Freeman: Expect Manning, Irsay to meet soon, and for QB to land in Washington

Ten-Point Stance: Peyton as a free agent still won't top Reggie circus
www.cbssports.com

Look for Peyton Manning and Jim Irsay to meet within the next 48 hours—if they already haven’t done so secretly. Manning, I’m told, wanted some time to pass before meeting with Irsay so his brother could celebrate his championship in peace. Manning knows the minute he and Irsay meet, it’ll become public (mainly because Manning or his agent will leak their side of it).

Speaking of Peyton, everyone I speak to in the NFL—and I mean just about everyone—believes if Manning becomes a free agent, the Washington Redskins will sign him.

The Daily Lard 2-8-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Only a week after saying he'd be back with the Ravens in 2012, Ricky Williams announced his (second) retirement from the NFL yesterday; he attributed the decision to his own self-reflection after having received a text message from Bill Parcells which read, "Don't chase this thing too long. You can contribute in other ways."

The first time Williams retired was just days before the start of Dolphins training camp in 2004, when it was rumored he had had a third positive drug test and would be ineligible for the season anyway. After coming out of retirement in 2005 and playing that season for the Dolphins, Williams had another positive drug test and was suspended for the 2006 season, which he instead spent in the CFL with the Toronto Argonauts. Williams returned to the Dolphins the next year but suffered a season-ending injury during his first game back.

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Ten Worst Moves of 2011: #9 - The Duke takes on Twitter

(Note: This is the second in an Epic a mini ten-part series on the Worst Moves of 2011; We'll also be doing a ten-part mini on the Ten Best Moves of 2011.  If you want to see #10: Trading Jabar Gaffney, click here.)

Social media--it's all the rage.  Like a moth to a flame (or an illiterate with an eye piercing to a bag of K2), corporations are flinging themselves headlong into the space with little thought of the results of their actions.  The recent McDonald's Chicken McNuggets Twitter disaster is just one example.

The Denver Broncos' foray into social media, while not a meltdown of epic proportions, was certainly fraught with its share of missteps.  And that's why John Elway's venture into Twitter is #9 on our list of the Ten Worst Moves of 2011.

After the regime of Josh McDaniels, in which nothing was given, contact was limited to only one Napoleonic figure, and misinformation was as highly prized as the real McCoy, the Broncos felt like social media was an opportunity to reconnect with fans and present a kinder, gentler organization.  In fact, Jim Saccomano, Vice President of Kool-Aid Public Relations, tweeted in September of 2011: "Level of availability to press by coach Fox, John Elway, and personnel people unmatched in recent Denver seasons."

That sounds downright neighborly.  And you can hardly blame the Broncos. McDaniels might have been headed down the path of Scott Pioli for all we know, and with Brian Xanders so afraid to express his desire to draft Clay Matthews, he might have gone into a shell.

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Because 27 days without a Tebow special would be too much for America to handle

Tebow-verkill: This Has Got To Stop, ESPN
dailydickpunch.com

But this Tim Tebow obsession you seem to have is starting to take on a life of its own, and I think it’s high time you re-evaluated whether you’re going to stay “ESPN, The Worldwide Leader in Sports,” or if you’re going to change to “TSPN, The Tebow-wide Tebow in Tebow.”

I was informed that tonight, at 10:30 Eastern, a SportsCenter Special will air titled “Tim Tebow: Face To Face.” That’s right, folks. Tim Tebow hasn’t been relevant to the NFL for about a month now, but we’re getting a SportsCenter Special to watch him talk to a geriatric in a short skirt.

It’s low-hanging fruit, and I get that. But your constant haranguing of the Tim Tebow story needs to take a few steps back and take a breath.

Sam's not joking. This really is happening, and it's called SPORTSCENTER SPECIAL: FACE TO FACE WITH TIM TEBOW. The first two TebowCenter specials took place on December 2 and January 12 (an unbearable 36-day wait between episodes), so at least the Worldwide Leader is stepping up their coverage of Tim just when the country needs it most.

Bears reunite BFFs Jay Cutler and Jeremy Bates

New Bears QB coach has ties to Cutler
www.chicagotribune.com

Jay Cutler has had a strained relationship with offensive coaches for the Chicago Bears, but Tuesday’s hiring of Jeremy Bates as the team’s quarterbacks coach gives him someone he’s worked closely with in the past.

Bates worked with Cutler in Denver and he will serve under new offensive coordinator Mike Tice. Bates was out of the NFL durng the 2011 season after working as the offensive coordinator under Pete Carroll for the Seattle Seahawks for one season.

