Denver Broncos training camp -- which is still free, and one of the best things that the team does for its fans -- gets under way at Dove Valley on Thursday, July 25, with the first of sixteen practices that will be open to the public. And the players and coaches will be only too happy to focus on Xs and Os as opposed to Ds, Us and Is. Last year, as training camp got started for teams around the country, the San Diego Union-Tribune created an interactive database cataloging NFL player arrests and citations (anything more serious than a speeding ticket) since 2000.
The list came with a disclaimer -- "because some incidents may not have been reported and some public records proved to be elusive," the paper said -- but it provided a good service.
And sadly, as of August 2012, the Denver Broncos ranked third in the dubious category of most arrests (behind only Minnesota and Cincinnati).
Since then, however, it appears that only two Broncos players have been popped by the police: Quinton Carter was charged -- and later cleared -- in a Las Vegas cheating case, while offensive lineman Quentin Saulsberry was arrested in Arapahoe County in May on suspicion of DUI (he's due in court in August).
The UT doesn't track NFL executive arrests (although maybe it should), but everyone knows who would be winning in that category this year: Go Broncos!
On Monday, the Broncos indefinitely suspended director of player personnel Matt Russell, who'd been arrested July 6 in Summit County and charged with driving with a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit and of running into a police car. The team also suspended another executive, director of pro personnel Tom Heckert, who was arrested in Parker on June 11 and charged with DUI; Heckert will miss one month of work. Both men will serve their suspensions without pay.
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Still, the Broncos are pretty good at PR (i.e., the free training-camp sessions), and the team also announced Monday that it had signed Ryan Clady, the disgruntled offensive lineman who protects Peyton Manning's blind side, to a five-year, $52 million deal.
Although Russell and Heckert (and possibly Saulsberry) won't be around to watch, Clady will put on the pads next Thursday and, with any luck, start to clear up the Broncos hangover.
For the full training camp schedule, go to the Denver Broncos website.