The real reason Bill O’Brien is staying at Penn State

Earlier today, Doug lauded Bill O'Brien's stated dedication to all that is good and right about college athletics, apple pie, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but me, being me, I'm going to have to take a moment to suggest that it had a wee bit to do with his $18.4 million buyout with Penn State.

You see, even if some crazy owner wanted to pay that buyout on O'Brien's behalf (which would be absolutely insane), the story wouldn't be over.  Since they'd be paying O'Brien's debt to Penn State, that would be ordinary income for him, and he'd have tax liability for it, even though it passed through his bank account instantaneously (if at all).

If somebody pays you $18.4 million, and you never see a dollar of that in cash, it gets to be hard to come up with the $7.3 million (39.6%) you'll owe Uncle Sam.  Of course, last week/year, the bill only would have been $6.4 million (35%).  So fans who really wanted O'Brien can blame Barack Obama if they want.  In any case, there's no way O'Brien could even pay the tax on the buyout, even if a team was willing to drop all that cash, which is extremely unlikely.

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Gut Reaction: Chiefs hire Andy Reid

Happy Friday, friends.  I have some thoughts about the hiring of Andy Reid by the Kansas City Chiefs.  The more I think about it, the more deeply ambivalent I become about the move.  It affects us directly as Broncos fans, though, so let’s give it a think.

First off, the talent pool in Kansas City is atrocious, and it’s poorly fitted to the kinds of schematic approaches that Reid has historically favored.  

In terms of the offensive skill positions, the only players that Kansas City can even consider to be real keepers are Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki, and Moeaki is overrated.  Dexter McCluster is a useful guy as a matchup problem, and he’ll be in his last year of his rookie deal.  Jonathan Baldwin looks like a giant bust, not that I am surprised.

The Chiefs have no QB and no speed at WR, and Reid likes to go deep with speed guys as much as any coach in the NFL.  There are a few guys with some promise on the offensive line, but as a group, today, they’re not good.  If Juan Castillo becomes the OL coach, I see a couple of them (Rodney Hudson, Donald Stephenson) not being great scheme fits, because Castillo has tended to favor larger players, and asked them to do a lot more drive blocking than zone blocking.

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Happy Anniversary, John Elway

h/t Matt Connolly

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Bill O’Brien: loyal, humble state employee Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Expectations continue to be that Andy Reid will become the next head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.

When this happens, Arizona and San Diego, who had been scheduled to interview the ex-Eagles coach, will each be down two targets.

PSU's Bill O'Brien, who had already interviewed with the Browns and was also being pursued by the Eagles,  Cardinals, and Chargers, announced he will be staying at the school.

Of course, as these college coaches tend to do, O'Brien framed his decision as him being a great guy who sees through commitments. You know, he was so committed to not being a "one-and-done guy," that he went for an interview. Look, there's nothing wrong with going for the interview; people look to improve their job situations all the time. But don't claim you're the most loyal person on earth just because you weren't offered didn't take the job.

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STDL: Broncos upgraded a bit at QB in 2012

I wanted Tim Tebow to be a great NFL quarterback.

No, really. I did.

As Tebow's Hail Mary pass to Brandon Lloyd fell incomplete, thus ending Denver's wretched 2010 season, I was the one Broncos fan at SideBar in New York City (the birthplace of Tebowing) openly cheering the result.

Now, you're not supposed to root against your team, but Denver's draft standing was at stake - a win would have dropped the Broncos all the way from second to fifth in the 2011 Draft, and as much as we'd like to think that pick may have turned into Aldon Smith or J.J. Watt, we can be sure it would not have netted Von Miller.

Draft position aside, there was nothing to be gained out of finishing 5-11 rather than 4-12, and besides, I thought something much more important had occurred that day at the Big IF.

