The Daily Lard 10-21-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Chris Benson previews Sunday's game for PFF, and he's looking forward to seeing what Denver's young wideouts have to offer - he says Demaryius Thomas provides the most potential, and that Eric Decker must prove that he can get open without Brandon Lloyd commanding the attention of opposing defenses. Benson writes that winning the game (for either team) will be a matter of committing to the run and not making big/costly mistakes in the passing game, and he points out that Joe Mays has been very much hit or miss (literally) in run defense. In fact, Mays is among the leaders among inside backers in terms of defensive stops, but he's got a stomach-turning number of whiffed tackles (eight in five games).

Finally, Benson is interested to see how Orlando Franklin fares (along with whatever TE help Denver provides him) in keeping Dolphins pass rusher Cameron Wake away from Tim Tebow, and he considers it another important key to the game.


Andrew Mason revisits Brandon Marshall's career with the Broncos and helps us get to know new S Rafael Bush a bit better.

Notes from Mike Klis: Julius Thomas may not be back for Sunday's game, and Matt Prater apparently sports one of those ridiculous looking necklaces baseball players have been wearing of late.

Elvis Dumervil is finally getting back to health and lifting weights after being hampered by his shoulder injury.

Pat Bowlen continues to move even further from the spotlight; he stepped down from his position co-chairing the NFL labor committee with Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.

Jeff Legwold revisits the Broncos' QB changes of the post-Elway years, and boy does the mind ever race when considering what would have happened to this franchise had Shanny not yanked Plummer in '06...

Legwold says the Broncos' defense must play better in the red zone (or let opponents get there less often to begin with, perhaps?), and he checks in on the backlash in Miami over honoring Tebow and the Gators on the Hurricanes' home field.

NFL Films previews the game, and the Playbook crew breaks down the matchups. I know he drafted Megatron, but it's still funny to hear Matt Millen evaluate a WR, and it's even funnier that he thinks BMarsh actually did well against Darrelle Revis on Monday. Meanwhile, Sterling Sharpe doesn't believe Tebow has the wideouts at his disposal to succeed.

Chris Hall reports from practice for Broncos TV; video of John Fox, Dennis Allen and Mike McCoy speaking after. Gray Caldwell shares notes and photos from practice, Kenny Legan focuses on the defensive task in Miami, and Max Henson examines the showdown between Champ and BMarsh.

There will apparently be a very special spectator in the house for Sunday's game (starts with Je- and ends with -sus).


Greg Gabriel evaluated the play of a few Miami rookies against the Jets Monday night, and he was impressed by RB Daniel Thomas and G Mike Pouncey, less so by WR Clyde Gates.

Marshall and Reggie Bush were back at practice yesterday for Miami.

So, who will the fans be cheering for on Sunday in Miami? The Dolphins are wondering just that.

The coming of Tebow helped the Dolphins get near a sellout of the game and avert a local blackout, and the team bought out the rest of the unsold tickets for the second straight home game to ensure that.

Mike Berardino sees plenty of similarities between the Dolphin's 1-15 season of 2007 and this one.

BMarsh will visit Harvard Medical School on Monday to talk about borderline personality disorder.


The Bills are nearing a new contract with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Jerome Harrison reportedly has a brain tumor, and its discovery is what caused the trade of Harrison to Philly for Ronnie Brown to be voided.

Some poor guy named Ross Ventrone has been on a shuttle in and out of Foxboro a zillion times over the past 18 months.

The Packers' receivers are making each other pay for their dropped passes but are in turn profiting off each other's dropped passes. Huh?

Brian Burke's game probabilities give Denver a 47% chance of winning Sunday, while Mike Tanier is taking the Broncos among his weekly picks.

Chris Brown examines the double smash concept with a RB going deep up the middle of the field, plus more goodies from Buddy Ryan's playbook.

Doug Farrar breaks down some of the defensive concepts Rob Ryan's Cowboys utilized against the Patriots last week.


In previewing the week's games, Bucky Brooks shares his X-factor players, Mike Silver picks the Broncos among his locks, John Clayton brings nothing new to the table as usual, plus Doug Farrar's weekly podcast with Greg Cosell.

The PFF guys examine a few plays from last week and find that Kyle Orton went deep very rarely in five games.

Ross Tucker doesn't see the point of making coaches shake hands at the end of games. Gee, how about sportsmanship and decency?

Ted Sundquist examines fumble rates, and he's (thankfully) apparently been going to Caps Lock Anonymous meetings. Now, about those quotation marks...

Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots will be calling Sunday's game for CBS.

KSK's latest Sex/FF mailbag.

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

The Lard