The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

Belichick punks another team’s waiver attempt Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver's lone mandatory minicamp kicked off yesterday (BTV, photos), with kicker Matt Prater the only no-show, as expected. There was a brief injury scare as Demaryius Thomas jammed a finger, and Tracy Porter and Danny Trevathan (who worked with the first-team nickel package) each intercepted Peyton Manning off tipped passes. Knowshon Moreno and Chris Kuper continue to work back from injury, while Julius Thomas remains inactive.

John Fox and Peyton Manning (videos) spoke after practice; Fox and others reiterated that D.J. Williams's playbook page tweet was no thing. But we knew this already, since TJ made it quite clear, even while others were freaking out. Fox, Manning, and Willis McGahee say the team is striving for offensive balance and a commitment to running the ball. We'll see about that.

McGahee says the presence of Manning has him working harder than ever, and Eric Decker says Peyton's demanding expectations are testing players daily.

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Jaguaring is a sad, sad thing Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver's mandatory minicamp starts today and runs through Thursday.

The team will welcome Derek Wolfe back after NFL rules forced him to attend classes at Cincinnati and miss the team's OTAs, but they apparently won't have kicker Matt Prater, who has neither signed his franchise tender nor agreed to a long-term deal.

Denver can also expect nothing on the field out of Julius Thomas, but for a different reason - the second-year tight end is still recovering from his April ankle surgery.

How will the tweet-happy D.J. Williams be greeted by coaches today? The non-Broncos coach Jeff Legwold spoke to says he'd hit D.J. with a massive fine and think about dumping the guy. But as much as many folks would like to see D.J. replaced, it doesn't quite the team has enough talent at the position to afford the loss.

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The Daily Lard 6-11-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Among the funnier stories to come across the feed this morning is that of a closer for the Indians who vomited on the mound after completing a save yesterday. To make matters gross, this wasn't the guy's first time, either.

The story of Chris Perez recalls a guy on the Broncos who vomited before or during every game in which he played; we all know Mark Schlereth used to piss his pants during games, and other Broncos have surely had disgusting habits we just don't know about. A quick search helped find the notorious upchucker, and he is former nose tackle Darren Drozdov, who played for Denver in 1993 and 1994.

Drozdov achieved national notoriety for these antics when Peter King wrote the following about him in 1993:

Denver nosetackle Darren Drozdov (who, by the way, has a tattoo of the Garfield dog Odie on his right buttock) will reportedly see a psychiatrist this week for a chronic vomiting problem. He has thrown up during nearly every Bronco game this year. In a preseason game against Miami he lined up over the center and decorated the ball. After Denver's 34-17 victory over San Diego on Sunday, Drozdov was asked if he had vomited during the game. "Oh, I threw up a couple of times," he said. "Here and there."

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The Daily Lard 6-10-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Brandon Stokley tells Lindsay Jones he was "95 percent retired" until a workout at Duke with Peyton Manning showed he hadn't lost any speed and was able to run without pain, despite having stopped his rehab from a quad injury suffered last season.

The Slot Machine has expectedly been serving as an interpreter of sorts, helping his fellow wide receivers understand Manning's body language and expressions.

Having made Denver his family's home ever since his first stint with the team, Stokes says the Broncos were the only team for whom he considered extending his 13-year career.

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The Daily Lard 6-8-12

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Yesterday saw the conclusion of Denver's final voluntary OTA; the team's mandatory minicamp runs from Tuesday to Thursday of next week, and the training camp schedule hasn't yet been announced.

Second-year safeties Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter (videos) spoke after practice. Moore was disappointed in his rookie performance but now looks at the season as a valuable learning experience. He says the lockout prevented him from being prepared mentally for the NFL game, that his conditioning wasn't up to snuff last year, and that veteran corner Drayton Florence has been a strong teaching influence since his arrival.

Carter says his 12 regular-season and playoff starts provided him with a major confidence boost, as did his two postseason INTs that got lost in the shuffle. He welcomes the extra preparation time this year, and the help from veterans as he learns to better process the speed of the NFL.

