Good Morning, Broncos fans! The AFC beat the NFC 59-41 in the Pro Bowl last night, and former Denver WR Brandon Marshall was the star of the show and MVP, catching six passes for 176 yards and a record four touchdowns.
Von Miller led all players with eight tackles and two tackles for loss, and he posted the game's lone sack, taking down Cam Newton for an 8-yard loss. Willis McGahee had 43 yards from scrimmage, Champ Bailey recovered a fumble, and Brian Dawkins played for the first time since leaving the Buffalo game early. Hopefully he came out of the game feeling okay and his health will allow him to keep playing. Denver's other Pro Bowlers were Elvis Dumervil and Ryan Clady.
Oh, and Drew Brees whiffed on a drop kick.
One gap or two?
Now that the Broncos have hired Jack Del Rio as their defensive coordinator, will they continue to run the aggressive one-gap 4-3 that Dennis Allen favored, or the rumored and virtually extinct two-gap version?
In order to get an idea, I went to the tape of twelve of the Jacksonville Jaguars' games over the last two years. That's because Mel Tucker, the Jags' defensive coordinator, had been rumored to be contemplating a switch to a two-gap system, but it never happened under Del Rio's leadership. And despite articles claiming that Tucker and Del Rio were running a 4-3 two-gap system in Jacksonville, I never saw it.
Play after play, game after game, when the Jags weren't in nickel or dime facing three- and four-wide receiver sets, they played a standard one gap 4-3. They often favored the 4-3 Over. For a review of both the 4-3 Over and the 4-3 Under, you can click our Fat Camp feature on them from earlier in the season.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! The biggest story out of Indy continues to be the Peyton Manning/Jim Irsay drama, rather than the Super Bowl being played there a week from tonight. In the latest development, Jason La Canfora reported that the Colts had already made the decision to move on from Manning several weeks ago. Naturally, Irsay has disputed the validity of that report, if anyone wants to believe him; Colts WR Reggie Wayne, who's about to hit unrestricted free agency, says the whole thing is like a soap opera.
Meanwhile, the Colts have hired Bruce Arians to run their offense - a week after the Steelers announced he was retiring and Arians said he was pushed out of Pittsburgh.
Raiders defensive coordinator update
Among the potential candidates to become the Raiders’ next defensive coordinator could be Denver linebackers coach Richard Smith, New Orleans defensive line coach Bill Johnson and San Francisco secondary coach Ed Donatell. Broncos coach Dennis Allen has coached with all three men. Smith and Donatell both have coordinating experience. Johnson coached Allen at Texas A&M and worked with him in New Orleans and Atlanta.
As is customary in the NFL, it's a strong likelihood Allen will be allowed to take at least one or two assistants with him, even if it's to Oakland.
New Broncos Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio was born in Castro Valley, CA on April 4, 1963 and attended Hayward High School, in California. Del Rio was active in sports from an early age, and he played football and baseball for the school, where he was a teammate of former Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu. Del Rio was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays right out of high school, but after some thought, he decided to attend college at USC. He was recruited by John Robinson, and history records that he made a very good decision.
He continued his sports career with the Trojans, playing both baseball and football for them. In football Jack was a linebacker - 6’2” and 246 lb by the end of his time there, he started for the Trojans for four straight years. During that time, he was a consensus All-American as a senior as well as runner-up for the Lombardi Award, but didn’t wait for then to shine. USC went 30-15-1 while he was there, ranking in the top 20 teams in the country three of those four years. In addition to playing in the 1982 Fiesta Bowl, he was the MVP of the Rose Bowl in 1985.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Jack Del Rio will become Denver's seventh DC in seven seasons this year; he was also John Fox's first DC with the Panthers in 2002, Del Rio's only season as an NFL DC. Obviously, the familiarity for the two men is a plus, although presumably a successful 2012 has the great likelihood of Del Rio landing another HC gig the following year. But, let's worry about that when the time comes.
