2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Broncos have Super Bowl in their sights

By ARNIE STAPLETON - AP Pro Football Writer
    2013-07-23 12:52

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Forget about Peyton Manning's neck and right arm. Both held up just fine last year. The question now is about his broad shoulders.

As in, can he carry the weighty expectations of the Rocky Mountain region that will be satisfied with nothing less than a Super Bowl title?

It's especially important with defensive leader Von Miller facing the possibility of a monthlong NFL drug suspension to start the season.

The Broncos roared into the playoffs riding an 11-game winning streak and touting the AFC's best record at 13-3 only to see Rahim Moore flail at Joe Flacco's rainbow pass to Jacoby Jones for the game-tying 70-yard touchdown in the final minute of regulation, the defining moment of their double-overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Front office boss John Elway went all-in, adding Wes Welker, Louis Vasquez and Montee Ball to Manning's stockpile in another offseason spending spree that also saw All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady sign the biggest deal for an offensive lineman in team history.

``I think this is a big year for us,'' Clady said while basking in the glow of his five-year, $57.5 million contract. ``We definitely have a lot of expectations: Super Bowl or bust, for the most part. It's a lot of pressure, unlike last year where we kind of just rolled in and tried to get things together.''

The Broncos are loaded on both sides of the ball and own the league's most electrifying special teams, so all the ingredients are there to make a run at a third Lombardi trophy.

Five things to know as the Broncos prepare to open training camp in Englewood, Colo.

1. GET OVER IT: The Denver Broncos have moved on, even if their fans haven't. That includes Moore, the safety whose blunder led to Denver's playoff loss. Many fans wondered if Moore could ever play in Denver again after his gaffe. The Broncos, however, are sticking with the third-year pro who remains the starter at free safety. ``I think he's over it; I think we're all over it, you know,'' Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio said. ``I think we all look back and see things that we could have done better. We also look back with a great deal of pride in what we accomplished ... and we want to get ready to be better this year.''

2. TOP TRIO: Led by the shy Demaryius Thomas, the soft-spoken Wes Welker and the selfless Eric Decker, the Broncos represent the antithesis of those high-maintenance superstars who demand the ball every down. These three combined for 297 receptions and 29 TD catches last season.

3. PEYTON'S PROTECTOR: Clady is finally in a good place both fiscally and physically. Manning's blindside protector signed a deal that includes $33 million in guarantees. He skipped last year's trip to Hawaii with a torn right labrum that required surgery. He hopes to be back on the field by early August. He's never missed a game in his career (83 counting playoffs) and the Broncos are confident he'll be in the starting lineup Sept. 5 to face former teammate Elvis Dumervil when the Ravens visit Denver.

4. WEAK LINK? Clady is one of four starters along the offensive line coming off surgeries that eliminated or limited their offseason on-field work. Left guard Zane Beadles was the only starting lineman to come out of last season unscathed. Orlando Franklin (toe, shoulder), Chris Kuper (ankle) and J.D. Walton (knee) also needed operations, and of the three, only Franklin was at full health during minicamps. The Broncos signed Dan Koppen to fill in at center for Walton. Their biggest free-agency signing outside of Welker was Vasquez at right guard. If Kuper recovers from his second surgery in as many years, he'll likely compete for a backup spot.

5. ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BRONCOS: The infamous fax fiasco last spring led to Dumervil's departure to Baltimore, and so now it's up to several others to make up for his locker room leadership and his harassment of quarterbacks, especially with Miller facing the possibility of missing the first month of the season. Shaun Phillips came over from San Diego and Quanterus Smith from Western Kentucky to help fill the void, but Robert Ayers, Jeremy Beal and Malik Jackson hope to show the Broncos they had Dumervil's replacement right under their nose.

---

Online: AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Jawan JamisonAug 1 11:52p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed free-agent RB Jawan Jamison (Redskins). Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived RB Alvester Alexander.

Kraig UrbikAug 1 11:22p

Buffalo Bills OGs Kraig Urbik and Cyril Richardson shared reps at right guard with the first-team offense during practice Friday, Aug. 1.

Riley CooperAug 1 11:12p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Riley Cooper's (foot) foot injury is not considered serious, and he should be able to return to practice in a few days, according to head coach Chip Kelly.

Daryl SmithAug 1 10:52p

Baltimore Ravens DT Timmy Jernigan (back), LB Daryl Smith (groin) and CB Lardarius Webb (back) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 1.

Adewale OjomoAug 1 10:12p

The Dallas Cowboys have signed free-agent DE Adewale Ojomo (Titans). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Calvin PryorAug 1 10:02p

New York Jets FS Calvin Pryor (concussion) said he will not change his playing style even though he suffered a concussion during training camp. 'I play physical, be aggressive, [ More ]

Alex GreenAug 1 09:42p

New York Jets RB Alex Green (chest) and WR Quincy Enunwa (hip) were able to participate in practice Friday, Aug. 1.

