Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jason Elam to retire as a Bronco

After 17 years in the NFL, Jason Elam is going to retire - as a Bronco. Today he signed a one day contract with Denver. He'll hang up the cleats as a Denver Bronco.

Jason Elam played in 236 games for Denver -- a franchise record -- and his 15 seasons as a Bronco are tied with Tom Nalen for the second-highest total in team history behind John Elway.

Elam joined the team in 1993, in every single game he played, he scored at least one point. He is fifth place all time in most points scored and most field goals made. He also holds the league record with 16 consecutive seasons with 100 or more points and he made what is tied for the longest field goal in NFL history -- 63 yards.

Through his long NFL Career, he made the Pro Bowl three times, was voted a second-team All-Pro on three occasions and was named the NFL Special Teams Player of the Year in 2001. But above all that, he won two Super Bowls, and 152 wins in a Broncos uniform -- the second-highest total in team history behind Elway.

He'll be eligible for the Broncos Ring of Fame in 2015. He scored 1,983 points in his career.

He is a class act guy, and the Broncos are very classy for doing this. Elam will always be a Bronco!

Elam to Retire a Bronco > DenverBroncos.com

Photo Album - Jason Elam's Career

Friday, March 26, 2010

Around the web: Elijah Alexander passes away

On Wednesday, Elijah Alexander, who spent three seasons with the Broncos from 1993-1995, died after a nearly five-year battle with cancer. He was only 39-years old. Alexander played in 41 games as a Bronco and was a 16-game starter in 1994. He accumulated three interceptions and 1.5 sacks during that time. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

has moved on from Broncos Zone, and has created his own website - The South Stands. Be sure to check it out!

Yesterday, over at D.P.D. I wrote up a blog post about Peyton Hillis for Browns fans. You can read it here.

More rumors have been going around about the Seahawks and Brandon Marshall. I don't think there's really a story there, but you never know in the NFL.

Over at The Orange Page, our good friends Kyle, Ian, and Danh discussed the Broncos offseason in their latest podcast.

Bronco's kicker Matt Prater doesn't like the new Over Time rule. We don't either, but I don't think it'll have a huge effect on the league. Meanwhile, Prater is trying to get better.

Over at BroncosStable, they have a new video-podcast up, go check it out!

For more in-depth coverage of the Broncos 24/7, become a fan of Broncos Zone on Facebook! And follow us on twitter!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blogger Blitz 4.0

This is our fourth Blogger Blitz, hence the title. I've become aware that not many Bronco fans know very much about Brady Quinn. So today, we welcome in Steve DiMatteo of DawgPoundDaily.com. He'll give you a Browns fan perspective of Brady Quinn.

Steve DiMatteo: Brady Quinn was always an enigma with the Cleveland Browns, and part of that fault lies with the team itself. He was never given a full chance to prove his worth on the football field, though some word argue that he did just enough to prove that he won’t make it in the NFL. Others would argue the exact opposite – see how polarizing this guy was? Either way, the Broncos are certainly getting an intriguing player, one who comes with the potential to be a starter, at least when he isn’t busy being injured.

Quinn’s biggest mistake with the Browns was his contract dispute when he was drafted in 2007. That allowed Derek Anderson to establish himself as the apparent starting quarterback and only left Quinn struggling to catch up. He was then subjected to a quarterback competition every subsequent year, and the lack of support from the front office and coaching staff most likely did not help against the whispers of Quinn’s lack of accuracy or strength in his arm. When he did throw the ball down field, his accuracy truly left something to be desired, but that’s simply not the kind of quarterback he is.

With the right set of receivers in place and a much more efficient offense around him, Quinn could become a much better passer. It is concerning that the Browns always seemed timid to let him throw the ball further than 10 yards but hey, Quinn’s best target last season was Mohamed Massaquoi.

Peyton Hillis will certainly have a chance to prove himself on the Browns, and his hard-nosed approach to the game will fit in nicely in a division like the AFC North, which is known for its teams having bruising running games. With the way Jerome Harrison finished the season, it will be interesting to see how the time is split, though Hillis could also find time at fullback. This is without mentioning the emerging Chris Jennings and the injured James Davis, who the Browns were very high on going into the 2009 season. The running game has suddenly found itself very crowded, but it’s a problem the Browns are glad to have.

Both Quinn and Hillis find themselves in similar situations – both are good players, but have a much better chance for success with a new team. Sometimes the best thing for a player is a change of scenery, especially after a player has fallen out of favor with a coach (Hillis) or the front office (Quinn). This might have been a tough pill for Browns fans to swallow, Quinn being a local guy and all, but in the end, this could end up being very beneficial for both teams.

Broncos Zone thanks Steve for stopping by. You can view my short bio of Hillis for Browns fans at DawgPoundDaily.com!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

2010 Draft Order finalized

Today the NFL finalized the draft order, and awarded 32 compensatory draft choices to 19 teams.
Denver will have six selections in April’s draft:

Round 1, Pick 11 (from Chicago) - 11th overall
Round 2, Pick 13 - 45th overall
Round 3, Pick 17 - 80th overall
Round 4, Pick 16 - 114th overall
Round 6, Pick 14 - 183rd overall
Round 7, Pick 13 - 220th overall

The League is doing two things new this year, 1) The Draft will be in Prime Time, and 2) It will be in a 3-day span. The first round will start Thursday night, April 22nd 7:30 ET, with the 2nd-7th rounds taking place on Friday and Saturday.

