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Broncos still searching for 2 more quarterbacks

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Tim Tebow is still Denver's starting quarterback, and coach John Fox is still OK with Brady Quinn being the backup.

The Broncos, though, are looking to add a few quarterbacks to the roster before training camp starts in the summer.

"We typically go to camp with four quarterbacks and right now we have two, so you do the math," coach John Fox said Thursday at the NFL's scouting combine.

It's unlikely the Broncos will use a high draft pick on a quarterback because they already have two young quarterbacks on the roster in Tebow and Adam Weber, and interest in bringing back Quinn, who is a free agent.

But there are now questions about how well Tebow and Quinn, last year's top two quarterbacks, get along.

On Wednesday, Quinn apologized for critical comments about Tebow that were published in a magazine article. Quinn said Tebow's success last season had a lot to do with luck and that he didn't think Tebow was too humble about demonstrating his faith.

On Thursday, Fox said Quinn's quick apology was more indicative of how strong the relationship between his top two quarterbacks really is.

"Sometimes this gets lost in translation, but I know their relationship is very good and they are good teammates," Fox said.

When asked about Quinn's apology, Fox said: "That just shows who he is. Sometimes that happens in conversation though it's never happened to me."

Tebow led the Broncos to the AFC West title after the team started 1-4.


CAM CAN: Panthers coach Ron Rivera realizes the bar has been raised for Cam Newton.

And he believes the No. 1 overall choice can exceed every expectation in 2012.

"The last three years, or four, he's had to learn a different offense," Rivera said. "Now he's going to have one voice, the same voice and I think that's important for growth."

But Rivera insists the reason for Newton's quick development last year wasn't because of sheer talent, and his improvement will come for one reason -- his work ethic.

"He was terrific in his development in terms of being the player we thought he would be, showing up early, staying late, doing the extra things that were needed, working certain things out on his own, coming to the coaches and trying to get as much help as he could," Rivera said. "I think the success he had was a lot sooner than we did expect from him but we felt the young man had certain abilities and he certainly did shine.


HOUSE OF CARDS: Cardinals general manager Rod Graves is aware of rampant talk that Arizona could be in the mix to land Peyton Manning.

Yes, Arizona seems happy with the quarterbacks already on its roster -- Kevin Kolb, Max Hall, John Skelton and Richard Bartel. But Graves did acknowledge the Cardinals are looking to improve everywhere and it could mean adding another quarterback. He is barred from talking specifically about Manning because of the league's tampering rules.

Hall and Bartel are both restricted free agents. Kolb and Skelton are under contract.

"Well, I think we are happy with what we have but as coach (Ken) Whisenhunt just said, we're about opportunities to get better," Graves said. "This is a competitive game, and we want to get better. If we can, so be it. But right now we believe we have an outstanding group of quarterbacks and we're preparing to play with that group of quarterbacks."

Graves also hopes to work out new deals for cornerback Richard Marshall and defensive lineman Calais Campbell.


STEELY DEAL: Steelers GM Kevin Colbert says he intends to keep restricted free agent receiver Mike Wallace, and he's prepared to make adjustments to the roster if necessary.

"We're going to do everything we can to make sure that Mike Wallace remains a Pittsburgh Steeler, and I think that's Mike's belief as well," Colbert said. "Usually, when you've got two parties that share the same goal, it's usually easier to achieve that goal."

Wallace caught 72 passes for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

Colbert said it will be easier to decide what to do once he knows what the salary cap will be. He said he expects Wallace to be protected with at least a first-round tender, which would require another team signing him to surrender a first-round draft pick, and that using the franchise tag remains a possibility, too.

"We think he's only scratched the surface in what he can do," Colbert said. "There's a lot left there that still can be developed, and we're anxious to see it happen as a Steeler."


TO FRANCHISE OR NOT? The Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys are facing similar situations over the next two weeks.

Both are trying to decide whether to use the franchise tag on key players to prevent them from becoming free agents. The Bears are trying to decide what to do with running back Matt Forte. The Cowboys must make a decision with outside linebacker Anthony Spencer.

Chicago coach Lovie Smith said Thursday he expects Forte to be in the Bears backfield for the foreseeable future, with or without the tag. Forte accounted for nearly 30 percent of the team's yardage last season. He led the Bears in rushing (997 yards) and receiving (490) and was selected to his first Pro Bowl even though he missed the final four games with a sprained MCL in his right knee.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said his team will take its time about Spencer and that this week's combine could be a significant factor.

"We have some different options that we can explore and that we've talked about. We're not ready to make that decision. We don't have to make it yet," Garrett said. "But again you have to evaluate the landscape of how you can acquire talent. You look at who's available in the draft, who's available in free agency and who's available on your team and then you try to make your best decision. We're just not there yet with the Spencer decision."


SUH ON TRACK?: Lions coach Jim Schwartz was asked Thursday whether he's spoken with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh about his temperament since Detroit's playoff loss to New Orleans. His answer: Not really.

But Schwartz is hoping the defensive star has learned from past mistakes, which included a two-game suspension after stomping on the arm of a Packers offensive lineman in a nationally televised Thanksgiving Day game.

"I think, particularly, over the last couple of games, we've put some of those other things to rest," Schwartz said. "I think when you're a player that other teams target, and by target I mean target from a scheme standpoint, it's tough."

Did the flare-ups hurt Suh's reputation?

"I think the Thanksgiving game overshadowed that, but he was a really good player this year," Schwartz said.


TUNING OUT: Nielsen Co. says a record 111.3 million people watched the Super Bowl this year. San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke wasn't among them.

After the 49ers lost 20-17 to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants in the NFC championship game, Baalke went straight into planning mode.

"We had the scouts in and we were working," he said as he discussed his Super Bowl week schedule.

As a matter of fact, Baalke hasn't even watched his team's tape against New York.

"The last game, I just haven't had time to pop on yet," he said.

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