Saturday, July 31, 2010

Team report: August 31st

  • The Broncos also on Saturday acquired linebacker Joe Mays from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for running back J.J. Arrington. Mays will add nice depth to the linebackers as well as special teams. The trade is good news for Lance Ball and Kolby Smith, who will now compete for the third string running back position.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Around the web: Tebow signs

Forgive me, my brother is getting married this weekend and I've put blogging in the back seat. I completely missed the Tebow signing, even though I expected it. We'll be in full swing again next week, I'm flying to Denver to cover the Broncos training camp on Tuesday!
  • Tebow's deal is worth $33 million with $8.7 million guaranteed. Original speculation around these parts was $12 million total, which is close to the actual $11.25 million that Tebow will receive if he does not hit any of the escalators in his contract. His contract is worth $33 million if he hits all of those escalators.
The signing leaves wide reciever Demaryius Thomas as the only unsigned Bronco. Thomas is expected to be signed by Friday, and no later than Sunday - the teams first full team practice of Training Camp.

Team Report: July 29, 2010


On a bright and sunny day in Denver, the Broncos wrapped up the first of two practices on Thursday a little before noon. Here are some notes from the practice and the press conference.
  • The biggest stories of the day remain the contract negotiations with Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas. Head coach Josh McDaniels said he had not spoken to both players since Tuesday, and that there is "nothing to report" regarding the status of their contract. So far, only three first round picks have signed a contract with their team (McClain - Raiders, Bryant - Cowboys, McCourty - Patriots).
  • With only a limited group of players on the field, some positional coaches only had a few players to work with, which allowed for a lot of personal attention for the rookies, quarterbacks and injured players. Running backs coach Eric Studesville had his hands full with five running backs attending practice: J.J. Arrington, Kolby Smith, Bruce Hall, Lance Ball and Toney Baker. Arrington said his knee had not felt this good in the last 15 months, and he practiced returning kicks and punts for the first time since playing in Super Bowl 43 with Arizona.
  • McDaniels also commented on Jamal Williams being placed on the PUP list, saying it was a combination of factors such as injury and conditioning. He said he hopes it's not a long term thing, they are just making sure they are being smart.
  • And finally, if you need another reason to visit training camp at Dove Valley, the team announced they will donate $1 dollar to the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation for every person that visits training camp. So be sure to go and support the team!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Team report: 7:28:10

The Broncos on Tuesday announced the signing of Zane Beadles, the team’s second-round pick in April’s draft. That leaves just the two first-rounders, Demaryius Thomas and Tim Tebow, unsigned.
  • Beadles' deal is worth $4.2 million with a little more than $2.7 million guaranteed. While Beadles practiced with the team today, Thomas and Tebow were absent. Jimmy Sexton, Tebow's agent has requested a premium, meaning because Tebow is a Quarterback he thinks Tebow should be paid higher than Dez Bryant - who was drafted two picks ahead of Tebow. This is all good news for Thomas' agent, as Thomas will be getting even more money, being a higher draft pick.
  • Tebow is expected to not be able to last long away from football though, and most likely will be in camp, signed, when the whole team reports for camp on August 1st. Demaryius Thomas won't be signed till after Tebow, so there's hold-out potential in his situation.
  • The Broncos on Wednesday placed Darrell Reid and Jamal Williams on the physically unable to perform list, and placed Ryan Clady on the non-football injury list. The news is not unexpected, as Reid is coming off knee surgery, along with Clady. All three players will be cleared to practice again by completing a physical.
  • One notable player that was able to practice today was Eric Decker, who ran routes and participated in practice after missing OTAs with a foot injury. The Broncos were pleased to see Decker able to practice with the team for the first time.
That's all we have for now, check back on the blog over the next few weeks for continued, more in-depth coverage of the Broncos 2010 Training Camp!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Eric Decker to sign four year deal tomorrow

Josina Anderson of FOX 31 in Denver is reporting Eric Decker will formally put pen to paper on Tuesday, signing a 4-year contract worth up to $4.8 million, with a $732,150 signing bonus.

The rookie Wide Receiver out of Minnesota fell on draft boards after suffering a Lisfranc foot fracture during his senior year. He hasn't fully practiced with the Broncos yet, but is expected to be ready come August 1st - when the team officially starts Training Camp.

"I feel very good going into this week," said the No. 87 overall pick of April's draft. "I have worked very hard on increasing my strength and endurance, as well as managing my pain. Obviously, I don't want any setbacks during camp, but we have an excellent training staff that will work with me to feel confident about taking the field every day."

