Fat Camp: Understanding the Manning offense - Part 6

Happy Tuesday, friends.  Welcome to Part 6 of our seven-part series about how Peyton Manning plays offense.  Today, we’ll cover the seven-step passing and screen games.  Later this week, we’ll close out the series, and then it’s on to Draft coverage.

Here are links to the first five parts of the series if you need to catch up on something:

Part 1 – Basics – Formations, Personnel Groupings, and Fit of Existing Personnel

Part 2 – Presnap Recognition Concepts

Part 3 – The Running Game

Part 4 – The Three-Step Passing Game

Part 5 – The Five-Step Passing Game

As I mentioned on Wednesday, the Manning offense tends to revolve around the three- and five-step passing games, particularly the five-step version.  The seven-step game takes a long time to work and requires better protection, generally with fewer receivers in the pattern.

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The Daily Lard 4-17-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver's offseason workout program began yesterday, and Peyton Manning, Champ Bailey, Eric Decker, and Von Miller (all videos) all met with the press afterward.

Manning says he's still basically living at Dove Valley, although that's probably something of an exaggeration. Judging by his secretive nature, he probably already bought a house in the area. Of course, the practice nut seems very excited to have started the official, albeit voluntary, portion of the offseason.

Meanwhile, Miller says his injured thumb is still only at 85%, while Decker's knee is free of pain. The third-year wideout says he is already familiar with the "new-age" techniques utilized by strength coach Luke Richesson from having worked out at API the past couple years.

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Why didn’t the Broncos make a run at Dallas Clark? Here’s your answer.

We've known this for several weeks now, but did not pass it along to our readers because we thought there was still a small chance the Broncos might sign Dallas Clark.  As it turns out, Albert Breer was probably right.  Jason Cole confirmed that Clark is likely done playing (at least for the year) at age 33:

The word on the street is that Clark, who was such a dynamic force in his prime with Indianapolis, is done. Maybe a good offseason of rest will help. Getting a tight end who knows how to work the middle is a valuable commodity.

There was speculation that Clark would be joining Manning in Denver. Now we know why the Broncos didn't make it happen: Clark is simply too battered and bruised from years of taking punishing hits.  

If you doubt it, check out the clip below the jump and fast forward to 0:43 where John Lynch gives Clark a love tap.

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Josina Anderson: Broncos, Marcus Thomas in talks

The Broncos aren't done talking to Marcus Thomas.  Josina Anderson tweeted today:

A source with knowledge of the situation says the Denver Broncos have tried to negotiate a one-year deal for veteran DT Marcus. However, the source adds Marcus Thomas is focused on receiving a long-term deal. That is the sticking point right now...Additionally, the source says both sides may be open to start negotiations again later.

Looks like the Broncos see Thomas as a stop-gap solution, given the deep defensive tackle class in this year's draft.  Thomas has a different view.

Stokley to re-team with Manning, Broncos

The long, slow dance to reunite Brandon Stokley and Peyton Manning in Denver ended today with the Slot Machine agreeing to a one-year deal with the Broncos.

Stokley, who hosted Peyton when he visited the Broncos at Dove Valley to kick off his free agency tour, played with Manning for the Colts from 2003 to 2006 before spending three seasons in Denver and making a home in Colorado.

During an afternoon presser following the start of Denver's offseason workout program, Manning was asked about the possibility of Stokley joining him with the Broncos, to which he responded, "Anytime management wants to add good football players to this team, I'm in favor of it."

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Justin Bannan and life on the line

“I feel like I belong in Colorado,” said Justin Bannan recently. A lot of us feel the same way - and felt that last year as well.

Justin Bannan went to UC Boulder for college, played very well for the Broncos in the ugliness that was the 2010 season, and has been a consistently solid locker room presence wherever he goes. Now he’s back in Dove Valley, with a chance to play in the 4-3 front that he has said that he prefers.

“Home is the warrior, home to the hill, and the airman we shall soon see.”

Although badly misquoted from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Requiem, it does describe both the return of warrior Justin Bannan, who Denver let go to avoid paying him a roster bonus, as well as the upcoming first time that Broncos fans will get to see another possible defensive lineman in former Air Force Falcon Ben Garland.

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Broncos will release suspended McBean

According to Mike Klis, the Broncos will release defensive tackle Ryan McBean today. Denver had given McBean an original-round tender (fourth-round) worth $1.26M last month, but the fifth-year player is facing a six-game suspension, which he is fighting, for having allegedly violated the league's PED policy.

PFF had graded McBean at minus-21.6 overall last season (-3.5 run, -14.9 pass rush, +1.0 pass coverage, -4.2 penalty). The most notable moment of his three seasons with the Broncos came during the 2010 season opener, when McBean's two facemask penalties helped the Jaguars along to their game-winning touchdown.

Denver brought back veteran tackle Justin Bannan last week, and speculation continues again this year that the team will draft a DT or two.

The Daily Lard 4-16-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver's offseason program kicks of with "voluntary" workouts today, and according to Mike Klis, the Broncos will be spending two hours each morning working with new strength coach Luke Richesson, followed by two hours meeting with their position coaches and coordinators.

As per Mike Florio, here's the offseason schedule as set out by the new CBA:

  1. Two weeks of strength and conditioning, no helmets, balls can only be used by QBs throwing to uncovered receivers
  2. Three weeks of drills for individual players and units, still without helmets
  3. 10 days' worth of OTAS in a four-week period, helmets but no pads, and no "live contact"

Teams will face steep penalties for going outside this framework.

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A Zombie’s Guide to Feasting on Demaryius Thomas

Yesterday, I wrote something that had been perceived by some as negative towards Tim Tebow and Tebowmania.

I called the Tebowmaniacs names like zombies and vampires; I took a shot at Bob Tebow; I even implied that perhaps--just perhaps--Team Tebow was more concerned with building and promoting Tim Tebow as religious icon than it was about football.    

Then it hit me: I was trolling the trolls. I was sucking on vampires. I was eating the flesh of zombies.      

As tasty as it was--and you better believe flesh from the undead brings a killer buzz, dude--I realized I needed to balance the scales. As someone pointed out, it's simply not American of us here at IAOFM to create a website (and pay the associated hosting costs) that promotes our views of a zombie-filled football world and let the market decide our fate. Instead, we should fulfill our civic duty: turn our message boards into Zombieland itself.

While I'm not sure we're prepared for that just yet, I thought the least I could do was help the zombies along. An instruction manual was in order.    

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The Daily Lard 4-15-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Jeff Legwold revisits the team's frequent draft-day trades while Josh McDaniels was around, and he says the team too often reached for prospects they liked.

But it should again be noted that the problem with McDaniels's drafts is who the team selected, not that they traded up to get them. The reality is that both years, the team came out of the draft with a greater number of players and at higher spots than when the selection processes started. They moved up and down the board masterfully.

Players like Richard Quinn and Alphonso Smith did not work out, but why does it matter that they were second-rounders? They simply didn't work out, and it wouldn't have made a difference had Denver taken them later. They're still the same flawed players. If Quinn and Smith were third-rounders, we'd still be having the same conversation today about how much they suck, right?

Just remember what TJ wrote last year - it's all about improving the team's odds at finding starters. Brian Xanders (with and without Josh McDaniels) has been doing a great job of adding picks to Denver's arsenal. This year he's starting with seven, so perhaps he doesn't need to do so, but my guess is he will again be making some moves.

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