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Broncos’ new offense, QBs uninspiring in preseason opener
CHICAGO — An hour before kickoff Thursday, Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch trotted out onto Soldier Field to warm up, setting up shop at the 20-yard line in front of a swath of fans who quickly pulled out camera phones and dangled photos for signatures. In the center stood a young girl donning an orange No. 18 Manning jersey. At her side was an older man wearing John Elway’s No. 7. There was no No. 13. No 12, either. No sign of the Broncos’ future. Thursday’s preseason opener — a 24-17 win over the Bears — put them one step closer to finding him. Siemian, as planned by first-year head coach Vance Joseph, started and played 19 plays before handing the reins to Lynch midway through the second quarter. Kyle Sloter closed out the final quarter and was the only one of the three quarterbacks to throw a touchdown pass. Related ArticlesAugust 10, 2017 Will Kyle Sloter get to vie for Broncos’ starting QB job? August 10, 2017 WATCH: Broncos’ De’Angelo Henderson takes off for 41-yard touchdown run August 10, 2017 WATCH: Broncos’ Kyle Sloter throws 47-yd TD pass to Isaiah McKenzie against Bears August 10, 2017 Three up, three down in Broncos preseason opener against Bears August 10, 2017 Gone in 60 seconds: Broncos starting defense makes statement in short, sweet outing “I was satisfied,” Joseph said. “Trevor was solid. He made some nice plays in the pass game. Paxton had some. Ice plays but we had so many penalties. … It hurt his drives. That’s why he played more. But overall it was a solid performance.” While eyes were on the quarterbacks, the victory highlighted many persistent issues on offense for Denver — notably protection problems and penalties (10 total) — with only 144 net yards and a 13 percent conversion rate on third downs when Siemian and Lynch played. Siemian began with a seven-point cushion, thanks to Chris Harris’ pick-six on the third play of the game, and went 6-of-7 in passing for 51 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions for a passer rating of 97.0. He was sacked once — on the first play — as Leonard Floyd flew around right tackle Menelik Watson for the takedown as protection issues and penalties littered Siemian’s three drives. “It’s the preseason, so we’ve been doing all of our things we want to do in the regular season,” said rookie tackle Garett Bolles. “We’re just trying to be consistent, run plays we know we can run and continue to get better. It was a good start. There are things we need to work on, definitely, but I feel like everyone is out there playing with their heart tonight.” Both teams racked up a total of six flags on Denver’s opening drive, but Siemian held his own, connecting with Demaryius Thomas for a conversion on third-and-11 and setting up a 38-yard field goal by Brandon McManus. Siemian’s second drive was a three-and-out, and his final go was a seven-play, 37-yard drive that included two completions to Cody Latimer. One of those, however, was nullified by penalties. The drive ended on a run by Stevan Ridley on third-and-1 that resulted in a loss of 3 yards. “I thought I did some good things, I thought Paxton did some good things,” Siemian said. “There is definitely some stuff we’re going to watch and clean up. I can’t really give a reaction right now without watching the tape, but I thought everybody did something good tonight.” Where Siemian appeared in control under pressure, Lynch struggled early with his reads and reacting quickly to the defense. He took over with 7:41 left in the second quarter and played four series, going 6-of-9 passing for 42 yards and a 77.1 rating, while adding 11 yards on four carries. He closed the first half with back-to-back three-and-outs, often tucked the ball and scrambled to evade pressure. To compensate for his late reads, he appeared to throw harder, affecting his accuracy. Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://www.denverpost.com/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); “I thought I did pretty good. Before we went to halftime I think we struggled a little bit moving the ball. Missed some third downs that we should have converted and had a lot of penalties,” Lynch said. “That kind of set us back. We came out of the locker room at halftime and I thought we did a really good job of moving the ball. But like coach Joseph said, it was just too many penalties to keep us from the moving the ball downfield [...]
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Will Kyle Sloter get to vie for Broncos’ starting QB job?
