The Daily Lard 6-7-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Now that Ty Warren is back in the fold after finding a financial "middle ground" with the team, Denver's perpetual question mark at defensive tackle just got a whole lot smaller. Provided Ty's able to avoid a freak injury like the torn triceps he suffered last summer, we are now free to move on from the silliness of thinking an undrafted second-year tackle (Sealver Siliga) on his second team was going to be a starter. Yet it's not just Siliga who will now presumably be afforded the learning curve befitting a young DT; Warren's presence should free Derek Wolfe of the unfairly weighty expectations not normally placed on a second-rounder (it's not his fault he was Denver's first pick).

As for Warren's health, he's apparently In the Best Shape of His Life (ITBSOHL), which is of course what most players will say in June, but that the 310-pounder hasn't played since 2009 means he may actually be as minty "fresh" as he declares. The ex-Aggie never considered retirement, worked hard in his rehab, and "hate(s) that (he) couldn't contribute" the past two seasons in New England and Denver.

Ty's disposition is so sunny that he's glad to see Woody Paige, who in turn is so taken with the gregarious big man that he attributes him a third SB ring, one more than he actually possesses. At least Woody has the good sense to eviscerate the populists/borderline racists who have had the nerve to suggest the classy Warren is either lazy or taking advantage of the Broncos by collecting his agreed upon salary.

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Ty Warren accepts pay cut from Broncos

Ty Warren has ended his unofficial holdout and joined the team for today's OTAs. Denver had sought to cut the veteran defensive tackle's salary from a contracted $4M down to $1M-1.5M according to earlier reports.

The former Texas A&M Aggie and first-round pick of the Patriots spent eight seasons with New England before signing a two-year, $8M free-agent deal with the Broncos last August. But a torn triceps muscle suffered during training camp caused him to miss the season; a hip injury had cost Warren his 2010 season.

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What Ray Bradbury can teach you

As you've probably heard by now, the great science fiction writer Ray Bradbury passed away today at the age of 91.  Since I (mostly) stay on topics that have some relation to football or a football-related event, I won't rehash the greatness of Bradbury here.  What I will do, however, is pass along a quote from Bradbury that you'll find useful in your own life:

The Muse must have shape. You will write a thousand words a day for ten to twenty years in order to try to give it shape, to learn enough about grammar and story construction so that these become part of the Subconscious, without restraining or distorting the Muse.

This quote comes from the book Zen and The Art of Writing.

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The Daily Lard 6-6-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Linebackers Joe Mays and Wesley Woodyard (videos) spoke after practice yesterday.

Mays expects the outside presence of Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil to force opposing offenses to run and throw at him instead, and he thinks Von will be even better in 2012 than he was last year.

Mays and Woodyard are both excited to see larger bodies at defensive tackle this year and expect this development to leave the two of them free to make more plays. Wesley appreciates that DC Jack Del Rio was himself an NFL linebacker, and he's been showing fellow Kentucky alum Danny Trevathan the ropes.

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Sirius XM NFL Radio and its associated scams

As the kind of person who constantly experiences mental stimulus in day-to-day life, I often get interested in something based on that stimulus and seek out information on it.  I'd bet I use the Wikipedia app on my iPhone 10 times a day when some random thing gets mentioned, and I want to know more about it.  I’m an intellectually curious person, and the downside of that is that it’s sometimes easy to get distracted by stuff, and pulled strongly in a strange direction, if only temporarily.

I don’t say this to sneer at those who are less intellectually curious than I am, but rather to help you understand where I’m coming from.  A longtime reader claimed last week that all I like to do is talk about which stupid people annoy me on a given day, and I suppose I can see where that comes from.  I think it’s an overly simplistic take, and there’s always a larger point to what I am writing about than simply to criticize somebody, but I sometimes do write more candidly and less collegially than is the norm.

This part of the offseason is kind of a tough time, because nothing very interesting is going on.  I get my information from my eyes, and my eyes can’t see anything right now, you know?  For that reason, I get a bit distracted by other shiny things going on, and rather than write vacuous tripe about nothing going on, like a newspaper columnist has to, I often feel like writing about other stuff.

