2014 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things about Cardinals, Broncos in preseason

By PAT GRAHAM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-30 03:16

DENVER (AP) - The Denver Broncos quarterback directed the offense to near perfection and hit receivers in stride all night.

Only this wasn't Peyton Manning running the show but his backup and understudy Brock Osweiler. The second-year player out of Arizona State threw for 108 yards in a 32-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night to close out the preseason.

His favorite target? Former Sun Devil teammate Gerell Robinson, of course, who finished with five catches for 99 yards and a touchdown. A boost of confidence for both, especially Osweiler.

``I am way more comfortable this year than I was last year,'' Osweiler said. ``If my number gets called, hopefully I can step in and the team won't skip a beat.''

---

5 things we know about the Cardinals from the preseason:

1. CROWDED BACKFIELD: Arizona has five solid running backs and coach Bruce Arians is hoping to keep them all on the roster. Ryan Williams ran nine times for 25 yards and a touchdown on Thursday in his most extensive action since returning last week from a knee injury suffered early in training camp. Rashard Mendenhall was held out of the exhibition finale but led the way with 47 yards on 6 rushes the week before against the San Diego Chargers. The Cardinals others running backs are Alfonso Smith, Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington. ``They can all play,'' Arians said.

2. PALMER'S POISE: After struggling at quarterback last season, the Cardinals may have finally found a solution in veteran Carson Palmer. He was solid all preseason, completing 52 percent of his passes. He also threw two TDs and no interceptions.

3. BETTER WITH AGE: Larry Fitzgerald has accomplished a lot in the NFL before his 30th birthday, which arrives on Saturday. He has the most receptions by a player before 30 (764) and second-most yards receiving (10,413). By his standards, Fitzgerald had a down 2012 with 71 catches and a career-low four TDs. An integral part of the Cardinals' offense, Fitzgerald is starting to develop a rapport with Palmer. He had nine catches for 99 yards in the preseason.

4. MORE PETERSON: The Cardinals are hoping to get defensive back and punt returner Patrick Peterson on the field even more, with possibly more snaps on the offensive side. That could keep opposing coaches up late at night since Peterson's already a handful as a punter returner and as a cover corner. He had a team-leading seven interceptions last season.

5. MELDING TOGETHER: From coach to quarterback, the Cardinals have plenty of new faces. In all, more than half of the roster wasn't with Arizona last season. Arians is attempting to blend it all together, especially on offense. ``I think we have a very good handle on it,'' Arians said. ``My job now is to streamline it to where there is no thinking involved.''

---

And 5 things we know about the Broncos:

1. MANNING THE MAESTRO: Manning certainly won't be bashful about calling pass plays this season. Not that he ever has been. The four-time NFL MVP is more comfortable than a season ago when he began his comeback from a series of neck surgeries that affected a nerve in his throwing arm. He's vowed to play at an even faster tempo, meaning more tosses to targets such as Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and his newest weapon, Wes Welker.

2. UNSETTLED BACKFIELD: Neither Ronnie Hillman nor Montee Ball ran away with the running back competition in training camp. Hillman had a solid preseason, but had fumbling issues. The rookie Ball didn't exactly shine on pass blocking - and keeping Manning well protected remains a high priority. That could open the door for veteran Knowshon Moreno, who's a reliable blocker and ball carrier.

3. VON GONE: For six games, the Broncos must find a way to generate a pass rush without Pro Bowler Von Miller as the talented defensive end/linebacker serves his suspension for violating the NFL's drug-abuse policy. While Miller is out, Shaun Phillips and Nate Irving will try to pick up the slack. Miller had 18 1/2 sacks last season.

4. SAFETY DANCE: The Broncos have shuffled around a lot of safeties in camp, but Rahim Moore is not one of them. Moore appears to have held on to his starting position, while also putting the memories of last season's blown coverage in a playoff loss to Baltimore behind him. Vying to play alongside Moore in the secondary is Duke Ihenacho. Mike Adams is in the mix, too.

5. THREE AMIGOS: Decker, Thomas and Welker are trying to be the next installment of the ``Three Amigos,'' a moniker once given to the Broncos trio of Ricky Nattiel, Vance Johnson and Mark Jackson. That version had John Elway throwing to them. This current crop has a pretty good QB, too.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Rolando McClainApr 1 08:33a

Free-agent LB Rolando McClain re-signed with the Dallas Cowboys on a one-year deal worth $3 million. He can also earn $1 million in playing time incentives.

Greg JenningsMar 31 10:23p

Free-agent WR Greg Jennings (Vikings) visited the Carolina Panthers Tuesday, March 31, and he tweeted he has a deal done. However, a source is reporting that the deal is not with the Panthers.

