Monday, March 31, 2014

Broncos, NFL Cheerleaders do it from Passion for game, not for the Income, Certainly (Updated)

The 154 candidates for the 26-member Denver Broncos cheerleading squad Sunday afternoon needed more than high kicks and a beautiful smile.

Final Auditions Day 1 of 57 Finalist. Photo Courtesy: +Denver Broncos (AP)

Denver Broncos Cheerleaders have them potential squad cut down to 57 Finalist

They also might need a second job.

"We want beautiful women out there representing the team, but they have to be intelligent," said Teresa Shear, the Broncos' director of cheerleaders and game entertainment, as dozens of women clad in blue and orange practiced dance steps and twirls nearby. "They interact with the fans and represent the team."

Besides cheering at 16 regular-season games and the playoffs, the squad makes more than 100 other appearances and instructs the Broncos' Junior Cheerleaders.

Before the 56 finalists can make the team, they must undergo background checks, interview with team officials and take a test on their football knowledge.

PHOTOS: Denver Broncos Cheerleader tryouts

NFL teams won't discuss how much cheerleaders earn, but the low pay has become a controversy. Online petitions seek to raise the wages, noting the millions of dollars players and team executives earn.

Stephanie Anderson of Niwot was trying out for the fourth time. Her sister Brittany made it last year.

"I've been dancing since I was 2," said Stephanie, who also teaches dance. "It's in my blood."

Some came from out of state for a shot. This is usually the case for many +NFL teams' cheerleader squads. It is very demanding on their schedule and it really is about their passion for the team, fans, and being there on game day. They make a lot of appearances as mentioned. Suffice it to say, it is no easy task to make a cut of the tryouts let alone, the squad and its difficult routines, ad-lib performances on game day and sticking through the tough and/or fun times. Some have used it as a platform for their careers, like Stacey Kiebler, amongst others.

Karmen Nyberg of Sioux Falls, S.D., warms up with the other competitors
during tryouts for the Denver Broncos cheerleading squad Sunday.
AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post)
Claire von Nieda said her company would relocate her job from Salt Lake City if she makes the squad. Gioia Bartalo came from Florida. Her father, Steve Bartalo, played running back at Colorado State before a stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"Being from Tampa, my favorite games were always the +Denver Broncos and the +Tampa Bay Buccaneers," she said.

Toni Gabrielli moved to Denver from Minneapolis two years ago as she made the squad, and within a week also had a job as a career counselor at the University of Denver (+Denver Pioneers)

"Fate kind of worked things out," she said.

The finals are next Sunday at 6 p.m. in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

Laura Casper of Lake Forest, Illinois applies mascara during tryouts for the 2014-2015 Denver Broncos cheerleaders. More than 100 women showed up and 57 finalists were selected for the 26 spots on the team at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday, March 30. (Photo By Aaron Ontiveroz/ +The Denver Post

Follow us: @Denverpost on Twitter | Denverpost on Facebook

Got this tweet, and YES, just because they are the +Oakland Raiders Cheerleaders. +BRONCOS CR3W  received a text with the link to the Raiders Cheerleaders website and really speaking on behalf of all +NFL Cheerleaders. This is a $ billion industy and they are paying these extremely great, talented, diligent women. They are serving the community in so many aspects as well. The least we could do is relay the word. We are not remotely 'Silver & Black' but some things are just dilusional and irrational. The +Denver Broncos CR3W can see between the lines. We are ORANGE & BLUE 'til the end, but they deserve some acknowledgement. What is going on in the +Oakland Raiders Cheerleaders is an embarassment to that organization, the +NFL, and their commissioner +Roger Goodell no matter their lawyer excuses. 

After all, the Raiders Cheeleaders look far better and entertaining on that field than the Raiders themselves.

Go :D 

Congratulations to the final 57 that are almost there! "DBC" Denver Broncos Cheerleaders

+Denver Broncos Cheerleaders Do a Very Difficult Calling for Passion of +NFL, Broncos, and fans. They certainly do not do it for the Income

Related Articles (Info)

The +Denver Broncos representative
in the Pro Bowl last year, Heather.
Photo Courtesy: (AP)

The +Denver Broncos will be holding auditions for their 2014 cheerleading teams. Preliminaries will be held on Sunday, March 30 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Approximately 300 women are expected to partake in the preliminary round and 60 will be selected to participate in the finals on Sunday, April 6 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver. Due to the success of last year’s final auditions, Cheerleader Final Auditions will again be open to the public. Tickets are available for purchase at

To receive more information and an application, please contact Teresa Shear, Director of Cheerleaders, at 720-258-3176 or visit the Broncos website at There will also be late registration applications available at the event.

