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

DeMarco MurrayOct 25 08:28p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray worked out with TE Jason Witten before the team's official offseason program, and he credits the veteran tight end with his increased stamina and [ More ]

Ryan ClarkOct 25 06:42p

Washington Redskins DE Chris Baker (thigh), OT Tyler Polumbus (knee), LB Perry Riley (knee) and OT Trent Williams (knee) practiced Saturday, Oct. 25, and are probable for Week 8. [ More ]

Edwin BakerOct 25 06:22p

The New Orleans Saints released TE Tom Crabtree Saturday, Oct. 25. RB Edwin Baker was promoted to the 53-man roster in his place.

Tom CrabtreeOct 25 06:12p

The New Orleans Saints released TE Tom Crabtree Saturday, Oct. 25.

Jerel WorthyOct 25 06:12p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed DE Jerel Worthy to the practice squad Saturday, Oct. 25.

LaMarr WoodleyOct 25 05:02p

Oakland Raiders LB LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) were placed on Reserve/Injured Saturday, Oct. 25. CB D.J. Hayden (foot) was activated from the Physically Unable to [ More ]

Derrick ColemanOct 25 04:32p

Seattle Seahawks FS Derrick Coleman (foot) was placed on Reserve/Injured Saturday, Oct. 25. The team signed WR Phil Bates to the 53-man roster.

Damian WilliamsOct 25 04:32p

Miami Dolphins DE Dion Jordan was activated to the 53-man roster Saturday, Oct. 25, after serving his suspension. WR Damian Williams was waived to make room for him.

Jack CrawfordOct 25 04:32p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (thigh), FS Jakar Hamilton (personal), OT Jermey Parnell (chest) and DE Anthony Spencer (knee, foot) practiced Saturday, Oct. 25, and are probable for Week [ More ]

Doug FreeOct 25 03:52p

Dallas Cowboys OG Doug Free (foot) could return next week against the Arizona Cardinals. Head coach Jason Garrett said he hopes Free will be able to practice net week.

Ryan TaylorOct 25 03:02p

The Baltimore Ravens waived TE Ryan Taylor and promoted TE Phillip Supernaw from their practice squad to the active roster Saturday, Oct. 25.

Chandler JonesOct 25 02:12p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) could be done for the season with a hip injury he suffered in Week 7. Jones will reportedly miss at least six weeks.

Chris CookOct 25 01:22p

The San Francisco 49ers placed CB Chris Cook (hamstring) and C Daniel Kilgore (leg) on Reserve/Injured and signed S Ray Ventrone to a one-year deal Saturday, Oct. 25.

Gerell RobinsonOct 25 01:12p

The Cleveland Browns activated OL Nick McDonald and waived TE Gerell Robinson Saturday, Oct. 25.

Gerald McCoyOct 25 01:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy has agreed to terms with the team on a seven-year contract extension worth close to $100 million.

Marcus EasleyOct 25 12:42p

Buffalo Bills WR Marcus Easley (knee) will work out before the team's Week 8 game to see if he will be able to play, according to head coach Doug [ More ]

Jason TrusnikOct 25 12:42p

Miami Dolphins LB Jason Trusnik could start at middle linebacker in Week 8 if LB Koa Misi (ankle) is not able to play.

Tavarres KingOct 25 12:22p

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed practice squad CB Peyton Thompson to their active roster Saturday, Oct. 25. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived WR Tavarres King.

Calais CampbellOct 25 12:22p

Arizona Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (knee) likely will be a game-time decision for Week 8, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Campbell said his knee felt good during practice and hopes to play.

A.J. GreenOct 25 12:12p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) is not expected to play in Week 8, because he has ligament damage under his toe. The team wants to be careful with [ More ]

Shonn GreeneOct 25 12:02p

Tennessee Titans RB Shonn Greene was arrested Friday, Oct. 24, and charged with a handicap parking violation, driving on a revoked/suspended license, reckless driving and resisting stop/halt/frisk.

Sean SpenceOct 25 11:32a

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Ryan Shazier (knee) should be able to play in Week 8, but it is not known if he will start at inside linebacker. Shazier and LB [ More ]

Aqib TalibOct 25 05:22a

Denver Broncos CB Tony Carter has drawn interest on the trade market prior to the Oct. 28 deadline. CBs Aqib Talib and Bradley Roby have taken away some playing [ More ]

Alan BranchOct 25 05:12a

Free-agent DL Alan Branch (Bills) was spotted in the New England Patriots' locker room but still has not signed his contract with the team. An additional report by Mike [ More ]

Jason KelceOct 25 12:42a

Philadelphia Eagles C Jason Kelce (hernia) is listed as questionable for the Week 8 game against the Arizona Cardinals, but he is unlikely to play. He had sports hernia [ More ]

Cullen JenkinsOct 25 12:42a

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) is expected to miss at least a few weeks, so DEs Robert Ayers and Mathias Kiwanuka could be asked to play interior [ More ]

Jon BeasonOct 25 12:42a

New York Giants LB Devon Kennard might see more playing time with LB Jon Beason (toe) injured and possibly sidelined a while.

Emmanuel AchoOct 25 12:32a

Philadelphia Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks (calf) might be able to return for the Week 8 game against the Arizona Cardinals. If not, LBs Emmanuel Acho and Casey Matthews would [ More ]

Luke WillsonOct 24 10:44p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (groin) will play in the team's Week 8 game, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Crockett GillmoreOct 24 10:32p

Baltimore Ravens rookie TE Crockett Gillmore will receive the start at tight end in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Ravens appear to have plenty of confidence [ More ]

Golden TateOct 24 10:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate will be facing the league's 29th ranked pass defense in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Steve JohnsonOct 24 10:08p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson has played only 20 percent of the snaps in the last month, but he's been the team's most effective receiver in that time. [ 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