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Tag:Denver Broncos
Posted on: February 24, 2012 11:29 am
Edited on: February 24, 2012 12:16 pm
 

Elway: Broncos open to 'either' kind of backup QB

John Elway and Denver haven't made a decision about Tebow's potential backup quarterbacks. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- John Elway has a tough task in front of him when it comes to filling out his quarterback depth chart. Logic dictates that the Broncos would like to get backup quarterbacks for Tebow that can run the read-option offense, or at least a version of it.

But Elway said the Broncos haven't made a decision on what kind of backup quarterbacks they'll seek out, and that be believes either a "ordinary" quarterback or "one like Tim" could work in the Broncos offense.

"We're going through that process now," Elway said Friday at the combine. "We kind of have to let it happen. I don't know if we're looking for one like Tim, or your ordinary dropback or somewhere in between. Until we find out the interest out there, it's going to be hard to fill those spots. But I think that when I look at Tim and our offense, we can go with either one, whether it be a guy like Tim or if it's more of a dropback guy. We feel like either one is going to fit."

We'd probably disagree with his assessment here, at least based on what we saw from the Broncos in 2011. Their offense worked well at times, but it's impossibly difficult to ask the rest of Denver's personnel to switch back-and-forth from a read-option-type offense to a "normal" NFL offense.

Additionally, there's are different personnel requirements for each type of offense; obviously everyone "wants talent" and whatnot, but if you're constructing the ideal offensive line for a Tebow-style offense, by nature it's going to be different than the type of line you'd construct for a "normal" offense.

The Broncos could still end up grabbing one of each -- how does a Chad Henne/Russell Wilson combo strike you? -- but it may be harder to effectively fill out and organize the quarterback depth chart than Elway could possibly ever expect.

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Posted on: February 23, 2012 10:55 am
Edited on: February 23, 2012 12:30 pm
 

John Fox says Tim Tebow, Brady Quinn are 'close'

Fox says Tebow and Quinn have a "close relationship."(Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- If you read the headlines relating to Broncos quarterbacks over the past few days, you'd think that Brady Quinn and Tim Tebow are mortal enemies. Quinn was quoted in a GQ article as saying that some of the things Tebow does in public; he later backtracked on the comments via Twitter, claiming they were taken out of context. (Michael Silver, the author of the article, points out that both he and Quinn have a copy of the audio file.) 

Broncos coach John Fox was asked about Quinn's comments Thursday at the NFL combine in Indy.

"Knowing their relationship, knowing both Brady and Tim myself, sometimes things get lost in translation," "I know their relationship is very close. They have a lot of respect for each other. They're very good teammates to each other. That's kind of what I know -- it's hard for me to stay up on all the comments, but I kind of know what I know."


Fox also said that Quinn's comments wouldn't impact whether or not the Broncos were interested in bringing back Quinn, a free agent on March 13, in 2012.

"Oh no, I know their relationship, I know he was a great teammate to Tim," Fox said. "I know Tim knows that. We still like Brady Quinn."

Fox said he was glad Quinn apologized and pointed out that "sometimes that happens." (That, we took him to mean is "saying something you immediately regret while a camera or tape recorder is running.")

We think it's still a long shot that Quinn returns to Denver. He's seen the sideshow that comes with Tebow and he knows what happens to anyone who gets playing time ahead of Tebow. There's a decent opportunity for playing time in Denver -- Tebow could get injured or struggle -- but it comes with the hefty cost, as Quinn's already learned this offseason.

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 2:28 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 5:04 pm
 

Quinn backtracks on Tebow 'humble' comment

Quinn and Tebow: Not BFFs after all? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Broncos quarterback Brady Quinn will be a free agent on March 13. While he didn't make our list of top free-agent quarterbacks (although he was honorable mention!), he'll likely end up landing a backup job somewhere for the 2012 season.

Just don't count on it being Denver, at least based on the quotes he gave Mike Silver for an oral history of Tebowmania in the latest issue of GQ.

"Early in the season, there was a game when Kyle [Orton] got hurt and the coaches were calling for me to go in, but Kyle got up and finished the game out," Quinn said. "So I was the second-string guy. Then, a few weeks later, they decided to put Tim in. I felt like the fans had a lot to do with that. Just 'cause they were chanting his name. There was a big calling for him. No, I didn't have any billboards. That would have been nice."


