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  1. #1
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    Clayton's camp observations

    Here are John Clayton's observations from Bronco's camp. He's on board with Marshall, Cutler, and M. Bell.

    1.
    Jay Cutler has the look of a top NFL quarterback. He has the strong arm and the smarts. Still, head coach Mike Shanahan won't rush him. Cutler is running the third team behind Jake Plummer and Bradlee Van Pelt.

    The thought going around camp is that Cutler won't catch Van Pelt for the backup job until sometime during the season. Everyone knows it is particularly hard for any rookie quarterback to step in and run the West Coast offense. Shanahan doesn't need to do that with Cutler. He can take time to groom him. Cutler has all the tools. His strong arm really shows during goal-line plays and when he rifles the slant pass. From three-step drops, Cutler can step back quickly and fire a throw into the numbers of a receiver.

    There's no doubt Cutler will be one of the most-watched players during the preseason. Broncos fans are still spoiled from the John Elway days. They want a young gunslinger. Cutler has the chance to be the gunslinger of the future.

    2.
    The early star of camp is wide receiver Brandon Marshall of Central Florida. He already is being projected as the potential No. 3 receiver behind Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie. Sure, similar things were being said about Darius Watts, a raw second-round choice from a couple of years ago who hasn't shown the consistent hands to move forward. With Lelie holding out, Shanahan is using Watts as the third receiver, but don't be surprised if Marshall passes him by the end of the exhibition season.

    Marshall is 6-foot-4, 222 pounds, and he catches everything. On slant patterns, he has the knack of positioning his body in front of the defender and making the catch. Second-round choice Tony Scheffler also looks good as a backup tight end. He has the speed to stretch the field and shows good hands.

    3.
    The defense has undergone little change, but it's strange not seeing Trevor Pryce along the defensive line. Whether he played end or tackle, Pryce dominated. The Broncos cut him, and he signed with the Ravens. He already has come out and sounded bitter about the decision. Nevertheless, the defensive line went through an amazing overhaul last year and should only get better.

    Think about what Shanahan did last year in winning 13 games. He revamped the defensive line with Gerard Warren, Courtney Brown, Michael Myers, Ebenezer Ekuban and John Engelberger. He gambled and won with three young players in the secondary -- Darrent Williams, Domonique Foxworth and Karl Paymah. He brought back Ian Gold to complete one of the league's best linebacking trios. Defensive coordinator Larry Coyer somehow was able to get this group to come together under a very complicated blitzing scheme.

    4.
    Ron Dayne is playing with the first team at running back, but this has to be Tatum Bell's breakout year. Watching him run, you wonder why it hasn't happened sooner. Bell glides down the field. If he can make the right cut and get past the initial group of tacklers, he can run for touchdowns.

    Bell averaged 5.3 yards a carry last season, but he hasn't earned enough carries to be the starter and there is no guarantee he will this year. Bell has been working on his strength to get bigger and stronger on short-yardage and goal-line plays. Shanahan thinks he tends to wear down after about 15 carries, so Bell has to prove to the coach he can hold up and produce beyond that threshold.

    The starting halfback job is wide-open. Anything can happen, including an addition by trade. The Broncos also are excited about undrafted rookie Mike Bell, who is showing promise during camp.

    5.
    Aside from Javon Walker's sheer talent, I also like his attitude. Even though he demanded a trade from the Packers last season, he went about his work professionally. He didn't hold out and worked hard to get ready for the season.

    Going behind the scenes, you find out Walker is a perfectionist. For the past couple of years, he has worked with a former Florida State teammate on a device called Great Catch. He has been showing it at high school clinics and getting sales. The product is patented. Great Catch is basically a hand strap with a small, tennis ball-like apparatus that fits in the palm. It comes in three sizes -- small, medium and large. The idea is that if the ball hits the tennis ball in the palm of the hand, it's going to bounce out of the hands. This device forces a receiver to catch more with his fingertips. The more he catches with the fingertips, the stronger they become. Soon, Walker plans to show his new product to NFL teams. It looks like a winner.

    John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
    R.I.P. Darrent Williams

  2. #2
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    Thanks for getting that for us.


    The starting halfback job is wide-open. Anything can happen, including an addition by trade. The Broncos also are excited about undrafted rookie Mike Bell, who is showing promise during camp.
    MIKE BELL MIKE BELL MIKE BELL. But good for everybody else.
    http://www.buddhistedu.org/en/images/stories/Vanhoa/zen2.gif

  3. #3
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    Good find! That contraption that Walker has sounds pretty neat.

    I'm excited to see this Marshall kid play. From the media and the insiders at the Mane, he's made a heck of an impact.

    Smith, Walker and Marshall!