The Broncos can now focus on signing the high round draft picks, Demaryius Thomas, Tim Tebow, and Zane Beadles. The Denver Post speculates all will have signed by Wednesday. Check out our exclusive April interview with Decker by clicking here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Team report: 7:23:10

The Broncos have had a busy past few days signing players and announcing practice schedules, among other things. Here is a run down of what's gone down in Dove Valley over the past 24 hours.
  • Yesterday, Mike Klis of the Denver Post reported the Broncos were close to coming to terms with third-round receiver Eric Decker and sixth-round center/guard Eric Olsen.
  • Then, late last night, the Broncos announced they had extended outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil's contract. The new six-year contract is worth $61.5 million, with over $40 million in guaranteed money. The signing proves Professionalism Pays.
  • With Dumervil's contract negotiations out of the way, the Broncos can focus on signing rookies Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas (amongst other unsigned rookies).
  • In the midst of contract signing news, this afternoon Josina Anderson of Fox31 told me Eric Decker is "close" to signing with the Broncos. "Not extra close," she said. "But, close."
  • The good news didn't stop there, as starting right tackle Ryan Harris said Friday afternoon that he received clearance from his doctors at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Vail to practice when the Broncos open training camp next week.
  • Things have died down since then as far as news goes, but the Broncos also announced they'll have another scrimmage at Invesco Field open and free to the public again this year. The practice will take place at 6 p.m. on August 7th in INVESCO Field at Mile High.
I'll be flying to Denver in ten days! Be sure to check back over the next few weeks for our coverage of the 2010 Denver Broncos Training Camp!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Less Bronco coverage from other blogs this season

The growing social network - twitter, was the barrier of bad news twice this week for Bronco fans.

It started on Monday when Frank Schwab, the Broncos Beat writer for the Colorado Springs Gazette, tweeted that the Gazette was dropping the Broncos Beat.

The next day Garrett Barnes of tweeted confirming Bronco Madness would be shutting it's doors, due to it becoming too much of a chore and no longer a hobby.

The news of losing two sources of Bronco coverage is really saddening to me - especially because I am so fond of both writers.
Frank has covered the Broncos for the past seven years, and really knows the NFL. He is an experienced writer with insightful blog posts. He is also very reader friendly, always answering (to an extent) every Bronco question asked via twitter, as well as answering my pesky messages on facebook inquiring of something Bronco-related. The Gazette has moved him to the Air Force Beat, and I'm sure he'll continue to have success if he does half as good a job he did covering the Broncos.

Garrett started Bronco Madness two years ago (2008), the same year I started this blog. At the time BM was just starting to get rolling while I was just starting up my own blog, than named DenverBroncosNewsByJon. Although my grammar, along with my spelling, was horrific--and that's not to say it still isn't, but I believe I have improved--Garrett somehow came across my blog and offered me a writing position on Bronco Madness. Itching to get more experience and get my work some publicity, I eagerly accepted. Looking back now, I can't understand why he kept me on as a contributor, just read some of my old posts and you'll understand. Garrett did let me stay with the blog though, and as time went by my writing skills have slowly improved, with much credit going to Mr. Barnes, my older sisters, my Mom, and my own reading of other writings. My last post on Bronco Madness I wrote last April (you can see it here), Garrett stopping posting in May. The site had a great run, and I'll always be appreciative to Garrett for giving me such an opportunity, and giving me tips to make this very blog better. I wish him all the best.

There is good some good news though, there are still some very reliable Bronco blogs out there, among them; MaxDenver, BroncoTalk, and MHR. We can't forget the Denver Post either, or the Broncos official site -

While it is sad to see these two Bronco blogs die, it gives us, and BroncoTalk-- a site I am now contributing too--all the more reason to step up our coverage of the Broncos and fill the gap. Training camp is drawing closer and closer and is sure to be an exciting one! Be sure to check back for extensive coverage over the next few weeks.

Photos from the Associated Press were used in this post.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Around the web: Two weeks!

The good news: We are just two weeks away from when the Broncos' Rookies will report to Training Camp on July 26.

The bad news: Those will be the longest two weeks of our lives.

