The Daily Lard 5-11-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Andrew Brandt has some interesting thoughts on the recent news that the owners are thinking of tweaking the 2010 work rules should the lockout injunction be affirmed by the Eighth Circuit. Brandt points out that if the NFL goes another season without a salary floor or cap, the owners who don't spend as much as others could put themselves into hot water with the courts, as they could appear to be colluding to keep salaries and payrolls down. All of these players stuck in the murkiness of "am I an RFA or a UFA" like Denver's own Marcus Thomas and Ryan Harris would seemingly have a legitimate beef, right?

Meanwhile, Mike Freeman of CBS Sports writes that players and assistant coaches are skirting the lockout rules by staying in touch via text, phone, email and Skype. And as Doug Farrar points out, while this reality may damage the players' case in the labor battle, it's not something the NFL would likely try to make a big deal of.

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Broncography: Orlando Franklin

What do you look for in a right tackle? It’s a common enough question for fans of the NFL - few players are ‘natural’ RTs, and it’s far more common for a guy who plays LT well in college to be moved to RT in the pros. Ryan Clady is a classic example of what you’re looking for at the LT position - big, light on his feet, mean on the field and incredibly talented with a work ethic to match. While Ryan Harris played exceptionally well in the Broncos' zone-blocking scheme in 2008, injuries and a change of scheme revealed his weaknesses at the position over the two seasons since, and Denver may not retain him. But even if they do, he will probably back up the Broncos' recent pick at 46th overall in the 2011 Draft, Orlando Franklin.

Franklin has quickly become a controversial pick among the fan base. It’s understandable - folks were expecting a defensive tackle, and Franklin played most of his career at left guard, which confuses folks. He’s been accused of being a ‘dirty’ player. He’s better at run blocking than pass blocking, and that’s a reasonable concern. It’s a vast overstatement to say that he can’t pass block, though. When you look at his career, he’s done well in that role. Why don’t we start at the beginning and see where it leads?

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The Daily Lard 5-10-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Tim Tebow spoke with Dan Patrick last week on Patrick's radio show and of course answered the typical questions. One of his responses offered another hint at Tebow's relationship with Kyle Orton...

Tebow: No, I mean we haven’t talked too much, but we have a great relationship. I’ll look forward to going in there and just competing.

Translation: Of course we haven't spoken, especially after he left me out of his Vegas trip - you know I would've torn that place up. Kyle's been a jerk ever since Studesville announced that I had the starting gig - which I won't be relinquishing - the rest of the way. There won't be anything left to say after I crush him in training camp.

Perhaps the most interesting tidbit from Tebow is that he thinks Urban Meyer will indeed return to coaching college ball at some point. Here's the podcast of Patrick's conversation with Tebow in full.

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Mindfreak: if you’re so smart, why aren’t you a general manager?

Last week, as I was holding down my couch springs, I lavished some big-time praise on Brian Xanders for his work during the 2011 NFL Draft.

He deserved it.  The Broncos went into the draft with seven picks; they came out with nine. 

Statistically, Xanders improved the Broncos' ability to land more starters.

You'll notice that I mentioned none of players' names to come to this conclusion.  That's because I agree 100% with Kerry J. Byrne wrote last week:

You know how most analysts do it: They pretend they watched every college football game of the past three seasons, toss out clichés about various schemes, or which players "set the edge" and have "good motors" and then try to guess which will succeed or fail at the next level.


Good luck with that.


The truth is that nobody knows who's going to succeed or fail -- not us, not the draft "experts" on TV and certainly not the GMs making the decisions on draft day.

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WADA Lard 5-9-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Judy Battista writes that the NFL has been in contact with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) about possibly overseeing the league's PED testing going forward. And if Judge Nelson's lockout injunction is upheld by the Eighth Circuit (whose decision is expected any day now), without the existence of a players' union the league will be free to impose rules that include third-party and HGH testing, both of which the NFLPA has resisted in the past. But while the league is likely to begin drug testing in short order should the Eighth Circuit rule for the players, Battista writes that the inclusion of HGH testing would not occur until later on in the year.

