The Broncos added one of the all-time greats to their Ring of Fame earlier in the week in the form of wide receiver (and Eddie Kennison's tormentor) Rod Smith.
I should have enjoyed the announcement more than I did: Smith is my personal all-time favorite Denver Bronco. Unfortunately, all the announcement did was remind me that Simon Fletcher, the Broncos' all-time sack leader, is not in Mr. Smith's company; further, it makes me wonder if the Broncos' organization thinks we're all that stupid.
It makes me want to puke--even more than Jim Saccomano's twitter feed.
Can you think of one good reason Fletcher should be excluded from the Ring of Fame? I can't, and it appears as if John Elway can't either. As Mike Klis wrote last month, there was a press conference in which the current Broncos exec, and former teammate of Fletcher, actually believed for a few minutes that Fletcher had been elected. Elway said at the time:
“Perfect. He’s a guy that was a great player and a guy I really enjoyed having as a teammate. He was a great football, a guy with a great sense of humor and a great teammate but a good man, too. I’m thrilled for Simon, it’s a well-deserved honor because he did have so many great years for the Broncos back in the late 80s early 90s. He was a guy, second round draft pick? Really did a great job. I’m really happy for Simon. An honor well deserved.”
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Former CU Buffs and Patriots LB Ted Johnson, who retired in 2005 due to the after effects of the head injuries he suffered in his 10 years in the league, spoke at a conference on pediatric concussions at Boston Children's Hospital yesterday.
During his 30-minute speech, Johnson said he suffered 100-150 concussions during his career, and he told the conference he's certain that head injuries played a role in the suicide of Junior Seau:
It's corrode or explode. And it all exploded by killing (himself). You can't tell me the head trauma he had over his career didn't affect him. That was the tip of the tipping point for me. ... It makes you take inventory on your own mortality. If that can happen to him, I've got to be more diligent in how I live my life. 'Cause it's a road I don't want to go down.
The ex-LB hopes players will be more forthcoming about their own head injuries, admitting that he "felt compelled to play against doctors' orders" by coach Bill Belichick in 2002.
Lomas Brown, now an ESPN analyst, claims at least 50 percent of NFL players likely smoke marijuana, according to a report in the Detroit News. “I just don’t think you’ll be able to curb this,” Brown told the newspaper. In Brown’s eyes, this is actually an improvement. Brown claims up to 90 percent of players league-wide smoked marijuana when he began his career with the Lions in 1985. It falls in line with some recent findings:
• Four out of 10 draft-eligible prospects from the 2012 class failed at least one school-administered drug test for marijuana; two in 10 failed multiple times, per a CBS Sports report from April.
• “About 70 percent” of prospects at the combine admitted to using marijuana, per an ESPN report.
• A 2009 report by the NCAA stated 26.7 percent of all football players admitted using marijuana over the past 12 months, the highest number of any athlete group they surveyed.
You'd think the boys down at the league office would realize the opportunity that sits in front of them. If they can shift attention away from concussions and to purging of the deadly evil that is The Chronic out of our national pastime, they might just buy themselves a few years from public scorn over players' pensions, too.
Check yourself, Roger Goodell, before you wreck yourself. Or better yet, get out your bong and groove to one of the better pot-smoking songs you'll ever find right here and now:
Per the official Twitter page of the Denver Broncos:
The Broncos have signed DE Malik Jackson, the second 2012 draft pick to sign with the team.
So that's two down and five to go. A day before, the Broncos took care of Omar Bolden--not in a Sopranos way, mind you, but in a hey, rookie, you can carry these sweaty jockstraps to the laundry room now way.
New Broncos Coordinator Jack Del Rio says Denver Expects to have a Top-10 Defense
“...We’ve established high expectations, we expect to be a top-10, if not better, defense. We’ve got a lot of work to do to get there but that’s what our goals are…”
“...the areas we were good at last year we want to build on. Getting off on third down was a strength of this defense for sure. But at the end of the day, it was 24th in points allowed, 20th in yards allowed, and those aren’t numbers that we’re looking for. So we gotta do some work up front, making sure that we can keep people from running it down our throats a little bit. We gave up too many explosive plays in the run and the pass game…”
It's good to have goals. All the great ones do. Kobayashi didn't eat 337 hot wings at Wing Bowl 20 without concrete and measurable objectives (he was shooting for 300; he messed around and got a triple double).
