Good day, and welcome to the last day of 2007 …
It’s player check-out day at the Valley of the Dove. For those of us in the laptop and mic set, the locker room opens at 8 a.m. — about four or so hours earlier than it normally would during the season. Players pass through, sifting through and cleaning out their locker-room stalls, milling about in between season-ending physicals. It’s a day when the organization goes through bulbous black garbage bags the way a restaurant’s kitchen goes through paper towels.
But locker clean-out isn’t what it used to be. Not everyone goes through their belongings and stuffs them in a bag. The locker room here at Broncos headquarters won’t buzz over the next three months as it did the last five, but it won’t be permanently silent, either. Just because players don’t need to be around for workouts doesn’t mean they’ll all avoid it, and those that must continue their rehabilitation work from injuries will remain four- or five-days-a-week fixtures around these parts.
So will we. The blog might occasionally pause for brief vacations, but no extended hiatii are on the horizon. Too much to discuss and disseminate. We’ll be back on the road in a few weeks for the Senior Bowl. “Offseason” is an antediluvian notion; I reckon I should come up with another word for it …
… Still waiting to hear about the Broncos’ draft status … we presume that they will select 12th, but until the NFL announces the draft order, we don’t know for certain.
Assuming the Broncos begin harvesting their draft crop a dozen picks in, here’s what the last 10 drafts have netted in that slot:
2007 - Buffalo: Marshawn Lynch, RB, California
2006 - Baltimore: Haloti Ngata, DT, Oregon
2005 - San Diego: Shawne Merriman, OLB, Maryland
2004 - N.Y. Jets: Jonathan Vilma, ILB, Miami (Fla.)
2003 - St. Louis: Jimmy Kennedy, DT, Penn State
2002 - Arizona: Wendell Bryant, DT, Wisconsin
2001 - St. Louis: Damione Lewis, DT, Miami (Fla.)
2000 - N.Y. Jets: Shaun Ellis, DE, Tennessee
1999 - Chicago: Cade McNown, QB, UCLA
1998 - Atlanta: Keith Brooking, LB, Georgia Tech
Hit or miss, like many slots. The four most recent selections have fared quite well, but between 1999 and 2003 … eh, not so much. Kennedy passed through Denver in 2007 but was released in the preseason …
… Left the press box at two minutes past 2 in the a.m. Fell asleep at 3:45. Awoke at a few seconds past six. In the office at 20 past 7. The odds of my making it to midnight and the first seconds of 2008 are roughly the same as CU had of scoring a touchdown on the final play of the Independence Bowl last night.
But I can make it to 10 a.m. — the end of the open locker room for us chronicling the team — and that’s what counts today.
Time to run … ’til the next posting, vaya con Dios.