Fat Camp: Leverage and Robert Ayers

I’ve emphasized the importance of leverage in a variety of situations, mostly in terms of blocking or pass rushing.  No matter the position you’re playing, leverage has a major role in how much success you’ll achieve. Sometimes it’s getting your hands on the ballcarrier - good tackling form requires good use of leverage. Linebackers use it to keep their legs clear of clutter during a play. Wide receivers and cornerbacks talk about leveraging - bring force to bear - on a specific route. When you have a cornerback covering you tightly and you fake a cut into his body but plant and cut away sharply, he’s lost the leverage on that route.

It works the other way - you’ll see Champ Bailey taking away the leverage from a receiver by legally interfering with where the receiver wants to go. A top quarterback can do the same thing with just his eyes, forcing a safety to break on one route in order to set up another receiver to be open. Leverage can be physical, as it is in pass rushing and in blocking. It can be the intangible key to a successful negotiation or a defended or completed pass. It’s one of the keys to football on a number of levels.

I talk about leverage a lot because it’s equally important for the defenders and for the offensive linemen or whoever - a tight end, wide receiver or running back - who has to take on a defender and turn them away. The guy who achieves leverage first will win the battle. As I mentioned when talking about drive blocking - moving your opponent three vertical inches will win the encounter. That works for defenders who are working a bull rush, too - if you can get the blocker either off-balance or moving backward three inches (both are preferable), they’re at your convenience.

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Peyton could’ve grabbed more cash in Tennessee Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Giants owner John Mara says it's "ridiculous" to accuse the league of concealing evidence on the long-term effects of concussions.

And you know what? That's true.

After all, the NFL tried very hard not to ever find that information out in the first place, by having a freaking rheumatologist (Jets head doctor Elliot Pellman) head up its concussion committee, and by blackballing CTE expert Bennet Omalu and his pioneering research.

How can anyone possibly accuse the NFL of concealing information that its so-called "experts" did not have the expertise to interpret?

Surely there's a Randian explanation for all of this...

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The Bartlett Defense: Part 3 - Reads and thought processes

Happy Tuesday, friends.  A few of you have been asking in comments around the site how my move has been going, and the answer is that it’s been kind of a cluster-(you know what).  My moving company packed up my stuff on Friday 6/29, and they told me that they average three to five days for delivery.  A few days ago, I got tired of spending money on hotels, and I started camping out on the floor in my new place, with no furniture.  As of Monday night 7/9, there’s still no telling when my stuff is coming to Florida, and the company wasn’t too sympathetic to my plight when I called them this morning.

Other than that, though, things are good. I started the new job, and everything is cool there.  This whole thing is a big adjustment, and it will require figuring out some new habits and routines, but I’m going to try to start returning some normalcy to my writing schedule this week.

Today, we'll do Part 3 of my series on the Bartlett Defense.  If you’re just joining us, or want to refresh your memory, please see the following links:

Part 1 – Personnel and Alignment

Part 2 – Principles for 100% Soundness

Part 2.5 – Responding to an Excellent Comment

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John Clayton and Clark Judge have insight beyond our feeble minds Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday we mentioned that Rusty Hardin (known recently in the sports world for representing colossal dick Roger Clemens) was the assistant DA when a bunch of Mets were arrested in Houston 26 years ago in similar fashion to Adrian Peterson.

Well, guess what? Hardin is now representing Peterson, and he says that not only did ADP not push or shove any cops, but they "struck (Peterson) at least twice in the face."

A spokesperson for the HPD scrambled by saying Peterson will likely only face a fine. But with the clean-imaged Peterson and the high-profile wildly successful Hardin unlikely to relent, it's probably a bit too late for that.

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Fat Camp: The power of drive blocking

The keys to the basics of blocking are found in the drive block. When an offensive line player is run blocking, the drive block is going to be central to that approach.

