The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

The Daily Lard 6-4-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Many of you will recall former Denver backup QB Matt Mauck, best known for having guided LSU to a share of the 2003 National Championship with Southern Cal as a 24-year-old junior. What you may not remember is that Mauck, who spent three years in the Cubs organization before heading to LSU, was rumored to be considering dental school over his final year of eligibility and a possible NFL career. This turned out to be untrue, and Denver selected him in the seventh round of the 2004 Draft. Mauck did not appear in a game during his one year in Denver before spending three seasons with the Titans.

So why are we talking about Mauck today? Well, his story has come full circle - following his retirement from the NFL he headed to CU's dental school, from which he graduated last week - and Mauck will be returning to the Broncos as one of their team dentists. He will be working in their dental office and be on the sideline at the Big IF in case of player injuries. Rather than the more typical path of returning to football as a coach, Mauck has now gone from minor-league baseball player, to D-1 national champion, to backup NFL QB, to team dentist. Congratulations Matt, and welcome back!

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The Daily Lard 6-3-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! In Woody's latest mailbag, he again makes the argument that Denver should sign Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams in free agency while listing a few alternatives including Ahmad Bradshaw of the G-Men. Interestingly, he says that it was Gary Kubiak who was most responsible for the Broncos having taken Terrell Davis back in 1995, not then-RBs coach Bobby Turner.

Paige also continues his burial of Knowshon, writing that the coaching staff is already convinced that Moreno "is not a big-time running back" and "doesn't have the skill set or the mind-set" to be one. It's interesting that Woody has consistently represented these opinions as belonging to the Broncos' brass. If Knowshon is as difficult a personality as Woodrow has made him out to be, perhaps the team feels the only/last way to get more out of the RB is to call him out in the local rag?

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The Daily Lard 6-2-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Gray Caldwell looks back at the Denver coaches' comments at the dinner they hosted a few weeks ago for corporate sponsors and suiteholders. DC Dennis Allen spoke about using a simple and attacking defense disguised to seem more complex through multiple alignments and personnel groupings. Meanwhile, ST coordinator Jeff Rodgers is excited by the Broncos' draft class, as he sees seven fast players - the linebackers, safeties and tight ends - who should contribute to his unit's success right from the start. Rodgers also offered more praise for his specialists Matt Prater, Britton Colquitt and Lonie Paxton, while interestingly pointing to Eddie Royal as a return man. Obviously this is a bit of word-parsing speculation, but those of us who want to see Eddie's role be exclusive to offense may not get our wish.

OC Mike McCoy said new RT Orlando Franklin would help the Broncos' offense become more physical, and that the team would like to have the dual threats at running back that were a signature of John Fox's Carolina teams. To that end, Fox told of wanting to improve the offensive balance to help the Broncos become more effective in the red zone.

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The Daily Lard 6-1-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Las Vegas Sun has a story on Denver's fourth-round pick Quinton Carter and his remarkable contributions to his community. The Vegas native and former Sooners safety started a charitable organization while a sophomore in college which helps children and low-income families through fundraisers and free football camps, with free medical care next on the horizon. This past weekend marked his group's third annual camp, during which Carter stressed the value of education and nutrition via lectures and classroom work in addition to time on the football field, and concluded with a cookout for the attendees' families on Monday.

The Sun's story includes a link to a Sports Illustrated article from last fall on Carter's incredible charity work and his organization SOUL (Serving Others through Unity and Leadership). Quinton came up with the name for the nonprofit group on his own and specifically set out not to include his own name, which frankly is mindblowing considering that he was only 19 or 20 years old at the time. Even today he's only 22 years old, and let's hope a lengthy career with the Broncos stands in front of him to help expand his platform.

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The Daily Lard 5-31-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! According to Adam Schefter, Tim Tebow flew Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney and Britt Davis to Jacksonville last week, put them up in a hotel, and the quartet spent the week working out together. Unable to make the trip were Eric Decker (his own charity event back in Minnesota), Demaryius Thomas and Eddie Royal (still recovering from their surgeries). Schefter says the group will soon meet again - this time in Arizona - to spend another two weeks working out together.

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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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