New labor deal reportedly 80-85 percent complete

Mike Freeman of CBS Sports has more encouraging news on the labor front, as he is reporting that the players and owners have made so much progress in their talks that some involved believe an agreement will be reached in a matter of days. Although Freeman writes that nothing is set in stone, he quotes his source as saying that "It's going to be very difficult for this to get screwed up."

He also writes that the atmosphere of mistrust that had dominated the lockout has all but disappeared, and that in addition to the earlier reported dinner De Smith and Roger Goodell had together, players and owners have been sharing private lunches. Apparently the lawyers for both sides are again involved, but at this juncture it's seen as a positive development indicating that the negotiations are getting down to the details.

MJD and Florio react to Freeman's report.

What went wrong offensively for the Broncos in 2010?

I was recently asked by a couple of readers to discuss what went wrong with the offense of the 2010 Broncos.  It's too long of a story to be adequately told in a reply comment, so I decided to make a full post out of it.

If you asked Captain Obvious this question, he'd give you a really surface-level description, and end it with some nonsense about what most in the NFL think, with it probably revolving around deficiencies he sees in Kyle Orton and Knowshon Moreno, since everything revolves around the QB and the RB.  The real story is way over Jeff's head, of course, but here at IAOFM, we're dedicated to providing the best analysis you can find anywhere, even if that's not that hard to do.

Let's start with some offensive theory.  Is it better to run or to pass?  A lot of research indicates that passing is a more productive activity than running, and all of us at this website tend to believe in that research.

That doesn't mean that running the ball is a waste of time, not in the least.  It may be second priority, but it's still a priority.  Running the ball effectively makes it easier to throw the ball effectively, after all.  It also makes it easier for an offense to stay on schedule.

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The Daily Lard 6-14-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! LJ checked in with Joe Mays, who is expected to enter training camp as the starting MLB in a competition for the job with rookie Nate Irving. Although Mays has bulked up his shoulders to comic-book proportions, he apparently plans on playing at around 245 pounds, which is his typical playing weight. Interestingly, LJ notes that Irving is another rookie who does not have a copy of the Broncos' playbook. So that's at least two rookies who have been acknowledged by the DP as not having a playbook (and thus we can probably assume none of them do) after one of their writers had previously said all the rooks got a copy when they were introduced at Dove Valley. Either way, can't one of the vets find their way to a Kinko's and hook their younger mates up?

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NFL rule changes and limits

With the increase in regulations that are being designed to protect the long-term health of the players, there’s a lot of understandable blowback coming from the players. Certain teams - the Steelers in particular, but members of many teams - including the Titans - seem to be making the news regarding their belief that the league is singling them out, due to their well-earned reputations as very tough, physical teams. Frankly, I can understand their feelings. They’ve striven to play at the very edge of legality while not going over that line, and now the line is being moved. It will affect the way that they play, and every player who violates the new line is going to be fined, suspended or in some way punished. It has to concern them - and it should. They feel that their freedom to play the game the way that they have up until now is at stake. It is - and they should be.

They should, but not because they or any single player or team is/are being singled out. They aren’t - the rules go for every team and for every player. It’s because it will change the way that they play the game, and it will require changes to the methods of tackling and defense. Kevin Vickerson pointed out last fall that many of the rules protecting defensive linemen aren’t being consistently enforced,and I agree with him entirely:

Already, they protect the quarterback, they protect receivers. O-linemen chop-block you, and they don't want to do anything about that, to protect the knees and all that. It's all offense. You want to talk about rules, we should look at the whole game and make the rules fit everybody instead of one side of the ball. All the rules are really set up for offensive guys. Rules for going after the quarterback's knees should be the same for defensive linemen. You're taking years off a man's career.

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The Daily Lard 6-13-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Ingold of the DP has more info on the lawsuit filed by the insurance company St. Paul Fire & Marine against the Broncos and several retired players. California law allows professional athletes to file workers' comp claims as long as the player played at least one game within the state, and because NFL teams do not typically bring up workers' comp in conversations with their players, the typical 1- to 5-year statue of limitations for such cases does not apply. According to the Times, as of April 2010 there were 700 NFL players pursuing similar cases.

Ingold writes that the claim behind St. Paul Fire & Marine's lawsuit is that the firm is not responsible for these claims, and that the policies it sold the Broncos only covers claims in New Mexico by non-player employees.

