Atwater, Davis, Lynch, Mecklenburg among HOF semifinalists

Former Broncos Steve Atwater, Terrell Davis, John Lynch, and Karl Mecklenburg are among 27 semifinalists who will be considered for enshrinement in the 2013 HOF class, it was announced Friday.

The list of 27 former players, coaches, and executives will be pared to 15 finalists (plus the two Senior Committee candidates) in January, and the Class of 2013 will be chosen on Saturday, February 2, the day preceding SB 46 in New Orleans.

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Fat Camp: The multiplicity of the Broncos defense

Happy Friday, friends.  I was going to write an article today breaking down the Broncos-Bucs game, but Andy Benoit did a really good job of it yesterday for Football Outsiders, and I don’t really feel like it’s necessary to go over the same ground he just plowed.

Instead, I want to write about a topic I’ve been meaning to get to for a few weeks, which is the unusual multiplicity of the Broncos defense this year.  Two passages from the aforementioned Benoit article get to this topic.  Here is the first one that jumped out at me:

Laudable as Denver’s offense has been, it’s the defense that has this team looking like Super Bowl favorites in the AFC. It’s almost fruitless trying to analyze this scheme, as John Fox and Jack Del Rio have sprinkled it with so many different flavors. 

The Broncos are really doing a bunch of stuff on defense this year.  They’re switching their fronts, and subtly adjusting their alignments, and mixing up their coverages, and varying their blitzes.  It’s to the point that offenses can’t really get a good read on what the Broncos are doing defensively, because they’re doing a bit of everything.

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Broncos win would clinch AFCW and NFCS Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Adderall has become a hot topic in the NFL this season.

A slew of players have been suspended this season for apparent abuse of the ADHD med, including Broncos tight end Virgil Green. Most players have challenged their bans, with varying levels of success. Excuses for positive tests by players have ranged from needing to stay awake during long drives, to incorrectly filed paperwork with the league, to urine sample switcheroos.

Outside theories on the rise in positive tests have included players needing a boost to trudge through their lengthy playbooks, or seeking an awareness edge during games, or covering for a more sinister substance (ie steroids) by citing the more societally acceptable Adderall.

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Open Thread: TNF Week 13 - Saints @ Falcons

Bucky Brooks, Matt Bowen, Nathan JahnkeBenjamin Hoffman, and Bill Simmons analyze the matchup; here are the inactive lists. Enjoy the game!

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Are the Raiders getting their act together?

Oakland is expected to waive Rolando McClain today, which prompted the following from Bill Williamson:

McClain never lived up to his billing on the field. He was out of shape, slow and often out of position. He didn’t show the instincts expected from a top-10 pick. He was convicted on a gun charge last year, but it was recently overturned on an appeal, according to his attorney.

The new Oakland regime was charged with salvaging McClain’s time in Oakland. He didn’t make improvements and his playing time dwindled in some games. Now, it is over.

McClain will be the 27th player to leave since new general manager Reggie McKenzie took over. Last week, fellow starting linebacker Aaron Curry was cut.

Some thoughts:

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Miller named DPOM for November

While he's being discussed among Defensive POY candidates, Von Miller, and the Broncos, continue to accumulate in-season accolades.

The dominant second-year player and 2011 DROY, who earned the Defensive POW honor for his Week 11 performance against San Diego, has been named the AFC's Defensive Player of the Month for November, it was announced today.

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2012 Broncos have outscored 2011 Broncos Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Brandon Stokley (hip, wrist) and Manny Ramirez (back) were limited in practice yesterday, while Robert Ayers was the only player absent.

Ayers is back east mourning the unexpected loss of his father, the funeral service for whom will be held on Saturday in Virginia. It would appear unlikely that Ayers would play Sunday against Tampa Bay after having missed the entire week of practice, and rookie Malik Jackson has been prepping to fill in Ayers's spot backing up Elvis Dumervil at RDE.

Tampa Bay is also in relatively good shape, with defensive tackle Roy Miller the only player to miss practice Wednesday, and starting center Ted Larsen a limited participant (both due to illness). Their biggest issue is apparently offensive line depth, and they re-signed guard Derek Hardman to help them there.

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STDL: Manning on way to rewriting Broncos record book

It's only been eight months and eight days, but Peyton Manning has already impacted the Broncos franchise more than any quarterback in their history not named John Elway.

The team has quickly moved from lacking a viable NFL quarterback, in the second season of what Elway himself had called a three-year rebuilding process, to being a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

Not that long ago, the Broncos roster was seen as having countless holes, requiring another offseason to shore up its offensive line and defense, and with unknown quantities at the offensive skill positions.

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RIP, Marvin Miller Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! American professional sports lost a great, influential man on Tuesday, with the passing of Marvin Miller at the age of 95.

Miller, the legendary former head of the MLB players union, helped athletes across America find their individual and collective power.

Under his watch, MLB players won free agency, the right to have their grievances arbitrated, more substantial pensions, and the ability to hire their own agents. Eventually, these improvements reached the NFL and other major sports, and we all have reason to be thankful in that regard.

The power of the individual athlete manifested in John Elway forcing his way out of Baltimore and into Denver, and that move is obviously having positive repercussions on the Broncos franchise to this day. Free agency has, of course, brought many important players to Denver, most recently Peyton Manning.

So, thank you, Marvin Miller, and RIP.

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Jay Cutler is a doting father figure Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! With Peyton Manning having been sacked twice and administered a concussion test on Sunday, Jeff Legwold thinks it's suddenly time for Denver to bring out some heavier personnel groupings.

We're not buying it, for even a second.

Obviously, Denver's chances go down the tubes if Peyton gets hurt - but that has been the case since Day 1, and is also true for most NFL teams - especially those with great quarterbacks.

As Ted has been telling us since March, the Manning offense puts 11 personnel (one back, one end, three wideouts) on the field and likes to keep them out there, preferably in a slow no-huddle fashion. It is Manning and Denver's most effective grouping, and a couple of sacks is not a reason to change course there.

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