This is a harmless quote. You don't have to be a backup quarterback to want billboards pulling for you all over the town you live in.

But Quinn's comments took a different tone as his comments continued throughout the article.

"We've had a lot of, I guess, luck, to put it simply," Quinn said, recalling the Broncos memorable overtime win over the Bears.

Again, more or less harmless. Marion Barber running out of bounds and then fumbling is the definition of luck. It's not the greatest thing in the world to say about your (former?) teammates, especially if you want your job again in 2012, but it's not incendiary. But how do you feel about the way Tim acts off the field, Brady?

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"If you look at it as a whole, there's a lot of things that just don't seem very humble to me," Quinn said. "When I get that opportunity, I'll continue to lead not necessarily by trying to get in front of the camera and praying but by praying with my teammates, you know?"

Annnnnnd ... scene. At least on Quinn's career with the Broncos. Remember, they shipped Kyle Orton out of town because he was going to be a pain in the locker room. And they already know what they've got in Quinn (read: a guy who can't beat out Tebow for the backup job).

The Broncos said they want to bring in two more quarterbacks to generate some competition, but they're unlikely to bring in (or back) anyone who might truly try and undermine Tebowmania in Denver. If you're coming out to Mile High, you've got buy into the idea that you're going to get pelted with foam crosses should you win the starting gig.

But maybe Quinn's comments in the magazine aren't as bad as represented. Quinn released a statement on Twitter Tuesday afternoon refuting the nature of his comments in Silver's article.

"The comments attributed to me in a recent magazine article are in NO WAY reflective of my opinion of Tim and the Broncos," Quinn tweeted. "Tim deserves a lot of credit for our success and I'm happy for him and what he accomplished. Most importantly, he is a great teammate. That interview was conducted three months ago, and the resulting story was a completely inaccurate portrayal of my comments.

"I have addressed my disappointment with the writer and have reached out to Tim to clear this up. I apologize to anyone who feels I was trying to take anything away from our Team's or Tim's success this season."

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:10 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 5:01 pm
 

2012 NFL Free Agency: Quarterback rankings

The 2012 free-agent quarterback class is an, um, diverse group. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Leading up to the start of free agency on March 13, we're compiling lists of the best 2012 NFL free agents by position. These are the quarterbacks.

Though the list of free-agent quarterbacks for 2012 isn't necessarily the greatest crop of players in NFL history, it does have the potential to be one of the most intriguing in years, because of one man: Peyton Manning. Manning's saga is well-documented at this point; the back-and-forth between Manning's camp and Jim Irsay dominated the freaking Super Bowl.

Releasing him into the wild seems like a mere matter of timing. So we're going to take that assumption and add Manning to our lists of free agents. We're also including the Saints Drew Brees and 49ers Alex Smith on this list, since both are technically unrestricted free agents, until they receive the franchise tag from their respective teams. There's a better likelihood of Jimmy Clausen unseating Cam Newton than there is Brees not returning to New Orleans, but maybe someone in the Saints office will forget to fax in the franchise-tag paperwork.


Brees offseason could be interesting.  (Getty Images)

1. Drew Brees

Breakdown: The biggest problem for the Saints isn't that Brees might leave. He's not going to unless something really ridiculous happens. The biggest problem for the Saints is that if they're forced to use the franchise tag on Brees, they could end up losing Carl Nicks and Marques Colston. That won't make Brees any happier when it gets down to brass-tack negotiating.
Potential Landing Spots: Saints

2. Peyton Manning

Breakdown: Perhaps you've heard of Manning before. He's third all-time in passing yards (54,828). He's third all-time in passing touchdowns (399). He's won more MVPs than anyone in NFL history (four). And he's second in his own family with Super Bowl rings (one). That last item isn't a shot at Manning, though. It's the reason we believe he's not done when it comes to football, and that he'll come back to the game supremely motivated. No one knows whether or not he'll be fully healthy by the time the 2012 season begins. We do know he won't be fully healthy by the time March 13 rolls around, though. Which means that anyone who signs him will be engaging in a serious high-risk, high-reward game of chicken with Manning's neck.
Potential Landing Spots: Cardinals, Dolphins, Seahawks, Jets, Redskins

