Broncos may add Dixon to QB mix

AFC West notes
espn.go.com

The Broncos are visiting with Pittsburgh reserve quarterback Dennis Dixon. His visit started before Denver signed QB Caleb Hanie. Hanie has the inside track to back up Peyton Manning in Denver, but the Broncos are still interested in signing Dixon to compete with Hanie during training camp.

If Dixon is signed, Denver may still draft a quarterback to develop.

Adding Dixon would make four QBs for Denver, and drafting one would make five. Heck, why not draft two?

A Holy Cow Trinity of free agents

Peyton Manning's announcement that he was joining the Broncos prompted a fascinating and immediate reaction: People instantly decided that Mike McCoy was unimportant and that Manning himself would run the offense. It would be his offense, run his way, and would look as much like Indy as the Broncos could accomplish. It is an interesting theory, but Manning himself has demurred:

The offense that I ran in Indianapolis unfortunately doesn't exist anymore anywhere. Not even in Indianapolis. These other offenses, like Bill Walsh's (West Coast) offense, Don Coryell's (Air Coryell) offense, they all kind of continue. Our offense is no longer around, and it's kind of sad in some ways.

Mike McCoy's the offensive coordinator. I'm hoping to be a good teammate and quarterback for him and his staff. I have work to do on that end.

As far as his statements on the offense, he’s saying the right kinds of things, true or not, and while Denver will use his knowledge, I suspect they’ll also keep many of their own concepts. I recall watching a couple of Indy/New England games as part of a project and marveling at the specific use of routes on Indy’s part;  the way they interwove them, sometimes to create rub routes, other times using one route to disguise a second or third stem in the pattern...so much creativity was there that I’m sure that the Broncos will be glad to add some of those routes into their arsenal. But that will also make a total of three schemes for McCoy to develop and teach in two seasons, so I expect some transition before Denver jumps all-in on the Indy playbook, if that’s their goal. They may prefer to keep some or many of their own approaches intact.

Continue reading "A Holy Cow Trinity of free agents"

Saturday didn’t feel the love from Denver Lard 3-25-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Although Jeff Saturday chose to go to Green Bay over joining Peyton Manning in Denver, it appears the writing was on the wall that the Broncos were less interested in adding Saturday than was the QB. Says Saturday:

Peyton is a close friend and I loved playing with him. I loved the time we spent together. It was the most difficult call I've ever made. I told him before anyone else that I was going to Green Bay.

I told him I don't think the Broncos wanted me as much as he did. They've got things going on that they're happy with and are moving forward with and I didn't think it was an exact fit. I always felt like in Green Bay I was their very first choice.

Saturday agreed to a two-year deal with the Packers; apparently the Colts had offered him a contract to play and then join the team's front office, but playing for the NFC's overdog trumped sticking around for a rebuild. We could speculate all day about the Broncos' apparently tepid interest, but it's impossible to know whether it was financially motivated, the team has a rosier opinion of J.D. Walton than we do, or they have plans to acquire another center via free agency or the draft.

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Broncos agree to terms with Caleb Hanie

A little over a month ago, John Fox said the Broncos would acquire at least two new quarterbacks to the Denver roster this offseason:

Who, what, where, when, what market — it's still way too early how we get those quarterbacks.

Of course, few could have predicted that the first two steps in Denver's QB overhaul would be the acquisition of Peyton Manning and trade of Tim Tebow for a mid-round pick. That changeover is another step closer to completion today, albeit in less dramatic fashion, and involving a far-less heralded player.

The Broncos added former CSU Ram and Chicago Bear Caleb Hanie, who agreed to a two-year deal; Hanie (6-2, 222) spent four seasons in Chicago backing up former Broncos Kyle Orton and Jay Cutler, going winless in four starts last year after Cutler broke his thumb.

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Lavelle Hawkins didn’t want to slow dance with Peyton Manning

Hawkins implies adding Manning would have set Titans back
www.nfl.com

“We are good with what we have, so I wasn’t too worried about it,” Hawkins told The Tennessean in a report published Friday. “This year, with all of us coming back and with (quarterbacks) Matt (Hasselbeck) and Jake (Locker), we want to build off the things we did last year. I want to grow with those guys.”

