Bears will grab Orton if KC doesn’t

Report: Bears will claim Orton
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Bears will attempt to claim Kyle Orton off waivers. Actually, McClure said he was confirming Jay Glazer’s report.  But Glazer never actually reported anything; he just said the Chiefs or Bears “could” claim Orton and it took a life of its own.

We already know Houston won't nab Orton.  Should get interesting real soon. It's looking likely that Orton will return to Denver one more time this season, either as a member of the Chiefs or Bears.

Three Broncos greats roll their way into the semis

Three Broncos Named HOF Semifinalists
blog.denverbroncos.com

Atwater was voted to a franchise record-tying seven consecutive Pro Bowls during his career, serving as a defensive leader on the Broncos’ back-to-back Super Bowl championship teams.

Davis rushed for at least 1,000 yards in each of his first four seasons, including his 2,008-yard season in 1998 when he earned league MVP honors. He also was part of the Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII squads.

Mecklenburg spent 12 seasons with the Broncos, starting 141 career games, a total that includes all 16 games in a year during five different campaigns. He played in six Pro Bowls and helped the Broncos reach the postseason seven times, including three Super Bowl berths.

All three players are Broncos Ring of Famers.

Best news of the day.  My personal favorite from this group has always been Steve Atwater, although the old timers can easily make an argument for Meck.

And what about T.D.?  If Gale Sayers is in, it's a no brainer.

(Interesting side note:  I once published a story in a literary journal about an out-of-luck fry cook who becomes obsessed with Mecklenburg after watching a Broncos games on TV.)

Broncos waive Kyle Orton

According to Adam Schefter, the Broncos have parted ways with Kyle Orton today. Pure speculation, but my first thoughts are either that Orton requested his release or was vocally unsupportive of Tim Tebow and/or the coaching staff, or maybe this was done as a favor so Kyle could sign on with a team in need of a QB? Say, Kubes and the Texans? Back to Chicago?

As it turns out, Mike Klis reports that Orton and his agent approached the Denver FO about a possible release after Jay Cutler broke his thumb, an injury which will require surgery tomorrow to repair and could keep Cutler out for as long as 6-8 weeks.

There are now were conflicting reports out there on how much of Orton's $7.379M base salary is unpaid at this point, as Albert Breer says the amount is $1.324M, while but as Klis says, it's around $2.58M.

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Goodell: More Thursday games likely next year

NFL might expand Thursday night package as soon as 2012
sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Asked if the NFL would eventually begin playing games on other days of the week than the Sunday-Monday-Thursday rotation, he said he doubted it. “I don’t [see it],” Goodell said. “I think we like being special. I think we like having a day where you anticipate having football. I think when you have games every night of the week, as an example, it takes away from that uniqueness and that special nature of our game.”

Barnwell: Von is the real Mr. Clutch, McGahee not so much

The Fabulous & the Flops of Week 11
www.grantland.com

His stat line is impressive enough: 10 tackles, 1.5 sacks, three tackles for loss, four knockdowns of Mark Sanchez, a pass defensed, and a forced fumble. Where those plays happened, though, was remarkable. His first sack, the half-sack with Elvis Dumervil, came on a third-and-4 that shut down the Jets’ first drive of the game. His second sack was on a third-and-10 on the final Jets drive, forcing them to take a crucial timeout and into a fourth-and-ridiculous. Miller’s pass breakup was on a slant to Santonio Holmes inside his own 5-yard line that would have otherwise gone for a touchdown.

Jason Cole: Luck to enter NFL Draft

Sources: Luck not expected to re-enroll at Stanford
sports.yahoo.com

Two people close to Luck said the Stanford quarterback is not expected to take classes next quarter. Instead, Luck is expected to declare and focus on preparing for the 2012 NFL draft, in which he is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick.

Tebow is the Grinch that stole NY’s football Christmas

A City Now Haunted by Tim and DeSean
online.wsj.com

Yes, at least they’re not the Jets. It already seems like 11 years ago that Rex Ryan’s Frisky Burlesque fell at Mile High to Tebow and the Broncos. How did that happen again? Football loves celebrating itself as a complicated game requiring genius-level strategizing and coaches sleeping on office cots, and it often is. But occasionally a game comes down to something as simple as Stop That Dude. And the Jets failed to Stop That Dude.

Awwwww, poor Jets... (h/t JVill)

You Got Served: Thoughts on pass protection

Happy Tuesday, friends.  It’s been five days since the last Broncos victory, so I decided not to rehash it, since it’s been done to death at this point.  I have been working on a short (for me) essay about pass protection, and I decided to make it longer and more detailed and give that to you today.  Friday, it’ll be back to Digesting the Chargers, and we should be on the regular schedule from here on out.  Ready… BEGIN!!!

1.  Once, when I was three years old, I woke my mother up from a nap.  A man was breaking into the house downstairs, I told her.  He was tall and had dark hair, and was coming in through the window in the living room.  I was telling my mom about this guy in vivid detail, and like any mom, she got scared.  I had three younger siblings who were all also having a nap at the time, so my mother went and frantically made sure that they were safe.  Then she locked us all in one room and called the cops. 

As it turned out, that was an early indication of the kind of storyteller I was to become.  It was like little Eddie Murphy telling the joke about the monkey kicking the lion in the ding-ding.  We are all uniquely ourselves, and our character starts getting revealed at a young age.  I wasn’t lying, of course; I had just thought up some cool fiction and was sharing it with my mom.  She was not as impressed as I thought she’d be, and on the rare occasion I’ve ever heard her tell that story, the context is how hard it was to raise four little kids at once, and tangentially, that I had a hellion moment here and there.  (Both are fair points, of course.)

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Tebow: Whatever it takes

Tebow takes on Bayless, First Take
blogs.denverpost.com

- 4th quarter comebacks: Tebow said he learned from Urban Meyer that to be successful at the end of games you must have “competitive greatness,” Tebow said. “We’ve been able to find different ways to win. More than anything going out there and having fun,” Tebow said. “The mindset is to do whatever it takes.”

Saw this interview this morning. I felt like Bayless was going out of his way to ask difficult questions so that he would appear as if he wasn't a Tebow fanboy.

In other words, the interview seemed all about Bayless, which, of course, is what one would expect from him.

As I said in my Gut Reaction from last week, Tebow is smart in not taking any of the bait that reporters throw his way.

Kacsmar: Tebow does it differently than Elway did

Captain Comeback Week 11: The Old College Try
www.coldhardfootballfacts.com

How do you even describe watching a quarterback go to an empty backfield and just run the ball all over a defense for a 95-yard drive to win the game? Inconceivable! Tebow’s drive was the most run-heavy for a quarterback for any fourth quarter game-tying or go-ahead drive we’ve seen in the last 30 years…Comparisons to John Elway are always going to be there as long as Tebow is in Denver, and this drive features many…Elway was known to use his legs, but he usually used them to escape and throw the ball. Despite 49 fourth quarter wins, Elway never had a drive where he used his feet the way Tebow did.

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