Jack Del Rio doesn't know jack about eating hot wings. But he does know great defense. The top 10 sounds like a good place to start to us.
This article is not going to be about football, so if you’re the type of ninny who thinks you should try to keep us in a “football only” box, you can drop off the call right now. This is an article about IAOFM, and you, and the world we share. Broncos fans who meet three criteria tend to read this website, over all the others that are available:
Whether you realize it or not, this website intentionally occupies the educated/intelligent fan space in Broncos Country. That was a marketing decision made way back when, and it’s the reason you don’t see us adding writers to the staff. The same parts that get put into a Chevy Cobalt don’t get used in a Mercedes S Class.
We don’t write for dumb people, because we figure they have plenty of other choices out there where the writing is congruous with their reading levels. IAOFM will never dumb anything down, you can be assured of that. I know that a lot of our long-time readers are happy about that, and don’t want that to change, and personally, those are the people I write for.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Perhaps Matt Prater hasn't signed his franchise tag because he's been waiting for someone else to set the market.
Well, consider it set.
Tampa Bay inked their kicker Connor Barth to a four-year deal worth a total of $13.2M, including $4M in guarantees, which is a modest increase over the $2.6M franchise tag tendered to Barth (same amount as Prater).
Of the five kickers to be tagged this offseason, Barth is the only one with a long-term deal; Cincy's Mike Nugent and Cleveland's Phil Dawson ($3.81M) signed their one-year tenders, while Prater and Jacksonville's Josh Scobee have not. As for unrestricted free agent kickers, none of them got a whole lot of cash this offseason; John Kasay got an undisclosed one-year deal in New Orleans, Arizona gave Jay Feely $2.5M over two seasons, Washington signed Neil Rackers for $990K, and the Jets gave Nick Folk and Josh Brown one-year deals worth $765K and $855K, respectively.
Kicking statistics corrected 11am ET July 3, 2012
Pioli says Chiefs have three good QBs, didn’t need to draft one
Pioli and Kevin Kietzman of WHB got a little testy with each other as Kietzman pressed Pioli about why the Chiefs couldn’t have traded up in the draft, with Pioli at one point asking, “Are you going to let me answer?” when he felt Kietzman was interrupting him, and Pioli zinging Kietzman with, “I hope you become general manager of the Denver Broncos” when Kietzman told Pioli that he would have traded the Chiefs’ entire draft to move up and take Andrew Luck first overall. Pioli doesn’t seem to like the relentless questions from some in Kansas City about whether the Chiefs can win with Cassel.
Scott Pioli isn't used to being questioned. In fact, it's pretty clear he's the one doing most of the listening, especially if you work for the Kansas City Chiefs. When he does answer questions, it's best just to nod your head, lest you become a candidate for the Broncos' GM job.
How funny will it be when Pioli gets fired and replaced by Brian Xanders? Yes, that funny.
Bolden First Draft Pick to Sign
The first of the Broncos’ 2012 NFL Draft picks has signed with the team.
Cornerback Omar Bolden, drafted in the fourth round, put pen to paper on Thursday.
Selected at pick No. 101 overall, Bolden amassed 138 total tackles, five tackles for loss, 21 pass breakups and seven interceptions in his career at Arizona State.
One down, six to go.
Broncos owner Pat Bowlen has announced that legendary WR Rod Smith will become the next member of the team's Ring of Fame. Said Mr. B in a statement:
Players like Rod don’t come through your door very often, but he came through ours every day with a purpose and hunger to be great. Rod’s production and numbers -- as outstanding as they were -- paled in comparison to his commitment to winning and the respect he commanded from each and every one of his teammates throughout his career. Emerging from an undrafted player to one of the best to ever play his position, Rod has truly earned his place among the greatest Broncos of all time.
I am thankful for everything Rod contributed to this franchise during his time with the Broncos, and I congratulate him on his well-deserved election to the Ring of Fame.
Smith, who was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Missouri Southern State in 1994, was a Bronco for 12 seasons, setting regular and postseason franchise records for receptions, receiving yards, and TD catches. His numbers also rank as the best in league history for an undrafted receiver.
Updated 7:49 pm ET