No decision yet on Harris Lard 10-1-10

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Jamal Williams skipped practice for the third straight Thursday. Brian Dawkins was a full participant on Thursday after missing the prior day, while Ryan Harris and Andre’ Goodman were again limited participants. Knowshon Moreno, Spencer Larsen and Wesley Woodyard again missed practice. For the Titans, the same three players who missed practice on Wednesday were out yesterday - CB Jason McCourty, DT Tony Brown and DE Jacob Ford.

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Agent for Elvis Dumervil at center of NCAA investigation

Gary Wichard, the agent for several NFL stars including Broncos DE Elvis Dumervil, has been implicated in a case of a former University of North Carolina coach allegedly steering players to Wichard in exchange for money. An investigation by Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports uncovered multiple financial transactions involving former UNC assistant coach John Blake and Pro Tect Management, Wichard’s agency. Wichard and Blake are now under investigation by the NCAA and the North Carolina Secretary of State.

Wichard’s agency represents numerous prominent NFL players, including Colts DE Dwight Freeney, Jets DE Jason Taylor, Ravens LB Terrell Suggs and the Broncos’ injured star Dumervil. In July, Wichard helped Dumervil negotiate a six-year contract extension with the Broncos which will pay the reigning sack king between $41 million and $43 million in guarantees. Dumervil is out for the 2010 season after having surgery for a torn pectoral muscle he suffered in training camp.

Wichard did not respond to Yahoo! Sports requests for comment. According to Robinson’s article, the NFLPA is awaiting completion of the NCAA investigation before taking any action against Wichard and his agency.

The Dude’s Mail Revue: The blame, the package and The Matrix

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 about the state of the Denver Broncos. Got a titillating question? Put a dollar bill into the Dude’s G-String and he might answer your question—after bowling practice.

TJ, our rushing attack is disgusting so far.  I wanted to just close my eyes last week against the Colts as I watched them try to run the ball into the end zone three times from the 1-yard line.  We couldn’t even get 1 yard on the worst rushing defense in the league.  What gives?  I thought we were supposed to have a beefier and better offensive line this year.  I thought we were supposed to be tougher and angle block instead of zone block. 

And what’s their excuse going to be now that they don’t have Weigmann and Hamilton to kick around any more?  Are we going to start blaming the running backs? 
—Ben, Seattle, Washington

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O-Line finally intact? Lard 9-30-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! I hope you’re doing well. Andre’ Goodman and Ryan Harris both practiced yesterday, albeit in limited fashion. Brian Dawkins, Knowshon Moreno, Wesley Woodyard and Spencer Larsen all missed practice. Brandon Lloyd missed practice as well, but not due to injury. Demaryius Thomas, who had an injury scare on the last offensive play versus the Colts, practiced and was not listed on the injury report.

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Tuesday night thoughts

Happy Tuesday, friends.  I have some thoughts, about football and other things, which shouldn’t surprise you unless you’re new to this rodeo.  If you are, welcome.  Hold on tight, because the bucking is about to start.  If you’ve been here before, you know what’s coming next.  Ready……. BEGIN!!!!

1.  I’m going to tread on potentially touchy ground, so I may as well start right off the bat with it.  Do you remember the 2004 Presidential election in the United States?  I would imagine that most of us do.  I don’t want to make public value judgments about the policy positions of the two candidates, George W. Bush, and John Kerry, but I do have a football point that is germane to that election.

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Broncography: TE Dan Gronkowski

The loss of TE Marquez Branson this preseason to a knee injury was a nasty surprise; he had been showing signs of having a knack for this game. But that’s why TE Dan Gronkowski was a potentially good acquisition from Detroit (if he plays like he was ranked - he was another guy who was rated substantially higher but fell in the draft).  We’ll need someone who can both block and catch, and who can do both nearly equally. In theory, that’s what we got. So, why was Gronkowski one player away from being Mr. Irrelevant in the 2009 NFL Draft?

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Huge Decision of the Week: Broncos-Colts, Week 3

Note: Each Wednesday,  we take a look at a critical coaching decision from the prior week’s game that had an impact on the final score—from a statistical point.

Most coaches play it safe.  Too safe.  They’d rather make a decision that likely won’t be criticized versus making a decision that has even the slightest potential for criticism from media, fans, and bloggers who still listen to Whitesnake and write from their parents’ basement.

Josh McDaniels does not—nor will he ever—play it safe.  A graduate of the Belichick School of Take-This-And-Shove-It, he’s never met a 4th-and-short that he wouldn’t spit on.

I, for one, wouldn’t have it any other way.

Last week against the Colts, McDaniels once again provided us with ample opportunities to second guess his decisions.  And once again he provided us with a textbook example of why going for it on 4th down, deep in your opponent’s territory, is usually the right move. 

In order to analyze McDaniels’ decision, as always, we’ll split wide our two diva receivers, probability and Expected Points Value (EPV).  So let’s get right to it.

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The Daily Lard 9-29-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! There isn’t anything important for me to share with you in terms of injuries (surely that news will come later today), so I’d like to address some website-related stuff. We are now in our third week here at IAOFM, and frankly we’re having a lot of fun with it so far. TJ, Em and I are all quite grateful for your readership; it’s been a joy to reconnect with so many old friends, and to make new ones. Thank you for being here, and please tell your fellow Broncos fans about us if you haven’t already. Please follow us on Twitter @IAOFM and Facebook, and if your friends are on those networks, we’d appreciate if you’d share the info with them. Since we’re a brand new site working without the power of a larger network, we are relying upon you, our most loyal readers, to help spread the word on us. We also appreciate all of the great feedback you’ve already given us - your encouragement and your suggestions on how we can improve are equally meaningful. We will only get better with time, and we’re working on sprucing up the look of the site. Thanks again for being here!

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Thoughts on a Broncos loss

I’m sort of an instant football analyst, which has its pros and cons.  Often, I’m way ahead of other observers in noticing things, and pointing them out, which is a pro.  Sometimes, I see JaMarcus Russell look really good in a preseason game, and it leads me to opine that he’s turning the corner as an NFL QB, which can end up being a con.  For me, it works out more often than not, because I’m a very sophisticated observer of the game, and because I’m always accountable for thoughts that turn out to be wrong.  Not to be immodest, but I know vastly more football than the average person, so I don’t mind admitting a mistake when I was almost always the first to the party saying anything.

A lot of average persons, and no doubt, some below average ones, have been providing some “instant analysis” on Twitter about yesterday’s Colts-Broncos game.  I was going to take a screenshot of some of the foolishness, but I decided that I didn’t want to put anybody specific’s name on the lines of thinking that I am about to completely eviscerate.

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The Stats That Don’t Lie - On a restricted diet

Since I’ve received several requests to revive my Stats That Don’t Lie (STDL) column from my Mile High Report days, I’ve had two thoughts:

1) I wouldn’t be The Dude if I did not abide
2) I would not abide if I wasn’t The Dude

So, I’m gonna do this.  Or as one of the finest poets of his generation, Dee Synder so elegantly wrote, “I Wanna Rock!”

So let the stats flow—quicker, stronger, on HGH, and without an athletic supporter.

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