The Daily Lard 5-5-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Woody Paige thinks the Broncos' players should be gathering en masse to practice and basically points the finger at Kyle Orton to take charge in doing so. Aside from the possibility that Paige is just doing his best to turn more people against Orton and thus run him out of town (anyone wonder what the unassuming guy did to Woodrow?), it's an interesting point to consider. Orton is in a most curious position - he's the team's labor rep, is under contract for just one season (albeit for over $7 million), has been the focus of trade speculation for several months, and has been discussed by the Broncos' front office first as being the starting QB to more recently being just one half of an open competition for the job. Orton is also competing with a guy in Tim Tebow who sells jerseys and tickets and is his polar opposite in both his image as a player and in demeanor, and the only way Orton could ever win in the court of public opinion (for what that's worth) is by winning big.

That's not to say Orton is in an unwinnable position, nor to speculate that he's already assuming his time is up in Denver - he's a professional athlete and has competitive pride; we're not talking about some pushover who just wants to collect a paycheck. But what nobody would ever call Orton (at least from the outsider's view) is a rah-rah guy or an obvious leader of men. So my questions are these: Would it be within Kyle Orton's character to call up his 80 or so teammates and try to gather them up? Does he have the "pull" with his teammates to actually get them to show up? What does Orton have personally to gain by doing so? Is it reasonable to expect of Orton what Philip Rivers, Tony Romo, Matt Cassel and others have been up to? Keep in mind, there haven't been (to my knowledge) stories about Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or Jay Cutler (just threw that in for a chuckle) rounding up their mates to play. I happen to think Woody is making something of nothing in pursuit of his own agenda, but I'd love to hear what y'all think...


BTW, Woody writes in the above column that the Broncos' draftees have in fact received their playbooks.

Rahim Moore responds to fan emails for the DP, and claims that he was a Broncos and Bucs fan growing up. He's either telling the truth or a really good lie, because he actually knows what model of football cleats Terrell Davis used to wear. He also says that after the first round went by, he knew he'd be a Bronco and knows his Denver history - at just 21 years old, he's aware of Steve Atwater and Dennis Smith and the types of players they were.

Here's an AP story on Von Miller, presumably by either Arnie Stapleton or Pat Graham.

In his latest mailbag, Woody writes that the Broncos have no interest in Albert Haynesworth and is most definitely getting really mad that people who write on the internet may work harder than he does at covering the Broncos. How does he show it? By taking aim (multiple times) at the low-hanging fruit that are the dime-a-dozen rumor-mongering football blogs out there (You'll let us know if we ever move in that direction, right?). Wow, Woody - you're more of a pro than the kids who actually are sitting in their moms' basements writing 60 mock drafts per year and spreading homemade rumors on Twitter. Congratulations! Woody does provide us with one interesting tidbit, though - that Denver had no real interest in Marvin Austin. He also revisits the claim that Kris Jenkins and John Fox did not part ways on good terms, and sees only 10-15 sacks out of the Elvis Dumervil/Robert Ayers duo at DE.

Legwold responds to a reader email about the direction of the Broncos' defense and how they'll address the DT position.

John Fox was in Carolina yesterday for the pro-am preceding the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow.

Warren Sapp and Solomon Wilcots discussed Tim Tebow/Kyle Orton on NFLN yesterday.


Mike Silver writes that Roger Goodell's image has taken some big hits of late with the players.

The Bills have canned their chief scout Tom Modrak just days after the draft.

Chris Simms was acquitted in his pot case.

La Canfora thinks the lockout will result in a meager FA class this year.

Rashard Mendenhall apologized. Well, sort of. Whitlock puts it all in perspective.

Alan Schwarz on the Dave Duerson case and what it says about the league's disability plan.

Pat Kirwan said that without coaching, getting playbooks to the rookies won't really help much.

Andy Benoit reviews the 2010 Rams.

Here's what Chris Brown has been reading/watching.

Post-fact Mockery

Among his latest draft reactions, Mike Lombardi likes the Broncos' choice of Von Miller but questions their lack of a new DT or two.

Bucky Brooks reviews the drafts of the AFC North and NFC North teams.

Here are the first-round picks from last week that produced the strongest reactions from Wes Bunting.

Jonathan Comey did some research on who's drafted well over the past ten years.

Matt Bowen on why Randall Cobb was a nice acquisition for the Pack.

Lombardi on the blown trade between Chicago and Baltimore.

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

The Lard