2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Key to Denver's success is spreading the wealth

    2014-01-03 16:05

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Of all the records Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos' high-octane offense set this season, one stands out to wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert.

''I call it the 5-10 group,'' he said Friday as the Broncos wrapped up a week of light practice and headed off for a weekend furlough afforded the AFC's top seed.

The Broncos (13-3) are the first team to have five players score at least 10 touchdowns in a season: Demaryius Thomas (14), Knowshon Moreno (13), Julius Thomas (12), Eric Decker (11) and Wes Welker (10).

No other team has ever had more than three players hit double-digit TDs.

''That tells you about the players we have on our team, the way Peyton spreads the ball out, how anybody can score at any given time,'' Tolbert said. ''To have five guys have 10 touchdowns or more is just unbelievable to me.''

Manning says his unprecedented 55 TD passes and 5,477 yards through the air are only temporary records which will be surpassed by Tom Brady or Drew Brees in a year or two - or by any number of other quarterbacks if NFL owners get their way and expand the regular season from 16 to 18 games.

Tolbert thinks the 5-10 group, which includes Moreno's 10 TD runs and three TD catches, has nothing to sweat.

''They can go to 18 games and that yardage record can be in jeopardy and all that stuff, but that 5-10 group, that's going to be hard to break,'' he said.

At 37.9 points per game, Denver is the highest-scoring team of the Super Bowl era and the beauty of the Broncos' offense is its balance.

Manning targeted his three starting receivers almost identically: Demaryius Thomas (8.87 times a game), Welker (8.54), Decker (8.5). Julius Thomas, whose dozen TDs broke Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe's club record for tight ends, was targeted 6.42 times per game.

Each member of Manning's receiving corps brings a different skill set to the equation. The common thread is a refreshing unselfishness in an age where prima donnas so often demand passes and attention.

''You never hear them talk about any numbers, anything like that because they know with Peyton Manning the quarterback, they all have a chance to get the ball on any given play,'' Tolbert said.

Even when Decker was having trouble finding the end zone early on, his big blocks on screens were springing Demaryius Thomas, who led the league's receivers with 718 yards after the catch.

''Our whole group is like that and Decker knows that at any point in time that day can be your day,'' Tolbert said. ''Like when we went to Kansas City, I mean, who'd have thought he'd have four touchdowns? But any day a guy can go out there, it can be a receiver, it can be a tight end, it can be a running back, any day can be your day.''

It was Decker's day on Dec. 1, when his four TD catches set a club record. He finished with eight TDs in December, rocketing the soon-to-be free agent to the top of the team's offseason to-do list.

Demaryius Thomas led the Broncos with 92 catches for 1,430 yards and was voted second-team All-Pro on Friday. ''It's been a great year for a lot of things: records, All-Pro, Pro Bowl,'' he said. ''Hopefully we can make it to the Super Bowl now.''

''You know, for a big guy, 6-3, 225 or 230, he runs really good routes like he's a smaller guy,'' Tolbert said. ''That's one thing I think that stands out from a lot of bigger guys, the fact that he can really run outstanding intermediate routes, as well as go deep, as well as make you miss. So, he's got the total package. He's also a very good blocker. He has a lot of knockdowns.''

Welker had an outstanding first season in Denver, catching those career-best 10 TD passes before sitting out the final 3 1/2 games with a concussion. He has no hesitation about returning to the slot next weekend.

''It will be five weeks from the day I had any contact at all,'' he said. ''I feel good. I feel fine. I feel ready to go.''

The key to springing the wide receivers in the red zone has been the emergence of former college basketball player Julius Thomas, who caught 65 passes for 788 yards after catching just one pass in his first two seasons in the NFL.

''That's awesome to have another weapon like that jump out on the scene,'' Tolbert said. ''And the scary part about it, he's still learning how to play football.''

---

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

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Brandon BrownerOct 30 04:32p

New England Patriots DT Alan Branch (non-injury related) and DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Nate Ebner (finger), DL Dominique Easley (knee), OL Cameron [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 30 04:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DT Domata Peko (toe) and OT Andre Smith [ More ]

Dwight FreeneyOct 30 04:22p

San Diego Chargers LB Manti Te'o (foot), CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and S Jahleel Addae (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was limited. CB [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 30 04:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) practiced fully Thursday, Oct. 30.

Terrell SuggsOct 30 04:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (foot) and LB Terrell Suggs (neck) all did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Marshal Yanda (knee) [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 30 03:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) and SS Ross Ventrone (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and FS [ More ]

Bruce CarterOct 30 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (finger) suffered a broken ring finger during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, but expects to play in Week 9. He will wear a splint on his finger for protection.

Cullen JenkinsOct 30 03:12p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) were both limited in practice.

Brandon BoykinOct 30 03:12p

Philadelphia Eagles FS Nate Allen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. TE Brent Celek (back) and WR Brad Smith (groin) were both limited in practice. CB [ More ]

D'Qwell JacksonOct 30 03:12p

Indianapolis Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson (toe), DT Arthur Jones (ankle), LB Erik Walden (quadriceps) and LB Josh McNary (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Vontae [ More ]

Rashad JenningsOct 30 02:42p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) said he is on track in terms of his rehab, but there is no timetable for his return. Jennings said he has [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 02:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Anthony CollinsOct 30 02:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Oniel Cousins is working at left tackle with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, because OT Anthony Collins (foot) is sitting out practice.

Doug MartinOct 30 02:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jason VerrettOct 30 01:52p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) is expected to miss two to three weeks with a torn labrum, according to two sources.

DeAngelo WilliamsOct 30 01:52p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) will start the team's Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints Thursday, Oct. 30, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 01:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) received most of the work with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, and will start in Week 9 if he [ More ]

Jaylen WatkinsOct 30 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles SS Earl Wolff, FS Chris Maragos and CB Jaylen Watkins could be options to start at safety if FS Nate Allen (hamstring) is not able to play in Week 9.

Giovani BernardOct 30 01:22p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 01:02p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) didn't take part in the walk-through Thursday, Oct. 30, and will not practice with the team. However, head coach Jason Garrett remains hopeful [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Reggie WayneOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 12:22p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (back) status is making head coach Jason Garrett feel optimistic about his availability for Week 9.

Dallas ThomasOct 30 11:43a

Miami Dolphins OG Dallas Thomas would be the most likely candidate to start at left guard if OG Daryn Colledge (illness) is not able to play in Week 9.

Rashad JenningsOct 30 11:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9.

Phil BatesOct 30 10:52a

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent WR Phil Bates (Seahawks) to the practice squad and released CB Marcus Cromartie Thursday, Oct. 30.

Charles SimsOct 30 10:13a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims could have 10 or more touches in Week 9, in the opinion of beat writer Greg Auman.

Ryan MathewsOct 30 09:52a

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) is likely to sit out of the Week 9 game and return after the Week 10 bye.

Dennis PittaOct 30 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) may never be able to play football again after two surgeries on a fractured and dislocated hip in as many seasons.

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