CHICAGO — Of the Broncos’ three active quarterbacks, only one threw a touchdown pass Thursday in the team’s preseason opening victory against the Bears. It and it wasn’t one of the two contending for the starting gig. Kyle Sloter, an undrafted free agent out of Northern Colorado, was added to the Broncos’ roster for camp competition and depth, but proved he could be much more in Chicago. In his lone quarter of play, Sloter completed five of six passes for 94 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown to rookie receiver Isaiah McKenzie. On his final series, he led the Broncos on a four-play drive that was capped by a 41-yard go-ahead touchdown run by De’Angelo Henderson. Sloter’s passer rating? A perfect 158.3. “It was awesome,” he said. “That’s everything you dream of as a kid. Dropping back and throwing a touchdown in the National Football League and leading another one. It was just a blessing to have an opportunity and be in this position.” His performance raised eyebrows — and the question of whether he should be included in the Broncos’ QB race. “As a starter for us? ” Joseph said, seemingly baffled by the question. “No. We’ve got Trevor (Siemian) and we’ve got Paxton (Lynch), who we’re satisfied with.They’re both playing good football. Outside of the penalties tonight I was impressed with both guys. So, no.” What about giving Sloter some second-team reps? “No,” Joseph said. “It’s Trevor’s and Paxton’s job, first and second team.” Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://www.denverpost.com/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader'));   [...]
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U.S., Canada preparing for NHL-less Olympics very differently
Former Vancouver Canucks coach Willie Desjardins turned down offers to work in the NHL this season so he could be behind the bench for Canada at the Winter Olympics. Tony Granato gets to keep his day job at the University of Wisconsin and still coach the United States. Six months from the start of the Olympics in South Korea, picking coaches is just one of the many contrasts between Hockey Canada and USA Hockey. Their rosters will be more similar to each other’s than Russia’s star-studded group, but the two North American countries are embarking on drastically different approaches ahead of the February tournament that will be the first without NHL players since 1994. Canada is taking no risks with its thorough preparation as it tries to win a third consecutive gold medal, while the United States sees a benefit in a less-is-more approach in trying to return to the podium. “There’s no guarantee, so that’s why you get yourself prepared as well as you can,” Canada assistant general manager Martin Brodeur said. The best way to prepare is a matter of opinion. The U.S. and Canada will each rely heavily on professionals playing in European leagues and mix in minor leaguers on American Hockey League contracts . While Russia will likely have a team with former NHL stars like Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk and Andrei Markov , who went home to join the Kontinental Hockey League, Canada has former NHL players like Derek Roy, Max Talbot, Mason Raymond, Kevin Klein and Ben Scrivens to look to in Europe. The U.S. has Nathan Gerbe, Keith Aucoin and former AHL goalies David Leggio and Jean-Philippe Lamoureux. Because there are fewer experienced American players in Europe, the U.S. is far more likely to call on recent world junior and current college players, skewing younger at skill positions. Boston University’s Jordan Greenway and Denver’s Troy Terry, who led the U.S. to gold at the world juniors last year, could be among the selections. Canada GM Sean Burke began preparing a year ago for a no-NHL Olympics, scouting to find potential fits to fill the positions previously held by Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Drew Doughty and Carey Price. U.S. GM Jim Johannson began touching base with players on a serious level in June, after roster rules were set . He doesn’t plan to put a lot of mileage into in-person scouting over the next couple of months. “In many cases we know what those players are,” said Johannson, who has been in charge of recent U.S. world junior and world championship teams. “I don’t think our goal is prior to December go running all across the world to see what do these guys got. Let their season get going.” Canada has already gotten started as a group on the ice, playing this week in the Sochi Hockey Open and taking another group of prospective Olympians to St. Petersburg, Russia, next week for the Tournament of Nikolai Puchkov. Those are the first two of five tournaments in which Canada will participate before the final 25-man team goes to Pyeongchang, along with the Karjala Cup in Finland in November, the Channel One Cup in Russia in mid-December and the Spengler Cup in Switzerland at the end of December. Vice president of hockey operations Scott Salmond said Hockey Canada is “not starting at ground zero” and plans to fine-tune its Olympic roster over the next several months. That’s not all that will come together in those five tournaments. “We will have a better understanding of the players we have, what system we can put in and adjustments we need before it starts,” said Brodeur, who serves as assistant GM of the St. Louis Blues. Burke believes he’ll have a good idea of what Canada’s Olympic team will look like by the Moscow-based Channel Cup, which also includes teams from Russia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden and South Korea. “That’ll be the majority of our team that we’ll head into February with,” Burke said. “That’ll depend on guys, the way they play early in the season. Some guys may emerge. Other guys may drop off. But I do feel that when we get to December, we’ll have put enough work and enough effort into this to have narrowed what we think will be most of our Olympic team down.” The U.S. has all its focus on November’s Deutschland Cup, which will be full of Europe-based pros and include teams from Russia, Slovakia and host Germany, as its only pre-Olympic tournament. Despite playing almost 50 pre-Olympic games for the U.S. in 1988 before the Calgary Olympics, Granato believes it’s a positive that the coaches and players will be able to continue with their regular teams with limited interruption. Johannson considered a more comprehensive pre-Olympic schedule but ruled against extra evaluation time to balance out possible fatigue. “The NCAA programs, to me, just do a [...]
