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    Stokley could become steal
    Coming off Achilles tendon injury, wide receiver feeling "ready to go"
    By Bill Williamson
    Denver Post Staff Writer
    Article Last Updated: 07/29/2007 11:50:28 PM MDT

    Brandon Stokley, a former Colts receiver in his ninth NFL season, already is catching attention at Broncos training camp. (Post / Steve Nehf)

    When the Broncos signed wide receiver Brandon Stokley in March, they did not expect to see him in uniform on the opening day of training camp.

    The initial medical diagnosis was that Stokley, the former No. 3 receiver in the high-powered Indianapolis Colts offense, would not be ready until the start of the regular season at the earliest. He ruptured his Achilles tendon in December and many thought it would take a year to recover. But the Broncos took a chance, and it could pay off.

    In the biggest surprise of training camp's opening day, Stokley was in the starting lineup, working opposite No. 1 receiver Javon Walker in the morning practice. It was the first full practice for Stokley, who sat out the afternoon practice as part of his rehabilitation routine, since his injury. In the July mini-camp, Stokley did some individual work.

    "This is a big step for me," Stokley said. "I'm ahead of schedule. ... As far as I'm concerned, I'm full go. I'm ready to go. It felt great out there."

    Granted, Stokley was in the starting lineup only because Brandon Marshall, who is expected to have a strong chance to win the No. 2 job, and Rod Smith opened training camp on the physically unable to perform list. Marshall is expected back within a week, but Smith could be out several weeks.

    Denver brought in Stokley to compete for the No. 3 job. If he stays healthy, he has a great chance of playing often.

    "It was great to see him out there," assistant head coach Mike Heimerdinger said. "It was much earlier than expected. It was a big bonus."

    Kuper with No. 1 offense

    There were no other major lineup surprises during Sunday's first practice. But there were some interesting developments. Second-year right guard Chris Kuper was working with the first team ahead of Montrae Holland. Kuper worked with the first team in the July mini-camp.

    At strongside linebacker, Warrick
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    Holdman was working with the first team. D.D. Lewis was the second man in on the strong side.

    The starting defensive line consisted of ends John Engelberger and Ebenezer Ekuban and tackles Sam Adams and Gerard Warren. First-round draft pick Jarvis Moss and second- year player Elvis Dumervil were the first-team defensive ends in passing situations, with Ekuban swinging inside to tackle.

    Cecil Sapp, a former Colorado State star, remained the No. 2 running back behind Travis Henry and ahead of Mike Bell.

    Peterson glad to be back

    For about five hours Saturday, defensive lineman Kenny Peterson was without a team. The Broncos decided to cut him Saturday morning because of a roster numbers crunch.

    But after defensive end Carlos Hall failed to report to camp, Peterson was re-signed.

    "It was a roller-coaster day," Peterson said. "It was terrible being cut but great being brought back."

    Peterson is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's steroid policy. Peterson has declined comment on his suspension, but the Broncos have said he told them he accidentally took the supplements.

    Veterans get extra work

    Only a handful of veterans had the afternoon off Sunday. But in future two-a-day sessions, veterans such as cornerback Champ Bailey and safety John Lynch - who both practiced twice Sunday - will work just once.

    Adams, who
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    didn't practice in the afternoon, loves coach Mike Shanahan's policy. This is Adams' sixth NFL team, and he always had to work twice a day in training camp during his career.

    "I couldn't believe it when I came here," Adams said. "It's the way to go."


    Offensive lineman Doug Nienhuis and cornerback Lamont Reid are still on the roster, but were injured while with their NFL Europe teams. They will soon be cleared off the roster.

    Staff writer Bill Williamson can be reached at 303-954-1262 or

  • #2
    Stokley looks, feels good

    By Lee Rasizer, Rocky Mountain News
    July 30, 2007

    Brandon Stokley ran stride for stride down the right sideline with cornerback Domonique Foxworth, leaped, and caught Jay Cutler’s deep toss a second before safety Hamza Abdullah arrived Monday morning.
    The moment was not just one play in a single practice at Denver Broncos training camp. For Stokley, it was a significant measuring stick post-surgery on his right Achilles tendon.

    "That’s the kind of thing you judge yourself by," Stokley noted about his catch in the seven-on-seven period. "Can I still make those plays? Can I still do it? Obviously I’m not where I want to be right now and have a lot of room for improvement. But when you make those plays, it shows you you’re on the right path."

    Just a few months ago, Stokley admitted teams weren’t knocking down his door for a 31-year old with a bum leg. But with Denver’s receiving corps down a couple bodies early in camp, Stokley is getting extra repetitions and making the most of them, so far.

    Coach Mike Shanahan called Monday morning’s lone full-team workout "a great practice by Stokley," adding the receiver, "looks like he is back to full speed."

    Stokley won’t go that far. But he isn’t feeling any pain, saying his knees are sorer than his foot, and feels he’s getting stronger by the practice.

    He even got to experience a little contact Monday when Foxworth got his revenge. The cornerback drilled Stokley in the chest after a short reception, de-cleating the receiver just before the final practice whistle.

    "It’s always good to get banged around a little bit to get you in that game mode. I was hoping it would happen in a preseason game. But it was enjoyable, to say the least," he said.

    HE'S THE ONE: As offseason camps were winding down, D.D. Lewis couldn’t help but wonder where he stood in the team’s plans.

    Warrick Holdman and Eddie Moore were getting the important snaps with the first team at strong-side linebacker. And when Lewis’ looked at his situation as a backup in the middle, it was hard to see past the ‘55’ of D.J. Williams in front of him.

