Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Another sad story has emerged regarding the health of a former NFL player, although it's not the typical tale of a longtime player suffering in his 50s or 60s. This time, it's a 27-year-old whom Tampa Bay drafted in the second round of the 2007 Draft. Arron Sears left the Bucs in 2009 under worrisome circumstances, as the Tampa Bay Times reported at the time:
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers held offseason workouts in mid March, guard Arron Sears was there. But he wasn't the person teammates and coaches remembered. He was distant, even for someone with his shy demeanor. Sears participated for several weeks, until shortly after the team's minicamp in April, when he simply stopped communicating. He was unresponsive when asked questions. At times, he resorted to replying in writing.
Unfortunately, things haven't gotten better for Sears, on whose behalf his parents filed a suit claiming the NFL, helmet maker Riddell, the Bucs, and other teams were negligent and withheld information on concussions and their effects. A portion of the suit reads:
Sears has almost total loss of function, is unable to care for himself and cannot take (care) of his day-to-day activities. Further, Arron Sears has extreme displays of temper and anger with the appurtenant risk of causing harm to himself and others.
According to the TBT, Sears has been taken into protective custody by the police on several occasions in the past two years, and the lawsuit, which has two other ex-Bucs as plaintiffs, says Arron is now under the guardianship of his parents. Let's hope things take a positive turn for Sears and his family, as unlikely as that may seem.
In a move sure to help Broncos fans miss fewer great endings and Denver kickoffs, the NFL announced it will push back all 4:15pm ET kickoffs to 4:25pm ET.
According to the league's research, over the past three seasons, doubleheaders forced TV networks to switch away from 66 games that were still ongoing. The NFL says this 10-minute shift would have prevented 51 of those Heidi-style preemptions.
Although this was likely not a problem for Broncos fans in the Mountain West viewing area, those of us who live elsewhere have all experienced the agony of waiting for some Jaguars/Titans snoozer to conclude while we miss Denver's opening possession or two. Sometimes, of course, this serves to save us from even worse pain, ala the 59-14 drubbing by the Raiders in 2010, when many of us were spared Oakland's first two scores.
Updated 12:24pm ET
Good Morning, Broncos fans! This will thankfully be taking place past my own bedtime, but for those of you who will stay up to watch the second half of the Week 1 MNF doubleheader, you'll be stuck listening to Chris Berman and Trent Dilfer calling the Chargers/Raiders game for the Worldwide Leader. If anyone out there doesn't know why this is one of the worst events in the history of the world, here's a thoughtful melange of reaction from around the web to help clarify things:
Drew Magary: Berman truly believes he's an NFL institution, and that means you're going to spend the whole evening being reminded of it. He's gonna make it painfully aware to you that he's doing a game for the very first time, at long last. He's gonna say THEHHHHHH RAYDEEZZZZZZ 900 times.
KSK: Naturally, we can expect large quantities of CARSON “DON’T CALL ME ROBERT” PALMER DROPS BACK AND ZZZZZIIIPPPP PICKED OFF BY ERIC “WEDDLE WE GO NOW” AND WHOOOOOOOP AND WHOOOOOOPP AND HE. MAY. GO. ALL. THE. WAY. THEYRENOTGONNAGETHIM until our brains extrude through our ears. And with Dilfer’s self-serious act as the chaser, the mute button shall be our only recourse.
John Elway turns 52 today. Happy Birthday, John - and Thank You.
Quoth the draftniks, Evermore: You will always draft the largest man on the board. It will lead to riches and wins.
Draftniks sometimes lie.
There’s Edgar Allen Poe, and then there’s Dontari Poe - one could write brilliantly, the other is simply huge. At 6-3 and 346 pounds, Kansas City’s future at nose guard may be tied to Poe’s ability to play the two-gap nose position. Poe is without question a huge man with surprising athletic talent. The question that’s going to have to be answered is whether he fits the slot for which he’s been chosen.
