The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

Turn on the lights; the party’s starting Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The team held a walkthrough yesterday morning (John Fox) before heading to Chicago for tonight's preseason opener (BTV). New Broncos Jim Leonhard and Keith Brooking did not make the trip, nor did injured players Justin Bannan, Quinton Carter, Tyler Grisham, and Greg Orton.

Chris Kuper and Ronnie Hillman traveled with the team, but the lineman is not expected to play. The rookie back will be a gametime decision, as is D.J. Williams, who has apparently been working with the scout team during camp and not totally inactive.

Kevin Vickerson and Ty Warren are expected to start at defensive tackle; one matchup to watch for will be Champ Bailey versus Brandon Marshall.

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Marshawn Lynch, King of Corn (rows and mazes) Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Justin Bannan (calf), Ryan Harris (ankle), and Quinton Carter (knee, hamstring) were among those who did not participate in yesterday's practice (Peyton Manning, photos, more photos), while Ty Warren left early with a possible stomach virus. Newly signed LB Keith Brooking was already on the field for individual and 7-on-7 drills; he cannot join padded practices until Saturday.

D.J. Williams even saw some action, but it was only at the Sam spot when Von Miller got a late start to the morning walkthrough. A failure to stay in bounds by Knowshon Moreno while trying to run out the clock yesterday calls both his low Wonderlic score and Marion Barber to mind, although he did see first-team snaps.

The Broncos also had a walkthrough yesterday evening, and this morning's practice will be somewhat abbreviated so the team can catch a flight to Chicago for tomorrow's preseason opener.

After several days' worth of heaping praise, Brock Osweiler has struggled in the past couple of practices; Adam Weber was the only QB to lead a successful two-minute drill, as Peyton's turn ended with four straight incompletions at the goal line.

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Terrell Owens, back to troll the world Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The team returned to work yesterday (video, photos, more photos) following a day off Sunday.

Demaryius Thomas sat out the second half of practice with tightness in his Achilles; Thomas missed the first five games of 2011 after tearing his Achilles in February of 2011. Ryan Harris, Von Anthony Miller, and Greg Orton (all ankles) also left early, while Ronnie Hillman did conditioning work as he works back from a slight hamstring injury. Justin Bannan (calf) and Quinton Carter (knee, hamstring) remain sidelined.

Orlando Franklin practiced for the first time since having suffered a concussion a week earlier and took some snaps at right guard as Chris Kuper continues to work back to full strength.

Robert Ayers and Kevin Vickerson both took first-team snaps, and wideouts Matt Willis and Jason Hill impressed.

Working on the two-minute drill, Peyton Manning and Caleb Hanie each led drives that culminated in field goals, while Brock Osweiler threw a pick on the second play of his possession.

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Saints suspensions shortened soon? Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Saints and Cardinals opened the preseason last night at the annual HOF game; Drew Brees was Drew Brees, and New Orleans won 17-10 in a game that featured only three second-half points (although Cardinals DB Justin Bethel impressed with a blocked FG).

With the referees association amidst a labor dispute with the NFL, replacement officials got off to an inauspicious start by screwing up the coin toss. Embattled Arizona QB Kevin Kolb also had a rough debut, completing just one pass out of four attempts, and bruising his ribs on the play.

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Peytonpalooza rocks house Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! If the multiple record-setting crowds at Dove Valley weren't evidence enough, the turnout for yesterday's scrimmage (video, photos, more photos) at SAF@MH showed in a stunning way that Peytonpalooza is all the rage in Denver.

With the team telling reporters it expected 20,000-30,000 fans to attend, a whopping 41,304 fans showed up to watch Peyton Manning make his first appearance at SAF@MH as a Bronco, and we're talking about practice. To put that in perspective, the average attendance last year for regular season games in Cincinnati was 49,251.

The remarkable crowd was nonplussed by a bunch of short passes by Manning in seven-on-seven drills, so he audibled to a deep post to Demaryius Thomas to begin the team element. Although the 50-yard pass resulted in an overthrow, Willis McGahee somehow claimed fault for that.

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Joey Porter, frothing dingleberry Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The team practiced yesterday (video, John Foxphotos, more photos) and will conduct its annual SAF@MH scrimmage this afternoon

Ronnie Hillman (hamstring) did not practice yesterday, Justin Bannan reaggravated his calf injury, and Orlando Franklin was limited to wind sprints but may participate in the scrimmage as he works back from a concussion. Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Jacob Tamme, Joel Dreessen, and Champ Bailey provided the highlights, while Jason Hunter again worked ahead of Robert Ayers and got a bit chippy with the offensive linemen on multiple occasions.

