4-3 Lard 2-18-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! To no great surprise, John Fox has confirmed this week that Denver will be shifting back primarlly to useing a 4-3 defense. According to Klis, Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers will indeed be converted back to ends, while Justin Bannan will be playing tackle. Klis also suggests that Denver may use a high pick on a linebacker, with incumbent LBs DJ Williams (if he's still around) moving back to play weakside, Joe Mays or Mario Haggan in the middle, and either Wesley Woodyard or Haggan on the strongside. Whatever works, please. Oh, and it would be nice to has some continuity...

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Elway responds to Bailey/Reale’s statements

Yesterday, Champ Bailey and his agent Jack Reale won the PR side-battle that today typically accompanies any significant contract negotiation. A statement presumably from Reale expressed the player and agent's frustration with the lack of progress on the guaranteed-money front and was followed by Champ's pronouncement that he would be propping a "For Sale" sign out front of his Littleton home. The latter message prompted a small grassroots campaign to rally fans for the two sides to come to an agreement.

Today, John Elway has responded via Twitter:

We've been working with Champ Bailey's representative this week on a new contract, which is an important priority for us. Our conversations have been constructive, and we'll continue those talks in the hopes that we can reach an agreement. Champ's an elite player who means a great deal to our entire organization and our fans. We want Champ to finish his Hall of Fame career as a Denver Bronco.

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Thursday Trivia Trough: Broncos All-Pros

Here we are, friends. It's the dead of the offseason, we don't even know for sure if there will even be a season this year,  and our best player from the past seven seasons may be on his way out of town. Damn, a Broncos fan could practically freeze and starve to death. So, what to do? Naturally, we can always fall back upon the greatness of Broncos past to warm us up and satiate our football appetites. Some Trivia Trough should do the trick, no?

Over the course of their 51-year history, the Broncos have had 33 different players named First-Team All-Pros. How many of them can you name? As always, surnames will suffice, and in this instance you can simply hazard guesses - there's no requirement to enter your guesses in specific slots. No peeking or cheating, and feel free to discuss your scores and answers in the comments!

Click here for Sporcle quiz:
Denver Broncos First-Team All-Pros?

Who do we want? Champ! Lard 2-17-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Ahh, the power of social media. Champ's announcement that he's put his house up for sale has already riled some fans up to action. As I write this, 77 people say they're gonna show up at the Big IF to convince Champ he should stay in Denver. Perhaps if they each bring along $500,000 cash (perhaps he'd take a certified check) they'll get a deal done. I don't mean to make light of either side here - for one, if people weren't so enthusiastic in their fanatacism toward the Broncos, TJ, Doc, Ted and I would have about twelve readers, including each other, our moms and a few friends. Secondly, it's hard to begrudge Champ the chance to break out of this new-defensive-coordinator-every-winter prison he's been stuck in for the past six years. Guy's a pro's pro, a HOFer, and seemingly an intelligent and upstanding guy. If he wants to go get a ring, his best chance will most definitely not be in Denver. For those who were wondering, Champ moved on from his Cherry Hills house when he apparently had the all-too-rare public-contention-free athlete divorce...

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Champ unhappy with direction of contract talks

UPDATE: 6:30PM ET - Vic Lombardi has just tweeted that he spoke with Champ's agent Jack Reale, who has confirmed that the Broncos' midseason offer and the latest proposal were both for four years and around $40 million. As reported earlier, the gap between the two sides is apparently an issue of guaranteed money.

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Fat Camp: Defensive fronts, Part I

A friend and I got to talking recently about 3-4 and 4-3 formations and systems, and I was a bit surprised when he noted, quite honestly, that he really didn’t know much about the differences between the fronts and how they work. After asking around a bit, I found that my friend was far from alone in that regard.  It got me looking at the issue, and what better way to address it than a session or two at Fat Camp? 

