The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

The Daily Lard 6-14-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! LJ checked in with Joe Mays, who is expected to enter training camp as the starting MLB in a competition for the job with rookie Nate Irving. Although Mays has bulked up his shoulders to comic-book proportions, he apparently plans on playing at around 245 pounds, which is his typical playing weight. Interestingly, LJ notes that Irving is another rookie who does not have a copy of the Broncos' playbook. So that's at least two rookies who have been acknowledged by the DP as not having a playbook (and thus we can probably assume none of them do) after one of their writers had previously said all the rooks got a copy when they were introduced at Dove Valley. Either way, can't one of the vets find their way to a Kinko's and hook their younger mates up?

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 6-14-11"

The Daily Lard 6-13-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Ingold of the DP has more info on the lawsuit filed by the insurance company St. Paul Fire & Marine against the Broncos and several retired players. California law allows professional athletes to file workers' comp claims as long as the player played at least one game within the state, and because NFL teams do not typically bring up workers' comp in conversations with their players, the typical 1- to 5-year statue of limitations for such cases does not apply. According to the Times, as of April 2010 there were 700 NFL players pursuing similar cases.

Ingold writes that the claim behind St. Paul Fire & Marine's lawsuit is that the firm is not responsible for these claims, and that the policies it sold the Broncos only covers claims in New Mexico by non-player employees.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 6-13-11"

Tim Tebow, Q Man Lard 6-12-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Florida Times-Union examines the remarkable Q score and popularity of Tim Tebow, whose celebrity makes him comparable to the likes of Dick Vitale, Eric Clapton, Madonna, Dan Marino, Derek Jeter and Jack Nicholson depending upon the measure. Arguably, Tebow's exceptional career with the Gators is the biggest contributor to his fame, although his lionization by the Christian right and his straight-laced image can't be too far behind.

But of course, he hasn't really done anything yet as a professional - he's started three games, won one of them, and scored a few touchdowns. And while many of us think he'll end up the Broncos' starting QB in 2011 - and a successful one, at that - one has to wonder what will become of Tebow's fame if he fails as an NFL player. Tebow's jersey was only outsold last year by those of established stars Troy Polamalu, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers, all of whom have led their team to Super Bowl titles.

And what does Tebow's popularity mean to the Broncos? Will it help fill seats at the Big IF and continue to sell merch? Will Tebow place/keep the Broncos in the national sports consciousness for whatever length his career in Denver stretches, or only for however long he helps them win, if at all? It will be interesting to find out...

Continue reading "Tim Tebow, Q Man Lard 6-12-11"

The Daily Lard 6-11-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! I'd love to wax unpoetic on something or the other, but frankly nothing jumps out. So let's just get straight to the links, and have a great Saturday everyone!

Gray Caldwell spoke with new offensive line coach Dave Magazu, who stressed that he wants his players to exhibit attitude and physicality.

St. Paul Fire & Insurance is suing the Broncos and several former players including Floyd Little, Randy Gradishar, Louis Wright and Barney Chavous over workers' comp claims.

The Broncos sent a care package to the family of a Broncos fan who perished while saving his family from the tornado in Joplin.

Golf Digest debunks USA Today's claim that Tim Tebow generates a ridiculous 141 mph clubhead speed. However, he still has a really fast swing.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 6-11-11"

The Commish thinks you’re an idiot Lard 6-10-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! During the most recent player/owner negotiations, Roger Goodell has been portrayed as quite a bit more than the ownership lapdog he was depicted as only weeks ago. Word is, the Commish has been key to the purported progress along with his recent dinner mate, NFLPA head De Smith. I wasn't sure if all this chatter was accurate or just a way to pump up Goodell's public image, not that it matters so much - after all, Goodell is just a representative of the owners, and the only impactful decisions he actually makes are suspensions (and hearing the appeals, but that's another debacle altogether).

Well, whatever positivity has been surrounding Goodell should be gone right about now, because he recently made it quite clear that he thinks we the fans are a bunch of morons. His schtick during recent season-ticket holder conference calls has featured iterations of the following:

We can't continue to shift the cost, whether it's the rising player cost or the rising cost of operating an NFL franchise, on to our fans. That's why we're trying to get a better economic model. And I think everyone understands that. You are not being left out of the equation. The fans are a big part of that equation and a big part of the success of NFL football.

