Archive for the ‘Chad Mustard’ Category

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Some things to watch for vs Dallas

August 18, 2007

Unfortunately, I don’t live in Denver or Colorado or any state nearby in fact. That means I don’t have local TV coverage of the Bronco’s. And that means I won’t be able to see our second preseason game tonight against the Dallas Cowboys until tomorrow afternoon when the NFL Network replays the game.

And since I want to watch the game before reading anyone else’s opinions or analysis, I will be imposing an internet-ban on myself from tonight until tomorrow evening. That means no surfing the net, checking email or blogging for 24 hours… ouch!

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TRAINING CAMP: DAY 10

August 8, 2007

NOTES AND NEWS FROM DAY TEN OF TRAINING CAMP:

ouchThe sidelines at today’s practices were full and overflowing. Including veterans who are on one-a-days, the Broncos had 27 players watching rather than playing this afternoon. That’s over a fourth of our roster!

I am certainly not being craven about the situation. This is normal for training camp, and our list isn’t much longer than most of the other teams currently at camp. I know you won’t hear much more than who isn’t at practice from most of the mainstream media, but that’s because of the old “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality.

Actually, all of the media’s focus on the team’s injuries may be a good thing. Jay Cutler has probably experienced reduced media attention as they instead have beaten to death the subject of our depth at wide receiver for example. And D.J. Williams has also likely been less harassed by the media hounds in recent days as they have prefered to talk endlessly about rookie injuries (like Jarvis Moss’s knee injury scare).

All this media coverage of our injuries, also keeps expectations low leading into the season (or at least the preseason). I’d much rather let the media discuss how great the Colt, Patriots and Chargers are going to be this season, while ignoring our strong points and chatting about our camp injury report.

In the end, all these injuries and one-a-day sessions are completely normal. Nothing we’ve heard so far should have fans concerns. We’ll have a great team when the season starts and the roster is down to 53 players. For now, we just have to humor the media’s coverage of the latest bruise on John Lynch’s shin, David Kircus’s stubbed toe and Travis Henry’s new hangnail.

 

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ATTENDANCE:

The following players were held out of practice today due to injury: Louis Green (left knee), Ben Hamilton (concussion), Quentin Harris (right knee), Warrick Holdman (spinal cord concussion), Matt Lepsis (groin), Brandon Marshall (quadriceps), Glenn Martinez (right thigh), Marquay McDaniel (left hamstring), Rod Smith (left hip), Brandon Stokley (left thigh), Lamont Reid and Doug Nienhuis (both injured in NFL Europa).

And the following players participated in the morning session, but were held out of the afternoon work: Travis Henry, Champ Bailey, Nick Ferguson, Dre’ Bly, John Lynch, Ian Gold, Gerard Warren, Tom Nalen, Jacob Rogers, Stephen Alexander, Daniel Graham, Ebenezer Ekuban, Sam Adams, Jarvis Moss.

Hamza Abdullah also sat out of the afternoon practice, but he was held out due to a slight injury in the morning session.

Tony Scheffler practiced again today, although he still split off after a while to continue his rehab.

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TRAINING CAMP: DAY 5

August 2, 2007

NOTES AND NEWS FROM DAY FIVE OF TRAINING CAMP:

Warrick HoldmanDay Five is in the books, and it came with quite a scare. Warrick Holdman collided with teammate Mike Bell near the sideline early in the morning session. He suffered what is being called a ‘spinal cord concussion’ from the collision.

“He went numb for about 30 or 40 seconds out there and he got his feeling back — which is a good sign. I don’t know for sure, but normally when somebody gets that feeling back, it’s usually positive.”

— Mike Shanahan 8/2/07

While it’s a good sign, the team took no chances and Holdman was strapped to a back board, loaded into an ambulance and taken to Sky Ridge Medical Center. He will remain there over night for observation.

The eerie part of this report is how familiar it is to the one that followed the Seattle game when Al Wilson was injured. As both LB’s Al Wilson and John Mobley had their careers end due to this type of injury, it makes everyone involved concerned about Holdman tonight.

On a lighter side, Travis Henry may be the leading contender for the #1 RB spot, but that doesn’t mean he’s above the law. Today he was punished with running laps for jumping offsides during practice. And that’s not the first time our RB star has done laps after a camp session. The first time was because he wasn’t standing in the right place.

