The Daily Lard 2-15-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Adding to yesterday's news that Tim Tebow is working with new UCLA OC Noel Mazzone on his mechanics, it's worthwhile to note the duo has teamed up before. Prior to Tebow's pro day in 2010, he worked with Mazzone, Marc Trestman, Zeke Bratkowski, and Sam Wyche. Here's some of what Mazzone had to say back then:

I think it's going to change some opinions...He looks totally different to me...This guy's an NFL quarterback in my eyes.

I'm not trying to change the guy's motion. I went back and looked at his high school film. He's got a great motion.

It's different when you're in the gun your whole life and not making five- and seven-step drops. Bad feet make bad throws. We worked a lot on loading up his back foot, having good posture and getting his feet and body more involved with his throw.

(h/t AldenBrown)

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 2-15-12"

Rosterbating on 60 stacks

Whatchall know about that scrilla?  I decided to follow the front page of the IAOFM site from Monday, and play off of the article that Doug referenced yesterday that put the Broncos on $50 million of cap room.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the Broncos' finances lately, and some other tangential thoughts.  It’s all part of being a football-thinking accountant, I guess.

Let’s start out with a provocative thought, right off the top.  It’s unquestionable that the Broncos were better off making the playoffs in 2011 than not.  I know that some of you disagree with that, and I’m here to tell you, you’re wrong.  That doesn’t make you a bad person, and in recognition of that fact, I’m going to explain what I mean by “unquestionable.”

First, let’s do away with the Draft Fallacy.  That’s the one that says that because the Broncos were 12th out of 12 playoff teams in talent, that they handicapped their future by making it too soon.  You see, say these people, the Broncos would have picked 17th in the Draft, and by making the playoffs, the best they could do was 21st.  By winning a playoff game (the horror!) they ended up at 25th. 

Continue reading "Rosterbating on 60 stacks"

The Daily Lard 2-14-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! There's perhaps a bit of disconnect between the title and the article, but Mike Klis says there's a good chance Denver will use its franchise tag on K Matt Prater this offseason. The title says the team is "likely" to do so, while Klis simply writes that "Prater is the strongest candidate" to be tagged, so it's unclear how much of this is based upon something out of Dove Valley and how much is simply Klis speculating.

Either way, it's kind of a no-brainer if the team were unable to agree to a long-term deal with Prater, as according to Klis, tagging a kicker is like to only cost a team around $2.6M for the 2013 season. Plus, the tag is often used by teams to buy more time to agree to a longer contract.

None of Denver's other free agents figure to be tag-worthy, as placing the restriction on Brodrick Bunkley or Marcus Thomas would require overpaying either of them with a $7.9M salary; Wesley Woodyard would get $8.8M, and Eddie Royal would command $9.4M - it's pretty safe to say the Broncos will not be shelling out anything close to those amounts on a one-year contract for any of those players.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 2-14-12"

The road untravelled: Rey Maualuga and Vontaze Burfict

This week, one of the players that was heavily on fans’ minds for Denver in the 2009 Draft was again arrested: Ray Maualuga. The first time it was in 2010 in Kentucky, on a drunken driving charge that warranted a seven-day suspended jail sentence, a suspension of his license suspended for 90 days, and participation in a drug and alcohol rehab program. This time, booze is involved again - he allegedly punched a bar manager in the face early on Saturday morning.

Maualuga had a substantial number of black marks against him for childish and errant behavior prior to the draft, and he dropped from the 1st to the 2nd round. He played in all games in 2009 and ‘10 and started 13 games this past year as well. He’s been a decent player for the Bengals - not the huge impact Mike that was predicted, but a fair quality of play, without question. Still, he had four QB pressures but neither a sack nor a QB hit last season. He had 86 tackles and notched 43 stops, but those were tempered by a glaring 12 missed tackles. Over his three years with Cincinnati he has had two sacks in total and three interceptions - not huge stats, just decent ones. Part of production is system-based.

Continue reading "The road untravelled: Rey Maualuga and Vontaze Burfict"

The Daily Lard 2-13-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Andrew Mason summarized the issues facing Broncos this offseason for the Sporting News, first pointing out the team had the second-worst point differential of any playoff team in NFL history. Mason says Denver is fond of Nate Irving's potential, and he wouldn't be surprised to see Irving end up the starting Mike in 2012. Obviously, Mason is in possession of some inaccurate information and/or hasn't checked in with überscout and Denver pulse-reader Woody Paige, who says Irving "didn't wow anybody."

According to Mason, both starting DTs Marcus Thomas and Brodrick Bunkley would like to return via free agency, although of course the team will be looking to improve its inside pass rush - the duo combined for a minus-16.8 pass rush grade which tempered their stellar plus-39.0 score against the run (31.2 of which was credited to Bunkley).