To help speed things up, here are a few links for your reading enjoyment.
  • Revamped!
The Broncos' official site has been redesigned to make following your favorite team even easier.
  • Top 10 Players Who Need to Step Up
If the Broncos are to succeed this upcoming season many of their players are going to have to turn it up to eleven.
  • Knowshon Moreno might set the league on fire this season
The Broncos must make deep plays in their passing game to vertically threaten the field. That will open things up for RB Knowshon Moreno.
  • Eddie Royal Contest
Using Broncos Zone for my own personal gain, is unprofessional - but who said I was professional? Help me win Eddie Royal's facebook contest, details here.
  • Speaking of Eddie Royal,
Check out this Eddie Royal 2010 Video Promo!
  • Broncos offer second chances for trio
Lloyd, Quinn, Gaffney are in Denver's plans for the 2010 season after being rejected elsewhere.
  • A.J. Trapasso can't catch a break
After being cut by the Broncos, Trapasso singed with the UFL, only to be cut for a second time in the same month.
  • Vincent Jackson suspended for three games
The San Diego Chargers have confirmed the previously reported three-game suspension for wide receiver Vincent Jackson.
  • Broncos Predicted Regular Season Record
Every off season, Kim Constantinesco tries to predict the Broncos regular season record based on the team’s schedule, new acquisitions, and releases. Here’s a breakdown of his prediction.
  • A pair of sweet shoes
Tim Tebow has officially unveiled his Florida Gators themed Nike Trainer 1.2, a collaboration shoe with EA Sports to celebrate the cover of the upcoming NCAA Football 11 videogame.
  • Broncos Zone passes 800 Facebook fans
Thanks for helping us reach 800 fans on Facebook! Please suggest us to your friends so we can reach 1,000 before kickoff against the Jaguars on September 12th!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Early notes on Madden NFL 11

Madden NFL 11 is scheduled to be released in just about a month, so here's a little preview:

The rookies are tough
  • The Broncos four offensive rookies all have toughness ratings over 90. Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker both come in at 93, with Zane Beadles at 94 just behind J.D. Walton's 95. Tim Tebow tops them all (and every other quarterback in the NFL), with a 98 toughness rating. Hopefully their Madden toughness ratings show on the field this season.

No love for the wide receivers

  • Of the 9 Wide Outs and Tight Ends on the Broncos Madden 11 roster, Daniel Graham has the best overall rating - 81. Eddie Royal's 76 is followed by Gaffney (75), Stokley (74), Thomas (74), Lloyd (73), and Decker (69). Richard Quinn and Kenny McKinley are 67 and 57 respectively. Given that two of them are rookies and the others haven't proved too much, those ratings seem pretty fare. Then you look at Dez Bryant and Dwayne Bowes' overall ratings. Receiver Dez Bryant is rated as one of the highest rookies with an overall rating of 80,- the same rating givin to No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford. Bryant was taken 2 picks after Thomas yet is rated 6 points ahead of him. EA Sports and Josh McDaniels probably differ on that rating. Meanwhile, Royal and Jabar Gaffney got a slap in the face when Kansas City receiver Dwayne Bowe received a 94 overall rating - just two points less than Miami Dolphins' Brandon Marshall's 96 overall rating.

Moreno's rating improved from last year

  • Not by much, but Moreno's overall has jumped from an 81 rookie rating to a 82 entering his second season. Knowshon isn't a power back, and Madden 11 made note of that, giving him a 76 Trucking rating, and 72 carry rating. His acceleration is higher than it was last year, earning a 96 rating. Moreno's ratings have risen and fallen in different areas, but he'll be better overall.
No Branson, Paxton
  • Electronic Arts has a tough job, not only do they have to assign ratings to every player, but also predict teams final rosters months before the real ones are known. Because of that, you'll find a player here and there who aren't any longer on the team, while noticing players that aren't on the Madden roster, even though they are on the Broncos roster. Two key players they missed this time around are Long Snapper Lonie Paxton and Tight End Marquez Branson. Madden has never had Long Snappers on team rosters before, and it's about time they did (I hate seeing Ryan Clady snap for punts and field goals). They don't even have to make a new position, just add another Tight End to every team that is good at long snapping. They really blew it at TE, the Broncos will be carrying three this year, and Branson could be a sleeper. The Broncos are expecting a lot out of Branson - both as a receiving Tight End, and possible fullback in some situations. Unless you create him, you won't be able to utilize him at either position as Madden 11 doesn't have him on the roster.
Four players that did get some love
  • The Broncos have four players in Madden 11 with overall ratings 90 or higher. Champ Bailey, Brian Dawkins, Ryan Clady and Elvis Dumervil got some love EA was unwilling to give the receivers. Clady leads them all, ranked as the best Left Tackle in the game, his overall rating is 98. Champ Bailey isn't far behind with a 95 rating, while Dumervil's 93 is the third best rating for all ROLB's in the game. Rounding off the 90-club is Brian Dawkins, who comes in right at 90. All four players made the Pro Bowl last season, and if they live up to their ratings Bronco fans can expect a repeat.

All about Tim Tebow

  • Tebow's overall rating is 70, and that's fair considering he hasn't proven anything in the Pro's yet. He is a "Scrambling" quarterback in the game, with a 90 acceleration, 96 stamina, 98 toughness, 97 injury (the higher the rating the less chance of injury), 88 jumping, and 86 carry ratings. He also has the highest trucking rating among all other QB's in the game. His throw power (88) isn't bad, but he lacks accuracy (74). He is far from a bad quarterback, and would probably be great for Wild Cat packages in the game.
View more screenshots of Broncos in Madden 11 by clicking here.