3. Matt Flynn

Breakdown: Flynn's attempted just 132 passes at the professional level, but 81 of them are pretty impressive. Those came in the only two starts of his career, when Flynn managed to go 55 of 81 for 731 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions. There are concerns that Flynn can't make every throw (right now) and that he might be a product of Green Bay's system. But that system's in Miami now, as former Packers quarterbacks coach Joe Philbin is the Dolphins head coach. If Miami doesn't make a run at Flynn when free agency opens up, that should be a big red flag for anyone else interested in Aaron Rodgers backup.
Potential Landing Spots: Dolphins, Seahawks, Redskins

4. Alex Smith

Breakdown: Smith resurrected his career under new 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and, in the span of about two playoff minutes against the Saints, nearly flipped the entire narrative of his career. As it is, Smith's improvement in 2011 is impressive; according to Pro Football Focus, he had the third-highest accuracy percentage in the NFL (factoring in drops, throwaways and spikes) last year, behind only Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. Smith's said he isn't interested in leaving San Francisco, and Harbaugh's gotten his back publicly, even though there's zero chance they'll use the franchise tag on him.
Potential Landing Spots: 49ers
Henne could surprise in the right spot. (Getty Images)

5. Chad Henne

Breakdown: Miami drafting a quarterback in the second round: an April tradition unlike any other! But no, seriously, Henne's in a long line of signal-callers that the Dolphins took in the second round who didn't pan out. He's had serious problems with interceptions; Henne's got a 3.5 percent INT rate over his career and only nine of his 36 NFL games have not featured him throwing a pick. And Henne tends to look particularly robotic at times in the pocket (these things go hand in hand). But he's only 26 and it's not fair to blame him for all of Miami's woes the past three years. Henne can make all the throws and flashed some serious potential at times during his tenure in South Beach. He's the highest-upside backup quarterback out there and he's got several former coaches -- Brian Daboll, Tony Sparano -- coaching in spots that could use a backup quarterback.
Potential Landing Spots: Chiefs, Jets, Broncos

6. Jason Campbell

Breakdown: It's hard not to feel sympathetic for Campbell. The former Auburn star and first-round pick has had roughly 25 offensive coordinators since he started taking snaps in college and he's about to start out on his third NFL roster once the free-agency shuffling begins anew this year. He's 30 and hasn't played a full season in the past two years, either because of injury or being benched. The latter was for Bruce Gradkowski, so it's hard to tell what's worse for his reputation. He makes a lot of sense for a team that wants someone to push their starter without making a stink in the locker room.
Potential Landing Spots: Chiefs, Eagles, Jets

NFL Free Agency

7. Kyle Orton

Breakdown: Orton's was a "winner" with the Bears, he was a stat-hog for a season with the Broncos, he flirted with the Dolphins and finally he was a streak-killer with the Chiefs. He's not going to be anyone's starter in 2011, unless Washington seriously misplays everything in free agency and the draft (not out of the question). But he's an above-average backup in the NFL and could certainly compete with the starters that various teams -- KC, Washington, Jacksonville, for example -- will trot out in 2011. Orton doesn't want to deal with being a "stop-gap option" but it's unlikely he'll have a choice next year.
Potential Landing Spots:
Redskins, Chiefs, Jaguars, Bears, Broncos

8. David Garrard

Breakdown: Pete Prisco's second-favorite quarterback missed the entire 2011 season after the Jaguars cut him and he underwent surgery for a herniated disk in his back. There was interest in the 34-year-old last year after teams lost quarterbacks to injury, but he decided to recover from the surgery instead. While that's the smart move, Garrard won't find the market as friendly for his services this time, especially since his agent said on February 15 Garrard would be ready in "four to six weeks." Expect someone with a steady starter and tenuous backup to look to Garrard.
Potential Landing Spots: Bears, Broncos, Buccaneers, Rams, Raiders

9. Shaun Hill

Breakdown: Hill's 32 and not exactly a spring chicken. But he performed admirably in place of Matthew Stafford in 2010 and the fit between he and the Lions is a nice one. The Lions are tight with cap space, but Hill appears to like where he's at, and it's not like he'd break the bank in another location anyway.
Potential Landing Spots: Lions
VY's likely to remain a backup. (Getty Images)

10. Vince Young

Breakdown: Now seems like a good time to remind you that the guy who coined "Dream Team" in Philly was indeed the backup quarterback and someone on a one-year contract. His personality and turnovers will cause a problem for teams looking to sign him. Unless that team happens to run the read-option offense and could really use a mobile quarterback with success in the NFL to step in and freelance if/when Tim Tebow gets hurt/melts down.
Potential Landing Spots: Broncos

