Broncos will interview Dennison and Jags’ Koetter

According to the DP, the Broncos have requested the Texans' permission to interview Houston's OC and longtime Denver player and coach Rick Dennison for their open head coaching position. Dennison played for the Broncos from 1982-1990 and was an assistant coach for the team from 1995 to 2009.

UPDATE 6:17PM ET - John Elway has announced via Twitter that the Broncos have received permission to speak with Jaguars OC Dirk Koetter about their head job. The 51-year old Koetter has been with Jacksonville since the 2007 season following head coaching stints at Boise State (1998-2000) and Arizona State (2001-2006). More on Koetter after the break...

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The return of Elway

When John Elway took the podium on Wednesday to being his tenure as the Executive VP of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos, he wasn’t shy about taking on some touchy subjects. On the other hand, John Elway has rarely been shy about too much of anything.

He talked at length about things like integrity and dedication, about the unique relationship that the Broncos have with their fans, and how his new position is something that he’s looked forward to for a long time. He’s already hit the ground running, with 25-minute meetings with each of the incumbent assistant coaches. The coaches had already been required to do their year-end player analyses, and Elway wanted their input on the players as much as he wanted to get up to speed on who, on the staff and on the roster, he might consider suggesting the next head coach keep. But Elway also made it clear that GM Brian Xanders will handle personnel decisions for the most part, and the head coach will provide his own input.

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The Playbook Abides: Tripping up Tebow

Over the last several weeks of analyzing Tim Tebow's throws, I've come to believe he is already making great strides in his pre-snap reads.

This shouldn't have come as much of a surprise.  After all, Urban's Meyer's offense at Florida was, in part, predicated by reading both safeties and their position relative to the line of scrimmage.  When Josh McDaniels (hiss!) said that Tebow and he were at the whiteboard for hours upon meeting, he wasn't lying (no one knows if Brian Xanders was informed of the whiteboard incident).  Tebow wasn't completely green at reading defenses pre-snap like many college quarterbacks are.

But unfortunately for quarterbacks, the defense rarely stands still after the snap of the ball. What first appears like an outside linebacker blitz is actually a zone coverage to the flat. What appears like middle-zone coverage is actually a delayed linebacker blitz.

Last week the Chargers did some interesting things post-snap to confuse our hero.  We'll take a look at one such play today in The Playbook Abides.   This will help us gauge Tebow's continued growth and development. 

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So much for that Lard 1-7-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! It was an eventful day for Denver yesterday, but it doesn't seem like anything that happened is actually good for the Broncos. Andrew Luck is staying at Stanford, which decreases the value of Denver's #2 overall pick. Jim Harbaugh is likely out of the picture after turning down the Dolphins and is now apparently the subject of a bidding war between Stanford and the Niners. Mark Mike Mularkey has told the Broncos to go scratch he's too busy to talk to them now, although he does have time to meet with the Browns. Gregg Williams says he hasn't yet heard from Denver, although they wouldn't be able to meet until the Saints' season ends, anyway. So the Broncos are going to meet with Perry Fewell and Eric Studesville on Sunday, and as of now that is it.

Well, maybe this wasn't so bad a chain of events. While it would be nice for the Broncos to have a new HC ASAP, perhaps it's best that John Elway's first coach hiring takes more than a week or two. After all, what's more important here - finding a new coach quickly, or finding the best man for the job? In his chat session yesterday, Andrew Mason surmised that Denver would wait to speak with Williams, as long as some other candidate didn't "knock their socks off."

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Andrew Luck reportedly staying at Stanford

The top of the 2011 Draft has suddenly lost some of its glitz as Stanford QB Andrew Luck has reportedly decided to return to school for his junior year. Luck has been tabbed a consensus #1 pick and a once-in-a-generation QB by many, but what he will not be called in 2011 is a Carolina Panther or Denver Bronco. Well, at least we can move on from that discussion...

John Elway: Mindfreak

Yesterday, my senses failed.

I thought I was ready.  I told myself I wasn't going lose my perspective just because the greatest Bronco of all time was now given the position of lower deity at Dove Valley.  I was ready to watch the entire spectacle with a critical eye.  I would not be fooled by the glitz and glamor of Elway's five Super Bowl appearances.

