So much for that Lard 1-7-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! It was an eventful day for Denver yesterday, but it doesn't seem like anything that happened is actually good for the Broncos. Andrew Luck is staying at Stanford, which decreases the value of Denver's #2 overall pick. Jim Harbaugh is likely out of the picture after turning down the Dolphins and is now apparently the subject of a bidding war between Stanford and the Niners. Mark Mike Mularkey has told the Broncos to go scratch he's too busy to talk to them now, although he does have time to meet with the Browns. Gregg Williams says he hasn't yet heard from Denver, although they wouldn't be able to meet until the Saints' season ends, anyway. So the Broncos are going to meet with Perry Fewell and Eric Studesville on Sunday, and as of now that is it.

Well, maybe this wasn't so bad a chain of events. While it would be nice for the Broncos to have a new HC ASAP, perhaps it's best that John Elway's first coach hiring takes more than a week or two. After all, what's more important here - finding a new coach quickly, or finding the best man for the job? In his chat session yesterday, Andrew Mason surmised that Denver would wait to speak with Williams, as long as some other candidate didn't "knock their socks off."

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Andrew Luck reportedly staying at Stanford

The top of the 2011 Draft has suddenly lost some of its glitz as Stanford QB Andrew Luck has reportedly decided to return to school for his junior year. Luck has been tabbed a consensus #1 pick and a once-in-a-generation QB by many, but what he will not be called in 2011 is a Carolina Panther or Denver Bronco. Well, at least we can move on from that discussion...

John Elway: Mindfreak

Yesterday, my senses failed.

I thought I was ready.  I told myself I wasn't going lose my perspective just because the greatest Bronco of all time was now given the position of lower deity at Dove Valley.  I was ready to watch the entire spectacle with a critical eye.  I would not be fooled by the glitz and glamor of Elway's five Super Bowl appearances.

But then something happened.  Elway stood up and showed enough enthusiasm to light the building on fire.  He even said the magic words, "Mile High Stadium."

It was a pure mindfreak: a supernatural occurrence beyond comprehension.

I lost all perspective and objectivity.  Hours later, drunk off the euphoria of hearing Elway talk about the championship days, I still couldn't bring myself to rational thinking.

I turned on the radio; I wasn't the only one.

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Mularkey reportedly will not interview with Broncos

Because he is pissed that John Elway referred to him as Mark reportedly doesn't want to be distracted from the Falcons' playoff run, Atlanta OC Mike Mularkey will not interview for the Broncos' vacant head coaching position tomorrow night. While ESPN's Adam Schefter cites a source who says Mularkey would be interested in interviewing after his team is eliminated from the playoffs, it's likely a moot point as Denver's coaching search is expected to take only a week or two. Either way, this decision should make it quite clear that Mularkey isn't really that interested in coaching the Broncos. Hopefully it wasn't yesterday's verbal slippages by Elway that made him feel that way...(thanks, ButteBronco!)

UPDATE 12:48PM ET - According to Lindsay Jones, Mularkey is still taking his interview with Cleveland; so his excuse for canceling on Denver is pretty much rendered invalid. Meanwhile, Saints DC Gregg Williams will not be available for interview while New Orleans is still alive in the playoffs. So, either the list of potential coaches is shrinking, or the Broncos' search is going to stretch out a bit longer than the original 1 or 2 weeks Elway had cited...

The Daily Lard 1-6-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Elway was introduced yesterday as the new EVP of Football Ops - in case you missed it, or the sound dropped out of it yesterday (like it did for me), watch the presser here - Part 1 and Part 2. In speaking for almost an hour, Elway covered what he's seeking in a new head coach (offensive or defensive background matters not), the future of Tim Tebow (he's still unproven) and Champ Bailey (his status is up in the air), the new power structure at Dove Valley (Elway will be the tiebreaker between Brian Xanders and the HC), why he wanted the job (he loves the Broncos, and he's competitive) and how he'll be performing it (in a very hands-on manner). Best thing Elway said? "I know what I don't know," although that was followed up by a puzzling "I will find out what I don't know as fast as I possibly can." Hopefully, John's self-awareness means the Broncos will be run sans hubris going forward.

As of now, Elway & Co. will interview Falcons OC Mark Mike Mularkey on Friday and Giants DC Perry Fewell and former Broncos interim coach Eric Studesville on Sunday. Elway said the Broncos are interested in speaking with Jim Harbaugh about the job, although it sounds like the Dolphins are making a big push for his services.