Even a zone-blocking team uses them at times:  they demonstrate a lot of keys that apply to any form of run blocking. I’m going to present a description of the how-tos of it and also provide a selection of some videos that offer useful tips. The detail that goes into this technique is remarkable.  I’m going to keep to just the main points.

The goal of drive blocking is to engage a defender - defensive tackle, end, or linebacker - and to control them to the point where you can move them to the side or backwards, or put them on the ground. You can drive block from a two-point stance - firing out from a crouch - a three-point stance, or a four-point stance. It’s all dependent on which lineman is blocking and what situation they’re in.

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Don’t go to Houston nightclubs if you’re a pro athlete Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Washington GM Bruce Allen steps in for PK in writing today's MMQB, and he spends the opener shamelessly fluffing the horrible owners he's worked under: Al Davis, the Glazers, and Dan Snyder.

He also says he dislikes "political correctness" (in a locker room), and how could he not say that when his franchise's name is the epitome of racism? Anyway, the whole column is a shoutout to his family and friends, and it's probably more self-referencing than anything PK himself has ever written.

We can only hope the boys at KSK will choose to obliterate this column instead of digging up more vintage PK, because between calling Snyder "brilliantly quick and witty," trying to portray D.C. as the greatest place in the world, and lobbying for his buddies to make the HOF, this is basically MMQB in his purest, most concentrated form. Eau de MMQB, if you will.

Updated 9:26am ET

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The sky isn’t always blue Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Former nemesis Priest Holmes is among the latest ex-NFL stars to speak up about the lingering physical effects of his playing career:

As much as I loved it (football), that same love now has put me in situations that I have to live with. The frontal headaches, the migraines. Laying in bed, it’s tough to get out mornings just because of the pain that is setting in with an arthritic condition, it’s things like that that you never would have really thought about.

Holmes also describes the on-field symptoms he experienced after concussions in frightening fashion:

For a moment, as bodies are peeled off a woozy ballcarrier by officials and teammates, the sky can change color or become a heavenly light.

“This color obviously isn’t going to be blue. It can be a color that can be orange. It can be red. The sky could turn green,” Holmes told The Daily. “There’s even an episode where you see a clear light, like light at the end of the tunnel.”

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Bubby Brister among latest NFLers to sue over concussions Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Chase Stuart's next look at franchise record holders covers receiving stats. Of course, almost all of Denver's marks are held by newest Ring of Famer Rod Smith, who will gain induction during a Week 3 ceremony when Kubes and the Texans are in town.

But there is one big record that Rod doesn't own, and it's the Broncos standard for touchdown catches in a single season.

Like Stuart has done with his trivia questions, I'll offer a few hints. But since I haven't figured out how to hide them just yet, I'll slip them throughout the Lard.

Gold star to anyone who can guess the player without a hint.

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Shanny’s control freakishness is rubbing off on his pal Fisher Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! The bounty scandal took its latest expected steps yesterday, as the NFLPA filed suit against the league on behalf of suspended players Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove, and Will Smith, alleging that the Ginger Hammer showed bias in his handling of the punishments and appeals.

Within the suit, the players stick to their claim they never participated in an organized bounty system meant to harm opponents, while the NFL responded by calling it an improper suit. In another court action, Roger Goodell filed a motion to dismiss Jonathan Vilma's defamation lawsuit against him.

And interestingly, in Goodell's letter to the suspended players turning down their appeal, he backs off the league's claim that it was Anthony Hargrove who uttered the infamous "give me my money" line.

But ultimately, Andrew Brandt thinks the players are swimming upstream and should have addressed the NFL's disciplinary system during the last CBA negotiations instead of fight it now.

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Weekly Limerick Schtick: Roger Goodell

Last week's topic was Demaryius Thomas.  This week's topic is Roger Goodell.

With Roger Goodell at the head
there's always a reason to dread
the fine and appeal
that seems so surreal
since he fellates himself instead.

Now, take your own shot.  Just remember to wear your jockstrap--tight.  We don't want to see you hurt yourself playing with meter.