“They see it as you’ve got to pay attention to the little things. I respect that.” — Travis Henry 8/2/07

…well, you’ve been warned — No getting out of line boys and girls, or you’ll answer to Coach Shanahan! 🙂

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ATTENDANCE:

In addition to Holdman leaving the field on a stretcher, here are the other camp injuries…

WR Marquay McDaniel was held out again due to his hamstring injury. Chad Mustard was out with a right hamstring injury. Glenn Martinez was also out again with a right thigh injury. Marcus Thomas joined the group on the sideline today due to a left calf injury. Brandon Marshall, Tony Scheffler, Rod Smith, Lamont Reid and Doug Niehuis were all still out. Sam Adams did not practice today because of a right knee injury but Shanahan said it was a part of the plan for Adams to sit out.

“He’s all right. It’s a game plan that we have—we’re going to make sure he’s in shape. We know he can play the game. When he played the first couple practices, he’s been very impressive but we don’t want to overdo it as well.”

— Mike Shanahan 8/2/07

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OFFENSIVE LINE UPS: THURSDAY

den-logo.jpg Wide Outs:
Walker and Brandon Stokley ran with the 1st Team.
den-logo.jpg Tight Ends:
No real change from the last few days.
den-logo.jpg Running Backs:
Again, no change. Travis Henry with Cecil Sapp running second. Mike Bell, Andre Hall and Young following behind.
den-logo.jpg O-line:
1st Team O-line was unchanged: LT Matt Lepsis, LG Ben Hamilton, C Tom Nalen, RG Chris Kuper and RT Erik Pears.

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DEFENSIVE LINE UPS: THURSDAY

den-logo.jpg D-line:
* 1st Team D-line stayed the same as the last couple of days with Jimmy Kennedy work in Sam Adams spot: DE’s Ebenezer Ekuban and John Engelberger, DT’s Gerard Warren and Jimmy Kennedy.

DIME PACKAGE NOTE: Unchanged from yesterday: Ekuban and Warren were the tackles with ends Jarvis Moss and Elvis Dumervil.

den-logo.jpg Linebackers:
* 1st Team LB’s were: D.D. Lewis took his turn at SAM today, D.J. Williams still impressing at MIKE and Ian Gold at WILL.

den-logo.jpg Secondary:
No changes here as CB’s Champ Bailey and Dre’ Bly and Safeties Nick Ferguson and John Lynch played on the 1st Team. Foxworth was their Nickel back and Cox joined the 1st Team during work on the Dime Package.

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SPECIAL TEAMS LINE UPS: THURSDAY

den-logo.jpg Kick-Off Return Team:
Returners consisted of WR’s Quincy Morgan, David Kircus and Domenik Hixon each fielded some kicks during the afternoon session. Both Brandon Pace and Todd Sauerbrun got reps kicked off.

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TRAINING CAMP: DAY 4

August 1, 2007

NOTES AND NEWS FROM DAY FOUR OF TRAINING CAMP:

Day four and away we go!

If the biggest news yesterday was Domenik Hixon’s shoulder injury, the top story today should have been his return to the practice field.

However, Javon Walker broke his silence today and spoke to a throng of eager reporters after the morning practice. Much to their chagrin, he didn’t discuss the Jan. 1st death of Darrent Williams. But that didn’t stop every sports media outlet from leading with the story “Walker still silent on slain teammate” — way to respect the man’s emotional recovery dill weeds!

In ACTUAL football news, Ian Gold made it back into the line up and Domenik Hixon muscled through his shoulder pain to complete the morning practice. Brandon Marshall, however, sat out again. Shanahan noted that and made some pointed comments about the importance of beating the injury bug and getting out on the field.

“When guys get hurt, it really hurts their chances of making the team. For a guy like Domenik to come in after a first-degree shoulder separation is pretty impressive. He worked through it, and that is what you are hoping a guy is going to do.”

“A guy that keeps getting hurt, we can’t waste repetition on a guy that’s not out there. We have to have guys who can stay healthy.”

— Mike Shanahan 8/1/07

And if Shanahan wasn’t blunt enough, Ted Sundquist also commented on Brandon Marshall today.

“We’re counting on Brandon. We put a lot of time and effort into coaching him, getting him ready, but ultimately on a Mike Shanahan team you’ve got to go out on the field and perform”

— Ted Sundquist 8/1/07

Brandon Marshall needs to get his butt in gear, deal with a little pain and get out on that darn practice field — SOON.

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ATTENDANCE:

WR Marquay McDaniel was held out with a hamstring injury. Kenard Lang and Chad Mustard did not participate and Glenn Martinez was sidelined during the morning practice with a strained leg muscle.