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John Elway doesn't need new Broncos quarterback — just for Paxton Lynch to be better
John Elway is executive vice president of the Denver Broncos, but he tweeted a lot like the president of the United States on Wednesday. With his team's quarterback situation becoming messier than anticipated in Year 2 of Trevor Siemian vs. Paxton Lynch, Elway had to shoot down rumors of the Broncos pursuing a third option: Bengals backup AJ McCarron. [...]
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[Sporting News] – Sources: Colorado and Orlando working on Luis Gil for Dillon Powers swap
... uis Gil to the Rapids with Dillon Powers heading the other direction, sources have confirmed to Go ... [...]
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A New Era of Nuggets Basketball Gets a Fresh New Look
If a new era of Nuggets basketball has a look to accompany it, this is it. [...]
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#TheGoldenAge: 10 Straight Seasons of Playoffs
Since about 2000, there were few NBA tasks tougher than getting to the playoffs in the Western Conference. [...]
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Broncos, Briefly: Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017
A quick look at the recent buzz on the Denver Broncos. [...]
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Rockies Mailbag: Does Nolan Arenado have a realistic shot at NL MVP this year?
Denver Post sports writer Patrick Saunders posts his Rockies Mailbag every other week on Tuesdays during the season. Pose a Rockies – or MLB – related question for the Rockies Mailbag.  We have two similar questions to begin the latest mailbag. MVP race: Do you think Nolan Arenado and or Charlie Blackmon have a realistic shot at winning the MVP this year? The bummer would be if they split the vote and both lose out. — Thom Herlin, Littleton What will it take for Nolan to be recognized as the best player in baseball and be voted the NL MVP? Does the Rockies making the playoffs garner enough attention that gets him the necessary votes? Thanks for your opinion Patrick. — Bears Baker, Eagle Thom and Bear, if the Rockies make the playoffs, and I think they will, then both Arenado and Blackmon should at least get serious consideration. Full disclosure: I have an NL MVP vote this year. However, members of the national media who also have a vote are going to look hard at the Coors Field factor. They will also note which players have the highest WAR and OPS. Currently, Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona’s great first baseman, leads the NL with a 5.5 WAR, followed by Washington’s Anthony Rendon (5.0), Arenado (5.0), Cincinnati’s Joey Votto (5.0), Los Angeles’ Corey Seager (4.7) and Washington’s Bryce Harper (4.6). Blackmon ranks 14th, with a WAR of 3.7. However, in OPS, Chuck Nasty is fifth, with a .997. Votto is tops in the NL with a 1.041 OPS, closely followed by Goldschmidt (1.026) and the Dodgers’ Justin Turner (1.009). Arenado is ranks 10th (.955). I definitely think Arenado’s growing reputation as the best fielding third baseman in the game will help him. In every city I travel, writers, broadcasters and fans rave about Arenado’s magic at the hot corner. Right now, I think Goldschmidt in the leading candidate, but there is a lot of baseball left to play, so things could change. Finally, will Arenado and Blackmon split the vote? I don’t think that’s a huge concern, because I think Arenado is going to garner a lot more votes than Blackmon. Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://www.denverpost.com/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); Which Rockies minor league player do you expect to have the biggest impact when rosters expand in September? Do any of them have a chance to add a special boost to the lineup similar to 2007? — Jesse, Greeley Jesse, I’m just guessing, but I’m betting you hope I say infielder Ryan McMahon. He’s certainly intriguing, having batted a combined .351 at Double-A and Triple-A this season. But the problem is, McMahon is not on the 40-man roster, so the Rockies would have a make a move to put him there. Also, I’m not sure where the Rockies would play McMahon. He’s not a shortstop, and he’s not going to supplant Arenado at third or DJ LeMahieu at second in the middle of a playoff push. He’s been playing plenty of first base this season, but I’m not sure there is room there, either, when Ian Desmond returns. Still, McMahon could get called up as a utility player and pinch-hitter. We’ll see what happens Outfielder David Dahl seems like a natural call-up candidate, and he is on the 40-man roster. However, he’s back on the disabled list with a back/rib issue and there are legitimate questions about whether or not he will play for the Rockies at all this season. As for “impact” players, my guess is that relievers such as Yency Almante, Sam Moll or Zach Jemiola could be called up and pitch some important innings. I love what the Rox are doing this year and they’ve made some great personnel decisions. What are your thoughts on reliever Scott Oberg? He seems to have good stuff, but every time he pitches in a close game I get nervous. Do you think he could be the odd man out as other pitchers get healthy? — David, Rox fan, now in Vancouver BC David, I know you submitted this question before Oberg was optioned to Triple-A last week, but, in a sense, he did become the odd man out. I agree with you that Oberg has “good stuff” but he lacks consistency and the ability to get the big out in big situations. That’s why he makes you nervous. It’s why he’s now back at Triple-A. Oberg, who was 0-1 with a 5.91 ERA, 18 walks and 40 strikeouts in 49 relief appearances when he was demoted, had been struggling. Manager Bud Black believed it was time for a Triple-A tune-up. “We felt that the recent performance of Scott, really the last two or three weeks, maybe indicated to us that he needed a break,” Black said last week. “There w [...]