The way I see it, I’ve got an audience, and I want to benefit and serve that audience the best way I can every time I write - even if they don’t necessarily know what the topic will be on a given day.  Plus, it’s fun to piss off the ninnies and the trolls who flame us via email.  Then, we say, oh yeah, that guy’s an idiot, and we all have a big group laugh at his expense.  (That was my obligatory idiot-calling of the column.)

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The Daily Lard 6-5-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Fox and Peyton Manning (videos) spoke after yesterday's OTA practice; Chris Hall reported from Dove Valley for BTV, plus practice photos via Andrew Mason.

Much of the talk circled around Manning showing off the progress of his arm by throwing a handful of deep passes, one of which resulted in a sprawling catch in triple coverage by Brandon Stokley, with an earlier pass coming back on a Champ Bailey pick-six. Stokley's catch came during a two-minute drill and was followed by a fake spike and 10-yard TD pass to Eric Decker.

Manning says he's not yet all the way back in his rehab, but the team is beyond happy with his arm strength at this point.

Several players practiced returning kicks, including Matt Willis, Andre Caldwell, and rookies Ronnie Hillman, Coryell Judie, and Eric Page.

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Scouting the 2012 Broncos: Linebackers

The Broncos defense made great strides last season beyond their 2010 performance, improving in points allowed, from 32nd to 24th, and in yards against, from 32nd to 20th.

Better players, including the return from injury by Elvis Dumervil and the addition of second-overall pick and eventual DROY Von Miller, were significant factors. The coaching of John Fox and Dennis Allen also loomed large, but with Allen having departed for the darker pastures of Oakland, the defense is now in the hands of former Pro Bowl linebacker and ex-longtime Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio.

Like Del Rio, linebackers coach Richard Smith has been a successful coordinator in the past and also coached under Fox with the Panthers.

So far we've examined the team's options at tackle and end; let's look today at the linebackers Fox, Del Rio, and Smith will have at their disposal:

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The Daily Lard 6-4-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon, the fifth-overall pick in the draft out of Oklahoma State, was arrested for aggravated DUI in Stillwater yesterday morning.

The blood alcohol content limit in Oklahoma is .08 percent, and the threshold for aggravated DUI is .15 percent. Blackmon reportedly blew a .24 percent BAC. Yikes.

Blackmon had a prior drunk driving incident in 2010, when he was arrested while driving to a Dallas Cowboys game without permission to leave his own team to do so. According to the NFL, Blackmon is subject to the league's personal-conduct policies despite not yet having signed a contract and will likely face a suspension in his rookie season.

If you're wondering, a .24 percent BAC only moves Blackmon into a tie for the 20th-highest BAC recorded in the sports world.

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The Daily Lard 6-3-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mark Kiszla suggests the Broncos move on from Ty Warren, adopting Mike Klis's populist tact of highlighting the salaries Warren has been paid over the past two seasons in New England and Denver.

Why should the Broncos, or us fans, care what New England paid Warren in 2010? We shouldn't, because it's irrelevant. All that does is paint Warren as an overpaid underperformer; he has been anything but that during his career. Some DP readers are likely substituting for his name some iteration of fat cat and lazy bum. Indeed, the first commenter had the incredible nerve to compare Warren to perennial malcontent Albert Haynesworth.

What does Warren's 2010 salary have to do with what he should be paid in 2012? Honestly, nothing.

Does Warren owe the Broncos? Not really. They knew when they signed him that his health was/is a great risk, and that veteran players do not lose their salaries when injury strikes is one of the more just NFL compensation rules.

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The Daily Lard 6-2-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday brought a pair of major developments in the Saints bounty scandal.

In a lengthy post on his website, filmmaker Sean Pamphilon offers his own recollection from watching (along with then ex-Saint Scott Fujita) the notorious speech given by Gregg Williams on the eve of the Saints' playoff loss at San Francisco. Pamphilon says Williams handed out envelopes of cash as bonuses, with at least one of them as payment for a "whack hit," with players apparently encouraging each other to "give it back" or reinvest the winnings in the bounty pool.

The filmmaker notes a discomfort in Fujita with the speech, and an apparent sense of regret for having participated in the same during his time with the team. Pamphilon says Fujita and QB Drew Brees both encouraged him to release the audio recording of the speech, with the goal being to shove the bulk of blame onto Williams.

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