Eric Decker returned to action and made a one-handed TD catch, while Jeremiah Johnson continues to impress like he did last summer. Knowshon Moreno and Rahim Moore had a big open-field collision, and isn't it nice to read about Knowshon and contact, and with no mention of his health?

Jeff Darlington paid Dove Valley a visit, and he confirms what we've thought all along: the Broncos will be running Peyton Manning's offense, and all of this talk about blending the Colts' playbook with that of Mike McCoy's has been more smokescreen than anything else.

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Correcting the Comeback King record Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Thursday's practice (video, photos, more photos) drew another big crowd - over 5,000 fans showed up at Dove Valley.

Injuries kept Quinton Carter (knee, hamstring) and Greg Orton (ankle) out, and the team waived/injured wideout D'Andre Goodwin (ankle). Ronnie Hillman (hamstring) and Orlando Franklin (concussion) were present but did not practice, although Franklin did participate in the evening walkthrough.

Eric Decker (groin) was also back on the field but did not practice (he should be back today), and Demaryius connected with Peyton Manning several times to take full advantage of the spotlight (video).

Justin Bannan practiced with the starting defense, where Jason Hunter worked for the second straight day ahead of Robert Ayers, who just doesn't seem to be impressing Jack Del Rio all that much. It's early, but a permanent demotion of Ayers could be another massive hit to the Broncos' ill-fated 2009 draft class.

Brock Osweiler was again impressive, this time near the goal line; Ryan Harris remains behind Chris Clark at tackle in Franklin's stead; Del Rio says he plans to call plays from the sideline as he's always preferred.

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John Elway in Zubaz, oh my Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday's practice (video, John Fox, photos, more photos) was held a bit earlier than originally scheduled due to expectations of severe weather.

Unfortunately for fans who'd planned to attend, they apparently missed out on Peyton Manning & Co. running a successful two-minute drill (60 yards in 70 seconds with one timeout). Caleb Hanie and Adam Weber didn't fare as well, with their attempts ending with interceptions.

As mentioned last night, three receivers, including Eric Decker, suffered minor injuries; Ronnie Hillman also tweaked a hamstring. Orlando Franklin (concussion), Quinton Carter (hamstring, and now knee, too), and Joshua Moore (hamstring) remained sidelined.

Justin Bannan (calf) returned to practice on a limited basis, while Ryan Harris continues to work as a backup tackle. According to Andrew Mason's report, Harris isn't considered to be competing for a starting job.

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Back to the grind Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Healthy players got the day off yesterday (those nursing injuries had to come in for treatment) and return to practice this afternoon morning. Camp only began last Thursday, but Saturday already brings the team's annual scrimmage at SAF@MH, and the team heads to Chicago next Wednesday, and will open their preseason against the Bears a night later.

Roster decisions are still about four weeks away though, as first cuts (down to 80 from 90) don't arrive until August 28. So players still have plenty of time to prove their worth.

So far, rookies Brock Osweiler and Danny Trevathan have stood out to both Andrew Mason and Jeff Legwold. Mason has also been impressed by Mitch Unrein, but he says Caleb Hanie and Nate Irving have struggled, while Matt Willis may be relegated to trying to make the team primarly as a kick returner. Legwold metes praise out to rookies Derek Wolfe and Ronnie Hillman, and he says guards Austin Wuebbels and Wayne Tribue each appear to have a chance to stick around.

Updated 9:44am ET

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Trevathan, Osweiler developing nicely Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday's practice (highlights, John Foxphotos) saw Denver break out their no-huddle offense, with Peyton Manning typically sharp; the only incompletions resulted from drops by receivers.

Danny Trevathan, who's been receiving guidance from D.J. Williams and Karl Mecklenburg, made his first appearance with the starting base defense.

C.J. Davis continues to work as the backup to center J.D. Walton. For the first time, Derek Wolfe lined up at tackle in the team's top nickel package. Like Jeff Legwold, Andrew Mason has generally been impressed by Brock Osweiler, whom he suggests could be leading the competition to back Manning up.

CB Joshua Moore injured a hamstring, while it sounds like Omar Bolden may have suffered a concussion, if our Fox translator is working correctly.

The evening walkthrough was apparently rather laidback and uneventful ahead of today's day off; the team will scrimmage at SAF@MH on Saturday.

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