Regarding the differences between variations of the 3-4 and 4-3, new Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen takes much the same public stance as head coach John Fox does. In speaking with Dave Krieger of the Denver Post, Allen said,

"I don't look at it as a huge issue. Each player has a unique skill set and the challenge for a coach is to find out what those guys do well. So we're going to give them opportunities to do the things that they do well, whether it's 4-3, 3-4, 4-4, it doesn't really matter. I think our challenge is finding out what our personnel can do and highlighting those strengths."

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Champ talks resume Lard 2-16-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Negotiations have resumed between Denver and all-universe cornerback Champ Bailey after having come to an abrupt halt midseason. According to Klis, the Broncos are unlikely to utilize their franchise tag on Bailey should their talks fail again. This is quite sensible, for as great as Champ is, he is unlikely to be worth a guaranteed $15 million to a team that won but four games in 2010 with no contingency for the 2012 season. If the deal being discussed is similar in structure to what was reported in-season, then we're looking at a 4-year, $40 million deal (or more, now that the Broncos have no leverage aside from the specter of a lockout). I'll throw on my speculation hat and say that a deal of that size and for a player of Champ's stature would likely require Denver to guarantee around $25 million or $30 million over the course of the contract. Let's hope it gets done, because even at age 33, Bailey shows no signs of slowing down and has already stated publicly that when he does, he will welcome a shift over to safety.

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You Got Served - Welcome to the offseason

Happy Tuesday friends, and welcome to another kicking-it-old-school edition of You Got Served.  As Doug lamented Sunday, we’re now into the extended no-football period, of which this is my third as a blogger.  In the past two, this was the time to get really excited about soon-to-come free agency, and in a parallel sense, the draft evaluation activities such as the Combine and various Pro Days.  It’s been an exciting time, with lots to write about.

This year, of course, rosterbation feels a little strange.  Since we don’t know what’s going to happen on March 4th, we don’t know if this is going to be a boring time, or a really exciting one.  I tend to think that it will be exciting sooner rather than later, and I’m proceeding under that assumption.  In any case, we’re going to keep bringing it to you like room service here at the Fat Man.  While other sites fall off, we’re going to keep getting stronger.  Ready….. BEGIN!!

1.  Two weeks ago, I wrote the most focused article I’ve ever written about football, regarding the clear overvaluation of NFL franchises by Forbes - it’s been a gigantic success in the scheme of this site’s current footprint.  It’s been viewed about twice as many times as the next most-viewed article here so far in 2011, and yet, I feel like it’s just scratching the surface.  I’ve been sort of shamelessly trying to push it to finding critical mass, and really widespread (millions of people, rather than thousands) consumption, and while I’ve gotten some wide-platform people to read and compliment it, it hasn’t yet gotten the push I’m looking for.  (For the record, I almost never push my work anywhere once it's done, but this seems different.  It's like I want to be seen in my Sunday best.)

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Stinky Lard 2-15-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Golic and Mark Schlereth spoke yesterday morning on ESPN Radio about the Broncos' offseason picture. Regarding the QBs, Stink correctly pointed to Kyle Orton's 3rd-down struggles as a major concern and says Tim Tebow is the choice. He also said Brandon Lloyd is the Broncos' best offensive player at this point and thinks Denver needs to re-sign Champ Bailey and dump some of their other older defenders. Regarding the draft, Stink suggests the Broncos should just pick the best defender at #2, regardless of position. Finally, it's pretty clear that Stink has been reading the DP - he cites Josh McDaniels' handling of personnel and the Broncos' lack of draft choices as reasons the team is better off without their former coach. I suppose the folks out west who listen to Stink deal with this regularly, but aren't analysts like him supposed to do better than just regurgitate the ridiculous memery?

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The Really, Really Blind Side: Joe Ellis has a Valentine’s Day message for you

What happens when you mix Valentine's Day with the Denver Broncos' front office?

Joe Ellis covering Prince, that's what.

Welcome to yet another preposterous and fictional journey into the bending of time and space we like to call the Really, Really Blind Side.  You will never be the same again...

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