The veteran Hasselbeck and rookie Locker led the Titans to a 9-7 finish last season, when the team fell just shy of making the playoffs. Hasselbeck started every game, throwing for 3,571 yards and 18 touchdowns. Locker played in five games, racking up 542 passing yards and four scores without getting picked off once.

“If Peyton would’ve come, we would have started a lot of things over,” Hawkins said. “Now we can just continue on with what we have.”

There are two kinds of receivers out there:

  1. Those that want to play with Peyton Manning.
  2. Those that lie about wanting to play with Peyton Manning.

The inevitable comparison between Peyton Manning and Joe Montana

Can Manning Top Montana’s Second Act?
blogs.wsj.com

Peyton Manning’s career has a lot in common with Joe Montana’s career through age 35.

The parallels between the two great quarterbacks at this stage of their careers are remarkable. Montana had the big edge in Super Bowls, playing in four and winning them all in his 12 seasons with the 49ers. Manning appeared in two for the Colts, winning one. Manning has the statistical edge, after getting an earlier chance to start and never relinquishing it: He’s started 208 regular-season games to Montana’s 139 through 1990. Manning has completed 64.9% of passes, throwing touchdowns on 5.5% of them and interceptions on 2.7%. Montana’s equivalent numbers at this stage: 63.6%, 5.3% and 2.7%. And, like Montana after his age-34 season, Manning suffered a serious injury that forced him to sit a year and eventually led to his leaving his team for the AFC West. Montana went to the Chiefs after missing 1991 with an elbow injury and backing up Steve Young in 1992. Montana played two seasons in Kansas City before retiring…

Overall, 22 quarterbacks have had a strong season past age 36 in the last 43 years. Warner and Brett Favre were the last two to do it, and Favre and Moon were the only ones to do it past 40. The list is an eclectic one, including nine Hall of Famers and two likely future inductees in Favre and Warner. Steve DeBerg, Craig Morton and Jim Plunkett are among the other 11 on the list.

The main reason to hope for more from Manning than most of his predecessors is that he’s already one of the best QBs in history. What held back others may not apply to him. His career adjusted net yards per attempt is 21% better than league average, higher than all but three of the QBs to have strong years after turning 36: Steve Young, at 22%, and two QBs with whom he’s tied at 21%: Roger Staubach, and Montana.

I love the smell of stats in the morning. 

Hopefully, stats trump neck injuries for the Broncos.

Rovell: Broncos can’t make money off Manning

Peyton Manning may not pay off big as a Denver Bronco
www.usatoday.com

Peyton Manning was negotiating to play in Denver with the Broncos. And while fans of the team undoubtedly celebrated, making money off Manning will be difficult.

Why? Well, start with the fact that Manning’s deal averages $19.2 million a year.

There’s not a lot of inventory to sell because the Denver Broncos are one of those teams that will have fans in the stands no matter how competitive they are. They’ve sold out every game since 1970. Ticket prices around the stadium are locked in for 2012 and suite contracts are locked in for longer. Selling more Broncos jerseys won’t matter. All teams split up merchandise sales equally. National television money is also split equally, so it doesn’t matter how many games they play on the national stage.

That's why they call it revenue sharing--everyone makes money, no matter who is on the roster of the individual teams.

The Broncos didn't bring in Manning with the idea of increasing jersey sales.  It's about winning, as John Elway said.  Unlike some owners, Pat Bowlen's philosophy seems to be that making money comes from winning, not the other way around.

Fat Camp: Understanding the Manning offense - Part 1

Hello, friends.  I know it’s been a little while, but I’ve been super-busy with work and other pursuits the last couple weeks.  Today, let's explore what the Broncos offense might look like this season with the addition of Peyton Manning.  Since it’s a really simple scheme, I think we can pretty easily have a really good sense of what to expect once the regular season arrives.

