Jack Del Rio likely staying in Denver
While interest can still develop, it appears the Denver Broncos will have their defensive coordinator returning for the first time in seven years.
Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio told reporters Thursday he has not had any interviews for head coaching jobs set up yet. Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy has interest from four teams and has interviews set for this weekend while the Broncos are on their bye during the playoffs.
While Del Rio has done a stellar job for Denver this season, the potential availability of college coaches Chip Kelly, Nick Saban, Brian Kelly, and Doug Marrone, one-time SB coaches Andy Reid, Lovie Smith, and Ken Whisenhunt, and sought after coordinators like Mike McCoy and Ray Horton, has JDR far down the list of eligible coaching candidates.
No complaints here. Considering what Del Rio has done with Denver's defense in just one season and after one draft, imagine what he can do after another offseason.
Lovie Smith has piqued the interest of the Buffalo Bills, but that isn’t the only team hoping to speak with the recently fired coach of the Chicago Bears.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the San Diego Chargers would like to meet with Smith about replacing Norv Turner, who was fired Monday along with general manager A.J. Smith.
Of the seven coaches fired Monday, two have far and away the most impressive resumes as NFL head coaches go. The first, Andy Reid, is reportedly close to taking the Chiefs job, while the other, Lovie Smith, is apparently a target for the other AFCW vacancy. But while each would appear an upgrade over Norv Turner and Romeo Crennel, both teams have tons of holes to fill.
And, they have to face Peyton Manning twice a year.
John Elway joined the usually gruff Sandy Clough yesterday morning on 104.3 The Fan, Denver's local sports talk radio station. He opened up quite a bit on his thinking over the last two years on the job. I was struck by one particular answer regarding Clough's glowing praise for Peyton Manning's intelligence:
There were a lot of good things that Peyton hadn't seen before that Mike McCoy and Gase were doing...Peyton saw something he hadn't seen in 14 years...so he got some new ideas from McCoy and Gase. And to me it made that package that much better and I think that's why we had the year we had offensively.
This is a slightly different narrative than the one we're used to--you know, the one that paints the Broncos as an exact replica of the Peyton Manning Machine that existed in Indianapolis. Perhaps this was true at the beginning of the year, when the Broncos utlized the fullback more often, but my guess here is that Elway doing what all good bosses do, which is to spread the credit around so that everyone feels ownership over the result. Elway could be helping McCoy out as well, during a time when teams across the league want to know that McCoy has the chops to be a head coach. Of course, the final explanation could be the most likely: McCoy knows his stuff, and in his time in Denver (and beyond), he picked up some additional offensive strategies from guys like boy genius Josh McDaniels (gasp!).
Andy Reid close to Chiefs deal
The Kansas City Chiefs are on the verge of a deal to make Andy Reid their next head coach, according to league sources.
There still are minor details to work out but after nine hours of meetings Wednesday, one source involved in the talks said “the major issues have been discussed and agreed upon.”
One source close to Reid said this morning, “This is going to happen fast.”
It doesn't sound like Scott Pioli would be kept around, should the Chiefs indeed hire Reid.
As recently as Tuesday, it was appearing that Reid would be turning the Cardinals into Eagles West. Will he end up doing precisely that in Kansas City? If so, he figures to fare better than Pioli did in remolding the Chiefs as his image of the Patriots.
Update 12:28pm ET - Reid has reportedly told the Chiefs that he and former Browns and Eagles GM Tom Heckert are a package deal, which would indeed mark the end of Scott Pioli's time in KC. As his leverage/backup plan, Reid plans to interview with the Chargers and Cardinals about their vacancies.
Update 2:13pm ET - Finalization of a KC/Reid deal is close enough that the coach is reportedly canceling his meetings with San Diego and Arizona.
A day after winning the AFC Offensive POW award for his play in the Week 17 finale against Kansas City, Peyton Manning has been named the conference's top offensive player for the month of December.
Manning received the same honor for his play in October, and he has now won the award six times during his career.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! This week continues to be all about coach firings and interviews.
