Same old BMarsh Lard

Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! From Chicago Tribune writer Jared Hopkins comes a lengthy, detailed profile of old friend Brandon Marshall, who was traded to the Bears and reunited with his pal Jay Cutler earlier this offseason.

It's a unique story, in that Hopkins began his research by speaking with relatives and friends of Brandon's in his hometown Pittsburgh, prompting a call from Marshall himself, along with an invitation into his current home in Florida. Hopkins then spends a few days at Marshall's mansion, observing Brandon's relationship with his wife and hearing about their newfound devotion to Christianity.

Most interesting, if not a surprise, is that Marshall is apparently a lot like his father, a highly successful former high school quarterback whose life has been marked by frequent violence against women. And, despite Marshall and Hopkins spending several days together in close company, Brandon never quite opens up to the reporter, eventually turning on Hopkins after another meeting. In other words, it's a lot of what we've already come to know of Marshall - hard to tell when he's being sincere, if ever, and hard to believe he's actually changed.

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Tomlinson pondered Denver before retirement

Tomlinson considered continuing career in -- gasp! -- Denver
www.utsandiego.com

“The only team I really gave a thought to was the Broncos, because of Peyton,” Tomlinson said Saturday, referring, of course, to Denver’s signing of quarterback Peyton Manning. “We talked. Tom (Condon, Tomlinson’s agent) talked with them ... It made me pause a little (and think), ‘Was this what I really want to do?’ … I said, ‘They got Peyton, they have a good defense already; they went deep in the playoffs with Tim Tebow, what are they going to do with Peyton?’ I seriously thought about it.”

“That was the only reason I considered Denver,” he said. “At the same time, I thought, ‘How much is a Super Bowl ring really going to do for you at this point?’ Because it’s not with the team I really wanted to do it with.”

It's impossible to discern from Kevin Acee's story whether it was the Broncos or Tomlinson's agent, Tom Condon, who initiated contact between the two sides. Also unclear is whether discussions went any further than a preliminary feeler; Condon, of course, also represents Peyton Manning. But however much Tomlinson might have left in the tank, one thirtysomething running back would seem enough for Denver's roster, so it's hard to imagine the Broncos would have been willing to offer any guaranteed money to add the NFL's fifth all-time leading rusher.

Broncos still have plenty of cap room Lard

Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith sent a letter to the Ginger Hammer requesting that the league reopen its investigation of the bounty allegations against the Saints.

In speaking to PFT about the issue, Smith cited "all of the recantations and all of the contradictions" within the league's evidence as reasons to revisit the investigation.

Meanwhile, in an interview on SiriusXM, former Saints LB Scott Fujita said of greeting Goodell at Monday's appeal hearing:

I saw him in the [appeal] hearings and he offered to shake all of our hands. Some of the other players didn't, but I went ahead and shook his hand, and I just said to him, 'What the hell are you doing, Roger?' He had nothing to say. His face sure turned red, though.

Oddly, NFL general counsel Jeff Pash tells Mike Florio the league never issues discipline based upon the intent of players. Yet, isn't that the whole point of the bounty suspensions?

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The Bartlett Defense: Part 2 - Principles for 100% soundness

Happy Friday, friends.  I am taking a break from packing for my upcoming move to bring you Part 2 of my series about the Bartlett Defense, which I am inventing as I go.  Here is Part 1.

As you see, I set the stage for laying out the strategy and tactics of a defense by beginning with a personnel grouping, one which doesn’t really fit the standard 4-3 or 3-4 convention.  You could call it a 4-2-5, or a 3-3-5, or a 3.5-3.5-4, with the two inside DBs being half-LBs, but the thing is, it doesn’t matter how you identify the positions that each player plays.  It may confuse Pro Bowl voters and idiot reporters, but you can’t really worry about that when you’re trying to design a winning defense.

Today, we’re going to holistically begin to take stock of where an every-down big nickel grouping leaves us in terms of defending the whole football field.  As compares to a more traditional defense, strictly by considering personnel, the Bartlett defense is going to be more effective in covering the downfield passing game, and less effective in stopping the power run game.

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Warren Sapp sort of apologizes, but wants world to know T-levels are tip top

Warren Sapp on Claiming Jeremy Shockey was the Bounty Snitch: “I’m Not a Reporter. My Boss made that Clear to me”
sportsradiointerviews.com

On if he and Shockey have worked things out:

“I saw Jeremy about a week after it all went down at a Heat game … and I told him, I said, ‘I apologize for putting it on the street level and making it derogatory towards you.’ The information that was passed to me, I stand by my source, but I hate that I put it on a level, that wasn’t the way it should be. … That’s what I apologized for, because I put it on a way lower level than it should’ve been. It was something serious that never shoulda went on and stuff like that. So that’s the problem I have with myself and what I said to him.”