Since we’re the only Broncos site which possesses the capability of getting deep into the X’s and O’s, we’ll be the ones to lead the way in educating Broncos fans on what to expect.  Let’s get going shall we?  Ready…. BEGIN!!

Let me first start by saying that as much of a fan as I am of Tim Tebow, I'm relieved and glad that he's gone.  The price of having him is just too high, with all of his yahoo bandwagon fans acting as a totally pious menace to intelligent society.  It will be interesting to see whether they drown out New York, or whether New York drowns them out.  Picking the Big Apple to win seems obvious, but you never know, and it will be interesting to see.  When people are determined to believe what they want to believe, it does little good to apply standards of reason to it.

I'm rooting for Tim Tebow the Quarterback to succeed, steal Mark Sanchez's job and women, and maintain his relationship with the homie Jesus, if that's what he wants to do.  Thanks for being a good Bronco, Tim, and good luck in Jersey.  Hopefully your fans don't ruin your career by making you somebody that no team would want to sign.  They're off to a pretty good start, unfortunately.

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Dawkins: Tebow went Bon Jovi and laid his hands on me

Dawkins says Tebow “laid hands” on injured neck
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

“In our Bible study sessions when my neck was pretty bad and I’m hurting, [Tebow] along with our chaplain and [Broncos director of player development] Jerry Butler laid hands and prayed on me pretty good,” Dawkins said.  “They brought snot and tears to my eyes and all that type of good stuff with prayer.”

It shouldn't come as a surprise that athletes will go to any extreme to try and influence the outcome of their performance, and that this behavior would extend to injuries.  In fact, the less control an athlete feels he has over an outcome, the more superstitious his behavior becomes. Taylor Clark, author of the fascinating book Nerve Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cooldevotes almost an entire chapter of the book to this very topic. According to Clark, athletes are less likely to employ superstition in situations in which outcomes are easily controlled, like fielding a groundball. That's because fielding percentages of major leaguers are well over 95%. In short, these players feel like they are in complete control over fielding.

Other outcomes are different, however. As Clark notes, the reason you see so much ritual and superstition around outcomes like the hitting of a baseball, for instance, is because it's damn difficult (outside of the steroids era, and even then no one has been able to touch Ted Williams' .406 batting record). In short, players feel like they have less control over the outcome. And they're right. When going 3 out of 10 is considered elite, it certainly speaks to the difficulty of the job. That's how you end up with someone like Wade Boggs, who was obsessive compulsive in his superstitious approach to hitting a baseball.  Not only was he known as the "Chicken Man" for eating poultry as a pre-game meal, before each at-bat, he would write the word "Chai"--the Hebrew word for life--into the batter's box. Here's another example from the movie Major League (hey, bartender, Jobu needs a refill).

Dawkins and Tebow are no different in the case of Dawkins's neck injury. Laying of the hands beats--at least in their minds--sitting around and hoping the neck injury gets better. This is especially true given their religious convictions, which--how should we put it?--are more passionate than your average bear.

So the behavior shouldn't surprise anyone. In fact, there is interesting scientific data on faith healing, whether you believe in placebos or not. The surprise will come if Dawkins returns to the Broncos for another season given the extent of his neck injury.

Happy Birthday, Peyton Lard 3-24-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Happy Birthday to our new starting quarterback, Peyton Manning, who turns 36 today.

As amazing as it still is that Denver reeled in the highest-profile free agent in NFL history, it remains even more incredible that so many pundits had predicted the Dolphins would end up with the big catch. The Dolphins are a joke of an organization, as their fans would happily tell you.

On the field, Miami opened last season with seven consecutive losses and fired their coach; they've had seven wins or fewer in six of the past eight years. Not helping matters, they play the Pats twice yearly and "compete" with them for the division title.

But the Dolphins now make more news off the field, as Jeff Ireland can attest. Their ownership roll lists more stars than does their player roster. Atop it all is chucklehead Stephen Ross, who pulled an odd PR stunt the other night.

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