The Broncos are again without S Brian Dawkins at practice today due to the neck injury referred to two weeks ago as potentially being a career ender. FB Spencer Larsen is also out of action and expected to miss Sunday's game against the Steelers as a result of a knee sprain suffered against Kansas City.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh addressed their injury-plagued running back corps by adding Chad Spann from their practice squad and placing LB Chris Carter on IR to create space for him on the roster. The promotion of Spann was prompted by the season-ending knee injury to Rashard Mendenhall and the strong possibility that Mewelde Moore will be unable to go due to his own knee injury.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Most of the injury talk concerning the Steelers has centered around who will be absent for Pittsburgh (RB Rashard Mendenhall, S Ryan Clark), but unfortunately for Denver, the Steelers should be getting a pair of key players back in time for Sunday's game. Starting left guard Doug Legursky and linebacker LaMarr Woodley are expected to play; HC Mike Tomlin described Legursky as having a "strong chance" of returning to the starting lineup, and he said Woodley "is going to be capable of playing in the football game."
Legursky had missed the season finale against the Browns, and Woodley has been out for six of PIttsburgh's last eight games.
Tebow Experiment's Top Lesson: Broncos Need More Firepower
So it took defenses three months to figure out that the best way to beat a quarterback is to make sure his receivers don’t get open? If that’s the case, every defensive coordinator whose team lost to the Broncos should be fired. The way to stop Aaron Rodgers and Tim Tebow is the same way to stop any quarterback who can hurt you with his legs—you force them to stay in the pocket, pressure them from their throwing-hand side when they try to run, and cover their receivers tightly. The difference is that Rodgers still has the accuracy, pocket awareness, offensive line protection, and receivers to still beat any team in the league even when he’s forced to stay in the pocket. Tebow has none of those things, which leads to the final point the Tebow experiment has shown.
The Broncos need DeSean Jackson. If the Eagles franchise-tag him, the Broncos need to trade for him and give him a new deal. If he’s a free agent, they need to sign him and let him know he’s going to be an important part of their offense.
Having Tebow spend time working personally with John Elway on mechanics should be at the top of Fox’s offseason to-do list, but doing whatever it takes to obtain Jackson and motivate him to be a featured part of the offense should be the next item on the list. The Broncos’ coaching staff should also study every nuance and intricacy of what made Urban Meyer’s offense successful at Florida with Tebow and Harvin, and figure out how to implement those wrinkles into the Broncos’ game plans next year. In the draft and free agency, Denver can then focus on strengthening its defense.
John Elway says he's taking a big-picture view of Broncos' playoff berth
Elway said that he saw progress from Tebow in the 11 games since Tebow replaced Kyle Orton as starting quarterback.
“For Tim and his youth, and number of starts he’s had, Tim has done a good job this year,” Elway said.
Among other issues Elway addressed:
**On if Brady Quinn could get a chance to play quarterback if Tebow continues to struggle: “I don’t think so, but you never know. I think the coaches are looking at it right now,” Elway said. “We’re in the playoffs, and the coaching staff is going to do anything they can to help us win this football game.”
Denver has signed LB Brian Iwuh and released S Kyle McCarthy to create a spot for him. Iwuh is an ex-CU Buff who was a top special teams player for the Bears but was unexpectedly released on November 29th at a time Chicago was considering extending his contract. Iwuh is in his sixth NFL season, having spent his first four years with Jacksonville before joining the Bears in 2010, and has been credited with 115 tackles, one sack and three forced fumbles in his career. At the time of his release by the Bears, he was their leading special teams tackle with 14.
Terrell Suggs on Tim Tebow, Broncos: We Don’t Need God on Our Sideline
Naturally, Tebow believes it is God’s will that allowed the Broncos to reach the postseason. Terrell Suggs would agree with that, but he also believes that unlike the Ravens, the Broncos need God’s help to win. “With all due respect, we don’t need God on our sideline,” Suggs said Tuesday morning on ESPN First Take. “Once again God had to save Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos. Tebow couldnt even give them two drives? Seven to three (KC-Denver score)?”
A quick bit of advice to all the kids out there--when someone begins a sentence with the phrase, "With all due respect," it means they are about to disrespect you.
Of course the Ravens don't need God. They've got Joe Flacco. Have you seen that guy's Fu Manchu?
Chargers to retain Turner, Smith
The Chargers have announced that head coach Norv Turner and General Manager A.J. Smith will return in 2012.
“Bottom line, I believe these two men give us the best chance to get back to the playoffs,” club President Dean Spanos said in a statement posted on the team’s website. “A.J. Smith is the best man to improve our roster, and Norv Turner is the best man to lead that roster on the field.
THANK YOU, Dean Spanos!
Meanwhile, Mike Martz has resigned as the Bears OC. Perhaps Jay Cutler will be reunited with his BFF Bubble Screen Bates.
One won the Iowa straw poll five months ago and is now trending in single digits on the day of that state’s caucus vote. The other made the playoffs despite a three-game losing streak to end the regular season with a .500 record. See? They’re exactly the same!
We decided not to do Chewing the Fat on Sunday, as New Year’s Eve recovery efforts remained underway at 4:15 PM ET. I went out of my way not to overdrink on Saturday night, so I’m pretty spry, and I decided to do a running diary of both the Broncos game and the one between the Raiders and Chargers. I’m hoping for simultaneous excitement that comes across as compelling writing. If the games disappoint, at least you’ll get my on-the-fly thoughts on both games.
Step into my man-cave:
Ryan Clark won’t play in Denver, Mike Tomlin says
Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark will not play in the team’s wild-card playoff game against the Broncos in Denver because of the adverse effects playing at a high altitude has on a condition Clark has. “I met with him and informed him I am not going to allow him to play in the game,” Tomlin said. “It was an easy decision for us. When looking at all of our data, we came to the determination he is at more risk so we are not going to play him. It’s that simple.” Clark has sickle cell trait, a condition that caused serious problems for him when the Steelers played in Colorado in 2007. Because his major organs were deprived of oxygen, Clark ended up losing his spleen and gall bladder.
During the Broncos' winning streak, belief began to matter more than game plans. Here at IAOFM, we're happy to bring it back: