The Daily Lard 11-23-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Just some quick math to clean up Kyle Orton's contract info (not because you care, but because I'm a little OCD about making sure I get this right) - Denver paid him a $1.5M roster bonus at the end of July, and 11/17 of his $7.379M salary works out to $4,774,647.06 - so Denver has paid Kyle $6,274,647.06 and $2,604,352.94 remains. Should Chicago or KC claim him, the Broncos will be off the hook for that latter amount, Kyle gets to play rather than sit behind Tim Tebow and Brady Quinn, and perhaps he gets to go back to the playoffs with the Bears. It's a win/win for everyone, unless of course he comes back to Denver and beats the Broncos with either team. Remember how dramatic it appeared a Cutler/Orton or Cutler/Tebow might be? Well, Tebow/Orton is even better - at least as far as Denver fans are concerned.

Jeff Darlington lays out the list of teams that could put in a claim for Kyle, including perhaps Atlanta to block Chicago from getting him. Andrew Mason and Jeff Legwold detail Orton's release and his rough season, while Lindsay Jones tracks the muddled outcome of the Jay Cutler trade, which essentially netted Denver Robert Ayers and parts of Demaryius Thomas, Tebow and Eric Decker. Meanwhile, Dave Krieger thinks the whole thing seems a little fishy and wonders why Denver didn't cut Orton loose weeks ago. Well for one, what if the team had instead gone 1-4 with Tebow? And, prior to the injuries to Cutler and Matt Cassel, they were probably certain that no team would put in a claim for Kyle, and they'd be left holding the bag on his remaining salary. So as usual, it's all about the Benjamins.

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Broncos waive Kyle Orton

According to Adam Schefter, the Broncos have parted ways with Kyle Orton today. Pure speculation, but my first thoughts are either that Orton requested his release or was vocally unsupportive of Tim Tebow and/or the coaching staff, or maybe this was done as a favor so Kyle could sign on with a team in need of a QB? Say, Kubes and the Texans? Back to Chicago?

As it turns out, Mike Klis reports that Orton and his agent approached the Denver FO about a possible release after Jay Cutler broke his thumb, an injury which will require surgery tomorrow to repair and could keep Cutler out for as long as 6-8 weeks.

There are now were conflicting reports out there on how much of Orton's $7.379M base salary is unpaid at this point, as Albert Breer says the amount is $1.324M, while but as Klis says, it's around $2.58M.

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You Got Served: Thoughts on pass protection

Happy Tuesday, friends.  It’s been five days since the last Broncos victory, so I decided not to rehash it, since it’s been done to death at this point.  I have been working on a short (for me) essay about pass protection, and I decided to make it longer and more detailed and give that to you today.  Friday, it’ll be back to Digesting the Chargers, and we should be on the regular schedule from here on out.  Ready… BEGIN!!!

1.  Once, when I was three years old, I woke my mother up from a nap.  A man was breaking into the house downstairs, I told her.  He was tall and had dark hair, and was coming in through the window in the living room.  I was telling my mom about this guy in vivid detail, and like any mom, she got scared.  I had three younger siblings who were all also having a nap at the time, so my mother went and frantically made sure that they were safe.  Then she locked us all in one room and called the cops. 

As it turned out, that was an early indication of the kind of storyteller I was to become.  It was like little Eddie Murphy telling the joke about the monkey kicking the lion in the ding-ding.  We are all uniquely ourselves, and our character starts getting revealed at a young age.  I wasn’t lying, of course; I had just thought up some cool fiction and was sharing it with my mom.  She was not as impressed as I thought she’d be, and on the rare occasion I’ve ever heard her tell that story, the context is how hard it was to raise four little kids at once, and tangentially, that I had a hellion moment here and there.  (Both are fair points, of course.)

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The Daily Lard 11-22-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his latest mailbag, Mike Klis again makes the case for Denver to draft Baylor's Robert Griffin III, claiming that Griffin can thrive on the same running plays that Tim Tebow does but is also pass better. He also suggests that the key to improving Tebow's accuracy is in sharpening his footwork, rather than his long and slow throwing motion. Klis isn't so sure that Tim tends to throw catchable passes, and that instead his delivery may hide the ball from receivers' eyes, he throws a "heavy" ball, and his passes often rise or dive in the air.

Klis believes Wesley Woodyard's role in the NFL will continue to be as a nickel linebacker who can fill in as an occasional starter but isn't bulky enough to play on first and second down regularly. He also foresees the Broncos trying to re-sign both Brodrick Bunkley and Marcus Thomas, who are currently playing on one-year deals, although no negotiations have begun with either player. At the safety position, Klis thinks it's realistic to imagine both Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter starting next season.

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Open Thread - MNF Week 11

Enjoy the game everyone, and Go Pats! Mike TanierMatt Bowen and Erik Frenz of CHFF share their thoughts on the matchup.

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Wk 13 game at Vikes moved up 3 hours and to FOX

Denver's December 4, Week 13 game at Minnesota has been flexed from a 4:05pm ET game on CBS to a 1pm ET game on FOX instead; the Broncos/Vikings matchup swaps spots with Ravens/Browns. The NFL has also spared us the pain of having to see Curtis Painter and the Colts get whipped by the Patriots on SNF, instead swapping the game out for the potential shootout between the Lions and Saints in New Orleans.

The Daily Lard 11-21-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The AFC West games went about as expected, as the Raiders defeated the Vikings 27-21 and the Chargers lost to the Bears 31-20. Oakland is now 6-4 and a game up on the 5-5 Broncos, who are now one game ahead of San Diego. Denver remains a half-game ahead of the Chiefs, who face the daunting task of playing at Foxboro tonight with Tyler Palko starting for them at QB. Carson Palmer threw and ran for a score, while Michael Bush racked up 129 total yards and a TD for Oakland. Christian Ponder rallied Minnesota back from a 27-7 hole with two TD passes but was also picked off three times.

Meanwhile, Jay Cutler got a measure of revenge on the Chargers and his old nemesis Phil Rivers, but the satisfaction was shortlived and overshadowed by the fact that Cutler broke his right thumb late in yesterday's game, will have surgery to repair it, and will not be playing when the Bears come to town on December 11. It'll still be a big QB homecoming, just not for the Broncos - they'll instead be facing Cutler's backup, former CSU Ram Caleb Hanie. So, all Tim Tebow will have to do that day is outscore Devin Hester. Piece of cake, right? Matt Bowen breaks down the Bears' victory, plus he considers the Bears' plight without Cutler.

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Open Thread - Sunday Week 11

Enjoy the games, and Go Vikings Bears!

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Fat Pickins (and Probability) - Week 11

I'll disperse with the trivialities today and just say that Doug Lee is within one game of Mike Silver.

Will I see an elephant fly?

No way.  Doug spends a grand total of three minutes per week picking these games.  If only my brain worked so fast.

You may not like his take on Tebow, but all he does is win (pick 'em) games.

I apologize in advance for not getting to the probability and Baxter's locks.  There are several reasons for this.  Some could be true.  First, I can't get in touch with Baxter this morning.  When I left him last night he was dancing on top of a table and mumbling something about goldfish.  Second, I really wanted to bask in the glory of Doug Lee.  Third, now that the Broncos' game is over for the week, I don't care so much about the probabilities of the other games.  And finally, I woke up about thirty minutes ago and didn't have time.

Enjoy the games today, everyone.

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The Daily Lard 11-20-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday we covered the crucial Chargers/Bears game, so today let's take a quick peek at the game with the most immediate impact on Denver's season: Raiders/Vikings. An Oakland loss would drop them to 5-5 and into a first-place tie ZOMG with the Broncos, and they will be without several key players in RB Darren McFadden, WR Jacoby Ford and CB Chris Johnson, while three others are listed as questionable but expected to play: K Sebastian Janikowski, DT Richard Seymour and S Michael Huff.

As Jerry McDonald stresses, Oakland's first priority will be keeping pass rusher extraordinaire Jared Allen away from Carson Palmer, who will benefit from the absence of starters CB Antoine Winfield and S Husain Abdullah from Minnesota's secondary. The Vikings have struggled to put points on the board all year, but they also also lost to Detroit and Green Bay by just nine combined points, while Adrian Peterson has 11 TDs and nearly 1,000 yards from scrimmage; so you never know. Either way, how great/wild/unimaginable is it that we're talking about the Broncos potentially ending the day today in first place in the division?

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