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OFFENSIVE LINE UPS: WEDNESDAY

den-logo.jpg Wide Outs:
Walker and Brandon Stokley ran with the 1st Team.

den-logo.jpg Tight Ends:
No real change from the last few days.
den-logo.jpg Running Backs:
Again, no change. Travis Henry with Cecil Sapp running second. Mike Bell, Andre Hall and Young following behind.

den-logo.jpg O-line:
* 1st Team O-line was unchanged: LT Matt Lepsis, LG Ben Hamilton, C Tom Nalen, RG Chris Kuper and RT Erik Pears.

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DEFENSIVE LINE UPS: WEDNESDAY

den-logo.jpg D-line:
* 1st Team D-line stayed the same as the last couple of days: DE’s Ebenezer Ekuban and John Engelberger, DT’s Gerard Warren and Sam Adams, but Jimmy Kennedy replaced Adams for some reps this morning.

DIME PACKAGE NOTE: Unchanged from yesterday: Ekuban and Warren were the tackles with ends Jarvis Moss and Elvis Dumervil.

den-logo.jpg Linebackers:
* 1st Team LB’s were: Nate Webster took his turn at SAM today, D.J. Williams still impressing at MIKE and Ian Gold back at WILL.

den-logo.jpg Secondary:
No changes here as CB’s Champ Bailey and Dre’ Bly and Safeties Nick Ferguson and John Lynch played on the 1st Team. Foxworth was their Nickel back and Cox joined the 1st Team during work on the Dime Package.

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SPECIAL TEAMS LINE UPS: WEDNESDAY

den-logo.jpg Kick-Off Return Team:
Returners consisted of WR’s Quincy Morgan, David Kircus and Domenik Hixon each fielded some kicks during the afternoon session. Both Brandon Pace and Todd Sauerbrun got reps kicked off.

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TRAINING CAMP: DAY 3

July 31, 2007

NOTES AND NEWS FROM DAY THREE OF TRAINING CAMP:

Domenik Hixon InjuredWe’re at Day Three at Dove Valley, boys and girls!

And the biggest news from the morning practice is Domenik Hixon’s shoulder injury. The speedy receiver landed on it during the later part of the morning session.

“I just came out and tried to make a play and landed on my shoulder. That’s football.” — Domenik Hixon 7/31/07

The injury is thought to be ‘slight,’ although he will not be returning to the field for the rest of the day. Mike Shanahan discribed the injury as a 1st degree shoulder separation. They will have a MRI done tomorrow to determine the exact injury and recovery time.

Hixon’s absence left room for David Kircus to show off his skills. He had some very acrobatic catches, but he also dropped or bobbled several passes leading Shanahan to mention his consistancy in his post-practice presser.

“He’s a little inconsistent. He drops the ball a few too many times, but he does come up with the big play. That consistency dictates whether or not you get a chance to play come game time. But David does show flashes and hopefully that consistency will improve and if it does improve he will have a chance to be on the football team.”

— Mike Shanahan 7/31/07

However, the ray of hope for Day 3 was seeing Rod Smith running (well, jogging) on the field after the second practice! Go Rod — we NEED ya buddy! 🙂

* Image provide by Erik Lars Bakke and Andrew Mason *

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ONE-A-DAY GROUP

Veteran Players on one-a-day status included: Champ Bailey, John Lynch, Nick Ferguson, Tom Nalen, Matt Lepsis, Ebenezer Ekuban, Sam Adams and Stephen Alexander. Brandon Stokley and Adam Meadows both practiced after sitting out the morning session. Travis Henry also got the afternoon practice off.

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OFFENSIVE LINE UPS: TUESDAY

den-logo.jpg Wide Outs:
With Hixon out and Brandon Stokley only practicing in the evening, David Kircus ran with the 1st Team and Brian Clark was the #3 WR.

den-logo.jpg Tight Ends:
No real change, Nate Jackson and Chad Mustard were also on the 1st Team for kick off returns.

den-logo.jpg Running Backs:
Again, no change. Travis Henry with Cecil Sapp running second. Mike Bell, Andre Hall and Young following behind.

den-logo.jpg O-line:
* 1st Team O-line was unchanged from yesterday: LT Matt Lepsis, LG Ben Hamilton, C Tom Nalen, RG Chris Kuper and RT Erik Pears. AFTERNOON: With Lepsis and Nalen sitting out the practice, Chris Myers took over at center, RT Erik Pears shifted over to the left side and Adam Meadows took Pears’ spot at RT.

