NFL rule changes and limits

With the increase in regulations that are being designed to protect the long-term health of the players, there’s a lot of understandable blowback coming from the players. Certain teams - the Steelers in particular, but members of many teams - including the Titans - seem to be making the news regarding their belief that the league is singling them out, due to their well-earned reputations as very tough, physical teams. Frankly, I can understand their feelings. They’ve striven to play at the very edge of legality while not going over that line, and now the line is being moved. It will affect the way that they play, and every player who violates the new line is going to be fined, suspended or in some way punished. It has to concern them - and it should. They feel that their freedom to play the game the way that they have up until now is at stake. It is - and they should be.

They should, but not because they or any single player or team is/are being singled out. They aren’t - the rules go for every team and for every player. It’s because it will change the way that they play the game, and it will require changes to the methods of tackling and defense. Kevin Vickerson pointed out last fall that many of the rules protecting defensive linemen aren’t being consistently enforced,and I agree with him entirely:

Already, they protect the quarterback, they protect receivers. O-linemen chop-block you, and they don't want to do anything about that, to protect the knees and all that. It's all offense. You want to talk about rules, we should look at the whole game and make the rules fit everybody instead of one side of the ball. All the rules are really set up for offensive guys. Rules for going after the quarterback's knees should be the same for defensive linemen. You're taking years off a man's career.

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The Daily Lard 6-13-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Ingold of the DP has more info on the lawsuit filed by the insurance company St. Paul Fire & Marine against the Broncos and several retired players. California law allows professional athletes to file workers' comp claims as long as the player played at least one game within the state, and because NFL teams do not typically bring up workers' comp in conversations with their players, the typical 1- to 5-year statue of limitations for such cases does not apply. According to the Times, as of April 2010 there were 700 NFL players pursuing similar cases.

Ingold writes that the claim behind St. Paul Fire & Marine's lawsuit is that the firm is not responsible for these claims, and that the policies it sold the Broncos only covers claims in New Mexico by non-player employees.

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Tim Tebow, Q Man Lard 6-12-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Florida Times-Union examines the remarkable Q score and popularity of Tim Tebow, whose celebrity makes him comparable to the likes of Dick Vitale, Eric Clapton, Madonna, Dan Marino, Derek Jeter and Jack Nicholson depending upon the measure. Arguably, Tebow's exceptional career with the Gators is the biggest contributor to his fame, although his lionization by the Christian right and his straight-laced image can't be too far behind.

But of course, he hasn't really done anything yet as a professional - he's started three games, won one of them, and scored a few touchdowns. And while many of us think he'll end up the Broncos' starting QB in 2011 - and a successful one, at that - one has to wonder what will become of Tebow's fame if he fails as an NFL player. Tebow's jersey was only outsold last year by those of established stars Troy Polamalu, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers, all of whom have led their team to Super Bowl titles.

And what does Tebow's popularity mean to the Broncos? Will it help fill seats at the Big IF and continue to sell merch? Will Tebow place/keep the Broncos in the national sports consciousness for whatever length his career in Denver stretches, or only for however long he helps them win, if at all? It will be interesting to find out...

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Your letter to Roger Goodell

Perhaps many of you remember Mad Libs

They were the creation of screenwriter Leonard Stern, who passed away earlier this week.

In honor of Stern, Mad Libs, and the ridiculousness that is the NFL lockout, we decided to give you our own fill-in-the-blank Mad Lib.

This one is a letter to Roger Goodell.  

Just fill in each blank with whatever comes to your mind and click on the "create story" button once you are done.  A small window will pop up with your own letter.  You can copy your story from the window in the comments below if you'd like.  I took the liberty of creating the first.

It should be ridiculous.  But that's the point of Mad Libs.

Enjoy!

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The Daily Lard 6-11-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! I'd love to wax unpoetic on something or the other, but frankly nothing jumps out. So let's just get straight to the links, and have a great Saturday everyone!

Gray Caldwell spoke with new offensive line coach Dave Magazu, who stressed that he wants his players to exhibit attitude and physicality.

St. Paul Fire & Insurance is suing the Broncos and several former players including Floyd Little, Randy Gradishar, Louis Wright and Barney Chavous over workers' comp claims.

The Broncos sent a care package to the family of a Broncos fan who perished while saving his family from the tornado in Joplin.

Golf Digest debunks USA Today's claim that Tim Tebow generates a ridiculous 141 mph clubhead speed. However, he still has a really fast swing.

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Tweets of the Week - Wendy’s nuggets and pointy noses

Time to hit the tweets, with plenty of insight into our Broncos this week. As always, none of these tweets have been altered in any way, innocent misspellings inclusive. It's all meant in good fun, so hopefully you'll get a good laugh as we head into the weekend...

