From reader Isaac H:
[DC Jack] Del Rio talked about the "installation" of the defense being pretty much complete over these OTA's. I've heard the term "installation" of either the offense or defense a lot over the years and have often wondered what exactly that means?
It's a very good question, Issac, so thanks for asking it. We always appreciate having the chance to learn exactly what our readers want to know about.
So, what's in an installation? In brief, its main function is to give the players a chance to learn precisely how they - the offense, defense or special teams - are going to handle all the game situations by walking through them in a slow, thorough manner. It lets them see how the group functions as a whole and how the chosen scheme applies to game situations.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Denver wrapped up its final OTA on Thursday; they will hold their mandatory minicamp next Tuesday through Thursday, before taking a one-and-a-half-month break until training camp.
The big story next week figures to be whether Willis McGahee and Ryan Clady show up at Dove Valley, although Clady isn't supposed to be physically ready to go until training camp.
Back to OTAs, David Bruton has been rotating in with the defensive starters, while fifth-rounder Quanterus Smith's rehab from a torn ACL has gone well enough for him to perform individual and position drills for the past two day. Smith says he's not quite 100% yet, but suggests he could be there by the time camp rolls around.
Happy Thursday, friends. Today, I want to get all thoughtful and contemplative, and consider a subject that’s creeping into NFL discussion, mostly with negative connotations. I’d like to bring some balance to the discussion.
The subject du jour (which means “of the day,” for you Europhobes,) is Jay-Z’s move toward becoming a player agent. Word is already out that DeSean Jackson has fired Drew Rosenhaus, and that he’s looking to get himself into the Roc Nation fold.
Jackson has a bit of a reputation as a me-first diva knucklehead WR, and race-baiting douchebag Mike Florio is being subtle at this point, but he already has his commenters frothing. That’s generally been the tone of coverage of Jay-Z’s foray into agenthood.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's been often been suggested in recent years that sometime in the distant future, there would be an NFL franchise in London.
According to Jason La Canfora, that time may come sooner than most of us might have figured - possibly even within five or seven years.
La Canfora says talk about a London franchise has shifted from the consideration of a possibility to discussions of an eventuality, and he most frequently hears that the Jaguars would be the likeliest team to relocate across the pond.
As for other potential relocations, a future sale to Rogers Communications could mean several Canadian home games for the Bills, and the Rams, Chargers, and Raiders (only if Mark Davis sells) are still seen as candidates to play their games in La La Land.
It’s become a local mantra - the move from older base formations to using a nickel package as a team’s base package is a natural response towards slowing the pass-centric tendencies of the modern NFL.
I’ve been on that bus for a few years now. Last season, the Broncos used their nickel defense 65% of the time. Nickel is the new base.
But along with that recognition, there’s been an increasing suggestion that you don’t need three-down linebackers as much. The starting Mike, in particular, often leaves the field for nickel downs. That’s particularly the case if the Mike has better skills downhill than in outracing running backs, wideouts, or tight ends in a coverage role.
Does a team have to change their linebackers out when they move to nickel?
Obviously, Tebow Schadenfreude won out.
But there's no internet commandment that says I can't circle back to discuss Klis's HOF candidates from the 97/98 SB teams.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! There was a bit of movement on Denver's remaining free agents on Tuesday.
First, Detroit agreed to terms with wide receiver and special teamer Matthew/Matt Willis, who as a restricted free agent a year ago had been grossly overpaid ($1.26M) relative to his role on the 2012 Broncos.
Willis spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons on Denver's practice squad, before suiting up for six games in 2010 and 31 over the past two seasons. He's best known around these parts for having competed on the American Ninja Warrior reality show, and for having been the intended target on Peyton Manning's two pick-sixes against the Chargers last season- the first one against new Bronco Quentin Jammer in San Diego on MNF, and the second against Eric Weddle in Denver.
In other words, Willis won't be missed, at least not here.
Yesterday me and the boys were kickin' it down at IAOFM headquarters (which is twice as cool as Kickin' It headquarters), when we received several emails linking us to a film review of Champ Bailey's subpar play from 2012. The cat who wrote this piece, Uptown Murf, supposedly watched film of Bailey's 2012 play and came to the conclusion that Bailey is no longer a #1 corner:
For the 2012 season, Champ Bailey finished with 66 tackles, 2 Int’s, and 9 passes defensed. I give him a C for his overall play. He did some great things, and brings a tremendous amount of experience to the Broncos secondary. Unfortunately at this point in his career, (Based off 2012 film) I believe he’s no longer a number 1 corner. He doesn’t necessarily need to switch positions, but he should primarily face the #2 receiver on each team.
In order to provide proof of this conclusion, the article cut up several plays in which Bailey was toasted last year for long gains, including plays against Vincent Jackson, Andre Johnson, and A.J. Green.
Fortunately for Broncos fans, it's not true.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! The team's final set of OTAs began Monday and will run through Thursday. Yesterday, the biggest news out of Dove Valley was the return of Knowshon Moreno.
Moreno had undergone a stem-cell treatment to repair the knee injury that knocked him out of Denver's playoff loss, and of course, only three days ago had come ominous word from the DP that Knowshon wasn't yet cleared to go.
Update 12:09pm ET - More remembrances of Deacon Jones added
Silly me. For some reason, I just accepted it as fact when Jeff Legwold wrote the following this morning about Willis McGahee's season-ending injury...
He went on injured reserve at that point, but the Broncos left open the possibility he could return to the AFC Championship Game.
And as much as McGahee lobbied the coaches and training staff — and he lobbied plenty — to play in the Divisional Round loss to the Ravens, the Broncos didn't think he was physically ready to return at that point and he was not activated.
...which prompted me to write the following...