ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – For years, Denver left tackle Ryan Clady blocked one of the league’s top pass rushers in practice.
Get beat by Elvis Dumervil then and it was hardly a big deal, especially since the quarterbacks couldn’t be touched in those sessions.
That deal is now off as Clady tries to keep Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning safe from the dangerous Dumervil, who returns to Denver on Thursday night as a hybrid linebacker for the Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens in the league’s first regular-season game.
Dumervil was set to agree on a new deal with the Broncos when a fax foul-up prevented that from happening and the team cut him to save money, making him a free agent. He decided to sign with Baltimore.
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“He’s a good player in this league and he’s definitely a challenge,” said Clady, who was named one of Denver’s captains this week. “I’m looking forward to the challenge and just playing my game, seeing if I can get the best of him.”
Clady knows Dumervil’s moves well, how he relies on leverage and long arms to get past offensive tackles. Dumervil had an NFL-leading 17 sacks in 2009.
Clady is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he allowed one sack.
Dumervil said he isn’t certain how he will be greeted by former teammates.
“I’m sure they’ll want a piece of us, and I’m sure I’m going to want a piece of them,” he said.
To get to Manning, Dumervil will more than likely have to go through Clady, who has been limited this summer as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery.
Clady signed a five-year deal in July worth up to $57.5 million.
“It’s good just to have that weight off my shoulders and not have to worry about it,” he said. “It’s good just to know I’ll be a Bronco long term.”
Cushing reportedlysigns extension
HOUSTON – Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing has signed a six-year contract extension, according to multiple sources.
The deal reportedly is worth $55.64 million, with $21 million guaranteed.
Cushing, 26, returned to the field this summer after suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week 5 of last season.
He has surpassed 110 tackles in each of the two seasons when he played each game.
“It is a great accomplishment for him to get a top deal coming off the injury last season,” agent Drew Rosenhaus said. “It’s also a credit to the Texans for recognizing that Brian is special.”
• The Atlanta Falcons signed offensive tackle Jeremy Trueblood, 30, who started 84 games in seven seasons with Tampa Bay.
• Isaac Redman will start at running back for Pittsburgh in Sunday’s opener at Tennessee, coach Mike Tomlin said.