Eric DeckerAug 1 09:32p

New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) is expected to play in the team's scrimmage Saturday, Aug. 2. Decker was limited during practice Friday, Aug. 1, because of a hamstring injury.

James WhiteAug 1 09:22p

New England Patriots RB James White has been performing well during training camp and has shown a lot of maturity during practice, according to QB Tom Brady. 'He's done [ More ]

Tashaun GipsonAug 1 09:12p

Cleveland Browns SS Tashaun Gipson (knee) suffered a left knee injury during practice Friday, Aug. 1, and was scheduled to undergo an MRI on the injury.

John GrecoAug 1 09:12p

Cleveland Browns OGs Garrett Gilkey and John Greco split time at right guard with the first-team offense during practice Friday, Aug. 1.

Brandon HardinAug 1 09:02p

The New York Jets have released FS Brandon Hardin.

Bobby WagnerAug 1 08:52p

Seattle Seahawks WR Kevin Norwood (foot) and LB Bobby Wagner (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 1.

Knowshon MorenoAug 1 08:32p

Miami Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno (knee) said he is feeling better but is not sure if he will be able to play in a preseason game. 'I don't know. [ More ]

Scott ChandlerAug 1 07:52p

Buffalo Bills TEs Scott Chandler (groin) and Tony Moeaki (hamstring) are not participating in practice Friday, Aug. 1.

Chris WilliamsAug 1 07:52p

Buffalo Bills TE Lee Smith (undisclosed), OG Chris Williams (toe) and OG Chris Hairston (back) are participating in practice Friday, Aug. 1.

Mike AdamsAug 1 07:42p

Indianapolis Colts SS Delano Howell, FS Sergio Brown, FS Mike C. Adams and FS Colt Anderson have all received snaps with the first-team defense during training camp. FS LaRon [ More ]

Scott ChandlerAug 1 07:22p

Buffalo Bills TEs Chris Gragg and Dominique Jones may be the only two tight ends that are able to play in the Hall of Fame game because of injuries [ More ]

Marshawn LynchAug 1 07:22p

The Seattle Seahawks officially reinstated RB Marshawn Lynch from the Reserve/Did Not Report list Friday, Aug. 1.

Taylor PriceAug 1 07:12p

Seattle Seahawks released WR Taylor Price (hamstring) from the Reserve/Injured list with an injury settlement Friday, Aug. 1.

Trevardo WilliamsAug 1 07:02p

The Houston Texans placed LB Trevardo Williams and OT Bryan Witzmann (undisclosed) on no-recall waivers Friday, Aug. 1. Witzmann was placed on waivers with an injury designation.

Michael SmithAug 1 05:42p

The New York Jets signed RB Michael Smith (Buccaneers) Friday, Aug. 1. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Joe AdamsAug 1 05:22p

The Houston Texans signed WR Joe Adams (Panthers) Friday, Aug. 1. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Terrence ToliverAug 1 05:02p

Free-agent CB Brandon E. Smith (Bills), WR Terrence Toliver (Bears), TE Brett Brackett (Dolphins) and OG Jared Smith (Seahawks) all officially cleared waivers and became free agents Friday, Aug. 1.

Jared AbbrederisAug 1 04:32p

The Green Bay Packers fear WR Jared Abbrederis (knee) suffered a torn acute cruciate ligament in practice Thursday, July 31.

Josh GordonAug 1 03:32p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is not expected to get a decision on his appeal hearing until Monday, Aug. 4, at the earliest.

Troy KropogAug 1 01:22p

New York Giants OT Troy Kropog (foot) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Friday, Aug. 1.

Jesse WilliamsAug 1 01:12p

Seattle Seahawks DT Jesse Williams (leg) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Friday, Aug. 1.

Datone JonesAug 1 01:12p

Green Bay Packers DE Datone Jones reported to camp at 285 pounds, which was his playing weight as a rookie, and he said he lost body fat and feels [ More ]

Randall CobbAug 1 01:02p

Green Bay Packers WRs Randall Cobb, Myles White and Jared Abbrederis were returning punts in practice Thursday, July 31. White struggled Wednesday, July 30, but looked better Thursday. White [ More ]

Max StarksAug 1 01:02p

The Arizona Cardinals signed OT Max Starks (Rams) Friday, Aug. 1. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Mike NealAug 1 01:02p

Green Bay Packers LB Nick Perry (foot, knee) and LB Mike Neal (abdomen) have both been activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list and have joined training camp practices.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group