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View Full Version : Lepsis's knee's good; now to get up to speed



Javalon
08-07-2007, 05:19 AM
This article concerns Lepsis's ongoing recovery. I sure hope he gets back to dominating form soon because we don't want Cutler killed during a preseason game:

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/nfl/article/0,2777,DRMN_23918_5661922,00.html

Lepsis's knee's good; now to get up to speed

Tackle Lepsis says he hopes to find form in time for opener
By Lee Rasizer

ENGLEWOOD - There's no feeling of nostalgia, no stop-and-smell-the-roses sentiments as Matt Lepsis returns at age 33 for another go-round in the trenches.
Sure, it's nice to be back after missing more than a half season after major surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and cartilage damage in his right knee. But camp is camp, sore is sore and work is work.

The only difference is summer No. 11 with the Broncos might lag on a bit longer before he regains a feeling of normalcy.

"My knee feels good. I haven't had any setbacks, but I'm just trying to get my leg back, you know?" he said. "It's not fully back to the speed of the game and still giving me a little trouble."

Lepsis, though, is quick to add that's nothing a few more weeks of practices and preseason games can't cure.

"I'm totally confident I'm going to be back to form by the end of camp," he said.

Lepsis hasn't experienced any pain or swelling, which is one reason for his optimism.

The issues relate more to being able to drop his hips and fend off a bull rush with power or to plant his leg quickly on an inside move with authority.

Things appeared to be on the upswing for Lepsis by the fourth day of camp but slowed again in two practices before the team's weekend break. But he was right back with the starters Monday morning.

"It takes some time," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said when asked about Lepsis' recovery. "You're not going to come back your first week of practice and feel like you did before you had the injury. Any time you have an injury like he has, that's common. But what he's been able to do is work through it. And he'll get better and better and more confident every day he practices. Our game plan is to get him ready for the first game."

The way Lepsis described his current state is feeling a "half-second off" in his movements.

"It's camp and kind of going from not doing a whole lot to really working hard," he said. "I've got confidence in the leg, but it's just not doing what my brain's telling it to do" at all times.

Lepsis' return is a pivotal piece to the Broncos' hopes of returning from their first nonplayoff year since 2002.

He has the ability to handle some of the league's top pass rushers one on one. But, equally important, it allows Erik Pears, who replaced Lepsis for the final 10-plus games, to move to his more natural right tackle spot and is one fewer change with two starters from last season - right tackle George Foster and right guard Cooper Carlisle - having departed.

Lepsis was injured Oct. 22 against Cleveland and had surgery two weeks later. Before his departure, Denver was 4-1; the Broncos were 5-6 afterward.

While it's too simplistic to call it entirely cause and effect, Shanahan noted during the offseason there was a trickle-down effect when the tackle left the lineup, saying the line failed to "play at the level we were capable of playing" in his absence.

Lepsis returned to the field in limited fashion during minicamp in May but wasn't used in full-team drills until a two-day team session in early July.

So far, between battling first-round pick Jarvis Moss and 2006 sacks leader Elvis Dumervil, Lepsis has been given the second half of two-a-day training camp practices off as a precaution.

"I don't think he looks any different at all," said Kenard Lang, another defensive end who has been matched against Lepsis during the past nine days. "He's still got those Master Locks for hands. And he's moving well, even though I'm sure it's an adjustment getting back into the groove of things."

The main evidence of Lepsis' surgery is the bulky knee brace he wears on his right leg. But it's by doctor's orders.

Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison suggested it will take Lepsis a game or two during the preseason to become fully acclimated. Otherwise, the veteran player is no different than any other offensive lineman in that he has areas that need addressing.

The responsibilities could be slightly different for Lepsis, too, considering the change from the bootleg- oriented passing game under Jake Plummer to a more pocket-based attack with Jay Cutler.

"It's going to be drop back, and you've got to hold on," Lepsis predicted, based on early camp practices.

But hanging on defines Lepsis' career.

He entered the league in 1997 as a tight end out of the University of Colorado coming off his first major knee injury - to the left leg that time. He remains one of the lone remnants from the Broncos' late 1990s double title runs.

When he does allow himself to reminisce, that's the kind of subject matter he considers most frequently.

"It's flown by," Lepsis said. "When I first got in here, I looked around at the guys in my position. I had never played tackle. They sent me to Europe, and I thought, 'Man, I've got no chance.' But things worked out, and I kind of got lucky and fell into a position that's kind of natural for me."

