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With Ty Warren's triceps tear, the Denver Broncos are in need of some extra help along the defensive line. Instead of signing someone in free agency, the Broncos opted to put a claim in on Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle DeMario Pressley. They won the waiver claim on Wednesday.
Pressley was drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints; however, the only game action Pressley has seen came in 2009 for a span of seven games. He missed his rookie season of 2008 when he fractured his foot.
He joined the Houston Texans in Dec. 2010, but was released by the team in February. The Colors picked him up then, but Pressley failed to do much in camp with the Colts. It is unlikely that Pressley will gain a roster spot, but he provides a decent depth option for the rest of the preseason.
The Denver Broncos might not be done signing former first-round NFL Draft picks that have turned out to be busts early on in their careers. The Buffalo Bills released 2009 first-round draft selection Aaron Maybin, the 11th overall pick. No team claimed him on waivers, which meant that he became an unrestricted free agent.
Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reported that the Broncos are among a number of teams that have expressed interest in him. Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News added that the decision is likely to come on Wednesday morning.
Maybin could play either linebacker, which he did last season for the Bills, or defensive end, his college position. But he hasn't started an NFL, has not had a sack in his two-year career and likely would struggle to make the roster at either position. He is reportedly weighing in at 228 pounds this summer, much to light to play on the line in a 4-3 defense.
It would be a decent depth signing if it happens. Maybin's only 23, which does give him some more time to turn things around.
On Tuesday morning, LenDale White was not out on the practice field in Dove Valley. The Denver Broncos had released the Denver native to start the day, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post. White never played a down in a regular season game for the Broncos after joining the team in 2010. He tore an Achilles tendon during the final preseason game that year.
White got back in shape and was ready to compete for a spot on the running back depth chart, but he was unable to crack the top three spots in the first release. In the first preseason game, White rushed four times for 10 yards. He was clearly out-played by Jeremiah Johnson, who picked up 28 yards and one touchdown on four carries.
Now White cane seek an opportunity where he will have a chance to pick up carries out of the backfield. The Broncos needed to thin their ranks, and White was the first to go.
While Ty Warren faces a potential season-ending triceps tear, fellow Denver Broncos defensive tackle Marcus Thomas is out for the remainder of the preseason, reports the Denver Post. A strained pectoral muscle will keep Thomas out for the final three preseason games, a recovery time that will hopefully allow him to play in the Sept. 12 preseason opener against the Oakland Raiders.
Thomas had beaten out Kevin Vickerson for the right to start the first preseason game, which he did with Warren. Thomas believes he is finally in a defense that is suited to his strength, which were diminished when he had to transition to a new defense almost every season since 2007.
The Broncos are starting the battle of attrition early on, but they won't be giving up anytime soon. Until Thomas is healthy and Warren's status is settled, Vickerson and Brodrick Bunkley, both listed as first-teamers on the first depth chart, will move back to being starters.
Ty Warren was one of the centerpieces of John Fox's free agent acquisitions for the new defense. He was expected to be one of the starting defensive tackles and help stop the run, a major issue for the Broncos the last few seasons. But now his status for the upcoming season is unknown, having torn his triceps muscle on Monday.
The results of an MRI came out on Tuesday and now the team and Warren are taking things slowly, reports the Denver Post. Everyone is hopeful that Warren can play at some point this season, but surgery, for a second year in a row, is a possibility. Warren missed last season due to hip surgery.
Now that Warren is out for an indeterminate amount of time and Marcus Thomas is out for the preseason, Kevin Vickerson and Brodrick Bunkley are the starting defensive tackles, which is where they were listed on the first depth chart Fox released.
Denver Broncos defensive tackle Marcus Thomas started the team's first preseason game after the first depth chart release had him as a backup to Kevin Vickerson. Thomas is certainly feeling more comfortable now that he is back in 4-3 defensive scheme. Thomas has said as much recently (via Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post):
"Every year (with the Broncos) it seemed like I was trying to learn a new system, learn something new," said Thomas, who made 30 starts and 14 sacks at Florida. "You try to keep doing the things they want you to and contribute. I feel like this defense suits me and the things I can do."
Thomas joined the Broncos in 2007 and went through a number of defensive coordinators, including Bob Slowik, Mike Nolan and Don Martindale. Head coach John Fox brought in New Orleans Saints defensive backs coach Dennis Allen to serve as his defensive coordinator and Thomas is already gaining some rewards from this hire.
