Broncos

Isaiah McKenzie doesn't care if you call him small, he'll just run by you
His confidence and extra work led to him being named the starting punt returner for the Broncos. [...]
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Broncos Training Camp Day 11 Takeaways: Trevor Siemian starting to feel offense 'clicking' for him
Also ... why Mike McCoy feels more comfortable calling plays from the sideline, and how DeMarcus Walker is looking to improve in pass coverage. [...]
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After circuitous route to NFL, Brendan Langley fighting for spot in Broncos secondary
Being the highest NFL draft pick in the history of Lamar University is a cherished feat for Brendan Langley. When the Broncos selected the cornerback in the third round of the draft in April (No. 101 overall), he immediately thought of those at the Football Championship Subdivision school who dotted the circuitous path to his dream. And not just his teammates and coaches. “Lamar’s done a lot for me, the university as a whole,” said Langley, who played his freshman season at the University of Georgia before transferring to the much smaller school in Beaumont, Texas. “It was down to the lunch ladies, the classroom teachers and everybody else. Lamar will always have a special place in my heart, and it means a lot to me to be the highest draft pick from there.” Now, Langley is trying to put Lamar more prominently on the map as he fights for the fourth cornerback spot in the Broncos’ vaunted No-Fly Zone secondary. He was listed in that spot on the team’s initial depth chart, which was released Monday, though coach Vance Joseph said Langley and third-year player Lorenzo Doss are running virtually even. “He’s growing,” Broncos defensive coordinator Joe Woods said of Langley. “The biggest thing for him is he has everything you want. He has the size and speed. We know he’s tough. The biggest thing for him is it’s a learning curve. We’re exposing him to different defenses than he ran in college. So for him, each day he gets a little bit better. I know from my experience of coaching guys like (Minnesota Vikings cornerback) Xavier Rhodes, same type of guy, each day he’s going to become a better player.” Part of the learning curve is simply growing more comfortable as a cornerback. The switch to Lamar from the bright lights of the SEC — a fateful decision, Langley said, that centered on prayer — may not have been the most conventional path to the league, but it gave Langley the chance to return to his roots as a defensive back. Langley was a highly rated cornerback coming out of high school in Marietta, Ga., but he struggled at the position during his freshman season with the Bulldogs. He switched to wide receiver and ultimately stayed at the position when he transferred to Lamar, a school that didn’t even have a football program from 1990 to 2009. But Langley couldn’t crack a deep rotation at receiver and requested a move back to corner as a junior. The switch paid off. During his senior season, he intercepted six passes, returned two punts for touchdowns and earned an invitation to the Senior Bowl. “It played a big role,” Langley said of switching back to defense at Lamar. “I mean, I’m here. I just need to be able to adapt to any situation, be able to play receiver, corner, returner or whatever they’d have me do. You’ve just got to be able to adapt and be ready for whatever they bring your way.” The secondary remains the staple of a defense that has been the backbone of the team the last two seasons. Aqib Talib, Chris Harris and Bradley Roby make up perhaps the league’s top trio at cornerback. T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart are Pro Bowl safeties.Related ArticlesAugust 8, 2017 Broncos rookies competed in a hot dog eating contest and it was vile August 8, 2017 Broncos QB Trevor Siemian says switch recently flipped, “like things were clicking for me” August 8, 2017 Vance Joseph lays out playing time, general plan for Broncos’ preseason opener August 8, 2017 Broncos training camp Day 11 live blog: Updates, analysis from Dove Valley August 7, 2017 DeMarcus Ware to test skills as NFL analyst during Cowboys preseason game Yet the underrated aspect of Denver’s success in the secondary, Woods said, comes from the depth in the group. That extends from Will Parks and Justin Simmons at safety to Doss and others at cornerback. Langley wants to add to that depth. There are still raw elements to his game. Woods said playing FCS football gave a player of Langley’s talent the opportunity to make plays simply on instinct and sheer athleticism. In the NFL, his success is dependent upon learning defensive schemes well enough to play at a high speed. “When you don’t run a lot of scheme in college and you’re exposed to a lot of different schemes in the NFL, it takes you time to learn it, and that’s where he’s at right now,” Woods said. “Right now, they are battling. Doss is making a lot of plays, Langley is coming along. It’s just a matter of evaluating those guys.” [...]
