Good Morning, Broncos fans! Brandon Stokley tells Lindsay Jones he was "95 percent retired" until a workout at Duke with Peyton Manning showed he hadn't lost any speed and was able to run without pain, despite having stopped his rehab from a quad injury suffered last season.
The Slot Machine has expectedly been serving as an interpreter of sorts, helping his fellow wide receivers understand Manning's body language and expressions.
Having made Denver his family's home ever since his first stint with the team, Stokes says the Broncos were the only team for whom he considered extending his 13-year career.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Yesterday saw the conclusion of Denver's final voluntary OTA; the team's mandatory minicamp runs from Tuesday to Thursday of next week, and the training camp schedule hasn't yet been announced.
Second-year safeties Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter (videos) spoke after practice. Moore was disappointed in his rookie performance but now looks at the season as a valuable learning experience. He says the lockout prevented him from being prepared mentally for the NFL game, that his conditioning wasn't up to snuff last year, and that veteran corner Drayton Florence has been a strong teaching influence since his arrival.
Carter says his 12 regular-season and playoff starts provided him with a major confidence boost, as did his two postseason INTs that got lost in the shuffle. He welcomes the extra preparation time this year, and the help from veterans as he learns to better process the speed of the NFL.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Now that Ty Warren is back in the fold after finding a financial "middle ground" with the team, Denver's perpetual question mark at defensive tackle just got a whole lot smaller. Provided Ty's able to avoid a freak injury like the torn triceps he suffered last summer, we are now free to move on from the silliness of thinking an undrafted second-year tackle (Sealver Siliga) on his second team was going to be a starter. Yet it's not just Siliga who will now presumably be afforded the learning curve befitting a young DT; Warren's presence should free Derek Wolfe of the unfairly weighty expectations not normally placed on a second-rounder (it's not his fault he was Denver's first pick).
As for Warren's health, he's apparently In the Best Shape of His Life (ITBSOHL), which is of course what most players will say in June, but that the 310-pounder hasn't played since 2009 means he may actually be as minty "fresh" as he declares. The ex-Aggie never considered retirement, worked hard in his rehab, and "hate(s) that (he) couldn't contribute" the past two seasons in New England and Denver.
Ty's disposition is so sunny that he's glad to see Woody Paige, who in turn is so taken with the gregarious big man that he attributes him a third SB ring, one more than he actually possesses. At least Woody has the good sense to eviscerate the populists/borderline racists who have had the nerve to suggest the classy Warren is either lazy or taking advantage of the Broncos by collecting his agreed upon salary.
Mays expects the outside presence of Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil to force opposing offenses to run and throw at him instead, and he thinks Von will be even better in 2012 than he was last year.
Mays and Woodyard are both excited to see larger bodies at defensive tackle this year and expect this development to leave the two of them free to make more plays. Wesley appreciates that DC Jack Del Rio was himself an NFL linebacker, and he's been showing fellow Kentucky alum Danny Trevathan the ropes.
Much of the talk circled around Manning showing off the progress of his arm by throwing a handful of deep passes, one of which resulted in a sprawling catch in triple coverage by Brandon Stokley, with an earlier pass coming back on a Champ Bailey pick-six. Stokley's catch came during a two-minute drill and was followed by a fake spike and 10-yard TD pass to Eric Decker.
Several players practiced returning kicks, including Matt Willis, Andre Caldwell, and rookies Ronnie Hillman, Coryell Judie, and Eric Page.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon, the fifth-overall pick in the draft out of Oklahoma State, was arrested for aggravated DUI in Stillwater yesterday morning.
The blood alcohol content limit in Oklahoma is .08 percent, and the threshold for aggravated DUI is .15 percent. Blackmon reportedly blew a .24 percent BAC. Yikes.
Blackmon had a prior drunk driving incident in 2010, when he was arrested while driving to a Dallas Cowboys game without permission to leave his own team to do so. According to the NFL, Blackmon is subject to the league's personal-conduct policies despite not yet having signed a contract and will likely face a suspension in his rookie season.
