2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Broncos Live Report — Cardinals at Broncos

    Thu, August 29, 2013 by Paul Klee with no comments

    DENVER — Do the Broncos have a quarterback controversy?

    For the backup spot, of course.

    Third-stringer Zac Dysert, a candidate for the 53-man roster or the practice squad, showed well in the final game of the preseason. Heading into the final two minutes against Arizona, Dysert had completed eight of 10 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown.

    Brock Osweiler, the backup to Peyton Manning, was 7-for-11 for 108 yards. He also rushed for 25 yards.

    More than the result, the fourth and final preseason game was defined by its headwear. Manning donned his usual white visor, Eric Decker rocked an orange ballcap, and Ronnie Hillman made two carries before swapping his helmet for a white hat.

    The starters sat, the reserves made their case for a roster spot. Denver opens the season a week from tonight against Baltimore.

    More coverage and a final score coming later on Gazette.com.

    Gazette.com Broncos Live Report — Broncos 17, Cardinals 10 — 6:07 left in third quarter — Sports Authority Field at Mile High

    —Omar Bolden was back on punt returns. Even Trindon’s being kept safe.

    —Sylvester Williams getting a long look here in the second half.

    —Broncos coach Red Miller was shown on the big screen. The gentleman behind me played for Red Miller.

    —Upset pick this weekend: North Dakota State over Kansas State.

    —Lock of next weekend: Whoever plays these Cardinals.

    —Do the Broncos have a (backup) quarterback controversy? Nah. But this is why they like Zac Dysert.

    Back in a few.


    Gazette.com Broncos Live Report — Broncos 10, Cardinals 10 — Halftime — Sports Authority Field at Mile High

    —Ben Garland was a captain for the Broncos tonight.

    —Osweiler was 7-for-8 with 108 passing yards in the first half. We can assume he’s done for the night in favor of Zac Dysert.

    —Three of those passes went to Gerrell Robinson, who teamed with Osweiler at ASU.

    —Rocky the (Nuggets) SuperMascot is on the field at halftime.

    —The crowd tonight? Oh, probably about 40,000. Give or take.

    —Writing on Knowshon Moreno and the Broncos running back conundrum for Friday’s Gazette.

    Back in a few.


    Gazette.com Broncos Live Report — Broncos 10, Cardinals 0 — 12:36 left in the second quarter — Sports Authority Field at Mile High

    —No one’s picked up Willis McGahee. Notice that? The knee wasn’t healthy, as we wrote during OTAs.

    —Brock Osweiler opened the game with five consecutive completions.

    —The Cardinals opened the game with only two of their usual starters on defense.

    —An underappreciated draft pick made by the Broncos in recent years: Kayvon Webster. I’ll eat crow, but me thinks the rookie has a chance to be very good.

    —Webster made a big hit in the first half. He earned a big flag, too, even though it appeared Webster smashed the receiver in the shoulder area, not the head area.

    —Ben Garland announced over the P.A. system. He made a tackle.

    —Tebow being tormented on Twitter. I don’t get it. Of all the Patriots to torment right now… and he’s the target?

    —Here’s how I see the AFC West shaking out (right now): Broncos 11-5, Chiefs 8-8, Chargers 7-9, Raiders 3-13.

    Back in a few.


    Gazette.com Broncos Live Report — Arizona Cardinals at Broncos — Sports Authority Field at Mile High — Kickoff

     —Free tonight? Tickets are going for $20 on Craigslist. Cheap date.

    —If protecting Peyton is the top priority for the running backs, Knowshon Moreno should be the guy early in the season, me thinks. You?

    —The parachutists just soared into the stadium, buzzing the press box.

    —It’s 83 degrees at the moment.

    —No Tebow yet. David Ramsey is not here tonight, so I assume Colorado Springs’ biggest Tebow supporter is at home watching the Pats.

    —Keep an eye on Quentin Jammer tonight. Is he fighting for a roster spot? The injury to Champ Bailey surely helps his cause.

    Back in a few.


    Gazette.com Broncos Live Report — Arizona Cardinals at Broncos — Sports Authority Field at Mile High — 25 minutes until kickoff (7 p.m.)

    —Air Force’s Ben Garland is stretching with the defense. He was moved back to the defensive line after playing last season on the offensive line on the practice squad. One man’s opinion: this is a short-term move by the Broncos, who needed bodies on the D-line. Expect Ben will be back on the defensive line with the practice squad this year.

    —First-round pick Sylvester Williams is chatting with fans on the back of the end zone.

    —Sports Authority Field is about 25 percent full at the moment. Still a good half hour before kickoff.

    —Expect to see a lot of Brock Osweiler and Zac Dysert at quarterback tonight. The Broncos like Dysert.

    —No Tebow yet in the Patriots game.

    —But there is a Tebow jersey here — in Section 317.

    Back in a few.