With the 11th pick, it is speculated that the Broncos will draft LB Rolando Mcclain or WR Dez Bryant. Denver could also trade down, and select someone like Idaho's Guard Mike Iupati.

In other news, yesterday, Guard Chris Kuper signed his one-year tender, ending his restricted free agency. He is a solid player, and will be a vital part of Denver's offense in 2010. Denver now looks to re-sign their other free agents, and focus on the draft.

Update on Brandon Marshall

Looks like the on again off again courting of Brandon Marshall by the Seattle Seahawks are on again.

Mike Kils of the Denver Post and Ian Henson of BroncoTalk.net is reporting that the talks between the team and Marshall's agent Kennard McGuire indicate that even if it's preliminary, the team has began talking about a contract with Brandon.

"This is not a Jamie Dukes (NFL Network Analyst) quote, unquote "Bombshell" by any means, but Carroll's (current Seahawks Head Coach) word choice shows that the Seahawks have not given up on their quest for obtaining Marshall and Kils' (Denver Post columnist) article insinuates that McGuire is there to see the Seahawks."

With all that being said though, Brandon's agent being in Orlando for the NFL Owner's meetings could mean that there could be interest from any of the NFL's 32 teams, and that McGuire is there to handle it or at the very least spark up more interest in his client's services.

My thought is that come April 15th when the date passes for teams to speak with and negotiate with RFA's Brandon will still be a Bronco and for this fan, that's what I want. I want to see Brandon in the Orange and Blue for the rest of his career. He's too good of a player to let go. It goes back to the old addage, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." Someone who posts 3 consecutive 100 catch, 1000 yard seasons doesn't come around all that often. With all the off the field issues that are in his PAST, he still gives Bronco Nation the best opportunity to win on Sundays.

As always I welcome your thoughts.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Historic Day In America

No and I'm not referring to the Health Care bill signed into law today by President Obama. But the new NFL OT Rule Changes!

By a passing vote of 28 to 4 (Buffalo, Minnesota, Cincinnati and Baltimore) the OT rule changes will be in effect for the 2010 post season. Here are some of the initial comments posted on Twitter.

@SI_PeterKing Overtime reform passed, 28-4. Oh happy day. http://myloc.me/59Gkd

@PostBroncos Broncos Blog: Overtime rule passes http://dpo.st/cdNeXM

@nfl RT @JasonLaCanfora: NFL's OT changes for playoffs passed. press conference upcoming. check out NFL.com and NFL Network for more

(This is Funny!!!)
@richeisen Sorry, pal. It's not retroactive. RT @MichaelInMaine @richeisen So it's Vikings Ball 1st and 10 at their own 25??? YES!!!

@PostBroncos The new OT rule is permanent - right now for playoff only. Plenty of owners want to expand it to regular season, too.

@PostBroncos Owners meet again May. Will be more research and discussion, and perhaps a vote, on reg season OT rule then.

@PostBroncos Owners felt new OT rule a good football decision. "No phase of the game is adversly affected."

@Adam_Schefter There was so much arm twisting on modified OT rule that it's as if Roger Goodell was Barack Obama and Rich McKay was Nancy Pelosi.

I'd like to know what our fans have to say about this new rule change.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Around the web: Specer Larsen to start at ILB?

ProFootballWeekly.com is reporting the the Broncos' Spencer Larsen may get a shot to start at linebacker this coming season.
While Denver could address the position early in the draft, sources expect Spencer Larsen to get a shot at winning the job in training camp. Larsen is not a well-known player outside of Denver, but he plays a variety of roles on the team, which has made him a valuable backup
I don't know any fans who would abject to him starting, he can hit like a freight train!

Talk of a QB controversy has officially begun in Denver by the media. I even got into the action, writing up a post for BroncoMadness.com - Kyle Orton or Brady Quinn?

The Broncos have expressed some interest in Pro Bowl Center Kevin Mawae, according to a league source. Denver really needs a center, he would be a great sign, he has some left in the tank.

The Broncos may have found the answer to their Brandon Marshall dilemma. Sign him. And trade him to Seattle. I really like Marshall so talk of him leaving is hard for me, it'll make it a lot easier for me to handle if we get some really good compensation.

The Broncos' owner Pat Bowlen likes offseason changes, but is withholding judgment on 2010. That's a good read from the Denver Post.

Over at BroncoTalk, Ian Henson has a great review of the Broncos 2009 Rookies -The Freshman Fifteen vol. two Be sure to check it out.

On a side note/technical error note, I screwed up our RSS feed on accident. While messing with it I deleted all the subscribers by mistake. So, if you were subscribed, please re-subscribe, and if you weren't please subscribe to our RSS and/or Google feed via FeedBurner!

That's all we have for now. Have a good week Bronco Nation.

The Broncos want to play the Raiders to start 2010

The NFL will announce its 2010 prime-time schedule today. The Denver Broncos are hoping to get a Monday Night Home game against the Oakland Raiders to start off the season. In 2004 the Broncos faced Oakland on the road on a Monday Night week 1 game, Denver won 41-14.

Denver hasn't opened at home since the 2004 season, when they beat the Chiefs 34-24. For the Broncos to get their wish, either an NFC team would have to open in Denver — which would put the game on Fox — or the Broncos need to play on a day other than Sunday.

