The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

Media Day features all sorts of crazy talk

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As per usual, Media Day at the Super Bowl was a circus of absurdity, attended by either reporters dressed as clowns, or clowns dressed as reporters. Hard to tell.

But there remains serious talk about the long-term health implications of the sport, led by Ed Reed's admission that he's already experiencing memory loss at the age of 34.

Reed's teammate Matt Birk continues to discuss the impact of concussions, and says he hopes the game will be safer by the time his children are old enough to play it.

The NFLPA is putting its money where its mouth is, teaming with Harvard on a ten-year, $100M research project to help improve the long-term health of current and retired players.

Meanwhile, arguments will be heard in April regarding the league's request to dismiss lawsuits against it filed by former players alleging negligence.

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JaMarcus would be fine addition to LOLJets circus Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As mentioned two days ago, President Obama expressed some of the same concerns many of us have about the long-term health issues of playing football, in a recent interview with the New Republic.

Naturally, the President's comments prompted plenty of reaction in New Orleans and elsewhere.

Niners coach Jim Harbaugh took the comedic route, while his brother John was more interested in focusing on football's positives.

Ravens safety Bernard Pollard fears an on-field death is in the game's not-too-distant future; secondary mate Ed Reed shares his concerns and would prefer his own son not play the game.

Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari stand on different sides of the debate, as Jay says he has much bigger concerns for their son, while Kristin plans to push five-month-old Camden to a less dangerous sport.

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PK could see Broncos pursuing Revis Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! While speaking at the Senior Bowl earlier in the week, John Elway said he wants to continue to build through the draft and augment with free agency, because what else is he going to say?

Jeff Legwold squeezed three columns out of that comment, analyzing it relative to agemoney, and the lazy-but-convenient "This is how the SB teams constructed their teams, so of course every other team now needs to copy them" thread. (Let's not forget that the Broncos allowed 55 fewer points last season than did the Ravens, and had a better defense than them by any measure, while the Niners only allowed 16 fewer points than did Denver.)

Meanwhile, Mark Kiszla is ready to thank Josh McDaniels for having provided Denver with Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Zane Beadles, and J.D. Walton in the 2010 Draft.

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Revis to Broncos would make less sense than none at all Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! LOLJets all-world cornerback Darrelle Revis is set to earn $6M in 2013 and has player options beyond that which he surely won't be triggering - so he's essentially entering the last year of his current deal.

There was talk earlier in the week that the team would consider dealing him, since they don't have a franchise tag at their disposal to use on Revis - his current contract stipulates they cannot do so. Complicating matters is that Revis is coming off ACL surgery, but the reality is that if he were on the open market, he'd command a massive contract with guarantees that would dwarf the $15M that Champ Bailey got from Denver two years ago.

Revis reacted to the trade talk with indignation, but new GM John Idzik claimed to have smoothed things over with the 27-year old over the phone.

Now comes news that the LOLJets were looking into dealing their best player prior to his Week 3 injury, but of course, that was back when Mike Tannenbaum was heading the front office.

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Elway: Can’t see why anyone needs a machine gun Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Elway continued to make the media rounds (as part of Dove's ad campaign) Thursday with an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan.

Morgan has notably been vocally supportive of restricting access to guns in the U.S., especially of the semi-automatic variety. He broached the topic with Elway, and here's the exchange as transcribed by HuffPo:

"You're from Colorado and I was particularly appalled by what happened in the Aurora movie theater," Morgan began. "But as somebody who has grown up in American culture, presumably around guns, what is your view of the debate as it stands?" He asked Elway.

To which Elway responded: "You know, I'm still waiting to hear both sides of it. I'm a gun owner. I'm a hunter and I enjoy that and I respect the second amendment."

"As someone who hunts and shoots for sport, do you see any need for civilians to have one of these military-style rifles that can pump out 100 bullets a minute?" Morgan asked.

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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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