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.  

Fat Man’s Limerick Schtick: Manti Te’o

All of this fake girlfriend stuff really has me worked up.  The only cure?

Another limerick:  

If the girl that you love is a con
on the web from a dude name of Ron,
     you should know it's a shame
     to attend Notre Dame
and expect cyber hummers, Don Juan.

Give it your best, and always remember, a limerick isn't a limerick unless it's crude, rude, and it mocks Notre Dame (or Vic Lombardi, Notre Dame grad).

Denver’s loss more about s#@% happening than anything else Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As we all continue to ponder what went wrong for Denver last Saturday, it makes sense to think about which of the team's general shortcomings contributed to the loss.

Jeff Legwold suggests that the team's strength of schedule, turnovers, and the injury to Willis McGahee were overarching reasons for the Broncos not playing tomorrow.

We'll agree that McGahee would have made a big difference, especially since the Broncos ran the ball all ten times they faced one or two yards to gain on Saturday, but so would Knowshon Moreno have. Not having their two best backs available perhaps should have changed the team's strategy or Peyton Manning's decisions at the line in short yardage. Whether John Fox, Mike McCoy, or Manning is more to blame there, we'll unfortunately never know.

As for the strength of schedule issue, we're not buying that. Beating up the Saints, Panthers, and Ravens were all impressive wins, and the Broncos entered Saturday's game clicking on all cylinders.

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Broncos hire Knapp to coach quarterbacks

Following the ascension of Adam Gase to offensive coordinator, the Broncos has hired the well-traveled Greg Knapp to replace him as their quarterbacks coach.

Knapp has had two stints running the Oakland offense, from 2007-08 and in 2012, and he also has served as the offensive coordinator for San Francisco (2001-03), Atlanta (2004-06), and Seattle (2009).

The Raiders fired Knapp and three others on December 31st; the decision was portrayed as a move away from the zone blocking scheme Knapp had installed under head coach Dennis Allen.

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A Second Helping of Torrey Smith’s 59-yard touchdown catch

Before the Broncos' epic meltdown last week, there were two interviews that, in retrospect, foreshadowed the chess match between Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell--a chess match that, at least early in the game, Caldwell pressed his unforseen advantage.

The first was an interview with Joe Flacco on the Dan Patrick show, in which Flacco asserted that the key to a Ravens victory would be establishing the run.  While that's not exactly a news flash--we all knew the Ravens wanted to run the ball--it confirmed again in the minds of fans and likely the Broncos coaches the perception that the Ravens were going to give the Broncos a healthy dose of Ray Rice and rookie sensation Bernard Pierce.

And why wouldn't they?  The dirtly little secret that emerged from watching film of the first matchup between the teams was that the Ravens, after stumbling on their first three drives, experienced a brief window in which they were indeed running the ball well against Denver.  In a series of three consecutive plays in the second quarter, the Ravens ripped off runs of four, fourteen, and fifteen yards.  The drive stalled on a penalty, or it's likely the Ravens would have scored.  After that, the running game was generally abandoned by the Ravens because the Broncos got up in the game by two scores.

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Correction: Tony Carter’s not going anywhere

Fortunately for Denver - and unfortunately for Tony Carter - the Broncos' surprise starting nickel corner has been ruled an exclusive-rights free agent by the league.

We've written twice about the Broncos' pending free agents, and each time noted that Carter was due for a big raise via unrestricted free agency. This was for two reasons: Rotoworld said Carter would be unrestricted, while the team's official site and NFL.com have maintained Carter was playing in his fourth NFL season in 2012.

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Oh, that incestuous NFL Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Barring a completely unexpected firing, the NFL's head coaching carousel is done spinning for this offseason.

Arizona held the final vacancy, and they filled it last night by hiring Colts OC Bruce Arians, who had stepped in for an ailing Chuck Pagano to perform one of the most remarkable coaching feats of the year. Arians led the Colts to a 9-3 record during Pagano's absence, only months after he himself was unceremoniously dumped by the Steelers.

The decision comes at the expense of Cards DC Ray Horton, who apparently figured the job would be his following the Chargers' hiring of Mike McCoy, who had been seen as Arizona's top choice to replace Ken Whisenhunt. Upon learning he'd been passed over, Horton reportedly had a 'heated exchange' with Arizona GM Steve Keim, and Arians is expected to replace him with Philly DC Todd Bowles.

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Gase: 2013 Broncos offense to raise tempo

Gase: ‘We’re going to try to play faster’

“You’re not starting over, and in April we’ll be ready right from the get-go,” Gase said Thursday.

Tempo will be paramount, Gase noted, and he admitted that the offense is “going to try to play faster” than it did in 2012.

The notion that Manning was a de facto offensive coordinator was dismissed. “Peyton wants to be coached,” Gase said, adding that he learned how to be on point, because there was no end to how many questions Manning would ask. Gase also said Manning tweaked calls. “If you call something and it’s not good, he fixes it and puts you in a better play,” he said.

Playing faster? With a year of familiarity under the belts of Peyton & Company?

Sounds great. Now, about fourth downs...

Gase named Broncos offensive coordinator

Adam Gase will be the new offensive coordinator for the Broncos following the departure of Mike McCoy, who left earlier in the week to become the head coach of the AFCW rival Chargers.

Gase had been the team's quarterbacks coach for two seasons, and was their wide receivers coach for the two years prior to that (2009-10). The team was said to also be considering former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt for the position.

Said head coach John Fox of the move:

Adam was an integral part of the success we had offensively this season and was heavily involved in all aspects of our game plan, both during the week and on gameday. Maintaining that continuity with our offense was very important in this decision. While we did speak with several qualified candidates, it became clear that Adam was the best fit to be our offensive coordinator.

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Jags hire Bradley; Cards gig only vacancy left

Two days after some had reported he would be the new coach of the Eagles, Gus Bradley has landed in Jacksonville, where he will replace Mark Mike Mularkey, who had spent just one year with the Jags after he took over for current Broncos DC Jack Del Rio.

Bradley began his NFL coaching career in 2006 as an assistant with Tampa Bay, where he stayed for three years before taking the Seahawks DC job in 2009.

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