Seconds after the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, gold confetti burst out of cannons and fluttered high above the turf at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Amid a celebratory buzz that reverberated all the way to the Rocky Mountains, photographers and TV cameramen swarmed Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who had finally won a second championship two months shy of his 40th birthday. [...]
Warning: Brandon Perna is very angry over Pat Bowlen's exclusion from the Pro Football Hall of Fame and drops plenty of f-bombs in this video. Don't worry, it's all justified. [...]
When Ware is healthy, he’s still one of the best. He will help make this defense even better than a season ago. As long as he stays healthy, watch out. It's that time of the year again. Mile High Report is in the midst of our annual 90 players in 90 days roster breakdown. Last year went fairly well, but continuing today and through Aug. 28th, we'll break down every player on the Denver Broncos roster.
There are multiple ways to show value to a team. There’s performance on the court, field or rink. There’s impact in the locker room. There’s the benefit they bring to the community that they play in.
Name: DeMarcus WarePosition: OLBHeight: 6'4" Weight: 258Age: 34 Experience: 12College: Troy
Then there are players who transcend and do it all. When they speak, teammates and even coaches listen. When they play, you stop to watch.
DeMarcus Ware is one of those players.
The Broncos outside linebacker has yet to step foot on the practice field and he’s still the most valuable aspect of this team. Ware makes his teammates better, on both sides of the ball, regardless of the position they play. He makes the coaches better.
Since his arrival in Denver two summers ago, he’s proven over and over again it’s all about the Broncos. He always puts the team first. He showed that again this offseason when he took a reduction in salary to stay with the Super Bowl champions.
Ware showed it again when he and Demaryius Thomas went on a trip to South Africa in March. I detailed that trip and what I thought we could take away from it.
Ware brings an attitude that is all business, but still has fun. It is a game, after all. His smile is as bright as a Colorado summer sky and it seems like it always shines.
While Ware, more than likely, won’t play in the preseason, he is on track to return to the practice field next week and be on the field for the opener Sept. 8 against the Carolina Panthers.
“He’s real close,” Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said after practice on Tuesday. “I think you could see him be a part of the team here in four, five days. That’s what we’re thinking. He’s made that much progress. Hopefully next week I’m sitting here talking about him playing on the field.”
When Ware is healthy, he showed in the playoffs the high level he can still play at. If not for Von Miller’s historic performance, Ware was right there to get Super Bowl 50 MVP.
Demarcus Ware hit the field about 7:50 am and ran some drills. Take my word for it. He looks good.— Tom Helmer (@Tom_Helmer) August 16, 2016
Just keep Ware healthy and ready to go for the expected playoff push and march to Super Bowl LI in Houston.
With the depth Denver has at the outside linebacker position, there’s no need for Ware to play all three downs. There’s no need for him to get on the field unless it’s a passing situation and he gets to do what he does best: pressure the quarterback. Don’t risk his back injury trying to tackle a running back. Leave that for Miller, Shane Ray and Shaquil Barrett.
Keep Ware as fresh as possible for later in the season and the playoffs. We saw a season ago the hell Miller and Ware can raise on opposing offenses. That’s what it’s all about in 2016.
His back and subsequent health status.
That’s the only thing that could throw a kink in the Broncos’ and Ware’s plan this season. You never know when a back injury can flare up; especially for an outside linebacker. That’s why he’s been kept off the field throughout organized team activities and training camp.
But when he walked by me on Saturday after practice, he looked really, really good. Ware appeared to be in phenomenal shape. There’s no doubt he needs to get reps and in “football shape.” With a veteran like Ware, it won’t take that long. He’s been down this path a time or 12.
Two of the best pass rushers in @DeMarcusWare & @Millerlite40. Ware looks good. pic.twitter.com/8OLyhyDzwg— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) August 13, 2016
Ware has shown he’s still an elite pass rusher and makes this defense better. For that to happen, he needs to be on the field. He also needs to be on the field when it matters most.
Ray after practice on Wednesday: “Me and DeMarcus talk a lot. He watches me; he watches my pass rush. He watches everything. When I do a move or something in the run game, he sees it. He always comes back and critiques me a little bit more. DeMarcus always tells me, ‘You’re beating the guy, but I want you to get the sack.’ So that shows me that he wants me to be complete. He wants me to be perfect. I take all of those critiques that he gives me, as well as all of the advice he gives me, as far as what I’m doing and go implement them in what I do in games and in practice. It has definitely made me a better player having him around.”
When Ware is healthy, he’s still one of the best in the NFL. He will help make this defense even mor [...]
Ryan Clady knew he was nowhere close to being done with football. Not when he spent the Super Bowl as a spectator, rooting on his Broncos teammates. ''It was a little bit stressful,'' Clady acknowledged. [...]
The Cincinnati Bengals’ schedule has them playing the Miami Dolphins in Week 4 on Sept. 29. The following day, star wide receiver A.J. Green’s first baby is due. Green says he’ll skip a game if the baby arrives on a Bengals game day, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. [...]
... Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids kick off Heineken Rivalry Week with a high-altitude grudge match on Friday ( ... [...]
The timing of it might have been a bit unconventional, but Colorado Avalanche executive vice president/general manager Joe Sakic got the guy he hopes will lead the team toward a championship.
Not often do NHL head coaching jobs become available... [...]
Brendan McNicholas: Thank you very much and good afternoon everyone. On the line with us today is Avalanche Executive Vice President and General Manager Joe Sakic, as well as the new Head Coach for the Colorado Avalanche, Jared Bednar…
(Steve ... [...]
A concentrated look at the recent juice on the Denver Broncos. [...]
