|08-31-2007, 04:15 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Hixon, Clark catch key breaks
Duo appear set for roster spots
By Bill Williamson
Denver Post Staff Writer
The final preseason game is all about the future.
For Broncos receivers Domenik Hixon and Brian Clark, though, Thursday night was about showing that the future is now.
Hixon and Clark appear set to be the Broncos' No. 4 and No. 5 receivers, and the team might not keep more than five receivers. The only chance for the team to keep six receivers appears to be if Quincy Morgan survives Saturday's final cut. But with Hixon emerging as the kick returner, the veteran Morgan could be in trouble.
When the Broncos went to camp, there was concern about their depth at the lower part of the receiving rotation. However, Hixon and Clark had outstanding preseason performances. Worry appears to be decreasing.
Early in camp, it seemed certain Denver would scour the waiver wire for a veteran receiver. One name mentioned was Tampa Bay's Michael Clayton, a former first-round selection for the Buccaneers.
But Hixon and Clark could keep Denver from adding to the corps, which is headlined by starters Javon Walker and Brandon Marshall (back in the team's good graces after performing well in practice and in games for the past three weeks) and No. 3 receiver Brandon Stokley.
Even if veteran Rod Smith, who will spend at least the first six weeks of the regular season on the physically unable to perform list mending from surgery on his hip, doesn't come back, the team may be in good shape with the two second-year players. The emergence of Hixon and Clark led Denver to cut veterans David Kircus and David Terrell this week.
"We like our young receivers," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan recently said. "They have a lot of promise."
Hixon and Clark did nothing to sway the team's good thoughts Thursday night in the preseason victory over Arizona.
Hixon and Clark made their presence felt on the Broncos' final drive of the first quarter. On third-and-8, Clark caught a 16-yard pass from Darrell Hackney to the Denver 43. On the next play, Hixon took a reverse from Hackney and zipped 43 yards to the Cardinals' 14.
The Broncos have had success with the receiver reverse with former receiver Ashley Lelie and Walker. Hixon gives the Broncos another option.
Having Walker and Hixon on the field could give defenses headaches. Clark is proving to be a solid possession receiver.
"I'm just trying to do anything to make this team," Hixon said recently. "I'm very hungry."
Both Clark and Hixon came out of Thursday's game with modest statistics. Clark had two receptions for 27 yards, and Hixon had a single reception for 7 yards.
Hixon, a fifth-round pick in 2006, missed last season while recovering from a broken foot that he suffered before the draft. He was one of the stars of the offseason program, and he figures to be the kick returner.
Clark, an undrafted player, finished last season on the 53-man roster. He was originally signed to the practice squad but was promoted because Green Bay was trying to sign him.
It appears both aren't going anywhere else anytime soon.
|08-31-2007, 05:41 AM||#3|
helmet to helmet hitter
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Arlington, TX
|08-31-2007, 05:58 AM||#4|
Anybody want a peanut?
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ceti Alpha V
|08-31-2007, 10:45 AM||#6|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Mar 2004
|08-31-2007, 12:34 PM||#7|
In The Arena
Join Date: Jan 2006
With all of the other positions looking dicey, I don't think we can afford to spend a additional position at WR. I will give some props to Hixon. I have been very critical of him, but he definitly looked better last night. I still would rank Clark over Hixon, but I am satisfied with them as the fourth/fifth positions.