The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

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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Pre-draft presser Lard 4-21-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Elway and Brain Xanders hosted a pre-draft presser yesterday, covering all the usual topics from whether they want to trade down from #2 to whether there's a franchise QB on the roster. A few things that stood out: Xanders said the team's board included 190 players, almost double the 100 or so favored by ex-coach Josh McDaniels (and Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Scott Pioli, Tom Dimitroff - but what do those guys know about draft strategy?), which will surely spark a few this way is much better and McHoodie was an arrogant jerk columns in coming days. Xanders chalked up the bigger board to the possibility that this year's talent depth is greater, and that moving to a 4-3 defense presents more options (both ridiculous, perhaps he's learned to not totally throw people under the bus at his pressers?). Also, Elway mentioned that there are four or five players they're considering at #2 - figure they're Bama's DT Marcell Dareus, Auburn DT Nick Fairley, A&M LB Von Miller and LSU CB Patrick Peterson? Finally, Xanders mentioned that Steve Antonopulos will be in the war room - so Greek sat in on all the HC interviews, and now he's going to provide input during the draft? Interesting...

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The Daily Lard 4-20-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's nearly eight months away, but who's not looking forward to the return of Pouty Pants on December 11? Don BanksJason Cole and Joe Fortenbaugh all included that Week 14 tilt among their most notable meetings of the year. Granted, we're talking here about a matchup between a team that went 4-12 last year and another that lost to the eventual SB winners by a single score in the NFC title game - so it may not actually be much in the way of competition. But when considering the prospects of a 4-12 team for whom we don't even know who the QB will be, these are the things we have to look forward to, right? Man, if that doesn't call for an official Orange Sunday, then I don't know what does...

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The Daily Lard 4-19-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's defensive tackle day over at NFL.com, where Pat Kirwan writes that Alabama's Marcell Dareus has the best chance to dominate in the pros, pointing out his youth (he's just 21 - almost two years younger than Nick Fairley) and remarkable 10-yard split time (1.66s). Meanwhile, Kirwan is among the crowd that thinks Fairley is a boom-or-bust prospect, citing the player's lack of dedication in the weight room and the perceived tendency to disappear in some games. Then again, Kirwan writes that Fairley sometimes looks like the next Warren Sapp.

Meanwhile, Bucky Brooks lauds the versatility of Dareus in terms of the various defensive fronts he can fit into and his pass-rushing abilities. As for Fairley, Brooks says the Auburn star looks on film like the most dominant defender in the draft, calling him an impact player and a tone-setter. Brooks is hearing the same knocks everyone else is regarding Fairley; questions of character, technique, motor, work ethic and attitude.

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MNF opener? Lard 4-18-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! According to Klis, the Broncos are actually under consideration to host one of the Monday Night openers for the 2011 season following six straight road openers. For AFC teams to play in the later slot, they have to do so during the 11AM BT (Broncos Time) slot, as CBS broadcasts the U.S. Open men's final during the later one. Hence, all of these early road games for Denver to start the season.

It's a safe bet that Denver would host the second of the two Monday Night games, because there's no way ESPN would want the squad that went 4-12 last year to open their season. But really - why would ESPN even be willing to have Denver be a part of either game? Can't be great for ratings - unless of course, Tim Tebow is starting...

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The Daily Lard 4-17-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his Sunday column, Dan Pompei writes that unfortunately for the Broncos, few teams are actually interested in moving up towards the top of the draft. He buys the notion that Cam Newton is headed to Carolina, but wonders if that's a very good fit. As for Newton's Auburn teammate, Pompei writes that the issue of Nick Fairley missing a flight for a team visit is not a noteworthy one but rather a common occurence, and not a reflection of the kid's character.

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The Daily Lard 4-16-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Via Williamson, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle is reporting that Shanny and the Skins are desperate to trade up from the #10 spot for a quarterback, and McClain is guessing that it's Blaine Gabbert. Williamson points out that if Washington were to move all the way to #2 in a deal with the Broncos, they'd need to use some future picks (or maybe a player?) to do so, at least as far as the Jimmy Johnson draft chart goes. Big Bill also says that #10 may be a bit farther than Denver is interested in sliding back, but who knows - maybe they could move back to ten and then orchestrate another deal to move back up a few notches...

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