    Gazette.com Broncos Live Report — Arizona Cardinals at Broncos — Sports Authority Field at Mile High — 45 minutes until kickoff (7 p.m.)

    —Trindon Holliday is being shown on the Jumbotron/Jerry World Vision/huge scoreboard. He’s fielding kicks. In a game with only a few storylines, that’s something to watch tonight — gotta clean up special teams.

    —My NFL predictions column will run in Sunday’s edition of The Gazette.

    —Looks like Tebow hasn’t checked in for the Pats tonight. Will he? Or is this the end of the line?

    —Jacob Tamme is chatting with Arizona cornerback Jerraud Powers on the field. They were teammates in Indianapolis.

    —Broncos running back Jeremiah Johnson also is fielding punts from Britton Colquitt.

    —Peyton Manning always is on the field between 55-60 minutes prior to kickoff. He’s not down there yet. Yep, it’s the final preseason game.

    Back in a few.


    Score        Program        Cards    Flacco.2

    Gazette.com Broncos Live Report — Arizona Cardinals at Broncos — Sports Authority Field at Mile High — 90 minutes until kickoff (7 p.m.)

    Evening everyone. Denver columnist Paul Klee joining you from Sports Authority Field. Roughly half the Broncos and Cardinals are warming up on the field (bottom left), so we’ll get started early.

    —My phone says it’s 93 degrees, and it felt much warmer by the field. Ominous, dark clouds moving in from the mountains. We’ll keep any eye on the weather.

    —Or Peyton Manning can keep an eye on the weather. He won’t be worried about the Cardinals tonight, because he won’t play. Most, if not all, of the starters won’t play in this fourth and final preseason game.

    —With great relief, I can report there is not Joe Flacco/Ravens propaganda inside Sports Authority Field. Only on the outside of the stadium (bottom right). Plenty of folks taking photos in front of the infamous Flacco Flag before the game.

    —Well, that’s not entirely true. Flacco is on the cover of the Broncos Gameday program tonight (above right). He’s being sacked by Derek Wolfe. Look closer, though, and you’ll see the sack is from their regular-season matchup last season at M&T Bank Stadium — not in the playoff game. That’s because the Broncos rarely got to Flacco in the playoff game.

    -Denver mayor Michael Hancock talked about FlaccoGate with C.J. and Les earlier today. Read about that here.

    —The huge new scoreboard at Sports Authority Field reads: ARZ 0, DEN 7 (above left). To reach a compromise on the Flacco poster, the NFL apparently has spotted the Broncos a seven-point lead before tonight’s game.

    —Today’s big news in of the NFL: the two sides reached a $765-million settlement in the concussion lawsuit.

    —And for today’s column, we broke away from the Broncos beat and talked with Tim Connelly, the Nuggets’ new GM. He had some interesting things to say about tanking in the NBA — and how the new Nuggets will define success. Link here.

    —Hey, it’s always NBA season.

    —Tim Tebow’s on the TV up here in the pressbox. He’s hugging Josh McDaniels. Our friend Lindsay Jones is suffering flashbacks to my right.

    Back in a few.

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

  • The mayor on FlaccoGate

    Thu, August 29, 2013 by Paul Klee with no comments

    You might remember this column on Denver’s mayor, Michael Hancock, from last year.

    Mr. Mayor agrees that Denver should be a strong consideration to host a Super Bowl.

    (Fingers crossed MetLife Stadium doesn’t get snowed out, setting an unfavorable precedent.)

    Hanckock is also with me — and you? — that a Ravens quarterback has no business on the side of Sports Authority Field.

    “We don’t need the eye pollution, the sight pollution, of Joe Flacco going up around our stadium,” Hancock said today while on the air with our friends C.J. and Les on 102.3 ESPN.

    Agreed, Mr. Mayor.

    Man knows his football. He was the Broncos mascot.

    And this is no time for political diplomacy.

    “So I want to see a Roethlisberger go up in Baltimore,” Hancock said. “Or a Kaepernick poster go up in Dallas and see how they feel about it.”

    Most Denver media is copping out, saying the banner(s) are much ado about nothing. Then let’s plaster Nick Saban on the side of LSU’s stadium. And Aaron Rodgers on Soldier Field. And the Jayhawk on Rupp Arena.

    It’s not that it’s Flacco, though it doesn’t help. If this were Alex Smith… or Terrell Pryor… or Philip Rivers… I’d feel the same.

    Is this life or death or important at all? Of course not. It’s sports. But there’s a principle at work here. This is simply more PC propaganda encouraging us to all get along and sing a happy song.

    Hogwash. Some things are sacred: rooting against the Yankees, catch-and-release trout waters, Ralphie’s run.

    An NFL city’s stadium.

    Yes, the mayor’s office has received a number of calls from fans angered by the heinous flags.