Via, The Denver Post: Broncos could open 2010 season against Raiders at Invesco

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Media Day at Dove Valley

Today, QB Brady Quinn, and LB's Wesley Woodyard and Robert Ayers talked to the Media at Dove Valley. Here is a short summary of what the players had to say:
  • Robert Ayers said he wants to focus on his strengths, not his weaknesses. When asked about if he is prepared to be a 3-down guy now that Andra Davis is gone, his response was: "Regardless one who's on the team, I was working my hardest anyways, to get better." Ayers also said he doesn't have a weight issue, if he "gains or loses a few pounds, that's okay." You can watch his full interview here.

  • Wesley Woodyard only had positive things to say about new defensive coordinator Don Martindale. "He's a good player's coach he's smart," Said Woodyard. "He's always the last one in the meeting rooms, he's always a 100% whatever he's doing. He's one of those coaches you always wanna have on your team." Woodyard went on to say the defense's new attitude will be 'Attack.' When asked about his weight, Wesley said the Broncos want him to "stay around 230-235 [pounds]." (He weighed in at 228 Lbs last season.) You can watch his full press conference here.

  • The main attraction of the day was QB Brady Quinn. The newest Bronco sounded very happy to be in Denver, saying "It's been great coming into an organization like Denver, I couldn't be any happier or thankful and fortunate." He then went on to praise the Broncos' Owner, Coaches, and "Great" players. He joked that the only tough adjustment had been the altitude, and that at times it was hard getting up stairs. He had plenty more to say, and answered many questions, you can watch it all here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Around the web: Broncos sign Barrett

Today, restricted free agent safety Josh Barrett re-signed with the Broncos. Solid move by Denver.

Chris Steuber of Scout.com has reported that Denver will be working out Boston College center Matt Tennant and Stanford running back Toby Gerhart. The Broncos are really in need of a center, Tennant would be a great add to the team. There isn't one person I've talked to that doesn't have positive things to say about Gerhart, weather or not Denver will get a chance to draft him is yet to be seen.As you undoubted already know, Chris Simms was released yesterday. Everybody who knew him has told me he is a Great guy. He is one of the nicest professional athletes out there. We wish him all the best.

Quinn was in Denver for just but for a few hours before he hit the weight room to begin the team's offseason conditioning program. I love everything about this kid, he sounds like a great leader.

On Monday, Brady Quinn talked to some media in Denver via phone, you can listen to the interview by clicking here. He sounds like a really classy guy.

The trade bringing quarterback Brady Quinn to the Denver Broncos has seriously ramped up Broncomania talk in the Mile High City. It sure has, Brady and Quinn are the two most used words in Denver.

Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post thinks very highly of Quinn, he went as far as to say; When the Broncos make their next Super Bowl appearance, the starting quarterback will be Brady Quinn. Be sure to read that link, it's a very good article.

Bronco Linebacker/Defensive End likes his bling. Early this morning NFL.com posted a video, breaking down the state of the Broncos. In the video there is a short clip from last season of Head Coach Josh McDaniels talking to Darrell Reid. Neither of them looked very happy, and Reid even rolled his eyes. I thought it was funny and took a screenshot and posted it on twitter. After he saw it, Reid tweeted back: "I Think Coach Tellin Me 2 Take My Earring Out."

Broncos' Quinn, McDaniels have common thread in Weis. In 2004, McDaniels was the New England Patriots' QB coach, where he worked directly under Weis, the team's offensive coordinator. Today, McDaniels refers to Weis as one of his mentors. After 2004, Weis went to Notre Dame, where he became the head coach, with Quinn already waiting.

We made a Facebook fanpage for Brady Quinn today. (Becoming a fan of him on Facebook
doesn't mean you don't like Orton, or you've given up on Orton.)
Become a fan of the newest member of the Bronco family!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Broncos cut Chris Simms

A day after Denver traded for Quarterback Brady Quinn, the club released QB Chris Simms. The 29-year old was supposed to be a great back-up quarterback for the Broncos, that didn't work out. Half-way into the season Orton was playing "So-So" not bad at all, just not very exciting. During pre-season Simms had some good games (plays). Naturally, like every good writer does, Woody Paige put two-and-two together. He verbally insulted Orton, and stated the Broncos should start Simms against the Redskins in mid-November, last season. You probably know how the rest of the story goes . . . Orton hurt his ankle, and Simms came into the game. During the second half the Broncos scored Zero points, Simms threw an interception, and Denver lost the game, to the Redskins! (The Redskins were poo last year.) The next week McDaniels didn't want to risk Orton getting hurt more, and starting Simms against the Chargers. Simms was 2-of-4 and sacked twice. The second time he was sacked he fumbled, and the Chargers ran it back for a score. After that, Josh McDaniels put a hurt Orton back into the game. At the end of 2009, Simms had earned a 15.1 Quarterback rating. Some resume huh?

The Broncos now have three quarterbacks on their roster: Orton, Quinn and second-year pro Tom Brandstater. They will all make the 53-man cut this off-season. In an interview with the DenverPost Orton had this to say:
"I do have total confidence that I'm the guy there," Orton said. "Just like every year I'm going in to try and earn my starting job. I don't think I have anything to fret."
This isn't a surprise, all of Bronco nation saw it coming. Best of luck to Simms wherever he may end up.

