Denver Broncos News Blogs - Sunday, July 30

Check out the latest news from Day 3 of the Denver Broncos training camp in today's Broncos News Blogs.

News, notes and anecdotes from training camp- Denver Post – Mike Klis
07/30/2006 - Mike Bell can have the best training camp in the history of free-agent running backs and still may not shake up the tailback committee headed by Ron Dayne and Tatum Bell for the season opener (Sept. 11 at St. Louis). But as an undrafted rookie from the University of Arizona, the 6-foot, 220-pound Mike Bell can go a long way toward making the final 53-man roster and emerging as the No. 3 running back if he has more days like the past two. If he were a basketball player, he'd be the type who slashes to the basket, working himself open through all those big guys in the lane. Bell is quick and goes hard. "A lot of players see him making plays that they haven't seen for a while," said Broncos coach Mike Shanahan.

Hixon sidelined to heal left foot- Denver Post – Bill Williamson
07/30/2006 - The Broncos have suffered their first setback of training camp as rookie wide receiver Domenik Hixon will have to wait up to a month to show he is ready to contribute. Hixon's fractured left foot - suffered in March during his pro day at Akron - has not progressed as well as the team had hoped. There is a chance Hixon, a fourth-round pick, will require surgery and could miss the season. "Hopefully, that possibility is a long way off," Hixon said. "The coaches are giving me this time off to help my injury heal and make sure I don't re-break it. That's the big thing." Hixon said the injury is on the side of his foot, which has made healing difficult. "We just have to monitor it and see what happens," coach Mike Shanahan said.

Van Pelt meets challenge head-on- Denver Post – Bill Williamson
07/30/2006 - Bradlee Van Pelt was enjoying the mountains, giving himself a quick timeout from the Broncos' offseason workout program on the final Saturday in April. The serenity of the weekend quickly turned into an avalanche of uncertainty and shock. With one call from Denver to St. Louis, Van Pelt's world caved in ... With the 11th pick, acquired in a trade from St. Louis, the Broncos select Jay Cutler, quarterback, Vanderbilt. "I was disappointed," Van Pelt said. "Disappointed and blindsided."

Jeb who? Jackson turning heads- Denver Post – Jim Armstrong
07/30/2006 - With all the guaranteed money - a.k.a. signing bonuses - out there, many players have jobs locked up before NFL training camps start. Make no doubt, though, a guy can still win a job by turning the coaches' heads in practice. Case in point: Nate Jackson. Jackson, a former practice squadder, played in two games last year and didn't catch a ball. For his career, he has played parts of three NFL seasons and caught eight balls. Broncomaniacs, I give you your go-to tight end on third down.

A Pryce fix? Try Jackson for size - Denver Post – Mark Kiszla
07/30/2006 - Super Bowl or bust. The Broncos bandwagon is revved up and ready to roll. I know, because it was parked near the entrance of training camp, the rig's blue and orange paint job gleaming in the sun. We're undefeated, crowed coach Mike Shanahan, cracking jokes and never looser in all his years with your local NFL heroes. The Broncos, you get the feeling, are on the verge of something big. I hope it's not disappointment. This team can win the Super Bowl. Or it could go 9-7. To win it all, the Broncos need to discover a surprise - and I'm not talking about those NFL narcs knock, knock, knocking on punter Todd Sauerbrun's door at 8 in the morning.

Santa Claus' gift to Broncos- Denver Post – Mike Klis
07/30/2006 - Santa Claus, Ind. - The directions around the town Jay Cutler's dad helped build are simple and memorable. OK, so maybe Jack Cutler didn't exactly build Santa Claus, but he did pour the concrete on many of its sidewalks and driveways and a few parking lots. The cart paths at the critically acclaimed, if extremely long, local golf course were poured by Cutler & Son. Yes, the boy did his share of the labor on that one. Anyway, drive past Frosty's Pizza and Santa's Lodge on the right, ignore Old Thyme Liquors on the left, and pull into Christmas Lake Village. Once there, wave to the lady guarding the gates and roll through Melchior (one of the Three Wise Men) Drive until it reaches the lake lined with immaculate residential properties. Look across the water and admire the $2 million home built by the founder of the popular Holiday World theme park, turn right on Kaspar (another Wise Man), a left on Donder, a right on Holly Lane and there it is. The seeds of the Broncos' future.