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The Daily Lard 6-7-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Now that Ty Warren is back in the fold after finding a financial "middle ground" with the team, Denver's perpetual question mark at defensive tackle just got a whole lot smaller. Provided Ty's able to avoid a freak injury like the torn triceps he suffered last summer, we are now free to move on from the silliness of thinking an undrafted second-year tackle (Sealver Siliga) on his second team was going to be a starter. Yet it's not just Siliga who will now presumably be afforded the learning curve befitting a young DT; Warren's presence should free Derek Wolfe of the unfairly weighty expectations not normally placed on a second-rounder (it's not his fault he was Denver's first pick).

As for Warren's health, he's apparently In the Best Shape of His Life (ITBSOHL), which is of course what most players will say in June, but that the 310-pounder hasn't played since 2009 means he may actually be as minty "fresh" as he declares. The ex-Aggie never considered retirement, worked hard in his rehab, and "hate(s) that (he) couldn't contribute" the past two seasons in New England and Denver.

Ty's disposition is so sunny that he's glad to see Woody Paige, who in turn is so taken with the gregarious big man that he attributes him a third SB ring, one more than he actually possesses. At least Woody has the good sense to eviscerate the populists/borderline racists who have had the nerve to suggest the classy Warren is either lazy or taking advantage of the Broncos by collecting his agreed upon salary.

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The Daily Lard 6-6-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Linebackers Joe Mays and Wesley Woodyard (videos) spoke after practice yesterday.

Mays expects the outside presence of Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil to force opposing offenses to run and throw at him instead, and he thinks Von will be even better in 2012 than he was last year.

Mays and Woodyard are both excited to see larger bodies at defensive tackle this year and expect this development to leave the two of them free to make more plays. Wesley appreciates that DC Jack Del Rio was himself an NFL linebacker, and he's been showing fellow Kentucky alum Danny Trevathan the ropes.

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The Daily Lard 6-5-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Fox and Peyton Manning (videos) spoke after yesterday's OTA practice; Chris Hall reported from Dove Valley for BTV, plus practice photos via Andrew Mason.

Much of the talk circled around Manning showing off the progress of his arm by throwing a handful of deep passes, one of which resulted in a sprawling catch in triple coverage by Brandon Stokley, with an earlier pass coming back on a Champ Bailey pick-six. Stokley's catch came during a two-minute drill and was followed by a fake spike and 10-yard TD pass to Eric Decker.

Manning says he's not yet all the way back in his rehab, but the team is beyond happy with his arm strength at this point.

Several players practiced returning kicks, including Matt Willis, Andre Caldwell, and rookies Ronnie Hillman, Coryell Judie, and Eric Page.

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The Daily Lard 6-4-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon, the fifth-overall pick in the draft out of Oklahoma State, was arrested for aggravated DUI in Stillwater yesterday morning.

The blood alcohol content limit in Oklahoma is .08 percent, and the threshold for aggravated DUI is .15 percent. Blackmon reportedly blew a .24 percent BAC. Yikes.

Blackmon had a prior drunk driving incident in 2010, when he was arrested while driving to a Dallas Cowboys game without permission to leave his own team to do so. According to the NFL, Blackmon is subject to the league's personal-conduct policies despite not yet having signed a contract and will likely face a suspension in his rookie season.

If you're wondering, a .24 percent BAC only moves Blackmon into a tie for the 20th-highest BAC recorded in the sports world.

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The Daily Lard 6-3-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mark Kiszla suggests the Broncos move on from Ty Warren, adopting Mike Klis's populist tact of highlighting the salaries Warren has been paid over the past two seasons in New England and Denver.

Why should the Broncos, or us fans, care what New England paid Warren in 2010? We shouldn't, because it's irrelevant. All that does is paint Warren as an overpaid underperformer; he has been anything but that during his career. Some DP readers are likely substituting for his name some iteration of fat cat and lazy bum. Indeed, the first commenter had the incredible nerve to compare Warren to perennial malcontent Albert Haynesworth.

What does Warren's 2010 salary have to do with what he should be paid in 2012? Honestly, nothing.

Does Warren owe the Broncos? Not really. They knew when they signed him that his health was/is a great risk, and that veteran players do not lose their salaries when injury strikes is one of the more just NFL compensation rules.

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