We tend not to put much stock into strength of schedule based upon prior seasons. But it's a figure we all get bludgeoned with throughout the year, so it's pretty much impossible to ignore completely. Anyway, here goes:
Denver's 2015 strength of schedule as measured by opponents' winning percentages is .541, which is the 10th highest figure in the league.
Demaryius Thomas says he won't be joining Peyton Manning at his annual Duke workouts, or participate in the Broncos' offseason workout program. Denver's top wideout tells Jeff Legwold he hopes to secure a long-term deal, adding about his health,
I'm getting getting my body right, still working through a little soreness in my Achilles, but I could run routes
Duke guard Laken Tomlinson was clear about what he wanted to prove to the NFL during Senior Bowl week. "One of the things I want to market to the other teams is that I'm one hell of a player."
The scouts agree. If you want proof, just turn on some later 2014 film of him.
Tomlinson came to America from Jamaica when he was 10 and started football at 11. This is a player smart enough to carry a double major at Duke. That’s in addition to football. He plans to become a physician after his playing career.
Prior to the start of the new league year, it was reported that the Broncos would aggressively pursue a free agent center, possibly Rodney Hudson or Stefen Wisniewski. But Hudson got a megadeal to replace Wisniewski in Oakland, and Denver hasn't yet made a move at the position.
2014 starter Will Montgomery remains unsigned, while Gary Kubiak has mentioned 2014 sixth-rounder (and practice squadder) Matt Paradis and newly added guard Shelley Smith as options, along with several veteran free agents.
There was much debate about making it the 1, the 1-and-a-half or the 2. The feeling about putting it on the 1 was that it could turn into too much of a scrum/push-the-pile play, or a fluky puncture-the-goal-line-with-the-ball-and-bring-it-back play by the quarterback.
This is a strange concern. If the types of plays PK mentions here were such sure things, then they'd be used far more often when teams have a yard to gain. Just put it at the one, and give teams the option of kicking for one or going for two. There's something gimmicky about using multiple lines of scrimmage or putting it at the 1.5-yard line.
Julius Thomas: Memories of March Madness
But I gave everything I had to help our team win last year and be successful, and I don’t have to prove that to him. The people that are in my life, that see me every day, they know it. They know the effort that I put into this game, they know the effort I put on the field, and they know how badly I want to win. I am going to take all those things with me to Jacksonville and continue to give it everything I have to be the best player or teammate I can.
Whatever your feelings on Julius, remember that he's still got one more big contribution to the Broncos, in the form of what should be a third-round pick in next year's draft.
Michael Sam: ‘I’m not the only gay person in the NFL’
“I am not the only gay person in the NFL,” Sam said Thursday. “I’m just saying there is a lot of us. I respect the players that did reach out to me and had the courage to tell me that they were also gay, but they do not have the same courage as I do to come out before I even played a down in the NFL.
“Was it a risky move? Yes. But at that moment, the reason why I came out is I thought it wasn’t going to be a big deal. Maybe I was naive. Maybe I thought it was 2014, and people will understand that there’s gay NFL players. There’s gay athletes everywhere. But I was clearly wrong. It was a huge deal.
Sam is carefully toeing the line about whether or not him being gay has anything to do with him not being in the NFL:
“Hopefully I’m not being discriminated [against] because I’m gay,” Sam said. “I don’t believe that I’m being discriminated [against] because I’m gay. I just want to know if I’m truly not in the NFL, it’s because of talent. Let it be because of my talents. But you’ve got to prove that I can’t play this game. If you look at the film, clearly I can. So, I’ll leave it at that.”
He clearly thinks he still has a shot at an NFL roster spot, somewhere. I'm sure most practice roster players do, too.
Every team needs to have the depth to spell its starters on the defensive line. Having different skillsets provides variety in sub packages. That’s essential in today’s game.
In free agency, you look for players that seem to fit your scheme. Once they’re in camp, you find out the details of their strengths and weaknesses. You do the same in the draft. You get to test, drill, and interview them with extreme thoroughness. Drafts often turn on how well you match player and scheme. That’s why a failing fourth-rounder with one team can play like a first-rounder with the right team’s approach.
The Broncos' sixth-round compensatory pick has been downgraded to a seventh-rounder after the NFL discovered a math error (the system is so complicated that the league can't even get it right). The sixth-rounder would have been pick #208; the new pick is #250.
Denver already had two seventh-round comp picks, numbers 250 and 251. It's just a matter of semantics, but this new pick pushes the other two down a spot. As for how this mistake occurred, let's turn it over to our friend Nick Korte:
Quarterback Records When Their Team Allows 21+ Points
As for Smith? There are 121 quarterbacks who started at least 40 games where their teams allowed 21+ points. Smith has the 8th worst winning percentage among that group, behind David Carr (0.065), Archie Manning (0.068), Fitzpatrick (0.104), Lamar McHan (0.116), Eddie LeBaron (0.120), Ron Jaworski (0.130), and Jeff George (0.156).
You knew that already, right? Still, he's a Chief, so it's fun to rub it in. Smith's winning percentage in such games is a woeful 16.3%. As for gross wins over expectations, Peyton Manning ranks second only to Tom Brady, while John Elway is tied with Norm Van Brocklin for fifth most.