Scouting the Broncos: Tracy Porter on film

Bill Walsh pretty much had it covered, even over 20 years ago. He said this about cornerbacks:

Ideal size: 6-2, 195, but good ones come in all sizes

You would prefer a good-sized cornerback, but fortunately they have come in all sizes. Some of the best coverage men have been extremely small and dwarfed by their wide receivers and still were able to cover because of quickness, explosion and anticipation.

But the great cornerbacks have been able to play a physical game with receivers. They can bump the receiver on the release, but more important go up for a ball and not be overwhelmed or knocked off the pass by the receiver.

Of course, you need quickness and explosion. Full-sprint speed is important, but there have been cornerbacks who have overcome a lack of sprinters' speed and played many years and become Pro Bowl participants. You'd like to think of the cornerback being able to run 40 yards in under 4.5 seconds.

He must be able to do the kinds of things receivers do when they go up for a ball.

My emphasis added. Now, let’s walk through some game film and start seeing who Denver has this year, starting with new CB Tracy Porter.

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The Daily Lard 4-18-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Jeff Legwold continues his The Position I'm Writing About Today is a Notably Risky One to Draft series with wide receivers up next. Now, in fairness to Legwold, we did cite this piece yesterday in which Matt Waldman said teams find it especially hard to evaluate QBs, WRs and DBs. But name a position that Legwold hasn't written up as being a super duper gamble and we'll give you a gold star sticker.

Legwold also claims Denver needs more depth now that they have a QB who loves to throw the ball a ton, although this of course ignores the fact that running a no-huddle offense means not changing personnel all that much from play to play. As Ted has noted, the same players tend to stay on the field with Manning.

In reality, Peyton Manning does distribute the ball to a lot of players, but those players are basically all starters. A look back at his time in Indy finds that each year, the bulk of his passes would go to two or three wideouts, two or three tight ends, and two or three running backs. At almost no point in his career has a fourth WR caught very many passes, and early on it was essentially Marvin Harrison and nobody else.

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Denver Broncos 2012 schedule

Here is the 2012 schedule; all times are expressed in Eastern Time.

Week Day Date Opponent Time Network
1 Sunday Sep 9, 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers 8:20 pm NBC
2 Monday Sep 17, 2012 at Atlanta Falcons 8:30 pm ESPN
3 Sunday Sep 23, 2012 Houston Texans 4:25 pm CBS
4 Sunday Sep 30, 2012 Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm CBS
5 Sunday Oct 7, 2012 at New England Patriots 4:25 pm CBS
6 Monday Oct 15, 2012 at San Diego Chargers 8:30 pm ESPN
7 BYE        
8 Sunday Oct 28, 2012 New Orleans Saints 8:20 pm NBC
9 Sunday Nov 4, 2012 at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm CBS
10 Sunday Nov 11, 2012 at Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm CBS
11 Sunday Nov 18, 2012 San Diego Chargers 4:25 pm CBS
12 Sunday Nov 25, 2012 at Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm CBS
13 Sunday Dec 2, 2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4:05 pm FOX
14 Thursday Dec 6, 2012 at Oakland Raiders 8:20 pm NFLN
15 Sunday Dec 16, 2012 at Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm CBS
16 Sunday Dec 23, 2012 Cleveland Browns 4:05 pm CBS
17 Sunday Dec 30, 2012 Kansas City Chiefs 4:25 pm CBS

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Broncos will open 2012 season at home against Steelers on SNF

NFL chose matchup over Denver visit to New England
www.denverpost.com

The league will feature the Broncos in its first Sunday Night Game of the 2012 season. The Broncos will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in their season opener Sept. 9 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, an NFL source said.

New England was a possibility for the Broncos on the Sunday night opener, but the NFL went with Pittsburgh instead.

The rest of the schedule is due at the top of the next hour, and of course we'll have that for you here.

Fat Camp: Understanding the Manning offense - Part 6

Happy Tuesday, friends.  Welcome to Part 6 of our seven-part series about how Peyton Manning plays offense.  Today, we’ll cover the seven-step passing and screen games.  Later this week, we’ll close out the series, and then it’s on to Draft coverage.

