Replacement refs like lamp Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The team held another padless practice (BTVphotos) yesterday before heading to Arizona for tomorrow morning's tonight's game against the Cardinals.

Chris Kuper and Tony Hills were again the only nonparticipants; Jim Leonhard practiced and could play tonight, while Keith Brooking was limited yesterday and thus unlikely to play.

Brock Osweiler (video) spoke after practice; looking back to rookie minicamp, BO says he was essentially drowning in the playbook at the time, and is now "fairly comfortable" with its contents. The former Sun Devil expects to have plenty of acquaintances in attendance tonight in Glendale.

More importantly, tonight will mark the final chance for several players to make an impression on the Broncos' coaches, and perhaps put something good on tape to prompt another team to pick them up if they're one of tomorrow's 20 cuts. Of course, there's also the chance that the last men to make the final 53 will later be jettisonned in favor of other squads' cuts.

Broncos

According to Jeff Legwold, the entire personnel and coaching staffs, including John Elway and Matt Russell, have been meeting every night since training camp began, to discuss the roster.

Andrew Mason's final prediction for Denver's 53-man roster has Caleb Hanie and Steven Johnson taking spots from Jason Hill and Mike Mohamed. He still expects the Broncos to keep only three running backs, at the expense of Knowshon Moreno.

Legwold figures the team will keep 10 or 11 defensive backs, with Tony Carter or Syd'Quan Thompson hoping to be the eleventh man.

Legwold and Mike Klis lay out their goals for the Broncos in tonight's game.

In PFF's AFCW analyst roundtable, Sam Monson says he expects Eric Decker to benefit the most greatly from the change at QB.

Peter King has joined ESPN Mag in predicting a Broncos SB loss to the Packers, and he has them going the wild card route to the big game. PK calls Eric Decker "deceptively fast," and gee, what do you think he means by that?

FWIW, the Broncos, Demaryius Thomas, Ryan Clady, Peyton Manning, and Champ Bailey all made an impression on Pete Prisco during his camp tour.

Trimmings

Pittsburgh expects to have linebackers James Harrison and Jason Worilds for the opener in Denver, but perhaps on a limited basis. The same goes for WR Mike Wallace.

The Giants again beat the Patriots in thrilling fashion, this time a 6-3 shootout that was delayed for several minutes because the replacement refs are a total joke. Even Mike Mayock, who is employed by the NFL, cannot hold back his criticism:

Dallas beat Miami 30-13; Washington beat Tampa Bay 30-3, but was sitting RGIII a good idea?

Jacksonville brass say they have no plans to trade Maurice Jones-Drew; Cincy signed center Jeff Faine; Chicago dumped WR Rashied Davis; Philly cut former Broncos camp invite Mat McBriar.

Andrew Luck says he's not doing any endorsements, because he doesn't "have much time." Hmmm.

Scrapple

As we expected, Chase Stuart's all-time QB statistical rankings aren't too kind to John Elway, who's 26th on the list (thanks, Dan Reeves). Of course, PMFM is el numero uno.

Andy Benoit expects Wade Phillips's defense to help carry the Texans into the second round of the playoffs; Peter Damilatis previews the Buccaneers for PFF.

Drew Magary on the Patriots; Christmas Ape on the Rams.

Offal

Rex Ryan sent 19 Jets players, including the punt protector, to a leadership seminar. Probably safe to assume Teebs gave the lessons, because he's the greatest leader in the history of humanity, right?

Anyway, Broadway Joe thinks his old team is more interested in grabbing headlines than in #winning. To that end, team owner and Romney money man Woody Johnson says, "I think you can never have too much Tebow." Rumors are even flying that Teebs could be the surprise speaker at the Republican Convention tonight, but the Jets do have a game tonight.

In Legwoldian fashion, Dan Pompei hits up his Rolodex to find scouts' opinions on the top seniors entering the college season.

We all know Kobe Bryant has modeled himself after Michael Jordan, but this video shows exactly how much so:

PS. Anyone who thinks Kobe could ever eclipse MJ's greatness is clearly a Lakers fan and/or too young to have seen Jordan in his prime.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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