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

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III needs more seasoning, and he'll likely do it from the bench for the rest of this season, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez has thrown six interceptions this year, but all of them haven't been game-changing turnovers. In Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez thrived on [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 01:53p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) felt some progress in his sprained left medial collateral ligament Tuesday, Nov. 25, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Fitzgerald was pretty upset [ More ]

Julius ThomasNov 26 01:23p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited at practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Phil LoadholtNov 26 12:33p

Minnesota Vikings OT Phil Loadholt (pectoral) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Geno SmithNov 26 12:23p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will return to the starting quarterback role in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins, after QB Michael Vick saw only three starts. The [ More ]

Timothy WrightNov 26 10:43a

New England Patriots TE Tim Wright has 23 catches on 26 targets this season. 'Every time we throw to him it's a touchdown - we'll try to find him [ More ]

R. Griffin IIINov 26 09:43a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has officially been benched in favor of QB Colt McCoy in Week 13. Head coach Jay Gruden informed the team Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Colt McCoyNov 26 09:43a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has officially been benched in favor of QB Colt McCoy in Week 13. Head coach Jay Gruden informed the team Wednesday, Nov. 26.

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