Doc's Musings

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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Welcome back, Wolfeman

On Day 2 of training camp, Derek Wolfe blew past Ryan Clady and dropped Montee Ball for a three-yard loss. It’s just one play, without pads, but it’s great to see the man getting his old form back.

Andrew Mason noted that it was more Wolfe showing skill than Clady trying to work back to his form. At the same time, DeMarcus Ware was apparently abusing Chris Clark at RT.

Consider this: One DL formation could have Terrance Knighton at nose tackle, Wolfe and Malik Jackson at defensive tackle, with Ware and Von Miller attacking from the edges. It’s just one option, but it’s one that would have to make a lot of quarterbacks nervous.

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Scouting the 2014 Broncos: Tight Ends

A commenter recently slammed me for having a continuing interest in the tight end position. Properly used, I’d said, it’s a major way to improve your offense. The commenter responded that the position is nearly useless and will be phased out over the next decade.

In return, I noted Sid Gillman’s point that having two good TEs can let a team control the middle of the field. No shots were fired, but no agreement was reached, either.

The New England Patriots recently had two very good tight ends who did a lot of damage to opposing defenses, prompting teams to start looking at the position in earnest. The demand for good tight ends went up like a helium balloon. Rumors of the position’s demise were exaggerated. Having multiple effective tight ends is strongly back in vogue.

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Pro Sports and Cannabis, Part 2

Recently, I wrote about the potential for the usage of cannabidiol (CBD) in professional sports. While I'm trying to keep the jargon to a minimum, there’s a lot more information on CBD that can go a long way to helping understand it.

I’ll also cover some relevant pending legislation and add some fuel to the fire by talking about medical cannabis.

To recap, hemp, from which CBD is extracted, comes from fertilized hemp/cannabis plants. Cannabis, in turn, is created by eliminating all the male plants so that the females produce a sticky resin to attract pollination. That resin contains more of the THC that cannabis users are looking for.

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