Participants should wear athletic attire and bring a black-and-white or color photograph of their self to the audition. The tryouts will include a dance audition with choreography taught on the spot. All participants auditioning for Denver Broncos Cheerleaders must be 21 years of age by July 15, 2014.

DBC (Denver Broncos Cheerleader) Heather, repping the Broncos
in the Pro Bowl. Photo Courtesy: Denver Broncos (AP
Registration at the preliminaries on Sunday, March 30 will begin at 11 a.m., with auditions beginning at noon. The finals on April 6 will begin at 6 p.m. with the top 60 women from Sunday’s preliminaries performing.

Sports Authority Field at Mile High, East Club Lounge
Park in Lot A or B
Finals on April 6 – Ellie Caulkins Opera House (1101 13th St, Denver, CO 80204)

Photo / Interview Opportunities:
Cameras are welcome to shoot the prelims beginning at 2:30 p.m on Sunday, March 30. Finalists will be announced at approximately 4 p.m. For the dance finals taking place on Sunday, April 6, at 6 p.m. arrival is suggested, and at 9 p.m., interviews with the women chosen for the 2014 squad will be allowed.

During the week of Super Bowl XLVIII, the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders appeared on several national television broadcasts such as The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox News, Fox & Friends, Fox Sports as well as Fox’s new show The Crowd Goes Wild. In recent years, the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders have been featured on other nationally televised segments on E!, The Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America, Fox Files, ABC’s Monday Night Football and Dog

Eat Dog. In addition, they’ve appeared in weekly features on Fox Sports Net. They have also traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Cuba, Guam, the Marshall Islands, Italy and Australia on tours performing for our U.S. Troops.

Woodyard rubbed the Wrong way by change in Role from Broncos DC, JDR

Not that this appears to be really much, figured we would post it. H/T to +The Denver Post

Wesley Woodyard: Photo Courtesy: +Denver Broncos (AP)
Wesley Woodyard rubbed the wrong way by the decrease in his role once the playoffs came around. As we would expect though, knowing "Hammer," we would expect the change in role for him to rub him the wrong way and not be happy about it. He is a competitor, what should he do? Be cool with it... Nuh, +BRONCOS CR3W does not fret over this regarding +Denver Broncos. If they were, we hope they would be wearing something different than Orange.

“It rubbed me the wrong way” — Wesley Woodyard on his benching by Jack Del Rio

Wesley Woodyard 
(Joe Amon, The Denver Post)

By Nick Groke
The Denver Post

Wesley Woodyard began last season for the Broncos as a team captain and starting middle linebacker. He was a captain for a reason, a key cog in Denver’s run toward the Super Bowl.

Then he got benched.Woodyard, a full-time starter all of 2012 and half of 2013, suddenly was a substitute, a nickel package linebacker.

On Tuesday, he told the tale of his interaction with Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and the Denver coaching staff — and what he would have changed about the Broncos’ defense in the Super Bowl. Here’s the video:

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Gonna get the same joy from 94 and 98 will become a Frequent Favorite this Season too!

To one of the 4 newest members of the +Denver Broncos, DeMarcus Ware+BRONCOS CR3W

+Denver Broncos Phillips heads to +Tennessee Titans, Joins Woodyard - Not much room with Ware surprisingly coming on to join.

From an earlier post last month as to the situation regarding the bad bay Pot Roast and Ware having the same number... (In case any missed it...)

+Denver Broncos DT, Terrance Knighton, has a new number with his generosity to DeMarcus Ware with #94. +BRONCOS CR3W

NFL to Change the PAT in Football - for now, only in the preseason

NFL moving extra points back ... in the preseason

+Yahoo Sports  - Shutdown Corner

I've never heard anyone complain about extra points. They're just there during NFL games, not hurting or helping the sport, just the bread before the meal at a steakhouse. Nobody talks about how the bread needs to be improved.

Somehow, extra points became a hot topic. For some reason this was the part of the game that had to dramatically change, either eliminating them or moving them back to make them tougher – because if there's something that will make the NFL better, it's putting the outcomes of more games on a kicker's shoulders.

It seems that the first step toward making the extra point a substantial part of the game is coming this preseason. For the first two preseason games, teams will line up to snap extra points from the 20-yard line, making them about 38 yards instead of 20, which has been the standard. A proposal for a new permanent rule to snap extra points from the 25-yard line was tabled. By experimenting in the preseason, the NFL can see how it goes and determine if that's something it wants to implement.

