Reflecting on training camp travels
Thinking about the Broncos’ backup situation: The Broncos have the quarterback of the present in Peyton Manning and the quarterback of the future in Brock Osweiler. The current backup is Caleb Hanie. From watching practice, you get the idea that Osweiler, though listed No. 3, might end up beating out Hanie for the backup job. That might be a big gamble to have him as a backup. I could see the Broncos signing Matt Moore if he’s cut by the Dolphins. Moore has a good background with Broncos coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy from their days in Carolina. There is a good chance David Garrard will beat out Moore, which puts the Dolphins in a position to decide if they want Moore or Ryan Tannehill as their backup.
Matt Moore is frustrated in Miami. John Fox and Mike McCoy once coached Moore. And Brock Osweiler may end up beating out Caleb Hanie. Are these three connections enough to think the Broncos would sign Moore in favor of Hanie?
It probably depends on your view of Matt Moore. Moore's career rating is 80.1 in 35 appearances compared to Hanie's 61.7 in 11 appearances--if you're into the numbers.
When Mike Shanahan was fired by the Broncos, he left behind a team that was a shell of its former self. The players who had been stallions during the Super Bowl years were long gone. The defensive players who remained were, they said publicly, treated as second-class citizens.
The roster was depleted in multiple areas and then a young former offensive coordinator tried to move the team to a reflection of the 3-4 system that he’d just left, but without the kind of players who made that system work. The offense wasn’t exactly loaded, either. A lot of things were missing on defense during that transition - stronger players, workable draft picks, a middle linebacker who keeps his helmet on, common sense - but one vacancy stood out as the roster was changed over:
It means linebackers with the legs to catch a returner in the open field, or to give cornerbacks a shot at covering the multiple players they are matched up against in passing situations. It means backside pursuit and pass rushers who can reach the quarterback before he can carve up the secondary. It’s essential to the new concept of Broncos defense that John Fox and Jack Del Rio will be implementing this season - which, whatever else is true, will require a faster pocket pressure with quicker linebackers and better defensive backfield speed.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Justin Bannan (calf), Ryan Harris (ankle), and Quinton Carter (knee, hamstring) were among those who did not participate in yesterday's practice (Peyton Manning, photos, more photos), while Ty Warren left early with a possible stomach virus. Newly signed LB Keith Brooking was already on the field for individual and 7-on-7 drills; he cannot join padded practices until Saturday.
D.J. Williams even saw some action, but it was only at the Sam spot when Von Miller got a late start to the morning walkthrough. A failure to stay in bounds by Knowshon Moreno while trying to run out the clock yesterday calls both his low Wonderlic score and Marion Barber to mind, although he did see first-team snaps.
The Broncos also had a walkthrough yesterday evening, and this morning's practice will be somewhat abbreviated so the team can catch a flight to Chicago for tomorrow's preseason opener.
After several days' worth of heaping praise, Brock Osweiler has struggled in the past couple of practices; Adam Weber was the only QB to lead a successful two-minute drill, as Peyton's turn ended with four straight incompletions at the goal line.
Source: Travis Henry reinstated
Travis Henry has been given the green light from the NFL to pursue a comeback, if he can find a team willing to give him a chance. The 33-year-old running back, who hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2007, has been reinstated from the suspended list, a source confirmed with ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The source said Henry, whose reinstatement had been earlier reported by Scout.com, is not expected to sign with a team…
...His income gone, Henry turned to the drug trade in part to cover mounting child support payments, according to court documents and testimony. Henry has said that at the time of his arrest, he was struggling to keep up with child support payments. He has 11 children with 10 women.
It's good to see Travis Henry ready for the bump and grind of the NFL game yet again. It's been a few years since he's hammered a first down or even scored. We can only imagine what he's going through right now imagining hitting it--meaning the field. But we're quick to warn Mr. Henry: getting back to the NFL requires humping it every single day and recognizing the in and out of each situation. In order to make it, you've got to plant the seed of dedication, probe your strenths and weaknesses, and ride it out. Thread the needle if you have to, but always--and we do mean always--smash through the hole. But only if you've figured out if it's the A or the B gap.
