The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

The heat is on Gregg Lard 4-6-12

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Roger Goodell heard appeals from the Saints, Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, and Joe Vitt yesterday, and his decision is expected sometime next week. But the big story was the release of the audio recording of Gregg Williams's speech prior to the Saints' playoff game versus the Niners.

Naturally, reaction was strong and swift: Michael Irvin said he almost threw up while listening to it; Warren "QB Killa" Sapp called Dr. Heat's speech the most heinous, egregious thing in NFL history and says he wouldn't have stood for such a thing during his career.

White Sox GM Kenny Williams, father of 49ers WR Kyle Williams (who was a specific target in the speech due to a prior concussion) suggested that the banned coordinator's behavior bordered on criminality; Niners safety Donte Whitner recalls that the Saints were unusually vicious in the teams' preseason matchup last year.

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The Daily Lard 4-5-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Chargers continue to collect diminutive receivers/returners (pissants) ala Mouse Davis and Tiger Ellison's run-and-shoot offense of the 1960s.

Having already signed our old friend Eddie Royal, who measures 5-10, San Diego on Tuesday added Roscoe Parrish, who is listed as being an inch shorter than Eddie. Yesterday, the team signed 5-11 wideout/returner Michael Spurlock, formerly of the Bucs. Incumbent returner Richard Goodman, who is also a wide receiver, towers over the rest at 6-0.

Early in free agency, the team replaced the 6-5 Vincent Jackson with the 6-2 Robert Meachem, and while that's a downgrade in height, there aren't that many receivers out there with VJ's stature. The team also let the 6-0 WR Bryan Walters move on to San Diego.

Of course, Davis made mighty-mite wideouts the focus of his offense because he couldn't procure bigger/better talent while coaching high school football in Oregon. So what's San Diego's excuse?

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The Daily Lard 4-4-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The jerseys of the Chiefs and Chargers also received minor tweaks, while the Raiders' is apparently unchanged.

I'm a bit puzzled by the negative reaction to Seattle's new uniforms. Their most recent ones were incredibly boring and ugly, especially the all-blue ones. Mike Tanier says there's talk of more uniform changes related to color and style in 2013.

You know what has to be the dumbest habit of all relating to draft analysis? It's not the 40 mocks per writer, it's noting that Denver has the #25 pick, and then looking at every #25 pick in history as if that indicates some sort of precedent for what players can be found there. Here's an entire column devoted to precisely that sort of garbage. Look, Tom Brady was a sixth-rounder, while JaMarcus Russell was taken first overall. What else needs to be said?

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The Daily Lard 4-3-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his latest column over at CHFF, Scott Kacsmar does his usual bang-up research job in examining the wide-ranging impact of Tim Tebow on the 2011 NFL season and the rest of the league going forward.

As Kacsmar tells it, Tebow's influence resulted in:

  • The Packers losing their bids at perfection and a SB repeat
  • Pittsburgh having to play in the only location where safety Ryan Clark would be unavailable
  • Denver doing the unthinkable in both pursuing and acquiring Peyton Manning, which of course set off a whole set of QB dominoes

Okay, so perhaps some of it is a reach, but it's a typically informative and entertaining read from Kacsmar, who even manages to tie the bounty scandal into the story.

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The Daily Lard 4-2-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Peter King thinks he thinks that he thinks it's interesting the Eagles and Chiefs are running A&M QB Ryan Tannehill through private workouts this week, but he believes the Dolphins (whose OC Mike Sherman was the QB's college head coach) and Browns are the likely landing spots for the prospect. Other MMQB factoidy thoughts:

  • Dolphins owner Stephen Ross now claims he didn't offer Jim Harbaugh the Miami gig, and that he didn't really want Peyton Manning. Guess Ross is learning from his counterpart in New Jersey...
  • PK finally got around to linking the Elway and Luck families, and he says Chris Mortensen had so many Manning scoops because of his close relationship with the QB, not because they share representation.
  • King wonders if Greg Schiano could someday be Bill Belichick's successor in New England, or has he forgotten about McHoodie? BTW, does Geraldo Rivera think Belichick and McDaniels are putting themselves in physical danger by wearing their thuggish apparel at practice and on the sideline during games? Hmm. Geraldo should have been an NFL reporter - he would have sniffed out Spygate and McDaniels's iffy personnel moves before anyone else, given their suspicious attire.
  • PK laudibly calls out the NFL for making an example of the Saints while their cash cow TV network glorifies vicious hits from days gone by, and he's hearing that Gregg Williams won't be appealing his suspension.