Thomas started all 16 games in 2008, but he became the forgotten man over the two years of the Josh McDaniels regime. If Allen's defense can provide the stability Thomas needs to excel, the Broncos will benefit across their defensive line. Let's see what happens over the next few preseason games.
The Denver Broncos are a rushing team looking to reestablish that once dominant ground attack they once had. Under former coach Josh McDaniels, the Broncos moved away from that and had Kyle Orton throw the ball (being down by big numbers also helped that propensity to throw). May we see a return to the days of pounding the ball?
Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post believes that if the Broncos want to win, they will need to rush the ball 500 times this season. The team ran the ball 440 times in 2009 and 398 times in 2010, a 4-10 season. Legwold then breaks down how the Broncos have a winning season almost every time the team has over 500 rushing attempts.
In the first preseason game, we did see a balanced attack between the rush and the pass. Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow and Brady Quinn combined for 27 pass attempts; Seven players rushed for 30 total carries, though we'll drop that down to 28 since Tebow made two of those rushes. An improved Knowshon Moreno and new running back Willis McGahee will be at the forefront of this movement.
John Fox is ready to take back the ground offensive and we'll see that more as the preseason goes on.
Brodrick Bunkley had been traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Cleveland Browns over the weekend, but he was none too pleased with that move. But now word has come out that the Denver Broncos have swooped in and picked up the defensive tackle, according to Adam Caplan. The Eagles will receive a 2013 NFL Draft pick in return.
Bunkley was the 14th overall selection in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Eagles and has largely been a disappointment. He played, but did not start, in 15 games his rookie season before becoming a starter for the following three seasons. He has just six sacks and none in 2010. He lost playing time in 2010, playing in 14 games, but starting just five.
This is another attempt by the Broncos to pick up former first-round talent that has failed to live up to their potential. Can the Broncos fix these reclamation projects?
The Denver Broncos have signed defensive end Derrick Harvey, according to a tweet from the NFL Network's Michael Lombardi and confirmed by Mike Klis of the Denver Post. Harvey was with the Jacksonville Jaguars since they took him with the eighth overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. In fact, the Jags traded four draft picks to the Baltimore Ravens to move up from No. 26 to No. 8 to grab the former Florida Gator.
However, Harvey has failed to live up to expectations. He has just eight sacks in three seasons and received less playing time in 2010. But John Fox must see this as a low-risk investment.
Harvey will play as backup to both Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers on the defensive line. As Klis mentions, this ends any possibility of Mario Haggan putting a hand down on the field occasionally. This isn't the end of the Broncos bringing in more players, though.
Marcus Thomas, say hello to your new team, same as the old team. Thomas signed a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos on Sunday, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post. He spent the first four years of his career with the Broncos before entering free agency under the new terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
Thomas was selected out of Florida in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Thomas received more playing time in 2010 when he played in a rotation for the Broncos and picked up his first career sack last season.
In a statement released by Thomas' agent, it is clear that the team signed with the intention of starting him alongside Kevin Vickerson in the middle of the defensive line and paid him as such. With the move to a 4-3 defense, Thomas will play in a scheme better suited to his skills.
Denver Broncos head coach John Fox is certainly trying to upgrade the tight end position for his new team. First he signed a former Carolina player of his, Dante Rosario, on Sunday (pending a physical), and now he has added former St. Louis Rams tight end Daniel Fells, according to multiple reports.
Fells, according to these reports, is expected to be the team's starter. Dante Rosario could slot in as his backup while rookies Julius Thomas and Virgil Green come in behind them. However, Dan Gronkowski and Richard Quinn are also with the team, but neither really impressed all that much in 2010.
Fells caught 41 passes for 391 yards and two touchdowns. If he can add a bit more to his blocking game, Fells should pretty much have the starting job wrapped up.
The Denver Broncos have brought in tight end Dante Rosario to help alleviate the pressure off two rookie tight ends and to challenge Dan Gronkowski. Rosario will join the team once he passes his physical on Sunday, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post.
Rosario had played for head coach John Fox in Carolina for the last four years. Rosario was a fifth-round pick in 2007 and has steadily seen his production increase each season. He had a career high 32 receptions in 2010, but he had a career best 313 yards in 2009.