For anyone who likes this idea, remember that when your team drives down 80 yards for what looks like a game-tying touchdown in the final seconds of a hard-fought game, only to see the kicker miss a 37-yard kick. See if that scenario adds to the value of the game.

NFL Owners Meetings Proposed Rules Changes Update

The NFL did approve a rule making the goal posts five feet taller, which will make it easier for officials to determine if a field goal is good. Also passed was the "NaVorro Bowman rule," to allow officials to review the recovery of loose balls. Bowman stripped a ball in the NFC championship game, a play in which the 49ers' star linebacker hurt his knee, and had the ball in his possession, but the play was not reviewable. Now that kind of play will be subject to review.

Bill Belichick Proposes PAT change, Amongst other Topics & Changes at 2014 NFL Owner's Meetings

+New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick took to the microphone at Tuesday’s meeting of the NFL Competition Committee to present his case on moving the PAT further back.

Related: NFL adding 4th Game to London?

Possible Rule Changes in the +NFL

The NFL Is Gonna Try Out That 37-Yard Extra Point This Preseason

by Jake O'Donnell

Goodbye 2-yard line. Hello 20.

Sounds like a pretty drastic change, huh? Well, from a kicker’s perspective it’s not really that much different. In 2013, kickers were pretty automatic from 30-39 yards out. While 22 kickers missed kicks from that distance, no one in the league missed more than three the whole season (Garrett Hartley and league attempts leader Nick Novak). By comparison, five kickers missed an extra point last year.

Bottom-line: The change WILL cause some wonky score lines, but probably less frequently than you’d imagine.

In all, kickers were 199/230 from between the 13 and 22-yard lines, which is good for 86% — a decent number considering some of those kicks were on hashmarks or in pressure situations.

The new extra-points will be, obviously, taken from dead center, and won’t have game clock issues that factor into traditional field goals, which you’ve got to figure will make them a bit easier. So will we see “icing” on extra-points? Hopefully.

Big misses? Yes.

Will there be almost no discernible change to America’s favorite sport? Most likely.

It will, however, look weird as hell for those first two preseason weeks.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Per Request: Broncos CR3W "WR Heaven" A few Pix - Collages

S/O to Emmanuel Sanders for breaking out the great phrase once joining the +Denver Broncos+BRONCOS CR3W put together a collection just for Baybay, +Wes Welker, Julius Thomas, Bubba Caldwell, and Emmanuel Sanders. Another 1 or 2 to have a chance at joining at least, if the TE is mixed in. Will be interesting who the others are that make it, and prove their talent, heart whence the chance comes. +The brand new Broncos FA's in the +NFL.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Broncos' free agent Phillips signs with Titans

Matt Boyer, KUSA
(Photo: Ron Chenoy Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)
After only one year with the Denver Broncos, free agent Shaun Phillips is headed east to sign with the Tennessee Titans. Phillips joins a defensive line that was ranked in the bottom-half of most significant statistical categories in 2013.'s +Adam Schefter first reported the story, with the 2 -year deal being worth an estimated $6 million dollars. The Broncos hinted that Phillips may have become expendable after they signed former Cowboys DE DeMarcus Ware to a 3-year, $30 million dollar deal.

Phillips recorded 35 tackles, 10 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles over the course of the regular season. Prior to his only season with Denver, Phillips spent nine seasons with the San Diego Chargers, recording 69.5 sacks and 473 combined tackles during his time in Southern California.
Photo Courtesy: Denver Broncos (AP)
+Tennessee Titans also have signed former +Denver Broncos LB, Wesley Woodyard. The Titans are starting with a new coaching staff and head coach in the former +Chargers Offensive Coordinator, +Arizona Cardinals Head Coach, Ken Wisenhunt. Phillips lead the Broncos in sacks last season and probably would have been signed on if not for the big splash of DeMarcus Ware being signed as mentioned.

Thanks for everything Knowshon! You did it the right way and the Broncos way. We appreciate the way you play the game.

To our man, and Boss, Mr. Knowshon Moreno. Congratulations and the best of luck for you on your future endeavors. +BRONCOS CR3W enjoyed what you brought as a player and more importantly, the man you grew into!

Former Broncos RB, Moreno, signs with Dolphins

(Photo: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)
After working his way from the practice squad to the starting lineup over the past two seasons, Broncos free agent Knowshon Moreno will leave +Denver Broncos to sign with the +Miami Dolphins.

According to's Adam Schefter, Moreno signed a one-year deal with the terms of that contract not disclosed. During the 2013 season, the Dolphins split primary rushing duties between both Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. It is unclear whether the Dolphins will stick with a "running back by committee" system, or feature Moreno as their primary back.