Brady Quinn brings change

The arrival of Brady Quinn to Denver brings a lot of baggage with it. If McDaniels makes Orton the starter there will be a QB controversy, and many fans will scream for Quinn - especially when Orton struggles. If McDaniels were to name Quinn stater even more fans would be unhappy and scream for Orton. Either way expect some unhappy fans this coming season.Quinn brings a lot things to the table that Orton does not, and many fans are ready for a change at quarterback. We have to make some site changes as well. Our former header is now out-dated. A header with Peyton Hillis smack in the center doesn't really appeal to Bronco fans so much anymore. So, we've put up a temporary header with Andre' Goodman on it. We'll have a newer one up soon, with either D.J. Williams or Brian Dawkins on it. We'll miss Hillis, and the header that had him on it. Talking about headers reminded me of our first ever header. That was a classic.

We'd like to give a special thanks to Garrett Barnes for creating our headers for us! He does an awesome job, be sure to check out his blog, BroncoMadness.com!

I'm excited about Quinn (Could you tell? Three straight posts on the blog all about him.) I'm excited about the a possible QB change, and about the blogs new look.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Breaking it down: Quinn is a Bronco

When I first heard the news I was shocked, and was still trying to process it all. Now that I've calmed down some, here's a bit more info on what went down;

This afternoon Denver acquired quarterback Brady Quinn from the Cleveland Browns. The team agreed to trade fullback Peyton Hillis, a 2011 6th-round draft selection and a conditional 2012 draft selection to Cleveland in exchange for the signal caller, pending physicals. Of course, they'll both pass there physicals.

This was a Good move by Josh McDaniels, a few reasons why:
  • Josh McDaniels never really used Peyton Hillis, why have a player on the roster that you don't use when you could get a good QB via Trade? I'm excited for Hillis, because now he'll get much more playing time, either playing fullback or tailback, possibly both?

  • This moves puts pressure on Kyle Orton. This move only has positive ripple effects for the Broncos Quarterback situation. It is expected that there will be a camp competition for the Broncos QB starting job during training camp. Brady Quinn will be at the least the 2nd stringer on the Broncos roster, which is a major upgrade from Chris Simms.

  • This move was cheep, with good compensation. The Broncos will be giving up at the most, two draft picks from 5th or later rounds. In return they get a young QB with a ton of potental, who could become a franchise quarterback.
    • Quinn was drafted in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame, he was selected 22nd overall. In the NFL, Quinn has compiled 1,902 yards passing yards, 11 total touchdowns and nine interceptions in 14 games played. He has started 12 games in his career, including nine last season. Brady now joins Kyle Orton, Chris Simms and Tom Brandstater as the fourth quarterback on the roster. The Broncos aren't prepared to let Orton go at this time, and McDaniels has song Branstaters praises' since draft day 2009.

      A Bronco-fan-favorite, Peyton Hillis, averaged 5.0 yards per carry and tied for the Broncos’ team lead with six touchdowns in 12 games -- including 6 starts -- as a rookie in 2008. It was soon clear that Hillis didn't fit in McDaniels offense - one that doesn't often use fullbacks. He only started two games at fullback last season. He rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown, while tacking on 19 yards receiving and seven special-teams stops. It is very sad to see such a young talented player leave Denver, but at the same time I'm glad to see him get more opportunities in Cleveland.

      Like I said, this was a good move by the Broncos, and should work out good for both sides. I'm very excited about this, and the direction the Broncos are going.

      Slideshow - Welcome to the good side, Brady Quinn
      Video -Brady Quinn Traded

      Brady Quinn traded to Broncos! Good-bye Peyton Hillis

      Browns QB Brady Quinn has been traded to the Denver Broncos in exchange for Peyton Hillis and two conditional draft picks. Via the Broncos Official twitter page:
      The Broncos have acquired QB Brady Quinn from Cleveland in exchange for FB Peyton Hillis and 2 draft picks. More on DenverBroncos.com.
      So long Peyton Hillis, we hardly knew ye *tears*. I hope that now Hillis will get a chance to play more. I'm very exciting about Quinn, I never thought Orton was the answer, we'll see what happens. Check back on the blog for more to come as it is reported.

      Around the web: Brandon Marshall

      Yesterday the Broncos gave Champ Bailey a $3 million roster bonus. The Broncos also handed out bonuses to; Running back Knowshon Moreno ($3.775 million), linebacker D.J. Williams ($3 million) and receiver Brandon Stokley ($500,000).

      Today, rumors started that the Jets Might be interested in Brandon Marshall. Really? A season after they traded for Braylon Edwards?

      From what I've heard Jet fans are not found of Brandon, they went as far as to calling him a "scumbag". Hey, of New York doesn't want him, I know a lot of people in Denver who do.

      So far in his young career Brandon Marshall has seen and done it all, save a Championship or a Post Season win. Steve O'Reilly of the Skinny Post believes that Marshall has turned the corner with his maturity and is often misunderstood.

      Maybe it would be better for all concerned if Marshall got a fresh start elsewhere else. That's the Broncos' call now. This is a link from the Denver Post, written by Dave Krieger.