Julius Thomas and Virgil Green, fourth- and seventh-round draft picks, are raw projects who may not be able to contribute immediately. Rosario now makes it simpler for them to ease into the NFL. Tight end was a tough spot for the Broncos in 2010.
During the opening practices of the Denver Broncos training camp, veteran safety Brian Dawkins has been on the sidelines while rookie Quinton Carter has practiced with the first-team defense. It isn't due to injury or any sort of demotion. Rather, it is because Dawkins is renegotiating his contract.
Dawkins was set to make $6 million in 2011, but he is working with the team to reduce his amount on the salary cap. As a result, he won't be on the practice field until at least Aug. 4, the day the new league year is set to begin and new contracts go into effect. As a result, he can't practice until then.
The 37-year-old safety did appear to lose a step last season and a $6 million salary would have been too high to pay him. This early playing time should help Carter get a feel of what it will be like to play with the starters one day, possibly sooner than we all may think.
Most of the conversation about the first two days of Denver Broncos traiing camp has revolved around whether or not Kyle Orton would be traded for salary cap purposes, which of course would lead to Tim Tebow having every opportunity in the world to secure the starting quarterback role for the Broncos to start the 2011 season. Well, two days of camp have come and gone and Orton is still in the mix and looking good at Dove Valley.
Now that the air has been cleared about the need for the Broncos to slash salary in order to get under the cap, it’s actually probably a fairly safe bet that Orton is in Denver in 2011.
So, let’s give some other guys some attention why don’t we? Whether it’s Orton or Tebow under center, the Broncos will need to run the ball much better than they did in Josh McDaniels’ two years at the helm. Knowshown Moreno failed to eclipse the 1,000 yard plateau in his first two seasons. Taken with the 12th overall pick in the 2009 Draft, Moreno toted the ball 247 times as a rookie, a healthy but not excessively high number. He averaged an unspectacular but acceptable 3.8 yards per carry, which left him just 53 yard shy of 1,000 as a rookie.
His carry total plummeted to 182 last season despite averaging a very solid 4.3 yards per pop. He did miss three games due to injury, but the Broncos simply aired it out all the time in ’10, often because they were trailing but also because McDaniels clearly prefers to spread it out and lean on the short passing game.
You can count on John Fox renewing a commitment to the run in his first season at the helm. It’s always been his M.O. and preffered strategy. That should mean more carries for Moreno, who is looking vastly more fit and cut at the outset of this year’s camp. Moreno took some time out of his busy Friday to talk to join The Drive on 104.3 The Fan and talk about the start of training camp, what he’s been doing this offseason to get in such great shape, and his initial impressions of John Fox.
On looking so much thinner and cut this year:
"I look good! I look better. "
What did he weigh at the start of last year's camp?
And what’s he weigh this year?
On what he’s doing differently this offseason
“Just training different. I was doing cross-fit, which is much different than just going to the gym and working out. Moving around and doing different kinds of pull and snatches; and I wasn’t doing that in other years.”
On players being able to get in great shape during the offseason away from the practice facility provided they’ve got a plan and are committed:
“I’ve leaned out. I’m eating better. That’s the main thing, I’m just eating way better.”
How’s he feeling:
“I feel good, I feel fast. People say I look a little faster, but it’s still early at the same time. But I feel good.”
On training camp being more focused
He brings a great chemistry to the team and just his personality in general, and everyone just feeds off that. It’s not just yell, yell, yell all the time — which is good sometimes — but he really knows…he’s a players coach really, and just knows how to do those things that we all need. We’re hard working but at the same time, we know how to pay also."
For more Broncos coverage, be sure to check in at Mile High Report.
The Denver Broncos had their two restricted free agents sign their contract tenders on Friday evening. Kicker Matt Prater and linebacker Wesley Woodyard will each receive $1.835 million in 2011. Neither, though, will be able to participate until Aug. 4, the start of the new league year and the beginning of any new contract.
Prater has been with the Broncos since 2007, but he became the starting kicker in 2008. He missed four games in 2010 due to injury. Steve Hauschka took his place during the final weeks of the 2010 season. Prater has made 81.6 percent of his field goals while with the Broncos and has missed just two extra point attempts.
Woodyard joined the Broncos in 2008 as an undrafted free agent and has started in nine of his 43 career games. He should receive more playing time now that John Fox has moved the Broncos back to a 4-3 defense.