Terms of Denver's deal with Del Rio were not disclosed, although the coach will make $5 million in 2012 - the salary he's owed by the Jaguars. Whatever the Broncos pay him, Jacksonville will owe Del Rio the difference of the two figures. Denver also hired former Jaguars strength coach Luke Richesson.
Broncos hire Jack Del Rio as defensive coordinator
The Denver Broncos announced Friday night they had agreed to terms with Del Rio to become the club’s new defensive coordinator. Del Rio was Fox’s first defensive coordinator in Carolina in 2002 before leaving after one year to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars, who fired him in November.
Del Rio replaces Dennis Allen, who left after one year in Denver to coach the Oakland Raiders.
Del Rio is the Broncos’ seventh defensive coordinator in seven seasons. Other men who have filled the Mile High musical chair in the last six seasons are Larry Coyer (2006), Jim Bates (2007), Bob Slowik (2008), Mike Nolan (2009) and Don Martindale (2010). Allen was the only one who left for a head coaching job.
“We are thrilled to be able to add such a well-respected defensive coach to our staff,” Fox said in a statement issued through the team’s Twitter account.
Del Rio's hiring didn't come as a shock, although many thought they would promote from within.
More on this development to come, but Del Rio's work as the defensive coordinator for Carolina in 2002, in which the Panthers ranked #2 in total defense, got him this gig.
Just keep chopping wood, Denver.
Love Me, Hate Me, Just Don't Ignore Me
Owens may have made a lot of money in his career—at least $80 million—but he insists almost all of it is gone.
He let other people take care of things. He says his financial advisers (informally recommended by Rosenhaus) put him in a series of risky, highly leveraged ventures that he didn’t discover until autumn 2010, when he finally demanded a full accounting. And of course there were the houses and condos, which he had always figured he could rent out; they became dead weight when the real estate market collapsed in 2008. Individually they weren’t terribly lavish, but together the mortgage nut is reportedly almost $750,000 a year. The Atlanta house is on the market; the south Jersey place he paid $3.9 million for was sold for $1.7 million in late 2010. Most egregious of all was the ill-fated Alabama entertainment complex (with an electronic-bingo component) that cost him $2 million. He invested, he says, at the suggestion of his advisers and a lawyer they steered him to, Pamela Linden. The venture turned out to be illegal in the state, not to mention a violation of the NFL’s policy prohibiting players from investing in gambling. Owens is suing Linden, as is Clinton Portis, the former Redskins running back who also invested.
Stop me if you've heard it before:
It's easy to make fun of Owens here. Stupid is as stupid does. And if it mattered, I would drop in a spreadsheet right now showing the future value of $80 million (or even his base salary for one year) if left in an almost risk-free asset like TIPS (Treasury-Inflation Protected Securities) over a time horizon, like, say, the rest of Owens' working life (age 60). But we all know it wouldn't matter.
The NFL is bigger than any one player. Owens is finding this out. The lights have dimmed, no one is watching, and soon, sooner than he realizes, the advisers, agents, magazines like GQ, and so-called friends won't care either. Sad? Yeah? Suprising? No, not really.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Morris turned down a chance to become the Vikings’ defensive coordinator because he already had verbally accepted the Redskins’ defensive backs coach gig. Morris didn’t want to renege on his agreement with Washington, so he turned down Minnesota.
“A lot of people might think it’s a missed opportunity not going to Minnesota after they offered, but I believe that in this game, all you have is your word and your tape, and I gave these guys my word, and I wanted to come here and help them this year, and I was going to do it,” Morris said.
Morris must know that hell hath no fury like a scorned Shanny, as Al David could have attested.
Alleged victim sues Rolando McClain
An Alabama man who was allegedly assaulted by Rolando McClain and another man has sued the Oakland Raiders linebacker alleging “brutal and prolonged assault and battery.”
The suit says Tapscott suffered broken bones, bruises and lacerations. It alleges that McClain “smiled and laughed as he pointed a gun at Mr. Tapscott and Mr. Tapscott begged him not to kill him.”
Can't resist another opportunity to post McClain's epic arrest photo.