Knowshon Scores TD in 2013 Divisional Playoff Victory over the +Chargers (Photo Courtesy: USATSI)
Last season, Knowshon rushed for 1,038 yards while averaging 4.3 yards per rushing attempt. He scored 13 touchdowns (10 rushing, 3 receiving), and also caught 60 passes for 548 yards.

The Broncos will now look to the trio of Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman, and C.J. Anderson to fill the void left by Moreno in the Denver's backfield.

Montee Ball to be Broncos Lead Back

Broncos CR3W would argue that Moreno was the most undervalued player of this brilliance of offensive football we witnessed from the Broncos last year. That said, Montee Ball is full of upside and talent which is the main and sole reason the Broncos feel okay moving forward without Moreno. He did it the right way and we will remember that from the former +Georgia Bulldogs grad. Despite LeSean McCoy, Moreno may hae the best hands as an RB as any. Jamaal Charles may have the home run in space, but that doesn't undervalue the ability of Knowshon's to catch the ball naturally and transfer into a runner in the process of catching as any. He often pulled in some tosses that would not be caught by 90% of the tailbacks in the NFL.

Hillman has just had his 2nd opportunity open up for him. Hopefully, he gets the chance in full health and shows the same drive that Knowhson exemplified right in front of the young player's first two seasons as a member of the NFL, and Denver Broncos. If that is the case, Hillman will make a lot of positive headlines as a part of the Broncos offense. Maybe that is the best way to explain what Moreno is, learned, and showed that if you work hard and prepare your butt off, you will get and take full advantage of it. Many forget that he suffered from an ACL injury just over 2 seasons ago also.

John Fox still has Faith in Hillman

Ball may not give Hillman much of any opening, but if it is on 3rd downs or breathers, Hillman will be seen contributing when he gets looks on the field. Hopefully, they both stay in full health. We'll see what others get an opportunity in camp once its upon us. Not very far away, really.
From the teary eyes of the true Broncos fans, you gave us heart, guts, leadership, maturity, leadership, and effort. Thank you! From one of our all time favorite sports moments, army crawl for a first down vs the +Kansas City Chiefs.

To you earning some tough first downs to finish of the Chargers.

Knowshon Moreno with another big contributor to the record setting offense of +NFL
history books. Photo Courtesy: +Denver Broncos (AP)
To one of our personal favorites, the rock-paper-scissors TD celebration.

+Wisconsin Badgers, White, Looks up to former teammate Montee Ball

Meet the Running Backs
(2014 NFL RB Prospects for the NFL Draft)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Just wants his pockets to weigh more - Four 8-8ish teams get in? Not for the fans that is for sure. They'll say so...

And Certainly Not for the Players safety which is "supposed to be their highest objective and priority..? Still do not see this. Heads Up Program deepen his pockets, outside of his salary, already, too. Other than that, the players will make more money also. Most would probably not want to do so and stick to 16 game season.

That is just our gut on the little we've heard from some players about it, but it won't really matter. The money will most assuredly be on the table, presumptuously. We do not believe in diluting the playoffs, but we do agree with record gets home field before division winner.

Although it would probably not garner as solid as ratings. Instead of diluting the top end. Have a seminfinals between the 4 worst teams and they play to see who get the 1st overall pick. Conceptually its off with their mode of thought with the worst record receiving the number one, but the winner is awarded it. Just trying to think of what to give the commissioner in order to not do this. Expanded season plus explanded playoffs. Perhaps these teams will be (weird saying it) 10-8? Maybe that makes iit simply 'okay.'
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions during a news conference at the NFL football annual owners meetings
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says it's possible the playoffs could expand next season.

Goodell said Wednesday at the spring meetings that ''it's not out of the question.'' He says he ''wouldn't rule it out, but I wouldn't say that's the direction we're heading.''

The owners discussed adding two playoff teams to the current 12, one in each conference. The topic is certain to come up when Goodell meets with the players union April 8, and again at the owners' May meeting in Atlanta.

Goodell adds that there was a ''tremendous amount of interest in this, possibly even to the point of support.'' He believes it will make the late-season division and wild-card races even more compelling.

Adding two postseason games also would increase TV revenues. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Broncos Latest Addition to Horse Track Playlist

... we do not own the right to this video. Latest addition to +BRONCOS CR3W Horse Track Playlist Presents to you DJ Premier in "Classic" featuring Rakim, Nas, and KRS One...

