Archive for the ‘Quincy Morgan’ 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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Things I’m looking forward to tonight

August 13, 2007

“We don’t pay much attention to the first preseason game… I hate to say that, but it’s the truth.” 

— Mike Shanahan 8/10/07

Mike Shanahan doesn’t care about the rematch against the team who knocked the Broncos out of the playoff less than a year ago.  He hasn’t broken down the 49ers offense or defense.  He hasn’t spent hours preparing a special game plan or scripting the plays for Cutler’s first drive.  He just doesn’t care.

OK… more correctly, he cares — just not about the term ‘game.’

Mike Shanahan and his coaches view the coming Monday night skirmish as an extended practice, not a full football game.

Yes, it will be under the glaring lights of ESPN’s Monday Night Football cameras.  Yes, a football hungry nation will be watching, as tonight symbolizes the beginning of the season to many fans.  But just because millions of viewers will be tuning in won’t mean that the Bronco’s Head Coach will take his eyes off the prize.

And the ‘prize’ is a championship season in 2007.

From that perspective, the only thing that matters tonight is evaluating his personnel under game-play situations.

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That’s why I love the preseason, really.  I look forward to seeing all the fresh faces and lesser known players give 110% effort as they fight for a roster spot.  These preseason games can bring more energy and emotion than playoff games sometimes (just ask TD about Tokyo).

So, here is a list of things I’m looking forward to seeing tonight (mostly in order of importance to my personal entertainment):

1.  Jim Bates sideline manner – Oh, PLEASE get him a mic ESPN!!!!!

Bates and his coaches have been very vocal during camp and I can’t wait to see his sideline coaching style in his first game as a Bronco!

2.  Pass Rush – Blow ‘em up boys!
With all the attention the Broncos have placed on the D-line, I want to see even our 3rd and 4th teams terrorizing the 49ers tonight.  We will also get to see our rookies playing for the first time in orange and blue, which should be fun… And, heck, a little bit of payback is a good thing!

3.  Patrick Ramsey and Darrell Hackney – Let’s see your fastball guys!

Patrick Ramsey has shown great strides in learning Shanahan’s offensive system, so I’m looking forward to seeing him tonight.  I know there will be some struggling (especially early on) as this is his first game with the new unit, but the coaches have been impressed with his intelligence and the speed at which he’s picked up the scheme.  Darrell Hackney has also had a very good camp.  Tonight will give him a chance to show off his talents (not the least of which is his arm strength).

4.  Our young WR’s – who’s left?
We have some talented guys with not a lot of starting experience (and some with none).  However, players like Kircus, Hixon, Morgan and Clark have all done very well at camp.  It will be interesting to see how they do during tonight’s skirmish.

5.  Ground Assualt – Let’s see ‘em roll!
While I look forward to seeing our RB’s take the field, I have my doubts about their production this evening due to the missing starters along the O-line.  Lepsis and Hamilton will sit this one out.   That will cause the rest of the line to shuffle (all but Tom Nalen that is).  However, I think we should still be able to see flashes from our backs well into the 3rd and 4th teams tonight.  Of course, my favorite lesser known Bronco RB is Andre Hall and I can’t wait to see what he makes of his chances when the lights are on.

6.  What about SAM – who’s going to make the big play on the Strong Side?
Well, the reps have been split between Nate Webster and D.D. Lewis throughout camp.  Holdman and Moore are out and Green (listed as the starter) is battling a knee injury.  So, will it be Webster or Lewis that stands out this evening?


OTHER AREAS TO WATCH:

Broncos Logo   Strong Secondary – With the starters not getting many reps we’ll have to wait to see much of the Champ & Bly show for at least another week.  Still… We have some good backups, and it will be fun to see how well they do.

Broncos Logo   Full Backs – Watch the FB’s tonights carefully.  Kyle has been leading the work, but Paul Smith, Tony Fleming and even Cecil Sapp may get some reps.

Broncos Logo   Depth at O-line – Backup and rookie O-linemen should be fun to watch tonight.  This will be a great chance to see how they’re coming along.

Broncos Logo   D.J. in the Middle – Again, the starters won’t be in very long, but while they are D.J. Williams will likely make some big plays.

Broncos Logo   TE’s catching & blocking – We should see some of both from our TE’s this evening – it should be fun to watch!

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TRAINING CAMP: DAY 6

August 3, 2007

NOTES AND NEWS FROM DAY SIX OF TRAINING CAMP:


Well the news today was all about the VERY thin depth we have at WR. In fact, with Brandon Stokley held out with a minor right thigh injury and Javon Walker pulled up short with some muscle cramping, we were left with only five functioning receivers (Quincy Morgan, Domenik Hixon, David Terrell, Brian Clark and David Kircus).

That was so few that at times Shanahan had to use TE’s to fill in the receiver slots so all the plays could be run. Nate Jackson worked well in this capacity as the tightend was a receiver only two seasons ago.

“(Nate’s) been very consistent and he’s gotten better in the blocking game and obviously he’s made some big-time catches — He’s looked very good.” — Mike Shanahan 8/3/07

Jackson wasn’t the only receiver to do well today. There were great catches by all of our remaining wideouts. Here’s a look at a few of them…

Cutler’s 50 yard pass to Walker (before he left with cramping)!

Cutler moves in the pocket to allow enough time for a pass to Nate Jackson.

Quincy Morgan grabs this ball pass Bly.

