The Daily Lard 11-24-11

Happy Thanksgiving, Broncos fans! I'd just like to take a moment to selfishly give some IAOFM-related thanks -  I'm thankful that TJ came up with the idea to pursue this project, that Doc was all for it from Day 1, and that Ted rounded out our writing crew back in January. I'm thankful to be able to legitimately call Ted, Doc and TJ my friends, guys that I can talk to daily about life just as much as football. I'm thankful that my great pal David was willing to usher us four noobs into the world of running a website, especially when he's so busy with a demanding day job, a young family, and a humongous site of his own.

Of course, I'm thankful that all of you choose to spend so much of your valuable time reading our work and sharing your opinions and reactions, even when we don't see eye-to-eye on things. It's your readership that makes this all worthwhile, and we appreciate each and every one of you. So, on behalf of the five of us, I'd like to wish all of you a wonderful holiday - enjoy the great eats and football, and please drive safely.

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Chiefs claim Kyle Orton

Per Adam Schefter, the Kansas City Chiefs have claimed Kyle Orton off of waivers.

What does this mean for the Broncos? Stay tuned.  Kyle Orton says he may not report.  I have a feeling he will find a way to get motivated.  There are a few million reasons.

Either way, it clears some dough off Denver's back.

UPDATE 3:53PM MST:  Orton is reporting to KC by Thursday it appears. 

For those that care, officially, the Chiefs, Cowboy, and Bears all put claims in for the services of Mr. Orton.  

Wednesday Musings - Analyzing Bears/Chargers, scouting San Diego

Given that the Broncos are facing a divisional rival this weekend and are still, almost impossibly, in the hunt for the division title, I thought that I’d chime in on the SD contest and why the Bears/Chargers game mattered to the Broncos (other than the race for the division). There were some points I wanted to cover from that game that bear on both teams’ upcoming battles with the Broncos.  It was a good chance to get a preview of each, although Chicago’s new QB (whether Caleb Hanie or Kyle Orton) may change some things.

The Appetizer - San Diego at Chicago

The SD/Chicago game was both a preview of the Broncos' following opponent, and of Chicago, who comes to Mile High on December 11 and has struggles of its own, despite a winning streak that was prompted by a combination of Mike Martz making some changes to help out his QB and the Bears' excellent defensive play. Lance Briggs had a monster game against SD, and he’s playing at a very high level - as well as a very good streak by Jay Cutler which was ended by a broken thumb late in Sunday's game. San Diego didn’t help themselves, having two fumbles from RB Ryan Mathews (with one of them lost) and two INT from Philip Rivers. Chicago had a single INT, and the old adage about turnovers winning games held in this one.

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The Daily Lard 11-23-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Just some quick math to clean up Kyle Orton's contract info (not because you care, but because I'm a little OCD about making sure I get this right) - Denver paid him a $1.5M roster bonus at the end of July, and 11/17 of his $7.379M salary works out to $4,774,647.06 - so Denver has paid Kyle $6,274,647.06 and $2,604,352.94 remains. Should Chicago or KC claim him, the Broncos will be off the hook for that latter amount, Kyle gets to play rather than sit behind Tim Tebow and Brady Quinn, and perhaps he gets to go back to the playoffs with the Bears. It's a win/win for everyone, unless of course he comes back to Denver and beats the Broncos with either team. Remember how dramatic it appeared a Cutler/Orton or Cutler/Tebow might be? Well, Tebow/Orton is even better - at least as far as Denver fans are concerned.

Jeff Darlington lays out the list of teams that could put in a claim for Kyle, including perhaps Atlanta to block Chicago from getting him. Andrew Mason and Jeff Legwold detail Orton's release and his rough season, while Lindsay Jones tracks the muddled outcome of the Jay Cutler trade, which essentially netted Denver Robert Ayers and parts of Demaryius Thomas, Tebow and Eric Decker. Meanwhile, Dave Krieger thinks the whole thing seems a little fishy and wonders why Denver didn't cut Orton loose weeks ago. Well for one, what if the team had instead gone 1-4 with Tebow? And, prior to the injuries to Cutler and Matt Cassel, they were probably certain that no team would put in a claim for Kyle, and they'd be left holding the bag on his remaining salary. So as usual, it's all about the Benjamins.

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Broncos waive Kyle Orton

According to Adam Schefter, the Broncos have parted ways with Kyle Orton today. Pure speculation, but my first thoughts are either that Orton requested his release or was vocally unsupportive of Tim Tebow and/or the coaching staff, or maybe this was done as a favor so Kyle could sign on with a team in need of a QB? Say, Kubes and the Texans? Back to Chicago?

