The Daily Lard 12-9-11

Happy Friday Broncos fans! Jeffri Chadiha says the success of Tim Tebow is about more than timely plays on defense and special teams - rather he suggests it's matter of Tebow exploiting the disappearance of quality tackling at the NFL level. He also cites a lack of defensive discipline as evidenced by the Raiders' Week 9 (second half) debacle and Jets S Eric Smith's whiff on Tebow's game-winning TD run, and the shoddy play of Minnesota's secondary last week.

Chadiha thinks the case of Tebow and how John Fox and Mike McCoy catered the offense to match his strengths is all too rare in today's NFL, and he's baffled that other teams haven't done the same for their players - especially offensive coaches like Mikes Shanahan and Martz, who clearly don't have the tools at their disposal (QBs for Shanny, O-line for Martz) to run the offenses that won them rings.

These are all fair and interesting points, to be sure, as is his closing sentiment that Tebow's example is making everyone question their own long-held notions. But let's not get ahead of ourselves here. When four of your six wins have come by four points or less and mostly against poor teams (after trailing for all but 93 minutes in total), it might be a little early to be talking about sea changes and epidemics of highly-paid entitlement and a lack of toughness. After all, it can easily be said that scheduling, injuries, and luck have played a large role in Denver's winning streak, even if luck doesn't fit into the red-meat/macho image of NFL football (more on that in a bit).

Broncos


Andrew Mason and Jeff Legwold reminds us that Devin Hester is coming to town. UGH. Willis McGahee and Eddie Royal were both held out of practice yesterday, while Ryan Clady was limited.

Maybe Josh McDaniels wasn't such a poor evaluator of talent?

Jeff Legwold revisits the Broncos' December problems of recent years and he explains the increased workload of Willis McGahee relative to preseason expectations.

Lindsay Jones checks in on the progress on the field and healthwise of Demaryius Thomas.

John Elway continues to play the PR game sing a different tune on Tebow.

NFL Films previews the game, video of John Fox, Dennis Allen and Mike McCoy speaking after practice, Eric Decker's appearance on NFLNnotes and photos from Gray Caldwell, and Max Henson sums up Allen's comments.

Chris Brown says the first Tebow-to-Thomas TD on Sunday evidenced the greatness of four verticals, and the Vikings' poor execution of the Cover 2.

Luke O'Brien appreciates the unscripted fun that is watching Tebow.

Turns out the poor schmuck who got the tattoo of Tebow-as-centaur on his thigh did lose a bet.

Warrick Dunn says that even if his teammates don't want to hear Tebow's preaching, there's not much they can do at this point, because he's winning.

Bears


 

Josh McCown figures he'll be Caleb Hanie's backup QB this week; S Major Wright again missed practice and appears unlikely to play.

Wright's potential replacement was part of the LSU team that beat Tebow's Gators in 2007, as if stuff like that actually matters.

Lance Briggs doesn't sound too scared of facing Tebow, for what that's worth, and he'll "be frickin' pissed" if Tim and Co. beat the Bears. Meanwhile, he thinks the Bears D has the discipline Chadiha says has been lacking from Denver's prior opponents.

Matt Forte has added the use of a hyperbaric chamber (to the earlier turn to PRP treatment) to speed up his recovery.

Dan McNeil doesn't see why folks allow Tebow's outspoken piousness to get to them, while Dan Pompei likens Tebow to ex-Bears all-run-no-throw QB Bobby Douglass. Finally, Sean Jensen says Denver fans prefer Tebow to Jay Cutler.

Trimmings


The '94 Chargers have lost another player - this time LB Lew Bush to a heart attack just days after he had turned 42. Bad luck, or the real cost of playing in the NFL? Sadly, another ex-NFL player named Lew is in the news posthumously - the brain of Lew Carpenter was found to have evidence of CTE. This will only get worse, especially as the league's website posts moronic headlines like this trumpeting a player's return to the field after suffering a clear concussion. Way to go, NFL.

Similarly, the main storyline from the Steelers' 14-3 victory over the Browns is that Ben Roethlisberger played through a gruesome high-ankle sprain. I wonder if there will be a headline on NFL.com in 20 years when the guy can no longer walk, or has both of his knees replaced. Matt Bowen breaks down the late back-shoulder fade Big Ben used to ice the game, plus he analyzes the NFL's red-zone route tree.

Some more cattle players were sent to pasture placed on IR yesterday - Steelers NT Chris Hoke and RB Jonathan Dwyer, and Bills K Rian Lindell. Speaking of cattle, the NFL is adding eight regional combines to allow players not invited to Indy to strip down in front of a bunch of scouts and GMs.

As Bill Barnwell details, Michael Vick filmed a bizarre commercial on behalf of a Vegas car dealership.

Wow, it turns out that shares of Packers stock are even more useless than one might have imagined.

Mike Tanier is taking the Broncos among his weekly picks, and he says the Broncos are doing a good job of protecting their young QB, unlike Mike Martz.

Burke's probabilities would have given Denver only a 43% likelihood of winning with Jay Cutler around, but without him the Broncos are 55% favorites. And, that may not even be considering Matt Forte's absence.

Sam Monson breaks down a few plays from last week, the MVP race (Von Miller) according to PFF, and Khaled Elsayed explains their new QB grading system which ranks Tebow 26th overall with a score of minus-5.3 (minus-14.9 passing, plus-11.1 rushing, minus-1.5 for penalties).

Scrapple


John Clayton previews the week's games, while Don Banks looks ahead to some possible playoff spoiler games.

Jim Trotter has Tebow ranked #5 on his three-quarter-pole QB rankings. Um, wow. Trotter is either pandering to Tebow fans, or he's crazy as @#$%.

Speaking of crazy, if the season had ended yesterday, the Broncos would be hosting the Steelers in a playoff game.

Doug Farrar's weekly podcast with Greg Cosell, plus what Chris Brown has been reading.

Deadspin's readers did a bangup job of Photoshopping the picture of Rolando McClain getting arrested.

Jason Cole is hearing that as many as 10 QBs could be drafted in the first three rounds next April. Bucky Brooks lists his top receivers and defensive backs, while Rob Rang updates his big board. Word out of USC is that LT Matt Kalil might  stay in school another year - could that mean Matt Barkley will do the same, with the lifting of the school's postseason ban?

KSK's weekly Sex/FF mailbag.

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

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