If there was an endurance wall for pitcher Kyle Freeland to run into in his first full season in the Rockies’ farm system, he stepped right over it.
The left-handed Freeland still is going strong with the season down to its final days. He has posted victories in his last three starts for Triple-A Albuquerque, including 14 shutout innings in his last two starts. He allowed just one hit in seven innings Monday in his last start.
“I still feel strong and healthy,” Freeland said. “I’ve been pleased with my showing on the mound the last three weeks.”
So have his coaches and members of the Rockies’ player development department.
“Kyle ranks right in the mix with some of the best arms in our organization,” said Albuquerque pitching coach Darryl Scott. “I’ve been happy with his progress on the playing side and the mental side of the game.”
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Freeland pointed to learning command of his fastball as an important part of his success. Zack Wilson, Rockies’ director of player development, liked the progress Freeland has made with a changeup.
“The changeup has been his focus all season,” Wilson said. “It has gotten better over the last two months and right now the pitch is almost major-league ready.”
The Rockies drafted Freeland in the first round of the 2014 June draft out of Evansville University by way of Denver’s Thomas Jefferson High School. He signed in time to make 10 starts between Grand Junction and Asheville that summer. A shoulder injury shortened his season in 2015 and he made only nine starts between Grand Junction and Modesto.
Freeland is making up for lost time. His combined record in Hartford and Albuquerque is 10-9 in 24 starts (14 at Hartford and 10 at Albuquerque), but he’s 5-2 in Triple-A. He has pitched 150 innings overall, put up a 3.96 ERA, struck out 101 and walked 40.
“The hitters at Triple-A are very good,” Freeland said. ”They either have major-league experience or they’re knocking on the door of getting to the big leagues.”
Tale of the trades. The Rockies traded away shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and outfielder Corey Dickerson last year and hoped to gain pitching talent. The key part of the trade for Colorado, Jeff Hoffman, made his second start with the Rockies on Friday night.
A look at how the players involved in trades for Troy Tulowitzki and Corey Dickerson have fared this season entering Friday. Tulowitzki was batting .249 with 21 home runs and 64 RBIs; Dickerson was at .226, 17 and 48:
Double-A, Triple A
152 2/3 [...]
LeBron James misses the Olympic stage.
The Cleveland superstar, who decided to skip his fourth Olympics after leading the Cavaliers to an NBA title in June, said in an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he’s keeping an eye on his teammates at the Rio Games.
“Every time I watch ’em I wish I was out there,” James said in the interview, which will air Thursday. “I did not retire from Team USA. I just did not play this summer. So I still left the door open.”
James joined USA Basketball for the 2004 games in Athens, where the Americans lost their opener to Puerto Rico, dropped two more games and settled for bronze. He returned on the 2008 Redeem Team and won gold in Beijing and then captured another title four years ago in London.
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After leading the Cavs to an historic comeback against Golden State, James said he needed rest and would not play in Brazil. If he decides to return to the national team, he would be 35 at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
James, who signed a three-year, $100 million deal with the Cavs last week, also said in another online interview that he would be interested in NBA ownership when his playing days are over.
“I feel like my brain, as far as the game of basketball, is unique,” James said on “Open Run,” a new podcast which is part of the “Uninterrupted” media platform he co-founded. “I would love to continue to give my knowledge to the game. I would love to be a part of a franchise — if not at the top. My dream is to actually own a team. If I’m fortunate enough to own a team, then I’m going to hire the best GM and president that I can. But I feel like I got a good eye for not only talent, because we all see a lot of talent, but the things that make the talent.”
Rio 2016 [...]
Joffrey Lauvergne’s Olympics ended Wednesday when Spain eliminated France in the men’s basketball tournament. The Nuggets forward turned in a solid performance.
Lauvergne averaged 9.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in six games as a top reserve. He was second on the team in both offensive rebounds (7) and total rebounds (25) to Rudy Gobert. Lauvergne averaged 17.8 minutes and shot 52.7 percent from the field.
Here is a review of what I saw looking at film.
What Lauvergne did: He helped provide bulk and youth to the French lineup. In 63 total offensive possessions, Lauvergne was in pick-and-roll actions or post-ups for 30 of them.
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With point guards Tony Parker, Thomas Huertel and Nando de Colo, France was a pick-and-roll heavy team, so that wasn’t much of an adjustment for Lauvergne. His only issue was getting chemistry with a new set of players. It should come as no surprise that he shot 55 percent in screen/roll situations.
Auvergne’s first instinct was to roll to the rim, and when he did he often finished with dunks. He showed good hands on the catch from a variety of deliveries. But he also showed nice instincts and quick reads, such as knowing when to pop out on the screen/roll and take a jump shot.
Defensively, he struggled against more athletic, taller players, but was solid in his principles.
What it means for the Nuggets: Lauvergne is an incredibly consistent player. He didn’t show anything in the Olympics that the Nuggets didn’t already know about his game. Going into his second full season he projects as a strong post option off the bench. [...]
Like many visitors to Seattle, Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott wanted to see what this legal-marijuana stuff was all about. So he paid a visit to a store called Herban Legends before his team’s preseason game against the Seahawks on Thursday night.
TMZ reports that Elliott didn’t buy anything during his visit. Nevertheless, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wasn’t exactly thrilled about it, perhaps because the Cowboys will start the season with three players suspended for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse police.
“Well, I think that, in and of itself, the reason we are talking about is in a way part of the learning process,” Jones told Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Thursday night. “But it’s not good. It’s just not good. It’s just not good.”
Full Story at The Cannabist [...]