11. Rex Grossman

Breakdown: Did you know that Rex Grossman is actually "Rex Grossman III"? Poor Mike Shanahan had RG3 on his roster the whole time and didn't even know it. Sigh. Anyway, Grossman's not going to attract a lot of attention on the market, and nor should he. As the old saying goes, though, "love the one you're with." And Grossman and the Shanahans are with each other, even if Rex isn't starting next year. It would be surprising to see him playing anywhere else in 2012.
Potential Landing Spots: Redskins

HONORABLE MENTION

Unrestricted Free Agents: Dennis Dixon, Josh Johnson, Brady Quinn, Charlie Whitehurst, Donovan McNabb, Dan Orlovsky, Drew Stanton, Caleb Hanie, Charlie Batch, Kellen Clemens

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Posted on: February 20, 2012 5:54 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 10:34 pm
 

Tebow WILL have competition next year

Tebow's season ends ingloriously in New England. (AP)

By Josh Katzowitz

We’ve been asking this for a while now: Is Tim Tebow guaranteed to be the Broncos starting quarterback next year? Our own Ryan Wilson brought this up in mid-January and listed a number of free agent quarterbacks Denver could pursue in an effort to knock Tebow out of his starting spot (including Matt Flynn, Jason Campbell and (yep) Kyle Orton).

Even coach John Fox has now confirmed that nobody is going to hand Tebow anything heading into 2012. That’s because Fox said Monday, via the Denver Post, that the team would acquire two quarterbacks in the offseason to compete against Tebow.

"Numbers wise that's accurate,” Fox said. "Who, what, where, when, what market -- it's still way too early how we get those quarterbacks."

You’ll recall that Tebow a was tad controversial last year as he continued to play poorly (for the most part) but still led his team to the AFC West title and a playoff victory against the Steelers (really, by the end of Denver’s run, our colleague Pete Prisco was one of the few who remained steadfast in his belief that Tebow is not a legit NFL quarterback).

What to do with Tebow?

But that doesn’t mean the read option offense Fox and Mike McCoy had to install midway through the season when Denver decided to replace Orton with Tebow will continue to work in 2012. Tebow still has to prove he has the arm strength, the accuracy and the ability to play effectively in the pocket.

“I think at some point he’ll have to be if he wants to play a long time,” Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey said in January. “That’s one area he’s going to have to improve to be elite in this league. But the things he does running the ball -- he can make some throws, it’s just being comfortable doing it. He’s got to get better at it, and when he does, the sky’s the limit for him.”

Of course, the Broncos will HAVE to bring in at least two quarterbacks, because Tebow and practice-squader Adam Weber are the only signal-callers under contract for next year. Brady Quinn -- who apparently had a third-down package set for him in the playoffs (was he planning to Tim Tebow Tim Tebow?) -- is a free agent, and there probably isn’t much reason for him to return Denver.

So, for now, Tebow is the starter.

"He's going to come into our camp as the starting quarterback," Fox said. "He's young. He can get better."

Yeah, what does he mean by that? What can Tebow do better?

Um, this.

"It's the precision on the passing, it's the accuracy, the footwork, the mechanics, the rhythm, the timing, the quickness, the release. Everything," Broncos general manager Brian Xanders said recently. "And he wants to work at it. And he's dedicated. He's going to work really hard at improving those things. .. We're excited about him improving in those areas."

Until, perhaps, the Broncos can find somebody else who’s better than what we saw from Tebow last year.

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Posted on: February 18, 2012 5:38 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 9:53 pm
 

Broncos traded Lloyd to avoid locker room issues?

Lloyd talks with us in Indy. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Ryan Wilson

Tim Tebow was officially named the Broncos' starting quarterback during the team's Week 6 bye. Five days before their Week 7 game against the Dolphins, they traded their best offensive weapon, wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, to the Rams. It was a confusing move at the time since Denver was 1-4 and the offense was a mess.

But whatever Lloyd provided in terms of big-play abilities (he had 77 receptions for 1,448 and 11 touchdowns in 2010 playing with Kyle Orton and for Josh McDaniels) didn't make up for possible issues that might arise from playing in a run-first, option offense.

