The Daily Lard 5-23-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! After Denver's second day of OTAs, veteran defensive additions Tracy Porter, Justin Bannan, Mike Adams, and Drayton Florence (videos) all spoke with the media.

Naturally, everyone is happy to be on the same team as Peyton Manning and smitten with the idea of playing with leads. Regarding the league's decision to require thigh and knee pads in 2013, Porter already wears them and is fine with the mandate, while Bannan is skeptical about the benefits and is more concerned with the "integrity of the game," whatever that means. Florence isn't thrilled with the pads requirement and is adjusting to the new standard helmets, which are larger for concussion prevention.

Porter says he's already received plenty of welcome advice from Champ Bailey and admits he worried about a possible suspension in connection with the Saints' bounty system.

Regarding the long-term effects of playing football, Bannan is employing the puzzling strategy of ignoring them, and he says the team is well aware of not wanting to hit Manning in practice.

Adams is already taking on a clear leadership role as he replaces Brian Dawkins as the most veteran safety, even mentoring the players like Rahim Moore who are trying to take his starting gig. Could be that he's just not used to walking in with the job, and/or he's just that kind of guy.

Meanwhile, Champ says his legs are still those of a cornerback and not a safety, and who's going to dispute it? Folks can wring their hands all they want about his age (he'll be 34 next month), but the reality is he's still playing like a top corner, and age is just a number. Why can't Champ be the next Darrell Green, the guy he was drafted to eventually replace in Washington, and who was a full-time starter at corner until just before his 40th birthday? Champ says he'll be the first to know when it's time for him to shift over to safety, although he admits he won't be volunteering that information.

Over on the offensive side of the ball, everyone says they're happy with the physical progress of Manning, and it's quite clear this is now his team. Jacob Tamme says Peyton looks as good as he did pre-2011. Terrell Davis says Manning's leadership is less subtle than was the Duke's, and he says the effects of an NFL career have caught up with him and make it difficult to rise each morning.

Knowshon Moreno acknowledges he's fighting for a job but says that's nothing new. In breaking news, Jeff Legwold reports that the Broncos "liked (Ronnie Hillman) a lot" before drafting him, while also being fond of Oregon's LaMichael James  (49ers) and Temple's Bernard Pierce (Ravens).

Matt Prater and Ty Warren have not yet shown up as they protest their contract situations.

Trimmings

In response to claims by the NFLPA and several current and former Saints like Scott Fujita  that the league has paltry evidence of a bounty system, the Ginger Hammer says the NFL's proof will eventually be made public.

Pending approval from the players association, the league will move the trade deadline back from Week 6 to Week 8 and allow each team to bring back one player from IR midseason.

Arbitrator Stephen Burbank upheld the league's salary cap penalties against Dallas and Washington.

Texans punter Brett Hartmann had his suspension reduced from four games to three after belatedly receiving approval from the league to take his doctor-prescribed ADHD medication. So, why can't Virgil Green do the same? Now, obviously these guys should have gotten that clearance first, but the punishments really don't seem to fit the infraction. Players who commit domestic violence get lesser punishments, as I was just tellling my old friend Brandon Marshall.

Speaking of Marshall, someone needs to fill him in on some recent history. Says BMarsh:

It’s so surreal that I’m here. How do I start with the Broncos and end up with the Bears a few years later? That just doesn’t happen in sports. You don’t have a Pro Bowl receiver and a Pro Bowl quarterback and one of the most talented minds in football in Jeremy Bates back together. It just doesn’t.

As expected, the Bills have extended their deal to play an annual home game in Toronto. Sadly, the Pro Bowl may not yet be dead, and could instead be played in New Orleans next year.

KC signed former Hofstra and Syracuse WR Aaron Weaver; Tampa Bay extended WR Preston Parker for a year.

Tom Brady's dad, who didn't let Tom play football until age 14, says he'd be very hesitant to allow him to play with today's information on head injuries; Johnnie Morton is the most prominent among the latest group of 13 ex-players to sue the league.

Scrapple

Packers WR Donald Driver won Dancing with the Stars; KSK has some pretty good players on its list of the most average ever.

Sam DeWitt is tired of the Tebow coverage in the DP (we'll continue to troll him as long as he does things like publish autobiographies at age 23 and censor backstage photos from Twitter); a young Tebowite had his HS diploma withheld after Tebowing at graduation (his math teacher mom condoned the punishment); perhaps he can express his sorrow by buying his mom a Tebow pillar candle.

Although he thinks Tony Romo is the more talented player, Bucky Brooks says the leadership and resume of Eli Manning make him the better overall QB.

Greg Gabriel explains how he scouts QBs; Greg Cosell still foresees bright futures for Sam Bradford and Josh Freeman despite their sophomore slumps of 2011.

Over at the Sports Reference Blog, an explanation of the Approximate Value system used on PFR.

Here's what Chris Brown has been reading; a terrible trend of college teams renaming coaching positions in exchange for cash has started in Stanford.

Although soda has almost singlehandedly destroyed America's health, Pepsi did put together a really cool video with Kyrie Irving.

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

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