Denver Broncos News Blogs - May 20, 2006

Check out all the latest news from the Denver Broncos mini-camp, the unexpected return of cornerback Willie Middlebrooks from San Francisco and the reaction to Denver's number one draft pick Jay Cutler.

Broncos' Cutler getting comfortable- –
Saturday May 20, 2006 - Quarterback Jay Cutler recalled the night before Denver Broncos passing camp, his first day as a professional football player. "Tony (Scheffler) and I were rooming together, I had the playbook and he didn't have one, so we stayed up and looked over the playbook," Denver's first-round draft choice said Friday. "We had no idea of what we were looking at. Kind of went to sleep, a little bit uneasy." Still, the Broncos' top draft pick hasn't been overwhelmed. The No. 11 overall pick from Vanderbilt said he is feeling more comfortable with his surroundings and is just one of the guys.

Not-So-Lost in Translation- – Andrew Mason
Saturday, May 20, 2006 - Jay Cutler began his immersion study of a new language this week at quarterback camp. But it wasn't without its bumpy points. Take Tuesday morning, for example. "The first day was a little bit rough," Cutler said. "I couldn't even call a play, really." Cutler was still trying to translate from one language to another. He was still speaking Commodore when he needed to take a step towards fluency in Bronco. "We might call something 'corner' (at Vanderbilit) and they call it 'crash' here," Cutler said. "It's just different terms and spitting out all of those terms are a lot different from what I had at Vandy. Just being able to call was a little bit tough."

Middlebrooks back for another chance- Denver Post – Mike Kliss
05/19/2006 - Like so many other former first-round hot shots, Willie Middlebrooks has been humbled by the NFL. Coming out of college in 2001, Middlebrooks was drafted by the Broncos with the 24th selection, destined to become their starting cornerback for years to come. He never has played regularly at defensive back, not with the Broncos, and not after he was traded last year to San Francisco for defensive end John Engelberger. Released by the 49ers to free agency after last season, Middlebrooks returned to the Broncos after signing a one-year contract Thursday.

Chance encounter- Rocky Mountain News –Lee Rasizer
May 19, 2006 - It looked like the same Willie Middlebrooks. He wore No. 23. He ran with the rest of the defensive backs, as he has often since the Denver Broncos picked him in the first round of the 2001 draft. But much has changed for Middlebrooks since the 2005 Broncos passing camp - including teams. The cornerback was traded in July in exchange for defensive end John Engelberger to lowly San Francisco, where he had been expected to compete for the right cornerback spot. He instead was among the 49ers' final camp cuts, then was re-signed and released on three other occasions. The Broncos re-signed Middlebrooks on Thursday, giving him a chance for redemption after his 51-game stint with the team was marked more by his ability on special teams than his contributions in the secondary.

The Point of Preparation- – J. Michael Moore
Friday, May 19, 2006 - The rookies at Dove Valley this week have seen it all before. The new assignments, fresh faces and unfamiliar surroundings can resemble the first days of college. Of course, everyone in a Broncos uniforms realizes the difference between high school, college and professional football is exponential. That's why the team takes things in stride during this first round of offseason practices. It's not time to start thinking about 2006; it's time to start shaking off the rust. There are the inevitable inquiries about the team's loss in the AFC Championship last season, but most players said that game is behind them and the only thing left to do is use it as a learning experience and motivating tool.

Rocky Mountain Reunion- – Andrew Mason
Friday, May 19, 2006 - Fourteen months ago, football's answer to the 19th century westward migration was the dominant story of the Broncos' offseason. A quartet of defensive linemen moved from the Cleveland Browns to the Denver Broncos via trade and street free agency, leaving behind a front line that was in a state of flux. All Kenard Lang could do was watch. Like teammates Courtney Brown, Ebenezer Ekuban, Michael Myers and Gerard Warren, he too was on the move. But his journey stopped a couple of steps from his old spot; he merely changed positions, going from defensive end to outside linebacker in the Browns' newly installed 3-4 scheme. Those ex-Browns -- or "Brown-cos," the collective nom de plume by which they were so often referred -- helped Denver fashion the league's No. 2 defense against the run en route to a 13-3 finish. The Browns, meanwhile, improved four games off their previous season but still finished five games off the AFC North pace at 6-10.

Marshall's Plan- – J. Michael Moore
Friday, May 19, 2006 - Unlike some rookies entering the NFL this season, Brandon Marshall has somewhere to look for an example. The University of Central Florida may not be a household name west of the Mississippi River, but it has its share of alumni that have become NFL stars including Miami quarterback Daunte Culpepper, New England defensive back Asante Samuel and Oakland wide receiver Doug Gabriel. Marshall, who was selected from the school in the fourth round by the Broncos last month, said it wasn't uncommon for Culpepper or others to drop by the practice field in Orlando. Marshall even worked out with Charles Lee, a fraternity brother and NFL receiver, over his Spring Break.

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