That's Good Sports: Free Agency F*** Fest

Parental Advisory - +ThatsGoodSports video on the +Denver Broncos early free agent activity:

Sanders in "Wide Receiver Heaven"

Agreed, Mr. Sanders, no doubt you have landed yourself in a primo spot. +Denver Broncos and Mile High equal "Wide Receiver Heaven." What? With joining the NFL Record Setting Offense of +NFL history in regards to scoring, passing and receiving statistics. Some of the +BRONCOS CR3W posts as we experienced such historic accomplishments, albeit probably short-term due to a longer season and the general speed of offensive plays and play selection. A topic even, Mr. Peyton Manning himself has essentially proclaimed. That still doesn't diminish the upside of being a speedy WR coming into his prime and joining forces with the Broncos offense.

Emmanueal Sanders, newly acquired Broncos WR, signing on board with "Wide Receiver heaven"
Photo Courtesy: +Denver Broncos ( +The Associated Press )
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Sunday afternoon, Emmanuel Sanders was officially introduced to, as he called it, "wide receiver heaven."

"To play with Peyton Manning is like wide receiver heaven," Sanders smiled. "I feel like he's one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game. Definitely I look up to him a lot in terms of his preparation, and I know that he's going to make me a better player whether it's mentally and physically. I know that I'm in a great environment."
WR Heaven Welcomes you Mr. Emmanuel Sanders

At the start of free agency, Sanders told his agent, Steve Weinberg, that depending on what happened with former Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker -- who signed with the New York Jets as an unrestricted free agent -- he would love to play with Manning.

"I told Steve to make sure he called over to the Broncos and let them know that I'm interested," Sanders recalled. "So we started the free-agency process, but every day I was asking Steve, 'Did they call? Did they call?' And they finally called."

When the numbers Sanders was asking for matched up with what the Broncos were willing to offer, there wasn't much else to think about.

"This is the team that I wanted to go to during free agency," Sanders said. "Yesterday was probably one of the best days of my life."

Now that he's in Denver, Sanders just wants to fit in with an offense he watched set NFL records in 2013.
Elway Crossing off List of High Priorities
"I remember sitting at my house like, 'Man, that's what I want to be a part of someday,'" he said. "They had a really good season last year. Hopefully we can repeat the same thing but this time finish it off."

Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway said when introducing Sanders that the receiver will "add a tremendous amount to the offensive side" of the football. After the press conference concluded, Elway elaborated.
"He'll fit in great," Elway said. "He can play inside or outside. He'll be inside, he'll be outside. He's explosive and really does a good job after he catches the ball."

"He was the guy that we had targeted from the very get-go and we were fortunate enough to land him."

When describing his own game, Sanders said he doesn't like to label himself just an inside or outside receiver, to Elway's point.

"I'm going to always try to be versatile," he said. "I just like the craft of being a receiver."

But what is about him that helped him cause 15 missed tackles, which according to +Pro Football Focus was fourth-most among +NFL wide receivers in 2013?

"My game is I like to get the ball in my hands. I like to run after the catch. I feel like from a speed perspective, I like to go down the field," Sanders said. "I feel like I've got the all-around package, even from a run perspective. I'm going to give it my all from a blocking perspective, because I know if I'm blocking downfield, that allows the running back to take the ball 80 yards. Like I said, I just want to win."

The wide receiver said that Manning texted him as soon as he decided to sign with the Broncos, and he's already gotten a coveted invite to Duke University to work out with the quarterback and his top targets.

And he hopes that he will add a new type of threat to the receiving corps, making it tough on defense that try to focus on slowing down a big, physical receiver like Demaryius Thomas.

"Now that I'm on the other side, a speed guy, a quick guy, a run-after-the-catch guy, it's going to be hard," he said. "It adds another dimension to your offense."

It's no secret that the Broncos have a World Championship on their minds entering 2014. After falling in Super Bowl XLVIII, the team wants to make sure it doesn't come up short this coming season.

Sanders know's exactly how the players feel. After all, he was on the losing end of a Super Bowl in his rookie season, and broke his foot in the process.

"I remember 2010, I ended up breaking my foot in the Super Bowl," Sanders said. "And the only thing that I remember from the Super Bowl is walking off that field and seeing the confetti fall and seeing the Green Bay Packers celebrating. I said, 'You know what? Someday I've got to get back here and I want the confetti falling down on me.' My ultimate dream is, I just had a son, and I want to go hoist that Lombardi and have my son run onto the field.

"This is a place that can make that dream come true."

Emmanuel Sanders Presser: "Wide Receiver Heaven" Video

+NFL (twiiter)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Happy Birthday Mr. Manning - the Man - The Sheriff, PFM !

