The Daily Lard 6-21-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Some details have finally come out on Jason Hunter's stabbing in April. Apparently, his girlfriend found a bag of cellphones which Hunter claimed belonged to a friend of his, and in the course of their "conversation" she waved a kitchen knife at him before "accidentally" throwing it at Hunter. So, why is Hunter holding a collection of cellphones for his buddy, and why did his girlfriend need to have a knife in hand when she told him to "stay back"? So far, no charges have been filed against the girlfriend, but prosecutors are apparently studying evidence.

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Injuries and the lockout: what to expect

Last week, Yahoo's Jason Cole covered an aspect of the lockout that most people haven’t gotten to yet - the issue of the players' health once the lockout ends. The subject matter hasn’t gotten a lot of press so far, but I have spoken with other docs and healthcare providers since early last year about this same issue. The concern revolves around what will happen when a lot of players - veterans and rookies alike - hit the field after an extended layoff. Relatively few of them will be in ‘football shape’. Many won’t even be in shape to get into shape, as it were.

Brett Fischer, the founder of Fischer Sports in Phoenix said, “There’s no light at the end of the tunnel to those guys.”

There actually is a light;  the problem is, it appears to be an oncoming train. Probably for the majority of the players, muscle pulls, tears and other soft tissue damage (like torn ligaments and tendons) are going to happen quite a bit more than usual. As far as the rookies go, there's not that much similarity between conditioning on the college and NFL levels, and concerns about this aspect of the issue go back to last season, where a lot of folks on the doc and trainer side saw this one coming.

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Freeman foresees wide support among owners for deal

Hopefully Mike Freeman knows what he's talking about. The bearer of much of the recent positive news surrounding the labor talks has polled his league contacts and found that there are only four owners likely to vote against the new CBA as is being negotiated: Buffalo's Ralph Wilson, Cincy's Mike Brown, Dallas' Jerry Jones and Washington's Daniel Snyder. Naturally, Al Davis falls under the who knows? designation, while Wayne Weaver in Jacksonville is an unknown quantity at this point, as far as Freeman's sources go. A coalition of nine owners would be required to nix any deal, as 24 of 32 votes are necessary for passage; so if Freeman's contacts are correct then things are indeed looking good.

Notice that Freeman writes, "this is how some in football think," rather than the arrogant "most people in the NFL" or "most NFL evaluators" sort of garbage we Broncos fans have been passionately served in recent years...

The Daily Lard 6-20-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his latest MMQB column, Peter King writes that tomorrow's ownership meeting will not feature any voting, but rather just discussions on the framework of a potential new CBA. PK figures the owners who haven't been present during the most recent negotiations still have a good idea of where the talks have headed and won't mount enough of a fight to truly set back the talks with the players.

Meanwhile, PK thinks Tiki Barber will end up with the Steelers, and that Nnamdi Asomugha is most likely to land in Philly, Dallas or Baltimore, in that order, although he also makes the case that Kubes and the Texans should try to sign the CB.

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The Daily Lard 6-19-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Jason Cole says to expect that this week's ownership meetings are going to mark a crucial point in the labor talks, as owners need to find a common ground among themselves before they can reach a deal with the players. Cole writes that the owners taking charge in the recent negotiations have been the more moderate ones, including Clark Hunt of the Chiefs and Dean Spanos of the Chargers, and that Jerry Richardson and Robert Kraft have softened from earlier hawkish stances.

Interestingly, Cole reports that many NFL owners do not know the framework of the deal as is being currently negotiated, due to Judge Boylan's order that the subject of the talks be kept as confidential as possible. Tuesday in Chicago is when the owners' meetings begin, so the hope is that there's not enough dissention there to hold up the deal. Cole writes that the outcome of those meetings could determine the future of Roger Goodell, whose power and relevance has come into question in recent months.

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You give stats a bad name - how I’ve failed to become a statistical Bon Jovi

I long ago lost my faith in the quality of Bon Jovi's work.

Yet I can't recall the exact game I stopped believing in NFL statistics.  Perhaps it's best if I tell you when I began to lose my faith.

It was last year's game when the Broncos were pulverized (yet again) by the Baltimore Ravens.  You probably remember the statistical headlines from the game.  Kyle Orton threw for over 300 yards and Brandon Lloyd went for more than 100 yards receiving.  I had already posted my Gut Reaction to the game, which like all Gut Reactions, are usually posted within fifteen minutes of a game's finish.  It was well-written, yet there was something that still haunted me.

So I hit the game tape over and over again.  It didn't take more than a few series to see the horror that was Haloti Ngata.