    “We got called when Tebow got traded,” Hancock said. “When Tebow got traded, people were calling and angry, as if I had something to do with it.”

    Good on you, callers.

    And good on you, Mr. Mayor.

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

  • Hey, Colorado: Where are we again?

    Tue, August 27, 2013 by Paul Klee with no comments


    So there’s this.

    Just more than a week from the Broncos opener against the Ravens, there’s this.

    As if eight months of over-analysis and upset stomachs — not to mention the Mile High Mistake broadcast on an endless loop on ESPN — the NFL delivers this kick to the gut.

    Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco…. plastered a mile high on the Broncos’ stadium. It’s true. I stopped by Sports Authority Field this morning to A) see if this was for real B) barf.

    Big deal?

    No deal?

    Deal with it?

    I’ll leave that opinion up to you.

    Then I’ll write a column about it for Wednesday’s Gazette. We’ll get to the bottom of why an opposing quarterback is at the top (of Mile High). I have calls into the NFL, Sports Authority Field… and my psychiatrist.

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

  • Broncos offense from Dove Valley

    Mon, August 26, 2013 by Paul Klee with no comments


    Sure, there are concerns with the Broncos. We didn’t think this would be a stroll in the park, did we?

    Injuries top the list. The defensive line is missing Elvis Dumervil (not to mention Derek Wolfe and Robert Ayers, who both sat out practice today). And special teams so far are a bummer.

    And… it’s only Aug. 26.

    But that offense. Goodness, that offense.

    I still contend Denver has never had anything quite like this offense.

    Will it be as balanced as the John Elway/Terrell Davis/dominant offensive line juggernaut witnessed in the Super Bowl years? I don’t think so. That’s not what I mean by never had anything like it.

    I don’t think we’ve seen anything like it, because I don’t think we’ve seen a passing game as dynamic as this one.

    I’ve written a few times that I believe the franchise scoring record of 31.3 points per game is in danger. The Broncos last season averaged 30.06 points, and the additions of Wes Welker and Julius Thomas, combined with Manning’s full health and comfortability, figure to increase that scoring number.

    Nothing we’ve seen in the preseason, with the first-team offense, should change that opinion. On Saturday against the Rams, Peyton Manning moved the offense 290 yards… in the first half. In the first half, the Broncos also ran 49 plays, an astounding number, considering the Patriots ran 89 plays, in a full game, with their fast-break offense at Mile High a year ago.

    The Broncos offense did what just about whatever it wanted.

    I expect that will happen often, and it’s why I think this offense will make these Broncos a Super Bowl contender regardless of what happens on defense.

    And Manning carried teams with the 18th-ranked defense and the 21st-ranked defense to Super Bowls.

    Turnovers are a problem, a correctable problem. Today at Dove Valley (above), rookie running back Montee Ball was promoted to the first-team offense. Ronnie Hillman ran with the second-team, Knowshon Moreno with the third.

    That’s one way to correct the problem, the Broncos hope.

    But for all the concerns surfacing (very) early, the offense looks as powerful as anyone could have anticipated, if not more so.

    Actually, it looks like nothing Denver’s had before.

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

  • Broncos Gameday Live Report — Rams at Broncos

    Sat, August 24, 2013 by Paul Klee with no comments

    DENVER — As if trying to put an early end to the Broncos’ preseason pain, the rain poured down just as the fourth quarter got underway.

    Now, can the football heavens do something about this Broncos injury report?

    Several key players didn’t participate in the Broncos’ 27-26 preseason win against the Broncos at Sports Authority Field on Saturday. Robert Ayers, Champ Bailey, Derek Wolfe and Wes Welker didn’t play due to injury.

    Fortunately, the Broncos appeared to escape preseason game No. 3 without further significant injuries. Wide receiver Eric Decker received medical attention on the sideline but soon returned to the field.

    Denver improved to 2-1 this preseason.

    More coverage coming on Gazette.com later tonight.


    Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 20, Rams 20 — 7:00 left in fourth quarter

    -This kid keeps popping up in front of the press box. I like his style. Bright future.

    -Bad interception by Brock Osweiler. Worse route by Trindon Holliday.

    -Matt Prater saves the day, kind of, for the Broncos special teams with a 54-yard field goal.

    -Demaryius Thomas has his arm around a trainer. DT’s not worried.

    -According to the wise guys in Las Vegas, the Broncos are the prohibitive favorites to win the Super Bowl. After this offseason/preseason, are you buying that ticket?

    Back in a few. Column to write.


    Broncos Gameday Live Report — Rams 20, Broncos 10 — Halftime

    -Wesley Woodyard led the Broncos with six tackles and one sack. As good as he was last season, the Broncos need him to be better on this shaky defense.

    -Broncos offense: 290 total yards. Impressive.

    -Broncos offense: two (more) turnovers. Not impressive.