"Like, first play coming out of the rain delay we had," Royal said. "I made a quick move. (I hate) that it happened, but I'm past it now."
However, it took Royal and the training a little while to figure this out. But Royal was committed to getting back to the field as soon as he could, which meant he took to an aggressive rehab program.
Royal had been used in Josh McDaniels' three wide receiver sets, but John Fox and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy will move away from that. That's what made it easy to trade Jabar Gaffney to the Redskins for Jeremy Jarmon. While Royal is the starter at the moment, watch out for second-year receiver Eric Decker to challenge him throughout camp.
The Denver Broncos expect big things out of former first-round draft pick WR Demaryius Thomas, but they'll need to wait for him to return to the practice field. The team expected this, as Thomas tore his Achilles tendon while workouts back in February.
The Broncos announced that he was put on the non-football injury list, which will still keep him on the 90-player training camp roster. He will need to pass his physical before he can return to the practice field.
Should Thomas not pass his physical during training camp, the team could, as Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post points out, place him on the physically-unable-to-perform list. That would give him another six weeks to determine whether he can play this season.
With Brandon Lloyd the top receiver, Eddie Royal looking to bounce back after hip surgery and Eric Decker seemingly taking a larger role after the Jabar Gaffney trade, Thomas has plenty of ground to make up.
Dove Valley will be abuzz on Tuesday morning when players can report to Denver Broncos facilities in Englewood. While the official camp doesn't get underway until Wednesday, players can access team facilities beginning at 8 a.m. MT on Tuesday morning. They'll be able to pick up playbooks, gaze at the fields that are being readied for the grueling weeks ahead and, for the rookies, to get to know the building and grounds. DenverBroncos.com has some photos of what went on Monday at Dove Valley.
Once players show up on Tuesday and Wednesday, what happens after that? The Broncos have released a schedule for the first week or so of training camp (all times MT):
Thurs., July 28: Practices: 8:50 a.m.-11:30 a.m., 6-8 p.m.
Fri., July 29: Practice: 2:40-5:20 p.m.
Sat., July 30: Practices: 8:50 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Sun., July 30: Practice: 2:40-5:20 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 6: Practice at Mile High, 2 p.m.
Practices will open to the public beginning on Thursday.
The Denver Broncos announced the official times for their preseason games on Monday night. Their four opponents are the Dallas Cowboys, the Buffalo Bills the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals. Here is the complete schedule:
Aug. 11, 6:30 p.m. MT, at Dallas
Aug. 20, 6:35 p.m. MT, vs. Buffalo
Aug. 27, 6:35 p.m. MT, vs. Seattle
Sept. 1, 8:00 p.m. MT, at Arizona
The game against the Bills will be a preview of what we can expect when the Broncos travel to Buffalo for their Dec. 24 contest. And No. 3 overall pick Marcell Dareus is certainly on a mission to make the Broncos regret not taking him, as he said after the draft.
The game at Arizona is a rematch of last year's contest that saw the Cards embarrass the Broncos, 43-13. That game marked the end of Kyle Orton's time as Broncos' start for that season. It is looking more unlikely by the day that Orton will be with the team much longer.
The Denver Broncos will indeed begin training camp on Wed., July 27, with their first preseason game coming 15 days later on Thurs., August 11 against the Dallas Cowboys. Dove Valley will once again have the noise of training camp filling its grassy fields.
Andrew Mason of MaxBroncos.com reports that the first practice will follow on Thursday. It's finally time for the quarterback battle between Tim Tebow, Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn to begin. But it could quickly turn into a two-man battle should the Broncos go ahead and trade Orton once they are allowed to talk with other teams.
The Broncos will also need to welcome some new faces to Dove Valley when they sign their rookies and bring in free agents to fill holes on the defensive line and at running back.
Denver Broncos training camp may still begin during the middle of this week. With the NFL lockout expected to be over during a Monday press conference, plans are leaking out on how training camps will begin over the next week. According to the NFL Network's Albert Breer, training camps would start on Wednesday for 10 teams and then 10 more over each of the next two days. The last two teams would report on Sunday.
According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, teams would report according to when they play their first preseason game. That would put the Broncos in line to be one of the teams to open camp on Wednesday, July 27, since their preseason game is on Thursday, Aug. 11, against the Dallas Cowboys.
However, none of this has been confirmed yet, so we won't know more until after Monday's announcement is made. But football is closer than ever.
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