      When asked if the Fins should go after Marshall, former Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas stated, "Yes, do it now before anybody else changes their mind.'' Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald, asks' Thomas: "Are you crazy?" To date, New York, Cincinnati, Seattle, and Dolphin fans have all rejected Brandon. I'd sure love to keep him around.

      There's not much anything to talk about in Bronco land these days - save Brandon Marshall. The eerie silence is making me uneasy. Either I've forgotten how slow and boring the off-season is, Or, something big is coming, and we are in the calm before the storm. We'll keep you posted.

      Friday, March 12, 2010

      Are Marcus Thomas and Jarvis Moss done in Denver?

      Rumors started this afternoon, stating the Broncos are going to release DT Marcus Thomas. About an hour ago Fox 31's Josina Anderson tweeted:
      "Just got off the phone with both Broncos DT Marcus Thomas, and his agent, and both say they HAVEN'T heard that Thomas has been cut at this hour."
      If Thomas was released it is still to be announced, all the rumors are pure speculation. Yet, it is clear, his days are numbered as a Bronco. Although Thomas is much more athletic than many Defensive Tackles (He can do a back flip!) he only totalled 15 tackles last year, and in three years hasn't even recorded a sack. The highlights of his short stint in Denver were his two interceptions, but two good plays won't earn you a 53-man roster spot.

      While we are speculating, expect Jarvis Moss to be cut sometime in the near future as well. Moss had an amazing college career, and was supposed to be the next Jason Taylor. That didn't pan out. In three years he recorded only 3.5 sacks and 24 tackles, last year he only played in 7 games, and recorded Zero tackles. The writing is on the wall, I am, like all other Bronco fans, surprised Jarvis is still even on the roster.

      Check back on The Zone to see how things turn. Both players are great guys, I'll be sad to see them leave, but that's life. The Broncos' defense is getting re-vamped, and I'm excited about it.

      Why didn't the Broncos go after some draft picks?

      A few days ago, the Broncos released Center Casey Wiegmann and Andra Davis. The Chiefs announced on Friday that they've signed Wiegmann. Which makes me ask the question, why didn't they shop him? Of course he's old, and maybe nobody would want him right? Well, the Chiefs signed him and he visited the Redskins last weekend. That's two teams, and there were probably more. Releasing him was not a good move by Josh McDaniels.

      There is also Andra Davis, who is currently still unsigned. Rumors are, the Bills are interested. Davis is 31-years old, yet still has plenty left in the tank. The Broncos could have at least gotten a 7th round draft pick (the lowest pick in the draft) for both of the released players. There have been many late round draft picks that develop into stars. Receivers Donald Driver and Marques Colston were both drafted in the 7th (and last) round. Former Bronco center Tom Nalan was also a 7th round pick.

      A draft pick is very valuable in today's NFL, I'm lost on why the Broncos didn't trade Wiegmann and Davis. Maybe they shopped them and nobody jumped on it, I don't think that was the case. What are your thoughts?

      Thursday, March 11, 2010

      Willie D. Clark Found Guilty

      DENVER -- A process that began in the early morning hours of January 1, 2007, came to a close Thursday afternoon in a Denver courtroom.

      After a jury deliberated over a span of three days, Willie D. Clark was found guilty on all counts, including the first-degree murder of former Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams.

      "Nothing can ever bring Darrent Williams back or ease the suffering for (his mother) Rosalind and her grandchildren," President and CEO Pat Bowlen said in a statement. "But after three long years, it is very gratifying to see closure brought to this case. This process has been extremely difficult for the Williams family, his friends and teammates, this community, and the entire Denver Broncos organization.

      Willie D. Clark Found Guilty (DenverBroncos.com)

      Jury finds Clark guilty in Darrent Williams murder (DenverPost.com)

      This is a big relief, like Mr. Bowlen said, nothing could ever make this better, but its great to see justice served. RIP DWill!

      Unexpected moves: Davis, Peterson, 2 others cut

      Today the Broncos released Inside Linebacker Adra Davis and DT J'Vonne Parker. Yesterday the club released Defensive End Kenny Peterson and Mitch Erickson who has spent the last two seasons on the practice squad. I was very surprised that the team let Peterson go, he was a good player, and the only starting down lineman our Denvers' 3-4 to record a sack last year. The move is not totally out of the blue, the Broncos have just signed D-linemen Jamal Williams, Justin Bannan, and Jarvis Green. The Broncos have high hopes for Ryan McBean, who is a possible fill-in, while Shanahan leftovers Jarvis Moss and Marcus Thomas are also younger, and waiting for an opportunity.

      The Broncos also re-
      signed defensive lineman Le Kevin Smith today. Smith, who was acquired by Denver in a trade with New England on Aug. 17, played in 13 games for Denver in 2009. He notched his first career sack against Baltimore in Week 8, and made his first career start against Pittsburgh in Week 9.

      The biggest story of today was Andra Davis. He played in all 16 games in 2009, starting 13, and finished third on the club with 72 tackles, including a team-high 14 for a loss, and 3.5 sacks. After such a successful first year with the Broncos, I don't think anybody saw this coming. Although, there are some good reasons for it. Davis slowed down toward the end of the season, as did the entire Broncos defense. On the Broncos roster, Wesley Woodyard and Spencer Larsen back up Davis, both are very young and talented. To go along with that, there is no shortage of good LB's in this years draft. (Rolando McClain anyone?)
      "It was definitely disheartening," Davis said. "But I've been in the game, this is my ninth year, and I've seen a lot of guys get that phone call and get that conversation. I have no ill-feelings towards the Broncos. I wish them the best.
      It is always sad to see guys you've become attached to leave, but I'm excited to see the Broncos moving forward. I'm also very excited to see more of Wesley Woodyard, if he can get his coverage skills down he'll be a great success.

