Broncographies

The Tale of Tom Brandstater

There are a few things that you can count on with Tom Brandstater. He's a big quarterback with nearly perfect size for the position. Drafted with the 1st pick of the 6th round (pick #174), Tom Brandstater is a 6'5", 222 lb. solid physical specimen. He's very intelligent and finished his degree in communications at Fresno State in only three years, also earning academic honors each year, a three-time Academic All-WAC choice. He's already finishing his Masters degree in psychology. His last name is pronounced Brand-STATE-ur. And after that, no one really agrees.

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Tales from the SunnySide: Kenny McKinley

Born in Mableton, Georgia on January 31, 1987, Kenny McKinley was a sought-after quarterback at South Cobb High School. Kenny earned All-County honors as a junior and senior. As a junior in 2003, he racked up 1,575 yards and 12 scores passing and rushed for 400 yards and eight touchdowns more. McKinley threw for 1,470 yards and 16 touchdowns while rushing for 750 yards and 12 more TDs during his senior year, and was ranked as the 57th-best athlete in the country by Rivals.com. You can catch four recruiting videos of Kenny from high school at Mableton here:

Prior to the draft, NFLDraftDog.com commented,

South Carolina's Kenny McKinley (6' 0" 189 lbs) doesn't get much respect and I don't know why. He has gotten it done on the football field for years. He has been a four year starter with 2,781 career yards and 19 touchdowns. Now he goes to the combine and has a very solid performance. He ran a nice 4.44 forty and had the 2nd best 20 yard shuttle time of 4.10 seconds.

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Tales from the SunnySide: Chris Simms

When the Denver Broncos bargained with Chris Simms this offseason, they believed they were taking on a talented backup quarterback to cover for Jay Cutler if he went down to injury. Coach Josh McDaniels felt that Simms had the pedigree and the potential to be a solid backup, and the higher-than-normal contract cost backed that up. It didn't take long for Simms to receive a chance to show that he is more than a backup - he's currently competing against Kyle Orton for the starting position. In order for us to start understanding the value of this, we have to go back to where it all started.

You certainly could argue that Chris Simms has the best NFL pedigree, being the son of famous NFL QB Phil Simms. He was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey on August 29, 1980 and attended high school in nearby Franklin Lakes, NJ. A standout athlete, he played basketball as well as football. He was a two-time All-State football player and the 1998 USA Today Offensive Player of the Year. He initially committed to the University of Tennessee and then de-committed, choosing instead to attend the University of Texas, where he would major in history.

Arriving at Texas, Simms found that he was in a long conflict for the starting job with Major Applewhite. Each of them did well at various times and weakened at others. Their battle went back and forth for two full years. Over the course of Simms' tenure at the University of Texas, he set several records; their current status follows...

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Tales from the SunnySide: Alphonso Smith

There's not much debate about one thing - Alphonso Smith is the second 2nd-round pick in two years to ignite an instant firestorm of controversy in Denver. Eddie Royal managed it first - think back, now, to that weekend and to the things that were said.

When that 42nd pick came in, Broncos fans were shocked, stunned and horrified. Begrudgingly, they accepted that perhaps he could be worth the pick by his prowess in the return game.

Giving up a 2nd-round pick on a scrawny kick returner with some receiving skills was a big stretch, the media agreed, but perhaps Mike Shanahan really felt that the team needed a return guy. DeSean Jackson, the consensus went, would have been a better pick. Getting a defensive tackle would have been a much better way to go all around. And so it went. This year may prove to be somewhat redundant in that respect - everything that I've been able to accumulate about Smith indicates that he, very much like Eddie Royal, may become a favorite of the Broncos' fan base in the near future.

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Tales from the SunnySide: Rulon Davis

Here's what you probably know about Rulon Davis. If you've been reading at all about him, you probably know that he was a Marine in the Iraqi conflict. He was in a fire zone, fought for his country, and came home.

He went to Cal (University of California) and is a defensive lineman. He survived a near-fatal motorcycle accident when his bike was struck from behind by a car and Rulon slid under a truck, which ran over his legs. And, famously, he was named after legendary Denver Broncos football player Rulon Jones, he of the 129 games with 52.5 official sacks. It's a lot of live up to.

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Tales from the SunnySide: Everette Pedescleaux

Tyson Jackson stunned a lot of people by being the third player taken in the NFL draft. Many said that this was, in part, because of the laws of scarcity – there were few true 5-technique defensive ends in this year’s draft, making the ones that were there more valuable. The 5-technique DE lines up on the outside shoulder of the offensive tackles, giving them a chance to stack the line, stuff the outside run or rush the passer with equal verve. It’s a staple of the modern 3-4 defense, which the Denver Broncos will be switching to from their traditional 4-3 as quickly as circumstances permit.

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Tales from the SunnySide: Chris Baker

A lie can run around the world twice while the truth is still getting its shoes on. - Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

Like all college players whose names weren't called on Draft Day, Chris Baker knows that he has something to prove. He's heard all the opinions - "Boom or Bust," "Must be in the right system," "Left school too early," "Character concerns abound," "Troublemaker," "Takes plays off."

Once projected as a 3rd- to 4th-round pick but left undrafted, the 6'2", 326 lb. Baker knows that he is lucky to have his first chance with the Broncos. Listening to the NFL Draft for two days without hearing your name, your heart gets weighty and your thoughts darker with each passing pick. By the time you're listening to the 7th round and knowing in your very soul that you're a better player than the ones who are being chosen, that darkness can coalesce in one of two ways - depression,or commitment. Chris Baker has chosen commitment...

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Tales from the SunnySide: Charles Dimry

Excellence in athletics is a goal that many long for, yet few achieve. Most of us have desired, however briefly, to attain the level of neuromuscular skill and hand/eye coordination that would permit us to reach the pinnacle of pro sports that the NFL represents. Some of us guide young people on that path as coaches. Others teach their children and grandchildren a respect and appreciation for the game of football, that wonderful combination of human chess and unceasing effort and competition.

Charles and Erin Dimry run Velocity Sports Performance in Carlsbad, CA. This facility stands on the cutting edge of the development of the younger as well as the professional athlete. Walk inside with me and take a tour through the new ways we can maximize the performance of the players, whether they are preparing for the Combine, or preparing for an NFL career...

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Tales from the SunnySide: Ronald Fields

Mike Nolan brought several things with him from San Francisco. He brought the plans for a nascent 3-4 defense, with some hybrid attributes, that is yet to be unveiled. He brought a background in working for the Denver Broncos, an understanding of the traditions of the organization and a knowledge of the town. Oh, yes, and he brought with him the wide-load defensive tackle and nose tackle Ronald Fields.

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Tales from the SunnySide: Andra Davis

Sometimes you just like a pickup. The Broncos signed one this weekend that has a non-stop motor.

 
As I researched our new ILB, Andra (pronounced AHN-dray, just like Bly) Davis, two things stood out. He's not fast. Everyone agreed on that. It's his weakness, which can be mitigated in degree by putting him in the 3-4 defense. The other thing that stood out was that no one had an even slightly negative thing to say about this self-made gentleman. As a player, as a leader, as a servant in the community and as a man, Andra Davis is the kind of acquisition that makes you just want to cheer.

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