Here are links to the first five parts of the series if you need to catch up on something:

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

Part 2 – Presnap Recognition Concepts

Part 3 – The Running Game

Part 4 – The Three-Step Passing Game

Part 5 – The Five-Step Passing Game

As I mentioned on Wednesday, the Manning offense tends to revolve around the three- and five-step passing games, particularly the five-step version.  The seven-step game takes a long time to work and requires better protection, generally with fewer receivers in the pattern.

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The Daily Lard 4-17-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver's offseason workout program began yesterday, and Peyton Manning, Champ Bailey, Eric Decker, and Von Miller (all videos) all met with the press afterward.

Manning says he's still basically living at Dove Valley, although that's probably something of an exaggeration. Judging by his secretive nature, he probably already bought a house in the area. Of course, the practice nut seems very excited to have started the official, albeit voluntary, portion of the offseason.

Meanwhile, Miller says his injured thumb is still only at 85%, while Decker's knee is free of pain. The third-year wideout says he is already familiar with the "new-age" techniques utilized by strength coach Luke Richesson from having worked out at API the past couple years.

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Why didn’t the Broncos make a run at Dallas Clark? Here’s your answer.

We've known this for several weeks now, but did not pass it along to our readers because we thought there was still a small chance the Broncos might sign Dallas Clark.  As it turns out, Albert Breer was probably right.  Jason Cole confirmed that Clark is likely done playing (at least for the year) at age 33:

The word on the street is that Clark, who was such a dynamic force in his prime with Indianapolis, is done. Maybe a good offseason of rest will help. Getting a tight end who knows how to work the middle is a valuable commodity.

There was speculation that Clark would be joining Manning in Denver. Now we know why the Broncos didn't make it happen: Clark is simply too battered and bruised from years of taking punishing hits.  

If you doubt it, check out the clip below the jump and fast forward to 0:43 where John Lynch gives Clark a love tap.

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Broncos win offseason Super Bowl, but that won’t get them to Disneyland

Lingering NFL offseason issues, best available free agents and winners/losers
sports.yahoo.com

OFFSEASON WINNERS
1. Denver Broncos: The dual move of a playoff team gaining a future Hall of Fame quarterback (Peyton Manning) and ridding itself of a giant question mark (Tim Tebow) was brilliant on its own. However, getting cornerback Tracy Porter, tight end Jacob Tamme, defensive tackle Justin Bannan and wide receiver Andre Caldwell solidify an impressive offseason of work. There have been a couple of losses, such as Brodrick Bunkley and Andre’ Goodman, but those are tolerable.

As fun as it is to see the Broncos win in the offseason, I think we'd all prefer they win actual games.

So far, so good, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.  The Broncos haven't won anything yet.

Next steps:

  1. Killer draft
  2. Bangin' training camp
  3. Monster season 

Josina Anderson: Broncos, Marcus Thomas in talks

The Broncos aren't done talking to Marcus Thomas.  Josina Anderson tweeted today:

A source with knowledge of the situation says the Denver Broncos have tried to negotiate a one-year deal for veteran DT Marcus. However, the source adds Marcus Thomas is focused on receiving a long-term deal. That is the sticking point right now...Additionally, the source says both sides may be open to start negotiations again later.

Looks like the Broncos see Thomas as a stop-gap solution, given the deep defensive tackle class in this year's draft.  Thomas has a different view.

Stokley to re-team with Manning, Broncos

The long, slow dance to reunite Brandon Stokley and Peyton Manning in Denver ended today with the Slot Machine agreeing to a one-year deal with the Broncos.

Stokley, who hosted Peyton when he visited the Broncos at Dove Valley to kick off his free agency tour, played with Manning for the Colts from 2003 to 2006 before spending three seasons in Denver and making a home in Colorado.

During an afternoon presser following the start of Denver's offseason workout program, Manning was asked about the possibility of Stokley joining him with the Broncos, to which he responded, "Anytime management wants to add good football players to this team, I'm in favor of it."

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