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Class 4A softball preview: Silver Creek, Valor Christian emerge as obvious preseason title favorites
This fall’s Class 4A softball season could very well come down to a rematch of a state quarterfinal game played a year ago, when Valor Christian slipped by Silver Creek, 1-0, en route to the Eagles’ third consecutive championship. Both teams return plenty of firepower, including proven ace pitchers and a bevy of potent hitters. And both teams are hungry to add to their respective legacies — the Eagles are armed for a four-peat while the Raptors, who have made seven consecutive state tournament appearances, look to cement their program’s place on the map with their first ever state title. Even Valor Christian coach Dave Atencio — who is no stranger to championship collision courses, having been on one opposite Erie last year — admits the Raptors have the inside track heading into opening day on August 18. “The team to beat this year is Silver Creek,” Atencio said. “When we beat them in the quarterfinals last year, that was a great game that could’ve gone either way. They have their nucleus back, and I know those players well from club, so I expect them to be there at the end of October.” Silver Creek is No. 1 in the Denver Post preseason Prep Power Rankings. Junior Jetta Nannen (Hawaii commit), senior Dana Dwyer (Fort Lewis) and senior Kendra Green give the team three experienced pitchers, while senior shortstop Emma Flynn, junior outfielder Kayla Harper and junior outfielder Bailey Beavers round out the lineup. “Honestly, we’re one of those programs that’s flown under the radar for 10 years now,” said coach Ryan Beavers, in his 11th season. “We’ve never had a kid who throws 65-67 mph like Valor has — we just don’t have those kids. So to get to state again, we’ve got to play defense, we’ve got to score runs and our pitchers have to be able to manage traffic.” Valor Christian returns flamethrower senior righthander Ali Kilponen, the winning pitcher in three consecutive state title games. She also led all classifications last season in ERA (0.47), strikeouts (283), wins (24) and tied for the state lead in no-hitters at five. Kilponen is why the Eagles, despite the graduation of five starters, are ranked No. 2. “Ali sets the tone, and the other thing is that the other girls understand the excellence that we seek in our program,” Atencio said. “Because most of these girls were part of the last two state championships, they know our mental toughness has to be on display every game.” Other traditional heavyweights will surely challenge Valor Christian and Silver Creek as well. State runner-up Erie is dangerous again as is Air Academy, a 2016 semifinalist which returns senior pitcher Cassidy Horn (18-3, 1.82 ERA) as the Kadets eye the Pikes Peak League championship after falling just short last year to Discovery Canyon, another sleeper team in 2017. Defending Centennial League champion Mullen brings back its top hitter in senior outfielder Natalie Archuleta. Out of the Jeffco League coach Jamie Heflin and Wheat Ridge are likely to be a contender. And down south, Pueblo West returns the bulk of its lineup as well as senior ace Jade Garbiso (17-2, 1.38 ERA). All are capable of dethroning Valor Christian. “We’ve got to have a couple returners from last year come up big this year,” Atencio said, “because we know we’re getting everyone’s best shot.” Class 4A Preseason Power Rankings Silver Creek Valor Christian Mullen Pueblo West Wheat Ridge Air Academy Erie Mountain View Frederick Discovery Canyon [...]
