Q&A with Charley Casserly
Let’s assume there’s going to be a lot of similarity to the system in Denver as it was in Indianapolis. So you’ve got Tamme, who can handle the tight ends, teaching them, and now you’ve got Stokley, who can teach the receivers. I think that’s really critical when you’re implementing a system that you’ve got somebody in the locker room, in the meeting room—besides the coaches—that can work with the players and understand the system. I think it’s important to have a couple people in that locker room that understand Peyton Manning’s personality. Manning has been described to me as the most driven player people have ever been around. I think he’ll be even more driven, if that’s possible, this year…I think people are going to have to understand the personality they’re dealing with, and I think Stokley and Tamme will help on that.
It's too bad for Denver that Green Bay was willing to pay Jeff Saturday so much, because it sure would have been nice to have a center (or any lineman, for that matter) so well versed in Manning's LOS histrionics, not to mention one who can handle Peyton's ire.
Great news for all of us out-of-town fans - DirecTV has cut prices for its NFL Sunday Ticket package. The Max package, which includes computer and mobile access to game broadcasts, the Red Zone channel, and the 30-minute Short Cuts versions of games, will now cost $299.95, down from the $385 price from 2011. The price for the standard Sunday Ticket package has been slashed 40% from $334.95 to $199.95, and Sunday Ticket will again be offered at no extra charge to new DirecTV subscribers.
The asking price for four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel is dropping.
Reports the Philadelphia Eagles “we’re looking for a 3d or 4th rd pick for (Samuel) were wrong. They are willing to take a 5th or 6th,” tweeted Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Interested teams remain aware of Samuel’s age—he’s 31—and can’t be thrilled with his contract. With two years left, Samuel’s set to earn $10 million with a $100,000 offseason workout bonus in 2012 and $11.5 million with a $100,000 workout bonus in 2013. The Eagles are reportedly willing to chop $2.5 million off next season’s bill, but that won’t please Samuel.
$10M sounds steep, but Samuel did rate +9.2 overall last season according to PFF (-1.7 run defense, +9.6 pass coverage, +1.3 penalty), which was 12th-best among cornerbacks and ahead of Denver's own Champ Bailey (+7.5 overall) and Chris Harris (+6.0). Gotta wonder if the price will continue to drop, or if Philly will consider cutting Samuel outright, a move that would appear to cost the Eagles about a $2M cap hit. Of course, at that point Denver would presumably be competing with other teams for Samuel's services, if they were to maintain interest in the 10th-year player.
As Matt Bowen sees it, any team that employs a good deal of Cover 1 should be pursuing a deal for Samuel.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Now that the 2012 schedule has been released, Judy Battista offers a fascinating look at how the schedule makers come up with their final product. And as silly as the leadup to the announcement each year may seem, with talk that the slate may or may not be made public on a certain day, there's apparently good reason for it.
What starts as 14,000 skeds gets narrowed down to 150, and those are painstakingly studied to come up with the best possible schedule, all the while accounting for religious holidays, weather, time zones, baseball playoffs, and even concerts. And that's before they even get to requests made by the teams themselves, nixing lengthy road trips, and trying to keep the TV networks happy.
As Battista tells it, it wasn't Peyton Manning's presence that spurred the league to schedule Denver for five primetime games, as was written by every football writer under the sun this week. Rather, it was Tim Tebow. The SNF opener which will have Denver hosting Pittsburgh in a rematch of their playoff meeting? That was already likely to happen pre-Peyton, and the league was looking to capitalize on Tebow's immense popularity with plenty of night games for the Broncos this season. So, they would have happened anyway - Denver will just have a better chance now of winning those games.
Rating the NFL draft prospects: Quarterbacks
“As much as is written about his athleticism, his athleticism under duress in the pocket isn’t even close to Cam Newton’s. This guy, the only way he gets big plays with his feet is if he’s got a wide-open field and the sea opens for him. He’s got a little bit of a selfish streak, too. Everybody was laying on Cam, but for some reason this guy has become gloves off. He doesn’t treat anybody good.” Another scout also questioned the way Griffin deals with people.
We'll clearly soon be hearing that Griffin doesn't work hard, might have trouble picking up NFL schemes, is uncoachable, comes from a questionable family background, has a forty-person entourage he rolls with, has little respect for authority, does lots of drugs, and had too many girlfriends in college. Oh, and that he runs better than he throws.
Source: Colts inform Andrew Luck
The Indianapolis Colts have told Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck that they will take him with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, according to a league source.
It’s unclear precisely when the Colts informed Luck, but a league source said the team has known for weeks that Luck would be its pick.
Granted, they've essentially been on the clock and Luck to Indy has been all but a foregone conclusion for months now, but that Maybe Indy will shock the world and take RGIII talk can be put to rest.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! We're only one week away from the start of the 2012 NFL Draft, and that can mean only one thing: it's time to celebrate The Passion of the Legwold.
Legwold kicks off Passion Week by breaking the news that Denver desires an impact player at #25, as opposed to the middling prospects they would normally be after in the first round. He also reiterates that the team has interest in BSU runner Doug Martin and could see them taking Martin at #25 if the top defensive tackles are all gone at that point. In fact, that's exactly what he has them doing in his first-round mock.
As for offensive linemen, The Impassioned One says the team is "giving long looks" to center and guard prospects because Peyton Manning is coming off an injury, not because J.D. Walton and Zane Beadles were pretty terrible last season. And, if Peyton were 100% healthy, they wouldn't want to give him great protection?
Presumably it's Legwold (or, could be Klis) who reviews Denver's 1st-to-3rd-round picks of the past 11 years, incredibly calling Jay Cutler just an "OK" pick, while generously calling Beadles and Walton "Good" picks. Look, Cutler may be a jerk, and we give the guy a ton of grief here, but let's be serious - he is a legitimate starting NFL QB and should remain one for a long time, and he is BY FAR the best QB from that 2006 Draft. To equate the expenditure of resources to select Cutler with those spent for Tebow, and to call Beadles and Walton better values than Jay is pure hackery. Really, it's a complete and utter joke.
Denver Broncos - Rise (2012 Promo)
Based on the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, the upcoming finale to the Christopher Nolan-directed Batman trilogy.
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.
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.