Good Morning, Broncos fans! The team is gradually getting some more key players back, as Champ Bailey, Marcus Thomas and Knowshon Moreno practiced fully yesterday and figure to play on Sunday. Brian Dawkins, Daniel Fells and Jonathan Wilhite did not practice, while Eddie Royal, Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas still figure to return after next week's bye. According to Andrew Mason, if Fells is kept out by the knee injury he sufferd in Green Bay, there's always the chance that T Chris Clark sees some action at TE, and Quinton Carter would likely step in for Dawkins if his ankle injury prevents him from playing. But Klis says Dawkins, Fells and Wilhite are all expected to suit up.
Meanwhile, Orlando Franklin was excused from yesterday's practice due to the death of his 20-year-old brother. No word on his availablity for Sunday's game, and of course our thoughts go out to Orlando and his family.
As Mason details, the Broncos have not fared well in close games in recent years. But you know what? No bad teams do...
Klis suggests that the reason so many fans feel entitled to decide who plays QB for Denver is that they feel the Peyton Hillis deal proves they know more than the team does. But, Klis also states that the Broncos just don't feel that Tebow is ready to be a starting QB; not necessarily that he's not capable or lacks the potential to be one.
More verbal support for Orton from John Fox and Brandon Lloyd via Lindsay Jones. These are just cliched, hackneyed quotes, folks - just like every other one. Those calling for Tebow to play will probably interpret them as Lloyd being a selfish jerk or Fox as being clueless, while those in the Orton camp will read them as Kyle having the full backing of the coaches and players who know more than we do. But really, what are these guys supposed to say? This is all they can say, folks, else their quotes get splashed across The Worldwide Leader and then we've got even more drama for our mamas.
Arnie Stapleton on the emergence of Eric Decker, who reshaped his body this year after his 2009 foot surgery had restricted his workouts and caused him to be too top-heavy last season.
Legwold on the different
alignments personnel groupings the Broncos have been utilizing on defense. Alignments? Realy?
Part 1 and Part 2 of John Fox's Monday presser, and video of Fox and Kyle Orton speaking after practice yesterday. Kenny Legan has notes and photos from practice, Gray Caldwell shares some player quotes regarding the importance of Sunday's game, and much of the team was part of a blood drive at SAFaMH yesterday.
Among his weekly film breakdowns, Andy Benoit checks in on the Chargers' win over the Dolphins and finds their game plan was to attack S Yeremiah Bell in coverage. Obviously, this theme could present itself again this week with Brian Dawkins; Benoit also says the Chargers' front seven and safeties played notably well Sunday.
Khaled Elsayed also analyzes the game and sees good things from Ryan Mathews, Eric Weddle as living up to his contract so far, and not so much for Jeromey Clary, who should have a fun time trying to stop Von Miller.
Kevin Acee on Philip Rivers' atypical start to the season, although he has a remarkable 129.2 QB Rating in the fourth quarter so far.
Well, at least it appears we won't be seeing Antonio Gates on Sunday - so we've got that going for us, although CB Quentin Jammer, WR Malcom Floyd and C Nick Hardwick all returned to practice and should play.
San Diego has been incredibly efficient, that is until they get inside the 20. Let's hope that trend continues Sunday...
Voluminous notes on every Chargers player via Acee.
Legwold says the Chargers are utilizing their backs more in the passing game and haven't give their WRs aside from Vincent Jackson much action.
The Chiefs signed RB Shaun Draughn to their PS and released OL Butch Lewis to create room for him.
So, there's been something of a controversy in Cleveland about Peyton Hillis not playing with strep throat a couple weeks ago, apparently some of his teammates thought it was a contract-related decision not to play. You know what doesn't help? His agent Kennard McGuire admitting that he advised Hillis not to play, that's what. FWIW, McGuire is the same agent that's been guiding Brandon Marshall over the years, and he's also the third agent Hillis has employed in the past year. Gotta wonder how this would have played out in Denver...
Not to be outdone by his fellow egomaniac Brett Favre, Terrell Owens says he'll be ready to play in a month or so.
Benoit examines the importance of having a true #1 WR to stretch out the defense.
Mike Lombardi says Handshake Haley's sideline $hitfits are getting really old in KC, while of course Andy Reid still has no clue as to how to manage the game clock.
Pat Kirwan thinks the league's reliance on the passing game is resulting in more injured QBs, while Bucky Brooks is puzzled that the Jets have changed their identity to that of a throwing team with a QB who is a sub-55% passer.
Matt Bowen wonders why Josh McDaniels hasn't gotten the Rams' offense off the ground yet. Could be the craptastic set of wideouts...
Jack Bechta tells us why NFL players have so much financial trouble after their playing days are done.
Gil Brandt on the surprises and disappointments among teams so far.
Weekly goodies from PFF: 32 observations from Nate Jahnke, stars and flops of Week 4, impressions from the week (including the stellar performance of Brandon Lloyd), and the ROY race (of course, still led by Von Miller).
More quarter-pole conclusions from MJD, who thinks Tim Tebow should play this year, but not necessarily before Brady Quinn does.
Ted Sundquist explains what he's looking for when he scouts a cornerback.
Jason Whitlock points out that two of Bill Parcells' wonder boys (Scott Pioli and Jeff Ireland) aren't doing so hot at replicating his success.
Mike Freeman reminds us that Warren Moon was spot on as far as Cam Newton goes (remember how crazy he sounded and was made out to be, probably by this author, too?) and says Tiki Barber is finally realizing that maybe football doesn't need him anymore.
KSK captionizes Week 4 action.
Fortunately for all of us, ESPN was already thinking of shelving Are You Ready For Some Football before Hank Williams, Jr. made it an easy decision.
Matt Yoder of AA on the enduring greatness of Peter Gammons. I suppose the NFL equivalent would be Dr. Z, for whom we're still wishing a full recovery.
RIP, Steve Jobs. You undoubtedly left the world a much cooler place than you found it, and it will miss your extraordinary vision. Oh, and your products have been powering The Daily Lard for over a year, and at times, You Got Served - so, thanks for that.