The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

The Daily Lard 5-30-11

Happy Memorial Day, Broncos fans! As always, many thanks to all those who serve and have served, along with their families. We are all greatly appreciative for your/their sacrifices. Have a safe and happy holiday, enjoy plenty of smoked and/or grilled meats and your beverages of choice, and please don't drink and drive.

UPDATE 9:30AM ET - Jim Tressel has resigned as head coach of the Buckeyes

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The Daily Lard 5-29-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his Sunday column, Dan Pompei shares a quote from John Elway about the Broncos' decision to draft Von Miller over Marcell Dareus:

Dareus is a very solid, tough defensive tackle who will have a long career in this league. But the difference is Von’s ability to be a game changer. That’s what swung us to Von. Obviously we needed help inside, but we were looking for a game changer.

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The Daily Lard 5-28-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Woody Paige spoke at length with John Elway, who talked of having a three-year plan to bring the Broncos back to winning division titles and more. Regarding the DT position, Elway says "everybody knows" the team needs to get one, but the Broncos' rebuilding status forced them to accumulate and keep picks rather than move up for Nick Fairley. And although we were all focused on Denver potentially nabbing Marvin Austin or Stephen Paea in the second round, the FO was apparently more interested in Clemson's Jarvis Jenkins, who went to Washington a few picks before the Broncos settled on Rahim Moore and Orlando Franklin.

Paige writes that Elway is in talks with a pair of ex-Broncos about bringing them back into the organization, perhaps from among Randy Gradishar, Louis Wright, Terrell Davis, Rod Smith and Dave Studdard. Elway reiterated that the offense as run by Mike McCoy will remain largely the same, with wholesale changes on defense. Surely the McHaters are going to be complaining about that former concept over the next several months, but if Tim Tebow is to have anything in the way of success in 2011 - stunted offseason or not - it's clearly best he not be forced to learn a new offensive system.

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Hey Elway, lighten up! Lard 5-27-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Well, this has got to be one of the uncoolest John Elway-related articles I've ever read: There's a punk band in Fort Collins that changed their name last November to "Elway" and now the Broncos legend wants them to change it again. Elway's lawyers sent an email to the band requesting that they do so, although apparently the letter fell short of threatening suit or legal action. Of course, the band released a statement saying they have no intention of discarding the Elway name, and let's hope they stand strong on this.

Granted, the band is now probably getting more attention than they ever did when they were called 10-4 Eleanor, so perhaps this was all part of the plan, but still! I'm sure there are plenty of Coloradans who named their kids after The Greatest Ever in some way, and is it really a surprise that a bunch of them decided to name a band after the guy? Heck, they're probably not even the first to do so. Lighten up, John - nobody in their right mind is going to think you are associated with this band...

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The Daily Lard 5-26-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Jason La Canfora writes that the Broncos don't necessarily intend to trade Kyle Orton at this point, and that some within the organization expect Orton to be the starting QB this season. As the NFLN reporter puts it, Orton can be had for a "high second-round pick" that could turn into a first-rounder based upon production. It's sort of a strange thing to say, as who can ever really predict which teams will be picking higher than others? Then again, how many QB-needy teams are expected to be any good? Frankly, the whole column is a bit puzzling and meandering, but I suppose the gist is that Denver is continuing to put word out that Orton's price is a second-rounder. Conditional first-rounder? Good luck with that...

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The Daily Lard 5-25-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Greg Gabriel's latest post-draft analysis covers the AFC West, and he seems generally impressed with the group of players Denver came away with. Like most, Gabriel sees Von Miller as playing the Sam on 1st and 2nd down, rushing the passer on 3rd down, and being capable in coverage. But contrary to the general consensus, Gabriel thinks Rahim Moore struggled in coverage last season and thinks he may ultimately be best suited to play strong safety, a position he sees Quinton Carter fitting into quite well. In Gabriel's opinion, Orlando Franklin makes sense at right tackle but has the versatility to also play guard, while he's not so sure that Nate Irving can return to his pre-accident form.

Gabriel likes both of Denver's TE choices, praising the upside of both Julius Thomas and Virgil Green, along with the willingness of the former to block, even if he needs to improve at it. He also says the Broncos got great value with Green in the seventh round, and finally Gabriel likes Denver's selection of Mike Mohamed but doesn't see Jeremy Beal sticking with the team.

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The Daily Lard 5-24-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Chris Hall interviewed Dennis Allen recently, and following Krieger's column from last week it's another excellent chance to get to know Denver's new DC. As we've heard constantly from the Broncos' hierarchy in recent months, Allen says he wants his defense to exhibit speed, athleticism, aggression, toughness and violence. According to Allen, what will set his squad apart is the "culture" and attitude of the defense rather than the Xs and Os, and he expects the youthful infusion of draft picks will help the Broncos sustain the success they had shown early in the 2009 season.

The 38-year-old first-time DC says the tilt of the NFL's rules toward the offense mean that defenses don't have a lot of schemes or tricks to fall back upon; rather, they must utilize fear and intimidation to gain an edge. Judging by Allen's words, he'll have to prove a master motivator more than anything else if he's to be a success with Denver - and from this video, we can at least see that Allen is a confident, well-spoken and intelligent guy. Granted, all coordinators should exhibit those very characteristics, but it's certainly a comfort that Allen does, and it's a great foundation on which to build.

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The Daily Lard 5-23-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Neat story this morning from LJ on third-year safety David Bruton, who has been putting his free time and poli sci degree to great use this offseason. The special teams standout has been filling in as a substitute teacher at the public elementary and high schools in his hometown of Miamisburg, Ohio. While Bruton's primary reason for doing this work is to be near his five-year-old son Jaden, the experience has opened up the possibility of going into teaching after his playing days are over. He's apparently also pondering going into family law or social work someday.

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Still here Lard 5-22-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! There was indeed an earthquake last night in the Bay Area, but it only registered as a 3.6 and caused no major damage. So, we're all still here and what better time to give thanks than the day after the scheduled end of the world? Thanks friends, for being here each and every day and supporting our writing at IAOFM. We appreciate you, especially so after having escaped the end of the world.

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The Daily Lard 5-21-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Chris Hall spoke with Mike McCoy this week about what the OC has been up to in recent months. While the conversation doesn't offer much in the way of depth or detail, it's always nice to hear from someone like McCoy - especially while we're desperate for actual news. McCoy says his top priority this offseason has been getting new OL coach Dave Magazu and new WR coach Tyke Tolbert familiar with the the team's incumbent personnel (McCoy worked with Magazu for six years in Carolina, while Tolbert is a new colleague who was with Carolina in 2010 after stints in Arizona Buffalo).

As for what to expect when the Broncos have the ball in 2011, McCoy states that it will be a blend of all the offenses he and his assistants have been a part of, but that the core of the offense that Josh McDaniels had run for the past two seasons will largely remain intact. Basically, it sounds like the idea is to pass like the Broncos have under McDaniels and McCoy and run like the Panthers had under Magazu and head coach John Fox. As for the QBs, McCoy says he wants to be able to run the offense the same way no matter who's under center, although Broncos TV interestingly didn't show any Brady Quinn clips while McCoy discusses the position.

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