The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

Axe to grind Lard 12-5-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! I hope you're enjoying your weekend so far. If you are, perhaps you should skip past the DP links today. This is not about positivity versus negativity - all three of TJ, Doc and myself can each make a case that McDaniels should move on. We just don't think those cases are strong enough at this point to warrant his firing. But someone over at the DP most definitely wants Josh McDaniels canned - all you need is to glance at the headlines, quite frankly. So, continue on - at your own peril. If you'd rather not, just skip ahead to Andrew Mason's entry. 

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Going Deep Lard 12-4-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! All four players who were on the injury report this week are out tomorrow - Brian Dawkins, Darcel McBath, Andre' Goodman and Demaryius Thomas.

To everyone who still thinks winning football games is about running the ball and controlling the clock, Brian Burke has  some more evidence to the contrary. For all those who are still upset about the Broncos' having spent several high picks on their (passing) offense over the past two years, it's a must read...

Teams should invest in draft picks and free-agents who can consistently get large chunks of yards, and invest in the practice time needed to perfect deep routes. And if you already are one of those teams who can throw deep, you should probably do it more often.

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The Daily Lard 12-3-10

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Darcel McBath returned to practice yesterday, albeit in limited fashion. Andre' Goodman, Demaryius Thomas and Brian Dawkins did not practice and are out for Sunday's game in KC.

Later today, the finale of Doc's series on the spread - including the answer to just who Coach Joe is...

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The Daily Lard 12-2-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Brian Dawkins, Darcel McBath, Demaryius Thomas and Andre' Goodman did not practice yesterday; all are expected to miss the trip to KC. As mentioned last night, we've now all got a glimpse at what Kenny McKinley was facing prior to his suicide - mounting gambling debts, child support and the fear that his NFL career was over. Plus, we learned that his death has likely taken a greater toll on his ex-teammates beyond the loss of a friend and teammate - especially so for Tom Brandstater and Jabar Gaffney. Our thoughts go out to those two men as well, today.

Later today, Part 2 of Doc's series on the Elways and the spread offense, and The Dude's Mail Revue.

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Not so many comebacks Lard 12-1-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Like many of you, I grew up practically worshiping John Elway, and it always stings to read about the lies we've been told regarding his 4th-quarter comeback wins. Really, he's not actually the Comeback King. But as someone who loves stats, facts and the debunking of myths, narratives and internet memes, I've just got to accept the disappointing realities along with the uplifting ones. Not sure if you're ready to do the same, but here's an excellent read from Scott Kacsmar over at the PFR Blog regarding Elway's comebacks. The silver lining is that it shows that Elway was much better than Brett Favre in the fourth quarter, and very similar to Dan Marino. Well, except for the fact that he's got more rings than the two of them combined...

Among the links you'll find sense and reason from Mike Lombardi and myth busting from Ted Bartlett. And later today, the first of Doc's excellent series linking the Elways to Kyle Orton.

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Bowlen says McDaniels will be back in 2011 - well, maybe Lard 11-30-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! I got a bit of a late start today, and since our good friend Ted Bartlett has plenty of rational commentary on where the Broncos stand with Josh McDaniels, let's just see what he has to say. Read that, and then come on back for the news.

As far as injuries, McDaniels announced yesterday that Demaryius Thomas and Andre' Goodman would again be out on Sunday, and Brian Dawkins will likely also miss the trip to Kansas City with a knee injury. Darcel McBath may return again, and Joe Mays is a bit banged up.

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Was it really that close? Lard 11-29-10

UPDATE 9:45AM ET - In his MMQB, Peter King shares some insight into the situation in Denver and on Josh McDaniels, whom he claims to "know fairly well." King writes...

"McDaniels is adamant that he didn't trash the Patriots in his staff meeting Friday...McDaniels seems to know he's got a traitor in his midst...None of this will matter if the Broncos keep losing, like they did Sunday to St. Louis...If the Broncos lose out, McDaniels is probably done...The Broncos did him no favors by giving him an inexperienced GM, Brian Xanders, who clearly hasn't been strong enough to save him from making some bad personnel calls. The team should have invested in a savvy, veteran GM to help McDaniels navigate his way early."

As you know, we spend a good deal of time here mocking King, but there's some actual journalism in today's MMQB and it is an important read for Broncos fans. What stands out from the above snippets is the line regarding Xanders - is this McDaniels' way of laying the blame at the GM's feet, and/or a way to let us know that McDaniels did not handpick Xanders as has been previously portrayed?

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Broncos, McDaniels fined; fans go wild Lard 11/28/10

Good Morning? Broncos fans. As you all know by now, the Broncos and Josh McDaniels were each fined $50K yesterday for Spygate II. Apparently McDaniels never looked at the six-minute recording video operative director Steve Scarnecchia took of the Niners' walkthrough, and failed to report the offense - hence the fine. Certainly the incident reflects poorly on the Broncos organization as a whole, and the most obvious question is why McDaniels hired Scarnecchia in the first place. But there are several memes flying around regarding Scarnecchia's involvement in Spygate I - let's try to straighten them out a bit. When the Jets exposed the Pats in 2007, Scarnecchia was the Jets' video director - the whistleblower in fact. He had not worked for New England since 2004. The original Spygate investigation circled around whether the Patriots filmed the Lambs' walkthrough before the two were to meet in SB XXXVI. But the videographer in question was Matt Walsh - not Scarnecchia, who was a video assistant for New England from 2001 to 2004.

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Spygate, Denver edition Lard 11-27-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As if Denver hasn't seen enough football controversy since Josh McDaniels took over last January, there's another big one brewing - and it's déjà vu all over again for McDaniels. The NFL is investigating whether the Broncos' director of covert video operations Steve Scarnecchia videotaped one of the Niners' walkthroughs when the two teams were about to face off in London. Scarnecchia is on a leave of absence while the league looks into the matter, and supposedly the Broncos are investigating as well. Yeah, right. Scarnecchia was deeply involved in the Patriots' version of Spygate, as he reportedly trained (first bullet point) the person who got caught recording the Jets' signals in 2007, Matt Estrella. Scarnecchia was the Jets' video director when the team blew the whistle on the Patriots, and worked for New England when they beat St. Louis in Super Bowl XXXVI. Of course, the NFL investigated allegations that the Patriots had filmed the Lambs' walkthrough before that title game.

Whatever comes of the investigation, this is still another embarrassing moment in McDaniels' tenure in Denver. Hopefully the league absolves the Broncos of any wrongdoing. If not...

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Black Friday Lard 11-26-10

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! We hope you had a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving. As for the Broncos, their injury report is exactly as it was the day before - Robert Ayers was a full participant in practice and is expected to play Sunday, while DJ Williams was again limited. Demaryius Thomas, Andre' Goodman and Darcel McBath are out.

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