    Adopted by: Peanut

    "You find ways to win and certainly you can find ways to lose...it's not just dumb luck."
    -Sean Payton


  4. #4
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    3.
    The defense has undergone little change, but it's strange not seeing Trevor Pryce along the defensive line. Whether he played end or tackle, Pryce dominated. The Broncos cut him, and he signed with the Ravens. He already has come out and sounded bitter about the decision. Nevertheless, the defensive line went through an amazing overhaul last year and should only get better.
    that is complete bull. Pryce dominate? Not for the past 2 years w/ his back injury and his lukewarm performance last year.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2005
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    Has anyone seen the article on Pryce today, knocking the Broncs? I heard it was on Scout.com

  6. #6
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    Man does Brandon Marshall sound good.
    Our WR core went from very little depth at all last year to as good as it can be this year.

    Sounds like the WRs will be in good enough hands when Rod leaves.

    Thanks for the update!
    Darrent & Damien - Broncos 4ever
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    "When you're not practicing, remember that someone somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him he will win" - Ed Macauley

  7. #7
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    The early star of camp is wide receiver Brandon Marshall of Central Florida. He already is being projected as the potential No. 3 receiver behind Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie. Sure, similar things were being said about Darius Watts, a raw second-round choice from a couple of years ago who hasn't shown the consistent hands to move forward. With Lelie holding out, Shanahan is using Watts as the third receiver, but don't be surprised if Marshall passes him by the end of the exhibition season.
    Behind Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie, yea that will happen.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domostick
    Behind Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie, yea that will happen.
    I'm sure he meant Smith and Walker.
    R.I.P. Darrent Williams

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB Bronco Fan
    Thanks for getting that for us.




    MIKE BELL MIKE BELL MIKE BELL. But good for everybody else.
    I'm on board the Mike Bell bandwagon. See my sig....yeah...that's SUHWEET!!

  10. #10
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    Watching him run, you wonder why it hasn't happened sooner. Bell glides down the field. If he can make the right cut and get past the initial group of tacklers, he can run for touchdowns.
    Too bad he can never find the hole to get past the initial group of tacklers...

    And this is nothing we didn't know already.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReleaseTheBeast7
    Too bad he can never find the hole to get past the initial group of tacklers...

    And this is nothing we didn't know already.
    True. Tatum Bell CAN run with alot of power for his size, but you can tell he HATES contact. We've had RBs with far less talent than him do well in our system. Olandis Gary anyone?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReleaseTheBeast7
    Too bad he can never find the hole to get past the initial group of tacklers...

    And this is nothing we didn't know already.
    Tatum Bell had how many big runs last year? He needs to do it on a more consistent basis, but he has that ability. He needs to show more patience, and that'll help his vision. Instead of trying to create things on his own, he should let the line do their job, and then do his. It's his year. Bell-to-Bell baby. Ron Dayne can go back to a cheese farm in Wisconsin.

  13. #13
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    lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream
    Tatum Bell had how many big runs last year? He needs to do it on a more consistent basis, but he has that ability. He needs to show more patience, and that'll help his vision. Instead of trying to create things on his own, he should let the line do their job, and then do his. It's his year. Bell-to-Bell baby. Ron Dayne can go back to a cheese farm in Wisconsin.

    i LOVE THE HATE. keep it coming. It's all for the better. BTw, KEEP DREAMING
    My adopt-a-bronco is.......Ron Dayne

    [IMG]http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i261/qrox/thRon_Dayne.jpg[/IMG]
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dream
    Tatum Bell had how many big runs last year? He needs to do it on a more consistent basis, but he has that ability. He needs to show more patience, and that'll help his vision. Instead of trying to create things on his own, he should let the line do their job, and then do his. It's his year. Bell-to-Bell baby. Ron Dayne can go back to a cheese farm in Wisconsin.
    Tatum had 3 50+ runs I believe, he's a monster on toss plays, no doubt... But the boy can't seem to find anything up the middle or off-guard.

    I personally think that it's Tatum's job right now... But if he doesn't perform at a high level early, and IF Mike Bell keeps doing what he's doing, you could see Mike Bell start taking more and more carries and eventually getting all the carries by the end of the year. Just my opinion.

  15. #15
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    Actually, Bell had his best YPC average last year up the middle, I didn't have the stats for off-guard. (I have left, mid, right) so I'm assuming the rest of the carries were off-guard, since it only makes sense because that category wasn't listed.

    Left: 50 for 178 = 3.6 YPC
    Middle: 38 for 254 = 6.7 YPC
    Right: 49 for 139 = 2.8 YPC

    That leaves 36 more runs. . . not listed. 350 yards not listed. . . which equals 9.7 YPC off the guard. He did have some huge ones (New England) in that area, but who knows. Just trying to prove a point. Probably a little less, because that comes out to 5.7 YPC, so it's probably a little less, but still accurate.

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