On if Shockey is OK with him:

“The two times I’ve seen him I haven’t had a problem with him, but if he does we can go out in the grass and get it over with. … I don’t have a problem with getting my knuckles a little scarred up.”

Up next week in the World According to Sapp? How to hide your Championship rings before declaring bankrupcty and being forced to liquidate assets.

Apocalypse Now: Chris Berman and Trent Dilfer in the booth together

Sports by Brooks learns Chris Berman will do play-by-play
twitter.com

SbB has learned Chris Berman will do the play-by-play for ESPN’s Sept. 10 Monday Night Chargers-Raiders game.  Berman will also do play-by-play for one ESPN NFL preseason game. Trent Dilfer will be the color analyst for both games.

Yikes! Looks like ESPN is stumbling, bumbling, and mumbling on this one.

No one circles the (funny) wagons like ESPN.

(H/t: Awful Announcing)

Enough already with the 40+ points meme Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! PFW hears that the arrival of Peyton Manning has allowed John Fox to devote more of his time and energy to the defense, and how many times will that unit be blamed for allowing over 40 points in 2011 games? Let's go over a few points, shall we?

  • Denver first allowed 40+ last year to the Packers, who hung 40+ on five other teams, including the Lions and Saints. There is no shame in getting torched by the Packers, and there was a defensive score among Green Bay's seven TDs.
  • Those Lions put up 45 at SAF@MH, and it was a thrashing for sure. But they also forced three turnovers, two of which went the other way for touchdowns. Detroit also posted 34+ points against six other teams, including Green Bay, San Diego, and Dallas.
  • The two losses to New England included no Patriots defensive scores, but the Broncos did cough up five turnovers in the two games. And, the Patriots averaged 32.1 points per game and scored fewer than 27 points in just three regular season games. Like with Green Bay, giving up a lot of points to New England last year was nothing to be embarrassed about.
  • The 40 points scored by Buffalo included a punt return TD, two defensive scores, and just one offensive touchdown.

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Judge dismisses D.J. Williams’s lawsuit; LB faces suspension

A U.S. District Court judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by D.J. Williams against the league, meaning the Broncos linebacker will likely serve a six-game suspension for having violated the NFL's policy on performance enhancing drugs.

The league had accused Williams and former teammate Ryan McBean of submitting non-human urine samples for steroid testing, but the two players had already lost their appeals with the commissioner's office by the time their suspensions were announced in March. Both McBean and Williams had received six-game penalties; McBean settled for a three-game ban and dropped his own lawsuit against the league, but Williams was apparently not offered the same deal.

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154 ex-Broncos among those suing league over concussions

The number of retired players suing the NFL for its handling of head injuries has grown almost daily, to the point where there are now 90 lawsuits pending on behalf of 2,397 league alumni. Until now, it's been a bit difficult to keep track of the ex-Broncos among those seeking damages.

But thanks to the Washington Times, we now have a convenient and sortable table to track the plaintiffs. Among them are 154 former Broncos, including players from all five decades of the team's existence prior to the current one.

The cynical view suggests that some of these players are suing for financial gain. But there are far too many names, some of great fame and magnitude, for this to be solely about a money grab. 

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Going for the jugular to prevent concussions

Can Science See Inside An NFL Player’s Skull Before It’s Too Late?
deadspin.com

Think of it this way: In a collision, the brain is basically driving without a seatbelt or an airbag. While better helmets and the banning of helmet-to-helmet detonations might help keep your skull intact, they would do nothing to stop the brain from smashing into the windshield in even minor collisions.

Bailes’s answer to this brain slosh amounts to stuffing the whole car full of packing peanuts. His newest research takes groups of rats and puts a small, circular device around their necks, compressing their internal jugular veins. That increases the volume of blood in the skull, which creates added pressure on the brain, locking it in place. In theory, that should keep the brain’s movement inside the skull more in line with the skull’s own movement, allowing all the new space-age helmets to do their jobs.

So far, Bailes’s team has seen a 30 percent increase in cranial pressure, and, after concussing the rats and examining the resulting computer models, an 80 percent drop in the precursors to amyloid protein. “This was only a proof-of-concept pilot study, and it hasn’t been proven in humans, but we think the theory is sound,” he said. “If it moves forward, we’re going to expand to a broader group of patients, and we hope to do that sooner rather than later.”

If the research can be replicated and no unforeseen safety concerns pop up—neither of which is guaranteed in research like this—there are already people and players volunteering as test subjects. Why wouldn’t there be? If a simple necklace could reduce the accumulation of brain injury, and there is virtually no downside to wearing it, isn’t that worth whatever minor discomfort it causes and a few hours a year of testing?

Concussed rats and jugular veins.  Who knew?

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