Denver Broncos News Blogs - Thursday, Aug. 3

Javon Walker is happy to be with the Denver Broncos. Also in today's news blogs - former first round wide receiver pick Rashaun Woods from the San Diego Chargers fails the Broncos physical, Rod Smith improves with age and Jason Elam hopes to have Jake Plummer as his holer this season.

Walker excited to be in DenverBy John Clayton- – John Clayton
Aug. 2, 2006 - Javon Walker's heaven is Ashley Lelie's hell. What Walker happily accepted in being the Broncos' go-to receiver has come at Lelie's expense. Years from now, Walker and Lelie will have plenty of time to reminisce about two of the most interesting trade demands of the past year. Walker wanted out of Green Bay because the team didn't want to open negotiations on a contract extension. Lelie, simply wants out of Denver, and his unwavering position is what opened the door for Walker's trade to Denver. "Everything works out for the best," Walker said. "I have no regrets. I'm on a great team that is reloading to win that second game in the playoffs, that championship game."

Broncos Training Camp Report: Aug. 3- CBS4 – Reggie Rivers
Aug 3, 2006 - The gray clouds that hovered over Dove Valley Thursday morning gave the Denver Broncos players their coolest practice so far in training camp, CBS4 Broncos Insider Reggie Rivers reports. The sky eventually made good on its threat of rain and the last 30 minutes of practice was peppered with intermittent drizzle. Official attendance Thursday morning was 1,098. The fans sitting on the west side saw Tatum Bell race through a gaping hole during team drills and outrun everyone on defense to the end zone for a 60-yard touchdown.

Dove Valley Dispatches- – Andrew Mason
Thursday, August 3, 2006 - Rashaun Woods to Denver? It isn't going to happen now. Tuesday night, it was reported via numerous media outlets that the Broncos had claimed the 2004 first-round pick off the waiver wire. However, he will not become the newest Bronco after he failed a physical Wednesday afternoon. "He's had a hamstring (injury), so we'll see how that is, and if he is all right, he'll be out here practicing and competing," Shanahan said Thursday morning, hours before the results of Woods' physical determined that he would not be joining the Broncos. That means a three-way reunion of former Oklahoma State stars Woods, Darrent Williams and Tatum Bell will not take place, leaving the injury-plagued Woods still searching for an NFL home. "You've got to be able to come out and practice, too, and if you're injured, you can't do that," Williams said.

Bell must prove he can handle the load at running back- Sterling Journal Advocate – Frank Schwab
Thursday, August 03, 2006 - Tatum Bell figures he is running out of time to become the Denver Broncos' starting halfback. "It's my third year, no more excuses," Bell said. "Do or die, basically." Two years after injuries marred his rookie season and a year after he couldn't win the starting job from Mike Anderson, Bell is behind Ron Dayne on the depth chart but splitting time with him on the first-team offense during training camp. "I'm trying to take this thing over," Bell said. "It's open. I'm running with the (first team), so it's open. It ain't mine yet, but I feel like it's around the corner. I just have to keep my head and come to practice every day."

Dove Valley Days: Aug. 3- Denver Post – Mike Kliss
8/3/06 – Among the morning-workout heroes were cornerback Domonique Foxworth and running back Tatum Bell. Foxworth was terrific in a three-play sequence on goal-to-go situations. On back-to-back fade patterns, he leaped to knock passes away from the much taller Brandon Marshall and Darius Watts. Foxworth then stepped in front of a curl pattern at the goal line to intercept Jake Plummer and return it the other way.

Rashaun Woods fails physical- Denver Post – Bill Williamson
8/3/06 – The Rashaun Woods era in Denver never began. Woods failed his physical with the team on Thursday morning. He has had hamstring issues and was struggling with the injury before he was waived by San Diego on Tuesday.

Smith playing the Fame Game- Denver Post – Mike Kliss
8/3/06 – If aging and all its punishing affects weren't so consuming, perhaps more people would congratulate Rod Smith on becoming an old man. "They wouldn't know how old I was if you didn't keep telling them," Smith said.

Elam prefers Plummer as holder- Denver Post – Bill Williamson
8/3/06 – Ask Broncos kicker Jason Elam - if he had his druthers - who he would like to be his holder this year. It doesn't take him long to answer. "Jake," Elam said immediately on Wednesday. "I want Jake."

'Big Money' player for Broncos- Rocky Mountain News – Lee Rasizer
8/3/06 – It was not going particularly well for the Broncos offense during a team period earlier during training camp, and defensive tackle Gerard Warren was letting the group know, just in case it was unaware.

