The Daily Lard 11-5-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! You know how John Fox never says anything at all when he speaks? Well, either this Tebow thing is starting to really get to him, or Sam Farmer of the LA Times has some embarrassing photos of Fox - because the coach was pretty blunt in responding to the recent criticism of Denver's game plans and playcalling (emphasis mine):

As a coach or decision-maker in an NFL building, you don't care what round they're drafted in, you don't care who drafted them. You don't care if they're short, fat, whatever. You just care: Can they play? So all that other stuff is poppycock. The problem is, there's so much misinformation. For people that study it, you'd see that we've probably had more shotgun or spread offense than anybody in the league over the last two weeks. We're up 30% of what we were in the first four games. The goofy thing is, it's almost like if he doesn't have success it will be anybody's fault but his. It's almost that kind of polarizing thing. They'll say it could be his supporting cast, or the type of plays. At the end of the day, we are what we are. We're doing everything we can to win, and we're finding out about a young quarterback, good, bad or indifferent.

Sounds like a coach who's pretty much fed up, perhaps even one who didn't actually want to play Tebow - because wouldn't he be speaking in a more protective manner than he does here, especially after just two weeks with Tebow at QB? Here's Doug Farrar's reaction to these same statements.


Photos from practice and injury reports for both teams via Kenny Legan: Willis McGahee, Orlando Franklin and Julius Thomas are probable, Quinton Carter is questionable, and Cassius Vaughn and Virgil Green are out. RB Darren McFadden and CB Chris Johnson will be out for Oakland.

Jeff Legwold and Andrew Mason on the sackless season of Elvis Dumervil: thanks to his season-ending injury last year, Doom hasn't had a sack since signing his big contract.

Notes from Mason and Mike Klis.

NFL Films and the Playbook crew preview the game, John Fox chats with Chris Hall for Broncos TV, and Denver's defensive leaders talk Oakland.

Legwold explains what the Broncos need to do to fare better tomorrow than they did last week against Detroit.

Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf will be calling Sunday's game.

If you're annoyed by Tim Tebow coverage, skip this

Ryan Wilson, who is objective because he said something nice about Tebow's play once has detailed every throw Tebow has made this year, says it ain't the playcalling. Rather, he writes that Tebow "holds the ball in the pocket, either not knowing which receiver to target, or struggling to decipher the defenses he's facing" and "doesn't appear capable of making NFL throws" and "doesn't have the accuracy, timing or arm strength to regularly make throws that can beat NFL defenses." Wilson concludes by writing that Tim "hasn't shown any signs that he's a capable week-to-week NFL starter." Hater!

Meanwhile, Tommy Craggs of Deadspin explains precisely why it's ridiculous to react to Stephen Tulloch Tebowing, and X > Tebow with indignation. Craggs says that when Tebow genuflects on the field, "he is engaging in a very conscious act of moral grandstanding" which is a product of practicing "a religion built on conspicuous faith," and Craggs believes that "tiptoeing around his faith does nothing except make us dumber." Craggs also explains that "'X > Tebow' is, at bottom, a media protest. It's about ESPN. It's about the brainlessly worshipful prose of stories...that seem determined to sell us the idea that Tebow is a viable NFL quarterback."

Shannon Sharpe uses metaphors like only he can to explain why the Broncos don't need to see more from Tebow to know he's not the answer.

Kevin Wildes of Grantland explains why he's rooting for Tebow.

Mike Klis sums up Tebowmania rather succinctly.


Sebastian Janikowski will test his injured leg in practice today, and if he's a no go then Oakland will again sign Dave Rayner to kick in his absence. LB Rolando McClain practiced yesterday, is listed as questionable, but is expected to play tomorrow.

As has been expected all week, Michael Bush will start at RB for Oakland in place of Darren McFadden.

Steve Corkran's always comprehensive notes:

“He’s a good athlete, Man,” (Jarvis) Moss said. “He’s a strong dude. He can definitely hurt you with his legs.”When asked about whether Tebow can hurt a team with his throwing arm, Moss paused for 13 seconds. “Uh, I don’t want to answer that question because I really want to … Never mind. I can’t answer that question,” Moss said.

The Black Hole fans are trying to revamp their image by showing their softer side. Hmm, maybe Harold Camping was right...perhaps just a little off with his calculations?


Sadly (alarmingly?), modern NFL helmets aren't always better at preventing concussions than the old leather ones they used to wear. (via NYT)

Peyton Hillis reinjured his hamstring yesterday and is likely to miss another two weeks. Meanwhile, Hillis and his contract dispute have become such a distraction to the Browns locker room that a group of veterans sat him down as part of an intervention of sorts. So, have any of the young stars that Josh McDaniels traded away not shown to be self-absorbed "me" players? And, is it possible to be upset about the departures of Hillis, Cutler, Marshall and Scheffler and also trumpet the intangibles and leadership of Tim Tebow?

There's a growing fear in Minnesota that the Vikings are going to head out of the state.

The CEO of FedEx is reportedly talking to Wayne Weaver about taking a minority stake in the Jaguars, but Weaver denied it.

Apparently, Bill Belichick used to pay ex-Patriot Chad Eaton to start fights in practice with players who were going through the motions.

The jerks in the league office say that survey about All-22 footage is nothing even close to an indication that such a thing will ever be made available to the public. (Thanks, RSH!)

Pat Kirwan, Mike Lombardi, Peter King and Clark Judge preview Week 9.

Bill Barnwell turns to the NFC teams in his midseason report.

J.J. updates pressure numbers and says three of Tebow's seven sacks last week came when he held the ball for longer than three seconds.


Here's a poorly-formatted list of interesting statistical information via CHFF.

Rivers McCown curates the week's best quotes for FO.

Unsilent Majority is taking the Raiders and laying the 8 points among his weekly picks, while Mark Wald isn't inspired by Oakland's play and thinks that if Denver can keep it close Tebow will figure out a way to beat them.

Wes Bunting strongly disputes the notion that Andrew Luck doesn't have a strong arm, while Greg Gabriel is mightily impressed by Matt Barkley and thinks Landry Jones will be a top 10 pick as well.

Bill Simmons examines the fascinating career of one Eddie Murphy.

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

The Lard