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SI's Training Camp Postcard

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  • SI's Training Camp Postcard

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...cos/index.html

    Here's the Drill
    1. It's been billed as a competition but the talk is that Darrent Williams should beat out Dominique Foxworth for the starting right cornerback spot opposite Champ Bailey. Williams is a more physical player (even though he's three inches smaller than the 5-11 Foxworth) and he also has the explosiveness to cover ground when the ball is in the air. That said, Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan says both will be playing plenty. "I see them both as starting cornerbacks," says Shanahan, who drafted both players in the 2005 Draft. "We see so many multiple-receiver sets that they could both be on the field when the games begin."

    2. The Broncos are expecting offensive tackle Adam Meadows to arrive in camp by Tuesday. Shoulder problems forced him into retirement the last two years but now he's feeling healthy enough to return to the game. Meadows had been preparing to play with Carolina before the start of 2004 before he decided to quit. Prior to signing a free-agent deal with the Panthers, he started 61 games for Indianapolis during his seven years with the Colts. Look for him to eventually push starting right tackle George Foster for a job.

    3. Rookie running back Mike Bell has been a pleasant surprise in training camp so far. He's shown toughness, a strong burst through the line of scrimmage and he's comfortable in Denver's zone-blocking scheme (Bell played in a similar system at Arizona). An undrafted free agent who played in a lousy offense in college, Bell is already practicing as the team's third running back behind Ron Dayne and Tatum Bell.

    4. Another rookie, fourth-round pick Brandon Marshall, is also moving up the depth chart. The 6-foot-4, 222-pound receiver from Central Florida has so much size, speed and play-making ability that he carries the nickname "Baby-T.O." He struggled with leg cramps midway through one-on-one drills Monday but coaches aren't concerned with short-term ailments. They envisioned him as an H-back when they drafted him. Now he looks like a good bet to be their fourth receiver.

    5. Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith spoke with camp holdout Ashley Lelie a couple days ago. Lelie didn't participate in the Broncos' offseason workouts and he hasn't shown up at training camp as he tries to force the team into trading him. Smith said he didn't talk about the holdout during their conversation -- they mostly discussed how each other's families were doing -- and he told Lelie that he's still supported in the locker room. "Nobody on this team is against Ashley," Smith said. "Some people might be confused about why he's taking such a drastic stance but nobody dislikes the guy. I've also told him that I wouldn't do what he's doing. I like working."

    Factoid
    Denver ranked 22nd in the league in third-down conversions (36.2 percent).

    Fantasy Geek Note
    Dayne is the front-runner to be Denver's number one back this season. He's run with more authority in camp than his competition, Tatum Bell, and he has the size to handle a heavier load. Unless Bell really impresses during the preseason games, he'll be looking at another year as a change-of-pace back.

    Camp Confidential
    A movie crew that has been filming in Denver attended Monday's morning session. One of the stars of the film, Josh Hartnett, is playing a sports reporter and he actually interviewed quarterback Jake Plummer for a scene after the Broncos finished that first practice.
    Patriotic dissent is a luxury of those protected by better men than they.

  • #2
    Nice little bits of info.

    Thanks

    Comment


    • #3
      Does anyone know why Marshall was projected and picked in the fourth round of this draft? From everything that I heard predraft and now that training camp has started, he is a good player. In a draft class that really lacked good receivers I was just wondering why everyone passed on this guy. He works out like TO and is all muscle from everything that I have heard. If he really has a little speed to go with it and can catch (which I've only been hearing good things about) he can become just like TO who is the number 1 or 2 receiver in the league. So what where the negatives about him pre-draft since I haven't been hearing any lately?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jhns
        Does anyone know why Marshall was projected and picked in the fourth round of this draft? From everything that I heard predraft and now that training camp has started, he is a good player. In a draft class that really lacked good receivers I was just wondering why everyone passed on this guy. He works out like TO and is all muscle from everything that I have heard. If he really has a little speed to go with it and can catch (which I've only been hearing good things about) he can become just like TO who is the number 1 or 2 receiver in the league. So what where the negatives about him pre-draft since I haven't been hearing any lately?
        Here is what NFL.com had to say about him.