CB aims to lay down the Law with Chiefs- Denver Post – Thomas George
07/30/2006 - In recent NFL offseasons, we have seen more teams respond directly to player acquisitions made by their divisional foes. It goes this way: You got that player - here is our answer. George Young, the deceased and longtime Giants general manager, used to have intriguing discussions with me about this. He was amazed how teams in the NFC East countered the menacing linebacker Lawrence Taylor. They began to draft or find left tackles, and even right ones, who could battle the roving, robust Taylor. Seldom could Taylor be blocked.

Knorr Comfortable in Old Setting- – J. Michael Moore
Sunday, July 30, 2006 - Before Friday morning Micah Knorr hadn't punted the ball as a Denver Bronco for nearly 20 months. Many things changed around Dove Valley during that span including the arrival (and departures) of dozens of players and the addition of several new coaches. But when the six-year NFL veteran walked into the facility, his No. 4 jersey hung in his locker like it had never left. "I stepped right in and everyone has been nice to me," said Knorr, who was with the team from October 2002 until December 2004. "When I stepped into the locker room my locker was ready to go. My helmet was the right size. I just walked right in and said, 'Hey, let's practice.'" Knorr signed with the Broncos Thursday night in the wake of Todd Sauerbrun's four-game suspension. Sauerbrun, last season's starting punter and kickoff specialist, will miss the first quarter of the regular season after testing positive for ephedra, a substance banned by the league.

Dove Valley Dispatches- – Andrew Mason
Sunday, July 30, 2006 - So far, so good for Dwayne "House" Carswell. The offensive lineman and erstwhile tight end has made it through all six training-camp practices so far through training camp, and even though he's endured some rough moments -- such as being beaten for a sack by Patrick Chukwurah in the "move-the-ball" segment of Sunday morning's practice -- simply being able to go through such rigorous work nine months after sustaining numerous internal injuries in an automobile accident is victory enough. "He's doing great," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "I'm just amazed at what he's been able to go through (in regards to) the rehab he's gone through to get himself in this position, and he's doing a great job practicing. It's really a testament to how hard he's worked in the offseason."

Day 2 Camp Report: Bell Ringing Up Carries- – Andrew Mason
Saturday, July 29, 2006 - For years, Mike Bell was a part of the group that gathered alongside the hillside at Dove Valley on Saturday. Like them, he was a Broncos fan, a die-hard, jersey-wearing, orange-bleeding citizen of Broncos country. He watched the team in his younger days growing up in Denver, and kept his allegiance after he and his family moved to Arizona. He still has his 1990s-model John Elway and Terrell Davis jerseys. But the past two days, that fan base of which he has long been a part cheered him. Bell, all grown up, made a series of nifty moves during his carries during Saturday's team drills that brought out hearty applause from the onlookers. What's more, he caught the attention of the boss.

WR Walker smiling again- Daily Camera – Ryan Thorburn
July 29, 2006 — Javon Walker is a happy camper again. The Broncos hope that translates into some sad AFC West Sundays in Kansas City and San Diego this fall. "You play your best football when you're happy," Walker said after his first training camp practice in a Denver uniform on Friday. "I'm happy right now. ... We've all seen what I can do when I'm happy." The last time Walker smiled after a practice was in 2004 when the talented wide receiver earned a trip to the Pro Bowl after catching 89 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns for Green Bay. After failing to renegotiate a new contract, Brett Favre's favorite target became a disgruntled Packers employee.

Dove Valley Days- Denver Post – Mike Kliss
Saturday, July 29, 2006 – The Broncos won't be afraid throwing slant patterns to their No. 2 receiver this year. Ashley Lelie wasn't much of a short-yardage receiver the past four years, but his replacement, Javon Walker, caught several slants in the Saturday morning no-tackle scrimmage.

