The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

The Daily Lard 4-29-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Denver's night didn't last long, as they selected LB Von Miller out of Texas A&M at #2 and sat by the phones the rest of the first round (although some phone calls were made). So, the Broncos have vastly upgraded their LB corps, and they'll enter tonight with three choices - numbers 36, 46 and 67 overall. Plenty of ammo to add a defensive tackle or two, plus perhaps a new right tackle and/or a tight end or running back. While Denver didn't make any trades last night, their reported desire to come away with more choices than the seven they started the draft with could come to fruition tonight.

Mike Klis wrote that Denver could trade back from the #36 spot with teams hot and heavy for QBs Colin Kaepernick of Nevada and Andy Dalton of TCU, and they figure to have interest in using their picks tonight on any of DTs Stephen Paea, Marvin Austin and Jurrell Casey, OT Ben Ijalana, RBs Mikel Leshoure, Daniel Thomas and Ryan Williams, TEs Kyle Rudolph and Lance Kendricks and CB Aaron Williams. Plus, he noted that from Miller's Dove Valley meeting with the Broncos' brass, the player expects to be the Sam 'backer on first and second downs and to focus solely upon rushing the passer on third downs.

We hope you enjoyed our coverage here at IAOFM of the first round last night, and you can expect more of the same tonight - Ted will be evaluating each pick instantly while the four of us will again be Chewing the Fat for each of Denver's selections, and there will of course be an open thread for y'all to discuss the goings on. But before that, we have Doc's excellent Broncography of Von Miller coming in just over an hour from now, and Ted will provide some analysis later on of the labor situation and Denver's Day 2 options.

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Draft day midday Lard 4-28-11

Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! Lots of happenings, or at least rumored happenings - so it's time for another double dose of the Lard! First things first - as we here at IAOFM have been telling you since December (Ted for much longer, look it up), John Elway came out today in full support of Tim Tebow as the future QB of the Broncos. While he didn't necessarily state that Tebow will be the starter in 2011, he said to ESPN's Ed Werder about as much as he could without providing Kyle Orton with a slap in the face:

Let's put it this way, I'm his biggest fan. He's one of those guys who -- if he comes out and is the player we hope he can be -- then we're in pretty darn good shape...I don't know if it's going to be this fall or this time next year. But I think he's got the desire that eventually he's going to be very effective...I think where we are as an organization, we're going to go with Tim.

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The Daily Lard 4-28-11

Happy Draft Day, Broncos fans! So, the NFL Draft begins tonight but it may not even be the most important football doings of the day - as Judge Nelson denied the NFL's request for a stay of her injunction last night, we're at something of a showdown. The league is still trying to put off starting the new league year at the risk of putting itself in contempt of court and losing even more than what they've already have - and we could be talking about financial penalties in this case. So, the owners have requested a stay of the injunction from the Eighth Circuit, and there's always the possibility that court will indeed issue a stay sometime today (or soon).

But if not, then the NFL will only be wading into deeper and deeper doo-doo with Judge Nelson, and things will only get uglier for those billionaires everyone was feeling bad for six weeks ago. So, while it's unlikely the clock on the new league year will start in the next day or two (because at this point the owners may be desperate to hold onto something) and therefore not permit trades of vets or free-agent signings, it's possible that it does...

Of course, we will have an open thread and live analysis tonight and all throughout the draft. BTW, TJ and Doc are jumping on the Twitter wagon, so be sure to follow them: @T_J_Johnson and @alloverfatman - you know, if laughter and intelligent analysis appeal to you at all...

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Draft eve Lard 4-27-11

Good Evening, Broncos fans! We're less than 24 hours before the 1st round begins, so I thought it worthwhile to pass along some of the latest happenings. Kara Henderson is still camped out at Dove Valley, and today she spoke with the X-Man, who said "the trade would have to be worth it" to move down from #2. We can only hope, right? Xanders told both Henderson and Gray Caldwell in a Q&A for the team's site that he expects calls will come in about trading the pick no earlier than 30 or 60 minutes before the draft is to begin.

Henderson also reported that she's hearing Denver is zeroing in on Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller; considering that she likely got that info straight from the Broncos, we can figure they are trying to stir up further interest in the pick from teams rumored to be after Miller - such as Buffalo (#3), Arizona (#5) or Houston (#11).

