Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Now that the 2012 schedule has been released, Judy Battista offers a fascinating look at how the schedule makers come up with their final product. And as silly as the leadup to the announcement each year may seem, with talk that the slate may or may not be made public on a certain day, there's apparently good reason for it.
What starts as 14,000 skeds gets narrowed down to 150, and those are painstakingly studied to come up with the best possible schedule, all the while accounting for religious holidays, weather, time zones, baseball playoffs, and even concerts. And that's before they even get to requests made by the teams themselves, nixing lengthy road trips, and trying to keep the TV networks happy.
As Battista tells it, it wasn't Peyton Manning's presence that spurred the league to schedule Denver for five primetime games, as was written by every football writer under the sun this week. Rather, it was Tim Tebow. The SNF opener which will have Denver hosting Pittsburgh in a rematch of their playoff meeting? That was already likely to happen pre-Peyton, and the league was looking to capitalize on Tebow's immense popularity with plenty of night games for the Broncos this season. So, they would have happened anyway - Denver will just have a better chance now of winning those games.
On the topic of scheduling, Scott Kacsmar turns his usual exhaustive research to time zone differences and how they affect teams. We've all known that Denver has always struggled with 1pm ET kickoffs, and Kacsmar's work susses that out. However, Denver has fared better with those early kickoffs over the past five years than their MT brethren Cardinals, or any of the West Coast teams, for that matter. That trend will need to continue this year, as the Broncos have four early starts on their schedule, all within a seven-week period, including three within four weeks.
Mike Klis says the Broncos made two trade offers for Eagles corner Asante Samuel, including one for a fifth- or sixth-round pick and another for an undisclosed player. But according to Klis, Denver does not expect to acquire Samuel after talks have cooled down. This development appears to confirm that Andre' Goodman's release was financially motivated, and that the team could very well spend a high pick on a corner.
Jeff Legwold says Denver was more interested in Brandon Weeden when the team still had Tebow, and since acquring Manning and dumping Tim, they've turned their attention to the younger Brock Osweiler, who supposedly is trying to raise his arm slot with help from Noel Mazzone, the guy who attempted to perform miracles with Tebow's delivery. Legwold says the team has also heavily scouted Russell Wilson, Kellen Moore, Kirk Cousins, and Ryan Lindley.
Lindsay Jones focuses on the comments of Colorade native Dreessen.
Sam DeWitt goes through the Broncos' post-bye week schedule and predicts an 11-5 finish.
The Commish met with the mayor of Los Angeles to talk about having a team there, and he will meet with the Minnesota guv to talk about the Vikings' future there.
With today's deadline for RFA offer sheets, it's expected that Steelers WR Mike Wallace isn't going anywhere.
Ground was broken on a new stadium for the Niners in Santa Clara.
A mistrial was declared in the murder trial of ex-Raider Anthony Smith, who will be tried again
Mike Mayock doesn't think it's a big deal if a prospect gets busted for smoking pot in an isolated incident.
Similarly, Mike Tanier finds it irritating that scouts get to take down prospects with vague claims that they take plays off or have character issues. Plus, his ranking of the top running backs in Falcons history.
Tanier scouts Georgia lineman Cordy Glenn; Matt Bowen breaks down Stanford TE Coby Fleener and Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins; Jonathan Bales evaluates ND safety Harrison Smith; Russ Lande scouts Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon and says teams have cooled on Memphis DT Dontari Poe after checking his film; Bucky Brooks thinks Poe, Ryan Tannehill, and BSU's Doug Martin are all overhyped at this point.
Chuck Klosterman reads between the lines to find that all of the top prospects have major flaws which should keep them from being drafted.
Khaled Elsayed reviews the 08-10 drafts of the Saints.
Oh, my. Terrell Owens will be on Dr. Phil's show in a couple weeks. Meanwhile, Donovan McNabb thinks he himself is a HOFer and part of his proof is that Peyton Manning couldn't win the SB, until, you know, he won the SB.
In Mike Silver's annual mock draft, he has the Broncos ending up with none other than Philip Rivers.
Ben Stockwell examines A- and B-Gap rush defense data and finds the Broncos struggled defending the B-gaps.