Broncos camp fires are burning again- Rocky Mountain News – Jeff Legwold
Saturday, July 29, 2006 – For the first time since they walked off the field in January cloaked in the bitter taste of lost opportunity, the Broncos put the shoulder pads back on Friday to begin another trek into a season where they hope for a little more.

Bell is ready to cut to the chase, be No. 1 back- Rocky Mountain News – Jeff Legwold
Saturday, July 29, 2006 – One cut. There it is. Chisel it in stone in the Broncos playbook, for they are the words the team's running backs must live by. Seems Tatum Bell got the message. He saw the flow of the crowd in front of him Friday, made one cut and into the locker room he went, leaving the notepads and cameras swirling behind.

Past but present- Denver Post – Mike Klis
07/28/2006 - Dressed neatly and comfortably, carrying on in his easy manner, Pat Bowlen exudes no outward signs of lingering sorrow from the AFC championship game defeat. That was last season, and as the Broncos' owner sits behind his desk wearing a tan golf shirt and shorts, matching dark brown loafers and a perpetual tan, a new season is only hours away. It's when Bowlen speaks that his feelings about the Broncos' 34-17 meltdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers are laid out - firmly and directly.

Time to get crazy, campers- Denver Post – Nick Groke
07/28/2006 - There is an easy way to pinpoint the Broncos superfan. Any schmo can watch a game on TV. And if you happen to get tickets to a game at Invesco Field at Mile High, you're still just one of nearly 80,000 fans. The true superfans are those who drag themselves to preseason camp, another round of which begins today at the team's Dove Valley headquarters in Englewood (13655 Broncos Parkway, 3 miles east of Interstate 25 on Arapahoe Road). Although, keep in mind, back in the good ol' days, the true superfan had to trek to fields at Northern Colorado in Greeley. Today's so-called superfans have it easy at the posh team headquarters.

Smith, team "shocked" if Lelie appears- Denver Post – Mike Klis and Bill Williamson
07/28/2006 - For the first time since Trevor Pryce in 2000, the Broncos have a player under contract holding out from training camp. To no surprise, Broncos receiver Ashley Lelie did not show up for the first day of training camp meetings Thursday at the team's Dove Valley headquarters. Lelie, who has one year left on a five-year contract that pays him $1.3 million, is working out in Los Angeles. He is not expected to show up today for the first day of workouts, or anytime soon. "I'd be shocked if he came in here," said Rod Smith, who had teamed with Lelie as the Broncos' receiver duo the past four seasons.

Sauerbrun remorseful for "bonehead mistake"- Denver Post – Mike Klis
07/28/2006 - The knock, Todd Sauerbrun said, came at 8 a.m. Uh-oh. Those dang-blasted NFL drug testers again. The day before, Sauerbrun, the Broncos' punter coming off a fine season, felt he needed some pep for an offseason workout. He took a supplement that contained ephedrine, a stimulant listed as a banned substance not only by the NFL, but just about every athletic and governing body in America since the deaths of Minnesota Vikings tackle Korey Stringer in 2001 and Baltimore pitcher Steve Bechler in 2003. Sauerbrun said he wasn't sure if the supplement contained ephedra, but he knew enough to understand that whatever substance he was taking was supposed to clear his system within 36 to 48 hours.

Cutler ready to hit field- Denver Post – Bill Williamson
07/28/2006 - As Rod Smith playfully flexed his muscles for teammates in the Dove Valley parking lot Thursday afternoon, Jay Cutler waited. As Keith Burns showed up in camouflage shorts and gold boots, Cutler stayed away. As the 2006 Broncos officially began training camp with a mandatory 4:30 p.m. meeting, Cutler, the potential future of the franchise, sat in a nearby park, awaiting word he could join his teammates. "It was a long day waiting around and seeing all my teammates go to work," Cutler said. "But we got it done, and that's the most important thing. I told my agent I wanted it done by (Thursday night), or this morning at the latest.