If you're wondering, a .24 percent BAC only moves Blackmon into a tie for the 20th-highest BAC recorded in the sports world.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mark Kiszla suggests the Broncos move on from Ty Warren, adopting Mike Klis's populist tact of highlighting the salaries Warren has been paid over the past two seasons in New England and Denver.
Why should the Broncos, or us fans, care what New England paid Warren in 2010? We shouldn't, because it's irrelevant. All that does is paint Warren as an overpaid underperformer; he has been anything but that during his career. Some DP readers are likely substituting for his name some iteration of fat cat and lazy bum. Indeed, the first commenter had the incredible nerve to compare Warren to perennial malcontent Albert Haynesworth.
What does Warren's 2010 salary have to do with what he should be paid in 2012? Honestly, nothing.
Does Warren owe the Broncos? Not really. They knew when they signed him that his health was/is a great risk, and that veteran players do not lose their salaries when injury strikes is one of the more just NFL compensation rules.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday brought a pair of major developments in the Saints bounty scandal.
In a lengthy post on his website, filmmaker Sean Pamphilon offers his own recollection from watching (along with then ex-Saint Scott Fujita) the notorious speech given by Gregg Williams on the eve of the Saints' playoff loss at San Francisco. Pamphilon says Williams handed out envelopes of cash as bonuses, with at least one of them as payment for a "whack hit," with players apparently encouraging each other to "give it back" or reinvest the winnings in the bounty pool.
The filmmaker notes a discomfort in Fujita with the speech, and an apparent sense of regret for having participated in the same during his time with the team. Pamphilon says Fujita and QB Drew Brees both encouraged him to release the audio recording of the speech, with the goal being to shove the bulk of blame onto Williams.
Del Rio says he prefers bigger defensive tackles, he asked Kevin Vickerson to bulk up, and he has high hopes for developing Sealver Siliga into a contributor. He also cites the absence of Ty Warren as a chance for youngsters like Siliga and Mitch Unrein to improve via more reps, and he likens rookie Derek Wolfe to recently retired Steelers lineman Aaron Smith. The DC sees Wolfe as a "base end that can slide inside" on passing downs, lauding his versatility, intelligence, and ability to rush the passer.
McCoy calls himself "very fortunate" for the chance to coach Peyton Manning and says the team is monitoring how many throws Peyton makes each day. But despite the pitch count, Manning is apparently making all the necessary throws, and McCoy reiterates that the learning process for him and his new charge is a two-way street. He also praised the work of undrafted WR Gerell Robinson and 2011 UDFAs Mark Dell and Mario Fannin, and he says recent acquisition Chris Gronkowski has versatility beyond his fullback position.
The team will conclude this OTA today but will reconvene Monday for four straight days of scheduled on-field work.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! The team reconvened for OTAs yesterday (video, photos) and by all accounts, the offense looked a bit out of whack. John Fox (video) acknowledged as much, and blamed the 4.5-day layoff.
Highlights of the session were a juggling interception of Peyton Manning by Mike Adams and a long TD pass from Caleb Hanie to Bubba Caldwell. Says Knowshon Moreno of changes in the offense and at QB from last season:
As you can see, it's a big difference. There's no wasted time. Everybody has to make sure they know what they're doing, know where they need to be.
Manning watched Brock Osweiler throw (video) and got in some extra work with Eric Decker and Joel Dreessen after practice; Mario Fannin is running well, although he says he's not quite 100 percent yet.
Along the defensive line, Ben Garland is currently weighing in at 305 pounds, while Sealver Siliga is apparently all the way up to 330-340 pounds from his listed weight of 307. According to Mike Klis, Buffalo tried to sign Siliga off Denver's practice squad late in the season, but the ex-Utah Ute teammate of Zane Beadles preferred to stick around.