The Daily Lard 8-24-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his article today, Mike Klis focuses on Dennis Allen's creative use of Champ Bailey in covering the slot on passing downs. In reading the following quote from Allen, the role Charles Woodson has played for the Packers comes to mind:

We just felt like it would be the best thing for our team to move him inside. We can use him in a role he hasn't been used in as much — pressure the quarterback, lock him down on the slot and do some different things outside. I think it gives us a lot of flexibility putting him in there.

Now, we all know that the reports of Champ having lost a step or two are greatly exaggerated, but what is true is that he hasn't been put in a position to make many game-changing plays since having amassed an eye-popping 18 picks (plus one forced fumble and that legendary INT against the Pats in the playoffs) from 2005-2006. In fact, over the four years since, Champ has only had 9 INTs and three forced fumbles - basically, opponents have been able to largely ignore him. Hopefully, this year we'll get to see more of the big plays we know Champ is still capable of, now that he'll be regularly foisted upon the hearts of opposing offenses.

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Denver FO continues to lower the Tebow bar; Quinn clears waivers; Warren has surgery

By now you've probably read today's column by Mike Silver which asserts that the Denver brass sees Tim Tebow as the fourth-best QB behind even Adam Weber and feels they dodged a bullet when they were unable to deal Kyle Orton to Miami. While speaking tonight (starting at about 27:30 to go on the Hour 3 podcast) with the guys on The Fan, Silver said he had hoped to write about Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller (or perhaps Brandon Lloyd and/or John Elway), but that he was compelled to instead focus on Tebow because so many people within the organization were talking about his skills and/or lack of progress.

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How good are the 2011 Denver Broncos?

I think that predicting specific sports outcomes is a useless filler exercise, and I say that as a guy who does a good amount of forecasting in my day job.  As a controller, a revenue forecast helps you work back to figuring out the costs of the inputs needed to make the forecasted revenue, and it can/should illuminate opportunities to achieve cost savings.  It’s a value-adding exercise, and like painting a ship, it never really stops.

Predicting the outcomes of games, or the record of a football team in August really adds no operational value to anything.  Once the actual event happens, the prediction work that you did becomes entirely useless; nobody would ever refer back to it for any reason, so why would you have it in your archive?

There’s been a lot of talking lately about what the Broncos’ record will be this season, and I don’t really want to speculate on that specifically.  Having seen two preseason games, though, I am ready to say that I think this looks like the best Broncos team since at least 2005, and I’m ready to discuss the reasons why I think that.

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The Daily Lard 8-23-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As you all know, I love to call professional journalists out for their factual errors, especially when they don't bother to go back and correct them later. Live by the sword, die by the sword, can't fear it, right? I've written a couple of times (including yesterday) that Tim Tebow was already due to have received his $6.275M payout (which is an advance on his 2011-2014 salaries). However, LJ tweeted yesterday that Tebow's payout is due on Sep 2, and she may in fact be correct. Having re-read the section of the new CBA that covers this stuff, the date for Tebow's payday was definitely no earlier than this past Saturday - it didn't come weeks ago, like I had written previously. I've asked a couple of writers to check into this, so hopefully we'll have a definitive answer shortly.

Anyway, here's the gist - if Tebow has not yet received his payout, then of course that opens the possibility for him to get cut like Mike Freeman wrote on Sunday, as unlikely as that sounds. Back to the self-flagellation - I pride myself in getting everything factually correct, and you as readers depend upon that. Doesn't always happen, unfortunately - so I can't promise it. But what I can guaranatee is to always double back and correct myself, and clearly so. I worry that the more times I do this I open that much more doubt about what I write daily, but I find that preferable to losing your respect and becoming Captain Hypocrite (what could be worse as a writer?). Anyway, I'll let you know what comes of the Tebow/cash money question as soon as I can. Okay, can I stop writing about myself now? Thanks...

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Orton named starter; Richard Quinn waived/injured

Broncos head coach John Fox announced earlier this afternoon that Kyle Orton will be the Broncos' starting quarterback when Denver hosts Oakland on MNF on September 12. Only weeks after the team tried to deal Orton to Miami and presumably hand the starting job to Tim Tebow, Orton is now the clear-cut starter, while Tebow is battling with Brady Quinn for the Broncos' backup job.