Ngata was dominant that day, even though he finished with only three tackles.  Play after play he dominated the Broncos' offensive line.  Ngata got gap penetration; he used the same swim move what seemed like half a dozen times (which I promptly taught to a pee-wee football team the following week); he pushed the line back into the backfield two or three yards; he was a nightmare that, to this day, probably causes Ryan Harris to wake at night in cold sweats.

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The Daily Lard 6-18-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Brandon Lloyd spoke to the guys on The Drive the other day, and he had the following to say about working out with Tim Tebow down in Florida:

I thought it was good. It’s better for morale going into the season when you see how good of shape guys are in. It’s kind of like, I want to see where dude’s at with his training and guys want to see where we’re at so we have some confidence going into the season. That’s how I took it. It was good to see that Tim’s improving on his drops, he’s improving on his timing, and within the first day we got into rhythm, within the first 20 minutes of it.

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Why Tim Tebow is the answer at QB

Happy Friday, friends.  My Tuesday article seemed to spur a lot of comments calling for Kyle Orton to remain (or re-emerge as, depending on how you look at it) the starting Quarterback for the Denver Broncos in 2011.  That wasn’t really what I was driving at, and I find it interesting that the discussion took that turn.

The fact is, I am convinced that Tim Tebow should be the starting QB for the Broncos in 2011.  I don’t even think it’s a difficult decision, actually, and Tebow gives Denver the best chance to win in both the near- and long-term.

I’m a Florida Gators fan, owing mostly to my six years spent in Jacksonville, when I kind of fully caught college football fever.  I’ve seen a lot of Gators football over the last decade, so I know these guys very well.  That said, I’m never a homer just to be a homer, in terms of evaluating the pro potential of Florida players.  For example, I never would have told you that Chris Leak, a good college QB who started for four years and won a national championship, had the size or arm to be an NFL QB.  He didn’t, and as such, he’s not in the NFL.

I mention this because I’ve been publicly saying for years that Tim Tebow would be a championship QB in the NFL, and I’ve basically staked my reputation on it, to the extent that an analyst can ever be fairly judged holistically on one evaluation.  I’m that certain that I’m right, and what Tebow showed on the field over the last three games of 2010 made me that much more sure.

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The Daily Lard 6-17-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! For the Sporting News, Vinnie Iyer takes a look at what John Fox faces with his new team in trying to make them a tougher and more balanced team. Iyer writes that Fox will give Von Miller a great chance to become a dominant playmaker and expects the rookie to become a leader in Denver. Plus, he thinks Tim Tebow will win the starting QB job and could see a big year out of Elvis Dumervil as opponents will hopefully not be able to double-team him with the presence of Miller.

Sadly, Iyer omits Robert Ayers from that equation and is another writer who doesn't realize that the "ex-Browns experiment" actually worked pretty well, if nearly making the SB with the third-fewest points allowed in 2005 means anything. There are plenty of personnel moves we can/should knock Mike Shanahan for, but the acquisition of Gerard Warren, Courtney Brown and Michael Myers are not among them. But I digress; Iyer also thinks the Broncos may go after DeAngelo Williams if he is indeed a free agent, and that a successful first season for Fox would be lifting the defense to middling and finding a long-term answer at QB.

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Tweets of the Week: Customer service and Words With Friends

Time to see what the Broncos have been doing with all their free time over the past week of the lockout. As always, all Tweets are unabridged and unaltered, innocent/humorous misspellings inclusive. Have fun with them!

Not sure what was worse for Wesley Woodyard: having his credit card stolen, or having to deal with his bank's customer service rep:

I got yelled at on the phone by a costumer ser operator. He said YOU CAN NOT go over ur limit! I said it's a new card I'm calling to change...My limit can you help! Well I'd like to but sir YOU CAN NOT exceed your limit! So I say look my cc got stolen so this is a new one and I...Have to set it up and adjust this card like the old one. He says Ohhhh like he understood me and then said Sir(u guessed it) YOU CAN NOT...Go over ur limit even though u have money there NO! So I'm keepin it coo like hey just do what he says just to get ur card fixed! Wrong!...this Convo is going on for like 15mins I'm hot I'm on the beach the sand is starting to burn them Lil hairs off the top of my toe is Dat hot...So after he yells at me again I finally ask him what can I do over the Phone to change it he's like oh you wanted to change ur limit on your...Card? I'm like yesssss then he says SIR I CAN not help you! And said take yo card to CO and do and then hangs up after sayin have a nice day...So now I'm here fire hot(Mad) and burning up! 15min Convo of straight getting punked! Couldn't do a thing bout it!...the moral of the story is never call costumer ser when u r on the beach cause they might hold your money from u so u can't enjoy the beach

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