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Denver Broncos' Week in Review: Ray Debuts, Rankings Rankle & . . . Fart Fines?

Ken Pomponio Avatar
June 6, 2015


Another offseason week behind us and another week closer to training camp and the start of another NFL season.

Here’s a quick review of the news – with some accompanying views – from the week that was in Broncos Country:

Headline: Broncos’ first-round pick Shane Ray practices for the first time

Bottom line: Great to see the former Missouri standout take the field in his helmet Monday after he has been dealing with a bothersome toe injury since the end of the college season. Ray obviously needs all the practice reps he’s allowed to help smooth the sizable transition, but it’s a thin line and the Broncos’ must tread lightly with their prize rookie as these foot/toe injuries have a way of lingering and resurfacing at the wrong time – i.e. the practices and games that actually count.

Headline: Veterans’ OTA day off will be a trend

Bottom line: While Ray took part in his first Orange and Blue workout Monday as OTAs resumed, Peyton Manning, DeMarcus Ware, T.J. Ward, Chris Harris and Emmanuel Sanders were among the veterans who had the day off. Manning, who loathes to sit out a practice rep let alone an actual live-game snap, may not be overly thrilled, but it’s all part of new coach Gary Kubiak’s master plan. And it’s a good plan – one Kubiak borrowed from his time on Mike Shanahan’s staff. Even the most innocuous workouts present an injury risk – just ask Ryan Clady – and the risks of running the Wares, Mannings and Wards through a year-round procession of drills – particularly in early June – far outweighs the rewards when it comes to preserving their aging NFL bodies.

Headline: Broncos ranked ninth overall and second in AFC West in Peter King’s offseason power ratings

Bottom line: For the record, the Orange and Blue came in behind the Ravens, Seahawks, Packers, Chiefs Patriots, Vikings, Eagles and Steelers in the veteran NFL reporter’s admittedly way-too-early 2015 ratings, and nothing raised the Mile High City hackles more than seeing their Broncos ranked five spots in back of an AFC West rival/middling K.C. squad they’ve owned during the Manning Era. If it wasn’t the well-established King, this would reek of a classic click-bait ploy – as would his way-too-low 11th-place ranking of the Colts – but it’s simply one analyst’s opinion three months before the games of consequence kick off. And besides, it’s a lot easier to enter the season riding the quest-for-R-E-S-P-E-C-T train instead of residing in the favorite’s crosshairs.

Headline: Pat Bowlen’s son, John Bowlen, arrested on domestic harassment charge

Bottom line: As with the ground we’ve covered in recent weeks with defensive lineman Antonio Smith, these are deeply disturbing allegations at any time for any one – let alone an NFL team employee in this new personal-conduct climate – and the 29-year-old Sports Authority Field marketing assistant could face league discipline whether the charges result in a conviction or not, “blood of the city” or not. And rightfully so. In short, it’s not exactly the legacy Pat Bowlen wanted to leave behind when he relinquished control of the franchise last July.

Headline: Team meeting flatulence fines proving the most taxing for Von Miller

Bottom line: Good to end the week on a light – but odorous – note as it sounds (and yes, evidently smells) like the pass-rusher’s new diet is proving to be taxing in more ways than one. Miller needs to be seriously negotiating, though, how much a quarterback sack will be worth in terms of cancelled fart fines.

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