) before John Fox and Mike McCoy got the memo.

You know, the one that says Peyton MF Manning is now their starting quarterback.

We spent much of the past several months laughing off quotes from Fox and McCoy that suggested the 2012 Broncos offense would be a blend of those run by the Manning-led Colts and the sleep-inducing run-heavy affairs the two coaches grew fond of when their starting QBs were named Tebow, Delhomme, Clausen, and Peete.

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Gut Reaction: Week 1 - Broncos vs Steelers

Two roads diverged in a wood.

And I?

I took the one Tracy Porter traveled by.

And that made things completely awesome.

There was this other guy named Peyton Manning, of course.

He got his 400th (and 401st) career touchdown pass as a Denver Bronco.  He also took a no-huddle chainsaw to the forest of Steelers defenders and cut his own path.

The deafening sound you heard wasn't the chainsaw, though.  It was the sound of 76,823 maniacs screaming their team to victory.

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Doc’s Pregame Thoughts: Week 1 vs Steelers

Come Sunday night, Denver is facing their first game of the Manning Era, and the offense will probably will still have a few wrinkles to try out. On the other side of the ball, the loss of both S Ryan Clark and ROLB James Harrison (Harrison is presumably, according to his own Twitter account, not going to play) should hurt the Steelers. So might the uncertainty of how to defend against a scheme that no one has seen, although much of the run game will be similar to plays that Denver ran in 2011. 
 
One side story that interests me is this:  I thought Dick LeBeau (to whom I wish a happy 75th birthday today) seemed to utterly  blow his defensive coordinator role in the Wild Card game last season. I'm sure that he's redoing that entire issue to match what he sees in Denver's new look and he's hoping that he understands essentially what the Broncos will be bringing. Denver has gone vanilla on both sides of the ball in preseason, as you'd expect, and I'm not sure that we've seen anything like what McCoy/Fox/Manning have concocted for the Steelers to defend. Todd Haley will have some wrinkles of his own, but not to the same degree. The Steelers tend to stay within their standard scheme - run the power game and trust in Ben Roethlisberger's arm. I haven’t read or seen any indication that they’ll change a great deal. 

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Game Day Limerick: Pittsburgh Steelers

Because nothing screams football like a drunken limerick:

I awoke a wee drunk this morn.
It was God I beheld reborn--
not in Tebow's charm,
but in Manning's arm.
It was better than watching porn.

Take your own shot below.  Week 1 is upon us!

Open Thread: Week 1

Enjoy the game everyone, and Go Broncos!

Inactive for Denver are WR Andre Caldwell, RB Ronnie Hillman, LB Steven Johnson, G Philip Blake, DL Malik Jackson, G Chris Kuper, and DT Sealver Siliga.

Pittsburgh will be without LB James Harrison, RB Rashard Mendenhall, QB Charlie Batch, S Ryan Clark, T Kelvin Beachum, G David DeCastro, and DT Alameda Ta'amu.

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Manning era begins in earnest Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! I had intended to kick off the season with an extremely thorough version of the Lard, but car issues (the third of our road trip) have us stuck in Beantown for what is hopefully a matter of hours.

Travel problems aside, it's been a great mental break for me, and Ted did a real bang-up job of keeping you posted on the news. I hope you've appreciated his fine work here as much as I have.

Anyway, we're just a few hours away from the early kickoffs on the first Sunday of the 2012 season. The Broncos have thankfully been spared the usual early road game as dictated by CB$'s coverage of the US Open men's final, so we (you) all get to enjoy a full day of football before watching the Broncos and the debut of PMFM without the distraction of other games.

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Cold, cruel world: Broncos release Hanie

Broncos release Caleb Hanie; Brock Osweiler No. 2 QB
www.denverpost.com

In a move to help maintain budget flexibility for later in the season, the Broncos released backup quarterback Caleb Hanie on Saturday. He was replaced on the 53-man roster by defensive tackle Sealver Siliga who was promoted from the practice squad.

Hanie was released so his $1 million base salary would not be guaranteed. The Broncos also avoided paying him a $250,000 bonus for making the active game day roster. Don’t be surprised if Hanie is re-signed by the Broncos on Tuesday.

Death, taxes, and roster axes.

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