It was only a matter of time before this bromance lost its status as a long distance relationship. IAOFM has procured a transcript of the text messages exchanged between JB and Cutty:

Cutler:WU JB?

Bates: NMU?

Cutler: PRW LOL

Bates: TTYL?

Cutler: K  LMIRL?

Bates: CHI?

Cutler: K QB COACH?

Bates: LOL K

Cuter: OMG 4 REAL?

Bates: TDTM.....

(Dictionary: WU=What Up; NMU=Not much, you; PRW=Parents Watching; LMIRL=Lets meet in real life; TDTM=Talk dirty to me)

NFL finalizes draft order (well, sort of)

NFL announces 2012 draft order
eye-on-football.blogs.cbssports.com

Here is the order in which teams will select from April 26-28.

Since the Panthers and Dolphins had the same winning percentage and strength of schedule marks, there will be a coin flip at the NFL Combine to determine the order in which they pick. Same goes for the Chiefs and Seahawks.

As we already knew, the Broncos will be picking 25th overall come April. The Raiders' next choice will be in the sixth round of the 2016 Draft.*

* Actually, Oakland has picks in the fifth and sixth rounds of the 2012 Draft, plus third-, fourth-, sixth-, and seventh-rounders in 2013. Good luck with that, Dennis Allen!

The Daily Lard 2-7-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his latest mailbag, Mike Klis thinks veteran QBs won't shy away from Tebowmania because they all probably think/know they can beat Tim in a fair QB competition, and he puzzlingly posits that, "The only way the Broncos reach the Super Bowl within the next three years is if Tebow leads them." Three years, really?

According to Klis, Jack Del Rio has a two-year contract (not sure we knew that prior), and he suggests that even if Del Rio leaves after a year for another HC gig, perhaps a revolving door at DC won't be as big a deal under John Fox as it was with Shanny and McDaniels. I'll buy that.

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Knowshon Moreno can’t drive 45

Broncos' Knowshon Moreno arrested on suspected DUI
www.9news.com

Moreno was stopped on Feb. 1 on Interstate 25 near the Hampden Avenue exit. Investigators say he was going 70 mph in a 45 mph construction zone.

He was driving a Bentley convertible with the license plate: SAUCED.

He was given blood test and arrested.

The personalized license plate is no joke, although, right now, the joke is on the Broncos.

Weatherman: The Legend of Bill Williamson

Super Bowl in Denver? A snowball's chance
espn.go.com

I have no doubt Denver would be a terrific Super Bowl host, and it would please the league, teams, fans and the media.

Don’t expect it to happen. Why?

Check the recent Denver weather. The city was rocked by more than two feet of snow on Thursday and Friday. It was one of the worst snowstorms the city has seen in recent years.

Of course, Denver has one of the most unpredictable weather patterns in the United States. There have been plenty of Super Bowl weeks in which the weather in Denver was much better than in the host city. But the NFL will look at the storm of 2012 and use that as evidence that a Super Bowl in Denver will not fly.

So, keep dreaming, Denver, and keep expecting to watch the Super Bowl played in other cities. The Broncos shouldn’t feel too bad. None of their AFC West foes are close to hosting the game.

Not sure I agree with The Chop's logic here.  I like conspiracy theories, but eventually, Denver will host a Super Bowl.  

Ten things I learned from the Super Bowl

1. Giants fans were fooled by randomness.  The Giants had three fumbles - one was negated by penalty, and they recovered the other two.  As we all know, fumbling is not random, but fumble recovery is.  If any of those fumbles goes the other direction, the Patriots win this game.  History's winners write the narrative, however, so all you need to know is that Eli Manning is a winner and so is Tom Coughlin.  And technically, that's true.

2. Field position matters.  The starting field position for the Giants yesterday was 25-yard line.  The average for the Patriots was the 16-yard line.  That eight yards may not seem like a lot, and it is a small sample size, but from an Expected Points Value (EPV), it's meaningful.  The difference in EPV from the two numbers is 3.87 points alone in a game that ended 21-17.  No, it's not direct causation, just another way of saying where you start your drive matters--a lot.

3. Gunslingers are still important.  Watching Manning and Brady sling the ball all over the field in multiple wide receiver sets while progressing through two and three reads in the pocket was impressive, and it demonstrates again the importance of having a quarterback who can make like Devo--that is to say, whip it.  Did I mention Tim Tebow?   Do I have to?

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