Pro Bowl Notes: Emmanuel Sanders, Von Miller star

A few Broncos-related notes from Sunday's Pro Bowl, won 32-28 by Michael Irvin's squad:

  • Emmanuel Sanders caught two touchdown passes, one from each of Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan; he totaled five catches and 70 yards on seven targets
  • Von Miller led Team Irvin with eight tackles and a game-high three QB hits

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Report: Broncos’ DC search down to Joseph, Phillips, and two Smiths

The Broncos hope to wrap up their DC search early this week. According to Mike Klis, Denver's fallback plans to hiring Vance Joseph are Wade Phillips, former Falcons coach Mike Smith, and incumbent linebackers coach Richard Smith. The list does not include former Broncos DC Wink Martindale, who Klis suggested last week to be a candidate.

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Bears hire two more former Broncos assistants; Falcons expected to hire Quinn

Two more Denver assistants have followed John Fox to Chicago: defensive line coach Jay Rodgers will hold that same position with the Bears, now that the Broncos have hired Bill Kollar from Houston. Rodgers joins his brother, special teams coordinator Jeff, who was among the first assistants to make the move.

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Report: Broncos still hoping to hire Vance Joseph as DC

While the rest of the league's new head coaches continue to fill out their coaching staffs, the Broncos and Gary Kubiak would still like to hire Cincy secondary coach Vance Joseph to run their defense.

Per Jeff Legwold, the Bengals are only willing to let Joseph out of their contract if they have a suitable replacement in waiting, and the Broncos are apparently hoping that former Giants DC Perry Fewell might be that guy.

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SNL tackles #deflategate

"All I know is a football is a pigskin. So I just assumed the air in the football is how much air was inside the pig when it died." 

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Reducing Ryan Clady’s salary a nice idea, but unlikely

In a recent post, Jeff Legwold suggests the Broncos might try to negotiate Ryan Clady's salary down from the $8.5M figure he's currently due (it's not $8M, as Legwold writes - that was his 2014 salary). It's an interesting idea, but is it doable?

Denver used its franchise tag on their left tackle two years ago, eventually signing him to a five-year, $52.5M deal. Unfortunately, a Lisfranc injury cost him most of that season, and nagging injuries in 2014 kept him from returning to his prior elite level. Still, he's never missed a game outside of that 2013 season.

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Saints sign former CFL corner who worked out for Broncos

CFL All-Star corner Delvin Breaux, who reportedly worked out for many teams, including the Broncos, has agreed to terms with his hometown Saints. The New Orleans native was seriously injured during a high school game and was never cleared to play for LSU; he later played in the Gridiron Developmental and Arena leagues before heading up to the CFL in 2013.

New Orleans sported the fourth least efficient defense in the NFL last year, and the fifth worst against the pass. One reason for their struggles was the decision to sign Champ Bailey over a younger free agent.

Ted Wells, Jeff Pash leading NFL investigation into Patriots’ shrunken balls

The NFL has released a statement detailing its investigation into the Patriots' latest potential cheating scandal. Ted Wells (who investigated the Dolphins' hazing) and Jeff Pash are leading the query, for which "nearly 40 interviews" have occurred (none of them reportedly involving Tom Brady).

Here's the statement in full.

Everyone thinks the Patriots are full of hot air

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady took to the podium on Thursday, and quite predictably, pleaded total ignorance to their latest (of many) possible cheating scandal(s).

Given his 40 years of coaching in the NFL and well known reputation as a micromanager, it's hard to believe Belichick previously knew nothing about what happens to game balls each Sunday, as he suggested.

Brady was even less convincing, first admitting that he's very particular about his game balls, but then claiming to have noticed no inconsistencies during the AFC title game.

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Coaching Carousel: Niners hire Eric Mangini, Tony Sparano, Jason Tarver

Let's get caught up on the rest of the week's coaching hirings. Jim Tomsula continues to build his coaching staff with the Niners, including a couple of castoffs from across the Bay.

Tomsula has reportedly hired former Jets and Browns coach Eric Mangini to be his defensive coordinator. Tony Sparano, who, like Mangini, interviewed for the Raiders' head job, will coach tight ends under Tomsula and a yet-to-be-hired OC, possibly former Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin.

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