According to script Lard 11-18-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Interesting stuff out of Josh McDaniels' Wednesday presser - the Broncos' coaching staff utilized the extra day of practice last week to help them install a script of 18 early plays, which they stuck to against Kansas City. Obviously, it worked quite well, as Denver scored 21 first-quarter points after having scored just 7 all season in the opening stanza. As McDaniels pointed out, a script like this generally only covers 1st- and 2nd-down plays. The offense is trying to show as many looks to the defense as possible, in order to see how the opponent will match up with them that day, and how they will react to each personnel grouping. It's a feeling-out process that will help determine the rest of the game's offensive plan - as Pat Kirwan notes in his book Take Your Eye Off the Ball, scripting is a hallmark of the Bill Walsh coaching tree - of course, in Denver we're familiar with the concept from the Mike Shanahan years. Kirwan says that teams will tend to select five or so of the most successful plays out of the script and then feature each of them four or five times throughout the balance of the game. In his presser, McDaniels mentioned it was something he's done before, and he hinted that the extra day of preparation for next week's MNF game will allow Denver to put together a script for San Diego. Obviously, the question is why Josh doesn't do this every week - well, let's see how Monday goes first. If successful, surely there will be clamoring for McDaniels & Co. to do so every week, and questions as to why they didn't try it earlier...

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5 Things Peter King Didn’t Think to Think - Week 10

When you're watching the game on Sunday, you rarely get to hear what the players and coaches are saying.

Just what are they thinking?  Run the deep post?  Send the blitz off the corner?  Go no huddle?

You're in luck, Broncos fans.  The Fat Man microphones catch everything.

And we've decided to share.  Here's what we caught during last week's game against the Chiefs.

Enjoy.

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Broncos cut Moss, sign Veikune; Ayers to return

The Broncos have cut LB Jarvis Moss, who had been their 1st-round pick in the 2007 Draft. In his four seasons with Denver, Moss tallied 29 tackles, 3.5 sacks and pass defensed in 34 games (29 starts). According to the Denver Post, the Broncos have signed LB David Veikune to replace Moss on the 53-man roster. Veikune had been a 2nd-round pick (52nd overall) out of Hawaii by the Cleveland Browns in 2009. Veikune was cut by the Browns on September 7th, 2010.

According to Andrew Mason of MaxDenver.com, Broncos LB Robert Ayers is expected to practice today. Ayers has missed Denver's last four games with a fractured foot.

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The Playbook Abides - Pressure without risk

For weeks Broncos fans have been calling for increased pressure on the quarterback.

Wink Martindale listened.  Either that or he just got sick and tired of letting guys like Troy Smith and Jason Campbell have all day in the pocket.

The Broncos pressured the Chiefs when it mattered--namely in the 1st half of the game.  How did they do it?

By utilizing what is the god-given right of every 3-4 defense: the zone blitz.

In this week's The Playbook Abides, we'll be taking a look at a zone blitz that might just make you change your mind about Wink Martindale.

Wink got creative; the Broncos got a sack.

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The Daily Lard 11-17-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Happy Belated Birthday to Kyle Orton, who turned all of 28 on Sunday. Perhaps it's the neckbeard, or perhaps it's just my incorrect perception, but it seems easy to forget just how young Kyle is. In other words, there's plenty more room on the growth and learning curves for him - hopefully we'll see him continue to improve as a QB over the next 7 games and beyond. FWIW, Kyle ranks third in the NFL in PFR's all-important Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt (ANY/A), which accounts for both interceptions and sacks. Who's ahead of Kyle? Monday night's star Michael Vick, and next Monday's opponent Philip Rivers. Pretty good company.

As always, thanks so much for your readership - we appreciate it and hope you'll continue to tell your friends about us, "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

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A tidy push for orange

Josh McDaniels' Monday presser gave rise to a brand-new movement to bring orange jerseys back to Denver on a permanent basis. As mentioned earlier in today's Daily Lard, Dave Krieger wrote a column in the DP today in order to sell papers get something going along those lines. After all, it was Krieger who posed the question to McDaniels yesterday about the possibility of making the switch back to orange.

