Good Evening, Broncos fans! Denver is edging its way to better health, as veteran defenders Keith Brooking and Jim Leonhard were full participants in the team's (unpadded) practice on Tuesday (photos).
Brooking says he feels great, but isn't sure whether he'll play on Thursday night at Arizona.
Omar Bolden (knee) and Lance Ball (ribs) both practiced after suffering minor injuries on Sunday, while Tony Hills (neck) was sidelined along with Chris Kuper, who is still recovering from his broken forearm.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Make sure you're sitting down for this one. It's a real shocker:
An appeals court has ruled that D.J. Williams's six-game suspension for having submitted a non-human urine sample should not be overturned. However, the three-judge panel did say the league and players union need to improve the collection process, and it's hard not to agree with that.
After all, D.J. wouldn't have had the chance to futz around with his bottle of liquid if the collector were allowed into the locker room. What a strange job, right?
Happy Monday, friends. Yesterday’s game got me thinking about coach’s challenges, and I wanted to share those thoughts with all of you. I’m a big fan of the new rule that mandates that all turnovers be automatically reviewed, in addition to all scoring plays. Those are the high-leverage events which tend to swing football games, and I applaud the NFL’s commitment to get them correct, to the extent that their scab officials are capable of doing so.
The rule change necessitates a re-thinking of challenge strategy, though, because in the past, coaches would save their challenges for scoring plays and turnovers. Since those plays aren’t challengeable any more, they’re going to be looking at lower-leverage plays. That will lead a smart coach to figure out what kind of play is even worth risking a timeout for. I came up with a few that I think are worth it, and a few that aren’t.
Down by contact on a possible lost fumble: If the call on the field is a turnover, the play is automatically reviewed. If the call on a fumble is that the runner was down by contact, the coach may still challenge the play. The key is that the coach of the defensive team would only want to do so if the ball was clearly recovered by his team.
The Broncos announced 12 cuts to meet today's 75-man roster requirement. There is one unexpected name here - Lonie Paxton, who spent three seasons as Denver's long snapper.
Also let go, but to no great surprise, were LB Elliot Coffey, WR Mark Dell, WR Cameron Kenney, TE Anthony Miller, DE Cyril Obiozor, RB Xavier Omon, S Anthony Perkins, T Mike Remmers, CB Ramzee Robinson, FB Austin Sylvester, and G Austin Wuebbels.
Updated 6:03pm ET - Paxton cap figures corrected
Von Miller, with a Defensive Rookie of the Year award already on his mantle, has decided that he’s going to become a complete linebacker, and he’s been vocal about it.
He feels that he needs to add skills in run stopping and in coverage, and there’s little disagreement that he needs to. He’s already one of the best rushing linebackers in the game, and with work, I believe that he can become one of the top LBs of this decade. He showed progress in both areas of emphasis during the first half of Sunday’s game against the 49ers. Today, let’s look at how he’s improving in run defense.
The sun is pounding down through the Mile High air, it's over 100 degrees on the field, and Peyton Manning has just directed the Broncos to a 3-0 lead. The kickoff by Matt Prater sails through the end zone, and the 49ers take over on offense at their own 20-yard line.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! When Denver got thumped by Seattle last week, we found encouragement in the play of the starters, specifically the progress of Peyton Manning and the pass rush.
Causes for concern were the run defense, depth on the offensive line and throughout the defensive roster, and the influence of horrendous officiating.
Yesterday brought another loss, this time 29-24 to the 49ers (Gamebook, BTV, NFLN, & PMFM highlights). The worries remain, for as much as John Elway & Co. have served to upgrade the team's depth, the second and third teamers continue to get whipped.
It's the reality of overhauling a team that won but four games in 2010 and scored more like a 6-12 team than the 9-9 record they sported (348 points for, 458 against = 6.2 expected wins, 11.8 expected losses).
The Broncos won't win all their games this year.
But they'll be in every game.
This afternoon, the Broncos showed their starters can dominate anyone. The 49ers--already crowned the kings of the NFC by the national media, as they kiss the ring of Jim Harbaugh--could barely move the ball against the Broncos' first-string defense. And Peyton Manning and Co.? They only shredded the 49ers starters like they were straight out of the Oakland Raiders' prison league.
It's the depth that scares the hell out of me.
The Broncos are only deep at a few positions. Unfortunately, I can't remember what they are right now. Let's just hope the the starters can make it through sixteen games and go about our business for now.
Enjoy the game, and Go Broncos!
On Friday, we examined a fine play made by Nate Irving in run defense against the Seahawks, and promised we'd analyze the play which immediately followed. Unfortunately for Robert Ayers, what we'll find explains why he's dropped on this year’s depth chart.
I’ve supported Ayers in the past, but whether you agreed or disagreed, I could always show you why I felt that way on game film. During this training camp, Jack Del Rio talked about Ayers’s need to focus - on his play and on the things that he can control - not on those he cannot. What follows is an example of what JDR was talking about:
Seattle is facing second down with eight yards to gain, and Denver is in its base Cover 2 defensive alignment; Ayers is at the right defensive end position. Elvis Dumervil may be getting a few less reps there as the Broncos search out ways to bolster their run defense, which Ayers has always been good at. The Seahawks are in 12 personnel with the quarterback Russell Wilson under center and two tight ends on the offensive right.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! As we would expect, Peyton Manning tells Woody Paige he's not looking beyond 2012 when he envisions his Broncos career.
That's not to say he's planning a farewell tour this season, and Paige stresses that the Broncos plan for Peyton to be around for at least three seasons. As we pointed out the other day and Woody notes, the structure of Manning's contract tells us all we need to know there.
And although Peyton says all the right things in terms of trying to win a SB this year, out of respect for those teammates who will be gone in a year's time, he sounds like a guy who isn't quite sure what to expect of himself this season.