    -Why you should have faith this crummy preseason is simply an aberration: After all that’s happened, Las Vegas still considers the Broncos to be the prohibitive Super Bowl favorite.

    -Why you should be losing faith: Outside of Peyton Manning’s offense, the Broncos have stunk.

    Back in a few.


    Broncos Gameday Live Report — Rams 17, Broncos 10 — 5:05 left in the first quarter

    -So, how’s that running back situation working out?

    -You can’t trust Montee Ball, because he’ll get Peyton’s head taken off. You can’t trust Ronnie Hillman, who has two fumbles this preseason… returned for touchdowns. You can’t trust… oh, nevermind.

    -On consecutive series, Hillman fumbled, then Ball dropped an easy catch. Is anyone else seeing this?

    -Here’s something to consider: Did John Elway play so long without a quality running back that he can’t recognize one in the draft?

    -John Fox will be asked, again, why he elected to play Von Miller in a preseason game, when Miller won’t play until October. Personally, I don’t mind it. He’s your 1B best player, and he’s not suspended yet. Play him.

    -Poor Trindon. Nobody will kick to him.

    -The storm is coming. The storm is coming. The storm is coming.

    -Duke Ihenacho could’ve been called for defensive pass interference on Bradford’s pass attempt in the end zone.

    -Bubba Caldwell could’ve been called for offensive pass interference on the long reception from Manning.

    -After one quarter, Peyton Manning was on pace for 80 pass attempts in tonight’s game.

    Back in a few.


    Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 7, Rams 7 — 2:13 left in the first quarter

    -Good news: Peyton Manning’s offense, coordinated by Adam Gase, should get a speeding ticket. This is the fastest we’ve seen it move this preseason.

    -Bad news: the Broncos’ special teams are ugly, again, just as bad as they were in Seattle, and we’re not through the first quarter. Bad business, considering the monies the Broncos have dedicated to the special teams.

    -The throw from Manning to Thomas for the touchdown wasn’t an easy one.

    -Mitch Unrein, the pride of Eaton, with the sack of Sam Bradford. You might remember Unrein as the former high school wrestler whose record was 5-26.

    -Eric Decker is shaken up and getting the attention of the Broncos medical staff on the sideline. NFL preseason… embrace it!

    -There’s a big storm coming this way from the south.

    -David Ramsey isn’t stuck in traffic anymore. He’s here now.

    Back in a few.


    Broncos Gameday Live Report — St. Louis Rams at Broncos — Sports Authority Field at Mile High — Kickoff

    -Broncos won the coin toss and elected to receive.

    -There’s a first: A Sylvester Williams jersey in the crowd.

    -Torry Holt is not playing for the Rams.

    -Better pregame music in Seattle.

    -Better scoreboard in Denver.

    -The rain stopped.

    -Rebekah Glad sang the national anthem.

    Sports Authority Field is 70 percent full.

    -David Ramsey is stuck in traffic.

    Back in a few.


    Broncos Gameday Live Report — St. Louis Rams at Broncos — Sports Authority Field at Mile High — 15 minutes until kickoff (6 p.m.)

    -Crowd is slowly… making… its… way… in. Only about 30 percent full right now.

    -Out tonight: Robert Ayers, Champ Bailey, Derek Wolfe, Wes Welker. These we know. More to come.

    -Klee’s first time back at Mile High since…. well, you know. At least we can feel our fingers.

    -Good conversation with Nuggets GM Tim Connelly last night. Look for a Nuggets update/column next week in The Gazette. Connelly is high on Wilson Chandler’s prospects for this season. Declined to comment on Ty Lawson’s legal situation “until the appropriate time.” Also said he envisions the Faried/Hickson tandem wearing down opposing big men.

    The Nuggets open practice Sept. 30.

    -The parachutists are soaring into Sports Authority Field… in the rain. And with lightning in the distance.

    Back for the kickoff.


    Broncos Gameday Live Report — St. Louis Rams at Broncos — Sports Authority Field at Mile High — 40 minutes until kickoff (6 p.m.)

    -So, the opener against the Ravens. Here’s a riddle: One Bronco can’t wait for it to arrive, to deflect the spotlight. Another Broncos can wait for it to arrive, because he’ll be in the spotlight, for the wrong reason. Name ‘em (answer below).

    -Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will play tonight. That’s one to watch. Broncos can’t afford to lose another defensive back.

    -Champ Bailey won’t play tonight. And I’ll say, it was a strange, strange sight to see the veteran in a walking boot and on crutches.

    -Lightning show to the south appears to be headed east. From the press box, we can’t see what’s coming from the west.

    -Riddle answer: Von Miller… Rahim Moore.

    -Big props to the Broncos PR staff, by the way. Throughout the Von Miller saga, the Broncos have encouraged the linebacker to talk with media and not hide from the story. Again today, Miller talked with tonight’s broadcast team.

