Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mark Kiszla thinks Rod Smith falls a bit short of HOF worthiness (agreed), but he also believes the Broncos should retire his #80.
Yet, with offseason rosters expanded to 90 players these days, retiring numbers gets to be a matter of (im)practicality. Eventually, you start running out of numbers to use, even though you can always unretire a number whenever you bring in a GOAT like PMFM.
Were Smith's number to be retired, what about that of Shannon Sharpe? Smith's practice squad teammate Tom Nalen? They both meant as much to Denver's successes, and as seventh-round picks, the unlikelihood of their personal achievements is almost as impressive as what Smith overcame. And had Mike Shanahan kept his own hubris in check and not allowed Shannon to walk in 2000, all three would be exclusively Denver Broncos.
Denver's Ring of Fame is an exclusive enough club, with Smith set to become the team's 23rd inductee. Let's worry about honoring every deserving Bronco before we consider elevating them to John Elway's level.
Just to add some more context to Mike Klis's article on Ryan Clady from yesterday, let's check some numbers. Out of the 60 tackles who played more than 600 snaps last season, Clady ranked 50th overall, 32nd in pass blocking, and 57th in run blocking according to PFF's grading system. Among the top 58 pass-blocking tackles, Clady rated as 40th in terms of efficiency.
According to the NFL's statistics, Denver ranked 21st out of the 32 teams in rushing yards per attempt behind left tackle. But while all of these rankings appear to reflect poorly upon Clady, here's guessing the change at QB will result in a significant improvement across the board, and for all of Denver's linemen. Now, that's not to say all five starters from 2011 should necessarily be the guys in 2012 (let's see what you've got, Philip Blake), but having Peyton Manning behind center will certainly make a difference.
Nick Canepa, San Diego's version of Woody Paige, at least knows who's the greatest QB of all time, so he's got that going for him.
Speaking of John Elway, here's an old article from Central New York regarding his unfortunate stay with the Evil Empire.
Former Denver CB Chevis Jackson was arrested under suspicion of DWI in Louisiana early Friday morning.
Ex-NFL running back Dorsey Levens is hoping to have his documentary on NFL concussions completed in the next month or two, but he says the extra attention that has come along with pursuing the project has been discomfiting.
Osi Umenyiora had offered to buy LT's SB ring and return it to him if he gained 500,000 more Twitter followers, but it didn't come close to happening. The ring ended up going for a whopping $230,401 via auction.
Word is the Ravens do not intend to try to recoup any money from Terrell Suggs for his injury.
Former Steelers LB Greg Lloyd says NFL football is "a violent freaking game" and that the Ginger Hammer has "really tainted the game" by cracking down on dangerous hits.
In his Sunday column, Dan Pompei likens Russell Wilson and Kellen Moore on the basis of their limited stature.
Khaled Elsayed revisits the best single-game performances by inside linebackers in 2011.
Matt Bowen thinks it's worth taking a shot on Plaxico Burress this year.
Here's what Chris Brown has been reading/watching, and wow - that was some race yesterday, huh?