        Marshall is an interesting prospect when you see his height/weight/timed-speed combo and consider that he played defensive back until his senior season -- he definitely is a very good developmental prospect. While he clearly has excellent size for a receiver, he does not play anywhere near as fast as his 40-time and lacks the explosiveness in his routes to get separation from defenders -- usually, raw receivers show their speed and burst and just run bad routes and drop a ton of passes. He has shown the toughness catching passes in traffic that gives him hope, but he will need to play more aggressively in every area to become the player he has the ability to be. Teams will be hesitant to draft a receiver who show no explosiveness or playing speed on film, no matter how great his 40-time is. While he is not a natural pass catcher, he has shown the ability to reach out and pluck the ball away from his body surprisingly well. He is going to struggle to develop into anything more than a backup receiver due to his lack of explosiveness and speed and, if he does not become a starting receiver, teams may try to switch him to tight end to see how he handles that role.



        STRONG POINTS
        Marshall has excellent size and consistently has shown a willingness to catch passes going into traffic, take the hard hit and hold onto the ball. He can reach out and pluck the ball away from his body and has shown the ability to use his body to cut-off/shield defenders from ball and make tough catches. When he goes up aggressively, he has shown the hands to catch the high pass easily. He has the natural size and strength to be a strong runner after the catch when he runs aggressively -- he keeps his feet vs. low arm/grab tackles and vs. hard hits, and can drag tacklers for extra yards. In his first year playing receiver, he became Central Florida's go-to-receiver and learned to use his hands and strength to fight through jams well.



        WEAKNESSES
        Despite his great 40-time, Marshall does not show quickness, speed or explosiveness in routes. He is just adequate in terms of quickness to the ball and struggles to get separation in routes because his routes are not sharp and he runs very upright. He does not have the playing speed to stretch the field and get separation on deep routes. He has little experience running all the routes on the route tree and basically just runs short stop routes and drag routes across the field. He does not have natural hands -- he tends to allow easy passes into his body, fights the ball, and drops some passes he should catch. He does not consistently run aggressively after the catch which hinders his ability to consistently gain yards after contact and he's not a true tackle breaker.




        It seems that he has talent...put him with Rod Smith and let him learn.
        Patriotic dissent is a luxury of those protected by better men than they.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by LDB

          WEAKNESSES
          Despite his great 40-time, Marshall does not show quickness, speed or explosiveness in routes. He is just adequate in terms of quickness to the ball and struggles to get separation in routes because his routes are not sharp and he runs very upright. He does not have the playing speed to stretch the field and get separation on deep routes. He has little experience running all the routes on the route tree and basically just runs short stop routes and drag routes across the field. He does not have natural hands -- he tends to allow easy passes into his body, fights the ball, and drops some passes he should catch. He does not consistently run aggressively after the catch which hinders his ability to consistently gain yards after contact and he's not a true tackle breaker.
          Well from what I have been hearing his game speed was deceiving because he is such a long strider. Also, I have been hearing that he catches most of the balls thrown his way. With that size if he develops well then he would be a pretty good fit in the slot with Javon stretching the field Smith doing what he does all the time and Marshall able to go over the middle or taking two defenders off the rest of the play simply because has such a size advantage over a lot of defenders. With his size he could also become a good blocker. I am excited to see what he can do on game day. All of the stuff they just listed as a problem for him, are the same things I have been seeing in camp reports that he is doing well at. They also list him being able to drag defenders and break away after catch as a strong point and then list the same thing as a weakness. That is one of the reasons I hate trying to go off of these reports. They also say that Walker is not good with physical corners and so on but every time that I have watched Walker he has been a guy that outplays defenders that are all over him for the ball. I wish I could just sit down and ask coaches why they make the moves they do so I don't have to rely on these scouting reports, especially since about 70% of them that I read are way off and they will say something is bad about a receiver if they had it happen to them like 1 or 2 times in a season.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by LDB
            Camp Confidential
            A movie crew that has been filming in Denver attended Monday's morning session. One of the stars of the film, Josh Hartnett, is playing a sports reporter and he actually interviewed quarterback Jake Plummer for a scene after the Broncos finished that first practice.
            If anyone else found this tidbit particularly intriguing, I found this on IMDB. Sounds pretty decent.
            I'll duel you left-handed

            "I fell in love with football as I was later to fall in love with women: suddenly, inexplicably, uncritically, giving no thought to the pain or disruption it would bring with it" - Nick Hornby from Fever Pitch

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