Saturday, August 16, 2008

NFL Notebook

By Associated Press
Last Modified: 8/16/2008 3:23 AM

Broncos' RB stable shrinks: With the boom of thunder shaking the bubble roof overhead, Selvin Young took the handoff at Denver's walkthrough in their indoor facility and jogged around the right side when he tripped over his own feet.

It's been that kind of month for the Broncos' beleaguered backfield.

The Broncos, set to face the Dallas Cowboys in their preseason home opener Saturday night at Invesco Field, began training camp with high hopes of producing another diamond in the rough in their backfield, but rookie tailback Ryan Torain was lost for three months when he broke his left elbow when he somersaulted during 9-on-7 drills, putting a damper on the mood at Dove Valley.

Then, rookie Anthony Alridge pulled a hamstring late in the Broncos' fourth joint practice with the Cowboys on Thursday.

No matter who's carrying the football, the Cowboys coaching staff is eager to see their front seven face Denver's zone blocking scheme that they don't see often during the season.

"It was good to practice against them because you're not used to the way they do it, which is a great way to do it. Obviously, they've done it that way for a long time," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said.

The four joint workouts this week were "real good for our defensive linemen," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones concurred. "The technique that we teach to them, if they do that technique against a team like this, the Denver offense will run them right off the field. So we have to literally get hooked, so to speak, and come on up the field."

The Cowboys' bigger priorities this weekend are to get quarterback Brad Johnson more time with the first string offensive line to get a better gauge on his ability to back up starter Tony Romo.