Young and the restless suits Hillman

Sports

Young and the restless suits Hillman

Behind Manning and McGahee, NFL’s youngest is a quick study
Ronnie Hillman, who will be 21 years, 1 month, 21 days old – the youngest player in the NFL – when Denver plays at Cincinnati on Sunday, has leapfrogged two running backs on the Broncos’ depth chart to become Willis McGahee’s primary backup. “He’s a young player who’s getting better every week,” Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said.
Chargers rally around Turner

SAN DIEGO – Norv Turner is off the hot seat, at least for 10 days.

Romeo Crennel is perched squarely on it.

Antonio Gates caught a 14-yard yard scoring pass from Philip Rivers on the game’s opening drive to snap a streak of six consecutive quarters without a touchdown, and the San Diego Chargers went on to a 31-13 victory over the staggering Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.

Turner had been heavily criticized by fans after the Chargers (4-4) blew double-digit, second-half leads in losses to New Orleans and Denver, then lost 7-6 at Cleveland on Sunday.

Still, at the start of halftime, some fans in one end zone unfurled a big yellow banner that read: “Mr. Spanos, please fire A.J. & Norv.”

Team president Dean Spanos decided in January to bring back both Turner and general manager A.J. Smith even though the Chargers missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year and only have one postseason win in four seasons.

Spanos probably isn’t inclined to fire the embattled Turner in the middle of the season, although a loss to the Chiefs would have been embarrassing.

“We didn’t talk about it specifically, but we want to win for him every week,” said Rivers, who competed 18 of 20 in the win. “You play for a lot of things, but we play for our coach. I think that has been evident over the years when we have struggled.”

Bronco bits

QB Peyton Manning earned AFC Offensive Player of the Month honors, the fifth time he’s received the award. Only Patriots QB Tom Brady has more, with six. Manning completed 77 of 104 passes for 951 yards with nine touchdowns with one interception in three games in October. ... The Broncos are 1-11 in their last 12 games in which they’ve traveled two or more time zones to the east (11 in the Eastern time zone, one in London). For the second consecutive season, head coach John Fox is bringing the team east two days before the game to try to get acclimated to the time change. “I love it. Wish I could do it every week. Home games as well,” Broncos CB Champ Bailey said. ... Fox said doctors have regulated CB Tracy Porter’s medicine to control seizures, and he was cleared for full practice Thursday. Porter hasn’t played since Oct. 7.



Associated Press

Young and the restless suits Hillman

Ronnie Hillman, who will be 21 years, 1 month, 21 days old – the youngest player in the NFL – when Denver plays at Cincinnati on Sunday, has leapfrogged two running backs on the Broncos’ depth chart to become Willis McGahee’s primary backup. “He’s a young player who’s getting better every week,” Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said.
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