Andy Reid met yesterday with Clark Hunt (and yes, Scott Pioli) for almost nine hours - prompting speculation that Reid is atop KC's wish list - and he will interview with Arizona either today or tomorrow.
As for who will replace Reid in Philly, Eagles brass will interview both DC Mike Nolan and special teams coach Keith Armstrong of the Falcons in Atlanta. Jeffrey Lurie & Co. are also said to be interested in Bill O'Brien, but hiring him away from PSU could require a prohibitive $18.4M payment to break his contract at Happy Valley.
Franchise Visualization Updated with 2012 Data
The brainchild of Chase Stuart of Football Perspective, the franchise viz plots the offensive and defensive production, in terms of EPA, on an x-y plot for every team since the 2000 season.
Looking back to the 2000 season, the 2012 Broncos feature the best offense and best defense they've since had.
No surprise there, and also as expected, the 2008 squad had the worst defense, while the 2011 team was the worst offensively.
Remember how it was said that all the 2008 Broncos needed was an average defense and they'd have been contenders? That was true, but unfortunately for Shanny, getting to average was a long road to hoe.
According to this visualization, Josh McDaniels and Mike Nolan pulled that off, turning out the best Broncos defense of the 2000-'11 span, but of course, that came at the expense of the offense.
(Be sure to click through to see exactly what we're talking about.)
Evans and Klatt hour 3 1/2/13
On the attitude of this year’s team:
“That’s the thing about training at this level. It’s called being a professional…we’ve got an unlimited amount of professionals on this team that just get it done each and every week. Every day as far as the film room; as far as the field; as far as doing the extra treatment. Guys are willing to put in the extra miles. It’s been great to be a part of this team.”
On getting the #1 Seed:
“I think it matters a lot. We’d much rather people have to come up here to Mile High and play in this altitude and play at our home field because we’ve got great fans out here in Denver so I definitely think it matters a lot.
Orlando Franklin will maul you at sea level.
At altitude, and in the 4th quarter, you might as well just give up and play dead.
Mike Klis participated in some mailbaggery today for the DP, and was asked the following question:
I have followed Peyton Manning closely since his freshman year at Tennessee. Against Cleveland was the first time in Peyton's career he has ever worn a glove. Is this a result of his nerve injury and inability to grip the ball in cold weather? As an aside, notice how even with a new offense, he doesn't need a play-calling cheat sheet on his wrist. A testament to his unparalleled football acumen, something even Brady can't claim.
--Rodney, Asheville, N.C
Klis went on to answer this dude, and I don't want to quote him directly that much, because the DP has a history of being overzealous about Fair Use, to the point where you paste any of their content, they now give you this as an added bonus:
Read more:Broncos Mailbag: Peyton Manning's glove and why it's so important - The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/broncosmailbag/ci_22296666/broncos-mailbag-peyton-mannings-glove-and-why-its#ixzz2GqhZBw8m
Thanks for that, guys. To paraphrase, here's the gist of Klis's answer:
Happy New Year, friends. As we finish up our third regular season of operation, it occurs to me that we had a pretty good year of advancing football knowledge, and of getting stuff right. In my Navy days, we’d have an annual performance evaluation, and a key part of the process was what’s called the brag sheet. The sailor being graded would list his/her accomplishments during the year, so that the evaluator wouldn’t forget anything, and could consider everything the sailor thought should be appraised.
We believe in accountability here at IAOFM, and when we get something wrong, we readily admit it. When we get things right, though, it seems appropriate to be proud of that, and to make sure that those successes make it into our assessment, such as it is.
This is our 2012 brag sheet. It's like the "best of" articles that other blogs are running, but it's different in our IAOFM way. I’m writing it, because I have no pretense of false humility, and we all know that. When we kick ass, I’ll say it, and when we fall short, I’ll be just as quick to admit it. In general, I’m just as humble as my record says I should be.
We believe that we’ve been the best source of Broncos information and analysis anywhere, and we hope you agree. These are in no particular order, and in fact, I kind of spaced them out haphazardly, so that you'd read the whole thing. Check it out, look back at the year of IAOFM with us, and tell a friend.