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Tim Tebow, Q Man Lard 6-12-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Florida Times-Union examines the remarkable Q score and popularity of Tim Tebow, whose celebrity makes him comparable to the likes of Dick Vitale, Eric Clapton, Madonna, Dan Marino, Derek Jeter and Jack Nicholson depending upon the measure. Arguably, Tebow's exceptional career with the Gators is the biggest contributor to his fame, although his lionization by the Christian right and his straight-laced image can't be too far behind.

But of course, he hasn't really done anything yet as a professional - he's started three games, won one of them, and scored a few touchdowns. And while many of us think he'll end up the Broncos' starting QB in 2011 - and a successful one, at that - one has to wonder what will become of Tebow's fame if he fails as an NFL player. Tebow's jersey was only outsold last year by those of established stars Troy Polamalu, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers, all of whom have led their team to Super Bowl titles.

And what does Tebow's popularity mean to the Broncos? Will it help fill seats at the Big IF and continue to sell merch? Will Tebow place/keep the Broncos in the national sports consciousness for whatever length his career in Denver stretches, or only for however long he helps them win, if at all? It will be interesting to find out...

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Your letter to Roger Goodell

Perhaps many of you remember Mad Libs

They were the creation of screenwriter Leonard Stern, who passed away earlier this week.

In honor of Stern, Mad Libs, and the ridiculousness that is the NFL lockout, we decided to give you our own fill-in-the-blank Mad Lib.

This one is a letter to Roger Goodell.  

Just fill in each blank with whatever comes to your mind and click on the "create story" button once you are done.  A small window will pop up with your own letter.  You can copy your story from the window in the comments below if you'd like.  I took the liberty of creating the first.

It should be ridiculous.  But that's the point of Mad Libs.


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The Daily Lard 6-11-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! I'd love to wax unpoetic on something or the other, but frankly nothing jumps out. So let's just get straight to the links, and have a great Saturday everyone!

Gray Caldwell spoke with new offensive line coach Dave Magazu, who stressed that he wants his players to exhibit attitude and physicality.

St. Paul Fire & Insurance is suing the Broncos and several former players including Floyd Little, Randy Gradishar, Louis Wright and Barney Chavous over workers' comp claims.

The Broncos sent a care package to the family of a Broncos fan who perished while saving his family from the tornado in Joplin.

Golf Digest debunks USA Today's claim that Tim Tebow generates a ridiculous 141 mph clubhead speed. However, he still has a really fast swing.

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Tweets of the Week - Wendy’s nuggets and pointy noses

Time to hit the tweets, with plenty of insight into our Broncos this week. As always, none of these tweets have been altered in any way, innocent misspellings inclusive. It's all meant in good fun, so hopefully you'll get a good laugh as we head into the weekend...

DJ Williams is not quite what we'd call a foodie, but he sure has specific tastes:

Anyone else get fries from Micky D's then drive to the nearest Wendys and get nuggets ?

DJ's discernment is not confined to fast food. Remember when DJ was talking about trying to outkick his coverage and all? Well, now he's trying to do something about it...

Wanted: 5'5-5'11, 130-160lb depn ,long jet Blk hair, drk eyes, olive skin, nice smile, must have a pointy nose, sense of humor.. Hit me up!

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The Commish thinks you’re an idiot Lard 6-10-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! During the most recent player/owner negotiations, Roger Goodell has been portrayed as quite a bit more than the ownership lapdog he was depicted as only weeks ago. Word is, the Commish has been key to the purported progress along with his recent dinner mate, NFLPA head De Smith. I wasn't sure if all this chatter was accurate or just a way to pump up Goodell's public image, not that it matters so much - after all, Goodell is just a representative of the owners, and the only impactful decisions he actually makes are suspensions (and hearing the appeals, but that's another debacle altogether).

Well, whatever positivity has been surrounding Goodell should be gone right about now, because he recently made it quite clear that he thinks we the fans are a bunch of morons. His schtick during recent season-ticket holder conference calls has featured iterations of the following:

We can't continue to shift the cost, whether it's the rising player cost or the rising cost of operating an NFL franchise, on to our fans. That's why we're trying to get a better economic model. And I think everyone understands that. You are not being left out of the equation. The fans are a big part of that equation and a big part of the success of NFL football.

So, your bosses locked out the players for our benefit? Gee, thanks Rog! Can't wait to see those cheaper ticket prices, and surely DirecTV's Sunday Ticket package will cost less once a new deal is reached, huh? Doug Farrar and Aaron Schatz offer their pointed reactions.

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