      Wednesday, March 10, 2010

      Broncos sign Prater

      The Broncos put a nice finishing touch to a busy free agent signing day yesterday, when they extended Kicker Matt Praters' contract. Matt was an exclusive rights free agent. Terms of the deal are not known.

      Last season Prater fell just short of making the Pro Bowl, after countless touchbacks, and making 30 of 35 field goals and converting 32 of 32 extra point attempts. This was a good move by the Broncos. Like Matt or not, he's going to be a good kicker for the Broncos for sometime to come.

      Click here to see Matt like you've probably never seen before ;)

      Tuesday, March 9, 2010

      Broncos sign DT Jamal Williams

      Something big is coming to Denver - 348 pound former Charger DT and Pro Bowler Jamal Williams has signed with the Broncos. The contact is for 3 years, $16 million, including $7 million guaranteed, with a max value to deal over $22 million. Last year Williams only played in one game, after being placed on the injured reserve with a triceps injury. Up till that point he had previously caused extreme pain the Broncos' backfield, and every other team he faced. There is concern because of his injury-prone knee, but many fans are Very excited about this signing.
      I love this signing, he is a great add, and he fits perfectly in our 3-4 defense. He's big, he can stop the run, and he has had plenty of experience. What makes me love this signing even more is how much Shawne Merriman hates it. He tweeted: "im tired of seeing of my teammates leaving San Diego." after Adam Schefter re-plyed "You don't sound very happy" Merriman tweeted back "we have to see big mall twice a year not happy at all."

      Schadenfreude: (Noun) Malicious enjoyment derived from observing someone else's misfortune.

      Broncos trying to Beef up D-Line

      In 2009, Kenny Peterson, Ryan McBean, and Ronald Fields were the Broncos "starting" 3 down linemen in Denver's 3-4 defense. Fields was the only player who weighed over 300 pounds, while the 3 combined for a total of only one sack (coming from Peterson). It was obvious the Broncos needed some big time help in the trenches. Today the Broncos hosted DT Jamal Williams and defensive end Jarvis Green. (Green has since signed.) This off-season the Broncos have also hosted Dwan Edwards and Justin Bannan (Bannan like Green has signed with Denver.) Charger Defensive Tackel Jamal Williams weighs in at 348 pounds, former Raven DE Bannan comes in at 310, and Dwan Edwards is just 10 pounds short of 300.

      It's apparent Josh McDaniels and "Wink" Martindale value size in defensive linemen, as almost every team does. In a 3-4 it is vital to have some big men up front if you hope to have success. That is why Suh is valued so high in the draft. The Broncos really need help on the D-Line, and I'm glad the team is addressing the areas where they need depth.

      While you may be fighting an extra 10 pounds so you can look good this summer, the Broncos are looking for that extra 10 pounds in defensive players. If you're 300+ pounds, don't be ashamed, contact the Broncos!

      Sunday, March 7, 2010

      Around the Web: Broncos sign DE Green

      On Thursday we posted on our facebook page that the Broncos had signed Patriot DE Jarvis Green. Turned out we jumped the gun, and he hadn't signed yet. Today Adam Schefter reported that the Broncos have in fact signed Green, for (up to) $20 million over 4 years. We jumped the gun, but we were still right... he did sign.

      Today, Testimony ended in Clark trial. We are all hoping justice will prevail.

      Mike Klis is reporting that Jamal Williams is still in Denver, negotiating with the Broncos. I really hope the Broncos get Williams, he fits our 3-4 perfectly.

      The Denver Broncos won’t negotiate a trade for Marshall. Either a team is prepared to pay a first-rounder or move along. According to Michael Lombardi it'll take a first round draft pick to get Marshall out of Denver.

      Michael Lombardi reported on NFL Network that the Broncos will have Patriots Tight End Ben Watson in Denver today. This is controversial, and I'm not sure what to think about it.Great Cartoon by Drew Litton! Check out more at DrewLitton.com!

      Friday, March 5, 2010

      Broncos sign Bannan, Jones

      The DenverPost reports: Justin Bannan is returning to Colorado. The former University of Colorado star and Baltimore Ravens' defensive lineman reached an agreement in principal today with the Broncos on a five-year contract.

      Bannan is an good (not great) pick up. He is big (over 6 foot and 300 pounds) and he's not to old (turning 31). He has only recorded 3 sacks in four years with the Ravens. Reportedly he isn't going to play Defensive End for Denver like he did in Baltimore, rather, the Broncos will move him to Defensive Tackle. That is a good move, he'll deffinatly have a chance to start, but I don't think the Broncos should close the door on other options for DT.
      Another signing was just reported, first by Frank Schawb, and now Josina Anderson. Via Anderson's twitter page:
      "Per Broncos spokesman Patrick Smyth, the Broncos have agreed to terms with CB Nathan Jones."
      I really like the Jones pickup. He'll add some competition to Solpmore Alphonso Smith. Last season Jones Forced two fumbles, a sack, and recorded 2 interceptions. If nothing else Jones adds some nice depth to back up Bailey, Goodman, and Smith.

