Xanders PR Week Lard 12-30-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Apparently it's Brian Xanders PR Media Tour Week, or didn't you hear? First, Xanders goes on radio with Vic and Gary Monday and says he got his PhD in football from Dan Reeves, that he spends 90% of his time scouting, that he's more than a cap guy, and finally he issues a "no comment" on the Peyton Hillis trade. Next up, an article on MileHighSports.com that repeats those first few points verbatim and then completely disavows Xanders from the Hillis trade by stating that Josh McDaniels went rogue on that one. It's a very fluffy article, one that reads to me like a PR piece - spoon fed perhaps by the guy with 'marketing and media relations' in his job description - Joe Ellis.

It sure makes Xanders out to be a swell guy - he's hard-working, started at the very bottom, and has Charley Casserly (who has been media guy for over 4 years now and works for NFLN) and an anonymously-quoted agent vouching for him. The article not only disconnects Xanders from several of the most controversial moves the Broncos have made over the past two years, but it goes so far as to say that Xanders was either vehemently opposed, was left out of the process entirely, or had much better ideas that lost out (like drafting Clay Matthews Jr.). Heck, it even paints him as partly responsible for the Falcons' best decisions (hiring Tom Dimitroff and Mike Smith, signing Michael Turner and drafting Matt Ryan).

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Broncos sign DT Louis Leonard

The Broncos have signed DT Louis Leonard today and placed LB Lee Robinson on injured reserve after he suffered a knee injury in Sunday's victory over the Texans. Leonard is a fourth-year player out of Fresno State who was originally signed by San Diego as an undrafted free agent and has played 25 games over the course of a career spent with St. Louis, Cleveland, Carolina and New England. Leonard is 6'4" and weighs 325 pounds.

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The Playbook Abides - Tebow’s encore

Last week we took a look at all 16 throws Tim Tebow made in his debut as the Broncos' starting QB.

The verdict?  This cat is an NFL quarterback.

I'm happy to report that I reached that conclusion before Christmas, so you can't accuse me of pounding too much egg nog.

This week in The Playbook Abides, we're putting up for your review four of Tebow's passes from Sunday.  Each one of them is instructive in its own little way, and helps us to chart Tebow's growth as the Broncos' signal caller.

(Note:  I don't believe I need to convince you of Tebow's inherent leadership abilities, but if so, don't take my word for it.  Champ Bailey and Jabar Gaffney can tell you).

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BLloyd Pro Bowler; Champ snubbed Lard 12-29-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Brandon Lloyd got a much-deserved nod yesterday from his peers with his first Pro Bowl selection. His conference call (linked below) with reporters was a gem, and he continues to show himself to be a humble and well-spoken guy.

Unfortunately, Champ Bailey did not make the Pro Bowl, which would have been his 10th selection. I should correct myself for suggesting last night that he was not snubbed in getting beaten out by Devin McCourty for the roster. It was one of those things I thought was a bit iffy when I typed it, and after more thought it was pretty dumb. McCourty getting chosen over Champ is clearly about stats, more specifically the stats that the fans see (interceptions) and what shows up on the weekly highlights. This is the same manner in which our old friends Deltha O'Neal and Tory James made it to the Pro Bowl, and frankly it sucks. I'm not equating McCourty's play with that of those two overrated guys, but his selection over Champ is an example of what's wrong with the Pro Bowl.

Usually the problem is guys getting in on their name and popularity; this time it was an unimportant statistic. Quite simply, interceptions are not the measure of a great cornerback. In fact, this season Nnamdi Asomugha has zero INTs, Darrelle Revis has zero INTs, and Champ has just two. But please don't use this as fodder for the "Stats are Meaningless" argument. Stats can tell you almost everything you need to know - it's a matter of finding the right ones...

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Brandon Lloyd elected to Pro Bowl

The NFL has announced the 2011 Pro Bowl rosters, and the Broncos have but one representative - WR Brandon Lloyd. 2010 has been a breakout season for Lloyd, who has accumulated 72 catches for a league-leading 1,375 yards through 15 games. Lloyd's 19.1-yard average per reception trails only Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson and 60 Minutes' Pittsburgh's Mike Wallace, while his 10 TD receptions are tied for fifth-best in the NFL. Lloyd's 72 receptions have produced a remarkable 67 first downs, for a league-leading 93.1% rate. All of these numbers have far surpassed Lloyd's previous career highs.

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Thoughts on Sunday’s victory

When the Houston Texans came into the Mile High City this week, Denver fans were looking at several factors that might not show up on the scoreboard. Perhaps the biggest issue with the Texans was whether their head coach, former Broncos backup quarterback and offensive coordinator Gary ‘Kubes’ Kubiak, would be returning to Dove Valley as Denver's next head coach. While Pat Bowlen tends to honor prior relationships with coaches, most fans so far seem opposed to the idea. The reason is easy to spot: Houston has had but one winning season under Kubiak, and their freefall this year (while outpaced by Denver’s) doesn’t give much reason for fan excitement at the idea of returning coach Kubiak to the Broncos' fold. A quick look can help Denver fans understand the situation with Kubes and get a clearer picture of the Houston team at the same time.

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The Stats That Don’t Suck (as Bad) - Week 16: Lloyd v. Marshall

It's been several weeks since we brought you our weekly summary of Broncos-related stats.  

There was a good reason--week after week there was nothing novel about the Broncos sucking wind.  The numbers were terrible, and the only question that remained after Week 8 was whether or not the team would rank last in each and every defensive category.  Snipers were beginning to assemble on rooftops.

Since the season is coming to an end, we thought it high time to at least give our readers what they deserve:  more crappy Broncos stats.

On the bright side, it will be a 20-minute distraction from your daily ritual of wondering who the Broncos will draft.

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The Daily Lard 12-28-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Eric Studesville confirmed the worst-kept secret in Denver yesterday - that Tim Tebow will start the season finale against San Diego. Again, this points to some disrespectful handling of Kyle Orton, who deserved better than being left to make that same announcement himself last week.

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The Really, Really Blind Side: Chia Pets

This week we're introducing a new video series giving you insights into the intriguing and mysterious happenings at Dove Valley.  

We're pulling back the curtain to see just what is happening as the Broncos search for a new general manager.   

This one is called "Chia Pets," and stars Joe Ellis and Brian Xanders.

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Broncos reportedly going orange in 2012

According to Woody Paige in his column today, the Broncos will indeed be going back to orange jerseys full time starting with the 2012 season (the earliest they can do so at this juncture). This, just six short weeks after Dave Krieger and then-coach Josh McDaniels spent half the Monday presser following the win versus KC talking about jerseys? Wow, things work quickly around these parts, eh? Was it the fan email campaign that Krieger started? Was it the online petition started by our friends over at BroncosForums.com?

Funny - the first hint of such an idea comes after a rousing home victory in which the Broncos wore orange. The day after the team's next win, which also happened to come at home and with QB-of-the-future Tim Tebow directing his first 4th-quarter comeback, Woodrow lets it slip that the orange jerseys will return. Amazing...well, you know what I think. But conspiracy theories aside, I'm thrilled to hear it. How do you feel about the decision?