Doc's Musings

Nate Irving’s long road to Denver’s starting lineup

It started with an innocent, bad decision. On June 28, 2009, Nate Irving was tired, but wanted to sleep in his own bed.

Irving aimed his car at North Carolina State.

At 4:40 am, he fell asleep at the wheel.

The one-car accident resulted in severe injuries, including a collapsed lung.

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Evaluating Brandon Marshall

When the news broke that Danny Trevathan would go out with an injury, so did the hearts of many Denver Broncos fans. Last summer, Terrance ‘Pot Roast’ Knighton was asked who the most important defensive player was. Without hesitation, he named Danny Trevathan.

The only good news was that Denver was flush with talented young linebackers. They have Von Miller back from injury and starting to develop his old skills, while Nate Irving is opening some eyes. Denver’s young linebackers looked good in camp and preseason. 

Denver had again picked up a quality player. This time, the lowly Jaguars didn’t see a future for him. Richard Smith and Jack Del Rio disagreed. As I’ve said before, I don’t argue with those two regarding linebacking.

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New approaches for reducing concussions

There’s a new treatment being developed that’s hoped to prevent concussions. The US government has issued a new licence to KannaLife Sciences.

Its purpose is to develop a medication, molecule, or compound that creates a dome-like inner strengthening of the cerebral cortex that would protect the brain from damaging concussions.

KannaLife Sciences had received a license in June, 2012, to use marijuana byproducts to develop a treatment for Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE). The results are encouraging enough to move forward on the concussion problem.

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Broncography: Marvin Austin

Marvin Austin was born to his single mother, Donna Johnson, on January 10, 1989, in Washington, DC. Athletic as a child, by the time he was in high school, Austin was already a rising star.

He began high school at Coolidge HS, although other, bigger schools had made a run at bringing him on. As a junior in 2005, he helped Coolidge to the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association title game for the first time since 1986. It ended badly, though, with a 43–14 loss to rival Dunbar.

Coolidge assistant coach Moses Ware moved over to Ballou HS in 2006 and took Austin with him. That turned out well, as Ballou met Dunbar in that year's title game. This time, Austin, Ware, and Ballou triumphed 34-33. Austin made the All-Metro HS First Team as chosen by the Washington Post, in both 2005 and 2006.

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A Second Helping of Ronnie Hillman & Chris Clark against the Niners

Shutouts are always encouraging. When the Broncos' third string managed a stellar goal line stand, the team and fans went wild.

That is, except for Peyton Manning, who quietly stood and watched San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh as if he could read Harbaugh’s mind. Given Manning’s skills around football, he probably could. The newly built Levi's Stadium would forever be broken in with a 34-0 shutout.

It’s fair to say that both teams withheld many of their real strengths for their Week 7 Sunday night clash, but there's still plenty to take away from the contest.

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Scouting the 2014 Broncos: Danny Trevathan’s injury

Outside of an injury to Peyton Manning, Danny Trevathan is one of the toughest players for the Broncos to lose. The good news is that this isn’t a dangerous injury - it will take a month or two to heal, but it could have been vastly worse.

Trevathan had been fighting for his professional life since leaving college. Two years ago, he fought through a pulled hamstring to perform his combine drills. Yet, all the pundits seemed to see was a guy who was too small, too light, and too slow.

Denver got him into camp and found that without the pulled hamstring, he was a lot faster. The player who had led the SEC in tackles for the previous two seasons was showing signs that he was a lot more than a small, slow linebacker. He still tackled just as much.

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Scouting the 2014 Broncos: Brandon Marshall’s chance

Sometimes it’s fate, karma, written in the stars, or whatever you prefer. Brandon Markieth Marshall was born on Sept 10, 1989 in Las Vegas, NV.

Vegas, love or hate it, has Lady Luck for its unofficial deity. An injury that’s bad for the Broncos has another side. A player drafted in 2012 by Jacksonville and waived three times now has first shot at a possible starting job on a SB contender. He lived on and off Jacksonville and Denver’s practice squads, which may be a blessing. He's had time to learn.

Denver has a plethora of options in Lamin Barrow, Lerentee McCray, Corey Nelson, and others. Marshall earned his second squad berth behind the injured Danny Trevathan; now he's going to try and hold off all comers to win the starting slot at the Will.

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Scouting the 2014 Broncos: Player development

Every team talks about it - the importance of player development. What’s different at Dove Valley is that they actively push that agenda.

As John Elway often says, “We don't draft All-Pros, we have to make them."

And the Broncos do.

They bring youngsters into players-only film sessions, offer them state of the art training and nutritional monitoring, motivate them, and then see what the player gives in return.

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Mail: Scouting Denver’s offensive line

Tia writes:

Hello, IAOFM staff! First, I just wanted to say thank you for continuing to be the best source there is for Broncos news and analysis. Your recent article on TJ Ward and what he'll be able to do for us this season was particularly great (can't wait to see him in action!), and I was writing to ask if you may be willing to do a similar sort of preview for the O-Line, based on a mix of last year's performances and what you've seen/heard from TC so far?

That seems to be our weak spot at the moment based on early camp reports, though I'm sure they're slower to adjust due to having two guys learning new positions, but I would just love to hear your thoughts on whether or not there's anything to worry about there, and what this newly retooled group's strengths and weaknesses may be this year.

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Opioid use and chronic pain

The July 2014 issue of Consumer Reports includes an investigation into the dangers of painkilling medication - particularly opioid use and abuse.

I’d touched on these issues in Pro Sports: Beyond Cannabis Part 2, but this article takes them to a new level.

Included was this comment:

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