Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver's mandatory minicamp starts today and runs through Thursday.
The team will welcome Derek Wolfe back after NFL rules forced him to attend classes at Cincinnati and miss the team's OTAs, but they apparently won't have kicker Matt Prater, who has neither signed his franchise tender nor agreed to a long-term deal.
Denver can also expect nothing on the field out of Julius Thomas, but for a different reason - the second-year tight end is still recovering from his April ankle surgery.
How will the tweet-happy D.J. Williams be greeted by coaches today? The non-Broncos coach Jeff Legwold spoke to says he'd hit D.J. with a massive fine and think about dumping the guy. But as much as many folks would like to see D.J. replaced, it doesn't quite the team has enough talent at the position to afford the loss.
Going into training camp, the safety group is probably going to be somewhat less of a battle than the cornerback slot, but there are still five men competing, potentially, for four slots. I’m working off the assumption that the Broncos will keep 10 defensive backs, right now. The possibility of a fifth safety is competing against the option of retaining a sixth cornerback, in terms of the potential value of each, as well as against the other safeties. I expect that they’ll keep five corners, and six wouldn’t surprise me. Accordingly, they could have four or five slots for safeties.
Denver brought in a veteran safety in Mike Adams who’s openly daring the younger players to try and knock him out of the starting role while teaching them how to do so. How can you not like that in a guy? They also have three players returning from last year and one very tough college free agent who’s worth more than a brief glance.
Losing Brian Dawkins is a blow to any locker room. I appreciate that the decision to part ways was made early, and also that Denver immediately brought in a quality veteran with nine years of experience and a reputation as a high quality locker room guy. I will always enjoy my memories of each side of Brian Dawkins - as a player, an inspiration on and off the field, as a family man and as a leader of his community. The fact that the new Broncos player will also wear #20 is indicative of how much the coaches are counting on him to keep the ship on course. It’s also a testament to Dawkins himself - Denver’s new starting free safety originally put on #20 as an NFL rookie, in homage to Brian Dawkins. That’s somehow fitting: a karmic balance, of sorts.
ESPN is doubling down on a good bet, in other words. But is it really a good bet? A look at the Nielsens over the past few months tells a different story about First Take and perhaps about the value of the new “debate” format. And behind the scenes, a source tells us, ESPN executives have begun to worry about the show, which seemed like found money not so long ago but which might turn out to be only fool’s gold…
...Bayless went all-in on Tebow very early. He became the chief exponent of the kind of priestly mystification and intellectual dishonesty that would eventually go by the name Tebowmania—the unending talk of intangibles, “all he does is win,” etc. Horowitz built a lot of the show’s identity around Bayless’s mindless devotion to the quarterback, and from there the Tebow story was pure teevee conjuring. Bayless and First Take helped create the distorted phenomenon the rest of ESPN was obliged to cover, which gave Bayless and First Take more to talk about, which created a bigger and even more distorted phenomenon, which ESPN was obliged to cover, which is how we got this viral atrocity racking up more than 3.6 million pageviews on YouTube. Tebowmania was the perfect, and perfectly hideous, marriage of format and circumstance…
...But what happens if there isn’t a significant ratings bump from Skip Bayless’s delivering himself of his Very Controversial Opinions about LeBron James? What happens if Tebow really does just become a Wildcat and special teams specialist and the Tebow-Sanchez controversy never materializes? What if the show’s ratings really have stagnated?
Last month, I stopped following Bayless on Twitter; the next week, I stopped watching First Take. I don't have a real explaination as to why. It just felt right--like the time I touched myself at band camp.
It appears as if I'm not the only one who stopped staring at the bearded lady.
Will enough people tune out to see Bayless west bound and down? Probably not. Too many people like to watch things burn.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Among the funnier stories to come across the feed this morning is that of a closer for the Indians who vomited on the mound after completing a save yesterday. To make matters gross, this wasn't the guy's first time, either.
The story of Chris Perez recalls a guy on the Broncos who vomited before or during every game in which he played; we all know Mark Schlereth used to piss his pants during games, and other Broncos have surely had disgusting habits we just don't know about. A quick search helped find the notorious upchucker, and he is former nose tackle Darren Drozdov, who played for Denver in 1993 and 1994.
Drozdov achieved national notoriety for these antics when Peter King wrote the following about him in 1993:
Denver nosetackle Darren Drozdov (who, by the way, has a tattoo of the Garfield dog Odie on his right buttock) will reportedly see a psychiatrist this week for a chronic vomiting problem. He has thrown up during nearly every Bronco game this year. In a preseason game against Miami he lined up over the center and decorated the ball. After Denver's 34-17 victory over San Diego on Sunday, Drozdov was asked if he had vomited during the game. "Oh, I threw up a couple of times," he said. "Here and there."
Newsbreak: Woman files suit against Cox and Thomas
A woman who accused former Denver Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox of sexual assault has filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages against Cox and current Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.
The woman’s lawyer, Craig Silverman, says he filed the lawsuit electronically Sunday. A jury in March acquitted Cox of all charges and Cox then signed a two-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers. Silverman says the lawsuit allows the woman to “prosecute” the allegations in court.