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Broncos rookies competed in a hot dog eating contest and it was vile
Maybe hot dog eating contests are the new rookie haircuts. Because the Broncos’ rookies competed in one Tuesday in front of an auditorium of veterans. Somewhere, Joey Chestnut is beaming with pride. (video via Menelik Watson’s Instagram) Broncos rookies competed in a hot dog-eating contest today and it was pretty gross. Go on, watch! (video via @MenelikWatson) pic.twitter.com/QqzJAoBoLM — Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 9, 2017 No, there’s more!!! (Mona Lisa Vito voice). … I can’t watch anymore. pic.twitter.com/SvVgd5jtyF — Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 9, 2017 [...]
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Siemian gets 1st start but hasn't nailed down Broncos QB job
Trevor Siemian hasn't officially won the Denver Broncos' quarterback job just yet but he has earned the starting nod over Paxton Lynch in Denver's preseason opener at Chicago. Siemian will get first crack against the Bears on Thursday night while Lynch will start Denver's second game, at San Francisco on Aug. 19, coach Vance Joseph announced Monday following his team's indoor practice. "I think Trevor's earned that much, you know, to be the first guy out," Joseph said. [...]
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The Pick Six: Dan Patrick Show executive producer Todd "Fritzy" Fritz
As executive producer of and one of the Danettes on The Dan Patrick Show, Todd "Fritzy" Fritz has one of the more entertaining jobs in sports media. He's also a huge Broncos fan. While at a training camp practice on his vacation, he was kind enough to answer six of our questions as part of our interview series, The Pick Six. [...]
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Newberry: Colin Kaepernick unemployed, but at least Jay Cutler has a job
Jay Cutler has a job playing quarterback. Colin Kaepernick doesn’t. Gotta hand it to the bigwigs who run the NFL: When they blackball a guy for taking a courageous stand against social injustice by doing nothing more than kneeling, they go all in. In the latest development in the league’s efforts to make it clear that those who try to do the right thing need not apply — and, really, none of us should be surprised by this, not after all the years of denial over the devastating effects of head injuries — the surly Cutler signed a $10 million contract to contend for a starting spot with the Miami Dolphins . Yes, this is the same Jay Cutler who compiled a glittering 68-71 mark as a No. 1 QB for Denver and Chicago over the better part of the past decade, all while continually rubbing people the wrong way with his selfish, petulant personality. “No, didn’t like him,” Champ Bailey once said in a television interview, which ranks as perhaps the most positive assessment of Cutler from a former teammate. Cutler, in fact, had decided to retire after starting only five games for the Bears last season, even landing a television gig with Fox. Then the Dolphins came calling. With Ryan Tannehill facing the prospect of missing the entire season with a left knee injury, the 34-year-old Cutler is getting an undeserved chance to revive his career with a team that made the playoffs last season. Meanwhile, Kaepernick is still unemployed even though he is 4 1/2 years younger, had a better passer rating than roughly half the starting QBs in the league in 2016, and led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl just four seasons ago. But Kaepernick committed the possibly career-killing infraction of choosing to kneel during the national anthem, his way of protesting police violence and social injustice. Related ArticlesAugust 7, 2017 Boomer Esiason says he and “all football players probably have” CTE August 7, 2017 Former Patriots standout Vince Wilfork officially retires from NFL. Via barbecue commercial. August 7, 2017 Kicker Mason Crosby, Packers look to get leg up on field goals August 7, 2017 Josh Norman, Zach Brown: NFL fines over rules emphasis won’t curb physicality August 7, 2017 Brock Osweiler picked to start Browns’ preseason opener Quite naturally, his actions stirred plenty of debate, drew out both opponents and supporters, and became a flashpoint in a country polarized by political divisions and a bitter presidential election. That was to be expected. But it shouldn’t have cost him a chance to carry on in his chosen profession, a profession he is clearly more qualified for than at least half of the 60 or so quarterbacks who’ll be occupying the top two spots on depth charts this season. While the decision by the Dolphins isn’t an entirely apples-to-apples injustice — Cutler previously worked with Dolphins coach Adam Gase, a former offensive coordinator in Chicago, and Kaepernick’s wearing of a Fidel Castro shirt would have made it more difficult to gain acceptance in Miami than any other NFL city by far — it still epitomizes what a raw deal Kaepernick is getting. Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin summed it up best after the Seahawks brought Kaepernick in for a visit , and like every other team in the league so far, decided not to sign him. “My original position was, I thought that the situation last year with him taking a knee didn’t have anything to do with it,” Baldwin said. “After viewing what’s going on, I’ve got to take that back. I definitely think that the league, the owners are trying to send a message of staying between the lines. It is frustrating because you want to have guys that are willing to speak out about things that they believe in — whether you agree with it or not. That is definitely playing a role now, more so than I thought it was going to.” Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past weekend, let the oh-so-obvious cat out of the bag when he explained his team’s reasons for signing fence post-slash-alleged quarterback Luke McCown to serve as a backup this season. Jones, his nose growing longer with each word, told reporters his team was “looking for more somebody that we can evaluate and train and possibly be a quarterback of the future.” Quarterback of the future? McCown? He just turned 36 years of age, has started a grand total of 10 games since entering the league in 2004, and is approaching the decade anniversary of his last touchdown pass. The way things are going, Ryan Leaf may want to consider a comeback. He’d probably get a shot before Kaepernick. “If you take a step back and look at the overall picture, there’s a lot of teams in this le [...]
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Former Patriots standout Vince Wilfork officially retires from NFL. Via barbecue commercial.
Former New England and Houston defensive tackle Vince Wilfork announced his retirement from the NFL in a barbecue commercial on Monday, a fitting farewell for a big guy who loved to eat. Wilfork tweeted a video showing him un-taping his ankles, hanging up his cleats and grabbing grilling tongs. The video then shows the 35-year-old defender dancing, cooking ribs and smoking a cigar while wearing his trademark overalls. Well y’all – it’s been a great run, but the time has come. @Kingsford #Sponsored pic.twitter.com/DXfDzholBi — Vince Wilfork (@wilfork75) August 7, 2017 Related ArticlesAugust 7, 2017 Boomer Esiason says he and “all football players probably have” CTE August 7, 2017 Newberry: Colin Kaepernick unemployed, but at least Jay Cutler has a job August 7, 2017 Kicker Mason Crosby, Packers look to get leg up on field goals August 7, 2017 Josh Norman, Zach Brown: NFL fines over rules emphasis won’t curb physicality August 7, 2017 Brock Osweiler picked to start Browns’ preseason opener “No more cleats,” he says. “I’m moving on to smoke meats, fellas. Peace out. I’m outta here. Later.” The video ends by noting that “Vince’s Farewell Tailgate” will take place Sept. 7 in New England. The defending Super Bowl champions open the season that Thursday night against Kansas City. Wilfork played 13 NFL seasons, including the last two in Houston. He said earlier this summer he was contemplating retirement after the Texans declined to offer him a new contract. Wilfork was drafted by New England in 2004 and anchored the Pats’ defense line for 11 seasons. He was named to five Pro Bowls and helped the Patriots win two Super Bowls. [...]
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DeMarcus Ware to test skills as NFL analyst during Cowboys preseason game
DeMarcus Ware has crossed over to the dark side. The former pass rusher will debut as an analyst for KTVT CBS 11 during its preseason telecast of the Cowboys-Rams game on Aug. 12. Ware, a 12-year NFL veteran, will work in the booth alongside Bill Jones (play-by-play) and Babe Laufenberg (analyst). Lindsay Cash Draper will serve as the game’s sideline reporter. It’s official: @DeMarcusWare makes his TV game analyst debut Saturday night on Cowboys/Rams game on CBS 11 & @dallascowboys TV network pic.twitter.com/V8RJv5TDgI — Bill Jones (@CBS11BillJones) August 7, 2017 Ware retired from the NFL in March after nine seasons with the Cowboys and three with the Broncos. On April 24, he signed an honorary one-day contract to retire a Cowboy. In May he was one of 23 current and former NFL players who participated in the league’s annual Broadcast Boot Camp, a four-day immersion into broadcast media that included instruction from top networks to help players develop play-by-play analysis, radio broadcasting and field-reporting skills. Ware also co-starred with Ronda Rousey in a reboot of “Battle of the Network Stars,” a 10-episode series on ABC that began airing June 29. The Broncos plan to recognize Ware during their Week 2 game against the Cowboys in Denver, on Sept. 17. [...]