If Brian Dawkins should retire, Mason suggests ex-Panthers S Chris Harris as a possible replacement as a veteran presence to aid the progress of Quinton Carter and Rahim Moore. However, this would not be advisable since it would be really f#$%ing confusing to have two Chris Harrises. NFL.com is already unable to handle the problem, as the Bronco's profile is adorned with a photo of the recent Lion.

As for Tim Tebow, Mason thinks the team will likely telegraph their intentions by virtue of what veteran QB they sign to either back up or compete with Tim.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 2-13-12"

The Daily Lard 2-12-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! RIP, Whitney Houston.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 2-12-12"

Ten Worst Moves of 2011: #8 - Fox “screws” Tebow

(Note: This is the third part in an Epic a mini ten-part series on the Worst Moves of 2011; we'll also be doing a ten-part mini on the Ten Best Moves of 2011.  If you want to see #10: Trading Jabar Gaffney, click here; #9: The Duke Takes on Twitter, click here.)

As Tom Nalen said earlier in the week, it's all Josh McDaniels' fault.

Last time we hooked up, dear readers, I pointed out John Elway's mishaps into social media.  I speculated that because of the previous regime, one in which Josh McDaniels went all WW2 propaganda on everyone (loose lips sink ships, y'all), the Denver Broncos were set on making 2011 one in which there were multiple points of contact, interviews were as easy to come by as substance abuse in Oakland, and the organization was open and transparent as a Knowshown Moreno personalized license plate.

Continue reading "Ten Worst Moves of 2011: #8 - Fox “screws” Tebow"

The Daily Lard 2-11-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! A pair of academic economists thinks the end of football is a much stronger likelihood than most of us are willing to consider, especially as we learn more about the wide-ranging and long-lasting effects of head injuries. Tyler Cowen and Kevin Grier believe either liability suits or potentially conclusive medical research linking CTE to football will bring down our beloved sport, as parents seek to protect their children and those involved in the sport at the coaching and administrative levels depart due to litigation fears.

An earlier Grantland piece by Jonah Lehrer (sorry to say we missed this one the first time around) addresses the difficulties facing high school coaches and medical staffs as they attempt to prevent, diagnose, and treat concussions. Sadly, even the most generously funded and purely intentioned of programs appear to be losing that battle, which cannot speak well for those with smaller budgets and less institutional dedication to attacking a problem which may have no solution.

If that's the case, Cowen and Grier suggest that basketball will become America's sport if or when football loses its stranglehold. So, how about this Jeremy Lin?

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 2-11-12"

Fixing the Broncos passing game

Howdy, friends.  In case you hadn’t noticed, I decided to take a little unannounced break from writing about football.  (I figured if I announced it that people might think that I’m full of myself, or something.)  Today, I decided to return, because I think that we’re on the precipice of a very interesting offseason as Broncos fans, and that it’s time to start putting some words to it, and while I’m at it, even some sentences and paragraphs.

Today, I’m going to start where Broncos conversation always seems to start, and that’s with Tim Tebow.  I’m doing so, because I’m pretty sick of talking about him personally, and I consider this to be the act of getting something important out of the way, and then moving on from it until games start happening, and there’s something new and substantial to discuss. 

As I’ve been saying for years, I’m not in the arguing business, I’m in the saying what I think business.  After long consideration during my quiet break, I’m strengthening my resolve on that front.  I’m not going to be arguing with anybody about Tebow or anything else, because it’s just going to irritate me, and make me want to take a forever break from writing about football.  (I can think of some of you who’d like that, and you can feel free to start a blog about it or something, if you didn’t know deep down that nobody would ever read it.)  I say what I think, and that’s that, and I’ll be right or wrong based on the extent to which I know what I’m talking about, and how well my powers of educated guessing work.  You dig?

Continue reading "Fixing the Broncos passing game"

The Daily Lard 2-10-12

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! My, how quickly things have changed in Oakland. It was only last February that the Raiders gave CB Stanford Routt a puzzling $20M in guarantees to stick around, later restructuring his deal to make it a five-year contract worth a potential $54.5M (but with no extra guarantees beyond the $20M). These were the kind of kooky decisions Al Davis made - with both of his starting corners hitting free agency, Big Al gave Routt only $5M less in guarantees than all-world CB Nnamdi Asomugha ended up getting from the Eagles.

Since then, Davis has moved on to another world, Huebris Jackson is no longer the coach, and Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen are now running the show. Yesterday, the duo established in full that the Raiders are their team, and they put the entire roster on notice by cutting Routt, who had allowed nine touchdowns and dubiously led the league with 17 penalties called against him in 2011.

Routt's agent has reportedly already garnered interest from Buffalo and Tennessee, but no matter where the 2005 second-rounder lands, the message is clear: McKenzie and Allen will not hesitate to differentiate themselves from Davis's ways - which can only be a bad thing for the Broncos and the rest of the AFC West.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 2-10-12"