+BRONCOS CR3W sends wishes as well as +NFL +Denver Broncos 

Von Miller Eager to Rush the QB with Mentor

DENVER - Von Miller used to text, call and visit his mentor for pointers on pass rushing.

Now, his teacher is his newest teammate.

Broncos Twitter
Yeah, it’s safe to say the +Denver Broncos hybrid linebacker is a big fan of bringing DeMarcus Ware on board.

After all, Miller’s own pass rush moves are inspired by watching Ware terrorize quarterbacks for the +Dallas Cowboys, where he had a franchise-record 117 sacks before being released.

He can’t wait to listen to Ware’s suggestions on the field rather than over the phone.

Well, once Miller’s ACL is back to full strength. Von Miller out for season with torn ACL. Miller is currently working out in a pool, but hopes to soon be cleared for some light jogging and bike work.

Denver Broncos' Von Miller (58) is walks off the field after he was injured 
during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the 
Houston Texans. 
Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Then, it’s back to learning under Ware.

“This is great, seeing a guy that I molded my game after,” Miller said Saturday as he took part in a program through his foundation to help identify kids in need of eye care. “Just to be able to pick his brain or how he gets ready for games, how he practices, how he stays consistent - this is big.”

The Broncos have been on quite a defensive spending spree in free agency, bringing in the 31-year-old Ware, cornerback Aqib Talib and safety T.J. Ward at a cost of $110 million ($60 million guaranteed).

Of course, being on that side of the ball, Miller gave the moves a whole-hearted endorsement. It’s also not a shock the Broncos are concentrating on defense after a 43-8 loss to Seattle in the Super Bowl. Broncos send piece of History to Seattle.

“We had great guys before, but the guys we have now are big-time players,” said Miller, who turns 25 on March 26. “This is a huge upgrade. We have guys coming off injuries and when you get a guy like Talib and Ward and Ware, it will solidify the whole defense.”

Miller is coming off a rough season, one in which began with a six-game drug suspension and ended with a torn ACL on Dec. 22. Ware believes he can help get the 2011 rookie of the year on track. They already have a strong bond

“When Von first came in, before he got drafted, I talked to him a little bit,” Ware said. “Being able now to have the opportunity to play with him is a whole different thing. I’ll be in the same locker room with him, being able to teach him some things. I’m looking forward to that opportunity. I just think that it’s going to be great.”

Miller couldn't agree more. He grew up a Cowboys follower and one of his favorite players was Ware.

“Seeing Demarcus‘ whole stance - I got that from him. I got all that from him,” said Miller, who played at Texas A&M; “He is one of the best pass rushers in the league. … I think having him in the locker room will be great.”

When Miller first joined the Broncos, he thrived with Elvis Dumervil playing on the opposite side. Miller had 11½ sacks his rookie season and 18½ in 2012, before Dumervil bolted for Baltimore in 2013.

In Dumervil’s place, the Broncos turned to Shaun Phillips, who had 10 sacks. Miller struggled at times once he returned from suspension and had five sacks before suffering his ACL injury at Houston.

His temptation is to hurry back, but he’s taking things slow.

 +Denver Broncos twitter
“I’m doing fine. I am doing great. It feels better every day,” Miller said. “I feel confident and that I will be ready to go.”

Any timetable for a return?

“It’s tricky because you feel great some days and you want to do more than what you’re really supposed to be doing,” he said. “Right now, I am ahead of where I am supposed to be.”

It may have crossed some minds knowing the Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton already wears #94. Is Ware going to wear a different number or?

AP freelance writer Dale Bublitz contributed to this report.
+The Associated Press +NFL website: and

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Elway Crossing off list of High Priorities

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The +Denver Broncos and +New England Patriots series of moves and countermoves in the first week of free agency is reminiscent of the superpowers at the height of the Cold War.

The Broncos agree to terms with Aqib Talib, and the Patriots replace him a day later with Darrelle Revis, then follow with the signing of ex-Seahawk Brandon Browner. New England corrals wide receiver Brandon LaFell from the +Carolina Panthers, and then the Broncos strike by signing fellow 2010 draft pick Emmanuel Sanders from the Steelers; in both cases the wideouts are defined as much by their untapped potential as their accomplishments to date.

"Well, you always know you have to go through New England if you look at their track record the last 10 years," said Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway on Sunday. "They're a team that you're going to have to deal with. For us to get done what we want to get done, you've got to be able to get done. It's kind of a fun arms race, and we'll see what happens next year."