Camp Day 6 Report: A Rookie's Progress- – Andrew Mason
Wednesday, August 2, 2006 - The Broncos knew Tony Scheffler could catch the football when they utilized a second-round pick on him. But as training camp arrived and shoulder pads went on, the $64,000 question regarding Scheffler was a simple one -- can he block? "(He's) pretty good blocking and that's where you have to keep on making strides -- in that area, because he didn't block a lot in college," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "The effort is there, and the technique will come in time." It will come with daily improvement -- which Scheffler quickly recognized was crucial to his hopes of becoming an immediate contributor in an offense that has frequently features two tight ends in its myriad formations.

Webster Looking to Continue Rebound from Injury- – J. Michael Moore
Wednesday, August 2, 2006 - There was a point in Fall 2004 that Broncos linebacker Nate Webster had to watch football games from his couch. He could hardly move around his house after suffering a torn patella tendon. The former Cincinnati Bengal and Tampa Bay Buccaneer suffered the injury in September 2004, had it surgically repaired and was ready for action in Week 16 the following season. A minor tear in the tendon during rehab setback his recovery for nearly another year, but it didn't dampen his spirits. Before his injury, Webster had missed only one game in his professional career. He was also leading the Bengals in tackles through the first three games of 2004. He still feels his best football is ahead of him.

Broncos claim Woods off waivers- Rocky Mountain News
August 2, 2006 — The Broncos today claimed former first-round pick Rashaun Woods after he had been waived by San Diego, another move designed to shore up a wide receiver position weakened by Ashley Lelie's holdout. Woods was taken 31st overall by San Francisco in the 2004 draft out of Oklahoma State.

Leading by example- Rocky Mountain News
Wednesday August 2, 2006 - Rod Smith sensed the potential trouble as soon as the officials signaled touchdown midway through the Denver Broncos' training-camp practice on Monday morning. Wide receiver Javon Walker had just snared a scoring pass from quarterback Jake Plummer, snatching the ball over the middle between two Broncos defensive backs, and now Walker raised his arms as the fans cheered wildly, encouraging them to appreciate the catch even more. Smith understood that it was a spontaneous display of emotion from Walker. But Smith also feared that it could be taken the wrong way, which is why he quickly moved to extinguish any doubts.

Dove Valley Dispatches- - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, August 2, 2006 - Rod Smith did not make it through the entire morning practice after he "tweaked" his hamstring, Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. Caution will be the watchword in evaluating his potential return. "Rod's smart to know that with a hamstring, there is nothing you can do about it except rest it, and we might have to get him an extra day," Shanahan said. "Instead of being two days out, it might have to be three or one might have to be two. I really don't know how bad it is. Greek (Broncos Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos) said it was just a tweak, but it could be a little more serious than that, but I don't think it will be too long, knowing Rod."

Broncos giving Meadows chance to make return- Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
August 2, 2006 - There was no doubt when Adam Meadows walked away from football in 2004 because of the physical toll the NFL had taken. He apparently feels just as strong now that the time is right to attempt a comeback. "This boat only goes down the river one time," the veteran offensive tackle said after completing his first two practices with the Broncos on Tuesday. "I've got to get on the boat. Let's go down the river until it won't go anymore." Meadows had a second surgery to repair a cyst, torn labrum and nerve damage to his left shoulder after starting his sixth straight season on the Indianapolis Colts offensive line in 2003. The next year he signed with the Carolina Panthers but stepped away because the shoulder was bothersome and he felt he wasn't earning his keep.

There's plenty of gas left in Lynch's tank- Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
August 2, 2006 - The whispers are a scream. A shrill and unrelenting scream. At least, it seems that way sometimes to John Lynch. Because in football years, 23 is young, 28 is veteran and 34, well, it's downright gray around the temples, a hit-the-buffet-early deal. And Lynch, who just happens to be 34 (he turns 35 in September), knows the whispers are out there. "And I get tired of it," he said Tuesday. "(Buccaneers linebacker) Derrick Brooks gave me a call when he was checking into camp. We were both talking that you're not the same as you were 10 years ago and that, sure, there are some things that are different. But there are just as many things you do better, like you understand how to take care of yourself a lot better. But he was asking me, 'Do you feel as good as you've ever felt?' I said, 'Absolutely.'

'D' no longer stands for deception- Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
August 2, 2006 - The Broncos defense is planning to go back to basics. The blitz-heavy scheme employed last season helped carry the team to the AFC Championship Game. But after getting gutted on third down that afternoon, coordinator Larry Coyer was convinced the unit going forward needed the ability to line up in a base 4-3 front and beat people without a heavy dose of deception and extra players flying toward the line of scrimmage, particularly against the league's top teams. The Steelers advanced to the Super Bowl using a simple three-deep zone that offered few cracks. In recent years, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have succeeded without many bells and whistles on defense. Coyer sees the same possibilities with precise execution from his group, too, using base personnel.