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Boomer Esiason says he and “all football players probably have” CTE
More than a few current and former NFL players have recently expressed concern that they might have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease that studies have linked to the sorts of concussive and sub-concussive impacts common in football. On Monday, Boomer Esiason went a step further, claiming that he “likely” has the condition, as do “all football players.” Esiason, a 56-year-old former NFL MVP who ended a 14-year career in 1997 and became a CBS football analyst, was discussing the issue on “Boomer and Carton,” his New York sports-radio show. Noting the deadline Monday for former NFL players to register for the league’s $1 billion settlement in a class-action lawsuit over its handling of brain injuries, Esiason was making the point that potential cases of CTE in living players — he thought such diagnoses might be possible in a few years’ time — were “carved out” of the settlement. “If I died tomorrow and my brain basically was taken and researched and I was found to have CTE, which most likely I have,” he said, before co-host Craig Carton asked why he thought that was the case. “Because I think all football players probably have it,” Esiason replied. Esiason clarified that he thought many people who have suffered brain injuries in a variety of sports could be subject to CTE, or at least symptoms thereof. Noting that Carton had “played soccer,” the former Bengals, Jets and Cardinals quarterback told his co-host, “You’ve had a head injury, you’ve had a number of concussions yourself, you might have had a car wreck, where you hit your head or something like that — I wouldn’t be surprised if you had it, as well.” His comments on CTE were couched in a more matter-of-fact way, but Esiason echoed some of the thoughts recently offered by Terrell Davis. Speaking on Friday, shortly before he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the former Broncos running back said, “I can’t lie, we’re all scared.” Related ArticlesAugust 7, 2017 Former Patriots standout Vince Wilfork officially retires from NFL. Via barbecue commercial. August 7, 2017 Newberry: Colin Kaepernick unemployed, but at least Jay Cutler has a job August 7, 2017 Kicker Mason Crosby, Packers look to get leg up on field goals August 7, 2017 Josh Norman, Zach Brown: NFL fines over rules emphasis won’t curb physicality August 7, 2017 Brock Osweiler picked to start Browns’ preseason opener “We’re concerned because we don’t know what the future holds,” the 44-year-old Davis said of himself and other ex-NFL players. “When I’m at home and I do something, if I forget something I have to stop to think, ‘Is this because I’m getting older or I’m just not using my brain, or is this an effect of playing football?’ I don’t know that.” A study published in July bolstered the proposed link between football and CTE, as it found that 110 of 111 brains of deceased NFL players showed signs of the disease. “The time for denying facts and looking the other way is over,” Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., said in a release pegged to the study. “We must now actively seek out ways to protect the health and (well-being) of players from Pop Warner to the NFL and every league in between.” Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger referred to those results last month while musing about the possibility that this could be his final NFL season. “I know this new study that came out that 90 percent (of NFL) players’ brains who were studied had CTE. There’s a lot of scary things, and I think my wife would be okay if I hung it up, too,” he said. On Monday, Esiason pointed out one positive in the news about CTE, saying, “The more we learn about our brains, the better it is for the guys who are playing today.” He added that “the good news for the guys who are playing today, especially the guys who have been playing for a long time,” was that “they get paid a hell of a lot more money than we ever did.” [...]
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Hit alarm on Paxton Lynch if Trevor Siemian wins Broncos' QB job by default
For a moment Saturday, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller rubbed the hair on his chin and considered a question about today’s NFL and the idea of winning games through classical – if not archaic – means. It was a question about mentality, but Miller is quite perceptive. Paxton Lynch (12) is trailing Trevor Siemian in the battle for the starting Broncos QB job. [...]
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Mason's Mailbag: Breaking down where the tight ends stand
Tight end is one of the most fascinating position battles in training camp. This week's Mailbag takes a look at the top three players there. [...]
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Prime Numbers: How Aqib Talib found himself in Deion Sanders' territory
Almost a decade ago, Aqib Talib met his idol, Deion Sanders. Now, after years of following his path, Talib has tied Sanders in a major category and has his eyes set on passing him. [...]
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