The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

The Daily Lard 1-26-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen joined the rest of the Broncos' coaching staff in Mobile for the Senior Bowl and called his new gig "a wonderful opportunity" while citing a better personal and professional fit as his reasoning for choosing Denver over Philly. Allen will call the defensive plays for Denver next season, and head coach John Fox said Allen's experience coaching both the line and the secondary influenced his decision to hire the 38-year-old Texan. Meanwhile, his old boss Sean Payton said that he saw a future coordinator and head coach early on in his time working with Allen.

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New DC Lard 1-25-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Broncos announced last night that Saints secondary coach Dennis Allen would become their new defensive coordinator, their sixth in six seasons. Denver will have had a new coordinator for five straight seasons, starting with Jim Bates in 2007, followed by Bob Slowik, Mike Nolan, Wink Martindale and now Allen. Allen has worked for two seasons under the leadership of Saints DC Gregg Williams, who declined an interview with the Broncos for their head-coaching position. He coached the defensive backs in New Orleans for three seasons, and in 2010 the Saints allowed the fewest TD passes in the NFL. They also ranked 4th in fewest attempts and yards allowed, but were last in the league in interceptions despite Williams' penchant for the blitz. During the Saints' championship season of 2009, Allen's group ranked 26th in passing yards but allowed the 5th-fewest passing TDs and were 3rd in the NFL in interceptions.

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You Get What You Give Lard 1-24-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yeah, I went there. Overplayed, oft-criticized, end-of-the-nineties one-hit wonder - everyone loved it for about 5 minutes and then got tired of the song's arrogance in calling out one of the most remarkable musicians of our time, among other established stars. Sounds sort of like Jay Cutler, doesn't it? The New Radicals challenging Beck to a fight isn't dissimilar to Jay Cutler saying he had a stronger arm than John Elway, is it? No need to rehash here all of the reasons we can't stand Jay. But at least we no longer stick out as Jay's jilted and jealous ex-fans - we're now just part of the crowd. Everyone hates Jay Cutler, apparently.

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More Cutler news, two years late Lard 1-23-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! These things are rolling out once a week now - the DP and the stake-burning crowd got Josh McDaniels fired, and now the very same hacks journalists are finally sharing their Jay Cutler info, but two years too late for McDaniels' good. Last week it was Rick Reilly writing that Cutler wouldn't even restrain his petulance for the likes of John Lynch and John Elway. Today, Klis cites three sources who say that Cutler demanded a trade the very day McDaniels was announced as head coach. For the past two years, we've been told by the entire national and local sports media that what caused Cutler to demand a trade was that McDaniels listened to a trade offer involving Matt Cassel. It was McDaniels' foolishness, arrogance and desire to remake the Broncos out of former Patriots that caused him to listen to a trade offer. When Cutler caught wind of this, his undies got bundled he was enraged and only then demanded a trade, or so the story had gone.

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Allen interviews; Trgovac would listen Lard 1-22-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Fox interviewed Saints secondary coach Dennis Allen yesterday in Charlotte, NC for Denver's vacant DC position. Meanwhile, current Packers DL coach Mike Trgovac, who was Fox's DC in Carolina from 2003-08, said yesterday that he would hear out the Broncos' interest in him. The 51-year-old Trgovac said a "huge factor" for his choice of where to work in 2011 is that his daughter will be a senior in high school and their move to Wisconsin already forced her to switch high schools. Trgovac likewise explained his reasoning for taking a lesser position to leave Carolina two years ago and stressed that his relationship with Fox "was great" and that they still remain close.

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The Daily Lard 1-21-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! As reported yesterday afternoon, the Broncos have received permission from the Saints to speak with their secondary coach Dennis Allen. Allen is expected in Denver to speak with the trainer team officials for parts of today and tomorrow, and he is then scheduled to interview with the Eagles for the remainder of the weekend. Saints head coach Sean Payton said of Allen,

"He's extremely talented, and another thing about him, he's an extremely hard-working guy...He has done a very good job. He's extremely well thought of within this building."

Apparently, "extremely" is to Sean Payton what "outstanding" is to Jon Gruden...

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Hack job Thursday Lard 1-20-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mike Klis suggests that Jim Mora's decision not to coach next season was financially motivated, as he is entering the last year of his contract from his HC gig in Seattle. Not sure what the logic behind Klis' thinking is, since Mike Shanahan and Josh McDaniels are still getting paid quite a bit to not coach the Broncos. But perhaps there's some unique stipulation in Mora's contract. Either way, he's not going to be the Broncos' DC, and it seems just as well - was anyone actually excited by the prospect of his hire? For now, the remaining candidates are apparently Packers DL coach Mike Trgovac and incumbent DC Wink Martindale - it should be noted that Green Bay is not compelled to allow Denver permission to speak with Trgovac once their season has ended. Perhaps some new names will pop up over the next week or two.

Plenty of hackery today - so much that I had to include it in the title. Thankfully, TJ will be around with some Mail Revue to make our brains hurt less...

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No Mora deal yet Lard 1-19-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Jim Mora apparently left Denver without a job offer last night, although LJ says Mora is still John Fox's top choice for the vacant defensive coordinator position at this point. To correct my own assertion from two mornings ago (and LJ's in the linked article), Packers DL coach Mike Trgovac will only be available once Green Bay's season is over. Assistant coaches on current playoff teams may only interview for head coaching positions - not for any other job (p. 8), promotion or not. I'm sorry for any confusion I may have caused you.

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Mora expected Lard 1-18-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! According to LJ, the Broncos are close to hiring Jim Mora as their new defensive coordinator after Sean McDermott took the same job in Carolina. Mora spent the 2010 season as an analyst for NFL Network after working the 25 previous years as an NFL coach, including stints as the head coach of Atlanta (2004-06) and Seattle (2009). Mora has spent much of his career working with his teams' defensive backs, including 3 years as a defensive assistant, 12 years as a secondary coach, and 5 seasons as a defensive coordinator (49ers, 1999-2003).

In his time as a DC or HC, Mora's defenses have had mixed results, ranking on average 20th in points allowed and 20th in yardage, ranking as high as 9th in points and 13th in yards. Considering his background as a DB coach, it may be surprising to find that Mora's defenses have done better at defending the run (13th in yardage, on average) than the pass (24th in yardage, on avg).

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The Daily Lard 1-17-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! There are a bunch of developments in regards to the Denver coaching staff - as expected, John Fox is bringing WR coach Tyke Tolbert and OL coach Dave Magazu with him from Carolina. Meanwhile, Adam Gase is expected to move from coaching the WRs to tutoring the QBs - Gase coached the Lions' QBs in 2007, when Mike Martz was running Detroit's offense. Fox may also bring in Mike Gillhamer, his secondary coach with the Panthers - Ed Donatell has left to join Jim Harbaugh's staff with the Niners. Former interim coach Eric Studesville will be back as the team's RB coach, and there is some doubt now as to whether Fox's assistant head coach in Carolina, Jim Skipper, will be joining the Denver crew. DL coach Wayne Nunnely is under consideration to remain with the team, but is also pondering a move to Carolina with his old boss in San Diego, Ron Rivera.

No new developments on the Sean McDermott front; he and Jim Mora are reportedly both being considered to coordinate the Broncos' defense; Mora is also a candidate for McDermott's old position in Philly, while the Panters are also interested in McDermott.

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