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Gary Zimmerman Jersey 1 год 4 мес. назад #339

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ENGLEWOOD Tom Jackson Jersey , Colo. (AP) — John Elway cycles through quarterbacks and head coaches at a dizzying rate. Yet, what’s really an annual rite of spring in Denver is his shuffling of the Broncos‘ offensive line.After hiring his fourth head coach in six seasons and swapping out quarterbacks again this offseason, the Broncos general manager targeted Ja’Wuan James in free agency, luring the ex-Dolphins lineman with a four-year deal worth up to $51 million, making him the NFL’s highest-paid right tackle.James’ arrival coincides with the departure of two of Denver’s own free agents, center Matt Paradis to the Panthers (three years, $27 million) and swing tackle Billy Turner to the Packers (four years, $29.5 million).Elway also filled another dire need, striking a three-year, $33 million deal with ex-Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson in the negotiating window before the league’s new year began Wednesday.Jackson replaces Bradley Roby, a former first-round pick who agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal with Houston after an awful first season as a starter in Denver last year following Aqib Talib’s trade to the Rams.Jackson is the kind of sure tackler and hard hitter that new head coach Vic Fangio favors, and James is a player the Broncos coveted for new O-line coach Mike Munchak. James also played under new assistant O-line coach Chris Kuper for the last three years in Miami.James, who has missed major portions of the season with injuries in two of the last four years, replaces Jared Veldheer, last year’s veteran fix at right tackle, in a line protecting Joe Flacco, Elway’s seventh quarterback since Peyton Manning’s retirement three years ago.With the strongest snowstorm in Colorado since at least 1950 closing airports and highways, the Broncos pushed back introductory news conferences for their new players until Friday.But Elway did sit down with Broncos TV to discuss his additions, saying, “We think Kareem and the physicality he brings to the defensive side and the athleticism that Ja’Wuan has at right tackle, they’re both great fits for us.”NFL rules prohibited the Broncos from discussing Flacco’s acquisition until the start of the new league year on Wednesday, and Elway told the NFL Network that at 34, Flacco’s “arm strength is still great” and “he’s just going into his prime.”Flacco fits Elway’s quarterback profile: he’s tall, plays under center and can throw the deep pass, as he proved in the playoffs in 2012 with that 70-yard touchdown heave to Jacoby Jones in the final minute of regulation in Baltimore’s double-overtime win in Denver. The victory propelled the Ravens to a win in the Super Bowl.Elway traded a fourth-round pick to Baltimore for Flacco, then shipped incumbent Case Keenum to Washington along with a 2020 seventh-rounder for a 2020 sixth-rounder in a pair of deals that became official Wednesday.Keenum was a disappointment in Denver, going 6-10 after leading the Vikings to an 11-3 record and the NFC championship game in 2017. It wasn’t all his fault, however — he lost his top receiver, two top tight ends and three O-line starters to injuries.Elway has had a tough time building a solid offensive line.Twice, he signed two veteran O-linemen only to watch them get hurt or fizzle out.In 2016, he signed tackles Russell Okung and Donald Stephenson. The Broncos declined Okung’s option after one middling season and Stephenson started 16 games over two seasons before his release. In 2017, the Broncos signed tackle Menelik Watson and guard Ronald Leary. Watson started seven games and was cut the following August, and Leary sustained a season-ending torn Achilles in Week 6 last season.Elway’s best O-line acquisition in free agency was guard Louis Vasquez in 2013. Vasquez was named All-Pro his first year in Denver and started 47 games over three seasons.Elway has also selected at least one offensive lineman in each of his eight draft classes so far. His hits include Orlando Franklin and Paradis. Philip Blake and Vinston Painter were major misses and 2017 first-rounder Garett Bolles, who leads the league in holding calls over the last two seasons, is Munchak’s major reclamation project this offseason.The secondary also was a primary need for the Broncos, who released safety Darian Stewart and had three cornerbacks who are unrestricted free agents and a fourth, Brandon Langley, who is switching to receiver.Jackson was the most versatile cornerback on the open market. Although he’ll turn 30 next month, he’s coming off the best season of his nine-year NFL career, all in Houston. He posted 87 tackles, broke up 17 passes and forced two fumbles, all of which were career bests.Fangio will pair him with star cornerback Chris Harris Jr., the last remaining member of the “No Fly Zone” secondary that was the backbone of the Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 team. Like Harris, Jackson is adept at playing outside or in the slot and has also lined up at safety.‘Rolls Royce’ Freeman should have the No. 1 RB spot locked in Orange & Blue 760’s Monday morning broadcast of First & 10 @ 10 was a hodgepodge of game review, breaking news and roster analysis - and it was chock full of informative tidbits.Among the most interesting conversations in my opinion was their evaluation of the Denver running backs - a position of relative weakness the past few seasons but one with a lot potential this year from several young backs.Ryan Edwards gave his two game balls to running backs - Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay - and he went on record for a second time to say that Freeman should have the No. 1 spot locked up.