Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Roger Goodell heard appeals from the Saints, Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, and Joe Vitt yesterday, and his decision is expected sometime next week. But the big story was the release of the audio recording of Gregg Williams's speech prior to the Saints' playoff game versus the Niners.
Naturally, reaction was strong and swift: Michael Irvin said he almost threw up while listening to it; Warren "QB Killa" Sapp called Dr. Heat's speech the most heinous, egregious thing in NFL history and says he wouldn't have stood for such a thing during his career.
White Sox GM Kenny Williams, father of 49ers WR Kyle Williams (who was a specific target in the speech due to a prior concussion) suggested that the banned coordinator's behavior bordered on criminality; Niners safety Donte Whitner recalls that the Saints were unusually vicious in the teams' preseason matchup last year.
Greg Williams Saints Bounty Audio
Kill the head, and the body will die. We’ve got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill Frank Gore’s head…We want his head sideways. Little 32, we want to knock the f#$% out of him.
We hit f#$%in’ Smith right there (points to chin). Remember me, I’ve got the first one. I’ve got the first one (rubs fingers together indicating cash payment).
Good luck with that appeal today, Saints...
Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Chargers continue to collect diminutive receivers/returners (pissants) ala Mouse Davis and Tiger Ellison's run-and-shoot offense of the 1960s.
Having already signed our old friend Eddie Royal, who measures 5-10, San Diego on Tuesday added Roscoe Parrish, who is listed as being an inch shorter than Eddie. Yesterday, the team signed 5-11 wideout/returner Michael Spurlock, formerly of the Bucs. Incumbent returner Richard Goodman, who is also a wide receiver, towers over the rest at 6-0.
Early in free agency, the team replaced the 6-5 Vincent Jackson with the 6-2 Robert Meachem, and while that's a downgrade in height, there aren't that many receivers out there with VJ's stature. The team also let the 6-0 WR Bryan Walters move on to San Diego.
Of course, Davis made mighty-mite wideouts the focus of his offense because he couldn't procure bigger/better talent while coaching high school football in Oregon. So what's San Diego's excuse?
Chiefs' Lilja offers a full-throated defense of quarterback Cassel
“But Matt’s the guy, and Matt’s going to take us places. Matt’s a general in the huddle. People don’t see how hard he works. They don’t see the stuff he plays through, because we don’t talk about it. But take my word for it: There aren’t many guys I’d rather play with.”
“I’m perfectly content with the Denver Broncos and their situation and them bringing him in. They’re already building Lombardi trophies for them, it sounds like to me. I like that. Nobody thinks we can do much. That’s kind of a fun place to be in. Time will tell.”
Part of the fun of being a fan is the ability to gloat when your team wins in the offseason.
Fact: the Chiefs desperately wanted a shot at Peyton Manning. They didn't even make it past the rope line.
Ryan Lilja can delude himself all he wants (and he probably needs to in order to wear ketchup and mustard every Sunday), but the only place Matt Cassel is taking the Chiefs is to the bottom of the AFC West.
Bears signal DT Okoye on way out
The Bears have hoped to re-sign Amobi Okoye but speaking on a conference call with season-ticket holders, the general manager said the defensive tackle likely is headed elsewhere.
“Right now, Amobi is trying to decide which direction he is going,” Emery said. “We’ve had conversations with him. So far, we have not been able to work out a deal. Amobi is probably going in a different direction.”
Dan Pompei added this tweet today as well:
Chances of Amobi Okoye returning to Bears are fading fast. Could sign with a new team soon.
What is soon? Okoye was supposed to visit Cincinnati on Tuesday, but that was pushed back so the Bengals' coaching staff could attend Notre Dame's pro day. Nothing signals a team's desire to sign a free agent more than rescheduling to go watch a pro day.
The Broncos were supposedly one of the five teams interested in Okoye. The other include the Bengals, Bears, Bucs, and Patriots.
The Bears look to be out. The Bengals may have botched their opportunity. And we've not heard whispers of Okoye visiting any other teams.
Do the Broncos suddenly enter the picture--and fast?
Happy Birthday to former Broncos linebacker Tom Jackson, who today turns 61.
Although Jackson is now known for his work as a football analyst at ESPN (since 1987), Jackson's legacy as a Denver Bronco and member of the Orange Crush is epic. During his 14-year career, TJ appeared in two Super Bowls and was a three-time Pro Bowler. Jackson was a classic "tweener" who thrived in Joe Collier's 3-4 defense in the 70s and 80s. It resulted in Jackson being inducted into the Broncos' Ring of Fame. Did we mention he was a mainstay of the Orange Crush?
Another reason we love Jackson, of course, is that he originally uttered the phrase (and the very name of this website) "It's all over, fat man!" in 1977 to then Raiders coach John Madden in Week 5 as the Broncos crushed the Raiders 30-7. You might say it was disrespectful. We prefer to call it a restating of the facts. When Jackson said what he said to Madden, the game, in fact, was over. And, facts being facts, Madden was (and still is) the original Oakland butterball. Sebastian Janikowski and JaMarcus Russell came way late to the party.
On Thursday, March 15 of 2012, Denver jumped into the free agent pool and came out clutching veteran free safety Mike Adams in its hooves. Was it the money or the atmosphere that brought him into the Broncos fold? According to Gray Caldwell, Michael ‘Pops’ Adams began by saying, “Nice to be here: the weather’s nice.”
It was your basic 70-degree March day in Denver. Happily, the Broncos signed him before the next traditional spring snowstorm rolled on in (and I’m sorry to hear about the late drought along the front range - all the best to those who were or are displaced by the forest fires that are plaguing that area). Regardless - one of the things that clinched his decision was the warmth within the facility, far more than the weather without. The coaching of John Fox went a long way toward greasing the wheels to a mutual agreement.
According to Adam Schefter, the Broncos re-signed punter Britton Colquitt, who is entering his third season with the team. Colquitt was an exclusive-rights free agent tendered last month at $540K, so this was a simple formality of Britton signing his tender.
Barring an unlikely extension, the 27-year-old member of the Colquitt family of punters will be a restricted free agent after the 2012 season.
Britton's 101 punts ranked second in the league in 2011, and his average of 47.4 yards per kick was seventh-best.
I'm a bit puzzled by the negative reaction to Seattle's new uniforms. Their most recent ones were incredibly boring and ugly, especially the all-blue ones. Mike Tanier says there's talk of more uniform changes related to color and style in 2013.
You know what has to be the dumbest habit of all relating to draft analysis? It's not the 40 mocks per writer, it's noting that Denver has the #25 pick, and then looking at every #25 pick in history as if that indicates some sort of precedent for what players can be found there. Here's an entire column devoted to precisely that sort of garbage. Look, Tom Brady was a sixth-rounder, while JaMarcus Russell was taken first overall. What else needs to be said?