Shortcuts usually lead to disgrace- Denver Post – Mark Kiszla
07/28/2006 - When the scoreboard tells lies, we all feel cheated. Our faith in a feel-good sports story gets run over by Tour de France champion Floyd Landis, pedaling as fast as he can to dodge allegations of doping. Slugger Barry Bonds takes a bat to the wide-eyed innocence of any child who desperately wants to believe home run magic is more than something that can be bought in a bottle. Just when we think the craving for a competitive edge cannot possibly grow more ridiculous, along comes a vain Denver punter named Todd Sauerbrun, so afraid of being fat he kicks the integrity of his NFL franchise in the gut. It hurts. As fans, we keep coming back, because we are hopelessly addicted to the thrill of sports. But how much more of this drug abuse can we take?

Sides standing firm- Rocky Mountain News – Jeff Legwold
July 28, 2006 - The Broncos are officially in. Ashley Lelie is still out. And coach Mike Shanahan formally laid out the ground rules Thursday for a resolution of a dispute between the veteran receiver and the team that still doesn't appear on track for one. "If you want to be part of the team, you want to work hard, be part of the team," Shanahan said. "If you don't want to be part of the team, don't be part of the team, keep on doing what you're doing, hold out. "But our guys aren't going to worry about someone who doesn't want to be here. They aren't going to worry about it because they know that guy is not going to win you a championship. If a guy wants to be here, get your rear end into camp and let's go have some fun and compete."

Remorseful Sauerbrun out four games- Rocky Mountain News – Lee Rasizer
July 28, 2006 - The Broncos got a welcome speech upon their arrival at training camp. And an apology, too. Todd Sauerbrun's four-game ban for ephedra use was upheld this week by the NFL. He planned to express his remorse to teammates as they gathered for the summer grind Thursday. "I really feel sick about about it," Sauerbrun said before the inaugural camp meeting took place. The decision to keep the four- game ban in place despite an appeal from Sauerbrun's Denver-based lawyer, Harvey Steinberg, was not surprising given the punter's admission he "was looking for a lot of caffeine" and "had an idea" a supplement he had taken as a pick-me-up was banned. Sauerbrun also admitted he mistakenly thought taking the supplement, which he stressed was a one-time thing, "was a one-hit and out" type of substance in terms of appearing on drug testing.

Cutler, Broncos get deal done- Rocky Mountain News – Jeff Legwold
July 28, 2006 - Broncos rookie quarterback Jay Cutler has been described by those who know him as a "football guy." And Thursday, he showed he's all business about his game. Cutler and his agent, Bus Cook, did all they could to get Cutler on the field for his first training camp practice this morning. "That was important to me," Cutler said. "I wanted to be out there." Cook and the Broncos finished a six-year deal potentially worth $48 million for Cutler early Thursday evening, and Cutler was at the team's Dove Valley complex at night. Players must sign a contract before they can attend team functions. The deal is expected to include between $10.5 million and $11 million in guaranteed money in the form of roster, option and signing bonuses. The sixth year is a team option. Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist said earlier this week he believed the Broncos had researched their offer to Cutler carefully and that it was "extremely fair."

Shanahan to WR Lelie: 'We're holding the cards'- Daily Camera – Ryan Thorburn
July 28, 2006 — The list includes young and old, famous and infamous. Mike Sherrard, Willie Green and Eddie Kennison were on it after being signed as free agents. Marcus Nash, Chris Cole and Darius Watts were on it after getting drafted. Robert Brooks, Andre Reed and Jerry Rice were on it after coming to Denver looking for one more shot at glory. Every year a spotlight seems to shine on the Denver Broncos' search for a reliable No. 3 wide receiver. It appears that returning to the list of candidates isn't something Ashley Lelie has any interest in doing.

