The Daily Lard 12-17-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! PFF has a new feature called The Scramble, featuring the writing of four different analysts about a given topic. The first installment covers late-round rookies who've excelled, and Chris Benson chose to profile Denver nickel corner Chris Harris, who of course wasn't even invited to the Combine, even less drafted or talked about by draft pundits.

As Benson sees it, Harris has been the most valuable rookie corner in the league, and in his limited play (331 snaps) Harris ranks second only to Antoine Winfield in terms of run stopping rate. Benson doesn't see Harris becoming a shutdown corner due to the physical limitations which kept him so far under the radar in the first place, but he thinks his smarts, physicality and work ethic could help him peak as a #2 corner or career nickel corner. Either result would be great if Harris were drafted perhaps anywhere outside the top 20 picks or so. But from a guy not drafted or invited to Indy? Beyond remarkable.

Of course, Harris isn't alone - several key Broncos went undrafted, including Wesley Woodyard, Britton Colquitt, Matt Prater and Lonie Paxton.


Scott Kacsmar takes an exhaustive look at the comebacks of John Elway and Tim Tebow and the conservativeness of their respective offenses. The conclusion? Dan Reeves (an offensive coach) was far less conservative than he's since been made out to be, and didn't necessarily hamstring Elway with his playcalling. Typical of Kacsmar, it's an excellent column.

Notes on Denver: Andre' Goodman and Brian Dawkins were limited in practice, David Bruton again did not practice, and all three are listed as questionable.

Phil Simms thinks Tebow is actually John Fox's ideal QB, and that the Broncos are playing the same brand of ball as the Niners and Seahawks are doing.

Lindsay Jones on the fine season Wesley Woodyard is having, plus the continuation of his own impactful contributions to the community.

Stuart Zaas examines the components of a Denver FG, plus practice photos and injury reports from Max Henson.

Arnie Stapleton previews the game for the AP.

J.J. Cooper examines young pass rushers and finds that Von Miller has exceeded the lofty expectations bestowed upon him, has displayed a variety of moves, and has had very few cheap sacks.

Mike Tanier is taking the Pats in his game previews, and he points out the Denver D has allowed just 7.5 points per first half over the past six games, and he writes, "The gap between what Tebow accomplishes and what he gets credit for grows every time the Broncos’ defense hands him the ball on a turnover or Matt Prater caps a brief drive with a 59-yard field goal, but the same could be said of Brady a decade ago. Buried beneath the hysteria may be a quarterback growing, if not into greatness, at least into durable, affable, scramble-oriented decency."

Nate Winkler previews the game for CHFF and compares early Tebow to early Tom Brady (How come no Real QB Rating?).

Jeff Darlington focuses on the challenge facing Denver's defense tomorrow, while Peter King says the Pats will set out to jump to a big early lead.

Navin Johnson at Daily Dickpunch sticks up for Josh McDaniels, as does Adam Schefter.

Video of John Fox speaking after practice, the Playbook crew and Brian Billick preview the game for NFLN, while Mike Lombardi says Tebow is going to have to prove himself every week.

In typical Woody Paige egomaniacal bluster, he makes it sound like he was the only guy standing behind John Elway in 1983.

Marion Barber is not talking about last Sunday; naturally, the game notched Denver their fifth Never Say Never award of the season.

Tim Tebow

Mike Pesca on Tebowmania for NPR. (h/t RSH)

Chris Gasper hilariously frames the matter of Tebow pushing his religion as being the same as other athletes endorse companies, as if Tim doesn't have those same endorsement deals or like athletes talk about their sponsors in every interview the give. Huh?

SNL may do a skit tonight were Tebow meets Jesus in the locker room.

The Honey Badger will jump on the Tebow bandwagon if Denver wins tomorrow.

Bill Cosby says Tim's play is "almost biblical."

A blogger is trying to capture part of the Tebow spotlight to raise money in support of women's choice.

Rick Reilly and Skip Bayless talking Tebow together on ESPN means Harold Camping may have been right.


New England signed LB Jerod Mayo to a five-year extension.

Mike Silver reminds us that Tom Brady was much more of an underdog than Tebow, and that he's hard-working and a great leader too.

Greg Bedard theorizes on how the Pats might try to stop Tebow.

Tony Massarotti's pre-game questions.

Key matchups according to the Globe.


It's official - Kyle Orton will be starting for KC against the 13-0 Packers.

Cleveland ruled out Colt McCoy for tomorrow's game and placed TE Benjamin Watson on IR.

The Bears cut loose Sam Hurd and Jerry Angelo hilariously claimed the team did an extensive background check before signing the guy this year, and Hurd's lawyer claims the WR didn't sell drugs to teammates and fellow NFL players.

NFL exec Ray Anderson is pushing for the league use post-1970 technology on sidelines. (h/t RSH)

The SB 46 poster is out, and Chris Chase is thankful for the lack of Indy 500 references.

Bill Barnwell reminds us that the Colts have a pretty bad roster thanks to some horrible draft choices over the last several years.

Nate Jackson doesn't think James Harrison was trying to hurt Colt McCoy.

Mike Lombardi previews the week's games and says Rahim Moore's missed tackle on Marion Barber may have been the key to Sunday's win.


The week's finest quotes as curated by Rivers McCown for FO.

Mark Wald is going with Denver and taking 6 points, Unsilent Majority is taking New England and laying 7, and Bill Simmons is taking 7.5 and picking the Broncos against his boys.

Greg Gabriel explains how the NFL's College Advisory Committee works, while Wes Bunting lists top senior CB prospects.

Rudy of Notre Dame fame, not such a good dude.

Here's what Brian Burke has been reading.

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

The Lard