2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Stokley stoked for reunion with Broncos, Manning

    2012-05-03 15:37

(Eds: Adds photo links. With AP Photos.)
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Brandon Stokley was ready for a reunion, not retirement.

The 14th-year wide receiver rejoined the Denver Broncos - and old pal Peyton Manning - this offseason after missing almost all of 2011.

Stokley played in just two games for the New York Giants last year before a strained thigh led to an injury settlement. Instead of helping the Giants win another ring, he spent his winter back home in Castle Rock, Colo., wondering if his NFL career was over.

He kept in shape, and when Manning signed with Denver, the Broncos quickly brought back his sidekick slot receiver who played with the four-time MVP in Indianapolis from 2003-06.

Stokley, who played in Denver from 2007-09, said he's, well, stoked, to be back with the Broncos and Manning.

``I wasn't really ready to be done,'' Stokley said. ``I still feel like I can play.''

Stokley and Manning hooked up at a public park in Castle Rock to play some catch during the quarterback's free agency whirlwind tour in March.

It was Stokley who let the sports world know that Manning looked strong and accurate after missing last season following a series of neck operations that led to his release by the Colts. Manning had worked out privately for some teams, but Stokley was the first eyewitness to come forward and give the 36-year-old quarterback rave reviews.

At first, he was surprised by Manning's precise, powerful passes.

``I was. I hadn't talked to him about it. I didn't ask him how he was throwing or even if he was throwing. So, when I went up there, I just wanted to have a clear mind and just see for myself. So, I was really impressed that first day,'' Stokley said.

``And we ended up throwing for three straight days and he was the only quarterback there, so he was throwing a lot of balls and you never saw any drop-off. And when we threw a week or two later, he looked even better. That just showed me he is improving.''

Stokley then made a tour of high school football fields around the Denver area with Manning and receiver Eric Decker to get back into shape and rediscover their rhythm.

Not long after Manning called John Elway and agreed to a five-year, $96 million deal, Stokley signed a one-year contract to return to the Broncos in what he views as the best of both worlds.

``No, I didn't ever think I'd have another chance to play with him,'' Stokley said. ``I don't want to say you kind of take him for granted, but then you move on and you kind of realize what you had. And you kind of always hope that you get that chance again. So, for me, it's been great, I think he's the best ever to play the position. So, to have a chance to play with somebody like that is pretty special.''

Stokley, who turns 36 next month, same as Manning, is healthy again.

``I feel great. I feel 100 percent. I don't have any ailments or nothing's bothering me. So, the body's feeling good and I feel good,'' he said.

Known as the ``Slot Machine,'' Stokley is the only Broncos receiver who has played with Manning before, and he's freely dishing out advice to his young teammates, some of whom he'll be battling with for a roster spot and playing time.

``I've always looked at it like anything I can do to help out,'' Stokley said. ``I believe in my ability and what I can do and if it's good enough, then I'll be on the team. If it's not, then I won't. But I don't think helping somebody else out is going to hurt me. I've never looked at it that way. I've always had older guys who have helped me out. So, whenever I get the chance I try to help out whoever asks.''

Stokley's first stint with the Broncos was best known for his ``Immaculate Deflection'' catch that stunned the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2009 season opener. Down 7-6 with 28 seconds left, Kyle Orton's underthrown pass to Brandon Marshall was tipped by cornerback Leon Hall and into the hands of Stokley, who raced for an 87-yard TD and a 12-7 win in Josh McDaniels' head coaching debut.

Stokley said it's been fun to see how far Decker and Demaryius Thomas have come since he played with them when they were rookies during training camp in 2010, before injury ended Stokley's first stint in Denver.

He said he's eager to see how much better Manning will make them, too.

``Oh, I think it's going to be huge, especially with what they had last year and the offense that they ran last year to what they're going to have this year,'' Stokley said. ``I think the expectations are going to be a lot higher from the quarterback.