Pre-Camp Notes- – Andrew Mason
Friday, July 28, 2006 - Head Coach Mike Shanahan wasn't exactly fretting about the idea of Ashley Lelie not showing up on time for training camp. "I'm just going to wait until I see if he reports to camp. If he doesn't report I'm going to treat him like he's sprained his ankle," Shanahan said. "He's got a contract and he's obligated to be here. We're holding all the cards." Being under contract means that Lelie would be subject to "some healthy fines" if he's not present at practice on Friday morning. Shanahan did say that he'd communicated with Lelie "a couple of days ago," but the chat didn't yield much from Lelie's end. "I'm not going to relay the conversation that we had. I can say that he didn't say a whole lot," Shanahan said. As he did earlier in the offseason, Shanahan emphasized that Lelie has the opportunity to gain a starting slot -- if he shows up for practice.

Sauerbrun Discusses Suspension- – Andrew Mason
Thursday, July 27, 2006 - The Broncos will have to find someone else to handle punts and kickoffs for the first four games of the regular season after Todd Sauerbrun's appeal of his suspensiton for a positive ephedra test failed. "We appealed everything. It didn't really have much of a fighting chance," Sauerbrun said. "We went down fighting and it didn't really work out for us." Sauebrun said the appeal took place "two days ago." While he will be able to participate in training camp and preseason games, he will not be allowed to spend time with the team from the week leading into the regular-season opener at St. Louis until after the Week 5 contest against the Baltimore Ravens.

Broncos punter loses appeal of suspension- Mercury News – Arnie Stapleton, AP
Thu, Jul. 27, 2006 - Todd Sauerbrun says he's the victim of bad timing and his own foolishness. The Denver Broncos' punter lost his appeal this week of his four-game suspension for using the banned dietary supplement ephedra in a misguided attempt to lose weight and gain gusto for his workouts. "I told him that I was very disappointed in him," coach Mike Shanahan said Thursday as the Broncos gathered for training camp. "We took a chance on him. Of all the things, ephedra! What it does is make you lose weight. He's the only guy on the team which I don't care if he's fat. I don't care if he's 30 pounds overweight. All you've got to do is punt the ball. Kick it into the end zone."

Ranking the offensive lines, team-by-team- – Doug Farrar
Thu, Jul. 27, 2006 - A punter (!) suspended for Ephedra use. A receiver who won't attend minicamps. The continuation of the Cleveland-to-Denver D-Line Expressway. The unending game of musical chairs at running back. If not for its offensive line, the Denver Broncos might not know any manner of roster stability. Twelve-year veteran center Tom Nalen signed a three-year extension in the off-season — his absence would have been a major blow to the team. Nalen is among the best pass-blockers at his position. Joining Nalen among the ranks of the re-signed was LT Matt Lepsis, an elite lineman himself. RT George Foster, a three-year veteran, is a massive earthmover at 6'5" and 338 pounds. He has started every game at right tackle since the beginning of the 2004 season, though he's best known for the dive block that ended the season of Cincinnati DT Tony Williams in October of 2004.

Clock now ticking on Lelie, Broncos- Rocky Mountain News – Jeff Legwold
July 27, 2006 – As of this afternoon, the meter officially will be running on receiver Ashley Lelie's standoff with the Broncos. Broncos players report today to the team's Dove Valley complex for training camp, with the first mandatory gathering a team meeting late this afternoon.

Open Mike- Denver Post – Thomas George
July 27, 2006 – In Mike Shanahan's view, he has become a part of us. We have become a part of him. Broncos players report for Shanahan's 12th training camp as head coach here today. Twelve seasons as head coach is perpetuity in the NFL. Look around and see the churning change at the position that colors NFL camps.

Better offense reason to relax- Denver Post – Bill Williamson
July 27, 2006 – Mike Shanahan sat with his feet kicked up on his desk Wednesday morning, hours away from his 12th season as the Broncos coach. The man is relaxed. It's as if he knows something. As if he's got all the pieces he wants.

Lelie in position for larger fines- Denver Post – Bill Williamson
July 27, 2006 – While Mike Shanahan vows not to discuss Ashley Lelie if the unhappy wide receiver stays away from training camp beginning today, the Broncos coach stated a clear stance toward Lelie on Wednesday: He will be fined for each day of training camp he misses.

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