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John Elway: The Broncos were in the worst shape ever when I took over

John Elway joined the usually gruff Sandy Clough yesterday morning on 104.3 The Fan, Denver's local sports talk radio station.  He opened up quite a bit on his thinking over the last two years on the job. I was struck by one particular answer regarding Clough's glowing praise for Peyton Manning's intelligence:

There were a lot of good things that Peyton hadn't seen before that Mike McCoy and Gase were doing...Peyton saw something he hadn't seen in 14 he got some new ideas from McCoy and Gase.  And to me it made that package that much better and I think that's why we had the year we had offensively.

This is a slightly different narrative than the one we're used to--you know, the one that paints the Broncos as an exact replica of the Peyton Manning Machine that existed in Indianapolis.  Perhaps this was true at the beginning of the year, when the Broncos utlized the fullback more often, but my guess here is that Elway doing what all good bosses do, which is to spread the credit around so that everyone feels ownership over the result.  Elway could be helping McCoy out as well, during a time when teams across the league want to know that McCoy has the chops to be a head coach.  Of course, the final explanation could be the most likely: McCoy knows his stuff, and in his time in Denver (and beyond), he picked up some additional offensive strategies from guys like boy genius Josh McDaniels (gasp!).

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Another day, another honor for Manning

A day after winning the AFC Offensive POW award for his play in the Week 17 finale against Kansas City, Peyton Manning has been named the conference's top offensive player for the month of December.

Manning received the same honor for his play in October, and he has now won the award six times during his career.

Raiders facing another overhaul Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! This week continues to be all about coach firings and interviews.

Andy Reid met yesterday with Clark Hunt (and yes, Scott Pioli) for almost nine hours - prompting speculation that Reid is atop KC's wish list - and he will interview with Arizona either today or tomorrow.

As for who will replace Reid in Philly, Eagles brass will interview both DC Mike Nolan and special teams coach Keith Armstrong of the Falcons in Atlanta. Jeffrey Lurie & Co. are also said to be interested in Bill O'Brien, but hiring him away from PSU could require a prohibitive $18.4M payment to break his contract at Happy Valley.

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Mike Klis + Mailbaggery = Fail

Mike Klis participated in some mailbaggery today for the DP, and was asked the following question:

I have followed Peyton Manning closely since his freshman year at Tennessee. Against Cleveland was the first time in Peyton's career he has ever worn a glove. Is this a result of his nerve injury and inability to grip the ball in cold weather? As an aside, notice how even with a new offense, he doesn't need a play-calling cheat sheet on his wrist. A testament to his unparalleled football acumen, something even Brady can't claim.
--Rodney, Asheville, N.C

Klis went on to answer this dude, and I don't want to quote him directly that much, because the DP has a history of being overzealous about Fair Use, to the point where you paste any of their content, they now give you this as an added bonus:

Read more:Broncos Mailbag: Peyton Manning's glove and why it's so important - The Denver Post

Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content:

Thanks for that, guys.  To paraphrase, here's the gist of Klis's answer:

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The 2012 IAOFM brag sheet

Happy New Year, friends.  As we finish up our third regular season of operation, it occurs to me that we had a pretty good year of advancing football knowledge, and of getting stuff right.  In my Navy days, we’d have an annual performance evaluation, and a key part of the process was what’s called the brag sheet.  The sailor being graded would list his/her accomplishments during the year, so that the evaluator wouldn’t forget anything, and could consider everything the sailor thought should be appraised.

We believe in accountability here at IAOFM, and when we get something wrong, we readily admit it.  When we get things right, though, it seems appropriate to be proud of that, and to make sure that those successes make it into our assessment, such as it is.

This is our 2012 brag sheet.  It's like the "best of" articles that other blogs are running, but it's different in our IAOFM way.  I’m writing it, because I have no pretense of false humility, and we all know that.  When we kick ass, I’ll say it, and when we fall short, I’ll be just as quick to admit it.  In general, I’m just as humble as my record says I should be.

We believe that we’ve been the best source of Broncos information and analysis anywhere, and we hope you agree.  These are in no particular order, and in fact, I kind of spaced them out haphazardly, so that you'd read the whole thing.  Check it out, look back at the year of IAOFM with us, and tell a friend.

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