Quarterbacks bust, but not because of this flawed logic

If history holds true, either Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III will be a bust in the NFL
www.nydailynews.com

Luck and Griffin will be just the seventh set of quarterbacks to go 1-2 since the NFL started the draft in 1936. It will be just the fifth time it’s happened since the 1970 merger and it hasn’t happened at all since 1999. Luck and Griffin are expected to be franchise quarterbacks and resurrect their teams.  If the history of quarterbacks going 1-2 is a way to predict the future, then Luck or Griffin will become a star — but not both…

1998: Peyton Manning vs. Ryan Leaf . There was actually doubt which quarterback the Colts would select right up until the day before the draft. San Diego general manager Bobby Beathard , who was picking third, traded two No. 1s, a No. 2 and running back Eric Metcalf to the Cardinals to move up just one spot to guarantee getting Manning or Leaf. He made that trade in the middle of March, more than a month before the draft. He said he would be happy to get either one. “It doesn’t make any difference to us,” Beathard said. “The Colts are the only ones that have to make a decision. Not us. We get whoever’s left.” Oops. Manning became one of the all-time greats. Leaf is the No. 1 flop in NFL draft history.

I'm not sure I follow Myers' logic here--just because we've seen Rick Mirer and Drew Bledsoe or Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf or even Tim Couch and Donovan McNabb doesn't mean we're in for a bust from either Luck or Griffin.

The real reason Luck or Griffin could bust isn't because they will be taken 1-2.  It's because the NFL draft has a high bust rate in general.

It's also easy to criticize Bobby Beathard now with all of our hindsight bias, but at the time, there were few teams that wouldn't have drafted Leaf if they were in a similar.  It's probably fair, though, to criticize the trade up to #2, which is often ignored in the Manning-Leaf discussion.  Yet even that is probably unfair.  Imagine if the Colts had drafted Leaf.  Beathard's trade would have seemed rather clever at this point.    

Rang: Broncos should take DT Worthy, RB Polk, WR Matthews, and QB Wilson with first four picks

Projecting the draft: Denver Broncos
www.cbssports.com

DT Jerel Worthy, Michigan State (NFLDraftScout.com ranking: 27)
The Broncos’ biggest need - literally and figuratively - is clearly at defensive tackle…As such, should Worthy still be on the board when the Broncos pick at No. 25, the powerful and explosive defender certainly would make a great deal of sense.

RB Chris Polk, Washington (NFLDraftScout.com ranking: 61)
Despite leading the NFL in rushing last season, the Broncos need help at the position…Polk has as good of tape as any running back in the country not named Trent Richardson. He’s the type of determined, physical runner that Fox has preferred over his career and is an excellent receiver out of the backfield capable of earning Manning’s trust quickly. If Denver is comfortable with the heavy workload Polk had with the Huskies, he’d be a quality schematic fit in the second round (No. 57 overall).

WR Rishard Matthews, Nevada (NFLDraftScout.com ranking: 89)
...[The Broncos]could make a versatile playmaker like Matthews a surprise target in the middle rounds (like third round pick, No. 87 overall)...Matthews, who stepped up his game for the Wolfpack in 2011 after Colin Kaepernick was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, is not only a talented receiver but returned punts for touchdowns in each of his two seasons at Nevada, as well.

QB Russell Wilson, Wisconsin (NFLDraftScout.com ranking: 115)
..adding a player with Wilson’s starting experience and composure makes sense as well. If still available when the Broncos are up with their first of two picks in the fourth round, the underrated Wilson might simply provide too much value to pass up at No. 108 overall.

CB Leonard Johnson, Iowa State (NFLDraftScout.com ranking: 136)
Johnson may slip a bit on draft day after a disappointing showing at the Combine, but he plays with the physicality and competitiveness necessary to enjoy success behind the Broncos’ extraordinary pass-rushing duo of Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil. He’d make sense with the Broncos’ second fourth round pick, No. 120 overall.

While we wouldn't call this a mock draft, it's a scenario that's realistic; it fits all of the Broncos perceived needs. If the Broncos sign Marcus Thomas before the draft, they probably draft one defensive lineman.  If they don't, expect them to snag two.

