He deserved it. The Broncos went into the draft with seven picks; they came out with nine.
Statistically, Xanders improved the Broncos' ability to land more starters.
You'll notice that I mentioned none of players' names to come to this conclusion. That's because I agree 100% with Kerry J. Byrne wrote last week:
You know how most analysts do it: They pretend they watched every college football game of the past three seasons, toss out clichés about various schemes, or which players "set the edge" and have "good motors" and then try to guess which will succeed or fail at the next level.
Good luck with that.
The truth is that nobody knows who's going to succeed or fail -- not us, not the draft "experts" on TV and certainly not the GMs making the decisions on draft day.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Judy Battista writes that the NFL has been in contact with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) about possibly overseeing the league's PED testing going forward. And if Judge Nelson's lockout injunction is upheld by the Eighth Circuit (whose decision is expected any day now), without the existence of a players' union the league will be free to impose rules that include third-party and HGH testing, both of which the NFLPA has resisted in the past. But while the league is likely to begin drug testing in short order should the Eighth Circuit rule for the players, Battista writes that the inclusion of HGH testing would not occur until later on in the year.
Of course, if the courts continue to show they have the players' backs in their dispute with ownership, then such a unilateral move by the NFL to institute HGH testing could only serve to open the league to more legal losses, upon a sure challenge by the players. How do you feel about HGH testing in the NFL? Do you feel strongly either for or against it, or are you indifferent as to if/when it finally does get instituted?
This evening, I was scanning the list of college free agents the Broncos could sign. As I started ranking the defensive tackles like they were part of some board game, I suddenly remembered something: almost all of these guys have probably dreamed for years about playing in the NFL.
Then I was struck by something else.
You have to be crazy to want to play in the NFL.
Here are a few figures from the NCAA that might surprise you:
Take comfort, however, that these same high school seniors have a 1 in 10,000 chance of being struck by lightning sometime in their life. So the odds are better to get to the NFL. But not by much.
Good Morning, Broncos fans, and Happy Mother's Day! Kiszla thinks the Broncos should go with Tim Tebow this year to see what he's made of, and if that doesn't work out then maybe they'll have a shot at Andrew Luck next April. Sounds about right to me...
Readers of It's All Over, Fat Man! know I was highly critical of Kyle Orton's play last season: his struggles on 3rd down were consistent themes in my game reactions. You can find all sixteen of them here if you care to read them.
Woody Paige, on the other hand, won't keep his criticism of Orton where it belongs--on the field of play. When Paige started his smear campaign to drive Orton out of Denver, I first ignored it. I told myself Paige was just trying to sell controversy. After all, controversy means clicks; clicks means ads; ads mean revenue. You see, part of me has a soft spot for Paige--I've been satirizing his mail bag for almost two years.
But enough is enough. Woody Paige is a liar.
It's easy to find the proof.
Part of the sewer-strewn narrative that Paige has been spewing is the idea that Kyle Orton is a bad guy and hates Tim Tebow. In fact, on January 19th of this year, he wrote in his column:
After Tebow became the starter, Orton sulked on the sidelines and never tried to assist or encourage him.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! The chances of the Broncos or any other AFC team being involved in any wild finishes like this one or this one just went down oh, I don't know...about ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. In basically the worst broadcasting news in history, Gus Johnson and CBS were unable to reach agreement on a new deal, so the electric announcer is moving on. In other words, no more Gus for AFC football or NCAA tourney games. I'm going to go cry now...but before I do, here's Gus describing and reenacting the Stokley call, Part 1, Part 2 (Stokley again), Part 3 and Part 4 of the Best of Gus on YouTube. For good measure, here's the Stokley play as called by Gus in Tecmo form. It just doesn't get old...
Happy Friday, friends. Today we’re going to talk about defensive schemes and why the people making noise about Von Miller being more of a fit in a 3-4 don’t really know what the hell they’re talking about. Yay! Ted is going to tell us all how much smarter he is than the football MSM. That’s never happened before, right? (Don’t answer that.)
Anyway, let me start by reiterating a point that I made on Wednesday. The term 4-3 simply means a personnel grouping, consisting of four defensive linemen and three linebackers. It’s not a scheme, in and of itself; there is no monolithic 4-3 concept that everybody who uses four linemen and three linebackers employs.