That's all we have for now, being a big Madden gamer myself, I'm anxious to play with the Broncos when the game comes out this August.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Broncos begin series of cuts

On Tuesday the Broncos began a long road of cuts to come. The Broncos waived wide receivers Dicky Lyons and Landis Williams today, leaving 11 receivers on Denver's unofficial roster.

The Broncos still have over 80 players on their roster, and must get that number trimmed down during and after training camp and the preseason to just 53 players. On top of that, only 45 players will dress for games. Almost half of the Broncos on the roster will be out of a job come the start of the regular season.
I could never be a coach, I always feel so bad for these guys, best of luck to 'em.

Friday, July 2, 2010

What's in a number? (Vol. 2)

I will wear whatever number they want me to wear, if that's 15, I'll wear 15. If that's 95, I'll wear 95. I don't really care just as long as I can wear a Denver Broncos jersey." -- Tim Tebow shortly after the 2010 NFL Draft

The arrival of rookies and free agents every offseason in Denver causes a jersey number shake-up. Many stories have been noted (as well as missed) over the years concerning the Broncos' jersey numbers, from Boss Bailey paying Kenny Peterson for #97 to Knowshon Moreno wearing #27 in honor of Darrent Williams. This offseason was no exception for jersey number transactions.

Since 2006, the Broncos have drafted six Wide Receivers: Brandon Marshall, Domenik Hixon, Eddie Royal, Kenny McKinley, Demaryius Thomas, and Eric Decker. Many skill players in college sports wear single digit or low numbers. For many receivers, that often carries over into the Pro's. While at Virginia Tech, Eddie Royal wore number 4, after being drafted by the Broncos he picked #3, as #4 was already taken. The No Fun League (NFL) then came along and pointed out Rule 5, Section 1, Article 4: ". . . numerals must be by playing position as follows: . . . 10-19 for wide receivers if 80-89 are all otherwise assigned." Royal was then forced to switch his number, he chose #19. The last Bronco WR to wear #19 for the Broncos was Brian Clark in 2006. A year before Clark, in 2005, Jerry Rice joined the Broncos, and wore #19 in the preseason before retiring. The Broncos would love if Royal had half the kind of career Rice had.

Similarly to Royal, Decker wore a low number in college that was not available in Denver, and was in accordance to Rule 5, Section 1, Article 4. His number - 7. Obviously that number is retired, as it belongs to the greatest Bronco of them all, John Elway. Fortunately for Decker though, number 87 was available, the number of his childhood hero - Ed McCaffrey. Remarkably, Decker wore number 7 in college, and was the 7th WR drafted in the 2010 NFL Draft, he also was the 87th overall player selected. Decker seemed excited about the number, writing on his facebook page:

“Ed McCaffrey wore the number loud and proud and I feel the obligation to do the same! Also being the 87th pick this year, it was meant to be!! Hope to see some of you all get that Broncos 87 jersey! :) ”
McCaffrey sent Decker a signed #87 McCffrey jersey shortly after selecting his number.

Unlike Decker, Demaryius Thomas' new number doesn't have as much significance to him.

"As for 88, I really don't have a connection with that number."
That's not to say there's no significance to the number,

"But they told me the last time a wide receiver wore 88 was when the Broncos won a championship, so that's good."
Thomas wore number 8 while at Georgia Tech, so he has probably adjusted to his new number easily. The last Bronco Wide Receiver to wear #88 in Denver was Sir Mawn Wilson in 1997, the year the Broncos won their first ever Super Bowl. The Broncos drafted Thomas in hopes of winning a few more with him contributing as the eventual #1 WR.

Former Broncos Domenik Hixon and Brandon Marshall wore numbers 12 and 15 respectively. Number 12 is currently worn by Matthew Willis, a young wide reciever who will be fighting for a roster spot in training camp, much like Hixon did towards the end of his stint with the Broncos. Brandon Marshall's #15 was vacated just weeks before the 2010 NFL Draft, in which the Broncos drafted Tim Tebow, who wore the same number during his Heisman winning college career at Florida. Denver is looking for Tebow to put up Pro Bowl numbers in the near future, much like his number's predecessor did, only this time, #15 will have a team-first attitude. We can't overlook Kenny McKinley, whose college jersey number was 11. Unlike Royal, Marshall, Thomas, and Dekcer, McKinley's number was avaiable when arriving in Denver, and permitted by the NFL to wear.

Jersey numbers aren't as important to some players as they are to others, but that's not to say every player doesn't have a favorite number. In Volume 1 of What's in a number, we looked at the numbers 22 and 9, worn currently by Alphonso Smith and Brady Quinn respectively.