The Daily Lard 6-3-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! In Woody's latest mailbag, he again makes the argument that Denver should sign Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams in free agency while listing a few alternatives including Ahmad Bradshaw of the G-Men. Interestingly, he says that it was Gary Kubiak who was most responsible for the Broncos having taken Terrell Davis back in 1995, not then-RBs coach Bobby Turner.

Paige also continues his burial of Knowshon, writing that the coaching staff is already convinced that Moreno "is not a big-time running back" and "doesn't have the skill set or the mind-set" to be one. It's interesting that Woody has consistently represented these opinions as belonging to the Broncos' brass. If Knowshon is as difficult a personality as Woodrow has made him out to be, perhaps the team feels the only/last way to get more out of the RB is to call him out in the local rag?

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Owners, NFLPA in settlement talks

Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal has just tweeted the following:

The minnesota federal court has cancelled mediation set next week saying it is engaged in confidential settlement talks with the parties

Obviously we don't want to jump to any conclusions, but this is good news.

UPDATE 3:48PM ET - Liz Mullen has just shared Judge Boylan's order via Twitter:

Whereas, the Court has been engaged in confidential settlement discussions involving the above captioned matter it deems it appropriate to cancel the mediation session previously scheduled in Minneapolis for June 7 and June 8.

More to come...

This is your brain; this is your brain on college football. Any questions?

Americans sure are a conflicted lot.

Perhaps it's our Puritan heritage mixed with a healthy dose of risk taking.  After all, it requires a special type to flee religious persecution and immediately begin executing witches (good times!).

We've been battling our demons ever since.

Take sex, for instance.  In 2004, we Americans collectively blew a gasket after seeing Janet Jackson's nipple during the Super Bowl. At the same time, the pornography industry outearned Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple,and Netflix combined.  Gambling is another of our favorites.  According to this research from Fairleigh Dickinson University, 53% of Americans oppose betting on college and pro sports, but 62% of these same Americans have gambled at a casino at least once.

The list goes on and on.  Pick any topic, and it's likely Americans will have conflicted themselves in some manner.

Perhaps the biggest joke of them all is college athletics.  Education and college athletics may be allowed on the same bus (or chartered jet), but education has to sit in the back.

This week, we were again reminded of this reality.  Everyone's favorite grandfather in a sweater vest, Jim Tressel, resigned from Ohio State University.

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Owners, NFLPA meeting in Chicago

UPDATE 2:30PM ET - The players and owners have released a brief joint statement which reads, 

The parties met pursuant to court mediation. Owners and players were engaged in confidential discussions before Chief Magistrate Judge Boylan. The court has ordered continued confidentiality of the mediation sessions.

According to Judy Battista, the meetings actually commenced earlier in the week and that while Judge Boylan was present, he did not preside over the negotiations. Plus, the nature of the meetings were so secretive that several NFL owners were not made aware of them until after they had already begun.

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The Daily Lard 6-2-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Gray Caldwell looks back at the Denver coaches' comments at the dinner they hosted a few weeks ago for corporate sponsors and suiteholders. DC Dennis Allen spoke about using a simple and attacking defense disguised to seem more complex through multiple alignments and personnel groupings. Meanwhile, ST coordinator Jeff Rodgers is excited by the Broncos' draft class, as he sees seven fast players - the linebackers, safeties and tight ends - who should contribute to his unit's success right from the start. Rodgers also offered more praise for his specialists Matt Prater, Britton Colquitt and Lonie Paxton, while interestingly pointing to Eddie Royal as a return man. Obviously this is a bit of word-parsing speculation, but those of us who want to see Eddie's role be exclusive to offense may not get our wish.

OC Mike McCoy said new RT Orlando Franklin would help the Broncos' offense become more physical, and that the team would like to have the dual threats at running back that were a signature of John Fox's Carolina teams. To that end, Fox told of wanting to improve the offensive balance to help the Broncos become more effective in the red zone.