Kill the legend of Tim Tebow. I’ve heard this from several players. It’s not said with animosity or jealousy but there is a segment of the team, not a small one, that felt Tebow was all about Tebow and both he and the media forgot that other segments of the team (emphasis on team) helped push the Broncos to the playoffs. The players who say this aren’t naïve. They know that if the Broncos win, Manning will get the credit. But to them, Manning is a Hall of Famer who can actually, well, throw the ball. And has a track record of greatness.
Let's see if I've got this: Teebs was all about the Teebs--brought to you sin animosidad.
Peyton Manning has Broncos abuzz
McGahee turns 31 in October, which is ancient for a running back. Since college, McGahee has conquered doubts, and he has an answer this year. He dedicated himself to the weight room and arrived in camp a muscular 245 pounds, about 10 pounds heavier than last year. His upper body is ripped. His body fat dropped to 9 percent.
Today's public service announcement: do not f#!@ with Willis McGahee.
At a time of year when football news tends to be of the negative variety (injuries), the Broncos instead got some of the pleasant kind today: the Miami-Dade state attorney will not be filing charges against Elvis Dumervil.
Elvis had been arrested last month in Miami under suspicion of having displayed a gun in a threatening manner during a road rage incident. But from the outset, his lawyer and agent both maintained that no charges had been or would be filed.
Updated 5:13pm ET
Happy Tuesday, friends. I’m a little hard up for stuff to write about today, so I decided to eat some low-hanging fruit. Being a person who subscribes to ESPN’s Insider service, I get an interesting mix of useful and useless material. Among the useless stuff that I get is articles from K.C. Joyner, The Football Scientist, or as I like to call him, The “Football Scientist.”
Joyner was an early screamer about football stats, and how there weren’t enough of them, and how they weren’t good enough. He had a point, but his personal capacity to remedy the situation was, shall we say, limited. He created a bunch of metrics, many based upon his own subjective observations. For an example, I give you Good Blocking Yards Per Attempt. What exactly does “Good” mean? It sounds like he’s measuring something that’s not exactly measurable.
I guess it’s good to be first on the scene, because then ESPN pays you to write stupid articles and pimp your book through oblique references to it, as if everybody bought and memorized the thing. Actually, it’s good to be second too, because they do the same thing with Football Outsiders, who also acts as if their own proprietary stats are the bomb-diggity, be-all, end-all fountain of all football knowledge. I’d like to see them have a nerd fight – My VYPA is better than your DVOA! I’ll unleash my 23rd-level warlock on your paladin! Pokemon to the rescue! (I know, I’m kind of an a-hole jock – sue me.)
Demaryius Thomas sat out the second half of practice with tightness in his Achilles; Thomas missed the first five games of 2011 after tearing his Achilles in February of 2011. Ryan Harris,
Von Anthony Miller, and Greg Orton (all ankles) also left early, while Ronnie Hillman did conditioning work as he works back from a slight hamstring injury. Justin Bannan (calf) and Quinton Carter (knee, hamstring) remain sidelined.
Orlando Franklin practiced for the first time since having suffered a concussion a week earlier and took some snaps at right guard as Chris Kuper continues to work back to full strength.
Robert Ayers and Kevin Vickerson both took first-team snaps, and wideouts Matt Willis and Jason Hill impressed.
Working on the two-minute drill, Peyton Manning and Caleb Hanie each led drives that culminated in field goals, while Brock Osweiler threw a pick on the second play of his possession.
For the second time in the span of 48 hours, the Broncos have added a veteran defender on a one-year deal - this time signing 36-year-old linebacker Keith Brooking. They acquired safety Jim Leonhard on Saturday and placed him on the active PUP list a day later.
Brooking (6-2, 240) is entering his 15th NFL season after 11 years with Atlanta and three in Dallas, where he went from a 16-game starter in 2010 (906 snaps) to seeing more limited play last season (three starts, 408 snaps) after being replaced by Sean Lee.