Happy Tuesday, friends. Since there was no Broncos game this weekend to comment on, I decided to just share some stray football thoughts for a while. Since I actually had to closely watch the Miami game live last night, my normal Monday night writing time was short, so we’ll see what comes out. Ready….. BEGIN!!
1. I suppose I should begin with the “fire sale” concept, and whether the Broncos are having one. I supported the trade of Brandon Lloyd, because clearly the team had decided that they weren’t going to pay him long dollars in the offseason. Teams have to make organizational decisions, and frankly, we’ve seen a few work out pretty well lately. I don’t miss Brandon Marshall, for example. Did anybody see him playing like he just didn’t care Monday night? That guy is a losing football player, and I don't miss him.
6:02PM ET - NFLN is reporting that the conditional second-rounder Oakland is sending Cincy only becomes a first-rounder if the Raiders make it to the AFC title game either this year or next. It had been previously reported that the first-round trigger was a single playoff victory.
5:25PM ET - Post-deadline updates:
12:56PM ET - Baxter McLove is now actively tweeting. What more is there to say? @BaxterMcLove
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver made another roster move last night, filling the spot vacated by the Brandon Lloyd trade with safety Rafael Bush (5'11, 197), whom they signed off of Atlanta's practice squad. The Falcons signed Bush as an undrafted free agent last year out of South Carolina State, and he dressed for their season finale after spending the year on the PS. Mike Klis says the signing of Bush is likely a response to the neck injury which kept Brian Dawkins out of practice yesterday and the poor play by Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter in the Broncos' last game versus San Diego.
Klis says the Lloyd trade was largely about money, as the team apparently offered Brandon a two-year deal but with no guaranteed money coming until after this season, and a salary below what Lloyd felt he deserved. Add to that the presence of young wideouts Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas (who was back at practice yesterday) and mix in the fact that Denver just isn't chucking it downfield very much under John Fox's guidance, and you have the makings of a trade which both sides are happy with. And to reiterate, the Broncos would not have received a compensatory pick until the 2013 Draft had they kept Brandon around for the remained of the season.
I read the other day that OL coach Dave Magazu said the San Diego game featured Ryan Clady’s best run-blocking of the season to date. Although I had Clady set up for a little later in my film study series, I wanted to see why Magazu, who’s got a pretty top reputation as an OL coach, was that excited about what he’d seen. It didn’t take long to get me excited, either. I’ll share with you what I found, and take you through the second half of that game. On some plays, I’ve listed more than just Clady’s performance - you’ll understand why.
A technical note: I wanted to start making my life easier, so I’m using a version of the shorthand that Steve Belichick, Bill’s father, recommended in his book Football Scouting Methods. I list the quarter and the time at the start of the drive and sometimes if a certain play is worth checking, and I also list the down, distance and the location of the ball. To do that, I use the notation ‘-X yards’ if Denver’s on their side of the 50 and +X yards if they’re in their opponent's side of the field (plus territory). If I’ve listed the location of the ball on first down, and the team gained five yards I usually don’t bother listing the ball location - I just assume that everyone can do the math. So far, it’s confusing my voice recognition software, so keeping my keystrokes down helps my hands out. I hope that you can follow the notations when I kept them short.
3:07PM ET - David Garrard is reportedly to have back surgery. Could this impact whatever market exists for Kyle Orton? Cough..Oakland...cough
2:17PM ET - But wait, there's more! Denver DT Ryan McBean was arrested on Oct. 14 for stalking, according to 9NEWS.
1:36PM ET - According to Schefter, all that it would take for the pick to move up from a sixth-rounder to a fifth-rounder in 2012 is that Lloyd catch 30 passes for the Rams over the remainder of the season. Obviously, this is a highly attainable and likely threshold, and it puts the trade in a much better light.
1:08PM ET - Mort says the Broncos will receive a conditional pick from St. Louis that will come in either the fifth or sixth round of the 2012 Draft depending upon how many receptions Lloyd tallies with the Rams.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! More information is finally leaking out regarding the Broncos' near trade of Kyle Orton to the Dolphins. Apparently, it was Miami owner Stephen Ross who nixed the deal, because he is set upon having a clear franchise QB in place for the 2012 season, and well, you know... Ross also intends to hire someone with the stature of Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden and Jeff Fisher to either run his team or coach it. In case you care about these things for some odd reason, Cowher was TJ's first coaching choice for the Broncos post-Shanahan, while I was hoping for Fisher earlier this year.
Further, Chris Mortensen says the deal was so close to fruition that Kyle's transportation to the Sunshine State had been arranged. In other words, the Broncos were more than prepared to ship Orton off, as we've figured since about nine months ago. But you know, continue to blame John Fox or John Elway for Orton not being moved. We don't need no stinking facts when we have our sights set on someone, right?
Mike Klis is reporting the Broncos are now trying to move wide receiver, Bradon Lloyd, as fast as possible--that is, before tomorrow's practice.
It appears as if
Jim Harbaugh Rocky Balboa has now emerged as the front runner. As Klis reports:
The San Francisco 49ers appear to be showing the strongest interest in the acrobatic receiver, but the New England Patriots and St. Louis Rams also were in discussions, according to two NFL sources.
If this is true, it would be a homecoming of sorts for Lloyd, who played for San Francisco from 2003-2005. During his first tour of duty with the 49ers, Lloyd never quite lived up to his potential, although it should be noted that he was a 4th-round draft pick.
The 49ers beat the Lions today to improve to 5-1, but during the game it was clear they are in need of big-play threat for Alex Smith.
Enjoy the games, everyone!
The good news? The Broncos can't lose this week.
The bad news? They can't win either.
A bye week in the NFL is like going to jail in the game Monopoly. You have to sit there and watch the rest of your family roll the dice, move their pieces (why the hell did everyone want to play the horse and rider?), and laugh, while you have to wait your turn.
At least in Monopoly you can roll doubles to get out and play again. During the NFL bye week, you're just stuck.
Welcome to another edition of Fat Pickins, where we climb the stairway to crazy. Here you get two things--our picks and probability.
Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! I had a rather disappointing Twitter exchange last night with former Denver GM Ted Sundquist, who had written on his own site earlier in the day that Brandon Lloyd "has a history of less than “exemplary” behavior in Dove Valley" and in response to a reader's comment went on to call Lloyd "disgruntled" and speculate that Denver would even consider deactivating the WR or releasing him outright. In yesterday's Lard, I had written that Sundquist was "sadly perpetuating the myths about Lloyd being a bad guy". Later in the day, Sundquist tweeted:
@craigary @IAOFM Nice blog, but I wouldn't "perpetuate the myth" if I didn't know what I was saying. Would never do that to a player.
This is fair. Ted spent 16 years in the Denver organization, and he presumably still has plenty of knowledgeable contacts there. So, perhaps there's some truth to what Ted wrote yesterday. I'm certainly in no position to dispute that, and I won't. But, Ted's writing now, and on his own site - and he's the first person to paint Lloyd as a malcontent in Denver. Yes, Brandon arrived with a less-than-stellar reputation; but again, we've had over two years to judge the guy for ourselves. There was no hint of Lloyd being disgruntled or having demanded a trade when Mike Klis broke the news the other day that Brandon was being offered around.