      Free Agency Updates

      Early this morning Brandon Lloyd and Russ Hochstein agreed in principle to re-sign with the Broncos. Terms were not be released. This is not a big story, both were Broncos last year, and played pretty small roles on the team.

      Reportedly, three players will be visiting with the Broncos: Browns center Rex Hadnot, Dolphins cornerback Nathan Jones and Ravens defensive lineman Justin Bannan. The Broncos could Really use a Center, so Hadnot would be a great Vet add. The Broncos really need to bulk up the D-Line, and Bannan is over 300 pounds. The Broncos are pretty good with secondary depth, but Jones would be a nice pick up as well.

      Broncos Offensive Lineman Ben Hamilton has a visit set up with the Seattle Seahawks. In Seattle, Hamilton no doubt was recommended by Jeremy Bates, the Seahawks’ new and Broncos’ former play caller.

      Star WR Brandon Marshall is also rumored to be meeting with the Seahawks sometime tomorrow. Adam Schefter has been covering this all day, according to him the Seahawks will try to get Marshall to sign an offer sheet. The Broncos have a home game against the Seahawks this coming season. This is the biggest story of the Broncos off-season, check back on The Zone for updates.

      Patriots Defensive End Jarvis Green is reportedly drawing interest from the Denver Broncos. Green's agent said that the teams most serious about signing him were the Patriots (his 2009 team) and the Broncos. Green would be a nice add to the Broncos D-Line that only recorded one sack last season.

      Marshall to Seattle = Clausen to Denver?

      Here are my thoughts on this deal.

      IF, and I say if, Brandon does leave the Mile High City for the Pacific North West and the Broncos do get Seattle’s 1st round pick (#6 overall) I believe that Clausen would be headed for Denver. Clausen has been in a pro style system for his entire college career at Notre Dame under Charlie Weis, who, if you remember, tutored Josh McDaniels during his time in New England.

      Jimmy Clausen (6’3, 223lbs), is one of the very limited quarterbacks used to a pro-style offense in this year's draft is coming off a good year, statistics-wise, but there are concerns of his leadership abilities, which Jimmy shrugs off.
      “Some people say I’m cocky, I’m arrogant and I’m not a good leader, I’m not a good teammate. I think the people that are out there saying those things don’t know me as a person,” said Clausen. “That’s why I was so excited to come here and talk to all the coaches and the GMs and the owners so they get a feel for me as a person.”
      Would Clausen Fit With The Broncos?

      At Notre Dame, Clausen played in a system that combined a pro-style offense with that of a west-coast under Coach Charlie Weis. Owner Pat Bowlen has made it known that he wants a QB that can be our QB of the next 10 years which Orton is not. Additionally, Denver needs a QB who can play in the elements of Denver which Clausen can and in front of a huge audience. He also seems confident and eager to prove himself in the NFL.

      Why Not Draft Clausen?

      For Broncos fans, another first round QB may spell disaster, which is the only reason I believe the Broncos won't select a risky top-10 pick with a QB. But Clausen has improved his stats in each season at Notre Dame, and can be a solid backup for a season to learn the system.

      This is all speculation, and I know each team gets 60 personal interviews, but this in this football age where you can't win without a franchise quarterback, is Jimmy Clausen a good fit for the Broncos, who haven't had a solid QB under center since John Elway?

      Other Options?

      If Denver doesn’t feel like Clause is their man and would rather have McCoy out of Texas in a later round, then they could always package the #6 and #11 and potentially move up to get one of the top two DL in the draft in Ndamukong Suh out of Nebraska or Gerald McCoy from Oklahoma.

      Denver could also take Clausen with pick #6 and use pick #11 to take Dez Bryant from Oklahoma State and have a GREAT passing and receiving threat for the next 10 years and possibly a couple of more championships. Although I don't think Mr. B would give Coach McD his check book for those two.

      Another thought is that Denver could use Seattle’s #6 pick to get Clausen and trade their #11 pick to stockpile picks in later rounds.

      Bottom line is that if I’m the brass at Dove Valley, as much as I like Brandon for his on the field talents, this may be too good of a deal to pass up and opens up a TON of possibilities to fill holes on our team.

      As always, I welcome your thoughts.


      Around the web: Broncos Off-Season

      Free Agent Tracker 2010 (Over at BroncoMadness Garrett has a great Free Agent tracker up, that will be updated all day. I'll be away from the Internet today, so be sure to check out that link for FA updates.)

      Eddie Royal, where he's been, and where he's going (I wrote that over at MHR, it's about Eddie's WR struggles.)

      Broncos Nation Podcast Season Three.One! (Over at the Orange Page, Ian, Kyle and Danh talked about everything Broncos, and gave us a Shout Out!)

      Position by Position Review – Offense (This is a post I wrote up for BroncoMadness, looking at where the Broncos need some depth on Offense.)

      2010 Free Agency Blog (Over at DenverBroncos.com they are covering all the action!)

      Q&A with Darrell Reid (This Never gets old)

      That's all for now, I'll be away today so I won't be able to update the site, sorry about that. I suggest you go check out all the Great links!