As they go into the 2014 season, it's the Patriots who know they have to go through the Broncos, having fallen short in January's AFC Championship Game in Denver. And in spite of a humbling 43-8 loss in Super Bowl XLVIII and the release of 12-time Pro Bowler Champ Bailey, the free-agency losses of starter Eric Decker, Pro Bowler Zane Beadles and defensive captain Wesley Woodyard, the Broncos still appear to be the team to beat in the AFC.

The return of injured players such as Ryan Clady, Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr. helps that status, but so do the acquisitions of Talib, Sanders, safety T.J. Ward and defensive end DeMarcus Ware.

"You have your wish list. We're fortunate enough that we've gotten to 'X' off a lot of the guys on our wish list that were able to come here," said Elway.
And the Broncos have done this without risking a stint in salary-cap jail in two to three years' time.

"We had a bunch of cap space going into this year. Obviously with Champ's situation, and then with (Chris) Kuper retiring, it gave us more cap space, so we had plenty of cap space," Elway said. "That's why the misnomer of us winning now -- sure, we want to win now, but we've also set ourselves up -- we've got four football players for three-year-or-longer contracts, and they're all young except for DeMarcus."

Talib is 28. Ward is 27. Sanders turns 27 on Monday. That leaves only the 32-year-old Ware as a player who isn't in what is usually considered the prime years at most positions.

"That just goes to show you that it's not for 'now.' We want young football players that are going to be here for a long time, and they're still young in their career and continue to get better," said Elway. "I think that, yeah, obviously the age thing is big, and that's one thing we've been in -- we've had some success with, is being able to plug in the right guys that are older guys in the right spots, but that's usually been around training camp, where something would happen. There's still the basis to get as young as we can with the best football players we can."

But it's no use getting younger for a team with a quarterback going into his 17th season unless it's accompanied by improvement, which Elway believes to be the case.

T.J. Ward Presser after signing contract. Photo Courtesy +Denver Broncos (AP)
"I really feel like we got better," Elway said. "There's no question we're trying to win this year, but we're also trying to get a good base for a good football team for a long time."

Beyond Ware, who already has a candidacy that will bring him into discussions for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Ward and Talib have already earned plaudits; each has been to the Pro Bowl and was a second-team All-Pro last season. Sanders, on the other hand, is more of a projection; he has yet to post a 1,000-yard season, although his playing time has steadily increased.

"With Decker leaving, to be able to get another wideout -- especially a guy of this caliber, we're extremely excited about it," Elway said. "He was the guy that we had targeted from the very get-go, and we were fortunate enough to land him."

But the key will be to use Sanders -- and every new arrival -- properly. For example, Sanders has the ability to return kickoffs and punts; he did both in Pittsburgh, although more than half (29 of 57) career returns came as a rookie in 2010. He expressed a willingness to handle those chores again. However …

"A lot of times you don't want a guy that valuable back there returning," Elway said. "But right now he's the one that we have on our roster."

Right now, yes. But not necessarily "from now on," as Elway often says of his team-building plans.

Peyton Calls his own Number, one of the Classics

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Patriots have improved, but Broncos still Superior

Contributed by Adam Kaufman (@adamkaufman) from:
+Boston Globe

+New England Patriots

Fair warning: this column won’t play well with the “In Bill We Trust” crowd.

This isn’t for the sake of pessimism or to be accused of trolling. Instead, I’m hoping to inject some realism and slow down the strolling.

NFL free agency is nearly a week old and New England’s off to a good start. But that’s all it is; a start. It's not "loading up," a term seemingly thrown around when only one big name is added to the fold.

In talking to and hearing from Patriots fans and even some talking heads since the Patriots’ business-model defying signing of Darrelle Revis, there’s been this notion of, “We got Revis! Aqib Talib wasn’t that good anyhow. See you in Arizona!”

That’s preposterous on numerous counts.
"There’s no reason, on paper, to think the Broncos won’t have their horses putting up those crazy numbers again."
To start with the obvious, Talib was first on the fans’ wish list – and quite possibly that of the team – until the moment he signed with Denver. Durability was an undeniable issue in the corner’s short time in Foxborough, but he was a game-changer who absolutely altered the success of the secondary and the Pats’ ability to shut down other club’s top receivers when healthy. For the 24 hours or so before Revis Island centered in the Commonwealth, Talib’s loss was monumental.

