2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Broncos look primed for another big run

    2014-08-18 13:24

(Eds: Adds details, quotes. With AP Photos.)
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - The Denver Broncos look like they're ready to start the season.

They had an impressive preseason debut against the Seattle Seahawks, the team that throttled them in the Super Bowl, and they christened San Francisco's new stadium with a 34-0 shutout of the 49ers Sunday.

Denver's starting offense is in midseason form with three scores in four possessions with Peyton Manning completing 22 of 27 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown.

And they haven't even shown the offense they'll unveil against Indianapolis on Sept. 7, when starting running back Montee Ball returns from an appendectomy that's sidelining him the entire preseason.

Denver's front-line defense has been just as impressive, allowing one TD on four drives while DeMarcus Ware, T.J. Ward and Aqib Talib have shown exactly why GM John Elway committed $109.5 million to bring the trio to town.

Pass-rusher Von Miller and versatile cornerback Chris Harris Jr. haven't suited up yet, either.

Coach John Fox cringed at the thought, however, that the Broncos look ready to start the season, one in which they'll try to become the first team in 40 years to win a Super Bowl the year after losing it.

''No, we still have a lot of work to do,'' Fox said.

OK, then, certainly Manning looks ready.

''Again, we're getting readier,'' Fox said. ''I'm not saying we're not ready, but we still have two more preseason games.''

With Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt and the rest of the Houston Texans in town for joint practices this week, Denver's starters might be in for another cameo next weekend instead of playing into the third quarter as is the norm for the third preseason game.

''This week will be a good week, we're going to practice against Houston for three days and I think depending on how the practices go, that could maybe alter the playing time situation,'' Manning said. ''I think we'll get a lot of game-like scenarios this week going against a good test, especially going against their defense.''

About the only knock on the Broncos so far was Manning's ill-advised run on second-and-8 from the San Francisco 9 in which he gained 1 yard before Aldon Smith smothered him.

It was a designed draw for Manning, who gained zero yards on the ground last year, when he threw for a record 5,447 yards and 55 touchdowns.

''Yeah, it's a tendency breaker,'' Manning said. ''You try to catch them off guard. It's probably not really high on their alert game plan sheet, `Watch for the quarterback run.' I thought I was going to score but I got one yard. Kind of humbling.''

And kind of frightening for Broncos fans who saw their season flash in front of their eyes.

Not to worry, Manning, 38, wasn't making a statement to offensive coordinator Adam Gase that he wants to run the ball some this year.

''It was not that,'' Manning said.

Manning's protege, Brock Osweiler, has shown good growth in the preseason, hitting Jordan Norwood with a game-winning 34-yard dart against Seattle and throwing a 33-yard TD strike to rookie Cody Latimer on Sunday.

With Ball sidelined, Ronnie Hillman, C.J. Anderson and Kapri Bibbs have all run for TDs while Juwan Thompson, an undrafted rookie from Duke, has a team-high 69 yards rushing.

Neither Demaryius Thomas nor Julius Thomas have reached agreement on a new contract like Elway had hoped they would by now. Both are showing why the Broncos want to secure them to long-term deals with Demaryius catching 10 passes for 89 yards and Julius grabbing a 17-yard touchdown toss from Manning in San Francisco.

The Broncos turned the ball over way too much last year and they've stressed ball control during the offseason, having different position groups carry around footballs wrapped in blue helmet beanies to emphasize the point.

So far, no lost fumbles.

''You can do a lot of things if you take care of the ball,'' Demaryius Thomas said.

The biggest camp casualty was weakside linebacker Danny Trevathan (leg), who's expected to miss the first month of the season.

Brandon Marshall, who has just one NFL regular-season tackle on his resume, replaced him and led the Broncos with five tackles Sunday while playing on all three downs and making the defensive calls like Trevathan.

''Brandon got a chance to show what he's capable of,'' Fox said.

And the Broncos got the chance to flash the kind of depth they've lacked in years past.

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

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

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Kapri BibbsOct 23 07:02p

The Denver Broncos have declared OG Ben Garland, RB Kapri Bibbs, OT Michael Schofield, DL Mitch Unrein, RB Montee Ball, S Omar Bolden, LB Steven Johnson inactive for Week 8.

Manti Te'oOct 23 07:02p

The San Diego Chargers have declared CB Steve Williams, RB Ryan Mathews, CB Brandon Flowers, RB Donald Brown, LB Manti Te'o, LBs Jeremiah Attaochu and Cordarro Law inactive for Week 8.