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PHOTOS: Denver Nuggets’ jerseys through the years
Denver Nuggets‘ jerseys through the years. Starting in 1967 as the Denver Rockets to the powder blue of 2017. [...]
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Wife of Clippers’ Willie Reed wants domestic battery charge dropped
By Curt Anderson, The Associated Press MIAMI — The wife of Los Angeles Clippers center Willie Reed said Wednesday she does not wish to press battery charges against her husband after an argument between the couple led to his weekend arrest. Jasmine Reed said in statement issued by her attorney, Ivlis Mantilla, that the situation was blown out of proportion and that she never called police. Willie Reed, who played last year for the Miami Heat, was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge after the argument Saturday night with his wife at their Miami residence. A police report quoted Jasmine Reed as saying her 6-foot-11 (2.1 meters), 245-pound (111 kilograms) husband pulled her hair, grabbed her wrists and dragged her in a struggle over her purse. She also told officers she hit Willie Reed with a glass candlestick holder. Related ArticlesAugust 6, 2017 Clippers’ Willie Reed arrested on domestic violence charge On Wednesday, she called Willie Reed “a good man and a great father.” The couple has two children. “This is a private matter between my husband and I and for the sake of our family I would like to keep it that way,” Jasmine Reed said. Jasmine Reed also said in an affidavit filed in court that she does not want to be interviewed by police or prosecutors and that she does not fear her husband. She also asked that a stay-away order issued against Willie Reed be dismissed. “I would hope they and the court would respect my wishes,” she said in the affidavit. Related ArticlesAugust 7, 2017 Stephen Curry vows to do more off court with new contract in hand August 6, 2017 Clippers’ Willie Reed arrested on domestic violence charge August 5, 2017 Team World wins NBA Africa Game exhibition August 2, 2017 Having accomplished nothing on his own, LaVar Ball goes a familiar route August 1, 2017 Jordan on LaVar Ball: He couldn’t beat me if I was 1-legged Willie Reed, 27, recently signed a $1.5 million, one-year contract with the Clippers. As Miami’s backup center last season, he averaged 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game but decided to opt out of his Heat contract. “Willie is looking forward to putting this behind him and focusing on his family and his new team,” said his attorney, David O. Markus. The NBA and its players association implemented a new domestic violence policy as part of the collective bargaining agreement, which started on July 1. Under terms of the policy, the league can conduct its own investigation into the matter and hand out punishment before a court rules on criminal charges. Willie Reed, who played college ball at Saint Louis, has also played for the Brooklyn Nets and in the NBA developmental league. [...]
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3 things to watch (aside from QBs) in the Broncos-Bears preseason opener
Running backs Starter C.J. Anderson is expected to play a maximum of three series and veteran Jamaal Charles will not play at all, leaving the bulk of the reps to Stevan Ridley, De’Angelo Henderson and Juwan Thompson. The running back race is tight — and stacked — and these reps are critical to creating separation. Ridley has impressed since his arrival on Day 1 of camp. A strong showing in Chicago and the subsequent preseason games will make for difficult roster decisions at running back. Related ArticlesAugust 9, 2017 Big test ahead for Broncos quarterbacks in preseason opener at Chicago August 9, 2017 Broncos’ John Elway refutes QB trade rumor with “fake news” tweet August 8, 2017 Broncos rookies competed in a hot dog eating contest and it was vile August 8, 2017 After circuitous route to NFL, Brendan Langley fighting for spot in Broncos secondary August 8, 2017 Broncos QB Trevor Siemian says switch recently flipped, “like things were clicking for me” Fourth CB battle Rookie Brendan Langley has an edge on paper, but his experience at the position is limited and his time in a pro system is nonexistent. Lorenzo Doss has showed out in camp and continues to vie for the fourth cornerback job, a coveted and important spot on the Broncos’ “No Fly Zone” secondary. “We just want to put those guys in positions where they are competing against the other team’s better players as well,” defensive coordinator Joe Woods said. “We just want to make sure we rotate them in right now at the two position. Give them a shot to go against some of the better receivers. Right now, they’re battling.” O-line cohesion Vance Joseph and general manager John Elway have lauded the Broncos’ new-look offensive line. Thursday’s game will provide limited reps to the starters — tackles Garett Bolles and Menelik Watson, and guards Max Garcia and Ron Leary — but it will be the first test of the group’s cohesion. Connor McGovern will start at center as Matt Paradis takes it slow in returning from two hip surgeries. [...]
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