2014 DRAFT GUIDE
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

Matt CasselMar 4 07:53p

Minnesota Vikings QB Matt Cassel was traded to the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, March 4. The Bills swapped their 2015 fifth-round pick for the Vikings 2015 sixth-round draft pick. Minnesota [ More ]

Andre JohnsonMar 4 11:23a

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson has asked the team to release him this offseason.

LeSean McCoyMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Kiko AlonsoMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Tyvon BranchMar 3 05:23p

Oakland Raiders SS Tyvon Branch was officially released, as expected, Tuesday, March 3.

DeMarco MurrayMar 3 01:43p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray would likely re-sign with the Cowboys if the offer they make him is equal or similar financially to offers he receives from [ More ]

Cole BeasleyMar 3 01:13p

Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $13.1 million. The extension could be worth as much as $15.1 million.

Andre JohnsonMar 2 11:03p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson was asked to accept a reduced role, but he declined and asked to be traded or cut, according to people familiar with the situation.

Bernard PollardMar 2 07:23p

Tennessee Titans SS Bernard Pollard has been informed that he will be released, according to sources familiar with the situation. Pollard asked the Titans to release him last month. [ More ]

Le'Veon BellMar 2 04:33p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell could be suspended up to four games, according to the NFL's new substance-abuse policy. A two-game suspension is standard for a DUI resulting from [ More ]

J.D. WaltonMar 2 04:13p

New York Giants C J.D. Walton was released Monday, March 2.

Lance MooreMar 2 04:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lance Moore was released Monday, March 2.

Brad JonesMar 2 03:53p

Free-agent LB Brad Jones (Packers) signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, March 2. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Charles ClayMar 2 03:12p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay received the transition tag Monday, March 2, according to a source. The transition tag for tight ends is worth $7.071 million.

Dez BryantMar 2 02:03p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant received the franchise tag Monday, March 2. Bryant would make $12.823 million if he signs the tender offer.

Jason Pierre-PaulMar 2 02:03p

New York Giants impending free-agent DE Jason Pierre-Paul received the franchise tag Monday, March 2, according to sources.

Justin HoustonMar 2 09:52a

Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston had the franchise tag placed on him Monday, March 2, according to a source.

Ndamukong SuhMar 2 09:43a

Detroit Lions impending free-agent DT Ndamukong Suh will not receive the franchise tag Monday, March 2.

LaMarr WoodleyMar 1 07:12p

The Oakland Raiders plan to release DE LaMarr Woodley, a league source said Sunday, March 1. He made just five tackles in six games before his season ended due [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayMar 1 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray probably will hit the free-agent market since contract talks with him have gone slow, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. Jones [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 10:12p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is expected to receive the franchise tag by Monday, March 2, but during the NFL Scouting Combine, team owner Jerry Jones said that he [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayFeb 28 09:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray could give the team a chance to match any offer he receives during free agency, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. 'There is [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 08:52p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will receive the franchise tag by the deadline Monday, March 2, executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed Saturday, Feb. 28. The move will guarantee [ More ]

EJ ManuelFeb 28 02:22p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel still seems to be the No. 1 option at quarterback, for now, with Josh McCown heading to the Cleveland Browns. Buffalo could still add [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown signed a three-year deal Friday, Feb. 27, according to a source. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. McCown completed [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 06:32p

Free-agent QB Josh McCown (Buccaneers) has signed with the Cleveland Browns, according to his agent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Reggie WayneFeb 27 04:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) recently underwent surgery on his triceps and has started his rehab. Wayne still has not decided if he will play in 2015.

Darnell DockettFeb 27 04:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett was released Friday, Feb. 27. The Cardinals would like to re-sign Dockett if he is not able to find a better offer from another team.

Brandon GibsonFeb 27 03:42p

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Stephen BowenFeb 27 03:22p

Washington Redskins DE Stephen Bowen was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade target for the Indianapolis Colts. QB Andrew Luck hasn't had a successful running game behind him so far in Indianapolis. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade option for the Arizona Cardinals with QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of their careers in [ 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