The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

Tebow support? Lard 2-22-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mike Lombardi is again writing about a lack of support for Tim Tebow within the Broncos organization. He says that holdovers from the organization pre-John Fox are "looking to distance themselves" from the decision to draft the quarterback last year. While it has seemed (to some) so far this offseason that Lombardi was pursuing some sort of agenda (perhaps on behalf of his friend Josh McDaniels), is his assertion anything different than what we've seen out of Dove Valley these past two months? Brian Xanders has already disavowed himself of practically every move McDaniels made, while John Elway has gone a lot farther than the typical "things just didn't work out" that one would expect.

Frankly, it's not that hard to figure out who Lombardi is referring to - it must be either Xanders, Mike McCoy, or both. QB coach Adam Gase, who worked with the WRs last year? Doesn't seem likely. I know that some of our readers have taken issue with Lombardi's statements regarding Tebow, but consider his body of work. Lombardi is one of the most knowledgeable and reasonable football analysts around, and it's hard to believe his reporting on Tebow is driven by anything of a personal nature. Lombardi is no Len Pasquarelli, folks.

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Extra Mayock Lard 2-21-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Toni Monkovic of the Times posted a lengthy interview with NFLN's Mike Mayock regarding the upcoming draft, and there's plenty of fascinating insight from Mayock. Of interest to us, he says that Cam Newton has better throwing mechanics than Tim Tebow, but of course the questions are whether he can handle an NFL playbook. Later on, Mayock states that the most important characteristic of a quarterback is not his physical ability, but his aptitude in understanding the complexities of a nuanced NFL offense and in reading defenses. He then points to a quick release, good feet and an athletic body, in that order of import. One has to think after reading this of Josh McDaniels and his praise for Tebow when he drafted the quarterback - the Broncos' former coach spoke most glowingly about Tebow's ability to quickly retain and recall terminology, much more so than about any of the QB's physical traits.

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Glitch Lard 2-20-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! We performed an upgrade of our system for the site yesterday, and unfortunately it was a bit buggy at first. As many of you discovered the hard way, commenting was disabled for a good chunk of the day; it was fixed last night. Thanks for bearing with it, and we're sorry for the annoyance and inconvenience of it all. Naturally, we can't quite promise that this sort of thing will never happen, but we'll always try to keep it to a minimum. Anytime you experience a problem with the site, please let us know via the "Contact" button atop the page (Thanks, Orange and Blue for the heads up yesterday).

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Cycle of snubs Lard 2-19-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Over at the NFP, Dan Pompei continues his defense of the HOF selection process; he likes Mike Lombardi's suggestion that voters watch some game film together. He brings up a funny point (not sure he meant it to be so) - as Ted often states, the fact alone that football writers get to vote on awards and on HOF entrance devalues the legitimacy of the HOF and all player awards, especially Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections. Back to Pompei - he says that so many people spend time panning the Pro Bowl votes for who got snubbed, and then when it comes time for the HOF, guys like Richard Dent are called unworthy because they didn't make enough Pro Bowls. It's just an endless cycle. But what about this? Dent and his four Pro Bowl selections made the HOF, but Karl Mecklenburg and his six Pro Bowls plus three All-Pro selections, Randy Gradishar and his seven Pro Bowls and two All-Pros, and Steve Atwater and his eight Pro Bowls and two All-Pro choices are barely in the discussion.

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Midday Lard 2-18-11

Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! I don't plan on making a habit of this, but it's a slow day by me so I'm serving up an extra scoop of the Lard today...

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4-3 Lard 2-18-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! To no great surprise, John Fox has confirmed this week that Denver will be shifting back primarlly to useing a 4-3 defense. According to Klis, Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers will indeed be converted back to ends, while Justin Bannan will be playing tackle. Klis also suggests that Denver may use a high pick on a linebacker, with incumbent LBs DJ Williams (if he's still around) moving back to play weakside, Joe Mays or Mario Haggan in the middle, and either Wesley Woodyard or Haggan on the strongside. Whatever works, please. Oh, and it would be nice to has some continuity...

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Who do we want? Champ! Lard 2-17-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Ahh, the power of social media. Champ's announcement that he's put his house up for sale has already riled some fans up to action. As I write this, 77 people say they're gonna show up at the Big IF to convince Champ he should stay in Denver. Perhaps if they each bring along $500,000 cash (perhaps he'd take a certified check) they'll get a deal done. I don't mean to make light of either side here - for one, if people weren't so enthusiastic in their fanatacism toward the Broncos, TJ, Doc, Ted and I would have about twelve readers, including each other, our moms and a few friends. Secondly, it's hard to begrudge Champ the chance to break out of this new-defensive-coordinator-every-winter prison he's been stuck in for the past six years. Guy's a pro's pro, a HOFer, and seemingly an intelligent and upstanding guy. If he wants to go get a ring, his best chance will most definitely not be in Denver. For those who were wondering, Champ moved on from his Cherry Hills house when he apparently had the all-too-rare public-contention-free athlete divorce...

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Champ talks resume Lard 2-16-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Negotiations have resumed between Denver and all-universe cornerback Champ Bailey after having come to an abrupt halt midseason. According to Klis, the Broncos are unlikely to utilize their franchise tag on Bailey should their talks fail again. This is quite sensible, for as great as Champ is, he is unlikely to be worth a guaranteed $15 million to a team that won but four games in 2010 with no contingency for the 2012 season. If the deal being discussed is similar in structure to what was reported in-season, then we're looking at a 4-year, $40 million deal (or more, now that the Broncos have no leverage aside from the specter of a lockout). I'll throw on my speculation hat and say that a deal of that size and for a player of Champ's stature would likely require Denver to guarantee around $25 million or $30 million over the course of the contract. Let's hope it gets done, because even at age 33, Bailey shows no signs of slowing down and has already stated publicly that when he does, he will welcome a shift over to safety.

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Stinky Lard 2-15-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Golic and Mark Schlereth spoke yesterday morning on ESPN Radio about the Broncos' offseason picture. Regarding the QBs, Stink correctly pointed to Kyle Orton's 3rd-down struggles as a major concern and says Tim Tebow is the choice. He also said Brandon Lloyd is the Broncos' best offensive player at this point and thinks Denver needs to re-sign Champ Bailey and dump some of their other older defenders. Regarding the draft, Stink suggests the Broncos should just pick the best defender at #2, regardless of position. Finally, it's pretty clear that Stink has been reading the DP - he cites Josh McDaniels' handling of personnel and the Broncos' lack of draft choices as reasons the team is better off without their former coach. I suppose the folks out west who listen to Stink deal with this regularly, but aren't analysts like him supposed to do better than just regurgitate the ridiculous memery?

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Indentured Lard 2-14-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Andrew Brandt takes a peek at the NFLPA and NFL's CBA proposals - the union is pushing for shortening their indentured servitude and protection against career-ending injuries, while the league wants to keep the indenture in place but with a defined compensation slotting system for each and every draft choice. The NFL is also looking to rein in escalators, bonuses and not allow contract negotiations within the first three years of a player's initial contract. Brandt offers up his compromise.

As a public service announcement of sorts, just a friendly reminder that it's Valentine's Day - if it saves just one of our readers from catching a bit of grief, I figure it's worthwhile, haha.

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