“The way he runs, he’s getting better at pass pro, he’s got back-to-back games with scoring touchdowns, great vision, one cutback,” Edwards said. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s all we needed to see.”Edwards wasn’t willing to say Freeman was the bell cow and Devontae Booker would be the third-down guy, but he definitely believes when the season is over, Freeman will have more touches on the ball than Booker.But Vance Joseph on Monday still wasn’t willing to give that No. 1 spot to the rookie running back who has flashed in both preseason games.“All four or five of the guys played well again. Right now Adam Gotsis Jersey , it’s an open competition still,” Joseph said Monday. “That being said, ‘Book’ and Royce have been our leads guys going in to the game, and ‘2’ has been our change-up guy. He’s a package guy, along with De’Angelo. And David had a nice run in the fourth quarter that would’ve probably sealed the game.”But with De’angelo Henderson, Phillip Lindsay and David Williams challenging those two, the position battle for the third spot - and possibly for making the fourth roster spot versus the practice squad - are still up for grabs and should make for an interesting preseason finale in two weeks.“Phillip Lindsay is no question a sharpie on the roster now,” Edwards said, noting the former CU Buffalo and UDFA earned his second game ball on the night. “He had a tackle on special teams, he’s second up in punt returns, he’s the starting kick returner. Phillip Lindsay has earned a roster spot, and all he can do now in Billy Musgrave’s offense is show versatility. He can run between tackles, catch in space - and he had a really, really good tackle on special teams as a gunner. C’mon man. Phillip Lindsay has lots to be excited about.”Steve Atwater couldn’t agree more.“He’s exciting, he’s fast, he’s explosive, he gets the crowd into it, he’s a hometown guy,” Atwater said. “Plus he works hard, so what’s not to like? I love his attitude, love his pass-catching ability. He’s going to be a weapon for us this year.”Edwards expects Lindsay to be the No. 3 running back, pushing either Henderson or Williams to the practice squad and keeping the other as the fourth running back on the 53. “We’ll get a lot of running in the preseason finale,” Andrew Mason said. “It could be the winner of that competition is on the 53 other guy is on the practice squad.”Bonus: David Bruton on ComiCon, books and the terrible new helmet ruleFormer Broncos’ safety and team captain the year of the Super Bowl run, David Bruton Jr., stopped by to talk with Edwards, Atwater and Mason - and they talked about everything from ComiCon to the helmet rule.As you might have guessed, Bruton is a big fan of the first one and not-so-much on the second.Edwards brought up the Broncos’ inability to tackle tight ends but the conversation quickly turned to the new helmet rules and how it’s making tackling impossible for the defense.“With the tackling rules, I have no idea. Not a clue,” Bruton said on how a safety can tackle a tight end in this new penalty-happy climate. “How are you suppose to tackle? It’s an offensive-minded league in how they structure these different rules. It puts the defensive player at a disadvantage. Puts the team on defense at a disadvantage. How are you supposed to tackle?”Unfortunately, Atwater added, there is no alternative offered by the NFL, so guys will keep tackling the way they’ve been taught with the head up, leading with the shoulder and just hope they don’t get fined.“The offense is lowering their heads and dropping their shoulders, but we’ll be the ones to get penalized because we’re the ones meeting them face to face,” Bruton Jr. said, adding that he doesn’t think the new rule can possibly last too long in the league.Helmet rules aside, Bruton is “always excited” to watch the young Broncos’ secondary this season.“They are [a little banged up], but injuries are part of the game,” he said, pointing out that during the Super Bowl year, the Broncos had a lot of banged up players in the No Fly Zone, which just gave other guys a chance to shine. “Injuries happen and guys are able to step up, so we’ll see how big that depth is in the secondary for sure.”But Bruton’s other must-see player is Freeman, a guy the retired safety is happy he doesn’t have to tackle anymore.“I’m excited about Royce, excited to see what he’s going to do,” Bruton said. “He’s just a big bowling ball.”And how does a player tackle a bowling ball?“I’d probably just put my head down and shoot my shot,” Bruton said, acknowledging that he’d “probably just go ahead and catch a fine too.”Bruton retired from the NFL in the 2017 offseason after one year with theRedskins. He wasplaced on season-ending IR for a concussion he suffered fromBruton moved on by going back to school to earn his graduate degree in physical therapy. He’s currently finishing up some pre-req science courses at CU Denver and ready to start PT school after this semester.But in the meantime, he’s recruiting his classmates to help him continue his foundation work through Bruton’s Books of supplying reading materials to kids in disadvantaged schools. In addition to raising money to supply books to elementary schools, Bruton’s Books is also partnering with Power Lunch, a program to provide one-on-one tutoring during lunch twice a week to kids who need extra instruction.
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