Good Morning, Broncos fans! With the team one day into its rookie minicamp, it now has three of it seven draft choices signed.
First was sixth-rounder Vinston Painter, and yesterday Denver inked fifth-rounders Quanterus Smith and Tavarres King.
Sylvester Williams, Montee Ball, Kayvon Webster, and Zac Dysert are the Broncos' unsigned draft picks.
In other player news, the team ended up not signing Baylor undrafted free agent DE Gary Mason, who failed his physical due to a knee injury. Taking his spot in the minicamp is 6-2, 250-pound DE Lanston Tanyi, who totaled 77 tackles and three sacks in one season at CSU as a graduate student after earning his degree at Appalachian State.
Stories Behind the Numbers
But Ball has been a Broncos fan since the late 1990’s, when he decorated his bedroom in a Denver motif. So he knows as well as anyone that Davis was the first link in a chain of 1,000-yard runners that spanned most of the Mike Shanahan era.
When Ball arrived, he was presented with multiple numbers from which to choose. Knowing Broncos history, one lept at him, so he grabbed it.
“I wanted 38: Mike Anderson,” Ball said, citing the 1,000-yard rusher of 2000 and 2005 who was also the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2000.
Hard not to like a guy who knows the Broncos' history as well as the rest of us nerds.
Here's hoping next time he goes Nirvana-era and mentions Gaston Green or Rod Bernstine just to show off.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Denver's coaching staff will get its first on-field look at its players today, as the team's rookie minicamp runs from today through Sunday.
31 players will participate, including the seven draft picks, sixteen undrafted free agents, the two recent invitees (LB Damien Holmes and LS Corey Adams), and six of the players Denver had signed to future contracts.
Each day, those 31 will have meetings, walkthroughs, one-hour practices, and strength training sessions.
Next week is essentially the last week of Denver's offseason training program, with their first of three OTA's taking place the week after that.
The continuing story of Dr. David Chao, team physician for the San Diego Chargers, plays out like a bad comedy. This time, he was exposed as part of the effort to undermine the work of the man whose research discovered the disease of the brain that is caused by repeated trauma - Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. That man is Dr. Bennet Omalu.
I appreciate that the postmortem exam of Junior Seau's brain, as performed by the National Institute of Health, did show signs of TBI and CTE. I’m glad that has been settled.
What I don't care for is that the NFL, via Dr. Chao, informed Seau's family that a member of the San Diego Medical Examiner's office, Dr. Omalu - the man who discovered, described, and named Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy [CTE] as a disease entity in football players and wrestlers - was described to Tyler Seau, Junior’s son, as an unethical person, a bad researcher, and a bad doctor.
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Good Morning, Broncos fans! Orlando Franklin has spent quite a bit of time under the knife/laser this offseason.
We already knew that Franklin underwent shoulder surgery shortly after the 2012 season ended, and corrective eye surgery, during which he had contact lenses implanted permanently.
But he also had surgery to repair an injured toe, which he says is fully healed, unlike the shoulder, which he puts at 85% of full health.
We've lost track of all the procedures undergone by Denver's starting linemen, but as far as we know, Zane Beadles is the only one not recovering from some type surgery.
The Broncos announced the jersey numbers for this offseason's acquisitions, including veteran free agents, draft choices, and undrafted rookies.
Chances are, there will be more changes as players are cut throughout the summer. But it's May 8, so this is the riveting stuff we get to discuss.
Some observations, in numerical order:
Updated 4:25pm ET to include veteran switches
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will love Ball because of his ability as a runner and a pass-catcher. He’s a good blocking back who is a tough runner with good hands—and he does not fumble. Ball is smart, has a good work ethic and is a very good person. Denver is known for using the play-action pass; I don’t think Ball will see eight men in the box very often. I think if Ball had been with the Broncos last season, they might not have lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs—they missed out on about seven first downs, and Ball’s the kind of guy who will get you a first down when you need one.
We've linked previously to praise from Dan Schneier and Mike Tanier for the selection of Ball. Here's another good read, which we had shared in December - a scouting report from Bucky Brooks, who sees in Ball an impactful NFL runner.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Elway and Matt Russell spoke to season-ticket holders on a conference call yesterday, mainly about the draft and the hiring of new personnel man Tom Heckert.
Elway, who tends to choose his words wisely, did rookie running back Montee Ball no favors, likening his running style to that of Terrell Davis's. Granted, he didn't quite say they're similar players, or that he expects TD-like production from Ball, but how many will read/hear those comments and tell themselves John thinks Montee is the next TD?
Meanwhile, both Elway and Russell seem to describe Kayvon Webster as their version of the matchup safety Ted's been begging for.
The secure Duke also says the Broncos feel they've "more than replaced" the pass rush skills lost by the departure of Elvis Dumervil, with Shaun Phillips, Quant Smith, and a larger role for Robert Ayers.
Throughout the offseason, we've heard from Johns Elway and Fox that the Broncos plan to have Nate Irving, Steven Johnson, and Stewart Bradley compete for the starting middle linebacker job.
As always, actions speak louder than words.
So does Denver's decision not to draft an inside linebacker (they instead signed CU's Doug Rippy and BYU's Uona Kaveinga as undrafted rookies) mean they're happy with what they've got?