And now some other notes…

 

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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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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

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Off-Season Recap

June 27, 2007

In an attempt to put our busy off-season into perspective, I’ve organized most of our moves and notable news this off-season into one timeline.  I did add two items from 2006 (Jay Cutler’s starting at QB and Al Wilson injuring his neck).  I’ve also added this timeline to a page under the Information.

Let me know if I missed anything.

2007 OFFSEASON TIMELINE

  • 11/27/06 — Cutler is named the starting QB. 
  • 12/3/06 — Al Wilson injures his neck during the Seattle game.
  • 1/01/07 — Shooting death of starting CB Darrent Williams.
  • 1/02/07 — Denver signs ten players for the 2007 season: FB Troy Fleming, QB Darrell Hackney, DE Carlos Hall, LB T.J. Hollowell, P Eddie Johnson, TE Teyo Johnson, G Kevin McAlmont, CB Lamont Reid, T Jacob Rogers and LB Cameron Vaughn.
  • 1/04/07 — Denver signs FB Thump Belton, CB Eric Hill, WR Glenn Martinez and G Doug Nienhius for the 2007 season.
  • 1/05/07 — Denver signs RB Andre Hall and CB Jeff Shoate for the 2007 season.
  • 1/09/07 — Denver fires Defensive Coordinator Larry Coyer.
  • 1/10/07 — Denver cuts loose defensive line/tackles coach Andre Patterson.
  • 1/11/07 — Jim Bates is is named Denver’s assistant head coach/defense and Bob Slowik is promoted from secondary coach to defensive coordinator.
  • 1/12/07 — Denver allocates five to NFL Europa: C Greg Eslinger, TE Teyo Johnson, G Kevin McAlmont, T Doug Nienhuis and CB Lamont Reid.
  • 1/16/07 — Denver’s TE coach, Tim Brewster, accepts the head coaching job at the University of Minnesota.
  • 1/17/07 — Bill Johnson is hired as the teams defensive line coach.
  • 1/28/07 — The Broncos hire Scott O’Brien as special-teams coach, Joe Baker as linebackers coach and moving former special-teams coach Ronnie Bradford to assistant defensive backs coach.
  • 2/11/07 — John Lynch and Champ Bailey help the AFC win the Pro Bowl.
  • 2/25/07 — RB Damien Nash passes away after a charity basketball event. 
  • 2/26/07 — Rod Smith undergoes hip surgery.
  • 3/02/07 — Denver trades with Detroit: CB Dre Bly for RB Tatum Bell, George Foster and a 5th-round pick in the draft.
  • 3/03/07 — Jake Plummer retires as the Broncos trade him to the Bucs for a conditional draft pick in 2008.  Denver also trade their 6th-round pick to Miami for a DT Dan Wilkinson.
  • 3/05/07 — Denver signs RB Travis Henry, G Montrae Holland and RB Paul Smith.
  • 3/09/07 — Denver signs TE Daniel Graham.
  • 3/12/07 — Denver re-signs WR Quincy Morgan.
  • 3/13/07 — Denver re-signs DE Kenny Peterson.
  • 3/19/07 — DE Courtney Brown is released.  Denver signs QB Patrick Ramsey.
  • 3/20/07 — Denver signs DT Alvin McKinley.
  • 3/22/07 — Denver signs WR Brandon Stokley.
  • 3/24/07 — Denver hires defensive assistant Charlie Jackson.
  • 3/28/07 — CB Dre Bly and the Broncos agree to a contract extention.
  • 3/31/07 — Denver’s trade with Miami for Dan Wilkinson is voided when Wilkinson doesn’t showup for his physical.
  • 4/03/07 — Off-season workouts begin.
  • 4/09/07 — Mike Shanahan agrees to a contract extention.
  • 4/12/07 — Denver signs WR David Terrell. 2007-08 NFL schedule is released.
  • 4/20/07 — Denver signs kicker Todd Sauerbrun.
  • 4/26/07 — Denver releases LB Al Wilson and signs LB Warrick Holdman and LB D.D. Lewis.
  • 4/28/07 — Denver moves up to draft DE Jarvis Moss.  They also draft DE Tim Crowder and OT Ryan Harris. 
  • 4/29/07 — Denver again moves up and drafts DT Marcus Thomas.
  • 5/01/07 — Denver waives RB Cedric Cobbs.
  • 5/02/07 — Denver signs five college free agents: G Tim Duckworth, DT Steven Harris, WR Marquay McDaniel, S Roderick Rogers and RB Selvin Young.
  • 5/07/07 — Denver signs college free agents C Mark Fenton and kicker Brandon Pace.  They release Tim Duckworth.
  • 5/14/07 — Denver waives TE Landon Trusty.
  • 5/16/07 — OTA days start with QB Camp.
  • 5/21/07 — TE Tony Scheffler breaks his left foot during practice. 
  • 5/29/07 — OTA days continue as Team Camp begins.
  • 6/04/07 — Denver signs DT Sam Adams.
  • 6/07/07 — Denver trades with St. Louis for DT Jimmy Kennedy.  They release CB Eric Hill.
  • 6/21/07 — C Greg Eslinger is named to the All-NFL Europa Team for his performance with the Cologne Centurions. 
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Kick Off Coverage Needed… Badly.

June 15, 2007

THIS POST HAS BEEN MOVED TO BRONCOTALK.NET:  REDIRECT

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