The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

Readers’ Choice Lard 2-1-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's time for some greedy, shameless begging. As you may know, IAOFM is closing in on five months of life as a blog; quite frankly, it has gone better than we had ever imagined it would to this point. Naturally, this is very much thanks to you, our exceptionally loyal readers. Apparently, some of you have even been crazy enough nominated us for About.com's 2011 Readers' Choice Award for Best NFL Team Blog. This alone is quite a flattering honor, and we thank you for that. But here's the deal - About.com is leaving the nominations open through this Friday night, and then they will announce five finalists for each category in a week's time (only one Team Blog will win - there's not one for each team). We've gotten a late start in the process, as nominations began on Jan 13. So, we need even more of your help - please nominate us and help get the word out on how arrogant self-serving cocky great we are. Thanks again, and frankly we'll still love you tomorrow even if you don't think we deserve it nominate us.

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Pro Bleh Lard 1-31-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Last night's Pro Bowl featured a 42-0 NFC lead, 96 combined points, eight turnovers, and two INTs apiece for Philip Rivers and Matt Cassel. Brandon Lloyd caught one pass for 15 yards, while Champ Bailey had four tackles. Browns center Alex Mack scored at the end of the game on a lateral play that is the Pro Bowl in a nutshell. The NFC defenders' interest in pursuing that play encapsulates what the three-hour tour is like for viewers at home. Torture.

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Running fools Lard 1-30-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Does anyone at the Post understand why the Broncos didn't run the ball well in the first half of the season? Were they actually paying attention up in the press box? Klis pays a visit to Legwold Land and shares his own brilliant analysis which says that teams with lots of rushing attempts did well in terms of either yards or points allowed on defense. Funny thing is, he announces that the best three defenses in the league for his money in 2010 were Green Bay, Chicago and New Orleans. Where did these three teams rank in terms of rushing attempts? 20th, 21st and 30th, respectively.

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The Daily Lard 1-29-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Not much in the way of football news today. BTW, did you know the Pro Bowl is tomorrow? Is anyone even going to watch? Perhaps during commercials for the Winter X Games? Actually, I can think of one reason to watch - it may be the last time we get to see Champ Bailey wearing a Denver helmet. Enjoy your Saturday, and thanks as always for being here!

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The Daily Lard 1-28-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Lots of talk about concussions, injuries and the future of the NFL. Ben McGrath for the New Yorker wonders if head injuries will someday spell the end of pro football's relevance. Meanwhile, Chris Brown of Smart Football thinks more crucial will be how concussions shape youth and amateur football going forward. Plus, Esquire unveiled a bunch of injury data the NFLPA has collected for its CBA battle. Makes one question just what we're all tuning in for, doesn't it?

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More fun with Brian Xanders Lard 1-27-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Brian Xanders recited his talking points responded to questions for the mothership yesterday. Honestly, this guy needs a spokesperson or an editor. If Pippi Bongstocking can afford to have a PR rep on a 3rd-string RB's salary, then surely the Broncos organization could spring for one to speak on behalf of Xanders, no? Someone needs to stop having him represent the Broncos publicly. I dare you to read this whole thing through without making a face or screaming like this (► perhaps don't click that link at work with the volume really high, or if foul language offends you). When asked what message John Fox laid out to his new coaching staff at the Senior Bowl, here's what Xanders had to say:

John Fox was also excited in terms of enthusiasm and positive energy, and just glad everybody was together for the first time.

If questioning Xanders' intelligence is getting old for you, I'm sorry. While I do parse the words of the DP writers daily, I'm not seeking it out with Xanders. Unfortunately, there's no effort required - he just hits you squarely in the face with incoherence - over and over again. Obviously, we just have to hope he knows his stuff when it comes to football.

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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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