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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The Dude’s Mail Revue: The Cutler, the coordinator, and the Paradise City

Dude's Mail Revue 400x145

Fat Man blogger TJ “The Dude” Johnson posts The Dude’s Mail Revue on Thursdays, in which he takes your questions and gets your opinion about the state of the Denver Broncos.

You wanna roll your way into the semis?

Drop TJ a question: tjthedudejohnson@gmail.com.

(NOTE: No marmots were harmed in the writing of this revue)

TJ, I'm laughing all the way to the NFC Championship game,  while the Broncos are saddled with the #2 draft pick.  Thanks, Broncos fans, for giving us the franchise quarterback we needed here in Chicago.  I noticed your silly post the other day on Cutler.  Do you really believe that garbage?  Rick Reilly is a complete hack as are you.  Both of you obviously have had a problem with Jay Cutler from day one.  And even if that stuff is true, who really cares, idiot?   Since when does listening to John Elway mean jack?  You're just jealous we're heading to the Super Bowl, while you're stuck with a guy who still can't even take a snap from center and spends more time with the bible than he does his playbook.

--CutlerBearsFan, Aurora, Colorado 

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Hack job Thursday Lard 1-20-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mike Klis suggests that Jim Mora's decision not to coach next season was financially motivated, as he is entering the last year of his contract from his HC gig in Seattle. Not sure what the logic behind Klis' thinking is, since Mike Shanahan and Josh McDaniels are still getting paid quite a bit to not coach the Broncos. But perhaps there's some unique stipulation in Mora's contract. Either way, he's not going to be the Broncos' DC, and it seems just as well - was anyone actually excited by the prospect of his hire? For now, the remaining candidates are apparently Packers DL coach Mike Trgovac and incumbent DC Wink Martindale - it should be noted that Green Bay is not compelled to allow Denver permission to speak with Trgovac once their season has ended. Perhaps some new names will pop up over the next week or two.

Plenty of hackery today - so much that I had to include it in the title. Thankfully, TJ will be around with some Mail Revue to make our brains hurt less...

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Mora tells Denver, Philly to go scratch

UPDATE 5:57PM ET - According to Jay Glazer via Twitter, Jim Mora has decided not to take the DC position in either Denver or Philadelphia. And in case you didn't know, Jay Glazer is a very important person - how's that for a multi-functional tweet - reporting news and name dropping within the confines of a 140-character message! (Thanks, Gristle)

Here are Mason and LJ's stories on Mora's decision. Mason speculates that the Broncos' options may include Mike Trgovac and retaining Wink Martindale.

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No Mora deal yet Lard 1-19-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Jim Mora apparently left Denver without a job offer last night, although LJ says Mora is still John Fox's top choice for the vacant defensive coordinator position at this point. To correct my own assertion from two mornings ago (and LJ's in the linked article), Packers DL coach Mike Trgovac will only be available once Green Bay's season is over. Assistant coaches on current playoff teams may only interview for head coaching positions - not for any other job (p. 8), promotion or not. I'm sorry for any confusion I may have caused you.

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You Got Served - Divisional Weekend

Hello, friends, and welcome to the new news.  I'm very pleased to be joining the outstanding team here at IAOFM, and I'm ready to do my part in making this the best football site on the internet.  With the group of writers we have in place, I feel that that is an attainable goal.  Thanks in advance for your support of my work.

Have you noticed how NFL Insider has become a job title in sports journalism?  Adam Schefter is the NFL Insider for ESPN.com.  Adam Schein is the Jets Insider for SNY.  With the popularity of reality TV, it seems like everybody wants to be inside the thought processes, and backstories of every event.  Even the normally mundane events, like a car ride from DIA to Dove Valley for a coaching interview, are getting shared with fans.  In that spirit of transparency, and reader-friendliness, I granted an interview to an intrepid journalist, who wanted to know about my Decision to join IAOFM.

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Maroney arrested on gun charges

Broncos RB Laurence Maroney was arrested Monday night in St. Louis on weapons charges. According to Maroney's spokesperson (Did you know third-string running backs had spokespeople? I didn't), Maroney has a conceal and carry permit, but apparently thinks it's okay to walk around toting a gun without a wallet. Maroney grew up in the St. Louis area and was either going to a concert or leaving one, according to reports.

Mora expected Lard 1-18-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! According to LJ, the Broncos are close to hiring Jim Mora as their new defensive coordinator after Sean McDermott took the same job in Carolina. Mora spent the 2010 season as an analyst for NFL Network after working the 25 previous years as an NFL coach, including stints as the head coach of Atlanta (2004-06) and Seattle (2009). Mora has spent much of his career working with his teams' defensive backs, including 3 years as a defensive assistant, 12 years as a secondary coach, and 5 seasons as a defensive coordinator (49ers, 1999-2003).

In his time as a DC or HC, Mora's defenses have had mixed results, ranking on average 20th in points allowed and 20th in yardage, ranking as high as 9th in points and 13th in yards. Considering his background as a DB coach, it may be surprising to find that Mora's defenses have done better at defending the run (13th in yardage, on average) than the pass (24th in yardage, on avg).

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