The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

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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Knowshon fully cleared Lard

Good afternoon, Broncos fans! Once again, the team practiced this morning in pads and in front of more than 4,000 fans (photos), with Quinton Carter (hamstring), Orlando Franklin (concussion), and Justin Bannan (calf) still sidelined due to injury.

Knowshon Moreno was cleared to join full-squad drills, although he is admittedly not quite 100% as of yet.

On offense, Peyton Manning and Brandon Stokley excelled, while the defense earned its own praise in stopping the running game. Champ Bailey and Brock Osweiler  elicited glowing reviews from Jeff Legwold.

The team will have another private walkthrough this evening, and their first day off tomorrow.

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Still no charges against Doom Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Attendance once more topped the 4,000 mark at Dove Valley, and several Denver legends, including Karl Mecklenburg, were again part of the action yesterday (video, more video, photos, more photos).

The Snow Goose, who is coaching in an unofficial capacity, says John Elway has made it clear that his fellow Broncos royalty are welcome around the team. But as Andrew Mason stresses, there's a line between honoring alumni and accepting their assistance, and living in the past ala Al Davis's Raiders.

Chris Kuper continues to share first-team reps at right guard with Manny Ramirez, while Orlando Franklin apparently suffered a mild concussion on Saturday - not the neck crick that had been described earlier; Chris Clark (not Ryan Harris) is working in his spot. Quinton Carter's hamstring again kept him out of practice, while Justin Bannan apparently reaggravated his calf injury.

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Who wants to play for the Chargers? Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver put on the pads yesterday for the first time since January (video, more videophotos, more photos), with the offense apparently getting a leg up on the defense for the day. Mike McCoy and Jack Del Rio spoke afterward, and Tom Jackson chatted with John Elway (videos).

During the morning session, Quinton Carter remained sidelined with his hamstring injury, while Justin Bannan and Chris Kuper took their initial first-team snaps of camp. Peyton Manning and Eric Decker were standouts, and Broncos royalty was in attendance in the form of Terrell Davis and Karl Mecklenburg; the Snow Goose is helping coach the pass rush in an unofficial capacity. Brock Osweiler practiced holding for field goals, while Philip Blake worked on snapping to the QBs.

In the evening walkthrough, Chris Clark stood in for Orlando Franklin at right tackle after Franklin tweaked his neck earlier in the day.

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Mike Adams, kick returner? Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Unfortunately for fans in attendance, a thunderstorm forced yesterday's practice (BTV, photosmore photos) to the private and cramped confines of an indoor facility.

Brandon Stokley practiced after missing Thursday's action with the flu, and Chris Kuper performed position drills. Quinton Carter suffered a hamstring injury, and Justin Bannan remains sidelined with a calf injury. Champ Bailey and Julius Thomas sat out team drills, while Knowshon Moreno caught passes in seven-on-seven drills. The coaches apparently wanted to save Champ the punishment of practicing on artificial turf.

Mike Adams surprisingly joined Andre Caldwell, Matt Willis, Ronnie Hillman, and Omar Bolden in returning kickoffs. During his eight NFL seasons, Adams has returned only two kicks, both last season.

The team is putting on the pads for today's practice and will have a closed walkthrough in the evening.

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Russ Hochstein era officially over Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! In accordance with the new CBA's ban on full-contact two-a-days, the Broncos held a private walkthrough yesterday evening to complete the first day of training camp. RG Chris Kuper, who had not worked with the starters during morning practice, was back with them for the evening.

As for that morning session (BTVphotos), the departure of undrafted rookie Eric Page, who was waived due to a knee injury, left Eric Decker, Syd'Quan Thompson, Tracy Porter, and Drayton Florence to field punts. C.J. Davis was the backup center, meaning rookie Philip Blake isn't just competing with starter J.D. Walton for the spot, if he is at all.

Peyton Manning's perfectionism was there for all to see, as was some reported improvement in his throwing since OTAs, although the toughest throws like deep comebacks were not.

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