The Peyton Manning Billboards

We started a little fire with our original Tebow billboards

Then, we added some kindling in part 2.

Finally, we poured on the gasoline and gave Kyle Orton his own set of billboards.

Now that Peyton Manning is coming to Denver, we decided to simply burn the house down.

It's billboard time.  

Keep your eyes open as you're driving the Denver-metro area for these.

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The Daily Lard 3-29-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Elway provided some insight into how the Denver and Manning offenses will be melded, and what he said wasn't much of a surprise: Peyton will get to use the verbiage he's familiar with when making calls at the line.

Obviously, this will require all of his new teammates to adjust to him rather than vice versa, but it makes sense. Since the players cannot work out at Dove Valley or under coaches' supervision, they can get to learning right away, and since Manning is already organizing workouts, there's a good chance they've already started the process.

Besides, they probably all forgot what it's like to change a play at the line anyway...so what's the difference?

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Peyton Manning: I haven’t left here since I signed last Tuesday

The Drive hour 1 3/28/12
www.1043thefan.com

“I’ve pretty much been sleeping over here at the complex the past week and an half trying to study this playbook and trying to get on the same page as these receivers…I haven’t left here since I signed last Tuesday. I plan on being here all off season.”

Peyton Manning didn't tell us too much in the way of news in this interview, but it's still a good listen if you get the chance.  Among other things, Manning said:

  1. Todd Helton also reached out to Manning during his decision process.
  2. Manning is going to attend a lot of Rockies games during the summer.
  3. Manning doubts that he will ever have a Twitter account.
  4. His goal is the Super Bowl: that's why he is in Denver.
  5. He was glad he wasn't a free agent for very long and doesn't plan to be one again.

Manning rehabbing and already cramming playbook

Expectations high as Peyton Manning, Broncos get acclimated
www.nfl.com

Manning moved his rehab to Denver’s facility immediately after signing, and has done all he can—which is very limited at this point, due to the new offseason rules—to get ready for the 2012 season, his first in the NFL in colors other than the Colts’ blue and white.

“It’s great to have him there, and obviously he’s full of knowledge,” Broncos executive vice president John Elway told NFL Network. “But he’s still going through his rehab process and working hard. With the new rules, we can only do so much, but he’s working hard on rehabbing his arm. And he’s been working out, throwing with the guys, and that’s the kind of guy he is. He’s got our playbook, so he’s had his head in the playbook trying to learn, and kind of combine what he’s used and what we do.”

Just in case you didn't know, Manning is also sleeping at the Broncos' facility.  It's safe to assume he's living and breathing Broncos football during his waking hours.  During those hours in which he is trying to get some sleep, he's probably not counting sheep, but instead the number of Raiders it would take to screw in a light bulb.

As we've written before--some guys in the NFL work hard.  Then there's Peyton Manning.

John Elway doesn’t fall from trees; RG3 is a Broncos history nerd

Franchise QBs “don’t fall off trees” Shanahan says
www.washingtonpost.com

“When I think back to when the Broncos got John Elway, I don’t think anybody looks back and says, ‘Did we overpay?’ ” Shanahan said.

Of [Robert Griffin, Shanahan said: “This guy is bright. This guy is passionate. He’s got everything you look for.” He said Griffin had researched the Redskins’ roster and could recite to Shanahan the roster of his Super Bowl-winning teams in Denver.

How many Broncos fans can recite the names of the entire Broncos roster from 1998-1999? 

Ask me no questions. I'll tell you no lies.  

Scouting the Draft: 2012 Defensive backs

I recently rewatched the Combine film from Indy to study the DB tests and drills again. Combine can be overrated, but there’s an aspect to the live views of players that’s very helpful to a guy like me who makes part of his living doing and teaching postural analysis. It comes into evaluating players - usually ones that i’ve seen before, but if not, it helps me to understand what’s being said about them and to look for those tendencies, even on highlight film (which is often terrible).