So, your bosses locked out the players for our benefit? Gee, thanks Rog! Can't wait to see those cheaper ticket prices, and surely DirecTV's Sunday Ticket package will cost less once a new deal is reached, huh? Doug Farrar and Aaron Schatz offer their pointed reactions.

Continue reading "The Commish thinks you’re an idiot Lard 6-10-11"

The Daily Lard 6-9-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The lawyer-free negotiations continued yesterday, shifting from NYC to Long Island, and the word is that both sides realize that now is the time to get a deal done. Albert Breer writes that the owners want a deal that will hold up for a matter of decades, while the players want to make it clear they won't be pushed around by the league as in the past. Interestingly, Breer points out that the tenor of the labor dispute has not been nearly as contentious as it's been made out to be by the alarmist media.

Breer says the urgency of the negotiations is based upon the fact that the league would lose about a billion dollars if the preseason is canceled, and that would harm both sides. Apparently, a deal must be reached by around July 15 if there is to be a preseason in full. Plus, it seems the words of Judge Kermit Bye last week which suggested both sides would be harmed by whatever decision the Eighth Circuit comes down with has leveled the field of play and motivated the two sides to get a move on. Let's hope this momentum carries through...

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 6-9-11"

The Daily Lard 6-8-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Remember the negotiations that led to Champ Bailey's latest contract with Denver? You know, when Champ announced he was putting his Littleton house on the market and a few people called the esteemed vet a selfish prima donna? Well, even if Champ later admitted it was nothing more than a negotiating tactic once he was signed and delivered, it turns out he wasn't totally bluffing. That very same house of Bailey's just went into contract on Monday for what's reported as a $1.39 million sale. Just another reminder of why it's okay if Champ loses a step or two over the next few years - his wisdom and ability to disguise what he's up to is good enough to fool us, and that's not even on the field. BTW, anyone else feel like this all happened about six years ago? That's the effect of the lockout for us...

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 6-8-11"

Multifaceted Lloyd Lard 6-7-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! PFF has a lengthy interview with Brandon Lloyd, and there's plenty of interesting stuff. For one, Lloyd has had quite an interesting offseason - he's been selling specialty metal to aerospace companies in what he says started "as a joke". BLloyd says that although he grew up in KC, he was not a Chiefs fan per se - yet, he was a big Nick Lowery fan - go figure. Plus, he says what gives him the ability to make so many acrobatic catches is that he actually visualizes and dreams about doing so.

Lloyd also spoke of his relationship with Josh McDaniels, who apparently had wanted the Pats to draft the WR after running his Illinois pro day. But Brandon says he's not concerned by the switch to a more defensive-minded coach in John Fox and that he'll prepare the same way he always does - plus, that he would rather win more games and catch fewer balls. He also pointed to opposing defenses' shift to Cover 2 from Cover 1 as having hurt the Broncos' passing attack later in the season and says the team was outcoached in McDaniels' final game in KC.

In addition to marveling at Tim Tebow's will and determination (and whose mechanics he says need tightening) and rehashing his past in San Fran and Washington, Lloyd thankfully says that playing football has still not become "a job" for him, and that he still enjoys the game, which he says he figures he only has 3-5 years left playing. Frankly, if Lloyd were to slip back to catching 10 or 20 balls a year I'd still like to see him in Denver, just to hear what he has to say...

Continue reading "Multifaceted Lloyd Lard 6-7-11"

The Daily Lard 6-6-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his latest MMQB column, PK says he hopes the players and owners will continue to meet sans lawyers and makes the case for said lawyers to shut the hell up. Plus, monitoring concussions - there's an iPhone app for that - PK's ridiculous shadow top 100 list, and a bunch of book reviews from King. Finally, PK points out that not only are team staffers dealing with reduced salaries, but so are NFL Films employees. Stay classy, NFL...

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 6-6-11"

Tatooed Lard 6-5-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Von Miller has stirred up a bit of controversy with a tattoo he got the other day - it's a band on his arm of Pac-Man, a slice of watermelon, a dollar sign, a fried chicken leg and a Pac-Man enemy/ghost. I can't say I'm totally equipped to write about this properly, but my first reaction is that Von didn't do himself a favor with this one. While I'd like to think Miller did this to make us think about stereotypes and reflect on race relations in American society, his Twitter stream makes it seems more like he didn't quite think it through. What are your thoughts?

Continue reading "Tatooed Lard 6-5-11"