The Elways and the spread, Part 3

Note: This is the conclusion of a three-part series on the history of the spread offense. Part 1 appeared Wednesday, and Part 2 came yesterday. Special thanks to TJ for providing the play diagrams that appear throughout this series.

Jack Neumeier had always been a smashmouth kind of coach. When there was a fight at practice, he made the combatants remove their jerseys and pads and duke it out without protection (that suddenly cut down on the fighting). He believed in the ‘3 yards and a cloud of dust’ kind of offense, one that just dominated the individual matchups and made your opponent fear you. He was the head coach of Granada Hills HS in the San Fernando Valley, and he had a bone-deep belief that ‘tough’ was the only way to win at football. It was a belief that he drummed into every player who came through his program.

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The Daily Lard 12-3-10

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Darcel McBath returned to practice yesterday, albeit in limited fashion. Andre' Goodman, Demaryius Thomas and Brian Dawkins did not practice and are out for Sunday's game in KC.

Later today, the finale of Doc's series on the spread - including the answer to just who Coach Joe is...

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The Dude’s Mail Revue: Haley is looney

Dude's Mail Revue 400x145

Fat Man blogger TJ “The Dude” Johnson posts The Dude’s Mail Revue on Thursdays, in which he takes your questions and gets your opinion about the state of the Denver Broncos.

You wanna roll your way into the semis? You want a toe--with nail polish--by 3 o'clock?

Drop TJ your question: tjthedudejohnson@gmail.com.

(NOTE: No marmots were harmed in the writing of this revue)

TJ, what are the chances that Todd Haley shakes Josh McDaniels' hand this time around?  What are the chances that McDaniels doesn't shake Haley's?  Haley is such a loon.  They should put a straitjacket on that guy.

--Dr. Harleen F. Quinzel, New York City

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The Elways and the spread, Part 2

Note: This is the second of a three-part series on the history of the spread offense. Part 1 appeared yesterday, and the series will conclude tomorrow with Part 3Special thanks to TJ for providing the play diagrams that appear throughout this series.

Some coaches have argued that the development of the spread offense was inevitable. That’s not an unreasonable perspective - if the trend in football is to stack your big guys together defensively, some offensive coordinator or head coach is going to spread out their guys to force you to respond, and they’re going to use those open spaces to fling the ball right down your throat. Even so, it took both a tiger and a mouse to really bring the spread into the modern lexicon. The specific form that it took may not have survived in its early form - none of them do, really - but its influence on the game hasn’t slowed, whatever directions it may have taken. While there is nothing truly new under the football sun, Glenn Ellison challenged that axiom, and the way he went about it changed the face of football for all time.

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The Daily Lard 12-2-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Brian Dawkins, Darcel McBath, Demaryius Thomas and Andre' Goodman did not practice yesterday; all are expected to miss the trip to KC. As mentioned last night, we've now all got a glimpse at what Kenny McKinley was facing prior to his suicide - mounting gambling debts, child support and the fear that his NFL career was over. Plus, we learned that his death has likely taken a greater toll on his ex-teammates beyond the loss of a friend and teammate - especially so for Tom Brandstater and Jabar Gaffney. Our thoughts go out to those two men as well, today.

Later today, Part 2 of Doc's series on the Elways and the spread offense, and The Dude's Mail Revue.

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Details emerge regarding McKinley’s financial troubles prior to death

An AP report shares details of an investigation by the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Department into the death of former Broncos WR Kenny McKinley. McKinley apparently had significant gambling debts and owed former teammate Tom Brandstater $65,000 when he committed suicide in September using a gun purchased from Broncos WR Jabar Gaffney. McKinley's family, friends and the Broncos organization were reportedly all aware of his financial troubles and he had mentioned suicide to three friends, including Brandstater.

The Stats That Don’t Lie - Week 12: 3rd downs, they ain’t what they used to be

How many video operations directors does it take to change a light bulb?

Who knows?  But it takes a whole hell of a lot of them to make the Broncos' stats look good.

After a few weeks on the sideline, The Stats That Don't Lie are back.

Unfortunately for the Broncos, they haven't made a triumphant return.

As you'll see, these stats can't be made to make the Broncos look good under any circumstance.

The good news?  You can change your own light bulb.

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The Elways and the spread, Part 1

Note: This is the first of a three-part series on the history of the spread offense. Part 2 will appear tomorrow (Thursday), and the series will conclude on Friday with Part 3. Special thanks to TJ for providing the play diagrams that appear throughout this series.

You’ll find very few Broncos fans who would argue that John Elway wasn’t the greatest Broncos quarterback of all time. Many fans in and out of Denver have called him the greatest quarterback of all time. That’s high praise for anyone, especially a player who was once dedicated to becoming a running back. The story of how that changed, and its link to the current Broncos QB Kyle Orton, is a tale worth telling. Settle in, and I’ll set the stage for you. The full production will begin in the second section, but without the background, you won’t catch the full effect. Let’s begin in the State of Washington. In fact, let’s begin with Washington State University.

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Not so many comebacks Lard 12-1-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Like many of you, I grew up practically worshiping John Elway, and it always stings to read about the lies we've been told regarding his 4th-quarter comeback wins. Really, he's not actually the Comeback King. But as someone who loves stats, facts and the debunking of myths, narratives and internet memes, I've just got to accept the disappointing realities along with the uplifting ones. Not sure if you're ready to do the same, but here's an excellent read from Scott Kacsmar over at the PFR Blog regarding Elway's comebacks. The silver lining is that it shows that Elway was much better than Brett Favre in the fourth quarter, and very similar to Dan Marino. Well, except for the fact that he's got more rings than the two of them combined...

Among the links you'll find sense and reason from Mike Lombardi and myth busting from Ted Bartlett. And later today, the first of Doc's excellent series linking the Elways to Kyle Orton.

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Debunktion Junction comes to Adam Schein’s county

I’m  a total multitasker, and technology has made me worse.  Twitter is one of my diversions at times, and I’d say I use it very sporadically, unlike a lot of people who use it all day.  Today, I was relaxing in my bathroom, taking care of some things, you know how it is, and I fired up the old Tweetdeck on my iPhone 4 to let my mind have something to do.  I happened across the following Tweet from my good pal Adam Schein.

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