The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

Elway: 6,000-yard passer in NFL’s future Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! John Elway was a guest on New York's WFAN with Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton yesterday morning for a good half hour, and there were plenty of great anecdotes and perhaps a few insights.

Our favorite takeaways, in chronological order:

  • Elway says several times that he "respects" John Fox's decision to kneel out the clock against Baltimore, without ever saying he agreed or agrees with the call.
  • John unwaveringly says he gave the Ultimate Teammate™ a choice between NJ and Jacksonville.
  • He views Matt Prater's FG flub against the Ravens as a 10-point swing, although we'd note that Baltimore still would have had time for a touchdown drive had he made the kick.
  • Elway sees a 6,000-yard passing season from a quarterback in the NFL's future.

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Manti knows all there is to know about the Crying Game Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday, we focused on the misfortunes of Denver's division rival Raiders to try to reduce the sting of the Broncos' shocking loss to Baltimore.

If that didn't help, or if you're still angry over what happened, perhaps we can redirect your ire to some of the things worth hating about the NFL.

For us, topping the list are the long-term health effects for ex-NFLers that we've come to learn about, and the league's dismissive treatment of them over the decades. Along those lines, and to no great surprise, the Seau family filed a wrongful death suit against the league, alleging that it was football's physical and psychological impacts that led to Junior Seau's deterioration and suicide.

Underscoring the NFL's ordering of prioritie$ is news that Tom Brady (appropriately) was fined $10K for his Ty Cobb-style slide against Baltimore's Ed Reed, but incredibly, Frank Gore was fined more for WEARING HIS SOCKS TOO LOW. 

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A healthy dose of Raider schadenfreude to brighten your month Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As we all struggle with the hangover of a season that ended far too early for our Broncos, there's always some classic Raiders schadenfreude to brighten our moods.

Raider woes are like Prozac for Broncos-induced depression, and today we've been blessed with a monthlong supply of the stuff.

As mentioned yesterday, Tim Brown has apparently ventured off into the deep end, suggesting that then-coach Bill Callahan sabotaged the Raiders' chances in SB 37 by making a late change to the team's offensive game plan against Chucky and the Bucs. Brown even went on to blame Callahan's change of heart for the notorious bender that undid center Barret Robbins's career and life.

Brown says the original tack was a run-heavy approach, but that it was scrapped just two days prior to the game for a more pass-oriented strategy.

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Diagnosing a forest by a single tree Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! If the past week and change are any indication, this Denver offseason is going to be all about overarching themes and discovering the Broncos' fatal flaws.

This is the John Clayton style of analysis, where every week's games show a leaguewide trend, and everything has great meaning about the state of the NFL. If Peyton Manning and Tom Brady win big games on the same Sunday, it means the NFL is all about veteran quarterbacks. Those same elder statesmen bow out prior to the SB, and in Mike Klis's world, this means older quarterbacks can't win championships anymore.

It's sort of like visiting your doctor with a single stomachache and having her tell you a drastic dietary change is in order.

Every play, every game, and every season is a referendum on something - former college coaches, bye weeks, home games, left- or right-handedness, age, height, and the winning percentage of your center.

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Foxball doesn’t work for Bill Belichick either Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! From our vantage, only one result yesterday had the potential to (ever so slightly) reduce the sting of Denver's loss to the Ravens - a Patriots blowout, and the notion that New England would have won in Denver last night.

Unfortunately for all of us, that couldn't be farther from what actually happened, as Baltimore turned over the Pats three times, Joe Flacco threw a trio of touchdown passes, and Bill Belichick channeled his inner John Fox, all resulting in a 28-13 Ravens upset at Foxboro.

So, we're instead left to think forever that the Broncos would have advanced to their seventh Super Bowl as a franchise, and would probably be favored against the 49ers, who came back from a 17-0 deficit to beat the Falcons 28-24.

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Blaming the bye week Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Since Adam Gase declared on Thursday that his Broncos offense would be putting the "pedal to the metal" in 2013, there have been some questions about how Peyton Manning would feel about that.

We've always maintained that words from executives, coaches, and players tend to mean very little, so we won't truly know what pace the offense will be moving at until September at the earliest. We'll have some hints come July and August, but at that same time in 2012, we were constantly told that Peyton would be adjusting to the Broncos more than they'd be getting accustomed to him and his offense, and that two-back sets would be all the rage.

So for now, we'll have to rely upon those quotes, and take them with a grain of salt. Via Jeff Legwold, here's one from Manning relating to tempo, but it's from during the season - not this week:

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Denver’s loss more about s#@% happening than anything else Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As we all continue to ponder what went wrong for Denver last Saturday, it makes sense to think about which of the team's general shortcomings contributed to the loss.

Jeff Legwold suggests that the team's strength of schedule, turnovers, and the injury to Willis McGahee were overarching reasons for the Broncos not playing tomorrow.

We'll agree that McGahee would have made a big difference, especially since the Broncos ran the ball all ten times they faced one or two yards to gain on Saturday, but so would Knowshon Moreno have. Not having their two best backs available perhaps should have changed the team's strategy or Peyton Manning's decisions at the line in short yardage. Whether John Fox, Mike McCoy, or Manning is more to blame there, we'll unfortunately never know.

As for the strength of schedule issue, we're not buying that. Beating up the Saints, Panthers, and Ravens were all impressive wins, and the Broncos entered Saturday's game clicking on all cylinders.

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Oh, that incestuous NFL Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Barring a completely unexpected firing, the NFL's head coaching carousel is done spinning for this offseason.

Arizona held the final vacancy, and they filled it last night by hiring Colts OC Bruce Arians, who had stepped in for an ailing Chuck Pagano to perform one of the most remarkable coaching feats of the year. Arians led the Colts to a 9-3 record during Pagano's absence, only months after he himself was unceremoniously dumped by the Steelers.

The decision comes at the expense of Cards DC Ray Horton, who apparently figured the job would be his following the Chargers' hiring of Mike McCoy, who had been seen as Arizona's top choice to replace Ken Whisenhunt. Upon learning he'd been passed over, Horton reportedly had a 'heated exchange' with Arizona GM Steve Keim, and Arians is expected to replace him with Philly DC Todd Bowles.

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Broncos expected to name OC soon Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Expectations are that John Fox will select a replacement for Mike McCoy before the week is out.

According to Jeff Legwold's report, the choice will come down to current Denver QB coach Adam Gase and former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, who had interviewed for several vacant head jobs and was rumored as recently as yesterday to be a frontrunner for the Eagles job taken by Chip Kelly.

This would appear to mean that former longtime Colts OC Tom Moore - the only man to call plays for Peyton Manning in the NFL prior to Mike McCoy this season - is not under serious consideration.

Whatever happens, don't lose sight of the undeniable fact that a move will not be made without Manning's blessing.

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Bidding McCoy adieu Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! With Mike McCoy officially gone to San Diego, the focus turns to who will replace him as Denver's OC.

According to Jeff Legwold, the likeliest candidates to step into McCoy's shoes remain QB coach Adam Gase and former Arizona head man Ken Whisenhunt, with former longtime Colts OC Tom Moore a possibility as well. That Moore called plays for Peyton Manning for 13 years in Indy isn't his only association with these Broncos; John Fox's first year as the Steelers secondary coach coincided with Moore's last as their OC.

Legwold also floats former Browns head coach Pat Shurmur as a potential candidate. Prior to his two-year stint in Cleveland, Shurmur was on Andy Reid's Eagles staff for 10 years, before running the Rams offense for two, and taking the Browns gig.

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