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Tweets of the Week - Three-bill catfight

The days of Alex Gibbs maintaining a gag order on the Broncos' offensive line are long in the past, and today let's point out that it's a good thing. Obviously, back then it was kind of funny - especially the kangaroo court rulings - but the main reason it was okay at the time was that the Broncos were winning, and racking up 1,000-yard backs like Raiders fans do felonies. The downside of that code of silence was it made it much harder to get to know our favorite 300+ pounders, even if today we may wish we didn't have to hear quite so much about Stink's chili. Thanks to the wonders of social meda and Twitter, we now have plenty of daily and unvarnished insight into the personalities and non-football activities of the Broncos' big guys. In that light, let's check in on some more recent bickering between Eric Olsen and Zane Beadles:

Olsen: Watching some lax right now. But how about this action shot of yours truly?? @WYeatman88 ...And here's the caption... @WYeatman88 

Beadles: @EOlsen69 I don't know what's worse. The fact that you played lacrosse or the fact that you still have that picture. 

Olsen: @zanebeadles is jealous that he was never an athlete in his entire life. # Beadles: @EOlsen69 please... We can compare pasts 

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The Daily Lard 6-1-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Las Vegas Sun has a story on Denver's fourth-round pick Quinton Carter and his remarkable contributions to his community. The Vegas native and former Sooners safety started a charitable organization while a sophomore in college which helps children and low-income families through fundraisers and free football camps, with free medical care next on the horizon. This past weekend marked his group's third annual camp, during which Carter stressed the value of education and nutrition via lectures and classroom work in addition to time on the football field, and concluded with a cookout for the attendees' families on Monday.

The Sun's story includes a link to a Sports Illustrated article from last fall on Carter's incredible charity work and his organization SOUL (Serving Others through Unity and Leadership). Quinton came up with the name for the nonprofit group on his own and specifically set out not to include his own name, which frankly is mindblowing considering that he was only 19 or 20 years old at the time. Even today he's only 22 years old, and let's hope a lengthy career with the Broncos stands in front of him to help expand his platform.

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Broncography: Virgil Green

Like the oil stains on a driveway in which people claim to see the face of the Virgin Mary, or the mold on the front of a refrigerator that others say shows the face of Jesus, Virgil Green seems to be the kind of young player that scouts and pundits can see in whatever they want to. From the performance that he’d given at Nevada, scouting reports ranked him anywhere from a third-round pick to an undrafted free agent. Depending on the source, he’s either a tough blocker with substantial receiving skills, or a half-baked blocker who rounds off his routes, has tight hips and won’t be able to make the jump to the NFL. As is often the case, there are reasons for each of those interpretations. Statistics only tell a limited version of the truth, but looking at Green’s does explain some of the width of the spectrum of opinion on him. I also had some Nevada full game film on hand to watch, and it was revealing.

After redshirting his freshman year, Green became a favorite target for quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He also spent long hours in the weight room, building his body from the 210-pound frame that he took onto the Wolf Pack’s 2007 team into the 250-pound force that head coach Chris Ault trusted to pave the way for his rushing game. Meanwhile, Green's timely receptions helped the Wolf Pack win the WAC and claim their first victory over Boise State in 10 years.

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The Daily Lard 5-31-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! According to Adam Schefter, Tim Tebow flew Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney and Britt Davis to Jacksonville last week, put them up in a hotel, and the quartet spent the week working out together. Unable to make the trip were Eric Decker (his own charity event back in Minnesota), Demaryius Thomas and Eddie Royal (still recovering from their surgeries). Schefter says the group will soon meet again - this time in Arizona - to spend another two weeks working out together.

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An important thing to remember

Happy Memorial Day, friends.  My craziness around moving and traveling is mostly over, but I still have to spend a good part of today cleaning my old place, which is just the worst part of moving.  I've been too busy to write anything in awhile, though, and I wanted to take a few minutes to get something out today.

Unfortunately, we remain in a world where the NFL is locked out despite the fact that the NFLPA decertified as a union and disavowed any interest in collective bargaining on behalf of NFL players.  In the wake of the decertification, several class action antitrust lawsuits have ensued, and the merits are clearly with the players, even if time isn't on their side.  The Eighth Circuit ruled for a stay of Judge Susan Nelson's injunction against the lockout, by basically surmising that the Norris-LaGuardia Act doesn't allow federal judges to enjoin labor actions.

Interestingly, that law was passed in 1932 to prevent judges from trying to force unions back to work.  Now, it's being used as a technicality to temporarily extend an illegal lockout of a non-organized workforce.  I've been repeatedly seeing idiotic commentary lately, that opines that "the players" should come back to the bargaining table.  "The players" want to litigate, rather than negotiate.  The owners made the last offer, so "the players" should make one now.

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