    -Here’s my column today on Derek Wolfe: Some of the reasons we love football are way football should be feared.

    Back in a few.



    Tarp2        Tarp

    Broncos Gameday Live Report — St. Louis Rams at Broncos — Sports Authority Field at Mile High — 1 hour until kickoff (6 p.m.)

    Evening everyone. Paul Klee joining you from here at Sports Authority Field at Mile High for the Broncos Gameday Live Report, preseason edition. We’ll keep this going throught the final horn with updates and observations from the stadium. Let’s get started…

    -As you can see above, there was a tarp on the field roughly 2 1/2 hours before kickoff. The tarp has been replaced by players, who are going through their pre-pre-warmups.

    -Dark skies all around Mile High — south, east, west, north. We’ll keep an eye on the weather. There’s a serious lightning show to the southeast. Looks like the Aurora/Parker area.

    -Britton Colquitt, the $4-million punter with one of the best job in sports, is punting footballs high into the dark sky.

    -Von Miller will start at linebacker for the Broncos tonight. And that will be the last you see of Von Miller on a football field until Week 7. Doubt he plays in game four of the preseason.

    -Peyton Manning is on the field. What do you think, three quarters of play for No. 18? That’s my assumption.

    -And some coverage notes….

    -Venerable Gazette columnist David Ramsey will grace us here tonight. You can follow Ramsey on Twitter. We also have a photographer on hand. And you can follow Klee on Twitter for updates from the game.

    Back in a few.

    Klee (paul.klee@gazette.com)

  • Former Sixer (and Nugget) Allen Iverson to retire…

    Thu, August 22, 2013 by Paul Klee with no comments

    At the risk of turning a future column into a current blog (and that still might happen), here’s this:

    Allen Iverson reportedly will announce his retirement.

    Yes, the initial reaction is probably, “Allen Iverson isn’t retired?”

    No, he’s not, yet.

    But it’s coming, and that got my basketball brain spinning. See, for the better part of 15 years, Iverson was my basketball guy.

    We all have one, hopefully, and Iverson was mine. He fit all of the criteria for what I look for in my basketball guy: Limitless scorer, seemingly limitless highlights, the knack for doing something memorable (good or bad) on any given night.

    And it just so happened he is tiny, relative to NBA standards, which was fascinating to me.

    Here, I’ll say it: Allen Iverson is the favorite athlete of my lifetime. This isn’t a ranking of the best players in that time. That’s a different list. I mean this absolutely and only in a basketball-as-entertainment sense, with all other life factors removed. Georgetown Iverson was my favorite college player of the past 20 years, and 2001 Iverson provided the most memorable individual NBA season of the past 20 years. To me, anyway, and I know the majority won’t agree.

    Kids in the crowd might not remember Iverson at Georgetown. It was spectacular.

    Kids in the crowd might not remember his MVP season in ’01. It was spectacular.

    It’s an odd way to define a superstar, but it’s a method I sometimes use:

    If this guy is on TV, am I dropping everything and watching the game?

    With Iverson in his goosebump-inducing prime, it was always an easy decision.

    I wasn’t in Colorado during Iverson’s time with the Nuggets, so I don’t have the first-hand experience of working with Iverson as a member of the media. The stories I’m told don’t paint a favorable impression. That stinks.

    If the past six months in Colorado sports have told us anything, it’s that professional athletes force us to draw a clear line on the playing field. Respect their athletic abilities. But don’t put them on a pedestal as humans.

    Purely in a basketball sense, no other player captured my attention like Iverson did.

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

  • Von Miller: War of the words

    Wed, August 21, 2013 by Paul Klee with no comments

    Of all the mistakes Von Miller has made recently, or not so recently, this one ranks low on the list of importance.

    “My true fans, true Broncos fans, they’ve been great, coming out to practice, still believing in the guy I am,” the soon-to-be-suspended Broncos star said Tuesday. “The media, they can do some crazy stuff to you and paint a different picture.”

    Huh. That’s funny.

    Pretty sure most of the Colorado media has painted quite a pretty picture for ol’ Von. Up until he messed up, I sure did, chicken farms and all, giving him the benefit of the doubt, apparently more than he deserved. Wait, here’s another one.

    What I’ve heard from Broncos fans — on sports-talk radio or on the interwebs — has been far more critical, even hurtful. That’s usually the case with a passionate fanbase, and the Broncos is wonderfully passionate. And I understand that athletes confuse what they read on message boards or comment sections with actual media content. It’s dumb, but it happens.

    Here’s a fun game: 

    Try to find a negative word written about Von Miller before he messed up. I’m sure it’s out there, somewhere, but it’s not easy to find. In shaping the public image of Miller — a public image that was utterly positive — the media played an enormous role.

    Here, I’ll do it again. I don’t think the ridiculous things he said this week were entirely his doing. He’s been lawyered up, coached up, to the highest degree. And the NFLPA certainly didn’t want him talking to the hideous, vindictive, nasty media.

