COACH IS FINE WITH PLAY­ERS AND THEIR VIEWS

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

phoenix» Bron­cos coach Vance Joseph said he has no prob­lems with play­ers like Colin Kaeper­nick and Den­ver line­backer Bran­don Mar­shall ex­press­ing their po­lit­i­cal and so­cial views. But many in and out of the NFL be­lieve many coaches and ex­ec­u­tives feel oth­er­wise, and that’s why — or at least a big rea­son — Kaeper­nick is still a free agent.

“You have to give the play­ers a right to voice their per­sonal con­cerns,” Joseph said. “That doesn’t bother me at all. Colin, you would hope he gets eval­u­ated as a quar­ter­back first and then his per­sonal views can be put to the side a lit­tle bit.”

Joseph said he’s not sur­prised Kaeper­nick is un­signed, how­ever, and said his sta­tus could be at­trib­uted to myr­iad fac­tors.

“You got Kaeper­nick, you got Adrian Peter­son out there — lots of vet­eran play­ers who played well in the past are still on the market,” Joseph added. “That can be fi­nan­cial is­sues or just wait­ing un­til your ros­ter shakes out to see where those guys fit. So I’m not sur­prised, no.”

Mixon meet­ing.

The Bron­cos were among a hand­ful of teams to host Ok­la­homa run­ning back Joe Mixon on a visit, de­spite his past. Mixon punched a wo­man in 2014 and was sus­pended for that sea­son at Ok­la­homa. Video of the in­ci­dent was re­leased in 2016 and Mixon, who ac­cepted a plea deal to avoid prison time, was not in­vited to the NFL com­bine.

Asked about his view of Mixon af­ter meet­ing with him, Joseph said: “I thought Joe was a nice young man. Ob­vi­ously he had an is­sue three or four years ago, but he’s owned it. We brought Joe in be­cause he didn’t go to the com­bine. We brought him in, we talked to him for a day. He’s owned it, he’s been re­morse­ful for his mis­take and he’s a nice young man.”

Leaper ban.

Among the changes ap­proved by NFL teams for the 2017 sea­son is a ban on “leapers” dur­ing field goals and ex­tra-point at­tempts.

Bron­cos safety Justin Sim­mons, who blocked a PAT at New Or­leans last sea­son that led to a gamewin­ning score, told The Den­ver Post prior to the vote that he was against a ban. Bron­cos gen­eral man­ager John El­way ad­mit­ted he was, too, un­til he re­viewed the dan­gers as part of the NFL’s com­pe­ti­tion com­mit­tee.

“I liked the play but I un­der­stand where we even­tu­ally got with the com­mit­tee as far as player safety,” he said. “That was the most im­por­tant thing. It would take one bad in­jury on that play for us — if we hadn’t done some­thing about it — to have felt pretty bad.”

In­jury up­dates.

Joseph said he is hope­ful run­ning back C.J. An­der­son, who is re­cov­er­ing from menis­cus surgery, will be ready for or­ga­nized team ac­tiv­i­ties (OTAs), which start April 10.

“I’m not sure. He’s work­ing in that di­rec­tion,” Joseph said. “He’s there ev­ery day work­ing, so hope­fully.”

Cen­ter Matt Par­adis is off crutches and walk­ing af­ter two hip surg­eries and Joseph said he ex­pects him to “be fine” for the start of train­ing camp this sum­mer.

Cow­boys’ take.

Dal­las coach Ja­son Gar­rett de­clined to pro­vide many de­tails on Tony Romo’s sta­tus, say­ing only that “it’s some­thing we’re work­ing through” and “noth­ing has changed.”

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