``So, I think anytime you have that, it just makes the player work harder and want to do better. With Peyton, everything has to be so precise, detail-oriented, it just rubs off on everybody else.''

---

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Giovani BernardOct 31 11:12a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) is unlikely to play in Week 9.

Trent RichardsonOct 31 10:32a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is not on the injury report for Week 9, and should be able to play Monday, Nov. 3.

Rashad JenningsOct 31 10:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) is aiming to return for the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ronnie HillmanOct 31 09:12a

Updating previous reports, Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) is expected to have his normal workload in Week 9, despite his limited practice repetitions.

DeAngelo HallOct 31 08:52a

Washington Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall (Achilles') tore his Achilles' again at home and had surgery to repair it Thursday, Oct. 30.

Ron JohnsonOct 30 08:22p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (back), DE Michael Bennett (toe), C Stephen Schilling (knee), CB Tharold Simon (knee), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), LB Malcolm Smith (groin), DT Jordan Hill [ More ]

Patrick WillisOct 30 07:52p

San Francisco 49res CB Tramaine Brock (toe) and LB Patrick Willis (toe) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and CB Chris Culliver (hamstring) practiced in full.

Chris MatthewsOct 30 07:42p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed WR Chris Matthews and TE Brett Brackett to their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 30.

Scott WellsOct 30 07:42p

St. Louis Rams OG Rodger Saffold (shoulder), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder) and S Cody Davis (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Rodney McLeod [ More ]

Luke JoeckelOct 30 07:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars OT Luke Joeckel (concussion) has recovered nicely from the concussion he suffered in Week 8, and he could play in Week 9 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Joeckel [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

Arian FosterOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Johnathan JosephOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans LBs Brian Cushing (knee), Brooks Reed (groin) and Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. RB Alfred Blue (ankle), LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), CB Johnathan [ More ]

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Justin TuckOct 30 06:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), CB Carlos Rogers (knee) and WR Kenbrell Thompkins (non-injury) did not [ More ]

Anthony CollinsOct 30 06:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Anthony Collins (foot) and LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and DE Michael Johnson (hand) were limited.

Brian RobisonOct 30 06:32p

Minnesota Vikings DT Shariff Floyd (ankle, knee), TE Chase Ford (foot), CB Jabari Price (hamstring), CB Josh Robinson (ankle) and DE Brian Robison (glute) were limited in practice Thursday, [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos S Quinton Carter (hamstring) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Lamin Barrow (concussion), TE Virgil Green (calf), LB Steven Johnson (ankle) and OG Louis Vasquez (illness) [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

Billy WinnOct 30 06:22p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DE Phil Taylor (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), S Jim Leonhard (ankle), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder), [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Chris JohnsonOct 30 06:12p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson, who carried the ball just three times for seven yards in Week 8, said he's frustrated with his limited role in the offense. [ More ]

Tom CrabtreeOct 30 06:02p

The New Orleans Saints waived TE Tom Crabtree Thursday, Oct. 30.

Patrick PetersonOct 30 05:42p

Arizona Cardinals S Tony Jefferson (head) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Calais Campbell (knee), LB Kenny Demens (knee), S Rashad Johnson [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 30 05:22p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring) and LB Josh Martin (hamstring, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Eric Berry (ankle) and CB Christopher Owens (knee) were [ More ]

Demario DavisOct 30 05:22p

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), OG Willie Colon [ More ]

Keenan RobinsonOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins S Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) and OT Trent Williams (knee) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), LB Trent Murphy (knee), CB Tracy [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) practiced in full for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:02p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) will start against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9, barring any setbacks this week in practice, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Mike PounceyOct 30 05:02p

Miami Dolphins OG Daryn Colledge (illness, back) LB Chris McCain (foot) and TE Dion Sims (toe) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Nate Garner (neck), LB Koa Misi [ More ]

Andre BranchOct 30 04:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Will Blackmon (finger), DE Andre Branch (groin), DE Chris Clemons (non-injury), LB Geno Hayes (non-injury) and DT Roy Miller (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group