But then something happened.  Elway stood up and showed enough enthusiasm to light the building on fire.  He even said the magic words, "Mile High Stadium."

It was a pure mindfreak: a supernatural occurrence beyond comprehension.

I lost all perspective and objectivity.  Hours later, drunk off the euphoria of hearing Elway talk about the championship days, I still couldn't bring myself to rational thinking.

I turned on the radio; I wasn't the only one.

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Mularkey reportedly will not interview with Broncos

Because he is pissed that John Elway referred to him as Mark reportedly doesn't want to be distracted from the Falcons' playoff run, Atlanta OC Mike Mularkey will not interview for the Broncos' vacant head coaching position tomorrow night. While ESPN's Adam Schefter cites a source who says Mularkey would be interested in interviewing after his team is eliminated from the playoffs, it's likely a moot point as Denver's coaching search is expected to take only a week or two. Either way, this decision should make it quite clear that Mularkey isn't really that interested in coaching the Broncos. Hopefully it wasn't yesterday's verbal slippages by Elway that made him feel that way...(thanks, ButteBronco!)

UPDATE 12:48PM ET - According to Lindsay Jones, Mularkey is still taking his interview with Cleveland; so his excuse for canceling on Denver is pretty much rendered invalid. Meanwhile, Saints DC Gregg Williams will not be available for interview while New Orleans is still alive in the playoffs. So, either the list of potential coaches is shrinking, or the Broncos' search is going to stretch out a bit longer than the original 1 or 2 weeks Elway had cited...

The Daily Lard 1-6-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Elway was introduced yesterday as the new EVP of Football Ops - in case you missed it, or the sound dropped out of it yesterday (like it did for me), watch the presser here - Part 1 and Part 2. In speaking for almost an hour, Elway covered what he's seeking in a new head coach (offensive or defensive background matters not), the future of Tim Tebow (he's still unproven) and Champ Bailey (his status is up in the air), the new power structure at Dove Valley (Elway will be the tiebreaker between Brian Xanders and the HC), why he wanted the job (he loves the Broncos, and he's competitive) and how he'll be performing it (in a very hands-on manner). Best thing Elway said? "I know what I don't know," although that was followed up by a puzzling "I will find out what I don't know as fast as I possibly can." Hopefully, John's self-awareness means the Broncos will be run sans hubris going forward.

As of now, Elway & Co. will interview Falcons OC Mark Mike Mularkey on Friday and Giants DC Perry Fewell and former Broncos interim coach Eric Studesville on Sunday. Elway said the Broncos are interested in speaking with Jim Harbaugh about the job, although it sounds like the Dolphins are making a big push for his services.

UPDATE 11:20AM ET - The Broncos have posted a full transcript of yesterday's presser - it probably took that long to compile it...

UPDATE 11:58AM ET - ESPN will broadcast their documentary "Tim Tebow: Everything in Between" tonight at 7PM ET and will re-air it at midnight ET on ESPN2.

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John Elway presser Open Thread

Watch here as the Broncos introduce John Elway as their Executive VP of Football Operations at the bottom of the hour, and share your reactions here...

UPDATE 3:51PM ET - Giants OC and former Bills interim coach Perry Fewell will interview for the Broncos' job on Sunday

First postseason look: Offense

In looking at the offense over the past couple of weeks, and mostly watching the film of the Chargers game, there was something awfully familiar about the play of Tim Tebow. What I'm referring to may surprise a lot of people - I don't mean his college career or tendencies, although they certainly play into this. I’m thinking of things much older, really. While reviewing Sunday's game - the second half in particular - I noticed something that may be helpful to the Broncos over time. 

The more things change, the more they stay the same. When Tebow was lined up in a classic T formation, one running back short of the old T that Chicago used to beat the Redskins in the most lopsided championship in history, 72-0, the line usually blocked straight on. In modern times, of course, it’s just called a ‘pro set’, and the QB has a running back on either side (one may be a fullback). When they lined up and had Zane Beadles pull after the snap, it was designed as a running play. With Tebow keeping a fair number of them (I apologize - I haven’t had time to count them exactly, although I'll get into greater detail as the offseason wears on), he’s running in a system that has similarities to the old single wing offense. The ball is snapped, and in this case, we do know who’s going to get it, which is the modern approach.

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