You Get What You Give Lard 1-24-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yeah, I went there. Overplayed, oft-criticized, end-of-the-nineties one-hit wonder - everyone loved it for about 5 minutes and then got tired of the song's arrogance in calling out one of the most remarkable musicians of our time, among other established stars. Sounds sort of like Jay Cutler, doesn't it? The New Radicals challenging Beck to a fight isn't dissimilar to Jay Cutler saying he had a stronger arm than John Elway, is it? No need to rehash here all of the reasons we can't stand Jay. But at least we no longer stick out as Jay's jilted and jealous ex-fans - we're now just part of the crowd. Everyone hates Jay Cutler, apparently.

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Gut Reactions - Jay Cutler

Did Jay Cutler quit on his team today in Chicago?   

As much as I hate Cutler, I want to say yes.  But the truth is, we really don't know.  Cutler had the same poor mechanics when he came out injured during the third quarter as he had on the first series.  So it's hard to tell from his play.

The early story coming out of Chicago is that Cutler has torn ligaments in his knee; it was Lovie Smith's decision to keep him out of the game.

You'd think that might stop the fans dead in their tracks and give them some measured perspective.

For the most part, it has (outside of some Bears fans burning Cutler's jerseys).  One can't say the same for current and former NFL players, though.

Cutler isn't just being criticized by players, he's being crucified.

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Championship Sunday Open Thread

Enjoy the games everyone, and Go Packers!

Aaron Rodgers: Why he’s special

Watching the playoffs is a yearly pleasure for me. Almost regardless of who’s playing, I tend to enjoy the games in great part because you get to see the top players competing at their very best. The cerebral/physical chess matches of Dick LeBeau, the visceral,  physical matchup that is the Ravens/Steelers matchups, the bitter feud of the Jets and Patriots and the opportunity to see who gets hot late in the season and who goes home are all part of the essence of this year’s games. Last Saturday, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers put on a quarterbacking clinic against the Falcons, completing an otherworldly 31 of 36 passes for 366 yards, 3 TDs and zero INTs. On the Sunday pregame shows as well as the Saturday night sports shows, former players and coaches extolled the precision of his footwork, his remarkable mechanics and the speed of his release. I watched his mobility as well and at the end, realized that he was the first NFL QB in history to throw for 3 TDs in each of his first three playoff games. I enjoyed every minute of watching Rodgers play that game, and it took me back a couple of years to a story I had read about the young man. It explained a lot about how he got to this point, and within it there’s a lesson worth recalling for the Broncos' future prospects.

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More Cutler news, two years late Lard 1-23-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! These things are rolling out once a week now - the DP and the stake-burning crowd got Josh McDaniels fired, and now the very same hacks journalists are finally sharing their Jay Cutler info, but two years too late for McDaniels' good. Last week it was Rick Reilly writing that Cutler wouldn't even restrain his petulance for the likes of John Lynch and John Elway. Today, Klis cites three sources who say that Cutler demanded a trade the very day McDaniels was announced as head coach. For the past two years, we've been told by the entire national and local sports media that what caused Cutler to demand a trade was that McDaniels listened to a trade offer involving Matt Cassel. It was McDaniels' foolishness, arrogance and desire to remake the Broncos out of former Patriots that caused him to listen to a trade offer. When Cutler caught wind of this, his undies got bundled he was enraged and only then demanded a trade, or so the story had gone.

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Mindfreak - The Brian Xanders Experience

Just when you think it's safe to turn out the lights, Brian Xanders scares the hell out of you.

Like most Broncos fans, I was beginning to accept that Joe Ellis, John Elway, and Brian Xanders simply won't discuss what Xanders did or didn't do under Josh McDaniels' reign of fire.  Despite the fact that Elway and Ellis are now presenting the Broncos as an open choose-your-own-adventure book--complete with Twitter requests for head-coaching candidates--I was beginning to move on with the understanding that the fans are supposed to readily accept that the search for a general manager wasn't going any farther than Arvada.  I was even prepared to drink some Xanders-laced Kool-Aid.  He can't possibly screw up the 2nd-overall pick, I thought.

But then came freaky Friday.

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Allen interviews; Trgovac would listen Lard 1-22-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Fox interviewed Saints secondary coach Dennis Allen yesterday in Charlotte, NC for Denver's vacant DC position. Meanwhile, current Packers DL coach Mike Trgovac, who was Fox's DC in Carolina from 2003-08, said yesterday that he would hear out the Broncos' interest in him. The 51-year-old Trgovac said a "huge factor" for his choice of where to work in 2011 is that his daughter will be a senior in high school and their move to Wisconsin already forced her to switch high schools. Trgovac likewise explained his reasoning for taking a lesser position to leave Carolina two years ago and stressed that his relationship with Fox "was great" and that they still remain close.

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Fat Camp: Clock, timeout, & challenge management

Happy Friday, y’all, and welcome to Fat Camp.  What I’m envisioning for this series is a weekly short-form essay on the football topic of my choosing.  It’s intended to be pretty focused, unlike You Got Served, where I always reserve the right to meander into whatever topic I feel like writing about, whether it be the quality of college basketball game analysis, or my aversion to epaulets in men’s clothing.  I hope you learn something each week, or, at least, think about a topic in a different way.

A football topic which has always interested me is clock (and by extension, timeout) management.  Everybody likes to opine about it, but it’s one of the most poorly-understood football concepts, and as a result, a lot of smart tactics get criticized, and a lot of dumb ones get commended.

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The Daily Lard 1-21-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! As reported yesterday afternoon, the Broncos have received permission from the Saints to speak with their secondary coach Dennis Allen. Allen is expected in Denver to speak with the trainer team officials for parts of today and tomorrow, and he is then scheduled to interview with the Eagles for the remainder of the weekend. Saints head coach Sean Payton said of Allen,

"He's extremely talented, and another thing about him, he's an extremely hard-working guy...He has done a very good job. He's extremely well thought of within this building."

Apparently, "extremely" is to Sean Payton what "outstanding" is to Jon Gruden...

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Broncos keep Gase, add Rodgers, will speak to Allen

Update 7:13PM ET - Adam Gase has decided to remain with the Broncos, but as previously speculated upon, he will switch from coaching the team's wide receivers to tutoring its quarterbacks. As expected, the team also hired Jeff Rodgers to coach their special teams; Rodgers had filled the same role in Carolina under head coach John Fox.

Gase has worked as a QB coach before, for the Lions in 2007 when Mike Martz was running Detroit's offense. 2011 will mark Gase's seventh season as an NFL coach, following three years in Detroit, one in San Francisco and the past two years in Denver as the Broncos' WR coach.

Rodgers is the younger brother of new Broncos defensive quality control coach Jay Rodgers and has coached in the NFL for seven seasons, including five seasons in San Francisco.

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