Absence of McGahee, Moreno provide opening for Montee Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Apologies for the late entry, but I got myself irresponsibly stuck writing somethine else, which will post in a few hours from now.

By using a second-round pick this April to acquire him, the Broncos made it apparent they intend for running back Montee Ball to play a significant role in their 2013 offense.

Their public comments have done nothing to discount this impression, and recent circumstances have provided an even larger opening for the ex-Badger.

To wit, Lindsay Jones says that in the absence of Willis McGahee (an OTA no-show) and Knowshon Moreno (still rehabbing his knee), Ball has been attached to the hip of one Peyton Manning during recent practices.

Says Manning:

Because we are going to count on him in a big way this year. He's a rookie, but coach (John) Fox isn't going to bring him along slowly.

As always, we advise caution when reading into these comments. If McGahee and Moreno were available, we're guessing Ball wouldn't be getting the lion's share of reps that he is. But that doesn't discount the opportunity Montee has in front of him.

Willis may have been a key player in 2012, as Peyton says, but Montee is the future, and the longer McGahee and Knowshon aren't competing, the more likely it is that Ball becomes Denver's back of the present as well.

Broncos

Videos: John Fox, Peyton Manning, Champ Bailey, and Quentin Jammer speak after practice Thursday; Chris Hall discusses Jammer's first practice with Denver for BTV.

Naturally, Jammer says he chose to sign with Denver because they provided him his only offer the best chance at a championship, and he thinks in shifting from corner to safety, he can provide for Denver what Rod Woodson did for Baltimore and Charles Woodson for the Packers.

Sly Williams somehow got a little chippy with Zane Beadles and Manny Ramirez during Thursday's no-contact practice.

Jack Del Rio has demanded Nate Irving show himself to be a more "vocal" and "football smart" player, although Irving admits the former is difficult task, given his "mellow" nature.

So far, Andrew Mason sees in Brock Osweiler better decision-making and a decreased tendency to run when pressure arrives.

Jeff Legwold figures special teams will loom large in the decision over which running backs to carry along with Ball and Ronnie Hillman on the final 53.

Dave Krieger doesn't agree with John Branch's suggestion that the Avs' and Rockies' dipping into their pasts in remolding their leadership is strictly about attracting attention.

News

New Chargers LB Dwight Freeney thinks collusion on the owners' part is more to blame than his outrageous salary demands for his having been unemployed for so long.

Detroit signed running back/special teams standout Montell Owens, formerly of the Jaguars; the Jets worked out former Raiders WR Derek Hagan.

Sadly, civil rights champion and Raiders punter Chris Kluwe had to turn down an invitation to the White House in favor of mandatory minicamp. At least he RSVPed in classic Kluwe fashion.

Joe Namath says the LOLJets have not only been ripping off their fans with PSLs, but have "misled" them with promises of fielding a competitive team.

Another Seahawks player has gotten himself into hot water (or warm piss), as guard John Moffitt faces charges of trespassing, obstruction of justice, and public urination.

Panthers QB Cam Newton acknowledges that he must become a better leader and react to losing in a better fashion.

While discussing the racist name of the team she roots for, U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes says Dan Snyder is a hypocrite for having sued over what he deemed an anti-Semitic caricature of himself, while refusing to change the racist name of his team.

Analysis

Jason Fitzgerald examines the cap situations of the teams who are set to gain some space with the post-June 1 designations, and the teams that are right up against the cap.

Chase Stuart wouldn't be surprised to see Browns wideout Josh Gordon rack up a big YPR figure this season, under the tutelage of Air Coryell disciple Norv Turner.

PFF's 2012 grades say Elvis Dumervil's differential between his best and worst play was pretty large, while Derek Wolfe ranked among the most consistent edge defenders, if not one of the better ones.

Because she can easily spot racism like most non-racists, Ashley Fox (must have been tough growing up with that name) thinks it's a no-brainer that Snyder should change the racist name of his football team.

Shanny is Mike Freeman's runner-up for the best coach of the 1990s to Jimmy Johnson, who is #13 on ESPN's list of the greatest coaches.

Chris Tripodi likes the Cardinals' draft a lot, but he loves the Niners' draft; Rob Rang evaluates the drafts of the Packers, Bears, and Lions.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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