Ginger Hammer unbans Sean Payton

NFL reinstates Saints' Sean Payton

The NFL reinstated New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton on Tuesday from his season-long suspension as a result of the league’s investigation into the team’s bounty program.

The league said the decision to reinstate Payton was made after a meeting between the coach and commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday in New Orleans.

Can't help but wonder when this would have happened if the Super Bowl weren't taking place in New Orleans...

Meanwhile, Gregg Williams is free to search out a new job, and the Rog will apparently review his possible reinstatement if and when Williams finds one.

Diagnosing a forest by a single tree Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! If the past week and change are any indication, this Denver offseason is going to be all about overarching themes and discovering the Broncos' fatal flaws.

This is the John Clayton style of analysis, where every week's games show a leaguewide trend, and everything has great meaning about the state of the NFL. If Peyton Manning and Tom Brady win big games on the same Sunday, it means the NFL is all about veteran quarterbacks. Those same elder statesmen bow out prior to the SB, and in Mike Klis's world, this means older quarterbacks can't win championships anymore.

It's sort of like visiting your doctor with a single stomachache and having her tell you a drastic dietary change is in order.

Every play, every game, and every season is a referendum on something - former college coaches, bye weeks, home games, left- or right-handedness, age, height, and the winning percentage of your center.

Continue reading "Diagnosing a forest by a single tree Lard"

Thomas, Beadles make six Broncos headed to Hawaii

Due to injuries to Patriots guard Logan Mankins and wideout Wes Welker, third-year Broncos Zane Beadles and Demaryius Thomas have been added to the AFC Pro Bowl team for the first time in their careers.

Beadles and Thomas will join Peyton Manning, Elvis Dumervil, Von Miller, and Champ Bailey on the AFC squad, while the Denver staff will coach the team. Ryan Clady was originally selected to the roster but withdrew due to injury.

McGahee: concussions aren’t really injuries

Theater of Pain

I called McGahee recently. He now plays for the Denver Broncos and was recovering from a torn medial collateral ligament. With the playoffs approaching, and with NFL injuries becoming ever more of “an issue” — the global warming of American sports fans, something to be fretted over and put aside — I wanted to talk to someone whose career has been defined by very public injuries and whose very public injuries have defined the state of football over the last ten years. But he didn’t see it that way. “Injury has not been part of my career,” he said. “I’ve only gotten hurt twice. I got hurt once in college and once in the pros.”

Right, but that second injury, against the Steelers…

“No. I mean now. The MCL.”

“So you don’t consider the concussion an injury?”

“That’s what they consider it. But getting a concussion and hurting your knee are two different things. You get back up from a concussion.” Willis McGahee was knocked out cold against the Steelers. He went out on the board. He didn’t consider himself injured, though, because like all NFL players he considers himself an expert in what qualifies as an injury and what doesn’t. The loss of consciousness he suffered in Pittsburgh didn’t qualify because it didn’t require rehabilitation. It didn’t put his career in jeopardy. It didn’t exile him from his teammates.

And most of all, it didn’t hurt.

There might have been a time when this Esquire article would have shocked the American public.  After all, players keeping pain journals (before they become human veggies), taking Toradol like it's a daily multi-vitamin, and distrusting team doctors so much they bring in their own are all disturbing revelations.

But apparently they're not disturbing enough.  The NFL is as popular as ever, the current generation of players knows the risks, and the ranks of college players continues to swell.

It's sad to say, but it's probably going to take an actual death in front of a live television audience on a big stage to shock anyone at this point.

Carry on,  Mr. Goodell.

Foxball doesn’t work for Bill Belichick either Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! From our vantage, only one result yesterday had the potential to (ever so slightly) reduce the sting of Denver's loss to the Ravens - a Patriots blowout, and the notion that New England would have won in Denver last night.

Unfortunately for all of us, that couldn't be farther from what actually happened, as Baltimore turned over the Pats three times, Joe Flacco threw a trio of touchdown passes, and Bill Belichick channeled his inner John Fox, all resulting in a 28-13 Ravens upset at Foxboro.

So, we're instead left to think forever that the Broncos would have advanced to their seventh Super Bowl as a franchise, and would probably be favored against the 49ers, who came back from a 17-0 deficit to beat the Falcons 28-24.

Continue reading "Foxball doesn’t work for Bill Belichick either Lard"

Open Thread: Championship Sunday

Enjoy the games!

Continue reading "Open Thread: Championship Sunday"

Patriots almost even bet going into conference championships

Without the Denver Broncos in the hunt, the New England Patriots have become the heavy favorites to win the Super Bowl, with the San Francisco 49ers a close second favorite.

At almost even odds, the Patriots are now on top of our "futures" odds, the future being three weeks away and feeling like the "In the Year 2000" skits Conan O'Brien would do in December of 1999. The 49ers are a 2-to-1 bet now. Great to double up your money. In a typical futures table that doesn't look so hot, but that's what happens when there are only four teams left.

After today, futures are no more, and it's simply Super Bowl game odds and prop bets (some of my favorite). Then, shortly after the Super Bowl is played, the full futures line will come out again for next season, the highest form of speculation there is.

Continue reading "Patriots almost even bet going into conference championships"

Blaming the bye week Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Since Adam Gase declared on Thursday that his Broncos offense would be putting the "pedal to the metal" in 2013, there have been some questions about how Peyton Manning would feel about that.

We've always maintained that words from executives, coaches, and players tend to mean very little, so we won't truly know what pace the offense will be moving at until September at the earliest. We'll have some hints come July and August, but at that same time in 2012, we were constantly told that Peyton would be adjusting to the Broncos more than they'd be getting accustomed to him and his offense, and that two-back sets would be all the rage.

So for now, we'll have to rely upon those quotes, and take them with a grain of salt. Via Jeff Legwold, here's one from Manning relating to tempo, but it's from during the season - not this week:

Continue reading "Blaming the bye week Lard"

Manning: look, Pa, I got me a duck and a deer

Peyton Manning hunts following Denver Broncos' loss

Life could be worse for Peyton Manning. Yes, his Denver Broncos were upset by the Baltimore Ravens in last week’s divisional playoffs. Still, things are just fine for Manning. His neck works. He hasn’t been Catfish’d. He’s nowhere near the crime blotter.

Instead, he’s traveling the country with old friend, Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, shooting rifles in the woods. We imagine this brings him great peace. “He told me he killed, in one day, a duck in Colorado and a deer in Mississippi,” Archie Manning told The Associated Press on Saturday.

While we're still bitching about the loss last week, Peyton Manning is going Ted Nugent.  

No word yet on the rumor that Rahim Moore is fly fishing in Montana.  

Mike Pereira changes his tune: refs in Ravens-Broncos game struggled after all

Drew and Scott hour 2 1/17/13

“The performance of that crew really to me was not up to playoff level. They had some areas of the game that they struggled in that you shouldn’t. If you’re this supposed all-star crew, you shouldn’t have the difficulties that you have with the passing game specifically, you know, where they were pretty inconsistent on what they called and they didn’t call…it just wasn’t their best performance.”

Last week, Mike Pereira wrote how pleased he was with the refs in the Ravens-Broncos game.  We told him to go do something to himself reserved only for the double jointed.

I guess when he spoke to a Denver-based audience, he changed his tune--either that or he did the thing we told him to do and the feel-good endorphins were running through his body.  

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