The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

More Elway Lard 2-4-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! John Elway spoke with Mike Florio on PFT Live and stepped back a bit from his earlier statement that Kyle Orton is the starting QB, instead framing the situation as a competition. Most interestingly, he clearly came down on the players' side of the debate over expanding the regular season, saying "I can't imagine playing 18 games," despite acknowledging that the extra games would be a positive for management and fans.

In another of his media appearances, Elway said he was shocked that Shannon Sharpe was not elected to the HOF in either of the past two years and that Sharpe "has been underestimated in the running game" in terms of his blocking ability.

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Trade value Lard 2-3-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! While making the rounds at the Super Bowl, John Elway did his best yesterday to maintain Kyle Orton's trade value good side by saying that Kyle is still the Broncos' starter and it's "not a foregone conclusion" the QB will be traded. But frankly, what else is he supposed to say about the QB situation? If Elway were to declare that Tim Tebow is the starter or proclaim that he is already a good quarterback, then Orton's trade value would plummet. Not only that, but perhaps Kyle would then come out and publicly demand a trade, making the situation even worse. We'd have even more quarterback drama than is already inherent in the current set of circumstances, and haven't we had enough of that over the past dozen (Bubby/Brian, Griese's dog, Plummer's Element, Jake/Jay, Jay/Josh, Orton/Tebow) years?

Additionally, a declaration from Elway that Tebow will be the 2011 starter would be horribly disrespectful of head coach John Fox. No matter who ultimately makes the decision, or when it becomes public, one would have to think it will be Fox who announces it. Either way, try not to read Elway's comments as a real criticism of Tebow or anything more than posturing to prop up Orton's trade value. Tim Tebow is the future in Denver, and frankly the Broncos organization would be doing themselves a great disservice for that future not to be in place by the next season opener.

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Journalistic pride, anyone? Lard 2-2-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Well, the DP writers have once again failed Broncos History 100 - Legwold tries to say that TD rushed for 2,000 yards, won the MVP and SB MVP all in the same season. Actually Jeff, the SB MVP came a season prior to the other two. Details... Oh, back to the article. Legwold says that Josh McDaniels didn't endeavor to run the ball enough and backs it up with the Broncos' 12th-best ranking in rushing yards in 2009. Huh? And never mind the 125.8 yards/game over the last eight games when the O-Line was intact in 2010.

So - in recent weeks, Legwold has misstated what rounds the Broncos' 2011 draft choices fall within, Woody relied upon his faulty memory to incorrectly state how SB XXXII ended and then said Dom Capers works for the Bears, and now Legwold offers up this new gaffe. So much for journalism and fact checking, folks...

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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'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 - 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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