News from Dove Valley – Notes and InfoMay 17, 2007
As expected, with the commencement of Denver’s first OTA days, we once again have news and info flowing out of Dove Valley! Here are some things of interest – in no particular order.
Denver’s missing some of their leaders from last year. Along with departed 2006 defensive team captain Al Wilson, offensive captain Rod Smith won’t be participating in drills during this week’s “Quarterback Camp.” Off-season hip surgery has kept him off the field, but not out of work. He has been working out (in rehab) at Dove Valley and at the practices talking and encouraging the players. He reports that his recovery is ahead of schedule.
“I’m just going day by day. I can’t even jog right now, but you know what? Next week, I might be (able to). The body is weird, man. Everybody’s body is different so you can’t put together a schedule and say, ‘You’re ready by this day.’ I wish we would know that.”
— Rod Smith 5/17/07
“Rod is a competitor; he’ll get out here as soon as he can. We’re hoping to have him out by the start of training camp. That’s our goal – that the first time we start (regular) practices, he’s ready to go.”
— Mike Shanahan 5/16/07
So, how are the new leaders doing?
Well, all the talk around Dove Valley is how much the play book will change with strong-armed Jay Cutler behind center. While that makes great water-cooler material, I would seriously doubt Mike Shanahan will be throwing away Denver’s ‘establish the run first’ offensive strategy just because Cutler can throw down field. With that said, I’m sure their will be less emphasis on bootlegs and more deep passes called this year.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Jake Plummer, because he won 70 percent of our games and he did a lot of great things when he was here. But it’s a new era, and we have a quarterback with different skills.”
— Mike Shanahan 5/16/07
And what does Jay have to say? Cutler says he feel loose and comfortable at QB now. In fact, this year instead of learning from Jake, he’s the one teaching the system to new backup QB Patrick Ramsey.
Another new leader, DJ Williams, assumed his new role as Middle Linebacker… and that includes the role of warm-up leader. Starting off with the rookie Moss and then moving quickly to the entertaining antics of David Kircus. Williams did a fairly decent job — let’s hope his move to the middle of the defense is as smooth.
DenverBroncos.com story & video on Williams
Denver Post Story on the NEW play book for Cutler
Andrew Mason’s Blog entry with lots of pictures from camp
Denver’s Travis Henry was listed as 12th in Michael Harmon’s recent FoxSports.com article on the best backs for 2007. No surprise that LaDainian Tomlinson tops the list, but Travis at 12th?!? I would be stunned and wildly disappointed if Henry isn’t in the top 5 this year – if he wins the starting job outright.
“Henry was impressive in his efforts for the Titans last year, averaging 4.5 yards per carry with seven touchdowns. Some detractors point to his age as a negative. They neglect to factor in that Henry has carried the ball a total of 452 times over the past three seasons.”
–Michael Harmon 5/16/07
Injury updates were made today on a some of our guys. Offensive tackle Matt Lepsis (knee), safety Sam Brandon (knee) and wide receiver Brandon Stokley (Achilles tendon) will miss “Quarterback Camp.” The good news is that all three are on schedule to return fully by the regular season. Also, safety Nick Ferguson (knee) and running back Cecil Sapp (fractured fibula) have returned from their season-ending injuries in 2006 and will participated in all scheduled OTA’s.
“I welcome the challenge of giving that 100% positive role model to young kids. And not only being a role model, it’s going out and participating hands-on. Not only just giving money and hoping they do the right thing with it. You’ve got to go in there and work with it. …this Darrent Williams Teen Center is going to be my new passion, I think. I’m really excited about that.”
— Domonique Foxworth 5/17/07
Howard Griffith, Denver’s Super Bowl FB, will be providing the color commentary for University of Illinois football games broadcast on the Illinios Sports Network. Griffith is a Chicago native and set the NCAA record for touchdowns in a game with eight against Southern Illinois in 1990.
“He and his wife had already made a decision to return to Chicago from the Denver area, wanting for their two sons to be closer to their grandparents. When he learned of this opportunity in December, he decided to pursue it and push hard for the chance.”
— Mark Tupper 5/16/07