Happy Tuesday, friends. As promised in my last article, today, I want to propose a proposition. I think that it’s high time that people stop acting like there are only two kinds of defense being played in the NFL, and that we come up with a better way to identify them.
You’ll recall that last Tuesday, I made the case that the base personnel grouping (3-4 or 4-3) was not only not determinative of the character of a defense, it’s actually only barely relevant to the discussion. It doesn’t necessarily contain any indication of tactical approach, so saying that a team runs a 3-4 defense means almost nothing, yet that's all you get from the football commentariat. This injustice will not stand, man!
On offense, at least, the traditionally recognized groupings speak to tactical approaches. When somebody says that a team runs a West Coast offense, you tend to think of horizontal passing, and timing routes, and a running game that sets up that kind of passing. The basic principles are mostly common within the group. That isn’t the case for a “3-4 defense” or a “4-3 defense,” not at all.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver received another injury scare on Monday, this one involving first-rounder Sylvester Williams and his knee. Thankfully, the MRI was negative, and Sly is considered day-to-day at this point.
To Andrew Mason's eye, Sylvester has shown himself to be one quick cat, while fellow rookie lineman Quanterus Smith continues to impress. Duke Ihenacho is apparently keeping himself in the safety competition, at least for now.
C.J. Anderson and Von Miller were apparently among the other standouts.
Robert Ayers and Jacob Tamme were limited by leg injuries; the team has a day off today, and will return to practice tomorrow.
Earlier today, our dear friend Jeff Legwold tweeted that he’s leaving the Denver Post to join ESPN, where he’ll presumably be the Broncos beat writer for the Worldwide Leader. As they say, nothing exceeds like excess, and ESPN has decided that it isn’t enough to have a Bill Williamson covering the entire AFC West, and that they need a beat (wo)man in every NFL facility daily.
Legwold does just fine if he sticks to reporting, and he’s definitely a big step up from Bill Will on that front. His problem comes in when he decides to start doing analysis because he lacks any real football knowledge with which to conduct sound analysis.
Several companies are working to create safer helmets for the NFL, one of them being the Simpson-Ganassi helmet. Its designer, Bill Simpson, is already in the Halls of Fame of five different motor racing sports, for his development of a system of safer head and neck stabilization for racing drivers.
His business partner in the football helmet project, Chip Ganassi, credits a Simpson racing helmet for saving his life during a devastating 1984 crash at Michigan International Speedway. Simpson also worked on the restraint system for the Apollo Lunar Rover on its moon mission, among other credentials.
Simpson was introduced to Tom Moore, Peyton Manning’s long-time mentor, back in 2010. The two of them hit it off immediately, and Simpson joined Moore at an October 3, 2010 game that featured the Colts against the Jaguars. WR Austin Collie was knocked out during the game, and another player was carted from the field after a cranial impact. Simpson later inquired as to the players’ health, and Moore said to him lightly that concussions were ‘just part of the game’. Simpson was aghast.
Jeff Saturday not expect to leave retirement
According to Saturday’s ESPN co-worker Ed Werder, the longtime Colts center isn’t interested in making a comeback, and has already dropped to the 230-240-pound range since retiring.
Manny Ramirez continues to work as the first-team center following the season- and possibly career-ending injury to Dan Koppen. C.J. Davis is back practicing as a center today after having injured his ankle over the weekend.
According to Lindsay Jones, following Ramirez and Davis on the team's center depth chart are Philip Blake and Quentin Saulsberry.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's probably not worthwhile to place one's hope in the idea that appeals judge Roger Goodell will turn over a suspension handed down by judge/jury/executioner Roger Goodell.
But in the case of Von Miller and his four-game ban, we can at least take comfort in knowing that the Denver All-Pro didn't fail a drug test.
Then there's this, from Peter King in his MMQB column:
Following the season-ending knee injury to center Dan Koppen, the Broncos have agreed to terms with lineman Steve Vallos (6-3, 310), pending a physical.
The 29-year-old Wake Forest alum has played in 42 games (nine starts) over six seasons in the NFL with Seattle, Cleveland, Jacksonville, and Philadelphia.
The Broncos are apparently about to find out whether Manny Ramirez or Philip Blake can cut it as an NFL center.
Incumbent center J.D. Walton is out until at least late October following surgery in June to clean out an infection in his surgically repaired left ankle.
When that infection was discovered, Denver re-signed Dan Koppen, who had filled in for Walton quite admirably in 2012.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! If any doubts had remained, the first few days of training camps around the NFL have offered a powerful argument against expansion to an 18-game season.
On Thursday, Washington lost LB Keenan Robinson to a torn pec, and it was learned that a hip injury to Seattle WR Percy Harvin may require surgery and shelve him for the season.
The next day, we found out that torn ACLs to San Diego LB Jonas Mouton and Jets CB Aaron Berry had wiped out their 2013 campaigns.
Saturday was even more brutal.
Denver waived undrafted rookie tight end Lucas Reed on Friday and added former Kansas City tight end Jake O'Connell (6-3, 250) on Saturday to replace him.
In four seasons with the Chiefs, O'Connell started eight of the 35 games in which he appeared, totaling 15 catches for 108 yards and no touchdowns. Kansas City drafted him in the seventh round of the 2009 Draft.