A position the Broncos don't want to imagine without him for a good long time.
(Note, I took the liberty of chaning the title since the article said "Moss's knee..." when it had basically nothing to do with Jarvis. Obviously the rookie's injury yesterday was in the back of Rasizer's mind when he wrote the aritcle. :))

Hawgdriver
08-07-2007, 06:30 AM
It's easy to forget that it's tough to come back from major knee surgury within the year. I think about Palmer and McNabb and their knees, and I hold my breath--but it's probably a lot harder for a tackle to regain his old strength and form. I hope Lepsis stays healthy and keeps gaining ground. :salute:

Lepsis is such a hoss, we almost take it for granted he'll be 100%.

dogfish
08-07-2007, 07:30 AM
jav, i think you and i share the same view regarding lepsis' importance to the team (in my thread "5 factors that will determine our success this season," i had his return to pre-injury form as #2). . . that's fantastic news that the knee isn't swelling, and i tend to agree with shanny's comments that he just needs some work to regain confidence in the repaired knee-- which is somewhat of a relief, as it's been reported that moss was beating him off the edge pretty consistently in camp. . .

hot damn, is it really less than a week 'til we get to see the team on the field for real??


:rockon: :rockon:



next monday is my birthday, and unless jessica alba shows up at my door, i can't imagine a better present than some broncos football after what has felt like the longest. . . offseason. . . EVER!

TheWookieeBronco
08-07-2007, 12:31 PM
jav, i think you and i share AND THEWOOKIEEBRONCO the same view regarding lepsis' importance to the team (in my thread "5 factors that will determine our success this season," i had his return to pre-injury form as #2). . . that's fantastic news that the knee isn't swelling, and i tend to agree with shanny's comments that he just needs some work to regain confidence in the repaired knee-- which is somewhat of a relief, as it's been reported that moss was beating him off the edge pretty consistently in camp. . .

hot damn, is it really less than a week 'til we get to see the team on the field for real??


:rockon: :rockon:



next monday is my birthday, and unless jessica alba shows up at my door, i can't imagine a better present than some broncos football after what has felt like the longest. . . offseason. . . EVER!

I share the same views as both of you. Lepsis is KEY!

He protects Cutler's blindside, a key part in the passing game. If Lepsis needs Pears to cover for him we lose a great blocker and it's not that Pears isn't good it's just he isn't up to Lepsis's standard, it also means Adam Meadows has to play RT and it isn't that Adam Meadows isn't good either but he's not as good as Erik Pears.

Lepsis will struggle at the start but hopefully he can eventually get up to atleast near full strength, I don't think the fact that we went 5-6 without Lepsis is ENTIRELY a coincidence; Plummer wore our own defense out with his turnovers and coming in with a rookie QB after that is hard even if the QB is as talented as Cutler BUT Lepsis going down contributed to that alot because our offensive line was already weak (Foster, Cooper). Lepsis really holds the offensive line together, the offensive line holds the whole offense together and that's why he is so key.

Javalon
08-07-2007, 01:56 PM
jav, i think you and i share the same view regarding lepsis' importance to the team (in my thread "5 factors that will determine our success this season," i had his return to pre-injury form as #2). . . that's fantastic news that the knee isn't swelling, and i tend to agree with shanny's comments that he just needs some work to regain confidence in the repaired knee-- which is somewhat of a relief, as it's been reported that moss was beating him off the edge pretty consistently in camp. . .

hot damn, is it really less than a week 'til we get to see the team on the field for real??


:rockon: :rockon:



next monday is my birthday, and unless jessica alba shows up at my door, i can't imagine a better present than some broncos football after what has felt like the longest. . . offseason. . . EVER!

Yep, we're (including Wookie ;)) on the same page. I do wonder what they'll do if Lepsis goes down again or doesn't play up to par. Will they switch Pears back to LT or will they start the rook? :eek:

Let's just pray for a healthy Lepsis this season...

dogfish
08-07-2007, 01:58 PM
Yep, we're (including Wookie ;)) on the same page. I do wonder what they'll do if Lepsis goes down again or doesn't play up to par. Will they switch Pears back to LT or will they start the rook? :eek:

Let's just pray for a healthy Lepsis this season...

weep like little girls, probably-- let's not talk about that. . . .


