Running fools Lard 1-30-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Does anyone at the Post understand why the Broncos didn't run the ball well in the first half of the season? Were they actually paying attention up in the press box? Klis pays a visit to Legwold Land and shares his own brilliant analysis which says that teams with lots of rushing attempts did well in terms of either yards or points allowed on defense. Funny thing is, he announces that the best three defenses in the league for his money in 2010 were Green Bay, Chicago and New Orleans. Where did these three teams rank in terms of rushing attempts? 20th, 21st and 30th, respectively.

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The Daily Lard 1-29-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Not much in the way of football news today. BTW, did you know the Pro Bowl is tomorrow? Is anyone even going to watch? Perhaps during commercials for the Winter X Games? Actually, I can think of one reason to watch - it may be the last time we get to see Champ Bailey wearing a Denver helmet. Enjoy your Saturday, and thanks as always for being here!

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Fat Camp: Thoughts about Dennis Allen

Dennis Allen was hired as the Broncos Defensive Coordinator in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, after I’d wrapped You Got Served and gone to bed - so I didn’t comment on the hiring within that piece.  In between closing the books for January, going to my MBA classes, and turning up at the odd social event, I’ve spent the last few days thinking about the implications of this hiring, and I have to say, I’ve gone from liking it to loving it in that time.

One of the last pieces I wrote on my old site was called What a John Fox Defense Looks Like.  In it, I made the point that Fox is not a technocratic scheme-oriented guy, he’s an old-school football guy.  On both sides of the ball, his coordinators call the plays, within an overall team concept that he sets.  Historically, his defenses have featured 40 fronts and a lot of zone coverage, mostly relying upon 4-man rush schemes.  I’ve said a lot of times that that’s the soundest way to play defense, so I agree with that approach.

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The Daily Lard 1-28-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Lots of talk about concussions, injuries and the future of the NFL. Ben McGrath for the New Yorker wonders if head injuries will someday spell the end of pro football's relevance. Meanwhile, Chris Brown of Smart Football thinks more crucial will be how concussions shape youth and amateur football going forward. Plus, Esquire unveiled a bunch of injury data the NFLPA has collected for its CBA battle. Makes one question just what we're all tuning in for, doesn't it?

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Champ Bailey headed to Pro Bowl

The Broncos have announced that cornerback Champ Bailey will be replacing Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. This will be the 10th Pro Bowl appearance for Bailey, who just completed his 12th NFL season. The 32-year-old Bailey, who is a free agent after having spent seven seasons with the Broncos, has now surpassed Mike Haynes for the most Pro Bowl selections in history by a cornerback.

Why take deer antler fuzz?

An article by Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports caught my attention last week; it deals with a performance-enhancing substance being used by NFL players which is extracted from a concentration of the fuzz from deer antlers. This one was new to me, although I’ve dealt with the uses of powdered deer penis (same animal, different end), extracts from frogs and other creatures, the gall bladder of a bear and even certain types of ground fossils, which are high enough in calcium that it can be absorbed by adding certain other substances to the formula. Oddly enough, in the right doses and with the proper accompanying substances, each of these has substantial benefits for the patient. I’d never looked into deer antler fuzz though, and I was curious. How does this function from both Western and Eastern medical perspectives?

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Coaching staff completed

The Broncos have announced via Twitter that John Fox has completed his coaching staff today, contrary to countless earlier claims around the interweb (and on the DP) that Dennis Allen had been the final addition to Fox's crew. Two-time SB winner Keith Burns has been retained as a special teams assistant, while Sam Garnes will be the assistant defensive backs coach. Garnes, who played for the Giants and Jets in a seven-year pro career, had been a special teams assistant with Carolina in 2010. Burns has been coaching the Broncos' special teams since 2007 following a 13-year NFL career which included two stints in Denver; he was originally drafted by Denver in the 7th round of the 1994 Draft (210th overall).

Official team press release

More fun with Brian Xanders Lard 1-27-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Brian Xanders recited his talking points responded to questions for the mothership yesterday. Honestly, this guy needs a spokesperson or an editor. If Pippi Bongstocking can afford to have a PR rep on a 3rd-string RB's salary, then surely the Broncos organization could spring for one to speak on behalf of Xanders, no? Someone needs to stop having him represent the Broncos publicly. I dare you to read this whole thing through without making a face or screaming like this (► perhaps don't click that link at work with the volume really high, or if foul language offends you). When asked what message John Fox laid out to his new coaching staff at the Senior Bowl, here's what Xanders had to say:

John Fox was also excited in terms of enthusiasm and positive energy, and just glad everybody was together for the first time.

If questioning Xanders' intelligence is getting old for you, I'm sorry. While I do parse the words of the DP writers daily, I'm not seeking it out with Xanders. Unfortunately, there's no effort required - he just hits you squarely in the face with incoherence - over and over again. Obviously, we just have to hope he knows his stuff when it comes to football.

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The Daily Lard 1-26-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen joined the rest of the Broncos' coaching staff in Mobile for the Senior Bowl and called his new gig "a wonderful opportunity" while citing a better personal and professional fit as his reasoning for choosing Denver over Philly. Allen will call the defensive plays for Denver next season, and head coach John Fox said Allen's experience coaching both the line and the secondary influenced his decision to hire the 38-year-old Texan. Meanwhile, his old boss Sean Payton said that he saw a future coordinator and head coach early on in his time working with Allen.

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Broncos add two defensive coaches

The Broncos announced today the hiring of Ron Miley Cyrus Milus and Richard Smith as defensive coaches. Milus will coach the team's secondary, while Smith will coach the linebackers. Both had been on head coach John Fox's staff in Carolina and were Denver assistants earlier in their careers.