The surprise here is Wilson, given the Broncos' recent obsession with tall quarterbacks.  However, remember something Mel Kiper, Jr. said about Wilson recently: if he was two inches taller, he'd be a first-round draft pick.  For a leprechaun, he's got a rocket. 

Local Denver radio guys honest about Tebow and Tebowmania

If you haven't noticed, more and more people seem to be finding the courage to wake up from the aw-shucks nightmare that was (and still is) Tebowmania. Perhaps not having Tebow around frees the mind--like trascendental meditation or a long hit from a sweet bong.

We've affectionately called this nightmare Zombieland. Here, all of the infected wear a #15 jersey and screech the word "intangibles" outside your boarded-up window (as film guru Greg Cosell has said, when intangibles are the first things someone brings up when talking about a quarterback, it's code for: he can't throw).  It's like a page from the novel I Am Legend--except these Tebow vampires don't always want your flesh.  They want to force you to attend Bob Tebow High School (where degrees are awarded sans biology, anthropology, and philosophy courses) and elect his son as class president--without an actual election.

Those who disagree--well, there's always your flesh or Twitter.

The latest to dissent are Darren McKee (D-Mac) and ex-Bronco Alfred Williams (Big Al) of Denver's Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan. Williams, we should note, has never been a fan of Tebow the football player.  McKee, on the other hand, has been a strident Tebow supporter.  Thursday, however, Big Al and D-Mac took things to another level. Not only did they openly describe Zombieland, they spoke the words that could not be spoken while Tebow was quarterback of the Broncos: you can't seperate Tebow the player from Tebow the religion.

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The Daily Lard 4-14-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Jeff Legwold says the Broncos have struggled to find defensive line talent in the draft, and his proof is that they've only gotten two future Pro Bowlers in the past 30 years. Pretty compelling stuff, huh?

Well, Legwold holds up the Ravens as a model for success that Denver should strive for.

Anyone care to guess how many Pro Bowl defensive linemen they've drafted in their 16 years of existence? One.

Maybe we should check in on the Steelers. How many Pro Bowl defensive linemen do you think they've drafted in 30 years? Three.

How about the Giants? After all, they are routinely loaded on the line. They must have drafted a ton of Pro Bowl linemen, right? How about four in 30 years?

Today's lesson? Finding talent in the draft is really hard. This does not only apply to the Broncos. The lesson that Pro Bowl selections are a horrible measure for this sort of stuff? That's for another day...

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Broncos release Andre’ Goodman

The Broncos announced today that they have released cornerback Andre' Goodman after three seasons with the team.

Goodie had been one of the first free-agent acquisitions made by Josh McDaniels and Brian Xanders in 2009, when he signed a five-year deal with $9.8M in guarantees. The 11th-year player was due to make $3.42M in 2012 and $3.96M in 2013, the final year of his contract; his original $6M signing bonus should mean he will count for $2.4M against the team's 2012 cap, which would translate to a cap savings of about $2.2M this season and $5.16M in 2013.

We had suggested two days ago that Goodman was a prime candidate for a contract restructuring, and the timing of his release (deep into free agency) tells us he likely turned down a request from the team to rework his contract. That's our pure speculation educated guess, at least.

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Valuing new Denver cornerback Tracy Porter

As the draft continues to draw nearer, I've been pondering the Broncos' depth and potential need at cornerback. There’s obviously still the issue of Champ Bailey, who will probably leave or move to safety in a couple or three seasons, but if the right CB is available - and it’s a fairly deep class - is it worth using a high pick? You could say the same about safety, after all - Mike Adams is 31 and not all DBs have Champ’s longevity. Denver just picked up Tracy Porter, though. How do they view this guy? Does he reduce the need to draft a CB this year?

My goal was to get an overview of the relative value of the Tracy Porter pickup, as well as to do a short examination of last year’s starters and see if anything else stood out. Obviously, Syd’Quan Thompson was on IR last year, so he was out. Cassius Vaughn made the report but he also spent a lot of time injured, so his sample is small, and Andre’ Goodman apparently decided that he’d heard enough about his tackling, because he started hitting like a mountain ram in springtime. His coverage stayed good, too, and he had his best overall season as a Bronco, but he, like Champ, will turn 34 this summer. It’s just normal business to look at how the team needs to grow.