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DEFENSIVE LINE UPS: TUESDAY

den-logo.jpg D-line:
* 1st Team D-line stayed the same as the last couple of days: DE’s Ebenezer Ekuban and John Engelberger, DT’s Gerard Warren and Sam Adams. AFTERNOON: Elvis Dumervil lined up at right DE with Ekuban on one-a-days.

DIME PACKAGE NOTE: Ekuban and Warren were the tackles with ends Jarvis Moss and Elvis Dumervil.

den-logo.jpg Linebackers:
* With Ian Gold out with back spasms, the 1st Team LB’s were: D.D. Lewis at SAM, D.J. Williams at MIKE and Louis Green at WILL.

den-logo.jpg Secondary:
No changes here as CB’s Champ Bailey and Dre’ Bly and Safeties Nick Ferguson and John Lynch played on the 1st Team. Foxworth was their Nickel back and Cox joined the 1st Team during work on the Dime Package. Rookie Roderick Rogers did seem 2nd Team action late in the morning practice. AFTERNOON: Domonique Foxworth and Curome Cox filled in for Lynch and Ferguson in the afternoon and Karl Paymah filled in for Champ.

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SPECIAL TEAMS LINE UPS: TUESDAY

den-logo.jpg Kick-Off Return Team:
On Special Teams the 1st kick-off return team looked like this: Safeties Steve Cargile & Hamza Abdullah, RB Cecil Sapp, LB’s Warrick Holdman & D.D. Lewis, TE’s Nate Jackson & Chad Mustard, DE Tim Crowder and O-lineman Chris Myers.

Returners consisted of WR Quincy Morgan and RB Mike Bell, with Kircus and WR Glenn Martinez each fielded some kicks as well. Morgan’s lead blocking was handled by Kyle Johnson, while Troy Fleming worked with Bell.

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DOGFISH: Camp Preview WR’s & TE’s

July 10, 2007

With the first day of the Bronco’s mini-camp in the books, we got an answer regarding “The Brandon’s,” Mike Shanahan had this to say about Stokley appearing for the first time in a Broncos jersey.

“He’s ahead of schedule. When we start camp, he should be 100 percent (to) go.”

— Mike Shanahan 7/9/07

Stokley didn’t partake in 7-on-7’s but he was in uniform and ran drills. In addition to Stokley, Brandon Marshall was on the field and participated in drills — which is a great sign as he had sat out the last part of team camp.

…and speaking of wide receivers… we have today’s Training Camp Preview on wide outs and tight ends by our friend and fellow obsessed fan, Dogfish.

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GUEST AUTHOR: DOGFISH

WIDE RECEIVERS

OVERVIEW:

Receiver is one of the most crowded spots on the roster right now, so camp will be crucial to start seperating the men from the boys. Javon Walker is the only one who’s pretty much guaranteed his spot on the depth chart, and the coaching staff isn’t likely to overwork the vet after the way he proved himself last year–look for walker to be excused from some of the back ends of two-a-days, as the younger guys need the reps more anyways.
The health of Rod Smith and Brandon Stokley will definitely be one of TC’s burning questions. Lee Rasizer recently reported that Stokley is running freely, and that Smith is progressing nicely, so that’s good news. Both players have a big edge in the battle for spots 2-4 due to their track record and experience, but they’ll still have to show it on the field with lots of young legs behind them waiting for a shot. All they have to prove is that they’re healthy, though– if they are, both should easily win their spots.
TC will be as important for Brandon Marshall as anyone on the team. According to early reports, he will enter camp as the favorite for the second starting spot–a good showing could go a long way to cementing that position for him. This will be a great chance for Marshall to refine his route-running skills working against our starting corners. On the opposite end of the spectrum, this camp may be David Terrell’s last chance to make it in the NFL.
I believe that we’ll probably carry six receivers again this year–with the last two spots reserved for guys who can contribute on special teams. There will be major competition for those two spots between Quincy Morgan, Brian Clarke, David Kircus, Domenik Hixon and Marquay McDaniel. The wildcard here is Hixon, who’ll finally get a chance to justify the 4th round pick we spent on him in 2006 after spending last season on IR. Hixon’s size, speed and experience on the defensive side of the ball make him an ideal candidate to play gunner on the punt coverage units, so if he can show something as a return specialist he’s likely to earn a spot.

