Around the League: Arians anxious for Luck's minicamp debut

Len Pasquarelli, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Indianapolis Colts' owner Jim Irsay told The Sports Xchange that, while coaches feel Luck has a solid "mental picture" of the team's offense, new coordinator Bruce Arians "can't wait" to get the top overall choice on the field and involved physically with the team. Luck, of course, is the most notable of the rookies around the NFL who have not been able to participate in OTAs because the school year at their respective universities is not concluded.
--A source close to Minnesota cornerback Asher Allen insisted that concussions are only a part of the reason the three-year veteran abruptly retired this week, but would elaborate no further. As reported by Twin Cities-area media outlets, the Vikings will not pursue a portion of the $725,000 signing bonus Allen received in 2009.
--As noted here last week, the Denver Broncos have broached the possibility of an extension for left tackle Ryan Clady, who is entering the final season of his rookie contract, and the two sides have even exchanged a few proposals. But a deal isn't particularly close. The Broncos seem to feel that Clady, regarded by many as one of the game's top pass protectors, has slipped a bit the last couple seasons. The Clady camp has countered the fifth-year veteran has protected well despite playing with some quarterbacks who often held the ball too long, and that last season was an aberration with the mid-season switch to Tim Tebow and an option-based attack. Clady also feels the addition of Peyton Manning, who rarely takes sacks, will only accentuate his protection abilities.
--On the subject of the Broncos and money: The team has yet to decide how to proceed with defensive lineman Ty Warren, who has declined a request to reduce his base salary for 2012 from $4 million to the $1.5 million range. Warren has missed each of the past two seasons, with New England in 2010 and the Broncos last year, because of injuries. But the Broncos want to evaluate some of their young lineman, in particular rookie Derek Wolfe, before deciding on Warren's future.
--Miami coaches haven't settled yet on where third-year defensive lineman Jared Odrick will line up -- not even on if it will be inside or outside -- but the sense is that the former first-rounder (2010) could have a breakout season in the 4-3 scheme being installed by new coordinator Kevin Coyle. Odrick played just one game as a rookie in 2010, and started only seven games last season.
--Not surprisingly, given his track record of shooting from the lip without all the facts, New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott was misinformed when he contended this week that commissioner Roger Goodell cannot cancel the Pro Bowl himself. The CBA affords Goodell and the league to suspend the game without the approval of the NFLPA.
--Even without a coordinator, in the absence of the suspended Gregg Williams, the St. Louis Rams have made it a priority to rebuild their linebacker corps.
--Rookie tailback Chris Rainey has impressed Steelers' coaches with his quickness in OTAs, but people have cautioned that the former Florida star and fifth-round pick hasn't put on pads yet. First-year offensive coordinator Todd Haley envisions Rainey in the same role in which he used Dexter McCluster in Kansas City, but Rainey will have to demonstrate he's a solid receiver. Although he had just 69 receptions in four college seasons, Rainey did have 56 catches total in his final two years with the Gators.
--In the wake of comments from Detroit vice chairman Bill Ford Jr., that some Lions' players lack maturity and have brought criticism on the franchise with recent indiscretions, the Lions have asked some of the more senior players on the young team to shoulder increased leadership roles.

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