Broncography: Luke Richesson

At this time of the year, a lot of the athletes who will compete at Combine are working out intensively at a variety of gym complexes that often house the athlete and will generally offer nutritional programs, a full kitchen for meals that are specifically designed to permit maximum performance, and a Star Wars workout facility. Machines for testing oxygen intake and CO2 exhalations sit alongside the treadmills that they will be used with. The cold pools that reduce muscle inflammation are filled with shivering, shaking prospects. There are machines for every muscle, and a wide range of other training devices as well.

I’ve written before on Charles Dimry, a one-time Broncos cornerback, and his facility, a franchise of Velocity Performance. There is a big fish in this growth-industry pond that used to be Athletes Performance Institute. Now it’s just Athletes Performance, but nearly everyone still calls it API. Luke Richesson was with them for 10 years. API turns out top professional athletes on a consistent basis - they’re booked solid during the predraft training cycle. Professional athletes from a variety of sports train there year-round.

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The Daily Lard 2-9-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's time again for Woody's Mailbag! Let's see what he's got for us on this fine morn:

There are so many people who think they can "fix" Tebow...Bratkowski and Martinez both think Tebow will be a great passing quarterback...Sean Salisbury, the former NFL quarterback who worked for ESPN for years, said (not to me, but to various others) during the Super Bowl week that he could "fix" Tim Tebow in two weeks and turn him into a "60 percent completion" quarterback.

Yes, clearly everyone who says they can fix Tim's problems are saying so out of purely charitable honesty. There's no ego or self-interest involved. Tell me Woody - is someone really going to say No, I can't fix Tim? Of course not - it's not like Tim is an uncoordinated, unathletic spaz. OF COURSE HE CAN BE FIXED. Tim could also become a concert pianist or an NBA point guard if he put in enough time.

BTW Woodrow, why in the wide world of sports would Timmy want to work with Sean Salisbury? Because he was such a great QB himself? Because he's successfully coached so many other QBs?

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Impressions from SB 46

It wasn’t the most exciting Super Bowl ever. As a matter of fact, it really didn’t make the top 10 for me, which was disappointing considering the backstory. I had hoped, on one level, for the Pats to win so that both teams might meet one more time for a third, winner-takes-all match. As it was, the Giants showed that they are a deeper team with a better defense and that Eli Manning has long since overcome the comments on how he’s just a fair QB who’s gotten lucky as to where he’s gone. After all the articles and commentary about how defense doesn’t win championships, New York’s showed that while you don’t win a SB by yourself, the team with the better defense has a distinct advantage.

I made a few notes during the game on things that I thought might be of interest. The first was a tip of the chapeau to both teams on the composition of their lines and the way that they schemed their defenses. It was a chance to watch the various approaches of a 4-3 line on the Giants side (with appropriate hybrid fronts, just as the Patriots played off of theirs) and a 3-4 on the other, with Vince Wilfork seemingly having found the fountain of youth. He was a monster all playoff long, and I can’t stress enough that if you go back and watch his hand position, pad level, explosion and technique, you start to understand why he’s gotten better of late instead of weaker. He may not have the best stats in the league, but I’d go to war next to Chris Snee anytime and watching him fight with Vince Wilfork and the NE front seven is something that I’ll get a chance to go back and break down in still more detail, just for the fun of it.

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The Daily Lard 2-8-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Only a week after saying he'd be back with the Ravens in 2012, Ricky Williams announced his (second) retirement from the NFL yesterday; he attributed the decision to his own self-reflection after having received a text message from Bill Parcells which read, "Don't chase this thing too long. You can contribute in other ways."

The first time Williams retired was just days before the start of Dolphins training camp in 2004, when it was rumored he had had a third positive drug test and would be ineligible for the season anyway. After coming out of retirement in 2005 and playing that season for the Dolphins, Williams had another positive drug test and was suspended for the 2006 season, which he instead spent in the CFL with the Toronto Argonauts. Williams returned to the Dolphins the next year but suffered a season-ending injury during his first game back.

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Ten Worst Moves of 2011: #9 - The Duke takes on Twitter

(Note: This is the second 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.)

Social media--it's all the rage.  Like a moth to a flame (or an illiterate with an eye piercing to a bag of K2), corporations are flinging themselves headlong into the space with little thought of the results of their actions.  The recent McDonald's Chicken McNuggets Twitter disaster is just one example.