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Stabilizing Influences: Thoughts on Saturday’s win

Preseason wins don’t count - unless, of course, you’re a Broncos fan, for whom wins have been a bit sparse of late. They don’t matter in the standings, but when you’re trying to put together a team out of the spare parts of one regime and the judgment of another, every positive sign matters. Preseason or not, Denver made a big statement on Saturday night.

For those who were concerned about the abilities of the #1 defense to take on another NFL team and essentially shut it down, it was heartening, no doubt. For those who wanted a reason to understand why the team has gone in the directions it’s gone offensively, it was potentially illuminating. Having a combination of a surgical passing night and a night when the run was what Denver said it was on both offense and defense, and still keeping in mind that this wasn’t the Patriots' regulars that Denver was facing, it was still about has good a showing as Denver has seen in a while.

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The Daily Lard 8-22-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Andrew Mason thinks it's a virtual certainty that Rahim Moore will be fined by the NFL for his devastating hit Saturday night on Bills WR Donald Jones. Mason cites the movement of Jones' helmet upon impact, and says Moore "launched himself" into the hit as his reasoning. Honestly, I have watched this hit probably 25 times, and I still don't see a problem with Moore's action there. Not only was he completely upright, but he did not leave his feet, and he even turned his head away as he delivered the blow with his right shoulder. I'll agree with Mason in that Moore's helmet did contact that of Jones, but he did not lower or lead with it.

Who knows - maybe Steelers fans have these very same sentiments after watching James Harrison's hits, and I'm just being a homer. Either way, it appears Moore himself has a good perspective on the physicality of his position - he doesn't intend to hurt anyone, he hopes Jones is okay, and he will continue to play aggressively and physically. Sounds good...

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Chewing the Fat: Preseason - Broncos vs Bills

The IAOFM staff discuss the Denver Broncos' 24-10 preseason victory over the Buffalo Bills

Doc: So, Marcell Dareus said he would make the Broncos pay for not drafting him. Any thoughts?

TJ: Baxter McLove thinks its bunk. Well, it will be interesting to see how they do against a 3-4 - not that they really practiced the Buffalo scheme this week I'm sure - they're still trying to implement their own.

Ted: It's a pretty good front 3. I want to see Walton against Kyle Williams.  It will be a good indicator of his growth. UGH I can't stand Verne Lundquist. Coloradans get pissed at me when I say that, because he's one of their own. But he's just awful

TJ: Heresy, Ted - how dare you! They are falling all over themselves on the broadcast for whatever reason, like he's Curt Gowdy. At least I have Griese on the radio, and I can turn this crap down.

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The Daily Lard 8-21-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Last night was another encouraging one, and not just because of the 24-10 final score (box) in Denver's favor. On offense, both Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn were quite sharp and efficient, Knowshon Moreno ran well, and all of the backs were effective weapons within the passing game. Mike McCoy attacked the Bills' defense all night long with his play calling, and John Fox even went for it on 4th-and-1 in plus territory (Don't get too excited - Fox only went for it 111 times in 9 seasons in Carolina, and 43 of those instances came during the past two years when the Panthers won a combined 10 games. Bill Belichick has gone for it 161 times during that same 9-year period.)

Now if you are looking for something to be excited about, Denver's pass rush was exceptional - harrassing the Buffalo QBs all night long. Even if they only had one sack and one takeaway, the defense held the Bills to just 21 of 40 for 188 yards of net passing. Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil and Brodrick Bunkley brought tons of pressure, Cassius Vaughn was stellar in coverage, and Britton Colquitt lived up to his family name in a big way. Reason for concern? As TJ mentioned in the Gut Reactions, the Broncos' defense was quite vulnerable to screen plays. But overall, it was a very good night for the Broncos, even if they were only playing the Bills.

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Gut Reaction: Preseason Week 2 - Broncos vs Bills

Marcell Dareus wanted to make the Broncos pay for not taking him with the second-overall pick in April.

Perhaps another day, big guy.

Tonight, it was Von Miller who brought the punishment.  Miller showed why he's been compared to Derrick Thomas.  His first step is supersonic.

He broke the speed of sound (and the ankles of the right tackle) several times tonight in the Broncos' 24-10 victory over the Bills.

Both Miller and the missile known as Rahim Moore made it clear that the Broncos did not miss with their first two draft picks.  They were part of a defense that, for the second straight week, kept the opposing offense from doing any noticeable damage.

This defense--even without Ty Warren--will make things interesting this season.  If they can get to third down quickly, they might even be more than interesting.

They might be finger-licking good.

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