Second, as good as Revis is – and he’s regarded as a future Hall of Famer and the best cornerback in the game, no matter what Richard Sherman thinks – there’s no way to know what to expect from him in 2014. He’ll be 29 in July and a full season removed from ACL surgery. Yes, he played a healthy 16 times for the Bucs, but he wasn’t 100 percent and certainly wasn’t the man who earned such a catchy nickname in the Meadowlands. Perhaps he blended in more to Tampa’s zone defense – lousy, though it improved from 2013 with his addition – or maybe he was still just working his way back to form. The fact remains, this belief that he’ll step in and instantly be a savior seems a bit overblown. Is he really that much better than a healthy Talib? +BRONCOS CR3W will answer this with a big, NO! He might get back to some of the form that he had with the Jets, but it will not be better than Talib at his best. Truthfully, Patriots will be fortunate if he is the same as Talib at his best. Talib moved to any spot on the defense and covered WR to TE's. Revis normally stays at one spot, just like Sherman with the +Seattle Seahawks, reigning Super Bowl Champions.

Elway and Bowlen don't know how to do it any other way

I had a Patriots’ reporter tell me that Revis’s addition will not only reinvent the secondary and improve the pass-rush because he can cover an entire side of the field, but he’ll also make the Pats’ offense better because it will have to face him in practice. To me, that’s asinine. I hope to be wrong, obviously, but it feels an awful lot like an unrealistic amount is being expected from one guy. He’s not Bill Brasky.

Brandon Browner is a helpful and physical addition on defense as well, but there’s already skepticism over whether he can play safety. That’s fine if he can’t – it only makes the depth at corner more impressive – but Steve Gregory still needs to be replaced by a viable option and those are scarce.

DRC signs with Giants but Missed on similar offer that Broncos got Talib for

The pass-rush, if Revis isn’t all-powerful, remains a grave concern. Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich need help. Jared Allen would be a perfect fit, but would cost a pretty penny to add. Julius Peppers is off the market to the +Green Bay Packers.

Tommy Kelly’s back on a restructured deal and the finds-tackles-everywhere Jerod Mayo should be healthy, but Vince Wilfork may be leaving. If the senior member of the defense is indeed unwilling to restructure his deal and granted his release, that would create not only a leadership void but also, more important, a sizeable absence when it comes to stuffing the run. The Patriots thrived at stopping the rush early last season before the 10-year pro ruptured his Achilles and looked like turnstiles on the defensive line after he went down. The Pats don’t require an All Pro tackle if Wilfork goes, but a vet would be ideal.

Moreover, Brandon Spikes (now with +Buffalo Bills) and Dane Fletcher have already departed from the linebacker corps, and they’ve yet to be replaced by suitable depth.

On offense, fortunately Tom Brady has his binky back in Julian Edelman. Had he left, it’s as difficult to know if Danny Amendola could have filled that need as it is to determine whether Rob Gronkowski will be healthy enough to play a full season – or at least the end of it.

Brady needs more targets beyond three guys with lengthy injury histories and another three entering three sophomore seasons. Brandon LaFell may be a nice addition coming to a passing offense from a run-heavy system in Carolina, and hopefully he can replicate Brandon Lloyd type numbers. But he isn’tEmmanuel Sanders who, like Talib, went to the Mile High City. Will Lance Moore or Kenny Britt swoop in next? The Pats were unable to lure Steve Smith or Hakeem Nicks to Gillette, as both wound up elsewhere in the AFC with the +Indianapolis Colts (Nicks) and the +Baltimore Ravens (Smith from the +University of Utah, ( +UTES CR3W )

Another tight end would be desirable, all respect to Michael Hoomanawanui. The offensive line needs help at the guard position, too.

Elway reportedly (never confirmed) made a comparison of free agency to dating

Some of the above needs will obviously be addressed in the draft, but the Patriots can’t take a slew of top players with one or two high picks. Prioritizing won’t be easy.

And, the most prevalent need to pump the brakes is this: While the Pats have improved, the Broncos have done more.
Denver’s bolstered its previously putrid defense with Talib, DeMarcus Ware (+Dallas Cowboys) and T.J. Ward (+Cleveland Browns)  and added Sanders (+Pittsburgh Steelers) to a record-setting offense. Sure, they lost Eric Decker to the +New York Jets, but that will prove far more insignificant once people see how much better Peyton Manning made him look when walk-on-by-comparison talent is throwing to him in New York. There’s no reason, on paper, to think the Broncos won’t have their horses putting up those crazy numbers again.

Food for thought by Broncos CR3W

People should be excited about the Patriots’ offseason so far and there’s plenty of time to go. But, for now, slow down the talks of another banner because there’s still much work to be done for Bill Belichick's group and one major obstacle to overcome in their own conference, let alone a loaded NFC.

You know, unless of course Revis Island proves to be as hospitably suffocating to opposing offenses as the tropical vacation spot it’s been in everyone’s minds over the last few days.
Contirbution to original - +Clinton Haws (@ClintonHaws)