      Thursday, March 4, 2010

      J.J. Arrington [Returns] to Denver

      Last off-season the Broncos signed J.J. Arrington and Correll Buckhalter back-to-back. We all know how well Bucky turned out, but Arrington never played a down. (He did walk away with $1.8 million signing bonus though.) J.J.'s contract fell through, after he failed his physical he needed season-ending microfracture surgery on his troublesome right knee. That was back in May of 2009.

      Not even a year later, the Broncos have again signed J.J. Arrington. Terms of the deal of not been disclosed. In the Cardinals '08 Super Bowl run Arrington played a big role, rushing for almost 200 yards, and catching 25+ passes. Arrington is "only" 27-years-old, and adds some depth to both the Broncos backfield and special teams. I'm sure he was cheep, and if nothing else he'll add some good "Camp Competition" this summer for the Broncos.

      I'm not totally sure what to think about Arrington. This is the Broncos first signing of the year, expect more signings to come tomorrow, check back for updates!

      Wednesday, March 3, 2010

      Broncos Tender Marshall, Dumervil, 3 others

      Starting Friday the fun will start, free agency will be in full swing. To prepare for that the Broncos have tendered 5 players.

      Elvis Dumervil has been tendered with a first and third-round draft choice. Chris Kuper, Brandon Marshall and Kyle Orton each have been tendered with a first-round draft choice. Tony Scheffler was given an original round tender (second-round draft choice).

      This bascially means any team can make an offer to any one of the 5 players, and Denver can match the offer. If Denver opts not to match the offer, the other team gets the player, but has to give Denver the Tendered draft pick, e.g. a team would give the Broncos their first round draft pick for Brandon Marshall. (Click here for more info on what "Tender" means.) If I was an NFL team I'd jump at the opportunity to get Dumervil for a 1st and 3rd, as would Columnist Frank Schwab. I also think a 1st Rounder is a steal for Brandon Marshall - a Huge steal.

      While ESPN and everybody else is now stating "We told ya so! Brandon is out the door", I still believe the Broncos and Marshall will work out a new contract.
      Broncos' General Manager Brian Xanders had this to say; "These are all high-quality football players, and we look forward to their contributions during the 2010 season and beyond."
      Although Dumervil is the only one with more than just a 1st Rounder, he is not a lock-in to stay in Denver. Believe me teams will be calling, he has a Miami backround, and Mike Nolan is the Dolphins new DC, Steven O'Reilly has put 2-and-2 together. Yet, expect the Broncos to match any offer for Dumervil, he's the most likely to stay in Denver. I don't think any teams would be willing to give a first round pick for Orton, so expect him to stay as well. As far as Brandon Marshall, many teams will be calling, but like I stated above, I believe Denver will match all offers for him. I can see a team like the Redskins (Mike Shanahan) going after Chris Kuper, but a first rounder may be a bit steep for him. The only player of the 5 that I could picture Denver not matching an offer for is Tony Scheffler.

      It will be interesting to see what happens, check back at The Zone for Free Angency updates.

      Tuesday, March 2, 2010

      That's a wrap, 2010 combine is in the books

      First off, I'm sorry I haven't updated The Zone in a few days, I've been hitting the slopes.

      The 2010 NFL Combine has come and gone. A few players did some great things, that possibly raised there draft status', while others had unfortunate events.

      Florida’s Joe Haden struggled in the 40-yard dash. As the projected Best Cornerback in the draft, a great 40-time was expected of him. He posted 4.57 in his first run and 4.60 in his second run, that's kinda slow for a corner. This may have hurt how high he goes in the draft. There is good news for him, if he does fall, he'll be drafted by a better team.

      Daryll Clark of Penn State was one of the only two Quarterbacks to Bench Press at the combine, he did 21 repetitions. That is good for a QB, and very good for Clark's draft status.

      West Virginia QB Jarrett Brown ran a 4.54 40-yard dash, the fastest of all the QB's who ran. Florida QB Tebow ran in 4.72 seconds, the fourth-best time among the 16 quarterbacks who participated in the 40. Tebow not only demonstrated his outstanding speed, but he also showed he can be a cheerleader. He consistently stood off the line about 5 yards to the left and yelled encouragement to his fellow competitors.

      Taylor Mays‘ eye-popping time in the 40-yard dash has raised his profile in the eyes of many evaluators and could launch the USC safety into the middle of the draft’s first round.

      Two players put there names' in the record books, Jacoby Ford posting the second-fastest 40-yard dash time since 2000, while Mitch Petrus tied the record for bench press reps with 45 (since 2000).

      The Combine was not all serious, many players were cracking jokes throughout the event. Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy issued a foreboding message to teammate Sam Bradford if he plays against the quarterback in an NFL game: “I’ll kill Sam.”

      That's all folks. Head over to our Mock Draft Blog to see our Mock Draft.

      2011 Pro Bowl to be played in Hawaii

      The 2010 Pro Bowl was watched by an average of 12.3 million people, the most since 2000. Manly for that reason, the 2011 Pro Bowl will again be played before the Super Bowl.

      That said, the Pro Bowl will be returning to Hawaii, for at least 2 years anyway. The NFL and Honolulu have reached a two-year agreement to play the 2011 and 2012 Pro Bowl's there.

      The Pro Bowl is a controversial game, being played before or after the Super Bowl is another controversy. In my opinion, the fans like it, and the players like it, I think it is a great game, and should stick around -- in Hawaii.