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The Daily Lard 4-27-11

UPDATED 9:36AM ET - Good Morning, Broncos fans! According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans are interested in moving up to draft Von Miller or Patrick Peterson, although they likely do not have enough ammo to move all the way up to #2 in a deal with Denver. Meanwhile, NFLN's Jason La Canfora writes that Shanny and the Skins are desperate to move up for a QB and are considering a jump as high as #2 in a trade with Denver to draft Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert. La Canfora writes that the Broncos may indeed be willing to drop as low as Washington's slot at #10 and covet Auburn DT Nick Fairley. However, the Redskins have only two picks in the first four rounds and would need to send future picks to Denver in such a deal. How great would a John Elway-directed bidding war for the #2 pick between Shanny and Kubes be?

No direct mention of Denver here, but PK tweeted last night that Atlanta is looking to make a move into the top 10 to nab one of two WRs - A.J. Green or Julio Jones. You know, it's funny - while the local yokels are still busy stressing the notion that nobody had called the Broncos about the #2 pick as of a week ago, the national guys are talking of plenty of trade interest. How does this happen?

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Common sense everywhere?! Lard 4-26-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! NFLN's Kara Henderson spoke with John Fox yesterday and came away thinking that Denver expects Tim Tebow will earn the starting QB job. She also noted that the Denver brass is divided between taking Alabama DT Marcell Dareus and Texas A&M LB Von Miller if they are to stay at #2. Here's her conversation with Fox. If nothing else, it's finally nice to hear some QB-related sense coming out of Dove Valley - remember all of those "Elway names Orton Starter" articles? What a waste of time...

As for the lockout injunction, the owners have already filed their appeal with the Eighth Circuit and their request for a stay with Judge Nelson. Many players across the league are expected to show up at their respective teams' headquarters today to work out, and if so they will be allowed in. Of course, be sure to read Ted's Gut Reaction to the injunction, and the first group of articles from across the web.

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The Daily Lard 4-25-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his MMQB, PK writes that he thinks he thinks that Carolina will indeed go with Auburn QB Cam Newton at #1 overall and that New England may already have a deal in place to deal off the #28 pick. Plus, he thinks Arizona will go with Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert, LSU CB Patrick Peterson or Georgia WR A.J. Green at #5.

PK also thinks that Judge Susan Nelson's pending decision will indeed result in an injunction of the lockout, but the real question is whether she will force the league to start its new year and thus open free agency. Remember, Gary Myers reported the other day that Judge Nelson's decision is expected to come sometime today...

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The Daily Lard 4-24-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Brandon Marshall was released from a Miami hospital last night after suffering a stab wound to the stomach, with some reports stating that Marshall also suffered defensive wounds to his hands. His wife was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, although she claimed to have acted in self defense. According to Miami Herald writer Jeff Darlington, Marshall's Dolphins teammates have already grown tired of the WR's selfishness, while fellow Herald scribe Armando Seguero writes that one of them texted, “And this is supposed to surprise me how?” when told of the incident. Just last week, SI's Peter King wrote that Miami roleplayed a scenario with TCU's Andy Dalton during his pre-draft visit to see how the QB would handle a disgruntled WR upset about a lack of catches, presumably Marshall.

Seguero says Miami is not yet considering cutting ties with Marshall, whom they acquired from the Broncos last year for second-rounders in each of the 2010 and 2011 drafts. The 2010 pick was packaged in the deal with Baltimore that allowed Denver to draft QB Tim Tebow, while this year's pick is the 46th-overall choice.Following the trade, the Dolphins gave Marshall $12.5 million in guarantees as part of a five-year deal but included the stipulation that the $6 million guaranteed portion of his 2012 salary was dependent upon him not being suspended over the first three years of the contract.

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The Daily Lard 4-23-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Tim Tebow spoke with an Atlanta radio station the other day; he said it's a bit weird that there's now a statue of him in Gainesville, that throughout his high school career he'd planned on going to Alabama, and he's been working solely from under center (rather than out of the shotgun) all offseason long. Tebow also said he believes college athletes should receive bigger stipends, has a great relationship with John Elway, and believes he is working a lot harder than other players this offseason. Here's the podcast of Tebow's interview on 790 The Zone, along with a partial transcription.

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The Daily Lard 4-22-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Apologies for the late Lard, but I'm off from work today and slept in a bit. As soon as I post this, I will get to work on posting a list of all the players Denver reportedly met with or worked out privately leading up to the draft. Best news of the day? Big Play Shay will be announcing both of the Broncos' second-round picks next week. Plus, be sure to read Jeffri Chadiha's excellent profile of Alabama's Marcell Dareus and this Sport Science video on Dareus that FiE shared with us yesterday.

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