Russell’s power at Dove Valley grows Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Earlier in the week, it was suggested (but quickly denied) that Matt Russell was interested in leaving his gig as Denver's director of pro personnel to become the AD at CU.

Instead, Russell continues to surround himself with familiar faces at Dove Valley, in a sense adding to his power within the organization.

Three weeks after hiring former Browns GM Tom Heckert to replace Keith Kidd as director of pro personnel, the Broncos have added ex-Browns director of college scouting John Spytek to fill that same role their scouting department.

Along with Russell, Spytek had worked under Heckert for several years in Philly, and he followed Heckert to Cleveland in 2010, but had no role in the Browns' 2013 draft-day decisions. The former Michigan linebacker was fired on May 1, reportedly after he declined a reduced role with Cleveland.

Although Spytek and Heckert will be running working in separate departments, they will now be working together for their ninth straight season (be sure to read this excellent 2012 profile of Spytek by the Canton Rep).

Spytek still had one year remaining on his contract with the Browns, who would have to pay the difference if Spytek's 2013 salary in Denver is below what he'd been due in Cleveland.

Broncos

Videos: Jack Del RioAdam GaseJacob Tamme, and Terrance Knighton speak after practice; Peyton Manning sits with Chris Hall for BTV to discuss his offseason goals for the offense; Wes Welker ranks #44 on NFLN's list of the top 100 players of 2012.

John Fox says the team is being cautious with Knowshon Moreno, who has not yet been cleared to practice after having undergone a stem-cell procedure on his knee earlier this year.

Peyton Manning says the team hopes to improve its performance on "the four-minute drill where you've got to get a first down to win the game," and presumably that extends to playcalling.

It was another windy day of practice at Dove Valley on Thursday, which should be good preparation for playing at the Meadowlands in Week 2.

Tamme provided a bunch of boilerplate quotes, while Knighton characterizes himself as a quiet guy and says Del Rio's defense in Denver is more complex than what he ran in Jacksonville.

Andrew Mason figures Tavarres King's draft status makes him the likeliest player to be given a chance at a top-three receiver spot in case of injury.

Tim McKernan's barrel from the 2001 season is for sale on eBay; originally listed at $300 (and $500 for Buy It Now), the bidding is over $2,000 at time of this writing. RIP, Barrel Man.

News

Chargers LB Dwight Freeney says that during his many years practicing against a red-jerseyed Manning, he "envisioned hitting him...millions of times." He can envision all he'd like, but Ryan Clady and Orlando Franklin might have something to say about bringing those dreams to fruition. Pat Kirwan agrees that Freeney's exaggerated self-image has more to do with his relatively lengthy unemployment than some supposed pact on the part of owners.

X-rays were negative on a toe injury suffered by RB Jamaal Charles during Chiefs practice yesterday; the team has high hopes for Dexter McCluster as a punt returner, now that they've teamed him with Devin Hester's old ST coach.

New England hosted ex-Saints DT Sedrick Ellis and dumped G Tyronne Green and WR T.J. Moe. 

Rams RB Isaiah Pead has been suspended one game for substance abuse; Bears TE Evan Rodriguez was arrested for DUI.

New Eagles corner Cary Williams, who was abused by Eric Decker during their regular season matchup last year, has come up with myriad excuses to miss practices with Philly.

QB Colin Kaepernick is apparently the only Niners player able to correctly spell the name of their teammate Nnamdi Asomugha.

Hub Arkush has announced that Pro Football Weekly will be no longer, after nearly 46 years of publication, many of them spent fighting the digital age. The rights to publish two of its annual guides have been sold off, but no word on whether Nolan Nawrocki will keep producing his race-baiting draft guide.

Analysis

Since they hardly missed any tackles in 2012, the Broncos don't have any leaders on lists of guys who cleaned up teammates' whiffs. However, Chris Harris (of course) ranks among the best defensive backs at tackling receivers before they are able to make a typical gain.

Chase Stuart lists teams to have gone at least seven straight seasons without a 1,000-yard receiver since 1978.

By PFT's count, Denver has signed six of their top 100 free agents this offseason, and eight players from their list remain unsigned. If Chris Kuper isn't willing to take a steep pay cut to stay in Denver, Brandon Moore could end up a fine option as a backup interior lineman.

In typical John "I just discovered a trend" Clayton fashion, the Professor notes that there aren't many backup QBs around who could be over .500 for long stretches. Obviously, this would follow basic logic, given that there are starting quarterbacks unable to do that.

If you're interested in learning a ton about caponomics and have an hour to spare, Jason Fitzgerald's video presentation on it would be a great use of that time.

From KSK comes the new tabletop family game - Gronkperation!

Tim Tebow

It is no surprise to us that a QB who can't throw, read defenses, remember play calls, or audible, yet thinks his career has divine backing, doesn't have an NFL job today. Some are caught off guard by the lack of interest, while others think 2014 is Timmy's year.

Obviously, Camp Tebow has denied the claim in David Fleming's piece that says they realize Timmy's NFL career is essentially over, and what else would we expect from a guy who thinks he's Jesus?

Updated 7:15am ET 6/4/13 - John Spytek has been hired to be a Southwest area college scout, not to run Denver's college scouting

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

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