Millions no big deal to lineman- Denver Post – Mike Klis
08/02/2006 - Think about how much fun could be had with $2.5 million. Adam Meadows already had it deposited in his bank account. He could have built a new home. Bought a new wardrobe of blue jeans and work boots. Funded the kids' college education. All he had to do was take his badly damaged left shoulder and plant himself on the Carolina Panthers' injured reserve list and the money was his. But nooooooo. A man of conscience, Meadows gave all $2.5 million back to the Panthers. His shoulder wouldn't allow him to play right tackle the way he had in six previous seasons as a starting offensive lineman for the Indianapolis Colts, so he retired. That was during training camp in 2004. Two years later, Meadows is trying to play in the NFL again, this time for the Broncos. For far less money - about $2.1 million less - than the signing bonus he could have kept from Carolina.

Rookie looks like big catch- Denver Post – Bill Williamson
08/02/2006 - Pittsburgh native Brandon Marshall and his trainer, Darnell Harrison, were talking all week leading up to the AFC championship game between the Steelers and the Broncos last January. Harrison, a big Broncos fan, kept telling Marshall the Steelers were in big trouble. "Yeah, whatever," the wide receiver from Central Florida would tell his trainer between workouts. When the Steelers advanced to the Super Bowl and the Broncos went into the offseason looking for answers - and new blood - Marshall laughed while Harrison pondered.

Appeals court sacks 2004 ruling mandating Broncos sale- Denver Post – Greg Griffin
08/02/2006 - An appeals court delivered two victories to Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen on Tuesday in a long-running legal battle with former team owner Edgar Kaiser. The three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Bowlen does not have to sell 10 percent of the football team to Kaiser, as a lower court had ordered. In 2004, a federal-court jury found that Bowlen violated his 1984 contract with Kaiser when he offered to sell part of the team to former Broncos quarterback John Elway. Kaiser had claimed he was entitled to the first right of refusal in such an arrangement.

Dove Valley Days, August 2- Denver Post – Bill Williamson
08/02/2006 - In another long workout - it lasted about two hours, 30 minutes - the defense made up ground on the offense overall, a day after the offense was the bright light of the work day. The defense seemed to set the tone this morning before a special team workout in the afternoon. The unit - a turnover machine in 2005 - came up with some big plays. Cornerback Darrent Williams took a Bradlee Van Pelt pass back for a touchdown on a perfect read. The play was reminiscent of Williams' game-sealing interception return for a TD last year at Oakland. This is not to say the offense didn't have its moments. New star receiver Javon Walker continued to make startling plays. He had a wonderful one-handed grab over cornerback Domonique Foxworth. Walker had no business making that play. But he is showing that he is both healthy and as advertised. Undrafted rookie Brian Clark also made a spectacular, diving one-handed grab in the morning session.

Kircus serving notice- Longmont Daily Times-Call – Bill Wilson
8/1/2006 — Three months of wearing a Subway visor did not deteriorate David Kircus' confidence. Taking orders, slopping mayonnaise and mopping floors at the sandwich chain last winter did not prevent the Denver Broncos receiver from looking Champ Bailey in the eyes Monday, and winking. If anything, the days he spent in Detroit splitting his time between lifting weights and slicing bread after he was waived by the Lions have made him more convinced his place is in the NFL. And regardless of the fact some of his teammates haven't even heard of him, he could be the most self-assured player at Dove Valley this year.

Training-camp postcard: Broncos- – Jeffri Chadiha
Tuesday August 1, 2006 1:49AM; Updated: Tuesday August 1, 2006 - It's been billed as a competition, but the talk is that Darrent Williams should beat out Dominique Foxworth for the starting right cornerback spot opposite Champ Bailey. Williams is a more physical player (even though he's three inches smaller than the 5-foot-11 Foxworth) and he also has the explosiveness to cover ground when the ball is in the air. That said, Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan says both will be playing plenty. "I see them both as starting cornerbacks," says Shanahan, who drafted both players in the 2005 draft. "We see so many multiple-receiver sets that they could both be on the field when the games begin."

No monkey business - Van Pelt working to remain Broncos' backup QB- Lamar Daily News – Pat Graham
Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - The invisible monkey won't leave Bradlee Van Pelt alone. It drives the Denver Broncos backup quarterback. The figment of Van Pelt's imagination represents everyone who has ever told him he couldn't be a quarterback. The invisible monkey is constantly whispering in his ear that if he doesn't pick it up a notch, he's not going to be here. Your mind knows the invisible monkey is there on your back, your body knows it's there,'' Van Pelt said. "I go to sleep with it, come to work with it, I can't shake it. He's with you everywhere, even when you're walking around town. I can't shake it. He won't go away.''