DJ Williams is not quite what we'd call a foodie, but he sure has specific tastes:

Anyone else get fries from Micky D's then drive to the nearest Wendys and get nuggets ?

DJ's discernment is not confined to fast food. Remember when DJ was talking about trying to outkick his coverage and all? Well, now he's trying to do something about it...

Wanted: 5'5-5'11, 130-160lb depn ,long jet Blk hair, drk eyes, olive skin, nice smile, must have a pointy nose, sense of humor.. Hit me up!

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The Commish thinks you’re an idiot Lard 6-10-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! During the most recent player/owner negotiations, Roger Goodell has been portrayed as quite a bit more than the ownership lapdog he was depicted as only weeks ago. Word is, the Commish has been key to the purported progress along with his recent dinner mate, NFLPA head De Smith. I wasn't sure if all this chatter was accurate or just a way to pump up Goodell's public image, not that it matters so much - after all, Goodell is just a representative of the owners, and the only impactful decisions he actually makes are suspensions (and hearing the appeals, but that's another debacle altogether).

Well, whatever positivity has been surrounding Goodell should be gone right about now, because he recently made it quite clear that he thinks we the fans are a bunch of morons. His schtick during recent season-ticket holder conference calls has featured iterations of the following:

We can't continue to shift the cost, whether it's the rising player cost or the rising cost of operating an NFL franchise, on to our fans. That's why we're trying to get a better economic model. And I think everyone understands that. You are not being left out of the equation. The fans are a big part of that equation and a big part of the success of NFL football.

So, your bosses locked out the players for our benefit? Gee, thanks Rog! Can't wait to see those cheaper ticket prices, and surely DirecTV's Sunday Ticket package will cost less once a new deal is reached, huh? Doug Farrar and Aaron Schatz offer their pointed reactions.

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Miller’s fillers: tattoos and history

Von Miller has always been a prankster. They didn’t name his position at Texas A&M for his senior year Joker just for football reasons. His locker room antics and infectious grin are as much a part of him as his incredible ability to get low cutting around linemen. It’s just natural to him and who he is.

Miller recently put that sense of humor to work in getting a series of tattoos which included Pac-Man, a slice of watermelon, a dollar sign, a fried chicken drumstick and a Pac-Man ghost which he described as a ‘hater’. What I got from reading about it and listening to what he had to say was that Miller was making fun of those who pigeonhole others by race. He’s never minded getting a little attention for his antics - to him, this is no different.

Me? I’m a white guy, originally from Chicago, a city where one street is named ‘Division’ because for over a century and a half, blacks didn’t dare go above that street unless they were cleaning houses or clearing garbage. Race was a huge issue when I was younger. It went both ways, too - when I was at college, there was a dog visiting one of the dorms I lived it. I petted its head as I passed, and one of the group that was hanging out there yelled, “Bite that honky, dog!”. The rest of them laughed. They’d had worse aimed at them and probably just saw it as ‘giving some back’. Those kinds of incidents were common between whites and blacks, and neither was more to blame than the other.

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The Daily Lard 6-9-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The lawyer-free negotiations continued yesterday, shifting from NYC to Long Island, and the word is that both sides realize that now is the time to get a deal done. Albert Breer writes that the owners want a deal that will hold up for a matter of decades, while the players want to make it clear they won't be pushed around by the league as in the past. Interestingly, Breer points out that the tenor of the labor dispute has not been nearly as contentious as it's been made out to be by the alarmist media.

Breer says the urgency of the negotiations is based upon the fact that the league would lose about a billion dollars if the preseason is canceled, and that would harm both sides. Apparently, a deal must be reached by around July 15 if there is to be a preseason in full. Plus, it seems the words of Judge Kermit Bye last week which suggested both sides would be harmed by whatever decision the Eighth Circuit comes down with has leveled the field of play and motivated the two sides to get a move on. Let's hope this momentum carries through...

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Scheming off coverage for Brandon Lloyd

Happy Wednesday, friends.  It’s another nice day in Cleveland, and I hope that’s the case wherever you live too.  I have to quickly address something, dating back to my last piece, and some of the nonsense that ensued in the comments section.  I’ve said now for years that I’m in the saying what I think business, and not the arguing business.  I let myself get dragged into some silly arguing on Monday, and I’ve reminded myself that that’s not what I want to be doing.  There’s no value in it for me, or for anybody else.  If you want to troll it up in my comments, you will not be engaged by me.

And now, back to regular football programming.  It’s interesting to me how much Brandon Lloyd has been in the news lately, because I’ve been planning to write a piece about him for the better part of the week.

I don’t really get into the human side of players that much, as we have the outstanding Doc Bear keeping that covered as well as anybody on the internet, but with Lloyd, you almost have to consider his personality to get at how his career has gone, and why.

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