I enjoyed watching the various players through the drills - not as much the tests, although I always like getting a greater feel for the players’ posture, and build - before I went back for a second and third look purely out of the pleasure of it. Although I strongly agree with those that feel the Combine tests are often heavily overweighted, the opportunity to do some analysis of why you see the things that pop out on film of the drill segment is one that I don’t get all that often.

Say, for example, that you have a player who has problems in his backpedal. On your average broadcast film, the back end of the field is out of the frame more often than not. I get to see the guy as the snap occurs (usually), then there’s generally a point where they don’t show anything on the defensive backfield until the pass is thrown or the runner breaks into the second level.

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League adopts new OT rules for regular season

NFL passes new overtime rules for regular season games
sports.yahoo.com

League owners voted on Wednesday to change overtime rules for the whole season. The postseason overtime that was implemented in 2010 will now be used all year. Instant sudden death is out, with a few caveats.

Each team must possess or have the opportunity to possess the ball unless the team that has the ball first scores a touchdown on its initial possession. Play continues in sudden death until a winner is determined, and the game automatically ends upon any score (by safety, field goal, or touchdown).

So, to be clear, both teams will get a chance to possess the ball - unless something like this happens.

Meanwhile, all turnovers will be reviewed in the replay booth, and there's still a chance the IR rules will be expanded, and trade deadline pushed back. Of course, the problem with this replay change (as Drew Magary stressed so eloquently) is that it doesn't go far enough - only plays ruled as scores or turnovers will be reviewed - not scores or turnovers not ruled as such by officials on the field.

Stokley may yet return Lard 3-28-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver is reportedly among several teams to have shown interest in Bears DT Amobi Okoye, the remarkable young man who graduated from Louisville at 19 years old before the Texans drafted him 10th overall in 2007.

Meanwhile, the team may end up bringing back WR Brandon Stokley as had been rumored shortly after Denver signed Peyton Manning. DT Marcus Thomas is apparently choosing between the Broncos and two other teams, and Denver is also trying to re-sign DE Jason Hunter.

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Was Manning’s velocity waning even before the injury?

Today's article from Albert Breer may give Broncos fans pause.  Breer suggests that the velocity on Peyton Manning's throws was already in decline during 2010--before his neck injury. Breer writes:

"The fall-off was significant on film," said one scout from a rival AFC team. "He showed stiffness and lost athletic traits. What made him special was never his athletic ability or movement skills, but you could see it with his arm strength, too. We break the field into 'short', 'intermediate' and 'deep', and on patterns deep and outside the numbers, you'd notice more air under the ball. There'd be more arc. Some it's by design, placing the ball where it needs to be. But it looked like his velocity was tailing off at the end of 2010. That's probably what he's most worried about. His rotation was fine, his accuracy was fine. But as far as the ball getting from Point A to Point B, and how much time he was giving defensive backs to drive on the football, there was enough there for concern."

The questions about Manning's arm strength go all the way back to the day he was drafted (Ryan Leaf had a stronger arm, after all).  However, was it possible that in 2010, Manning had lost too much zip on his passes?  The statistics certainly suggest as much.  His Y/A, AY/A, NY/A, and ANY/A were all down by a full yard. At the same time, guys like Blair White, Pierre Garcon (which I believe means "dropped pass" in French), and Austin Collie weren't helping Manning's cause.  And we saw what happened to the Colts in 2011 without Manning: they went down like they'd been shot by a sniper. 

Manning has had other seasons with lower numbers than he had in 2010.  So what is one to make of all of this?

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Updating data on Broncos’ new contracts

Bowlen for dollars: How the Broncos are spending in NFL free agency
blogs.denverpost.com

Remember that $40 million in salary cap space the Broncos had entering the 2012 offseason? They figured out how to spend it. In the past 10 days, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen has invested nearly $140 million in nine players.

As for new info, the total value of Jacob Tamme's deal is $8M rather than $9M, while the terms for the contracts of Adams, Woodyard, Caldwell, and Hanie were not previously released, to our knowledge.

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