Thoughts on John Fox as the regular season nears

John Fox holds to a theory of the game that has fallen out of favor with many. The advent of using statistics in football is still in its young stages. Even so, it’s impossible to argue that the NFL has become a passing league, which makes people wonder when Fox declares cheerfully that he believes in running the ball, defending the run and controlling the game. While it’s true, certainly, that the overall stats are more in favor of a passing game, Denver did try that with Josh McDaniels. McDaniels did a lot of good things that Denver is still benefiting from, but he didn’t turn the offense around much and the defense, which was gutted before he arrived, proceeded to head for the cellar while he was head coach. Pat Bowlen was ready to go out and find another offensive guy, but it was John Elway who convinced him that Fox was his man.

Continue reading "Thoughts on John Fox as the regular season nears"

The Daily Lard 8-31-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In a column today, Legwold considers the emergence of new starting Mike LB Joe Mays, whom the Broncos acquired last summer from the Eagles. Naturally, I'm going to gloss over the quotes (ZZZZZZ) and focus on the minutiae - he paints the deal as one of, if not the only successful trade of the Josh McDaniels era - never mind the Cutler and Marshall deals. Of course, Legwold doesn't even get the details correct, writing that Denver got a draft pick along with Mays from Philly. Would be nice if it were true - rather, the Broncos dealt twice-signed RB J.J. Arrington to Philly along with a 2012 sixth-rounder conditional upon whether Arrington made the 2010 Eagles. He did not, so Denver owes the pick.

Interestingly, there's more to this 2012 Draft picture, as the Broncos may still owe another conditional pick to the Browns as part of the Peyton Hillis/Brady Quinn deal. The specifics are unavailable on that one (plenty of earlier reports had said Denver was sending a sixth-rounder, but that's obviously not the case since it's going to Philly), so it's unclear what's left of that trade, if anything. Perhaps it's tied to Quinn's playing time this year? Who knows - maybe Captain Journalism can dig up the facts, that is if we want to trust him with that kind of hard work.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 8-31-11"

You Got Served - Football and nutjobbery

Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome to another edition of You Got Served.  I’m excited, aren’t you?  We have some football to discuss, as well as some deep exploration of my use of the word “nutjob” on Friday, which got some people upset.  Along with that, I’ll have some expanded thoughts about the Tebow media environment, and why I believe that my comment is justified.  Beyond that, it’s a surprise.  Buckle your chinstraps, because this is going to be a full-contact Tuesday.  Ready…. BEGIN!!!

1.  There was a lot of excellent analysis by TJ, Doug, and Doc on Saturday’s game, and I don’t really have a lot to add to it that hasn’t already been said.  I decided to take a run at putting together a 53-man roster, since we’re now heading into the fourth preseason game, and a lot of the bottom 45 guys on the roster are going to be trying to get off the cut list with a big play here or there, ala Shannon Sharpe’s story.

The list that I’ve compiled represents the 53 best players that I’ve seen this preseason, plus Demaryius Thomas, who’s going to start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.  It includes certain assumptions about the numbers of players that the Broncos will keep at each position, which follow immediately here.

Continue reading "You Got Served - Football and nutjobbery"

The Daily Lard 8-30-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Puzzingly, Jeff Legwold thinks the Broncos' FO should speak up regarding Tim Tebow's status within the organization. Really, what's the point? He's either starting or he's not, and we all know he's not. We also know he's not going anywhere, as his 2011-2014 salaries have already been paid out. Beyond that, any more Tebow talk from Johns Fox and/or Elway is wasted breath, and we know the coach isn't about to tip his hand to how the young QB may or may not be used come the regular season. Are we the fans owed some sort of explanation or road map? Absolutely not.

Top backup? First into the game in the case of an injury to Kyle Orton? First guy to start if Orton is unable or inept? Will Tebow see any short-yardage or goal-to-go snaps this season without those prior occurences? Let's just wait and see, why don't we?

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 8-30-11"

Monday Musings:Denver’s flanking pass rush, Joe Mays steps up, Beadles has work to do

I keep files on all sorts of things, both diculous and ridiculous, from the physics of football to the estimated time that quarterbacks should have their feet in place, the ball cocked and ready to go out by with drops of different lengths. That last one comes up about twice a season. Interested?

A quality NFL quarterback is expected to do a three-step drop in 1.5 seconds, five steps in 2.1 seconds and seven in less than 2.7 seconds.

Tarvaris Jackson didn’t have time to do any of them on Saturday night.