The Denver Post's Jeff Legwold explains:

"…[T]he Lloyd deal, which ended up being a fifth-round pick in this coming April's draft in exchange for a player who went to the Pro Bowl after the 2010 season, was made because the Broncos believed the veteran, in a contract year, was going to bristle and potentially become a problem as the offense leaned more and more on the running game.

"Lloyd had not been a problem before the trade, but it was a pre-emptive strike to avoid it. Also, the Rams had several injuries at the position, and the Broncos were able to get a conditional pick — it went from a sixth-round pick to a fifth-round pick because of Lloyd's reception totals — for a player that wasn't going to stay at season's end."

Side note: CBSSports.com's Will Brinson interviewed Lloyd at the Playboy party in Indianapolis during Super Bowl week and he couldn't' have been nicer. And, yeah, Brinson asked him about Tebow.



Still, we understand the Broncos' apprehension with keeping Lloyd around. He was something of an enigma in San Francisco and his two years in Washington can kindly be described as forgettable. It wasn't until McDaniels brought him to Denver that his career took off. And that explains why Lloyd would love to be reunited with McDaniels, now the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

In late December, Lloyd told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “I can’t even lie about that. I’m tied to McDaniels. He uses me differently than other offensive coordinators used me in my entire career. He uses me as an every-play receiver. The short game, mid-range game, gimmick passes, deep balls."

New England is in desperate need of a downfield threat but there is one tiny issue. Lloyd is represented by Tom Condon, who hasn't dealt with the Patriots since 2006, when the two sides were negotiating Ben Watson's rookie contract.

“We pretend there are 31 franchises in the NFL now and they pretend we don’t exist,” Condon once said.

Apparently, that hatchet has been buried.

“I may never like them and they may never like me, but I appreciate that they’re smart guys who usually get what they want," Condon told the Boston Herald last week." I usually get what I want, too, and what I want is what my client wants. … [Lloyd would] like to be with Josh. He’d also like to get paid. I think he’ll be a player teams will be interested in.”

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Posted on: February 14, 2012 11:11 am
 

Report: Matt Prater 'likely' to get Broncos tag

Britton Colquitt is VERY excited about Prater staying in Denver. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

We spent an inordinate amount of time putting together a list of players likely to receive franchise tags this offseason earlier today and, of course, we forgot someone. But it wasn't necessarily an obvious name: the Broncos are reportedly "likely" to use their franchise tag on kicker Matt Prater.

That's according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, who writes that it "wouldn't be surprising" if the Broncos used their franchise tag on Prater in order to keep him from hitting the market and pay him a guaranteed salary of $2.6 million.

Prater was pretty stout in 2011, hitting 76 percent of his field goal attempts, including three of four from beyond 50 yards.

His accuracy inside the 40-49 yard range -- just three of seven -- left something to be desired. But his big leg saved the Broncos more than once and he helped get Tim Tebow's legacy really cranked up. (Don't worry: the Big Guy gives it up for Prater.)

If the Broncos franchise Prater, it'll be the first time they've used the tag on a kicker in 10 years, as they hit Jason Elam with the franchise tag in 2002.

And lest you think that franchise-tagging a kicker signifies a team on the decline, the Broncos actually made the playoffs in 2003, 2004 and 2005

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Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:27 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 1:15 pm
 

Knowshon Moreno arrested for DUI

Moreno was reportedly arrested for DUI. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno was pulled over for speeding and arrested for DUI on February 1, according to a Denver district attorney's spokeswoman.

Moreno was pulled over while doing 70 mph in a 45 mph construction zone in a Bentley convertible and an officer smelled alcohol on his breath. Moreno did poorly on the roadside sobriety tests and was taken into detox.

According to the report, cops described Moreno as "very respectful and polite." Of course, when the vanity license plate of the Bentley you're speeding around in while allegedly drinking reads "SAUCED," there's really no other way to behave when the cops bust you.

“We take the incident involving Knowshon Moreno very seriously and are thoroughly reviewing this matter,” the Broncos said in a statement Monday. “Our organization will continue to gather information and closely monitor this issue while the legal process runs its course."

Moreno had a big step-back season in 2011, starting just two games (and playing in eight), while rushing for 179 yards and no touchdowns. He did catch 9 balls for 101 yards and a touchdown, however, before tearing his ACL on November 15.

UPDATE (Feb. 8, 12:12 p.m. ET): Moreno has been charged with drunken driving, careless driving and failure to have proof of insurance. He is due in court March 2.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com