John Fox keeps hinting at the fact that the base personnel grouping is pretty meaningless to strategy, but our friends at the Denver Post are too thick to realize what he’s saying. They only know what they know, even if it’s wrong. A guy like Jeff Legwold, who passionately bases his opinions on what “most/many NFL people” tell him, doesn’t even know what “5-technique” means. Obviously, neither does John “The Professor (At Bonita’s School of Toupee Design)” Clayton.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Channel 3 Sports in Arizona is reporting that the Cardinals have had "preliminary contact" with the Broncos about acquiring Kyle Orton. The report also states that Denver believes the Cards would only be interested in Orton if they were unable to trade for Eagles backup Kevin Kolb.
Meanwhile, Orton has apparently been working out with his Broncos teammates in Denver. The players have yet to conduct formal practices, but honestly that's completely besides the point. Anyone suppose Woodrow is going to come forth with some sort of apology/mea culpa after his column from yesterday? Well, here's what the standup DP did: they removed the little part about Orton playing golf at Bandon Dunes from the column and slipped this little nugget in at the bottom:
Editor's note: Woody Paige originally reported that Orton was playing golf in Oregon. Orton is working out in Denver, according to Judianne Atencio of ProLink Sports.
Of course, a correction like this one is only going to reach folks who hadn't already read the column yesterday. How many OCD folks like me are revisiting it (to link it here)? Can someone who gets the hard copy of the DP today tell us if there's a separate note of correction somewhere? Obviously, it remains to be seen what Woody does to address his mistake directly, but perhaps some of the "eight hours" he claims he spent researching defensive tackles would have been put to better use confirming Kyle Orton's whereabouts...
Using probability theory and 20 years of draft data, last week we calculated the odds of the Broncos nabbing four three-year starters out of this year's draft.
Our conclusion was that they had a 20.37% chance.
This calculation was based on both the total number of picks (that's seven, Jeff Legwold) and the position of each pick itself.
Brian Xanders had other ideas, however. He not only looked the part of GM (sporting a tailored navy suit in the Broncos' war room), but he parlayed seven picks into nine.
Forget the silly and meanlingless points charts that NFL teams supposedly use to evaluate trades. Let's get to the heart of the issue, and the goal the Broncos had going into this draft, shall we?
Did the X-Man improve the probability that the Broncos would get four starters out of it?
Intuitively, you probably have a sense of the answer, but let's look at the numbers once again.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Woody Paige thinks the Broncos' players should be gathering en masse to practice and basically points the finger at Kyle Orton to take charge in doing so. Aside from the possibility that Paige is just doing his best to turn more people against Orton and thus run him out of town (anyone wonder what the unassuming guy did to Woodrow?), it's an interesting point to consider. Orton is in a most curious position - he's the team's labor rep, is under contract for just one season (albeit for over $7 million), has been the focus of trade speculation for several months, and has been discussed by the Broncos' front office first as being the starting QB to more recently being just one half of an open competition for the job. Orton is also competing with a guy in Tim Tebow who sells jerseys and tickets and is his polar opposite in both his image as a player and in demeanor, and the only way Orton could ever win in the court of public opinion (for what that's worth) is by winning big.
That's not to say Orton is in an unwinnable position, nor to speculate that he's already assuming his time is up in Denver - he's a professional athlete and has competitive pride; we're not talking about some pushover who just wants to collect a paycheck. But what nobody would ever call Orton (at least from the outsider's view) is a rah-rah guy or an obvious leader of men. So my questions are these: Would it be within Kyle Orton's character to call up his 80 or so teammates and try to gather them up? Does he have the "pull" with his teammates to actually get them to show up? What does Orton have personally to gain by doing so? Is it reasonable to expect of Orton what Philip Rivers, Tony Romo, Matt Cassel and others have been up to? Keep in mind, there haven't been (to my knowledge) stories about Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or Jay Cutler (just threw that in for a chuckle) rounding up their mates to play. I happen to think Woody is making something of nothing in pursuit of his own agenda, but I'd love to hear what y'all think...