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Stop defining corners by picks, please Lard 4-13-12

Happy Friday the 13th, Broncos fans! According to Jeff Legwold, Bama corner Dre Kirkpatrick is on Denver's short list for what to do with the 25th-overall pick. But for some reason, Legwold thinks it's a big deal that Kirkpatrick didn't have any interceptions last year, as if that should ever be the measure of a cornerback.

As a refresher course, Champ Bailey has had 11 interceptions over the past five seasons after having nabbed 10 in 2006; Darrelle Revis had zero in 2010, and Nnamdi Asomugha had but three picks between 2007 and 2010. Is that what defines these cover corner stalwarts?

We cite this here fairly frequently, but it bears repeating: craptastic ex-Denver corners Tory James (eight in 2004) and Deltha O'Neal (nine in 2001, 10 in 2005) made three Pro Bowls combined, on the basis of interceptions rather than quality overall play. Remember how New England's Devin McCourty made the Pro Bowl (over Champ, originally) after the 2010 season because he picked seven balls? Anyone want to suggest this group compares favorably to the former trio?

Starting NFL cornerbacks are on the field for about 1,000 snaps per year, and we're going to evaluate them based upon five or six plays they do or don't make, or less? Legwold, please.

Continue reading "Stop defining corners by picks, please Lard 4-13-12"

So who’s gonna be the interim interim coach?

Joe Vitt will take over as Saints coach on Monday
www.nfl.com

New Orleans Saints assistant head coach and linebackers coach Joe Vitt will assume the day-to-day activities of suspended head coach Sean Payton, effective Monday, the team announced Thursday.

Loomis said Vitt will provide the best continuity in Payton’s absence. Not yet determined is who will fill in for Vitt once his six-game suspension begins at the start of the regular season.

Sure, replacing one suspended coach with another one definitely provides continuity. But coaching? Not so much.

Update 5:43 pm ET: Adam Schefter reports that offensive line coach Aaron Kromer wll be the interim² coach.

Someone ought to tell Jabar Gaffney how Twitter works

Things sound good in the Gaffney household
kissingsuzykolber.uproxx.com

Lito Sheppard is the biggest p#$%y mf’er in the world if u c him tell him I said it & it’s whatever…4-12 is my anniversary woke up and couldn’t find my soon 2 be ex wife anywhere. F#$% dat b@#$% I can’t wait till its final in a few weeks…Feelings are for suckas Neva Eva again. Black heart dead soul!!! Get it how u live & I’m outta here.

My beef wit Lito don’t got nothing to do bout a girl he just a person I don’t f#$% wit he lame to me so don’t hit me up wit that. #Realtalk

Ain’t nobody f#$%ed my wife but for anybody saying any slick s@#% better watch ur girl and not let me get hold to her…Last tweet: b@#$%s ain’t grateful no matter what u do for em. Homeboys will change on u. I keeps it 100 don’t read into that’s all it is…I’m done tweetin all u smart asses i be in da 904, 407 & 703 tell me what u think if and when u c me

Gaff apparently didn't learn anything from his Twitter debacle from last year.

Update 5:36 pm ET: Just added some more of Gaff's colorful prose. Jabar and Lito Sheppard were teammates at Florida and again for a few months in 2006 when the Eagles signed Gaff as a free agent but cut him prior to that regular season.

Peyton Manning continues to make Emily Post proud

Peyton Manning calls to say thanks
blogs.indystar.com

In my time on the beat, which began before Manning arrived in 1998 on a fill-in basis, no player has ever called to say farewell.

Manning said thanks for my work over the years. Classy move. He said everything had happened so fast, but he wanted to call the local writers and express his appreciation for what they had done while he was in Indy.

I’ve always said Manning is the most clever athlete I’ve ever dealt with when it came to how to handle the media. And while his critics will suggest this was just a PR move, I’ll confess I initially thought I wouldn’t write anything about the call. I didn’t want anybody to think it was about me.

As someone who strives to be professional, I am human and will choose to be a bit sentimental about this. I’ll always remember the phone call.

As I said to him, it was a first-class way to say farewell.

Surely, Mark Kiszla got a call just like this from Jay Cutler, right? Right?

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