The Daily Lard 8-26-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Pat Bowlen did his annual the team looks good the players love the coach I love the coach sitdown with the DP, although this time it's Mike Klis asking the questions (hasn't this always been Woody's gig?). In comparing Josh McDaniels and John Fox, Bowlen offers up this puzzler - "(Josh) just didn't have the level of experience that made me comfortable. John does." Okay, so why did you hire the guy in the first place, Mr. B? Honestly, there's not much in the way of substance to this one, although Klis does write that given his druthers, Bowlen would prefer an offensive-minded coach who'll lead the team to put up a ton of points. But as Klis puts it, Bowlen was nudged in the defensive direction by John Elway. BTW, someone should tell Klis that the Patriots have only won three Super Bowls under Bill Belichick, so the Shanny/Belichick/Coughlin total for SB victories should be six rather than seven. Ah, details.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 8-26-11"

Fat Camp: Personnel packages

(Note: This is in response to the numerous requests we've received asking us to review the basics of personnel groupings) 

When considering personnel packages, it's helpful to start with the most fundamental and obvious notion in football: an offense has eleven players.  From here, we note that six of these positions are almost always fixed:

  1. Left Tackle
  2. Left Guard
  3. Center
  4. Right Guard
  5. Right Tackle
  6. Quarterback

This is an important--although elementary--reminder.  That's because it cuts right to the heart of football strategy.

How do you employ the other five positions in order to take advantage of your own strengths and your opponent's weakness?

Continue reading "Fat Camp: Personnel packages"

The Daily Lard 8-25-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Well, go figure. It continues to be Tim Tebow Time all the time here in Broncos Land - yesterday, John Fox stepped up and said he doesn't know where Mike Silver got his quotes from the other day, suggesting even that it was perhaps the chef (did he mean chief?). Fox says the teams holds Tebow "in high regard," that he's "progressing fine," and that he'll get a bunch more chances in one of the next two preseason games. Of course, that was going to happen anyway, since the starters often don't play at all in the fourth and final preseason game - so drama or not, Tebow was going to see plenty of snaps next week.

Klis and Woody are wondering why so many writers think the Tebow Project is already over. Look, we all saw him in the final three games of last season, and there was plenty to get excited about. Plus, he looked pretty good in the preseason opener this year, and if you blinked you may have missed his appearance in last week's game. Meanwhile, if Legwold has it right, then it seems I may have been right all along about the $6.275M roster bonus Tebow was due this year - in today's article about the tradeability of the Denver QBs, Legwold says Tebow got paid right after the lockout when I said he had. Perhaps I just need to trust myself more, who knows? Anyway, this should put to rest any questions about the possibility of Tebow getting traded or cut - it's just not happening.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 8-25-11"

Rahim Moore fined $20K for hit on Bills wideout

The Commish has reportedly hit Rahim Moore with a $20K fine for his own sideline hit on Bills WR Donald Jones from Saturday night's game (no word yet on whether he'll appeal the fine). Moore's hit was clean in the sense that he did not leave his feet, lower or lead with his head, but the NFL has made it clear they are trying to improve player safety. And while hits like Moore's may or may not be delivered with the intent to harm fellow players, and removing them may greatly alter the game as it's played, in the end the long-term health and wellbeing of the men we tune in to watch each week is far more important than our entertainment, wouldn't you say?

Wednesday Musings: Closing the QB controversy, defensive aggression and BLloyd’s take

You guys handled this very well and deserve credit for it. The QB controversy got (rightfully) boring to many because the statements were mostly the same, with mildly reworded statements and a lot of capital letters on the side of the QB that some fans didn’t like. Many of the folks who complained that no one on the other side will admit to a middle ground won’t, under any circumstances, accept that there’s a middle ground. That’s all faded into Let’s Go Broncos and I’m proud of that. It’s nice to see folks getting past that other issue and pulling together behind the team. It says a lot of good about the Broncos Country community and it makes me proud to be part of it. Nice going, folks.

There have been several media reports in the past week, including on Twitter, that suggested Denver's players have rallied behind Orton as ‘their’ starter. Every coach knows to treat that carefully, but to listen to his players as well. I don’t know the validity of the rumor - it’s a rumor. Worth keeping an eye on, but hardly convincing by itself. When the coaches say so, that’s different. Since Denver has now designated Kyle Orton as the QB for the Sep. 12 season opener, the questions are moot for the moment, but the chances that the locker room are comfortable appear high. Comments like those made by Brandon Lloyd are worth considering - more below.

Continue reading "Wednesday Musings: Closing the QB controversy, defensive aggression and BLloyd’s take"

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.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 8-24-11"

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.

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

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.

Continue reading "How good are the 2011 Denver Broncos?"

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...

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 8-23-11"

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.

Continue reading "Orton named starter; Richard Quinn waived/injured"

Recent Game Coverage

All Game Coverage