As it turns out, Mike Klis reports that Orton and his agent approached the Denver FO about a possible release after Jay Cutler broke his thumb, an injury which will require surgery tomorrow to repair and could keep Cutler out for as long as 6-8 weeks.

There are now were conflicting reports out there on how much of Orton's $7.379M base salary is unpaid at this point, as Albert Breer says the amount is $1.324M, while but as Klis says, it's around $2.58M.

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You Got Served: Thoughts on pass protection

Happy Tuesday, friends.  It’s been five days since the last Broncos victory, so I decided not to rehash it, since it’s been done to death at this point.  I have been working on a short (for me) essay about pass protection, and I decided to make it longer and more detailed and give that to you today.  Friday, it’ll be back to Digesting the Chargers, and we should be on the regular schedule from here on out.  Ready… BEGIN!!!

1.  Once, when I was three years old, I woke my mother up from a nap.  A man was breaking into the house downstairs, I told her.  He was tall and had dark hair, and was coming in through the window in the living room.  I was telling my mom about this guy in vivid detail, and like any mom, she got scared.  I had three younger siblings who were all also having a nap at the time, so my mother went and frantically made sure that they were safe.  Then she locked us all in one room and called the cops. 

As it turned out, that was an early indication of the kind of storyteller I was to become.  It was like little Eddie Murphy telling the joke about the monkey kicking the lion in the ding-ding.  We are all uniquely ourselves, and our character starts getting revealed at a young age.  I wasn’t lying, of course; I had just thought up some cool fiction and was sharing it with my mom.  She was not as impressed as I thought she’d be, and on the rare occasion I’ve ever heard her tell that story, the context is how hard it was to raise four little kids at once, and tangentially, that I had a hellion moment here and there.  (Both are fair points, of course.)

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The Daily Lard 11-22-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his latest mailbag, Mike Klis again makes the case for Denver to draft Baylor's Robert Griffin III, claiming that Griffin can thrive on the same running plays that Tim Tebow does but is also pass better. He also suggests that the key to improving Tebow's accuracy is in sharpening his footwork, rather than his long and slow throwing motion. Klis isn't so sure that Tim tends to throw catchable passes, and that instead his delivery may hide the ball from receivers' eyes, he throws a "heavy" ball, and his passes often rise or dive in the air.

Klis believes Wesley Woodyard's role in the NFL will continue to be as a nickel linebacker who can fill in as an occasional starter but isn't bulky enough to play on first and second down regularly. He also foresees the Broncos trying to re-sign both Brodrick Bunkley and Marcus Thomas, who are currently playing on one-year deals, although no negotiations have begun with either player. At the safety position, Klis thinks it's realistic to imagine both Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter starting next season.

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Open Thread - MNF Week 11

Enjoy the game everyone, and Go Pats! Mike TanierMatt Bowen and Erik Frenz of CHFF share their thoughts on the matchup.

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Wk 13 game at Vikes moved up 3 hours and to FOX

Denver's December 4, Week 13 game at Minnesota has been flexed from a 4:05pm ET game on CBS to a 1pm ET game on FOX instead; the Broncos/Vikings matchup swaps spots with Ravens/Browns. The NFL has also spared us the pain of having to see Curtis Painter and the Colts get whipped by the Patriots on SNF, instead swapping the game out for the potential shootout between the Lions and Saints in New Orleans.

The Daily Lard 11-21-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The AFC West games went about as expected, as the Raiders defeated the Vikings 27-21 and the Chargers lost to the Bears 31-20. Oakland is now 6-4 and a game up on the 5-5 Broncos, who are now one game ahead of San Diego. Denver remains a half-game ahead of the Chiefs, who face the daunting task of playing at Foxboro tonight with Tyler Palko starting for them at QB. Carson Palmer threw and ran for a score, while Michael Bush racked up 129 total yards and a TD for Oakland. Christian Ponder rallied Minnesota back from a 27-7 hole with two TD passes but was also picked off three times.

Meanwhile, Jay Cutler got a measure of revenge on the Chargers and his old nemesis Phil Rivers, but the satisfaction was shortlived and overshadowed by the fact that Cutler broke his right thumb late in yesterday's game, will have surgery to repair it, and will not be playing when the Bears come to town on December 11. It'll still be a big QB homecoming, just not for the Broncos - they'll instead be facing Cutler's backup, former CSU Ram Caleb Hanie. So, all Tim Tebow will have to do that day is outscore Devin Hester. Piece of cake, right? Matt Bowen breaks down the Bears' victory, plus he considers the Bears' plight without Cutler.

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