The Daily Lard 12-11-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As another slate of NFL games chock-full of bone-jarring tackles approaches, another sobering article is here to remind us of the long-term consequences facing the players whom we'll soon be imploring to lay down a harder hit, or to get an extra yard or two for the benefit of our fantasy teams. Peter King and SI spoke with 39 of the 48 players (46 are living) from the Week 1 roster of the 1986 Bengals, and they of course found a wide range of maladies, from the aches and pains inherent of any physical sport or labor to the precursors of dementia and worse.

How these ex-players (gladiators?) look back upon their careers is similarly expansive, from CB Ray Horton's I'd do it again in a minute, to S David Fulcher's it wasn't worth it whatsoever, to TE Eric Kattus not wanting his own sons to take up the sport at all. If I have a son someday, I doubt I'd encourage him to play the game. Yet here we are...

Broncos


Andrew Mason and Jeff Legwold each share their five keys to the game.

Mike Klis on the lasting imprint of Josh McDaniels on the Denver offense, plus a look at the franchise's current leadership.

Lindsay Jones shares a Q&A with Brodrick Bunkley.

Mark Kiszla is ready to declare Tim Tebow a winner and Jay Cutler a loser.

Frank Bruni thinks Tim Tebow's use of his platform to espouse his religion is a self-righteous bait-and-switch, although he finds the backlash to it inappropriately vigorous.

Doug Farrar and Ryan Wilson react to the Alex Marvez story about Elway and Tebow from yesterday.

Marshall Faulk and Kurt Warner talk Tebow on NFLN, plus Max Henson previews the game for the official site.

LJ profiles fellow Broncos blogger Ian Henson (his site is The Orange Page), who used to go to the same NYC bar for Denver games I did - SideBar.

Bears


Dan Pompei on the gaping hole that is Matt Forte's absence, plus he says the Bears called on Marc Bulger, who told them he wasn't interested in getting killed in Mike Martz's offense again unretiring. Plus, the team gave Donovan McNabb plenty of consideration but never contacted him.

Matt Bowen recalls what it's like for a visiting player to encounter the Mile High altitude, plus he explains the Bears' defensive responsibilities against Tebow.

Dan McGrath on the current state of the Bears and the perception of Tebow.

David Haugh says Martz must set aside his ginormous ego and simplify the offense to give Chicago their best chance.

Vaughn McClure on the backlash to Tebow's vocal piety as seen by other highly religious players, like Devin Hester.

Trimmings


In his Sunday column, Dan Pompei focuses on the turnaround of Chris Johnson and the Titans, highlights the play of Brodrick Bunkley, and says he expects Josh McDaniels to end up in KC next season - as either the replacement for Handshake Haley or the OC working under a defensive-minded HC.

Add Bowen to the list of folks anxiously awaiting the matchup of Tebow and the Bears D.

AFC and NFC Whispers as heard by PFW: they're hearing Hue Jackson has lost some credibility with his players after allowing Rolando McClain to play last week following his arrest.

Greg Gabriel evaluates rookie play from Thursday's Browns/Steelers game.

The Sports Reference sites have improved their navigational features, which I find very exciting.

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

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