Eric EbronMar 31 09:03p

The Detroit Lions are expecting TE Eric Ebron to make a big jump from his rookie season to year number two. 'Ebron's the guy we're counting on to be [ More ]

Demaryius ThomasMar 31 07:13p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (ankle, Achilles') took 'about a month' to recover from an ankle/Achilles' injury that he suffered last December. Thomas said his ankle will be fine [ More ]

Jacquizz RodgersMar 31 06:03p

Free-agent RB Jacquizz Rodgers (Falcons) signed an undisclosed deal with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 31.

Vincent BrownMar 31 04:13p

Free-agent WR Vincent Brown (Raiders) signed an undisclosed deal with the Indianapolis Colts Tuesday, March 31.

Antonio SmithMar 31 04:13p

Oakland Raiders DE Antonio Smith will be released, according to a source informed on the move. The Raiders will save $3.2 million with the move.

Jason TrusnikMar 31 04:13p

Free-agent LB Jason Trusnik (Dolphins) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Tuesday, March 31. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Chandler HarnishMar 31 03:43p

Free-agent QB Chandler Harnish (Vikings) signed an undisclosed deal with the Arizona Cardinals Tuesday, March 31.

Matt SchaubMar 31 02:22p

Free-agent QB Matt Schaub (Raiders) signed with the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, March 31. Terms were not disclosed.

Theo RiddickMar 31 01:33p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick will have his role expanded in 2015. The team may opt to draft a running back in the NFL Draft, so how much his [ More ]

Miles AustinMar 30 05:32p

Free-agent WR Miles Austin (Browns) signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, March 30. The deal is worth $2.3 million with $700,000 available in incentives, according to a source.

DeMeco RyansMar 30 05:02p

Philadelphia Eagles LB DeMeco Ryans (Achilles') said he will be ready for training camp in July after coming back from his second torn Achilles' tendon since 2010. He will [ More ]

Michael HillMar 30 05:02p

Free-agent RB Michael Hill (Colts) signed an undisclosed deal with the Washington Redskins Monday, March 30.

Demaryius ThomasMar 30 02:12p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas will not be present at the Broncos' offseason program or attend workouts with QB Peyton Manning at Duke University. Thomas is currently in Los Angeles for a charity event.

Jordan TodmanMar 30 01:42p

Free-agent RB Jordan Todman (Jaguars) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Monday, March 30. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Miles AustinMar 30 11:42a

Free-agent WR Miles Austin (Browns) will likely sign with the Philadelphia Eagles this week if all goes well with his physical, according to a source.

R. Griffin IIIMar 29 07:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will be the first-team quarterback during offseason workouts, according to head Jay Gruden, but Gruden also said he expects QB Kirk Cousins and [ More ]

Stevan RidleyMar 29 10:12a

Free-agent RB Stevan Ridley (knee) is scheduled to meet with a few teams this week. Ridley is expected to receive full medical clearance in around six weeks.

Andre EllingtonMar 27 07:52p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington, who averaged 20.6 touches per game in 2014 before being injured, won't have his role reduced in 2015, according to head coach Bruce Arians. [ More ]

C.J. AndersonMar 27 07:32p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson, who finished 2014 with 648 rushing yards in the last six games, will enter the 2015 season at the top of the running back [ More ]

Jonathan MartinMar 27 04:32p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27.

Alan BallMar 27 03:02p

Free-agent CB Alan Ball (Jaguars) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jarrett BoykinMar 27 02:12p

Free-agent WR Jarrett Boykin (Packers) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nick FolesMar 27 01:22p

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said it's the team's intention to draft a quarterback in this year's draft, despite trading for QB Nick Foles in the offseason. [ More ]

Dont'a HightowerMar 26 08:02p

New England Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) will miss six to seven months after undergoing surgery on a torn right labrum. Hightower's availability for the beginning of the regular [ More ]

Brian QuickMar 26 06:52p

St. Louis Rams WR Brian Quick (shoulder) is making progress in recovering from a torn rotator cuff and separated shoulder he suffered last October. Head coach Jeff Fisher has [ More ]

Jay CutlerMar 26 06:32p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will head into the offseason as the team's No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart, but head coach John Fox said there will be [ More ]

Danny LansanahMar 26 05:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Danny Lansanah signed his one-year tender Thursday, March 26.

Jonathan MartinMar 26 04:52p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was waived Thursday, March 26.

Pat SimsMar 26 04:22p

Free-agent DT Pat Sims (Raiders) signed an undisclosed deal with the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday, March 26.

Victor CruzMar 26 01:32p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) 'looks really good and light,' according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz started running last week six months after he tore the [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group