Former Ram runs away with Broncos fullback job- Pueblo Chieftan – Pat Graham
Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - The only person holding Cecil Sapp back was himself. Mental mistakes were keeping the Denver Broncos fullback from progressing. He was trying to learn three positions - running back, fullback and some tight end - and struggling to grasp the terminology of all. So Denver made his life easier by telling Sapp to focus only on being a fullback. Just like that, the former Colorado State standout shot up the depth chart. Sapp's currently running with the first team. ‘‘It was tough on me,'' Sapp said Monday of learning all three positions. ‘‘It's easier for me to be focused on fullback.'' Sapp found out he had taken over the job from incumbent Kyle Johnson during July's mini-camp. Running backs coach Bobby Turner broke the news to him. The Broncos liked the way Sapp could catch the ball out of the backfield, block and run the ball on occasion.

Broncos' coaches show they care- Pueblo Chieftan – Pat Graham
Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - - Broncos tight end coach Tim Brewster says he yells because he cares. ‘‘He must really care about me then,'' rookie Tony Scheffler said with a grin. So far in camp, Scheffler has heard Brewster scream his name for fumbling after a hit, running a route wrong, going down too easily after a catch and for missing a block. ‘‘He demands perfection and right now I'm not there,'' said Scheffler, who was drafted in the second round. ‘‘I'm going to get yelled at and there are going to be things I screw up. As long as I cut those mistakes each practice, I think that will be good.'' The Broncos are counting on the rookie to fill the void left by the release of Jeb Putzier, who averaged 36.5 catches a year over the last two seasons. Scheffler needs to get up to speed in a hurry if he wants to contribute in a tight-end friendly offense that was ranked fifth in the NFL in total yards last season.

Hunger for Title Means First Quenching Thirst- – Don Schwart
Tuesday, August 1, 2006 - An NFL training camp is anything but ‘no sweat' for players pushing through two-a-day practices. Hydration becomes a major factor for football players of any level – let alone 300-pound pros butting heads in full pads during the afternoon sun of a 90-degree day. In order to make sure the Broncos are always playing at peak physical condition, the team's athletic staff places high importance on hydration. "Players and coaches at all levels of football and other sports need to take heat illnesses seriously," Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos said. "This is a preventable situation and easy steps like allowing for acclimatization, tailoring the intensity of practice to environmental conditions and providing access to properly proportioned sports drinks can make all the difference." A key component of keeping hydrated is to drink fluids before feeling thirsty. Thirst, notes Antonopulos, is often a sign that a player is already dehydrated.

Camp Day 5 Report: A Happy Return- – Andrew Mason

Tuesday, August 1, 2006 - One can forgive Adam Meadows for being even the slightest bit disoriented Tuesday afternoon. He'd just completed his first NFL practice day in two years -- and had done so in a city in which he first arrived only days earlier. As he spoke with a hastily gathered gaggle of media -- "It's like T.O. or something," he deadpanned as he prepared to answer questions -- he cited everything he embraced about joining the Broncos: the city, the team's status as a perennial contender, and of course, the majestic mountain backdrop to the entire metropolitan area. But from where the Broncos practice, you can't quite see the mountains. Nearby rolling hills and numerous trees block the view, leaving the strong, powerful Meadows temporarily just another Colorado newcomer who'd lost his bearings.

Revised plans for rush hour- Denver Post – Mike Kliss
8/1/06– In life, some concepts defy all human rationale, yet are nevertheless so. Concepts like more money brings bigger problems. When needing to hurry up, it helps to slow down. Ignorance is bliss. Redheads have more fun.

Walker can do without Detroit- Denver Post – Bill Willimson
8/1/06– Javon Walker was the star of the show Monday morning in the Broncos' longest, most intense practice of training camp. Will we get a chance to see the former Pro Bowl wide receiver do more of the same in Denver's preseason opener Aug. 11?

Plummer in charge- Rocky Mountain News – Lee Rasizer
8/1/06 – Jake Plummer emerged from the Broncos training facility for his first camp interview Thursday, and as he was ushered to a raised platform, his arrival was accompanied by an announcement. "Jake, guys," a team staffer bellowed. "You guys got all excited," Plummer responded playfully to the media horde. "You thought he said Jay."

Standoff of Lelie, Broncos drags on- Rocky Mountain News – Jeff Legwold
8/1/06 – The Broncos have fined receiver Ashley Lelie $70,000 for missing five days of training camp - a mandatory team meeting followed by four days of practice through Monday - and the dispute doesn't appear any closer to a resolution.

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