The Daily Lard 10-18-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver made another roster move last night, filling the spot vacated by the Brandon Lloyd trade with safety Rafael Bush (5'11, 197), whom they signed off of Atlanta's practice squad. The Falcons signed Bush as an undrafted free agent last year out of South Carolina State, and he dressed for their season finale after spending the year on the PS. Mike Klis says the signing of Bush is likely a response to the neck injury which kept Brian Dawkins out of practice yesterday and the poor play by Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter in the Broncos' last game versus San Diego.

Klis says the Lloyd trade was largely about money, as the team apparently offered Brandon a two-year deal but with no guaranteed money coming until after this season, and a salary below what Lloyd felt he deserved. Add to that the presence of young wideouts Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas (who was back at practice yesterday) and mix in the fact that Denver just isn't chucking it downfield very much under John Fox's guidance, and you have the makings of a trade which both sides are happy with. And to reiterate, the Broncos would not have received a compensatory pick until the 2013 Draft had they kept Brandon around for the remained of the season.

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Fattening Up on Ryan Clady

I read the other day that OL coach Dave Magazu said the San Diego game featured Ryan Clady’s best run-blocking of the season to date. Although I had Clady set up for a little later in my film study series, I wanted to see why Magazu, who’s got a pretty top reputation as an OL coach, was that excited about what he’d seen. It didn’t take long to get me excited, either. I’ll share with you what I found, and take you through the second half of that game. On some plays, I’ve listed more than just Clady’s performance - you’ll understand why.

A technical note: I wanted to start making my life easier, so I’m using a version of the shorthand that Steve Belichick, Bill’s father, recommended in his book Football Scouting Methods. I list the quarter and the time at the start of the drive and sometimes if a certain play is worth checking, and I also list the down, distance and the location of the ball. To do that, I use the notation ‘-X yards’ if Denver’s on their side of the 50 and +X yards if they’re in their opponent's side of the field (plus territory). If I’ve listed the location of the ball on first down, and the team gained five yards I usually don’t bother listing the ball location - I just assume that everyone can do the math. So far, it’s confusing my voice recognition software, so keeping my keystrokes down helps my hands out. I hope that you can follow the notations when I kept them short.

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Lloyd traded to Rams; McBean arrested for stalking

3:07PM ET - David Garrard is reportedly to have back surgery. Could this impact whatever market exists for Kyle Orton? Cough..Oakland...cough

2:17PM ET - But wait, there's more! Denver DT Ryan McBean was arrested on Oct. 14 for stalking, according to 9NEWS.

1:36PM ET - According to Schefter, all that it would take for the pick to move up from a sixth-rounder to a fifth-rounder in 2012 is that Lloyd catch 30 passes for the Rams over the remainder of the season. Obviously, this is a highly attainable and likely threshold, and it puts the trade in a much better light.

1:08PM ET - Mort says the Broncos will receive a conditional pick from St. Louis that will come in either the fifth or sixth round of the 2012 Draft depending upon how many receptions Lloyd tallies with the Rams.

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The Daily Lard 10-17-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! More information is finally leaking out regarding the Broncos' near trade of Kyle Orton to the Dolphins. Apparently, it was Miami owner Stephen Ross who nixed the deal, because he is set upon having a clear franchise QB in place for the 2012 season, and well, you know... Ross also intends to hire someone with the stature of Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden and Jeff Fisher to either run his team or coach it. In case you care about these things for some odd reason, Cowher was TJ's first coaching choice for the Broncos post-Shanahan, while I was hoping for Fisher earlier this year.

Further, Chris Mortensen says the deal was so close to fruition that Kyle's transportation to the Sunshine State had been arranged. In other words, the Broncos were more than prepared to ship Orton off, as we've figured since about nine months ago. But you know, continue to blame John Fox or John Elway for Orton not being moved. We don't need no stinking facts when we have our sights set on someone, right?

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Broncos trying to move Brandon Lloyd before practice on Monday

Mike Klis is reporting the Broncos are now trying to move wide receiver, Bradon Lloyd, as fast as possible--that is, before tomorrow's practice.

It appears as if Jim Harbaugh Rocky Balboa has now emerged as the front runner.  As Klis reports:

The San Francisco 49ers appear to be showing the strongest interest in the acrobatic receiver, but the New England Patriots and St. Louis Rams also were in discussions, according to two NFL sources.