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The Daily Lard 4-1-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! We learned last summer that former Denver lineman and Pro Bowler Larry Kaminski plans to donate his brain to the Boston University group studying CTE and its occurence in football players. Kaminski now lives out in Washington, and spoke with his local paper about the physical toll of the game as he's experienced it:

At the end of the game ... I couldn't even bite down. It felt like somebody stuck a pencil in there or a knife or something because your jaw was so (out of) whack from getting hit so much.

I would wake up the next day and it was like I just left the battlefield and everybody had their heads off and I was carrying a sword with blood on it, and I said, 'What happened?' It was like I got into this darkness.

It looks to me like we were the prototype model to go out and find out how badly you can get beat up and then changed the design of the model or how it's used.

The league is trying to abandon a lot of us old-timers because they know there's a big liability.

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Broncos have plenty of cap room Lard 3-31-12

Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! There's been a lot of mystery surround Denver's cap space this offseason, with wide assumptions that the team was running low on cap space after having added Peyton Manning, Joel Dreessen, Jacob Tamme, Andre Caldwell, Tracy Porter, Mike Adams, and Caleb Hanie, plus having re-signed Wesley Woodyard, Joe Mays, Jason Hunter, and Manny Ramirez.

But thanks to the team's whopping $26M cap carryover from 2011 - second only to Jacksonville's $31M - Denver still has a very comfortable $13.8M in current available cap room. Only nine teams - Cincinnati, Cleveland, Jacksonville, KC, Minnesota, Philly, Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Tennessee - have more space left.

There will be draft picks to sign, the team reportedly still has interest in bringing back Marcus Thomas, and there remain some viable free agency options - including tackles Derek Landri and Amobi Okoye. So while there's no way for us to know whether the team plans to make any more splashes in free agency, it's great to know they have the flexibility to do so.

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The Daily Lard 3-30-12

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Jeff Legwold spoke with Jeff Fisher, Leslie Frazier and Mike Shanahan about the problems Peyton Manning creates for defenses. The best quotes come via Fisher, whose Titans played Manning twice yearly for nine years, plus once in the 1999 playoffs (a Tennessee victory that included a !15-yard! rushing TD by Peyton). Said Fisher:

He'll raise the offense to a level where they are consistent week after week after week. He eliminates a lot of mistakes, and they'll score a lot of points week after week after week. He kind of changes the defensive philosophy (the Broncos) will face because all of a sudden (defenses) aren't rushing the passer against Denver or protecting a lead.

We've always said it's like preparing for one of those quarterbacks in a video game. You just can't fool him. He'll move fast and get the ball to the right people.

He's going to get up under center, scan the field and he knows what you're doing," Fisher said. "It may look like you're doing something else, but he knows what you're doing. It goes beyond staring into the eyes of the safeties. He understands presnap looks, the signals, the communication. He just knows all that.

Sound good to you?

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The Daily Lard 3-29-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Elway provided some insight into how the Denver and Manning offenses will be melded, and what he said wasn't much of a surprise: Peyton will get to use the verbiage he's familiar with when making calls at the line.

Obviously, this will require all of his new teammates to adjust to him rather than vice versa, but it makes sense. Since the players cannot work out at Dove Valley or under coaches' supervision, they can get to learning right away, and since Manning is already organizing workouts, there's a good chance they've already started the process.

Besides, they probably all forgot what it's like to change a play at the line anyway...so what's the difference?

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Stokley may yet return Lard 3-28-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver is reportedly among several teams to have shown interest in Bears DT Amobi Okoye, the remarkable young man who graduated from Louisville at 19 years old before the Texans drafted him 10th overall in 2007.

Meanwhile, the team may end up bringing back WR Brandon Stokley as had been rumored shortly after Denver signed Peyton Manning. DT Marcus Thomas is apparently choosing between the Broncos and two other teams, and Denver is also trying to re-sign DE Jason Hunter.

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