Perry RileyOct 23 05:49p

Washington Redskins LB Perry Riley (knee) will start as soon as he is healthy enough to do so, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

John SullivanOct 23 05:46p

Minnesota Vikings C John Sullivan (concussion) is still in the testing phase to be cleared for a concussion, but he has not been cleared to this point. Head coach [ More ]

Justin TuckOct 23 05:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), CB Keith McGill (groin), DE LaMarr Woodley (bicep) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OT Khalif Barnes (quadriceps), [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 23 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert (concussion), DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), DT Steve McLendon (shoulder) and SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 23. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and [ More ]

Lance BriggsOct 23 05:42p

Chicago Bears DE Jared Allen (rest), S Danny McCray (knee) and WR Chris Williams (illness) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LBs Lance Briggs (ribs), Jonathan Bostic (back), CB [ More ]

Quentin GrovesOct 23 05:42p

Tennessee Titans LB Quentin Groves (ankle) and CB Coty Sensabaugh (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. DE Ropati Pitoitua (hand) and TE Taylor Thompson (knee) were limited.

Zach MettenbergerOct 23 05:34p

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger has been named the starting quarterback for Week 8, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt. QB Jake Locker will serve as the backup quarterback.

Sharrif FloydOct 23 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (hernia) and S Antone Exum (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Gerald Hodges (hamstring), C John Sullivan (concussion), DT Sharrif Floyd (ankle), [ More ]

Nick MangoldOct 23 05:32p

New York Jets OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), OG Willie Colon (knee), LB David Harris (shoulder), LB Trevor Reilly (knee) and WR Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) [ More ]

Dashon GoldsonOct 23 05:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Jonathan Casillas (hamstring), OT Anthony Collins (knee), FS Dashon Goldson (ankle) and CB Keith Tandy [ More ]

Daryl SmithOct 23 05:22p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (wrist) and LB Daryl Smith (non-injury) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OT Eugene Monroe (knee) and OG Kelechi Osemele (knee) practiced in full.

Colt McCoyOct 23 05:22p

Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy will start Week 8, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Josh McCownOct 23 05:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

Brandon ThompsonOct 23 04:52p

Cincinnati Bengals OT Andrew Whitworth (rest) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OG Clint Boling (rest) and CB Leon Hall (back) were limited, while TE Kevin Brock (neck), LB [ More ]

A.J. GreenOct 23 04:52p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) sat out of practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 23.

Morgan BurnettOct 23 04:42p

Green Bay Packers S Morgan Burnett (calf) and CB Sam Shields (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. DE Datone Jones (ankle) was limited.

James StarksOct 23 04:42p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 23, after not practicing Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Thomas DavisOct 23 04:33p

Carolina Panthers CB Bene Benwikere (ankle), LB Chase Blackburn (knee), WR Philly Brown (concussion), OG Nate Chandler (thigh), OG Amini Silatolu (calf), OG Trai Turner (knee) and RB Fozzy [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinOct 23 04:32p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (knee, ankle) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. CB Keenan Lewis (knee, shoulder), LB Ramon Humber (ankle) and [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 23 04:22p

New Orleans RB Pierre Thomas (ribs, shoulder) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

R. Griffin IIIOct 23 04:22p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) is unlikely to be ready to play Monday, Oct. 27, against the Dallas Cowboys, according to head coach Jay Gruden. Gruden said [ More ]

Mario WilliamsOct 23 04:22p

Buffalo Bills WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring) and LB Ty Powell (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23. WR Marcus Easley (knee) and FS Aaron Williams (neck) were [ More ]

Rashad JohnsonOct 23 04:12p

Arizona Cardinals S Rashad Johnson (knee) underwent an MRI exam on his patellar tendon Monday, Oct. 20, that came back negative. Head coach Bruce Arians said Johnson is dealing with some tendonitis.

Jack CrawfordOct 23 04:12p

Dallas Cowboys DE Jack Crawford (calf), OT Doug Free (foot) and S Jakar Hamilton (non-injury) all did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Bruce Carter (thigh) and DE Anthony [ More ]

Alan BallOct 23 04:02p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Alan Ball (biceps) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23, and is considered highly unlikely to play in Week 8, according to head coach Gus Bradley.

Toby GerhartOct 23 03:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson will start at running back in Week 8 even if RB Toby Gerhart (foot) is active, according to head coach Gus Bradley. Gerhart will [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 23 03:32p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

John BoyettOct 23 03:32p

The Denver Broncos released FS John Boyett from their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 23.

Gosder CherilusOct 23 03:32p

Indianapolis Colts LB Erik Walden (rest) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23. TE Jack Doyle (knee) was limited during practice, while CB Darius Butler (ankle), OT Gosder [ More ]

Brice ButlerOct 23 03:22p

Oakland Raiders WR Brice Butler could receive more playing time moving forward after making a big play in each of the last two weeks. Butler said he has not [ More ]

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