Broncos primed for another super run

By ARNIE STAPLETON - AP Pro Football Writer
    2014-07-21 14:39

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Sacred cows were scarce when Broncos general manager John Elway dug out from the wreckage of that Super Bowl blistering by the Seahawks.

Cornerback Champ Bailey, a perennial Pro Bowler and potential Hall of Famer, was sent packing.

So were Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Mike Adams and Shaun Phillips, three other defensive starters who helped keep the Broncos afloat during an injury epidemic that sidelined Von Miller, Rahim Moore, Kevin Vickerson, Derek Wolfe and Chris Harris Jr. at the Super Bowl.

Denver's record-breaking offense wasn't spared, either.

After throwing for more yards and touchdowns than anyone in NFL history, Peyton Manning had to say goodbye to wide receiver Eric Decker and running back Knowshon Moreno, who combined for 3,154 yards from scrimmage and 25 touchdowns in the lead-up to the Super Bowl.

Replacing Decker are coveted free agent Emmanuel Sanders and prized rookie Cody Latimer, both of whom have spent plenty of one-on-one time with Manning this offseason.

Those post-practice sessions not only helped get the new guys up to speed in Adam Gase's breakneck offense, but they kept Manning sharp entering his 17th NFL season with nary a thought of retirement.

''Sometimes it's the monotonous routine, the boredom, that pushes guys out, not the physical part of it,'' Manning said. ''And I have been stimulated the past two years working with Adam and working with different teammates, so it does sort of keep the bounce in you, I think.''

Atop Elway's to-do list when he touched down back in Denver following that 43-8 loss to Seattle was an edgier defense. Yes, like the one that had just throttled the highest-scoring team in NFL history.

Elway also sought a beefier offensive line to give Manning better protection and the Broncos' ground game more muscle.

He accomplished both goals in a stellar offseason that puts Denver in position to make another Super Bowl run.

Here are some things to keep in mind as the Broncos kick off training camp this week in hopes of getting back to the big game and hauling home the Lombardi Trophy, not just a bunch of records and regrets:

REINFORCEMENTS ARRIVE: Elway signed pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware, cornerback Aqib Talib and safety T.J. Ward in anther free agency mother lode that gave him thumpers at all three levels on defense.

That theme continued in the draft when Ohio State's bruising cornerback, Bradley Roby, ranked 14th on the Broncos' board, slid to them at No. 31.

STARS RETURN: Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio was all smiles this offseason as one by one his injured starters returned to practice. Miller and Harris Jr. are coming off ACL surgeries. Wolfe is back from a mysterious ailment that led to seizures and weight loss. Moore is back at full speed after nearly losing his lower left leg to a rare medical condition.

On top of that, coach John Fox, who had open-heart surgery in November, signed an extension.

SHUFFLED O-LINE: Standout left tackle Ryan Clady's return from a foot injury that cost him almost all of 2013 allows the Broncos to move Chris Clark to right tackle and slide Orlando Franklin inside to Zane Beadles' old spot at left guard.

With All-Pro Louis Vasquez at right guard and Manny Ramirez at center, Denver's interior boasts nearly 1,000 pounds. That should help provide a more balanced offense while keeping Manning from the kind of harassment that plagued him at the Super Bowl.

BALL'S BACKUPS: The Broncos are so comfortable with second-year pro Montee Ball that they let Moreno leave after a season in which he gained 1,586 yards from scrimmage and another 195 in the playoffs.

The competition for carries behind Ball is one of the most intriguing battles. C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman will be pushed by undrafted free agents Brennan Clay, Kapri Bibbs and Juwan Thompson.

NEW RETURNER: Elway also didn't bother to bring back kick returner Trindon Holliday, who faded down the stretch and was a nonfactor in the playoffs.

Primed to take his spot is Isaiah Burse, a speedy slot receiver from Fresno State who patterned his game after Wes Welker's - and even followed his idol's path to the NFL when he went undrafted. Burse aims to extend Denver's streak to 11 seasons with an undrafted free agent making the 53-man roster.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL


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

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Davante AdamsOct 4 03:22p

The Green Bay Packers have declared QB Brett Hundley, OT Bryan Bulaga, WR Davante Adams, CB Demetri Goodson, LB Jake Ryan, OG Lane Taylor, FS Morgan Burnett inactive for Week 4.

Vernon DavisOct 4 03:22p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Brandon Thomas, WR DeAndrew White, OL Ian Silberman, RB Mike Davis, DL Mike Purcell, CB Shareece Wright, TE Vernon Davis inactive for Week 4.

Andre EllingtonOct 4 03:22p

The Arizona Cardinals have declared RB Andre Ellington, OT D.J. Humphries, WR JJ Nelson, QB Matt Barkley, LB Shaquille Riddick, C Ted Larsen, DT Xavier Williams inactive for Week 4.

Charles JohnsonOct 4 03:22p

The Minnesota Vikings have declared SS Andrew Sendejo, WR Charles Johnson, TE Chase Ford, LB Edmond Robinson, CB Jabari Price, DL Justin Trattou, QB Taylor Heinicke inactive for Week 4.

Omar BoldenOct 4 03:22p

The Denver Broncos have declared DL Kenny Anunike, LB Lerentee McCray, TE Mitchell Henry, S Omar Bolden, OG Shelley Smith, QB Trevor Siemian, OT Ty Sambrailo inactive for Week 4.

Robert TurbinOct 4 02:52p

The Cleveland Browns have declared LB Craig Robertson, DL Desmond Bryant, TE Emmanuel Bibbs, CB Joe Haden, DB K'Waun Williams, RB Robert Turbin, LB Scott Solomon inactive for Week 4.

