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.
Similarly, rookies Brock Osweiler and Omar Bolden are soaking up all the veteran knowledge they can come by, and Von Miller is also going through his first full NFL offseason and the learning experiences that come with it.
QB coach Adam Gase says that prior to Peyton Manning's release by Indy, John Fox instructed him and Mike McCoy to study 2010 game tape of the QB and see which Colts passing concepts would best fit into Denver's existing playbook. Meanwhile, Jeff Legwold interprets the acquisition of FB Chris Gronkowski to mean the Broncos will end up using more two-back sets than Manning was accustomed to in Indy
Derek Wolfe got $3.28M in guarantees as part of his contract; Omar Bolden got a $474,428 signing bonus, while Philip Blake got one for $453,600. Brock Osweiler, Ronnie Hillman, and Matt Prater remain unsigned.
Sounds like Eagles exec Joe Banner regrets letting Brian Dawkins leave Philly for Denver.
BTV chronicled the visit by Olympic hopeful Missy Franklin at Dove Valley yesterday.
As expected, 86 different lawsuits filed by ex-players were unified as a master complaint by a judge in Philadelphia yesterday. Quoted in the AP story is former Eagles and Pats RB Kevin Turner, who suffers from ALS and hopes the ultimate result is a safer game and better care provided to its current and former players.
The NFLPA is seeking to gather information from player agents to help make its case that the league colluded to keep spending down during the uncapped 2010 season.
It's been a busy 24 hours in New England, where the team signed TE Bo Scaife, released Chad Johnson after failing to find a trade suitor, cut DE Markell Carter, and they have reportedly done right by Rob Gronkowski by reworking the star TE's rookie contract. But don't feel bad for Chad - a porn site he apparently tweets about has offered him $69K to change his name for 24 hours to "Chad Seisnueve" and promote their site. Of course, the coverage by every sports blog of this story is probably promotion enough. How clever.
Drew Brees and the Saints are reportedly about $2M/year apart in their contract talks; the grievance regarding the Saints' application of their franchise tag to keep Brees will likely be heard later this month; New Orleans signed QB Luke McCown. In response to a recent fight during a Saints OTA, the league has requested tape of the practices to see if the team violated the CBA's contact rules.
Mike Freeman hears the players are oddly unsympathetic to the locked out game officials; Matt Bowen says defensive backs adjust their play to their knowledge of how strict each officiating crew is, and he thinks replacement refs could wreak havoc by calling too many penalties.
The exonerated Brian Banks worked out for the Seahawks, who then offered him a formal tryout at their next minicamp. Banks will try out for the Chargers today and may get a workout with the Chiefs too.
San Francisco will allow the Niners to vacate Candlestick after the 2013 season and head to their new home in Santa Clara.
MJD offers his poignant perspective on Terrell Suggs and the Achilles injury which the Raven suffered while allegedly playing hoops. Can't help but wonder how many critics of Suggs and other basketball-playing NFLers spend their time stomping around and complaining about how the gub'mint is encroaching upon their own freedoms...
Mike Tanier ranks the best running backs in Bills and Dolphins history, and he's got another epic day of sports coverage ahead of him tomorrow.
Bucky Brooks expects Mr. Dirk Koetter to help the Falcons offense become one of the NFC's best and most explosive.
Oh, great. Madden 13 is going to feature a fictional Twitter feed including fake reporting and analysis, and it will even have a fake version of the fake analysis provided by Skip Bayless.
Over at KSK, Ape gives us all a discomfiting reminder that James Harrison is ready to test Peyton's neck Week 1, his reaction to the six-year-old Brandon Jacobs fan, and Caveman delivers the latest Sex/FF mailbag.
PBS teamed up with an internet DJ to create a phenomenal tribute to Mr. Rogers. If you grew up with him as your TV friend, I guarantee this will bring a giant smile to your face and maybe even a tear to your eye.