Star-Bulletin Sports


NFL Hawaii

Rolovich’s second
chance pays off

After getting stood up by the
Cowboys, the former UH
quarterback signs with Denver

By Dave Reardon

When Nick Rolovich puts pen to paper today, he officially becomes a Denver Bronco -- and will be one at least through a week from Sunday.

The former Hawaii quarterback said he expected to sign a one-year free-agent contract with the Broncos after a tryout went well last weekend.

"It looks like it's for sure," said Rolovich, who caught a plane to Hawaii today and will sign the contract at the UH football offices. "I just need to take care of the paperwork. They want me to come back (to Denver) the weekend of (May) 18th and 19th.

"I still have to make the roster," Rolovich added. "Nothing's guaranteed until the last cut. But it's 100 percent better than where I was last week."

Rolovich was without a team after failing to impress at a similar tryout with the Dallas Cowboys. Now he's with a team that will give him a longer look.

The Broncos' quarterback situation is far from set. Veteran backup Steve Beuerlein is coming off elbow surgery, and Jarious Jackson and Todd Husak are unproven. Brian Griese is entrenched as the starter, but he reportedly fell down at a party on Sunday night and ended up with seven stitches above his right eye (see page B3).

Rolovich concedes he still has a lot to learn, though.

"The offensive coordinator, Gary Kubiak, he told me my arm strength is good enough to play in the NFL. But I'm not getting the proper depth on my drop. I've still got to work on my rhythm, there's a little uncomfortableness there," said Rolovich, who worked mostly out of the shotgun at UH.

"They were happy with the way I picked things up in three days," he added. "At night after the second practice, Ashley (Lelie) and I would grab something quick to eat and go over plays."

It was also the first pro camp for Lelie, the Broncos' first-round pick in last month's draft and Rolovich's Warrior teammate.

"I know Ashley helped," Rolovich said. "There are a lot of Hawaii connections with the Broncos. I had a real positive feeling. John Finney knows (owner) Pat Bowlen and he put in a word. I never met John Finney, but he helped me out."

Said Finney, of Honolulu: "Pat and I are business partners in matters unrelated to football and close friends. (Agent and former UH assistant coach) John Wilbur urged me to get in touch with Pat. Pat said he's not in charge of personnel, but he would look into it. (Coach) Mike Shanahan had seen him play and was very positive."

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