Dontari Poe looks every inch and every pound the ‘monster in the middle’ kind of nose guard that odd-front teams all over the NFL are looking for. Head coach Romeo Crennel is drooling over his chances of turning around the team’s fortunes. There was a lot more than Poe to KC’s draft, but despite all the clamoring about him and his potential, there’s something that people aren’t talking about.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Player safety and the bounty scandal/investigation/suspensions continue to be the main topic of NFL discussion.
Starting with the Saints, Drew Brees says his team's coaches have not spoken out much against the bounty sanctions because they fear further punishment from the league. Brees is also working to promote concussion testing for youth athletes and is confident he'll have a new contract in the coming weeks.
New Orleans teammate Remi Ayodele said through his agent he "doesn't recall hearing" the "give me my money" statement during the 2009 NFC title game, for what that's worth.
As for player safety, Mike Freeman hears there was no mention of CTE at the rookie symposium, while Alex Marvez details the theory that strengthening the neck muscles of football players would aid in concussion prevention. Over at PFW, Kevin Fishbain kicks off a series about the technology of helmets by stressing that they can only really function to protect the skull, not to stave off concussions.
Happy Tuesday, friends. I’ve rarely done this over the years, but I am a little short on time today, with packing, and my final month-end close ever at my soon-to-be-former employer going on. I’m going to do Part 2.5 of the Bartlett Defense series today, rather than move to Part 3, which will be lengthy and complex. I’ll probably write most of that in the car on Sunday, on my way to Florida, and I’ll release it next Tuesday.
Today I want to focus on responding to an excellent Facebook comment that we received, regarding Part 2. If you haven’t read Part 2, you should, and you should probably start at Part 1 if you haven’t seen that. The comment comes from John Randall, who seems to really know his stuff. His points are excellent, and in fact, I have thought of approaches to all of it. Since his comment is so good, I am just going to let it guide me in the direction of explaining how I plan to deal with some real issues that go with trying a new approach.
Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe turns 44 today, which also happens to be the retired number of fellow Broncos HOFer Floyd Little. Happy Birthday, Shay!
Good Morning, Broncos fans! The team released its official training camp schedule yesterday; as expected, it will kick off a month from today at Dove Valley.
This means we're facing the dead zone for NFL news, which in turn means the Lard is going to have a whole lot of obscure stories, with plenty of them focused on old/former friends.
Now, we have some readers who are dead tired of reading about Timmy Tebow and my opinion of the punt protector. Others wonder why we're still bothering with Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, and some never tire of discussing Kyle Orton and his 12-21 record in Denver. Some have such disdain for NFL players that we can't help but wonder why they bother to watch at all.
To this end, and thanks to a suggestion from reader @wyoeng, we're going to devote a new section of the Lard to ex-Broncos, and as per reader @schmendrick12, it will be dubbed Offal. For those unfamiliar with the term, offal (pronounced like awful) refers to the delicious organs of an animal which most Americans probably think are disgusting, and you do know what goes into your hot dogs, right? Offal includes all sorts of tasty stuff including brains, hearts, livers, kidneys, tripe, and of course, testicles.
With OTAs behind them, the Broncos are off until the two-a-days of training camp start on July 25. Plenty of what emerged from OTAs is worth noting:
Peyton Manning isn’t at full strength yet, which is somewhat terrifying if you’re on the defense. He certainly didn’t have much trouble finding his rhythm or accuracy. Second-round pick Brock Osweiler got high marks from onlookers such as Cecil Lammey in terms of his improvement since the winter, and quarterbacks coach Adam Gase commented on his innate leadership, grasp of the playbook, and even-minded approach to the situation.
Sixth-rounder Danny Trevathan scored some immediate points by absorbing the playbook like a human sponge - the coaches looked at that coupled with his ability to move, and quickly put him with the first team nickel package at Will linebacker. With D.J. Williams’s still challenging his six-game suspension for ‘non-human urine’ in his urinalysis, plus a DUI trial yet to be dealt with, Danny will be fighting against Nate Irving and Wesley Woodyard for game reps at weakside linebacker.