COACH IS FINE WITH PLAYERS AND THEIR VIEWS
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”