    In fairness, it’s also worth noting that whatever Von Miller said this week was going to be dissected under a microscope. No matter what he said, no one would like it, because of the subject matter he was talking about.

    For what it’s worth, Miller didn’t talk to media after practice here at Dove Valley today.

    Perhaps he was worried about the heinous, crazy picture we would paint.

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

  • Quick reaction to Von Miller suspension

    Tue, August 20, 2013 by Paul Klee with no comments

    I wrote during training camp that Miller was missing the glimmer in his eyes. He hasn’t been his usual charismatic self, and I suspect that’s because he knew what was coming.

    Now we know for sure: Miller Time is expired for six games.

    The star linebacker won’t play against the Ravens (Joe Flacco), Giants (Eli Manning), Raiders (doesn’t matter), Eagles (Michael Vick/Nick Foles), Cowboys (Tony Romo) and Jaguars (doesn’t matter).

    By any metric, Miller is one of the top-three pass rushers in the NFL. This is also a Broncos defense built around a powerful and disruptive pass rush. At least, it was the past two seasons. I’ve seen a power shift in training camp; the strength of the defense has been the secondary, not the defensive line or the pass rush, and that could be a problem. But that’s another blog.

    In the short-term, I see the Broncos going 3-3 (maybe 4-2) in Miller’s absence. Gloom and doom, right? The Broncos went 3-3 last season. That turned out OK, until it got really cold.

    In the long-term, I see the absence of Elvis Dumervil (for good) having more of an impact than the absence of Von Miller (for six games). That should be more of a concern. I expect the Broncos’ failure to come to an agreement with Dumervil eventually will be recognized as a bigger deal than it has been so far.

    Also in the long term, like I wrote a while back, I wonder if these mistakes by Von Miller will impact how the Broncos view him when it’s time to pay the man.

    Remember, another misstep and Miller could be suspended for an entire season. The Broncos will have to figure out if that risk is worth the kind of money that, say, the Packers committed to Clay Matthews in April.

    But that’s for another blog, too.

    This defense has issues beyond a six-game ban for Von Miller, me thinks, and we will see that play out.

    But this team has Peyton Manning, who has a particular knack for overcoming a shaky defense and leading a franchise to the playoffs. No. 18 — not No. 58 — is the only indispensable player on the roster.

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

  • Postgame reaction: Seahawks 40, Broncos 10

    Sun, August 18, 2013 by Paul Klee with no comments

    Since the Broncos GameDay Live Report was cut short due to a tight deadline…

    The result, you can live with. The injuries, that could take a toll.

    A few nuggets from the Broncos locker room, which, I assume, looked a lot like a Nuggets locker room (in the late ’90s):

    —I asked Rahim Moore if this blowout is something the Broncos should be concerned about or chalked up to the preseason.

    He called tonight’s game “embarrassing” and “pathetic” and an event the Broncos should remember, not forget.

    Perhaps a touch of hyperbole, but the safety got his point across. More from Moore in the coming days.

    —Derek Wolfe is OK, in the sense that the play, and the ambulance, made you worry for the worst.

    The second-year pro, who is only 23, is flying back to Colorado on the team flight after tests came back negative. A big sigh of relief came from two players after they heard that news. In the locker room, several players were asking about Wolfe’s status. He’s one of the more well-liked individuals on the roster, in part to his hard-working approach.

    “He’s like a little brother to me,” Wesley Woodyard said.

    —Eric Decker, with something for the Seahawks’ 12th Man to hang on its collective fridge: “This has been the toughest place I’ve played in the NFL.”

    We’ll assume the 12th Man’s fridge is filled with Red Hook ESB from the brewery in nearby Woodinville. Worth a stop, next time you’re in town.

    —Worst scene of the night (after Wolfe and the ambulance): Champ Bailey leaving the locker room on crutches and with a walking boot on his left foot. He’s still the man, no matter what you haterz say, and any sort of absence would be compounded due to the absence of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Regardless, Champ didn’t look like usual, happy Champ.

    —And the requisite Peyton Manning comment. The quarterback had a fine night, remember. Manning is always about the day-to-day, practice-to-practice process, and his message was no different tonight.

    “I think certainly our team needs to improve. Our team needs to get better,” Manning said. “We have a long way to go. I don’t know who made those predictions or what weight those carry, but we have a lot of things that we need to fix and correct. They are things that are correctable, but we have to do it.”

    Think that’s about it for tonight from CenturyLink Field. Check back tomorrow for a column on the state of the Broncos defense. Time for a Red Hook.

    -If you missed the game, check our Broncos GameDay Live Report.

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

  • Live Report from Seattle — Broncos at Seahawks

    Sat, August 17, 2013 by Paul Klee with no comments

    Final: Seattle 40, Denver 10.

