From middle school to the end of his college career, Jackson was on a football field for 12 plays -- six on offense and six on defense his senior year of college. He didn't play at all in high school and played basketball at the University of Nevada.
His senior college season he was out of basketball eligibility and the 6-foot-7 power forward accepted a long-standing invitation from the football coaches to try out for the team.
"I just wanted something to do," Jackson said. "Before, I was going to school and playing basketball so I couldn't imagine just going to class and have nothing else to do."
He saw action for only a dozen plays, but a Nevada assistant coach told Cleveland defensive line coach Andre Patterson -- who is now an assistant with the Broncos -- that he thought Jackson could play in the NFL.
Patterson encouraged the Browns to sign Jackson after seeing him work out. Jackson spent a year in NFL Europe -- he was named the league's defensive player of the year -- and a year on the Browns' active roster but only appeared in one game. The Browns released Jackson before last season, and the Broncos snapped him up on their practice squad.
Jackson, who originally signed with Cleveland in 2003, impressed Denver's coaches in practice and they think he can have an impact this season.
"He did an excellent job on the practice squad and he's got all the things you look for -- he's tall, he's fast and he's physical," Patterson said. "He's got all the things you look for in a defensive end."
-- The Broncos had the week of June 12-16 off. They had organized team activity practices the previous three weeks and Broncos coach Mike Shanahan decided they needed a break.
The Broncos have their mandatory minicamp in July, the only NFL team that holds it the month training camp begins. Shanahan tried that schedule last year and liked the way his team responded to it.
-- The Broncos haven't moved holdout receiver Ashley Lelie yet. He will probably be used as trade bait in the coming weeks to add to the depth at running back or tight end. Lelie isn't expected to report for the beginning of training camp and the Broncos have good depth at wide receiver.
-- Denver hasn't signed any of its draft class yet. That's not unusual -- most teams wait until just before training camp begins. The Broncos are no exception. Denver signed three of its draft picks in the final hours before its team meeting on the eve of training camp last year.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--S Chris Young (not tendered as RFA).
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
--WR Charlie Adams had a decent season as Denver's third receiver and will be back.
--LB Louis Green is a good special teams player who fills a role for the Broncos.
--S Sam Brandon: Potential UFA; terms unknown.
--LB Keith Burns: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--LB Patrick Chukwurah: UFA; terms unknown.
--RB Ron Dayne: UFA; 3 yrs, terms unknown.
--DE John Engelberger: Potential UFA; 3 yrs, $750,000 SB.
--LS Mike Leach: UFA; 4 yrs, terms unknown.
--OT Matt Lepsis: Potential UFA; $25M/4 yrs, SB unknown.
--DT Demetrin Veal: ERFA; terms unknown.
--DT Gerard Warren: UFA; 6 yrs, terms unknown.
--DE Kenard Lang: FA Browns; $5.9M/3 yrs, $900,000 RB; 2006 cap: $1.9M.
--CB Willie Middlebrooks: FA; terms unknown.
--WR Javon Walker: Trade Packers.
--LB Nate Webster: UFA Bengals; $1.505M/2 yrs, $200,000 SB; 2006 cap: $685,000.
--RB Mike Anderson (released).
--DE Marco Coleman (retired).
--TE Wesley Duke (released).
--DT Monsanto Pope: UFA Jets; $625,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB.
--DE Trevor Pryce (released).
--TE Jeb Putzier (released).