Happy Birthday, Tom Jackson!

Happy Birthday to former Broncos linebacker Tom Jackson, who today turns 61.

Although Jackson is now known for his work as a football analyst at ESPN (since 1987), Jackson's legacy as a Denver Bronco and member of the Orange Crush is epic. During his 14-year career, TJ appeared in two Super Bowls and was a three-time Pro Bowler.  Jackson was a classic "tweener" who thrived in Joe Collier's 3-4 defense in the 70s and 80s. It resulted in Jackson being inducted into the Broncos' Ring of Fame. Did we mention he was a mainstay of the Orange Crush?

Another reason we love Jackson, of course, is that he originally uttered the phrase (and the very name of this website) "It's all over, fat man!" in 1977 to then Raiders coach John Madden in Week 5 as the Broncos crushed the Raiders 30-7. You might say it was disrespectful. We prefer to call it a restating of the facts. When Jackson said what he said to Madden, the game, in fact, was over. And, facts being facts, Madden was (and still is) the original Oakland butterball. Sebastian Janikowski and JaMarcus Russell came way late to the party.

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Broncos’ 2012 preseason schedule released

The 2012 preseason schedule has been announced, and will feature the following games for Denver:

  • Week 1: at Chicago (Aug. 9-13)
  • Week 2: vs Seattle (Aug. 16-20)
  • Week 3: vs San Francisco (Sun Aug. 26, 4pm ET, nationally televised on FOX)
  • Week 4: at Arizona (Aug. 29-30)

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Broncography: Mike Adams

On Thursday, March 15 of 2012, Denver jumped into the free agent pool and came out clutching veteran free safety Mike Adams in its hooves. Was it the money or the atmosphere that brought him into the Broncos fold? According to Gray Caldwell, Michael ‘Pops’ Adams began by saying, “Nice to be here: the weather’s nice.”

It was your basic 70-degree March day in Denver. Happily, the Broncos signed him before the next traditional spring snowstorm rolled on in (and I’m sorry to hear about the late drought along the front range - all the best to those who were or are displaced by the forest fires that are plaguing that area). Regardless - one of the things that clinched his decision was the warmth within the facility, far more than the weather without. The coaching of John Fox went a long way toward greasing the wheels to a mutual agreement.

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Broncos re-sign Colquitt

According to Adam Schefter, the Broncos re-signed punter Britton Colquitt, who is entering his third season with the team. Colquitt was an exclusive-rights free agent tendered last month at $540K, so this was a simple formality of Britton signing his tender.

Barring an unlikely extension, the 27-year-old member of the Colquitt family of punters will be a restricted free agent after the 2012 season.

Britton's 101 punts ranked second in the league in 2011, and his average of 47.4 yards per kick was seventh-best.

The Daily Lard 4-4-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The jerseys of the Chiefs and Chargers also received minor tweaks, while the Raiders' is apparently unchanged.

I'm a bit puzzled by the negative reaction to Seattle's new uniforms. Their most recent ones were incredibly boring and ugly, especially the all-blue ones. Mike Tanier says there's talk of more uniform changes related to color and style in 2013.

You know what has to be the dumbest habit of all relating to draft analysis? It's not the 40 mocks per writer, it's noting that Denver has the #25 pick, and then looking at every #25 pick in history as if that indicates some sort of precedent for what players can be found there. Here's an entire column devoted to precisely that sort of garbage. Look, Tom Brady was a sixth-rounder, while JaMarcus Russell was taken first overall. What else needs to be said?

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Fat Camp: Understanding the Manning offense - Part 4

Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome to Part 4 of the ongoing series about the Peyton Manning offense.  Today we’ll take our first step into the passing game, beginning with the key concepts that make up the three-step game.  If you’ve missed any of the prior installments of the series, please feel free to catch up by following the appropriate links:

Part 1 – Basics – Formations, Personnel Groupings, and Fit of Existing Personnel

Part 2 – Presnap Recognition Concepts

Part 3 – The Running Game

Every team runs some key three-step passing plays, which accomplish the goal of getting the ball in the hands of players in space by way of high-percentage completions.  With an excellent QB like Peyton Manning, the three-step game is especially effective, because he’s so quick at identifying the best receiver to throw the ball to and then put it on the guy’s upfield shoulder, which allows him to immediately begin running after securing the catch.

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New Broncos jersey unveiled

Nike unveiled the new NFL jerseys for the 2012 season at an event in Brooklyn today. As expected, the Broncos will be switching back to orange as their primary uniform color, and the necklines of their jerseys also received a minor tweak (as did several other teams, it appears). Seattle was the only team whose uniforms underwent a significant overhaul.

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Shanny’s spider sense told him where Manning would sign—that and his cap situation

Peyton Manning's fitness did not concern Mike Shanahan
www.washingtontimes.com

“I don’t think anybody is convinced until he’s ready to go,” Shanahan said when asked his belief about Manning’s health. “Knowing him, knowing his work ethic, knowing his passion for the game, I would be shocked if he’s not ready to go – just knowing him and how he prepares and how hard he works…

...“It was kind of just interesting, fun to sit down and talk football for a number of hours,” Mike Shanahan said. “At the end I had a feeling what direction he may go, especially with our situation with the cap – which I can’t talk about in detail. We had a good conversation.”

The Mastermind.  I guess he knew all along and just didn't tell us.

With a great base tan comes great responsibility.

Polian: Manning isn’t de facto OC, likes to run the ball

Broncs bomber: How Denver will transition from Tim Tebow to Peyton Manning
insider.espn.go.com

Peyton is not an offensive coordinator, nor does he want to be one. That’s a pure misconception. He’ll give his input on McCoy’s playbook, and he’ll certainly have the ability to call multiple plays in the huddle and audible at the line. But Peyton always worked within a system in Indianapolis, and he’ll do the same in Denver.

To dispel another misconception about Peyton, he actually likes to rely on the running game. Our most successful offensive play in Indianapolis was a play-action pass off a stretch play, which worked only when we were picking up yards on the ground from the actual stretch play.

Overall, I’d expect Denver’s offense to be a work in progress as everyone adjusts to a new quarterback and a new system. But I’d bet that the offense will take off in the second half of the season, making the Broncos legitimate championship contenders.

These quotes are from an ESPN Insider/Mag column by former Colts GM Bill Polian; the rest is mostly the typical "Peyton works really hard" and "Peyton is brilliant" stuff, plus Polian reiterates his high opinion of Denver's line (probably since the one he himself put together for Indy was so poor in recent years) and expects new tight ends Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen to light it up in the early going.

The Daily Lard 4-3-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his latest column over at CHFF, Scott Kacsmar does his usual bang-up research job in examining the wide-ranging impact of Tim Tebow on the 2011 NFL season and the rest of the league going forward.

As Kacsmar tells it, Tebow's influence resulted in:

  • The Packers losing their bids at perfection and a SB repeat
  • Pittsburgh having to play in the only location where safety Ryan Clark would be unavailable
  • Denver doing the unthinkable in both pursuing and acquiring Peyton Manning, which of course set off a whole set of QB dominoes

Okay, so perhaps some of it is a reach, but it's a typically informative and entertaining read from Kacsmar, who even manages to tie the bounty scandal into the story.

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