    Check back in a few, I’ll have some reaction from the Broncos locker room. Thanks. Klee

    Broncos Gameday Live Report — Seahawks 40, Broncos 10 — 8:23 left in fourth quarter — CenturyLink Field, Seattle

    -Emailer asks when I’m giving up the Broncos-made-two-mistakes-on-running-backs-in-recent-drafts platform. Answer: soon as Hillman and Ball don’t look overmatched. Or Eddie Lacy stops looking like a future Pro Bowler.

    -Time to follow @NateKreckman on Twitter.

    -Hard to believe they threw a flag on Trindon Holliday there. Guys, it’s 11 o’clock in Denver.

    -Brock Osweiler watch, third quarter edition: zero first downs, 0-for-3 on third down, 34 yards passing, minus-3 yards rushing.

    -I miss Nirvana.

    -Pete Carroll’s still going 100 mph on the sideline. Clearly, he ditched southern California for two reasons: the NCAA and Starbucks.

    -Good news for Broncos Country: Louis Vasquez knee injury doesn’t appear serious, team says. And Mike Klis says.

    -Adam Gase with his head down on the sideline. Keep it up, sir, even if we’re the same age. Bright future with that one.

    -So, how about that retractable roof at Safeco?

    Right back.


    Broncos Gameday Live Report — Seahawks 40, Broncos 7 — End of third quarter — CenturyLink Field, Seattle

    -King5, a local news station, had a report last night that 30 towns in Washington will be underwater by 2100.

    -The Broncos defense already looks waterlogged.

    -Julius Thomas, fantasy darkhorse: four catches, 70 yards. And one fumble. But the fact Manning went right back to him is a good sign for the young tight end.

    -Is John Abraham still on the market?

    -Always a pleasure to sit next to Mike Klis, the superb beat writer (and Gazette alum) with the Denver Post. Heading into the fourth quarter, Mike is calling for Brady Quinn.

    -Ever if time of possession is important? This should explain it: The Broncos had the ball for 26:05. The Seahawks are up 33 points and had the ball for 18:55.

    Right back.


    Broncos Gameday Live Report — Seahawks 39, Broncos 7 — 2:45 left in third quarter — CenturyLink Field, Seattle

    -Review of the “12th Man:” It’s preseason. I’m sure it’s louder when the games count. But tonight… meh.

    -Seattle is hosting Day 2 of HempFest, however, so maybe that chilled ‘em out.

    -Solid turnout for a preseason game, though: 67,635.

    -I like Roger Turbin. He’s a player.

    -I love Russell Wilson. You knew that already.

    -I don’t love this Broncos defense right now. It could start the season without Von Miller, will start the season without Elvis Dumervil and who knows about Derek Wolfe. And Wilson parted this defense like the Red Sea.

    -Seattle fans would tell you he walks on water, anyway.

    Right back.


    Broncos Gameday Live Report — Seahawks 33, Broncos 7 — 4:41 left in third quarter — CenturyLink Field, Seattle

    -We’re back. Tough deadline tonight with a west-coast kick. My apologies for the delay on the Live Report; Sunday’s column has been delivered to the good people at The Gazette office, so we’re here for the remainder of this preseason game.

    -The score is ugly, but the Broncos offense isn’t to blame. Peyton Manning was on pace for a monster fantasy night. Through one-plus quarters, he was 11-for-16 for 163 yards and a QB rating of 122.7.

    -Another shaky night for the running backs. The worst play is one that won’t show up in the box score. Montee Ball whiffed on a block that led to Manning getting buried into the turf. Manning didn’t like the hit and told the referee as much.

    -To recap, Seattle drafted Robert Turbin (5-10, 222 pounds) in the fourth round of the 2012 draft. He looks good, very good. Denver drafted Ronnie Hillman (5-10, 195) in the third round of the 2012 draft. He looks like a work in progress, and small.

    Back in 5 minutes.

    Broncos Gameday Live Report — Seahawks 7, Broncos 0 — 6:00 left in first quarter — CenturyLink Field, Seattle

    -Derek Wolfe carried off the field on a stretcher. Not good at all. Tough guy. Very well-liked by teammates. Broncos are saying he is being evaluated for a cervical spine injury and has movement in all of his extremities.

    -Two plays later, there was a fight at the line of scrimmage. Looked like a questionable block/hit by the Seahawks, and I don’t believe the Broncos appreciated it.

    -Russell Wilson has this city in the palm of his hand. All things equal, bigger than Kaepernick in San Francisco, me thinks.

    -Julius Thomas fumbled, stunting another Broncos drive.

    -I would get Manning off the field, in a Patagonia fleece, with a nice cup of $5 Starbucks. No reason to put him back out there.

    -Russell Wilson is a darkhorse MVP. He’s all that, then some.

