Good Morning, Broncos fans! Tuesday wasn't a great day to be a Patriots tight end.
As expected, Rob Gronkowski underwent surgery to repair a disc problem in his back, with a return to the playing field typically requiring a 12-week layoff. This essentially ensures that Gronk will miss training camp, and he may even start the season on the PUP list, in which case he'd miss at least the first six games of the regular season (Denver visits New England in Week 12).
The news surrounding Aaron Hernandez is far more serious (in real life terms, not necessarily football ones), as his Massachusetts home was searched as part of an investigation into a possible homicide. The body of a man referred to as an "associate" of Hernandez's was found in an industrial park less than a mile from the player's house, and a rental vehicle found near the crime scene was linked to Hernandez.
The newest addition to the Chargers' starting lineup is former Alabama lineman D.J. Fluker, whom they chose with the 11th-overall pick in April's draft.
Although Fluker made his bones in college with his work at right tackle, there are already those who would like to see him move to guard as a pro. Among those pundits is ESPN’s Matt Williamson, as noted by UTSD reporter Tom Krasovic:
ESPN scout Matt Williamson suggests a shuffle. He would move Starks to right tackle, use Dunlap at left tackle and switch Fluker to right guard.
“That way you would have one great player this year on that line in Fluker,” Williamson said. “I think he can be a Pro Bowler at right guard. I think he will struggle some at right tackle. He will have trouble sliding and dealing with speed rushers. At right guard, he can move ahead and smash people, which are his strengths.”
Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's cited anywhere and everywhere that the Broncos offense racked up 481 points in 2012, and that this figure was good enough to rank them as the #2 scoring offense in the league.
Of course, we all know that the team scored in many ways last year, including five pick-sixes, one fumble return, one punt return, one kick return, and two safeties.
By higher math, this is 60 points contributed by the defense and special teams, meaning the offense was actually responsible for 421 points.
This drops Denver behind New Orleans, who scored 461 points overall, but just five touchdowns on defense and special teams, leaving 426 points for its offense.
Anyone who's been reading this site for very long should know we're all big fans of the work done by Doug Farrar at Shutdown Corner, and by Greg Cosell at NFL Films. Cosell, in particular, is quite the film junkie, so his opinions tend to carry more weight with us than do those of most NFL analysts.
Over the past month or so, Farrar and Cosell have been devoting their podcasts to draft reviews; today, they're covering the AFCW teams.
Normally, we'd just write a line or two and recommend you listen to the podcast, but there's enough useful information that we've transcribed all of what we thought were Cosell's salient points regarding Denver's 2013 draftees. Here's what Cosell had to say, plus a few stray comments from Farrar:
Good Morning, Broncos fans! We've arrived at the deadest of dead zones in the NFL news cycle.
Minicamp is over, and the Broncos are 5.5 weeks from the July 25 start of training camp. Also, it's Monday, and most football writers don't do a whole lot between Saturday night and Monday morning.
I'll do my best over the next month-plus to dig up links that I think are worth reading. But today, just a quick postscript on yesterday's Lard.
Judging by the comments, I obviously didn't do a very good job of accurately expressing my thoughts on Paul Klee's report that the Broncos had cut Willis McGahee due to health concerns, rather than as a respectful favor to the veteran. "Klee's report would actually suggest quite the opposite," is probably the offending line.
When I was about seven, my father took me to my first ball game.
It was a World Series game, but this didn't keep my brother and I from getting into frequent bouts of siblingesque trouble. Further compounding the problem was the fact that our father wasn’t a huge sports fan, he just liked going to games. So we probably didn't feel the full sense of wonder that we might have otherwise.
My father and brother favored the Yankees, so for reasons of family harassment rather than any knowledge of either team, I rooted for whoever was playing against them. This in turn, naturally led to my brother and I haranguing one another even further.
Good Morning/Afternoon, Broncos fans! It's been portrayed here and at Dove Valley that the release of Willis McGahee was mostly about getting younger and cheaper at the RB position.
John Fox even made a point of saying that the timing of the move was to allow Willis a chance to catch on with another squad, prompting suggestions that John Elway & Co. are just the classiest bunch around.
But according to Paul Klee, the team wasn't confident in the health of McGahee's injured right knee/leg.
Willis had been cleared to practice, and says he has no physical restrictions, but was only given very limited reps during last week's minicamp, prior to his release.
But as Gray Caldwell reminds us, Gibbs is back merely as a consultant to aid line coach Dave Magazu in the development of the team's young linemen.
Furthermore, Ben Muth says the combination blocking inherent to the zone stretch requires a massive commitment, both in time and in philosophy.
So we probably shouldn't expect a return to the glory days of the late 90s, but be sure to read Muth's breakdown of what made those teams so dominant running the ball. It's a fine testament to the greatness of Terrell Davis, Gibbs, and his linemen.
Second-round pick Montee Ball made a lot of fans in Denver happy when he chose Mike Anderson’s old number 38, as an homage to ‘Sarge’. The Broncos are hoping that he can also recreate the kind of tough-nosed performances that made Anderson such a fan favorite during his time in Denver.
As a young man who started off his life as a Broncos fan, he’s already taken the right first steps.
One thing you can count on - any team of John Fox’s will try and use a committee approach to the game. Said OC Adam Gase,
Coach Fox has always been great mixing in the multiple backfields and using different guys. He did it in Carolina. We'll do the same thing here.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Denver heads into the six-week lull between minicamp and training camp (which starts July 25) with all but two of their players signed - Sylvester Williams and Ryan Clady.
According to Mike Klis, Montee Ball's four-year deal is worth $3.53M, while Kayvon Webster's has a value of $2.72M.
Klis suggests that getting Williams signed "won't be a problem" due to the league's slotting system, and he's probably correct.
However, there is one factor to consider - offset language.