If this is true, it would be a homecoming of sorts for Lloyd, who played for San Francisco from 2003-2005.  During his first tour of duty with the 49ers, Lloyd never quite lived up to his potential, although it should be noted that he was a 4th-round draft pick.

The 49ers beat the Lions today to improve to 5-1, but during the game it was clear they are in need of big-play threat for Alex Smith.  

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Open Thread - Sunday Week 6

Enjoy the games, everyone!

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Fat Pickins (and probability) - Week 6

The good news?  The Broncos can't lose this week.

The bad news?  They can't win either.

A bye week in the NFL is like going to jail in the game Monopoly.  You have to sit there and watch the rest of your family roll the dice, move their pieces (why the hell did everyone want to play the horse and rider?), and laugh, while you have to wait your turn.

At least in Monopoly you can roll doubles to get out and play again.  During the NFL bye week, you're just stuck.

Welcome to another edition of Fat Pickins, where we climb the stairway to crazy.  Here you get two things--our picks and probability.

Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies.

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The Daily Lard 10-16-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! I had a rather disappointing Twitter exchange last night with former Denver GM Ted Sundquist, who had written on his own site earlier in the day that Brandon Lloyd "has a history of less than “exemplary” behavior in Dove Valley" and in response to a reader's comment went on to call Lloyd "disgruntled" and speculate that Denver would even consider deactivating the WR or releasing him outright. In yesterday's Lard, I had written that Sundquist was "sadly perpetuating the myths about Lloyd being a bad guy". Later in the day, Sundquist tweeted:

@craigary @IAOFM Nice blog, but I wouldn't "perpetuate the myth" if I didn't know what I was saying. Would never do that to a player.

This is fair. Ted spent 16 years in the Denver organization, and he presumably still has plenty of knowledgeable contacts there. So, perhaps there's some truth to what Ted wrote yesterday. I'm certainly in no position to dispute that, and I won't. But, Ted's writing now, and on his own site - and he's the first person to paint Lloyd as a malcontent in Denver. Yes, Brandon arrived with a less-than-stellar reputation; but again, we've had over two years to judge the guy for ourselves. There was no hint of Lloyd being disgruntled or having demanded a trade when Mike Klis broke the news the other day that Brandon was being offered around.

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Fat Off the Bone: Week 6 - Tim Tebow goes here so this page will get more clicks

Despite being well bred, well read, conversant in all manner of topics in multiple languages, and possessing an uncanny and impeccable taste for the finer luxuries in this world, I admit--during moments of weakness--a passing yet substantive fancy for tramping and a penchant for lap-dance discussions;  after all, there exist, as a matter of due course, those occasions upon which nary a second should pass without thrusting erect (oh yeah) and headstrong into those crevices of the human mind that have proven baser and more carnal.

In short, it's fun to argue.  I find great comfort in it.  If one can't anonymously jump on the internet and falsely lord over others with jargon, statistics, and outright buffoonery, where can one truly suck the marrow out of life?  Nowhere, that's where.  One's girlfriend or wife (or special lady friend) simple won't stand for it.  So on a Saturday like this, there are two options: 1) rake the lawn; 2) argue about Tim Tebow.

I'm picking the latter, thank you.

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Appreciating Mr. B. Lloyd Lard 10-15-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! No real news on the Broncos front, or developments in the Brandon Lloyd situation, but I thought I'd share some thoughts on Lloyd. Brandon has been a truly remarkable player for Denver, and it's been a shame to see folks dragging his name around like he's a malcontent or more of a "me guy" than any other NFL player. Sure, he never really did much of anything pre-Denver and never lived up to his billing, and perhaps he was something of an unhappy camper while playing for three different teams in six years. But really, who cares about that stuff? This is Brandon's third season in Denver, so don't we have enough to go on from seeing him on the field and hearing/reading what he has to say every week to form a true opinion of the guy?

For one, the guy spent 14 weeks on the inactive list in 2009 while making the minimum $620K (plus a $50K signing bonus) and we never heard a peep. He then goes out in 2010 and produces one of the best, if not the best, season(s) of any WR in the league and receives a $755K salary, which was the minimum for his experience level (he later received a $500K incentive for making the Pro Bowl). This year, he is playing for a $1.395M salary in the final year of the two-year contract he signed with Denver after having dressed twice in 2009. Yet, we have never heard any inkling of a complaint from either Lloyd or his agent about playing time, his salary or his contract in the 2.3 seasons he's been a Bronco, during which he's made about $2.36M so far and would make about $3M total through the end of this season.

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