    -To summarize, the Broncos have suffered a turnover, a three-and-out and lost a key defensive player to a spine injury. Other than that, Seattle’s just splendid!

    Back in a few.


    Broncos Gameday Live Report — CenturyLink Field, Seattle — Kickoff (8 p.m. Colorado time)

    -Just about set to go. The teams have been replaced by fans on the field. Quite a fan-friendly environment here at CenturyLink Field.

    -Interesting to hear Pete Carroll’s Seahawks are not as open with media, considering the open-ness of his practices at USC.

    -One of my favorite comments out of training camp came from C.J. Anderson, when I asked him about watching film with Peyton Manning.

    “I’ve never seen anything like it. When he does is he reads the body language of certain players on the defense,” Anderson said. “When I look at it, I’m thinking, ‘I don’t think that guy’s coming.’ But because of the way that guy’s standing, Peyton will tell you, ‘He’s about to blitz.’”

    “Which is prrrrretty amazing. You want to ask him how he does that. How is he reading somebody’s body language? I mean, that’s not normal.”

    Back in a few.



    Broncos Gameday Live Report — CenturyLink Field, Seattle — 30 minutes until kickoff (8 p.m. Colorado time)

    -Here’s that column on C.J. Anderson that was published in The Gazette today: Making an NFL roster as an undrafted free agent is an uphill climb.

    -The Broncos are stretching (above). Apologies for the dark photo.

    -How much will Von Miller play tonight? John Fox said Miller will be on the field for as long as the rest of the first-team defense.

    -To simulate a rowdier crowd, the Broncos practiced with loud noise piped into Dove Valley on Thursday. How does noise affect this offense?

    “Probably depends on how close the game is at the end and where you’re playing,” tight end Julius Thomas said.

    -Super Bowl preview? Not buying it. Let’s see Russell Wilson’s mobile act get through another season in one piece.

    -And as my Seattle/Spokane brethren would confirm, there’s no bigger Russell Wilson than this guy.

    -I expect the Broncos offense will show well tonight. Peyton Manning was Week 8 Peyton Manning last week at Dove Valley.

    Back in a few.


    Broncos Gameday Live Report — CenturyLink Field, Seattle — 45 minutes until kickoff (8 p.m. Colorado time) 

     -Crowd filing in much quicker than San Francisco’s preseason crowd last week at Candlestick. The 12th Man arrives fashionably early.

    -Peyton Manning, with Brock Osweiler close behind, ran onto the field at 6:04 local. Like clockwork.

    -Russell Wilson, with Tarvaris Jackson close behind, is warming up at midfield. Roughly 10,000 of Wilson’s No. 3 jerseys are in their seats. A top-seller, that one.

    -Slight breeze out of the south. Nothing to affect the passing game.

    -Klee chased the elusive salmon this morning (above left). He’s still out there. Probably for the best, since I brought only a 5-weight.

    -No sign of Knowshon Moreno yet. He didn’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday. Don’t expect he will play.

    -Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman, Jacob Hester and Lance Ball are on the field, however.

    -Due to the late start of tonight’s game, this Live Report will be limited in the second half. Will have more coverage from the game in Sunday’s Gazette.

    Back in a few.


    Hawks          Elway

    Broncos Gameday Live Report — CenturyLink Field, Seattle — 2 hours until kickoff (8 p.m. Colorado time)

    Evening everyone. Paul Klee joining you from Seattle for preseason game No. 2. I’ll be here through the final buzzer with updates and observations to (hopefully) complement your viewing experience. We’ll do this Live Report throughout the Broncos season, home and away. Let’s get started…

    -It’s a sunroof Saturday here in Seattle. Rain? Psssh. No clouds on Friday, just a few this morning. The rental car said 79 degrees in downtown Seattle. This weather wouldn’t help Sonic Youth’s angst, but it makes for happy football fans.

    -The Seahawks are on the field. So is Britton Colquitt. No sign of No. 18, who usually emerges about 55-58 minutes before kickoff. Like clockwork.

    -Broncos running back Lance Ball, who stands a fine chance of making the roster after C.J. Anderson’s injury, is jogging at midfield.

    -Seattle’s ballpark (Safeco Field) and football stadium (CenturyLink Field, above left) are right across the street from each other. The downtown area, packed with bars, is buzzing on gameday. Lots of “12th Man” paraphanelia.

    -And, given the new laws, which resembled Colorado’s new laws, other types of paraphanelia. If you feel me.

    -A local TV report suggested 30 towns in Washington would be underwater in the next century. Found that interesting. And doubtful.

    -Klee will be on Denver’s 104.3 The Fan at 6:30 p.m. to talk Broncos. And why the elusive salmon of Puget Sound escaped my fly rod this morning.

    -Email with any questions or comments (paul.klee@gazette.com) and I’ll get them posted on here.

    Back in a few.

    Twitter: @Klee_Gazette