The Daily Lard 1-18-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! According to Jason La Canfora's latest update, Mike McCoy and Miami interim coach Todd Bowles are the finalists for the Dolphins head job, although Adam Schefter is hearing that Packers OC Joe Phlbin will also get a second meeting (and interview with the Bucs too); Bengals DC Mike Zimmer had been in the mix earlier. Additionally, John Clayton says the Colts will look to hire an offensive-minded HC after firing Jim Caldwell yesterday, and he says McCoy could be a candidate for Indy. Of course, McCoy will also meet with new Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie today, as will Dennis Allen.

Now, the Broncos offense next season will probably be dissimilar to the one we saw this year with Tim Tebow; not only did opposing defenses appear to figure out the zone read, but the big hits on Tebow seemed to multiply with each passing week - and as Phil Simms pointed out, the defenses that saw Tebow a second time this season didn't have trouble containing him. As has been mentioned countless times, most notably by John Elway, Tebow is going to have to learn to win games from the pocket, and that is likely to be reflected in the offensive structure going forward. And as Ryan Wilson notes in his final Tracking Tebow column of the season,

If the organization is truly committed to him (and we're not convinced they are long term) then that means building the entire offense around one person, right down to a backup quarterback proficient at running Tebow's brand of option football.

If it seems extreme, think of it this way: what happens if Tebow goes down? Denver's offense suddenly reverts to its pre-Tebow playbook? And the remaining starters -- all of whom have spent months practicing the option offense, will suddenly be expected to run a conventional offense? In the middle of a game? That ain't happening.

We have many months to speculate upon what kind of offense the Broncos will run next year, and we'll have a touch more clarity once we know what players Tebow will be competing with for the starting gig and who will be running the offense. And if McCoy were to land a head gig elsewhere, we can presume he'd be allowed to take at least one or two Denver offensive assistants with him. QB coach Adam Gase comes to mind, unless the Broncos would elevate him to their OC position. But we're getting ahead of ourselves here.

Point is, it's probably safe to say there will be some notable change to the Denver offense, and if it's as drastic as whose playbook is being used and who is calling plays, then Tebow would potentially be onto his third set of pro coaches, with McCoy having been the only enduring figure to this point (Gase had been the WR coach in 2010) following the departure of the McDaniels brothers. Not good - not for the Broncos, nor for Tebow's development as a quarterback.


Well, we can all take back our kind words for Mike Current, the former Broncos lineman who killed himself in Oregon. It turns out he was facing 30 years in prison for sexually assaulting three victims, each 14 years of age and younger. How an alleged monster like this is able to post bond is beyond my comprehension. Quite alarmingly, Current had been a Pop Warner coach in Silverton, CO. Let's just hope there aren't more cases involving Current from his stint there.

In reviewing their season, MJD posits that the 2011 Broncos were among the most interesting American sports teams of all time.

Due to injuries to Miami T Jake Long and Texans RB Arian Foster, respectively, Ryan Clady and Willis McGahee will be joining Von Miller, Champ Bailey and Elvis Dumervil as Broncos representatives at the Pro Bowl.

Jeff Legwold considers the successes and failures so far of Denver's 2011 Draft; personally, I'm wishing the team had traded back into the first round for Nick Fairley instead of drafting the mush of players they did after Von Miller.

Plus, Legwold says the Broncos need to add more depth in their secondary.

Naturally, Woody finds plenty not to like about the Broncos' non-Tebow QB possibilities.


In addition to McCoy and Allen, Oakland will interview Eagles OC Marty Mornhinweg and have requested permission to speak with Mike Tice, whom the Bears had just recently elevated to OC.

New Orleans will interview Steve Spagnuolo for their DC vacancy; Sean Payton says he expects the Saints will re-sign Drew Brees before he can shop around.

San Diego rehired recent CSU coach Steve Fairchild as an offensive assistant and promoted OL coach Hal Hunter to OC; secondary coach Steve Wilks left to rejoin Ron Rivera in Carolina.

The Bears signed ST coordinator Dave Toub to a two-year extension, while Cards OL coach Russ Grimm says he's staying in Arizona rather than pursue other options.

Alex Marvez is convinced that Caldwell's firing presages Indy cutting Peyton Manning, whom he figures will land somewhere like Washington, Miami or with the Jets.

Mike Tanier on the evolution of the TE position as evidenced by the Patriots and Niners; Matt Bowen ponders the Ravens' options to cover Gronkowski and Hernandez.

Bowen analyzes Vernon Davis' game-winning TD; Chris Brown analyzes the Niners' crack/pull sweep.

In his latest Fabulous/Flops, Bill Barnwell forgoes the obvious choice of Tebow and picks on the supposedly hobbled Elvis Dumervil.

Brian Burke weighs the impact of temperature and wind speed on FG success rates; the ANS probabilities favor a Patriots/Giants SB.

More awards from PFW: Matthew Stafford takes Comeback POY honors, Victor Cruz is Most Improved, Niners kickers David Akers and Andy Lee share their Golden Toe award, Niners GM Trent Baalke is their exec of the year; plus, their All-AFC (including Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller) and All-NFC teams.


Charles Pierce thinks Bill Belichick is the only NFL coach who is truly willing to try different things and make the game fun to watch; naturally, Roger Goodell fluffer extraordinaire Peter King disagrees.

Andy Benoit sees the Giants' win at Green Bay as proof that home field advantage isn't what it used to be; Mike Tanier is ruing the absence of the Rex Ryan-led circus from the playoffs.

Eric Edholm previews the conference championships; add him to the short list of folks taking Elway's Tebow-related comments at face value.

FO's DYAR from last weekend's play.

Bucky Brooks presents his 50-player big board, plus some observations from Shrine Game practice; Greg Gabriel expects two Stanford linemen to go high in the draft.

KSK captionizes the divisional round, including Bill Belichick's true feelings about Tebow; Drew Magary thinks Tebow would fare the worst of QBs having to play barefoot, and he of course thinks Tebow is Michael Vick for rednecks.

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

The Lard