    "That wasn’t going to work too well," Lewis said with a laugh. "I wanted to come in here and play outside."

    With Moore gone due to another knee injury, Lewis’ chance finally has arrived. He ran with the first team on the strong side on Monday and the competition for the starting job flanking Williams and weak-side ‘backer Ian Gold appears to be wide open now after Holdman ran with the starters Sunday.

    Lewis is most comfortable playing outside, having done so the majority of his five previous seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. His biggest bugaboo was a shoulder problem that landed him on injured reserve in 2004 and a foot injury, eventually repaired surgically, that limited him to five games last year.

    "I’ve just got to continue getting comfortable in the scheme and everything and once I grasp it man, I’m really going to show up," he said. "I’ve battled injuries the last two years and now that I’m over that, I’m really looking forward to get this thing going."

    GATHER 'ROUND: There’s few words more hated by the players during camp than hearing, ‘Bring it up,’ from Shanahan mid-period in practice. After all, he isn’t gathering everyone to exchange pleasantries but rather to let his displeasure be known.

    On Monday, Shanahan had seen enough of the ball on the ground, false starts and encroachment penalties that he signaled his unofficial timeout.

    "It’s just kind of a call to attention to say, ‘Hey, let’s step this thing up,’" backup quarterback Patrick Ramsey said. "Sometimes it’s needed I think. And obviously coach Shanahan can detect that. I think we stepped it up a little bit after that point."

    BEND IT LIKE . . . ELAM? The United States got David Beckham.

    And for a week, at least, England cast its eyes on one of our best footballers last month.

    Broncos kicker Jason Elam’s arrival across the pond didn’t engender the same type of reaction as Posh’s hubby. But he did get recognized, as he spent about a week working towards his Master’s Degree in global apologetics at Oxford.

    "They said, ‘You’re that American football player. Now how do you guys play American football?,’’" Elam recalled. "They have no idea. No idea. They’d say, ‘It’s slow. Why do you guys take breaks all the time?’"

    The Brits will get some of those questions answered when the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants meet in London on Oct. 28 in the first NFL regular-season game outside the U.S.

    Elam’s advice for those traveling parties: They even walk on the opposite side of the sidewalk over there, so pay close attention.


    • Nate Webster, playing middle linebacker with the second defense, decked receiver Brian Clark, eliciting oohs and ahhs from the crowd. Webster rose to his feet with the ball under one arm and Clark’s helmet under the other.

    • Kicker Jason Elam was perfect on all 10 of his field-goal tries in his first live session of camp. The team initially brought Elam on the field in late-game scramble mode, with time running down and forced to get the offense quickly off the field. Denver is running more situational snaps on special teams this summer.

    • Dre’ Bly had a solid morning practice, highlighted by his deflection on a pass intended for Glenn Martinez that caromed to middle linebacker D.J. Williams for an interception. Bly also broke up a slant to Domenik Hixon in red-zone drills.

    Injury report

    • Wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Rod Smith and tight end Tony Scheffler remain on the physically unable to perform list. Cornerback Lamont Reid (pectoral) and tackle Doug Nienhuis (knee) are on the active camp roster but are in Birmingham, Ala., rehabilitating injuries sustained in NFL Europa.


    All that was missing as rookie Jarvis Moss exited the field Monday morning was calliope-filled clown music.

    Moss was an utter mess while charged with the time-honored tradition of carrying the veterans’ equipment after practice,

    As the first-round pick struggled to keep hold of the pads, jerseys and helmets of his front-four teammates, fullback Kyle Johnson tried to bail his new teammate out by grabbing one set away.

    But Moss, with cameras clicking and whirring away and eliciting laughter, dropped the other three sets on a couple occasions. He lost his shoe. And his pants were falling down, to boot.

    The quizzical look on his face as he tried to organize everything properly in hand, only to fail, was priceless.

    Expected to provide sacks, Moss could have used one himself – of the garbage-pail variety, in one of his first training-camp tests.


    "I’m looking forward to some of Tommy (Nalen)’s comments. I think they’re going to be a little bit more colorful than some of the other guys, so it’s going to be interesting."

    -- Quarterback Jay Cutler, on the NFL’s policy that ended the offensive line’s long-time media embargo in Denver and its impact on the team’s 14-year center who last year vowed never to speak for the record again.,00.html


    • #3
      Great post Skinny,Im excited about Stokely this season he will start at either 2nd or 3rd receiver this season IMO


      • #4
        I agree! I'd be surprised if Marshall doesn't have to really FIGHT Stokley over that #2 spot. His recovery is the best news we've had from camp at the WR position (besides Walker's new hairdo!).
        Denver Obsession


        • #5
          Originally posted by denverobsession View Post
          I agree! I'd be surprised if Marshall doesn't have to really FIGHT Stokley over that #2 spot. His recovery is the best news we've had from camp at the WR position (besides Walker's new hairdo!).
          I agree and Im surprised it took this long to get stokely in here.
          All this time the past 5 years Denvers struggled in the WR department, Brandon Stokely a guy that was 3rd string in indy and yet still burned us twice in the playoffs.

          Im glad hes here now but what took so long!


          • #6
            What took so long was that Indy had him tied up in a contract. And I mean come on would you leave that offense if you didn't have too??? I am glad to see him in Denver I may just go out and get his Jersey when he becomes Denver's go to receiver and pro bowl receiver. I just hope we sign him to an extension being that we only have him on a 1 year contract right now.
            Broncos Fan/Colorado Native Stuck In VAsigpic