2013 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

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 15 07:53p

Free-agent RB Chris Johnson's (Titans) visit with the New York Jets reportedly went well Tuesday, April 15, but he left without a deal. Other teams are involved with him, too.

Rolando McClainApr 15 07:53p

The Baltimore Ravens worked out LB Rolando McClain, and it reportedly wasn't a success. McClain didn't finish his conditioning test and didn't perform drills.

Terrell ManningApr 15 05:43p

The Minnesota Vikings claimed LB Terrell Manning off waivers from the San Diego Chargers Tuesday, April 15.

Adam PodleshApr 15 05:13p

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed free-agent P Adam Podlesh (Bears) to an undisclosed one-year deal Tuesday, April 15.

Allen ReisnerApr 15 03:53p

The Minnesota Vikings announced Tuesday, April 15, that they've signed free-agent TE Allen Reisner (Jaguars) to an undisclosed deal.

Daniel KilgoreApr 15 03:23p

San Francisco 49ers OG Daniel Kilgore was found not guilty of public intoxication related to his arrest in January in Tennessee. His case was dismissed following his appearance in [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 15 02:23p

The Green Bay Packers agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal to re-sign QB Matt Flynn Tuesday, April 15, according to a source.

Dion JordanApr 15 01:53p

Miami Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey is expecting big things from DE Dion Jordan in his second season this year. He's a very talented player and this is a [ More ]

Brandon LloydApr 15 01:33p

The San Francisco 49ers signed free-agent WR Brandon Lloyd (Patriots) to an undisclosed deal Tuesday, April 15.

Chris JohnsonApr 15 12:23p

The Buffalo Bills have shown some interest in signing free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), according to sources.

Duron HarmonApr 15 10:57a

New England Patriots SS Duron Harmon is the leading candidate to take over as the Patriots' top strong safety now that Steve Gregory has been released.

Eli ManningApr 15 10:23a

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said it's 'ludicrous' to think that Giants QB Eli Manning is in decline. 'There's been no deterioration of his arm strength, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 15 09:33a

The New York Jets are visiting with free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans) Tuesday, April 15.

Will MontgomeryApr 14 11:52p

The Denver Broncos' offseason conditioning program begins Monday, April 21. It's not known whether C Will Montgomery or C Manuel Ramirez will start at center.

Sidney RiceApr 14 11:52p

The Carolina Panthers might show an interest in free-agent WR Sidney Rice (Seahawks), but only at the right price.

Manuel RamirezApr 14 11:52p

The Denver Broncos' offseason conditioning program begins Monday, April 21. It remains unclear whether OT Orlando Franklin, OG Ben Garland or C Manuel Ramirez will be the team's left guard.

Terrell ManningApr 14 05:32p

The San Diego Chargers have released LB Terrell Manning.

Nate IrvingApr 14 05:12p

Denver Broncos LB Nate Irving appears to be the leading candidate to start at middle linebacker at this time, but the team is expected to select a middle linebacker during the 2014 NFL Draft.

Leon HallApr 14 04:12p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Leon Hall (Achilles') has been cleared for all football drills as part of his rehab.

Jamarca SanfordApr 14 04:12p

Minnesota Vikings SS Kurt Coleman will likely be a contributor on special teams this year and enter the year competing with SSs Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo for a backup safety spot.

Dustin KellerApr 14 03:42p

The New England Patriots could show interest in free-agent TE Dustin Keller (Dolphins) at some point this offseason.

Jermichael FinleyApr 14 03:32p

Updating a previous report, the Miami Dolphins have told the agent of free-agent TE Jermichael Finley (neck) that they could be interested in signing Finley if he is cleared [ More ]

Von MillerApr 14 03:32p

Denver Broncos LB Von Miller (knee) said his surgically repaired knee is feeling good and hopes to play better than he did before he suffered his injury. 'I'm a [ More ]

Kurt ColemanApr 14 03:22p

The Minnesota Vikings have agreed to terms with free-agent SS Kurt Coleman (Eagles). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Sidney RiceApr 14 02:52p

Free-agent WR Sidney Rice (knee) has been cleared to participate in football activities by Dr. James Andrews, according to a source. The Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants, New Orleans [ More ]

Chris CulliverApr 14 02:22p

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor hit-and-run charges and felony possession of brass knuckles. Culliver was arrested March 28 for allegedly hitting a [ More ]

C.J. SpillerApr 14 01:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles tried to land Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller before they traded for RB Darren Sproles this offseason, according to two league sources familiar with the situation. [ More ]

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