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Old 08-13-2010, 09:56 AM   #1
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Default Broncos rookie Walton can't wait to become a veteran

Broncos rookie Walton can't wait to become a veteran

By Lindsay H. Jones

The Denver Post
Posted: 08/13/2010 01:00:00 AM MDT

J.D. Walton J.D. Walton knows his spot as a rookie on this Broncos team. That's why his head is newly shaved, the result of last week's hazing ritual.

But Walton knows he can't act like a rookie on the field, not with the job as the likely starting center.

That's why Walton was one of the first two players on the field at an afternoon practice this week. The other was veteran quarterback Kyle Orton, and the pair spent about 15 minutes taking snaps and running 40-yard wind sprints together.

"We just needed some more snaps," Walton said.

Walton, a third-round draft pick from Baylor, has taken all of the first-team snaps at center since the Broncos opened training camp Aug. 1. When the regular season starts on Sept. 12, it is likely Walton will be one of two rookies starting on the line, alongside guard Zane Beadles.

At times, Walton has felt as if his head has been spinning. He's responsible for making sure the rest of the offensive linemen understand the play, the correct pass protection and blocking assignments.

"We've got new stuff going in every day," Walton said.

Orton first barks out the signals to alert the rest of the offense to the defensive scheme, then it is up to Walton to speak to the rest of the line.

"Everyone is out there chattering, and the whole offensive line has to be talking together to be on the same page," Walton said.

Then come full-contact drills against the Broncos' defensive line, particularly 348-pound nose tackle Jamal Williams.

Walton has won few if any of those battles. But Walton shouldn't feel bad.

"He's one of the best defensive tackles. He's getting me ready for the games," Walton said.

Lindsay H. Jones: 303-954-1262 or ljones@denverpost.com


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Center shifts
The Broncos drafted J.D. Walton from Baylor this year because of his size and nasty demeanor on the field. For the first time since the mid-1990s, the team won't have a veteran center:

1994-2007: Tom Nalen (6-feet-3, 286 pounds) was the center for nearly the entire Mike Shanahan era. He made 188 career starts before a knee injury kept him out of the 2008 season. He officially retired last year.

2008-09: Casey Wiegmann (6-2, 285) replaced Nalen and started every game last year. He was released in the offseason and re-signed with Kansas City.

2010: Walton (6-3, 305) started every game at Baylor from 2007-09 and has taken all of the first-team snaps in training camp.

Lindsay H. Jones, The Denver Post
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:07 PM   #2
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This guy is going to be a bulldog in the middle of that line for years! Hopefully with him and Beadles, Clady, Kuper and Harris and the Olsen twins we'll have a young, strong powerfull offensive line for many years to come!!
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:39 PM   #3
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Give 'em hell, Rook.
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:43 PM   #4
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I nominate this for worst article headline ever.
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatspirits View Post
This guy is going to be a bulldog in the middle of that line for years! Hopefully with him and Beadles, Clady, Kuper and Harris and the Olsen twins we'll have a young, strong powerfull offensive line for many years to come!!
Who is the girl in your avy......DAMN!!!!
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by oubronco View Post
Who is the girl in your avy......DAMN!!!!
Glad I'm not the only one who said that, out loud by the way....Daaaaamn. Right up there with Pampita (sorry BlakArgentina). Wow.
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch View Post
Glad I'm not the only one who said that, out loud by the way....Daaaaamn. Right up there with Pampita (sorry BlakArgentina). Wow.
Pampita is disappointed in you.



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