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Denver Broncos Week in Review: OTA Absences Abound

Ken Pomponio Avatar
May 31, 2015


Another off-season week behind us and another week closer to training camp and the start of another Broncos season.

It was still quite an eventful seven days for the Orange and Blue, and here’s a quick review of the news – with some accompanying views – from the week that was in Broncos Country:

Headline: Broncos DE Antonio Smith held out of OTAs in light of an ongoing investigation involving possible child abuse.

Bottom line: In case you haven’t noticed, there’s been nothing short of a sea change in how player conduct is being viewed and dealt with in the NFL over the past nine months or so, and any possible transgressions are most likely going to be dealt with on a hold-the-player-out-until-more-info-becomes-available basis. It may smack of assuming guilt before innocence, but the league has been burned – and has burned itself by playing tone deaf and dumb – too many times over the years, and the Broncos are doing the right thing by keeping Smith away until his potentially troubling issues are fully resolved.

Headline: As expected, WR Demaryius Thomas is an OTA no-show in protest over his franchise-tag contract status

Bottom line: There’s quite the logjam of top-tier wideouts seeking second contracts building up with Thomas and the Cowboys’ Dez Bryant drawing franchise tags this offseason and the Bengals’ A.J. Green and Falcons’ Juilo Jones seeking extensions with their rookie deals ending after this coming campaign. Agents and teams are waiting to see who blinks first and sets the new market, and after the first deal is struck, the others will most likely fall into place accordingly. There’s no real rush, however, and we could be talking about the same scenario a year from now. In the meantime, we don’t think Broncos Country is as worried over Thomas’ absence as it was a few weeks ago given the on-field maladies that befallen players who have reported for Dove Valley duty.

Headline: Peyton Manning’s PeyBack Foundation donates $1M for second straight year

Bottom line: Amid all the not-so-glowing headlines cropping up out of NFL camps this is a welcome and continued breath of fresh air with 144 charities and community organizations in Colorado, Tennessee, Louisiana and Indiana benefiting from the QB’s generosity and heart.

Headline: Left tackle Ryan Clady suffers season-ending ACL tear

Bottom line: Does having a healthy Clady make the Broncos a better team? Uh, next question. Is Clady’s loss insurmountable to having a successful season and making a deep postseason run? No – as the Broncos’ record-setting 2013 season sans Clady for all but two games and Manning’s career of quick reads, quick decision-making and quick release have clearly demonstrated.

Headline: Broncos bring back OT Ryan Harris after Clady is placed on IR

Bottom line: At age 30 and with his fourth new team in six seasons, Harris is more of veteran insurance policy than anything, as Gary Kubiak, offensive coordinator Rick Dennison and offensive-line coach Clancy Barone will be counting on a young and inexperienced contingent –  which includes second-round pick Ty Sambrailo, converted defensive lineman Ben Garland, free agent Gino Gradkowski and redshirt 2013 third-round pick Michael Schofield – coalescing into an effective offensive front over the next three months. Opposing defenses will be waiting to put the reconstructed unit to the test.


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