I personally feel that Morgan is next in line–he came on a bit as a returner at the end of the season, and is the only player among the bunch who has any proven history as a receiver. With a full off-season and TC under his belt, he may get a chance to carve out a role as an occasional deep threat on offense. Some people still love Kircus’ potential, but he’s played for quite some time now without proving anything–and he surely didn’t win any points with Mike Shanahan by getting into some off-season legal trouble. Clarke is younger and has a relatively similar skill set, and may have a bit more developmental potential left at this point.

McDaniel, the undrafted rookie from Hampton, has been getting some attention lately. A strong showing in camp could possibly move him into position to mount a legitimate challenge for the last spot—otherwise, I see him as a likely candidate for the practice squad. Ultimately, at least one of the last two spots will be reserved for a return specialist–if one of these guys can separate himself in that area, he’ll almost certainly guarantee himself a job.

PLAYER TO WATCH:

Brandon Marshall– This guy is just oozing potential, and has reportedly been busting his butt over the off-season (including speed training in Chris Carter’s highly-touted program). The Air Marshall was one of the stars of last year’s camp before a preseason knee injury took him out of the lineup for several weeks and slowed his development. He looked tentative for a while after his return, and another good camp could go a long ways towards establishing the confidence that he needs. How quickly he develops could be one of the key factors in determining just how dangerous our passing game can be this year. Also, his size and strength give him a chance to be a great run blocker, one of the underrated aspects of his potential IMO. Hopefully the coaching staff will keep after him to work hard in this area–as downfield blocking from our receivers has been one of the keys to our running game over the years.

BEST POSITION BATTLE:

Hixon vs. the Field for the RS job. For a position that’ll be as hotly contested as any in camp, it’s hard to pick just one battle–but I’ll go with this one as I think it may be one of the most wide open competitions this summer. Also, we all know how badly our return game sucked last year–it could be really big for us if a legit threat emerges from the pack. If Hixon plays to his timed 4.34 speed, he can be dangerous.
PROJECTED DEPTH CHART:

1. Javon Walker
2. Brandon Marshall
3. Rod Smith
4. Brandon Stokley
5. Quincy Morgan
6. Domenik Hixon

TIGHT ENDS

OVERVIEW:

With the return of Dan Graham to Colorado, someone is likely to get caught in the numbers crunch here– TC could go a long way towards determining who it is. Graham will need some reps to get comfortable with Cutler, and with the O-line, but with his injury history the coaching staff will have to balance his need to learn against the risk of him getting dinged up and having it linger into the season. For that reason, I suspect that the Chef will get plenty of chances to work with the starters (not just in two-TE sets). No question TC will be big for Tony Scheffler, who like Marshall needs to build some confidence and consistency going into the season. Chef also needs some serious work on his blocking, and that should be a major area of focus for him. Stephen Alexander, Teyo Johnson, Nate Jackson, Chad Mustard and Mike Leach round out a pretty deep group of TEs (though we all know Leach is really just a badass long snapper who probably wouldn’t play offense except for emergency duty). With two capable receiving TEs at the top of the depth chart, I think converted wide receivers Jackson and Johnson are really facing long odds to make the team this year, unless one of them absolutely lights it up in camp.
PLAYER TO WATCH:

Gotta go with the Chef here, as camp will give him a golden opportunity to refine some of the impressive skills he flashed down the stretch last year. the more he improves that blocking, the more involved in the offense he’s going to be. Now that he’s had a year to make the leap from a small school and adjust to the speed of the NFL, we should see that athleticism start to show itself more and more. He can be a weapon that we move all over the field, and I’m expecting him to make some big plays for us this season.

BEST POSITION BATTLE:

Chad Mustard vs. Stephen Alexander– I think this will be the battle for the last roster spot at TE. I think we may only carry four TEs this year, and IMO Graham, Chef and Leach have their spots all but locked up. With the balanced Graham likely to start, I can see us keeping one pure receiving TE (Scheffker) and one pure blocking TE (Mustard)– if we want to go with a more balanced TE in that last spot, it will be Alexander, and if we keep five this year I think he has the best chance at the fifth spot.
PROJECTED DEPTH CHART:

1. Daniel Graham
2. Tony Scheffler
3. Chad Mustard
4. Mike Leach

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Thanks, again, to Dogfish for his excellent position reviews leading into Training Camp this month. I’ll attempt get his O-line Camp Preview up later today.

For more pictures and info about the first day of Mini-Camp check out Andrew Mason’s Blog: HERE