Jacoby JonesOct 4 02:42p

The San Diego Chargers have declared OG Chris Watt, CB Craig Mager, WR Jacoby Jones, SS Jahleel Addae, OT King Dunlap, OG Orlando Franklin, LB Tourek Williams inactive for Week 4.

Ladarius GreenOct 4 02:42p

San Diego Chargers TE Ladarius Green (concussion) is officially active for the Week 4 game against the Cleveland Browns.

Michael CrabtreeOct 4 02:02p

Oakland Raiders WR Michael Crabtree (leg) suffered a right leg injury during the team's Week 4 game.

Tony RomoOct 4 01:12p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (clavicle) rehab appears to be on schedule, and he has been given a timetable of seven to eight weeks. Romo is looking at the [ More ]

Andre EllingtonOct 4 12:52p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (knee) may not play in the Week 4 game against the St. Louis Rams, because the team may want to hold him out until he is completely recovered.

LeSean McCoyOct 4 12:42p

Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring) could be sidelined for three to four weeks if does not want to return until he is fully healthy. McCoy recently underwent an [ More ]

Dwayne AllenOct 4 12:02p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) has been declared inactive for the Week 4 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Taiwan JonesOct 4 11:52a

The Oakland Raiders have declared LB Ben Heeney, DL Benson Mayowa, DL C.J. Wilson, OG Jon Feliciano, DB Keith McGill, OT Matt McCants, RB Taiwan Jones inactive for Week 4.

LeSean McCoyOct 4 11:52a

The Buffalo Bills have declared FS Aaron Williams, DL Alex Carrington, OG John Miller, RB LeSean McCoy, WR Marquise Goodwin, WR Sammy Watkins, LB Tony Steward inactive for Week 4.

Jay CutlerOct 4 11:52a

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler (hamstring) is officially active for the Week 4 game against the Oakland Raiders.

Andrew LuckOct 4 11:52a

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) has been declared inactive for the Week 4 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Brandon ThompsonOct 4 11:52a

The Cincinnati Bengals have declared DL Brandon Thompson, TE C.J. Uzomah, FS George Iloka, WR Greg Little, DT Marcus Hardison, DL Margus Hunt, WR Mario Alford inactive for Week 4.

A. Seferian-JenkinsOct 4 11:52a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, C Evan Dietrich-Smith, CB Johnthan Banks, TE Luke Stocker, SS Major Wright, WR Russell Shepard, QB Ryan W. Griffin inactive for Week 4.

Aaron MurrayOct 4 11:52a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, WR Albert Wilson, TE Brian Parker, LB Dezman Moses, OT Jah Reid, DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches, CB Steven Nelson inactive for Week 4.

DeMarco MurrayOct 4 11:42a

Philadelphia Eagles RB DeMarco Murray (hamstring) is active for the Week 4 game against the Washington Redskins.

Tevin ColemanOct 4 11:42a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared WR Devin Hester, C Gino Gradkowski, TE Jacob Tamme, OT Jake Long, WR Justin Hardy, CB Ricardo Allen, RB Tevin Coleman inactive for Week 4.

Alshon JefferyOct 4 11:42a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Alshon Jeffery, QB David Fales, C Hroniss Grasu, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, OT Jermon Bushrod, RB Ka'Deem Carey, P Patrick O'Donnell inactive for Week 4.

Jaelen StrongOct 4 11:42a

The Houston Texans have declared LB Akeem Dent, WR Chandler Worthy, OL Greg Mancz, WR Jaelen Strong, RB Jonathan Grimes, DL Kourtnei Brown, FS Lonnie Ballentine inactive for Week 4.

Jerricho CotcheryOct 4 11:42a

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, RB Brandon Wegher, OT Daryl Williams, S Dean Marlowe, WR Jerricho Cotchery, WR Kevin Norwood, LB Luke Kuechly inactive for Week 4.

Andrew LuckOct 4 11:42a

The Indianapolis Colts have declared QB Andrew Luck, OT Denzelle Good, TE Dwayne Allen, CB Greg Toler, DL T.Y. McGill, OG Todd Herremans, RB Tyler Varga inactive for Week 4.

DeSean JacksonOct 4 11:42a

The Washington Redskins have declared WR Andre Roberts, CB DeAngelo Hall, WR DeSean Jackson, DL Kedric Golston, LB Perry Riley, QB Robert Griffin III, OT Tom Compton inactive for Week 4.

Bilal PowellOct 4 11:32a

New York Jets RB Bilal Powell (groin) left the Week 4 game early because of a groin injury and is considered questionable to return.

Julius ThomasOct 4 11:32a

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared OG Brandon Linder, LB Chris Smith, RB Denard Robinson, TE Julius Thomas, WR Marqise Lee, DL Sen'Derrick Marks, FS Sergio Brown inactive for Week 4.

Victor CruzOct 4 11:32a

The New York Giants have declared SS Cooper Taylor, TE Daniel Fells, LB Jasper Brinkley, TE Jerome Cunningham, DL Markus Kuhn, DL Robert Ayers, WR Victor Cruz inactive for Week 4.

Cedric ThorntonOct 4 11:32a

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared DL Cedric Thornton, FS Chris Maragos, OG Julian Vandervelde, LB Kiko Alonso, LB Marcus Smith, DE Taylor Hart, QB Thaddeus Lewis inactive for Week 4.

Jay CutlerOct 4 11:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler (hamstring) is expected to start against the Oakland Raiders in Week 4 even though his injured hamstring is not fully healed.

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