Of course, if the courts continue to show they have the players' backs in their dispute with ownership, then such a unilateral move by the NFL to institute HGH testing could only serve to open the league to more legal losses, upon a sure challenge by the players. How do you feel about HGH testing in the NFL? Do you feel strongly either for or against it, or are you indifferent as to if/when it finally does get instituted?

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Why I’ll never be a hockey dad

This evening, I was scanning the list of college free agents the Broncos could sign.  As I started ranking the defensive tackles like they were part of some board game, I suddenly remembered something: almost all of these guys have probably dreamed for years about playing in the NFL.

Then I was struck by something else.

You have to be crazy to want to play in the NFL.

Here are a few figures from the NCAA that might surprise you:

  • Approximately 6.0 percent, or less than one in 16 of all high school senior boys playing interscholastic football will go on to play football at a NCAA member institution.
  • Approximately one in 50, or 1.7 percent of NCAA senior football players will get drafted by a National Football League (NFL) team.
  • 8 in 10,000, or approximately 0.08 percent of high school senior boys playing interscholastic football will eventually be drafted by an NFL team.

Take comfort, however, that these same high school seniors have a 1 in 10,000 chance of being struck by lightning sometime in their life.  So the odds are better to get to the NFL.  But not by much.  

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The Daily Lard 5-8-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans, and Happy Mother's Day! Kiszla thinks the Broncos should go with Tim Tebow this year to see what he's made of, and if that doesn't work out then maybe they'll have a shot at Andrew Luck next April. Sounds about right to me...

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Woody Paige lied about Kyle Orton, and here’s the proof

Readers of It's All Over, Fat Man! know I was highly critical of Kyle Orton's play last season: his struggles on 3rd down were consistent themes in my game reactions.  You can find all sixteen of them here if you care to read them.   

Woody Paige, on the other hand, won't keep his criticism of Orton where it belongs--on the field of play.  When Paige started his smear campaign to drive Orton out of Denver, I first ignored it.  I told myself Paige was just trying to sell controversy.  After all, controversy means clicks; clicks means ads; ads mean revenue.  You see, part of me has a soft spot for Paige--I've been satirizing his mail bag for almost two years.  

But enough is enough.  Woody Paige is a liar.

It's easy to find the proof.

Part of the sewer-strewn narrative that Paige has been spewing is the idea that Kyle Orton is a bad guy and hates Tim Tebow.  In fact, on January 19th of this year, he wrote in his column:

After Tebow became the starter, Orton sulked on the sidelines and never tried to assist or encourage him.

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Say it ain’t so, Gus!!! Lard 5-7-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The chances of the Broncos or any other AFC team being involved in any wild finishes like this one or this one just went down oh, I don't know...about ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. In basically the worst broadcasting news in history, Gus Johnson and CBS were unable to reach agreement on a new deal, so the electric announcer is moving on. In other words, no more Gus for AFC football or NCAA tourney games. I'm going to go cry now...but before I do, here's Gus describing and reenacting the Stokley call, Part 1Part 2 (Stokley again), Part 3 and Part 4 of the Best of Gus on YouTube. For good measure, here's the Stokley play as called by Gus in Tecmo form. It just doesn't get old...

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Fat Camp - Sometimes a Sam isn’t just a Sam

Happy Friday, friends.  Today we’re going to talk about defensive schemes and why the people making noise about Von Miller being more of a fit in a 3-4 don’t really know what the hell they’re talking about.  Yay!  Ted is going to tell us all how much smarter he is than the football MSM.  That’s never happened before, right?  (Don’t answer that.)

Anyway, let me start by reiterating a point that I made on Wednesday.  The term 4-3 simply means a personnel grouping, consisting of four defensive linemen and three linebackers.  It’s not a scheme, in and of itself; there is no monolithic 4-3 concept that everybody who uses four linemen and three linebackers employs.

John Fox keeps hinting at the fact that the base personnel grouping is pretty meaningless to strategy, but our friends at the Denver Post are too thick to realize what he’s saying.  They only know what they know, even if it’s wrong.  A guy like Jeff Legwold, who passionately bases his opinions on what “most/many NFL people” tell him, doesn’t even know what “5-technique” means.  Obviously, neither does John “The Professor (At Bonita’s School of Toupee Design)” Clayton.

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