To everyone's delight, McDaniels responded with the following:

"I love the orange jerseys. I know we're only allowed to wear them twice in the regular season and once in the preseason unless we make that our standard uniform. But I think our guys kind of like wearing the orange. I like the orange. But that decision to make that our permanent uniform is going to come from Pat (Bowlen). I love to wear the orange, I do. I wouldn't mind it at all. I think you're right, we kind of get excited. Everything, from when you walk in the locker room, it looks different when you've got all the orange jerseys and all that. It wouldn't bother me at all." (emphasis mine)

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He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Bronco - Week 10

Sunday’s game made the opportunity to choose the two top Heavies, and brought with it the impossibility of choosing only one from each side of the ball. Both the renewed offensive line and the play on the defensive line were absolutely top drawer. Kyle Orton barely got a grass stain on his uni, while Matt Cassel was sacked 4 times and hurries and knockdowns came with clockwork regularity - a fitting outcome to the Broncos cleaning his clock, and those of the team around him.

KC just wasn’t ready for Denver. It might have been the expectation that a 2-6 team with multiple problems wouldn’t be much of a challenge. It might have been that Josh McDaniels just plain out-coached Todd Haley, Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis. The Chiefs fans that I’ve talked to have in great part blamed their injuries, particularly in their defensive secondary and the need to bring Shaun Smith to the DL, but given what Denver has dealt with this season, their cries have fallen on deaf ears in my case. I’m sorry to not be buying, but Denver is still missing Elvis Dumervil, Robert Ayers, and Andre' Goodman. At this point in the season, it’s a rare - and usually winning - team that hasn’t suffered some major injury difficulties. Some of them have greater depth than Denver or KC, some just have been fortunate in this area.

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The Stats That Don’t Lie - Week 10: Tebow in the Sky with Diamonds

Imagine there's no Hillis
It's easy if you try
Al Davis still below us
Above us playoff sky...

You may have remembered--just for a flash--on Sunday that the Broncos have a running back named Knowshon Moreno, who ran for 106 yards.

Another silly thought (a reverie perhaps?) probably entered your mind, too: the Broncos can still win this division.

Yes, it's true.  With 7 games to go, the Broncos can technically win this thing.  

The stats, though, have other ideas.

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Go orange! Lard 11-16-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! During Josh McDaniels' Monday presser, the subject of the orange jerseys came up, and the coach said he'd be all for switching to them permanently. But unfortunately, it's not his call - it's Pat Bowlen's decision. Mr. B must realize that anyone old enough to remember the pre-1997 jerseys firsthand associates the Broncos with the color orange, John Elway, Mile High Stadium, the altitude, the South Stands and a magical home-field advantage. Unfortunately most of those are gone, and the only ones that could be making a Broncos comeback would be the color and the advantage. Well, how about it? Personally, I'd prefer to turn the clocks back completely to 1996 and bring back the old logo as well - I find that the current logo and uniforms are too 1990s-ish and call to mind every major sports franchise formed during that decade - the Panthers, Jaguars, Ravens, Rockies, Marlins, Devil Rays, D'backs and so on. Heck, the day Mr. B unveiled the Swoosh-y new uniforms, the entire NFL world laughed as he called them "predominantly orange." So, I say let's go back to orange - if not all the way back to the old jerseys and logo, then at least to the third jerseys. What do you think?

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Small changes, big results

Sometimes, just a few items need to change in order to alter the fortunes of a team. Oftentimes, we as fans don’t have a chance to see those things - they happen in practice, in the halftime locker room and off camera. But against the Chiefs yesterday, fans got to see the parts that counted - from the 35-0 start to the final gun, the Broncos showed that even with some of its key players still hobbled or out (including Elvis Dumervil, Robert Ayers and Andre' Goodman), they are a far better team than their record to date has shown. The simplest thing that changed was the return of Ryan Harris and the LG debut of Zane Beadles.

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