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.
Ray Lewis to retire after season
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said Wednesday he plans to retire as the end of this season.
He told the team Wednesday that, “this is my last ride.’‘
Amazing player. May have covered up a murder.
For the second time this season, Peyton Manning has been named the AFC's Offensive POW, for his 304-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Chiefs Sunday. Manning also received the honor after leading the Broncos to their 35-24 comeback win at San Diego, and he was named the AFC's best offensive player for the month of October.
For Peyton, it's the 23rd weekly award of his career, tying him with Tom Brady for the most ever. As a team, the Broncos racked up eight such honors, and Von Miller also took home the AFC's defensive player award for November.
Koetter signs extension with Falcons
A source told FOXSports.com the Atlanta Falcons have signed offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to a contract extension that will keep him off the market until the 2014 offseason.
This is a rather bizarre development, unless Koetter - who interviewed with the Broncos in 2011 - was convinced he didn't have a real shot at any of the openings he was scheduled to interview for. He met with the Chiefs yesterday about their vacancy, was scheduled to meet with the Eagles and Browns, and will forego both opportunities to stay put in Atlanta.
For Mike McCoy, that's one fewer competitor for him to fend off for the Philly gig.
Update 10:50am ET - Koetter had also interviewed with the Bears, so he also drops out of the competition with McCoy for that job.
Just as we've finished sorting through the Twitter slapfight between Jason La Canfora and Mike Florio over who reports the least tainted information, here comes a stunning development in the courtship of Andy Reid, one which might suggest that these agents know precisely what they're doing:
Plot thickens: Before arriving in Arizona tonight, Andy Reid will interview today in Philadelphia with the KC Chiefs, via @mortreport.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 2, 2013
We'll likely never know if the Chiefs have jumped into the Reid sweeps because they heard the Cards were "95%" likely to hire the former Eagles coach, but it's safe to say that Bob LaMonte is playing the game well.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! The coaching and GM carousel is awhirl, with news and rumors flying every which way.
And as tends to happen in these situations - much like the start of free agency each year - information is rushed, out of a desire to be the first to break a story, prompting rival reporters to question journalistic standards and the quality of others' sources. What we get are catfights between folks like Mike Florio and Jason La Canfora, who cannot agree on when Andy Reid will take his interview with the Cardinals.
La Canfora reported that Reid would meet with Arizona today, while NFLN's Ian Rapoport said the interview would occur tomorrow. That's when Florio jumped in, backing Rapoport's report while also accusing La Canfora of operating as a mouthpiece for Bob LaMonte, the agent for Reid.
Report: Cardinals “very close” to hiring Andy Reid as head coach
Tim Ring, the sports director at KTVK-TV in Arizona, is reporting that the Cardinals are very close to hiring Reid as their next head coach.
As quickly as Mike McCoy's list of suitors had grown to three with the addition of Buffalo, it will apparently be pared to two again shortly, as Andy Reid is expected to become the man in Arizona. If the Cards do end up hiring Reid, that would reunite him with Kevin Kolb, the backup QB he'd dealt to Arizona just a year and a half ago.
Still, the Bears gig remains the best one available in our eyes, and there's always the chance that McCoy hears from more interested parties in the coming days.
Update - 5:50pm ET - In addition to Kolb, Reid would apparently be reconvening with familiar faces Pat Shurmur, Tom Heckert, Brad Childress, and Juan Castillo.
As expected, the list of teams interested in Broncos OC Mike McCoy is growing. McCoy will already be interviewing with the Bears and Cardinals this weekend, and the Bills have thrown their hat into the ring by requesting permission from the Broncos to meet with him.
John Elway & Co. have already established that any suitors must come to the Denver area to interview McCoy, so presumably they'll be playing by that same rule. It's hard to imagine the Broncos not granting Buffalo's request.
Happy New Year, Broncos fans! So far, seven coaches (Andy Reid, Lovie Smith, Norv Turner, Ken Whisenhunt, Chan Gailey, Pat Shurmur, and Romeo Crennel) have been canned, with potentially more to come (Mike Mularkey, Ron Rivera).
Of the moves that have already occurred, none is more surprising than the firing of Lovie Smith, after he led the Bears to a 10-6 record and within a Sunday Packers win of making the playoffs.
Mike Ditka called the move "ridiculous," Devin Hester was moved to thoughts of retirement, and several other players expressed their shock. The other side of the story is that Lovie couldn't get his team to win big games, and the offense again sputtered down the stretch.
As per usual, Lovie's team sported an elite defense, which led the league in takeaways, was third in points, fifth in yards, and tops in overall efficiency prior to Sunday (Burke's final data isn't out yet).
Happy New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, friends. Since it’s also Black Monday, and there have been a lot of firings today, the speculation has started to ramp up regarding who will be getting specific jobs in specific places.
That has led to speculation that Mike McCoy and/or Jack Del Rio will be getting head coaching positions, and it follows that Broncos fans want to speculate on who’d replace them.
One thing I want to say here is let’s just chill for a hot minute. There’s no guarantee that a team will want to hire either coach, and further, they may not want to take a bad job if one is offered. Remember, the fact that either coach may not be able to start work until February 4th is working in favor of the Broncos. A hiring team is going to have to really want McCoy or Del Rio to sacrifice having their guy in place for a lot of key offseason work-ups.