The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

Day off, Briggs waived Lard 10-26-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Why so happy? Well, the Broncos didn’t give up 59 points yesterday. Plus, I’m not a Cowboys fan. 1-5 with SB aspirations and our quarterback is done for the year? Yes, things could be worse for Broncos fans. Obviously, I agree with the readers who have pointed out the shock value of those opening minutes Sunday, the three plays that virtually decided the game, and with TJ’s column on momentum. I have never seen anything like that happen to the Broncos before, not even close. Yet, they’ve got to be able to stop the run. We knew last week the Raiders would run the ball, and once they got up 21-0 they didn’t even need to pass the ball. Is it hard to stop the run without several of your best defensive players? Absolutely. But after a fine performance against the Jets’ vaunted rushing attack, there are no excuses for the very same personnel allowing 328 yards on the ground. Robert Ayers is still at least a few weeks away from returning, and it doesn’t sound like Brian Dawkins will be back this week, either. So the guys who are actually playing have to come up with a little bit more, because we’re looking at Frank Gore this Sunday.

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Pure humiliation Lard 10-25-10

Not such a good morning, Broncos fans. Gotta refer to them as the Oakland Raiders today - yes, they deserve it. In what may have been the worst loss in regular-season history for Denver, the Raiders beat the Broncos 59-14. Fifty-nine points. In three quarters. I’m actually not sure what is more impressive - a 59 on a golf course or 59 points in three quarters of professional football. After four attempts, the Broncos under Josh McDaniels have yet to win a divisional home game, and the Raiders have now won three straight in Denver. There were no bright spots, so let’s get that out of the way. As for the doom and gloom, where to start?

How about injuries? Perrish Cox left with a concussion, Kevin Vickerson re-aggravated his groin injury, Marcus Thomas hurt his right shoulder, and Demaryius Thomas may have injured a thumb. So, nobody had a season-ending injury. That’s about as good as the news gets today.

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Hyprocritical league Lard 10-24-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! We went missing for a few hours, due to some much-needed server maintenance. Please accept our apologies for that, but the upside is that our site is now a heckuva lot faster! You know, Bill Simmons had an excellent point in his mailbag the other day regarding the NFL and player safety. I wish I had pointed it out yesterday, but I’ll do so today instead. So, Roger Goodell and the owners he represents are suddenly acting like the health and well-being of their players is actually important to them. Clearly, a good thing. Unfortunately, there were many years of institutional denial that concussions even have any long-term effects before this about-face; years of stonewalling doctors and researchers who actually wanted to get to the true root of things.

It has taken the exceptional and dedicated work of doctors like Bennet Omalu, Ann McKee and Julian Bailes, and of journalists like Peter Keating, Jeanne Marie Laskas (update to her story here), Alan Schwarz and Malcolm Gladwell to break down this wall of silence and denial. The league had a rheumatologist (Dr. Elliot Pellman) heading its committee on concussions, for that group’s first two-plus years of existence, for crying out loud.  That’s rheumatology, the sub-specialty in medicine dedicated to conditions and diseases afflicting the joints, muscles and bones (nothing about the brain or spine).

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Elway got snubbed Lard 10-23-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As mentioned yesterday, Champ Bailey, Eddie Royal and Kevin Vickerson are listed as questionable after limited practice, while Robert Ayers, Brian Dawkins, Andre’ Goodman, Darcel McBath and Wesley Woodyard are all out for tomorrow’s game. As for Jokeland, it appears that Jason Campbell will be starting at QB.

As many of you probably know, NFL Network has been counting down its 100 Greatest Players over the past several weeks. Surprisingly, they’ve already gotten to John Elway, whom they placed at #23. He is the only Broncos player on the list, and of course I’m stunned at how low on the list he fell. Personally, I was expecting him to end up somewhere in the #10 to #15 range, but never in my wildest dreams did I foresee Brett Favruh beating him out…

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Royal, Woodyard still out Lard 10-22-10

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Champ Bailey and Kevin Vickerson returned to practice yesterday in limited fashion. Brandon Lloyd also returned; he had missed practice Wednesday for reasons unrelated to injury. Jamal Williams had his customary Thursday off, while Robert Ayers, Brian Dawkins, Andre’ Goodman, Darcel McBath, Eddie Royal and Wesley Woodyard again missed practice due to injury.

