Tales from the SunnySide: Connor Barwin

If the V-word (versatility) is really going to be Josh McDaniels’ MO, thy name is Connor Barwin. This is a very rare player who really can do it all. How many players in the past five years could you draft respectably as a TE and draft highly as a 4-3 DE, 3-4 OLB, 4-3 SAM or 4-3 DE? Offensively and defensively, Connor Barwin is as close to a complete package as a modern player can be and he’s rocketing up the draft boards after an excellent showing at the Combine.

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Tales from the SunnySide: Ronald Fields

Mike Nolan brought several things with him from San Francisco. He brought the plans for a nascent 3-4 defense, with some hybrid attributes, that is yet to be unveiled. He brought a background in working for the Denver Broncos, an understanding of the traditions of the organization and a knowledge of the town. Oh, yes, and he brought with him the wide-load defensive tackle and nose tackle Ronald Fields.

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Lombardi on Broncos free agency

Disclaimer: I like the Broncos free agency so far better than Mike Lombardi does.
 
When I was writing the article on Andra Davis, I mentioned to TSG that I hadn't heard anyone say a bad thing about him. JohnnyB pointed out that Cleveland has had lousy linebacking in the past two years. I'd mostly been looking at the quality of the man, but TSG pointed out the possible  issues with his job qualifications. It was an example of what happens each year - players get shuffled in new combinations, and the fans hope that the new group will out-play the last.

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Tales from the SunnySide: Andra Davis

Sometimes you just like a pickup. The Broncos signed one this weekend that has a non-stop motor.

 
As I researched our new ILB, Andra (pronounced AHN-dray, just like Bly) Davis, two things stood out. He's not fast. Everyone agreed on that. It's his weakness, which can be mitigated in degree by putting him in the 3-4 defense. The other thing that stood out was that no one had an even slightly negative thing to say about this self-made gentleman. As a player, as a leader, as a servant in the community and as a man, Andra Davis is the kind of acquisition that makes you just want to cheer.

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Long snappers and money

On Friday, Denver signed Lonie Paxton to be their new long-snapper. Paxton will replace fan-favorite Mike Leach, who held down the position in Denver for seven seasons. Leach had been quite a reliable long-snapper for the Broncos, taking over the duties midway through the 2002 season and playing in 104 consecutive games, racking up 29 special-teams tackles along the way.

Paxton's new deal was reported as a five-year, $5.3 million contract, which averages out to $1.06 million per season. Somehow, this contract has created something of an uproar in some parts. Perhaps folks hear "long-snapper" and $5.3 million and all sorts of alarms go off in their heads. Maybe it was the $1-million signing bonus. First, let's see what people are saying...

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NFL players visit U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf

Four NFL players are currently visiting US troops in the Persian Gulf. The players are Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Vikings defender Jared Allen, Rams linebacker Will Witherspoon and Giants linebacker Danny Clark. They will meet with troops throughout the Persian Gulf region this week, continuing a tradition established by the NFL over 40 years ago. The progaram was developed in 1966 with several players visiting U.S. troops in Vietnam and the Persian Gulf.

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Tales from the SunnySide: Andre’ Goodman

Andre' Goodman has come a long way from Greenville, SC. He was born there on August 11, 1978; Goodman was born a Leo and has the heart of a lion. He brings that fierce quality to his play on the field.

He was an all-state selection in South Carolina and was rated the state's 20th-best prospect and 10th-best receiver after only two years of football. He was a top performer in track and ran a 10.5 in the 100-meter dash. In NFL terms, he ran a 4.36 40 before being drafted. That’s a lot of speed. And we all know that you can’t coach speed.

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Shallow Thoughts & Nearsighted Observations

This should have been a great weekend to be a Broncos fan, but it definitely has not been.  I don't want to belabor the Cutler mess much more, so I will try to work around it.  Ready... BEGIN

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Broncos/Chargers reloading report

Broncos versus Chargers: Comparative Offseason Issues

There is an old saying that you are defined by your rivals as much as by your friends. Over the 2008 season, San Diego vs. Denver was a bitterly fought contest that ended up with 1 victory each.
 
In retrospect, the San Diego Chargers aren’t much happier with their 2008 season than Pat Bowlen was with that of the Broncos. San Diego cut DC Ted Cottrell loose during the season, and his replacement Ron Rivera interviewed elsewhere after their elimination from the playoffs.

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Political capital, or more aptly, the complete lack thereof

Political capital is a term which is always invoked right after a politician is newly elected, or re-elected.  It more or less equates to the concept of benefit of the doubt.  In 2004, when George W. Bush was re-elected by a slim margin of 51%-48%, he claimed a wide mandate for his agenda, and openly spoke of using his accrued political capital.  His chosen agenda item was a tremendously unpopular scheme to re-cast the social security program.  Mr. Bush over-reached by a mile, and that failure ultimately began the long downslope of his presidency, really just a few months after being re-elected.  It remains to be seen how long President Obama will be able to keep such a high degree of public goodwill, while implementing programs which can be divisive.

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