Civil lawsuits have a lower threshold of proof, as opposed to a “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard in criminal proceedings. The woman became pregnant after visiting Cox’s apartment following a night of partying in 2010. In his lawsuit, Silverman says the woman was drugged at a downtown nightclub then sexually assaulted at Cox’s suburban apartment.
The IAOFM community includes several lawyers, so I'll save explanation of the difference between a civil and criminal case. What I will say, however, is neither is good publicity for Demaryius Thomas.
Englewood--Oops, he did it again.
Only this time, he pulled his kicker into the controversy.
On Sunday morning, DJ Williams posted another picture from the Broncos' playbook: a field-goal formation, in which Broncos kicker Matter Prater lines up to attempt a field goal of any distance. The picture was up for only a few minutes before Williams took it down. However, IAOFM's own Baxter McLove, managed to obtain the picture from an anonymous fan who stalks Williams via Twitter.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Brandon Stokley tells Lindsay Jones he was "95 percent retired" until a workout at Duke with Peyton Manning showed he hadn't lost any speed and was able to run without pain, despite having stopped his rehab from a quad injury suffered last season.
The Slot Machine has expectedly been serving as an interpreter of sorts, helping his fellow wide receivers understand Manning's body language and expressions.
Having made Denver his family's home ever since his first stint with the team, Stokes says the Broncos were the only team for whom he considered extending his 13-year career.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Echoing the recent column on "winning" by Greg Cosell, and TJ's interpretation of it, Bill Barnwell considers the oddity of how Peyton Manning was perceived following the Colts' SB loss to the Saints three seasons ago (which of course came three years after Peyton's Colts won SB 41). Barnwell finds it unfortunate that the SB loss overshadows the greatness of Manning's takedown of an elite Jets defense two weeks prior:
He went up against Darrelle Revis and the Jets and came away with a ridiculous line, going 26-of-39 for 377 yards with three touchdowns and no picks. The average QB against the Jets that year went 16-of-31 for 154 yards with two interceptions for every touchdown.
It was one of the greatest performances you'll ever see from a quarterback in the playoffs, but because it happened in the AFC championship game (a must-win game) as opposed to the Super Bowl (the last must-win game), it didn't matter. Of course, had the Jets held Manning to 195 yards and two interceptions and squeaked out an upset victory, the entire Monday edition of the New York Post would have been dedicated to pieces on how Peyton Manning was a bum and Mark Sanchez was a clutch hero who won when he needed to.
I'll admit to having been among those who used to foolishly call Peyton "unclutch" and a "loser" back in the day. And for me, it wasn't the SB victory that changed my opinion on the guy - it was seeing more of his play over the next three seasons (2008-2010), when he remarkably dragged the Colts to 11 fourth-quarter comebacks and 15 game-winning drives. Over those three seasons, the Colts' points differential projected 29 regular-season wins, but largely (completely?) thanks to Peyton, they posted 36 victories. Incredible. Here's yet another video that just says it all.
Denver Broncos Linebacker DJ Williams Posted Plays Online
DJ Williams of the Denver Broncos isn’t exactly happy that he has to learn new plays for a new defense. However, I do think he made one major error. He posted pictures of some plays on his Twitter account, which has to make the coaching staff thrilled.
DJ Williams may have just made one of the dumbest mistakes that a player can make. Giving away plays is not something you want to do ever. There is a good chance that those plays will have to be thrown away and more are going to have to be drawn up. Some people thought that this was a joke but it looks pretty legit to me. I bet he is going to get a talking to from his coaching staff.
D.J. Williams makes mocking him as easy as pie. If he's not driving while intoxicated, he's battling accusations of non-human urine samples. His latest foray into the city limits of Doltville includes posting some formations from his Broncos defensive playbook.
It's tempting to blast D.J. once again, so let's succumb to temptation quickly and get it out of our system. D.J. Williams made a really dumb decision.
But let's not get carried away. In this case, loose lips don't sink ships. D.J. Williams didn't just give away state secrets. Look at the formations. They are standard 4-3 Under formations which adjust to the offense's motion or formation shift (pro, far, trips, etc.). They also show us the Broncos will, in fact, deploy a one-gap scheme with their defensive tackles (notice the 3-tech and 1-tech). Further, on the backside, they'll run some cover 1, man under. In other words, they'll be doing the exact same thing you see dozens of college and pro defensives doing each and every week.
I can assure you of one thing: the Broncos will not throw out this defensive scheme because it was posted online. Why? Because you can find plays like these in every defensive playbook in the NFL (or high school, for that matter). It's standard stuff, but of course, you wouldn't know that if you didn't take the time to look under the hood.
Mike Shanahan hosts Peyton's Place
Peyton Manning is taking over John Elway’s old job—and living in Mike Shanahan’s house.
Shanahan’s house is a 35,000-square-foot mansion in Cherry Hills Village, one of the Denver area’s fanciest neighborhoods. It’s only expected to be a temporary deal until Manning finds a permanent place to live in the Mile High City.
Perhaps Manning's clandestine March visit with the Shanahans was to check out fixtures, not formations.
At least we'll know what happened if Peyton shows up at Dove Valley resembling George Hamilton.