UPDATE 11:20AM ET - The Broncos have posted a full transcript of yesterday's presser - it probably took that long to compile it...

UPDATE 11:58AM ET - ESPN will broadcast their documentary "Tim Tebow: Everything in Between" tonight at 7PM ET and will re-air it at midnight ET on ESPN2.

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John Elway presser Open Thread

Watch here as the Broncos introduce John Elway as their Executive VP of Football Operations at the bottom of the hour, and share your reactions here...

UPDATE 3:51PM ET - Giants OC and former Bills interim coach Perry Fewell will interview for the Broncos' job on Sunday

First postseason look: Offense

In looking at the offense over the past couple of weeks, and mostly watching the film of the Chargers game, there was something awfully familiar about the play of Tim Tebow. What I'm referring to may surprise a lot of people - I don't mean his college career or tendencies, although they certainly play into this. I’m thinking of things much older, really. While reviewing Sunday's game - the second half in particular - I noticed something that may be helpful to the Broncos over time. 

The more things change, the more they stay the same. When Tebow was lined up in a classic T formation, one running back short of the old T that Chicago used to beat the Redskins in the most lopsided championship in history, 72-0, the line usually blocked straight on. In modern times, of course, it’s just called a ‘pro set’, and the QB has a running back on either side (one may be a fullback). When they lined up and had Zane Beadles pull after the snap, it was designed as a running play. With Tebow keeping a fair number of them (I apologize - I haven’t had time to count them exactly, although I'll get into greater detail as the offseason wears on), he’s running in a system that has similarities to the old single wing offense. The ball is snapped, and in this case, we do know who’s going to get it, which is the modern approach.

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The Duke returns Lard 1-5-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Elway is officially a member of the Denver Broncos again, having signed a contract last night that makes him the organization's Executive VP of Football Operations. Woody Paige was apparently given an exclusive interview with Elway last night after the contract was finalized. Elway said,

This is all I've really wanted to do since I retired as a player. Football has been my life. I've waited for years, but the timing is perfect. The stars are aligned.

Additionally, Elway stated that Brian Xanders will in fact "be responsible for most of the personnel decisions, the scouting, the draft," and that the search for a new head coach is expected to be completed within a week or two. Elway cited an odd-sounding "study" Xanders performed of previous NFL coaches to placate the folks calling for the hiring of a head coach with a background in defense. Elway said of Tim Tebow,

I was impressed with what he did in the last three games, considering how few reps and plays in games before that, but the questions now are can he translate that grit, the winning attitude, that athletic ability into maturing into a great quarterback on the pro level.

According to Paige, the Broncos will seek permission to interview Saints DC Gregg Williams and Giants DC (and former Bills interim coach) Perry Fewell in addition to Mike Mularkey and Eric Studesville, and that there will be more candidates added in the next day or two. Elway says he did not have an opportunity to speak with Jim Harbaugh about the coaching job at Monday night's Orange Bowl.

UPDATE 10:05AM ET - According to, Elway will be introduced at a 1:30PM MT press conference which the team's site will stream live. We'll have an open thread here on IAOFM for your commentary.

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On gunslinging and rookie quarterbacks

I’d like to tell you a story, because, let’s face it, I always set up my football articles with personal stories which may or may not be relevant to my chosen football topic.  You know what, though?  It’s my platform, and I get to say what I want.  This story takes place last Wednesday, December 29th, in lovely Cleveland, Ohio.  I like the Christmas season, without actually liking the holiday itself.  The reason I like it is that a lot of my closest friends who’ve skipped town for jobs, or spouses, or whatever, come home for the holidays.

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First postseason look: Defense

For all of you who thought on Sunday that Steve Beuerlein was trying for a date with Phil Crimea Rivers and was strangely hard on Tim Tebow, who was in his third game, here are the pertinent facts: As a rookie himself in 1988, Steve played in 10 games and started 8 of them. He had a completion rate of 44.1% along with 8 TDs and 7 INTs. He had a sack percentage of 9.8 and a QB rating of 66.6, which may explain his antipathy to Tim, being the number of all evil (or the numeric short-hand name for Nero, depending on how you read history and the text involved). This guy verbally knocking a rookie for being a rookie is a joke. Remarkable how people have such short memories, isn’t it? Perhaps it was the concussions...

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