The Denver Broncos' foray into social media, while not a meltdown of epic proportions, was certainly fraught with its share of missteps.  And that's why John Elway's venture into Twitter is #9 on our list of the Ten Worst Moves of 2011.

After the regime of Josh McDaniels, in which nothing was given, contact was limited to only one Napoleonic figure, and misinformation was as highly prized as the real McCoy, the Broncos felt like social media was an opportunity to reconnect with fans and present a kinder, gentler organization.  In fact, Jim Saccomano, Vice President of Kool-Aid Public Relations, tweeted in September of 2011: "Level of availability to press by coach Fox, John Elway, and personnel people unmatched in recent Denver seasons."

That sounds downright neighborly.  And you can hardly blame the Broncos. McDaniels might have been headed down the path of Scott Pioli for all we know, and with Brian Xanders so afraid to express his desire to draft Clay Matthews, he might have gone into a shell.

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The Daily Lard 2-7-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his latest mailbag, Mike Klis thinks veteran QBs won't shy away from Tebowmania because they all probably think/know they can beat Tim in a fair QB competition, and he puzzlingly posits that, "The only way the Broncos reach the Super Bowl within the next three years is if Tebow leads them." Three years, really?

According to Klis, Jack Del Rio has a two-year contract (not sure we knew that prior), and he suggests that even if Del Rio leaves after a year for another HC gig, perhaps a revolving door at DC won't be as big a deal under John Fox as it was with Shanny and McDaniels. I'll buy that.

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Ten things I learned from the Super Bowl

1. Giants fans were fooled by randomness.  The Giants had three fumbles - one was negated by penalty, and they recovered the other two.  As we all know, fumbling is not random, but fumble recovery is.  If any of those fumbles goes the other direction, the Patriots win this game.  History's winners write the narrative, however, so all you need to know is that Eli Manning is a winner and so is Tom Coughlin.  And technically, that's true.

2. Field position matters.  The starting field position for the Giants yesterday was 25-yard line.  The average for the Patriots was the 16-yard line.  That eight yards may not seem like a lot, and it is a small sample size, but from an Expected Points Value (EPV), it's meaningful.  The difference in EPV from the two numbers is 3.87 points alone in a game that ended 21-17.  No, it's not direct causation, just another way of saying where you start your drive matters--a lot.

3. Gunslingers are still important.  Watching Manning and Brady sling the ball all over the field in multiple wide receiver sets while progressing through two and three reads in the pocket was impressive, and it demonstrates again the importance of having a quarterback who can make like Devo--that is to say, whip it.  Did I mention Tim Tebow?   Do I have to?

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The Daily Lard 2-6-12

Welcome to the offseason, Broncos fans! For the second time in five seasons, the Giants took down the favored Patriots in the Super Bowl - this time 21-17 for their fourth SB title, all of which have come in the past 26 seasons. Eli Manning again earned SB MVP honors with a late fourth-quarter drive; it started with an exceptional throw and catch to Mario Manningham and ended with the Patriots intentionally allowing (ala the Packers in SB 32) Ahmad Bradshaw to score a TD he tried not to score. But momentum carried Bradshaw into the end zone, leaving Tom Brady and the Pats 57 seconds left to score a TD, and the game ended with a Hail Mary pass that ended up being a bit closer than anyone likely expected it to be.

The Manningham catch would easily be the longest play of the game, and arguably the most important one. From New England's perspective, the game turned just 20 seconds prior on a dropped pass by Wes Welker just outside the Giants 20-yard line. As Brian Burke details, there were few big plays and the game overall was rather unexciting for one with such a close result. This marks the NFC's third straight SB win, and the Giants are the first 9-7 team to take the title; the 2010 Packers, 1988 Niners, and 2007 Giants are the only 10-6 champs. 19 regular season wins in two SB-winning seasons - seven fewer than the '97-'98 Broncos tallied.

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Open Thread - Super Bowl 46

Enjoy the game, everyone! 

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The Daily Lard 2-5-12

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, Broncos fans! The NFL hosted their first ever awards show last night - Aaron Rodgers was named league MVP, Drew Brees took Offensive POY, Terrell Suggs the Defensive POY, Jim Harbaugh the Coach of the Year, and Matthew Stafford was named Comeback POY. Of course, Von Miller took DROY and Cam Newton was his offensive counterpart.

Meanwhile, six players were named to the Pro Football HOF yesterday: Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Curtis Martin and two AFC West stars - Cortez Kennedy and Willie Roaf. Did any of these players perform on a level different than that of Terrell Davis and Steve Atwater? I think not.

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