I don’t have a lot of real sympathy for Jackson - lord knows that Denver’s had their share of matador linemen of late, and it’s part of the game. It was up to Pete Carroll and the FO to provide him with the offensive linemen that he needs to put his game together, and they’ve been affected by injuries. Even so - you can’t help but gaze in astonishment, because I don’t even recall looking at a pair of defensive ends plus a rover that looked anything like this group. Von Miller, of course, has various roles that he plays and he manages to do all well, which is astounding for a rookie: Robert Ayers and Elvis Dumervil plus Miller is almost an absurd combination, especially with Kevin Vickerson and Brodrick Bunkley in the mix.

Continue reading "Monday Musings:Denver’s flanking pass rush, Joe Mays steps up, Beadles has work to do"

Broncos make first cuts; roster down to 80

The Broncos announced today that they have released CB Nate Jones & waived RB C.J. Gable, LB Braxton Kelley, LB Deron Mayo, G Shawn Murphy, T Curt Porter, and DE David Veikune. This brings the roster number to 80 players, and the deadline to reach the 53-man limit is Sep 3 at 6pm EDT. None of the cuts are big surprises, although Kelley had impressed throughout the preseason. Jones is the most significant player among those let go and was due to make $810K this season (the veteran minimum for players of his experience) and count for $1.06M against the salary cap; he had struggled mightily in camp and during preseason games. The release of Jones makes it that much more likely that Darcel McBath sticks on the final roster as the team's swingman between safety and corner. Expect the practice squad to be comprised of players released in final cuts - not the players waived today.

The Daily Lard 8-29-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! According to Legwold, the Broncos expect to be without LB D.J. Williams (dislocated elbow) for the first two weeks of the season, although there's a chance he could return by Week 2. Unfortunately, he says there's also a chance that DT Brodrick Bunkley (knee sprain) could miss the opener against Darren McFadden and the Raiders. Obviously, the absence of Bunkley is not going to help Denver's cause in trying to prevent a repeat of their most recent matchups - the Raiders have ripped us for a total of 833 rushing yards over the past three games, and no that is not a typo. By higher math, that averages out to 277.7 yards per game on the ground. Hmm, time to try out some platelet rich plasma injection therapy on Bunkley's knee?

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 8-29-11"

Chewing the Fat: Preseason - Broncos vs Seahawks

The IAOFM staff discuss the Denver Broncos' 23-20 preseason victory over the Seattle Seahawks

Denver’s first possession is a penalty-laden three and out

TJ: The Seahawks have a rookie at RT - Miller and Doom should test him tonight

Doc: They tried Tyler Polumbus this year, I believe. Didn't work out.

TJ: Wow, just saw why Brandon Mebane was wanted in free agency - good push from him. Penalties galore on this opening drive. Is this the 1st preseason game or the 3rd? Penalties took them out of their game plan, clearly

Doug: As Ted would say, right off schedule. Nice coverage on that punt from Matt Willis, and another huge kick from Colquitt

Continue reading "Chewing the Fat: Preseason - Broncos vs Seahawks"

The Daily Lard 8-28-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Last night's 23-20 victory (box score) over Seattle was about two things - the exceptional pass-rushing duo of Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, and Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow's strengths and weaknesses encapsulated. The two defenders put on quite a show, combining for 3.5 sacks, six QB hits and three tackles for loss in just over two quarters of football as the defense held the Seahawks to 39 yards of total offense in the first half and just 183 yards overall. The extent of Von and Doom's dominance was likely magnified by the awful play of Seattle's starting tackles Tyler Polumbus and James Carpenter, but it's still cause for excitement.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 8-28-11"

Gut Reaction: Preseason Week 3 - Broncos vs Seahawks

The Denver defense decided to travel back in time tonight.

Their destination?  The year 2005.  You remember that year, don't you?  It was the year the Broncos didn't allow a single yard on defense--or so it seemed.

The Broncos' first-team defense allowed the Seahawks only 39 yards in the first half tonight in their 23-20 victory.  By the end of the 3rd quarter, that total had hardly increased.

Was that Al Wilson or Joe Mays out there tonight?

Okay, I won't get too carried away.  The Broncos were playing the Seattle Seahawks; they were facing a young offensive line.  It's the preseason.

Things won't always be this way.  Will they?

Tonight, I'll dream dreams of Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil.  There will be a stopwatch.  It will start at 00:00.  Three seconds later, Miller and Dumervil enter the picture.

The stopwatch explodes.

Continue reading "Gut Reaction: Preseason Week 3 - Broncos vs Seahawks"