:shake:

TheWookieeBronco
08-07-2007, 02:00 PM
Yep, we're (including Wookie ;)) on the same page. I do wonder what they'll do if Lepsis goes down again or doesn't play up to par. Will they switch Pears back to LT or will they start the rook? :eek:

Let's just pray for a healthy Lepsis this season...

I doubt we will start the rook unless it's very late in the season and it would depend VERY much on his progress on the training field. Personally I think it would be Adam Meadows.

Javalon
08-07-2007, 02:11 PM
I doubt we will start the rook unless it's very late in the season and it would depend VERY much on his progress on the training field. Personally I think it would be Adam Meadows.

Hmm... from what I've been hearing about Meadows, I think I'd prefer the rook. If Meadows is struggling on the right side then I can only imagine his struggles would get much worse by switching to a new position. At least Pears got experience at LT last year.

I would go with either Pears or Harris, if it were up to me, although neither option sounds very encouraging.

I'm with Dogfish, I'll probably just curl up on the couch with my Broncos blanky, suck my thumb and cry like a little girl. :laugh:


STAY HEALTHY, MATT!!!

BRONCOS_OWN_U16
08-07-2007, 03:07 PM
damn now lepsis is hurt

DenBronx
08-07-2007, 09:22 PM
Hmm... from what I've been hearing about Meadows, I think I'd prefer the rook. If Meadows is struggling on the right side then I can only imagine his struggles would get much worse by switching to a new position. At least Pears got experience at LT last year.

I would go with either Pears or Harris, if it were up to me, although neither option sounds very encouraging.

I'm with Dogfish, I'll probably just curl up on the couch with my Broncos blanky, suck my thumb and cry like a little girl. :laugh:


STAY HEALTHY, MATT!!!



same here.....meadows scares me. im not too sure he should even be on the second team. pears or harris would be the better choice.

Peerless
08-07-2007, 09:55 PM
damn now lepsis is hurt

Lepsis was hurt.

Belive it or not, he's in a way better position then poor Roddy.


It'll take some time, but I'm sure Matt will adjust and become his old self.

BRONCOS_OWN_U16
08-07-2007, 11:44 PM
Lepsis was hurt.

Belive it or not, he's in a way better position then poor Roddy.


It'll take some time, but I'm sure Matt will adjust and become his old self.

whos poor roddy.

and your talking about matts groin injury right?

TheWookieeBronco
08-08-2007, 08:47 AM
Hmm... from what I've been hearing about Meadows, I think I'd prefer the rook. If Meadows is struggling on the right side then I can only imagine his struggles would get much worse by switching to a new position. At least Pears got experience at LT last year.

I would go with either Pears or Harris, if it were up to me, although neither option sounds very encouraging.

I'm with Dogfish, I'll probably just curl up on the couch with my Broncos blanky, suck my thumb and cry like a little girl. :laugh:


STAY HEALTHY, MATT!!!

Misunderstanding. :heh:

My plan if Lepsis got injured would be to have Pears play LT and Adam Meadows to play RT. I thought you asked " Who would you prefer to play RT, Harris or Meadows?" and my answer to that would be Meadows unless Ryan Harris really impressed on the training field. I am more confident of our offensive line now but I still worry about our pass blocking, Meadows has more experience, I also don't think it would be fair to throw a rookie in just like that and Harris usually plays LT. Our pass protection would take a big hit if we were to start a rookie who usually plays on the left side unless Harris has exceptional skills.

Anyway I think Harris will get his chance when we are winning by alot and Lespis or Pears (my projected OT's to start) get's banged up or tired and Harris will come in for a few plays.

CinnaMunMun
08-08-2007, 02:54 PM
Saw this on the DP. http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_6574457

MRI for Lepsis

The right knee is fine. It's the left groin that's been bothering Matt Lepsis in recent days. The left tackle pulled his groin muscle Tuesday and sat out the morning workout session Wednesday. During the lunch hour, Lepsis went for an MRI exam. "It's just precautionary," Lepsis said. "I just pulled it." He added his right knee, which suffered a torn ACL last season, has recovered nicely.

Position battle

With Lepsis out, the Broncos moved Erik Pears back to left tackle and inserted Adam Meadows at right tackle with the first-string unit. Pears replaced Lepsis at left tackle last season but had been working exclusively at right tackle during training camp.