Look for a new Broncography today at 12pm ET and more Trivia Trough at 3pm ET.

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Practice squad filled Lard 10-21-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Eight players were held out of practice due to injury yesterday, and unfortunately they’re all pretty big names for Denver. The five players who were out last week (Ayers, Dawkins, Goodman, McBath, Woodyard) did not practice, no word on whether the latter three might play this week. Also missing practice were Champ Bailey, Eddie Royal, Kevin Vickerson, and Brandon Lloyd, who is not injured. At least Knowshon’s not on the list - sure would be nice to see him return to full health for the remainder of the season…

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The Daily Lard 10-20-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As I mentioned last night, the Broncos made a few transactions yesterday - they promoted LB Diyral Briggs from the practice squad and added WR Eron Riley to the PS. Briggs takes the place of WR Matthew Willis, who was officially placed on IR with his broken foot.

I’d like to take a moment to thank you all on behalf of Emmett, TJ and myself. We are so very grateful for your readership, your comments, your encouragement, your questions, your suggestions, and everything you do and have done to help get the word out about IAOFM. While we had high hopes when we started this site, launching a new blog without the strength of an existing network is a difficult proposition. But so far the response has been phenomenal, and we have you to thank. Your support means quite a bit to us and makes what we do a joy, quite frankly. Thanks for being here - we appreciate it.

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Whatcha, done Willis? Lard 10-19-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! I hope that today you’re feeling at least a bit better than you were yesterday. Josh McDaniels announced yesterday that Matthew Willis would be placed on IR after breaking his foot on Sunday. Meanwhile, he did not have any comment regarding the health status of Eddie Royal or Kevin Vickerson, both of whom left Sunday’s game with groin injuries. Hopefully, McD’s silence means at least that there’s a chance they’ll both play.

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Woulda coulda shoulda Lard 10-18-10

UPDATED 9:55AM ET

Good Morning, Broncos fans. I don’t know about you, but I was mightily impressed yesterday by our Broncos. Yes, they probably should have won, and were the better team for much of the day. But they made too many big mistakes at the wrong times, just enough for the Jets of New Jersey to slink away with a victory. The bad snaps by Lonie Paxton and J.D. Walton (two of the worst I’ve seen), the missed kick by Matt Prater (albeit a long one), and the fumble by Knowshon Moreno all loomed large. So did that last pass-interference penalty on Renaldo Hill at the end, although I was fine with the call. But let’s not lose sight of something. This was a team without its best safety and defensive heart in Brian Dawkins, its best linebacker in Robert Ayers, a starting cornerback in Andre’ Goodman, and two key special teamers and backup defenders in Darcel McBath and Wesley Woodyard. They didn’t just play their hearts out and all that cheesy cliched stuff - they played some excellent defense, and did so all game long.

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Orange Sunday Lard 10-17-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver made two sets of roster moves yesterday, adding LB Kevin Alexander and S Kyle McCarthy from the practice squad, making room for them by cutting T D’Anthonty Batiste and RB Andre Brown. Brown’s release could mean that the team is feeling good about Knowshon Moreno’s health. If you’re going to the game, wear orange, and if you’re sitting in the first level, please actually stand up and make some noise when you’re supposed to. This does not include the times if/when the Broncos go for it on fourth down. But you know that, right? (note: This is all rhetorical in nature and an attempt at humor, however poor. Clearly, our readers are well-educated in the football department, among many other topics. They know when to cheer, how loudly to do so, and will clearly be wearing orange if they’re at the Big IF today. Quite frankly, they wouldn’t be reading this site otherwise…)

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