Good Morning, Broncos fans! While the Broncos and other teams are prepping for the postseason, with an eye tomorrow toward playoff seeding, many other franchises are ready to dump their coaches, perhaps as early as Monday.
It's apparently known around the NFL as Black Monday, but someone probably needs to come up with a more accurate moniker, given the difficulty black coaches still have in finding opportunities as head coaches, and even rarer, offensive play callers. Perhaps Not-Black Monday would be more appropriate.
As for the field of candidates and job openings, each got at least one smaller last night, as Sean Payton agreed to a new five-year deal with the Saints. Not only does that settle the situation in New Orleans, but it also makes Payton unavailable to Jerrah Jones and the Cowboys, further ensuring Jason Garrett's job security in Dallas.
Over in New Jersey, Sexy Rexy tried to dismiss reports that he'd offered Sticks Johnson an ultimatum of sorts, but was rather unconvincing. Down the Turnpike in Philly, the talk is that the Eagles are the likeliest destination for Oregon's Chip Kelly.
Sticking with college offensive innovators, Chris Ault - who was featured in the excellent Chris Brown piece TJ cited the other day, has left his job at Nevada, prompting speculation he's planning to pursue an NFL job.
Back at Dove Valley, both Mike McCoy and Jack Del Rio are apparently prepping for the possibility they'll take interviews during what we hope will soon be a bye week for the Broncos. McCoy was a foregone conclusion to garner interest, while this is the first real mention of Del Rio's name, even if it's by Florio, and it's not associated with any one team.
But as much as we'd all like to think Del Rio will stick around at least another year, it would be unrealistic to expect that there are no teams with looming vacancies who haven't taken notice of the incredible job JDR has done with Denver's defense.
Videos: John Fox speaks after practice, from which BTV reports; Von Miller visits with NFLN; the Playbook guys break down tomorrow's matchup - including glowing praise for the completeness of Knowshon Moreno and Wesley Woodyard's games - and say the Broncos are better than Houston right now.
Tracy Porter (concussion) is out, Trindon Holliday (ankle) is doubtful, and Chris Kuper, who was again limited in practice, is questionable. Jim Leonhard figures to return punts, while Omar Bolden would take back kicks, in the likely absence of Holliday.
For Kansas City, WR Terrance Copper is out, DE Tyson Jackson is doubtful, and eight players are questionable; several players, including Tamba Hali, have been battling the flu. The team is particularly shorthanded at WR, which in concert with the team's utter crappiness at QB, and its strength running the ball, should leave no question as to what the Chiefs will be trying to do on offense tomorrow.
Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil figure at least one of them is going to get his hands on the opposing quarterback on most plays, and they silently communicate with each other prior to each snap; Woodyard is saying all the right things regarding not having been selected for the Pro Bowl.
According to PFF's data, Dumervil and Woodyard have been struggling against the run of late, but Orlando Franklin has been the most efficient pass blocker among right tackles in 2012. And for as much flak as we send his way, Manny Ramirez was perfect against the pass rush last week.
MJD had surgery on his ailing foot yesterday and will be out of action until May.
Not only will San Diego have a different GM and coach next year, but their roster could be completely overhauled, as they are set to have 25 players hit free agency, 19 of them unrestricted.
Here are the gruesome details of how New York taxpayers (including this author, from 370 miles away) are all being forced to line the pockets of Ralph Wilson and his ultra-fortunate spawn.
Based upon the small sample provided by this year's games, Scott Kacsmar thinks coaches should actually elect to kick off in overtime rather than take possession first.
Ashley Fox picks Peyton Manning as her OPOY, and Von Miller as her DPOY, but Adrian Peterson for her MVP; strangely, ADP has fared much better statistically in Minnesota's losses than when they're victorious.
Meanwhile, Bucky Brooks indirectly explains why Aldon Smith shouldn't be in the conversation with Von and J.J. Watt for DPOY, as the Niners defense has sucked without Justin Smith.
Cam Newton's first two seasons have been statistically unprecedented among quarterbacks.