The Daily Lard 5-8-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! At surface, the timing of Denver's firing of Brian Xanders may be a bit puzzling to some, or an indication that John Elway was unhappy with the job Xanders did with the recent draft.

But as the always astute Andrew Mason notes, there was no better time - not a season ago, not months ago. By letting Xanders stick around for a year and a half post-McDaniels, Elway gave the X-Man a chance to prove his worth, also buying time for John to himself to ease his way into running the organization. And by keeping Brian for the draft, the Duke avoided a repeat of the glaring error McDaniels made when he axed Jim and Jeff Goodman just two months prior to the 2009 Draft, wasting months and months of work. (Oddly, Mike Klis says McDaniels held off on major changes for a year, but the firing of the Goodmans and concurrent elevation of Xanders to GM stand clearly as evidence to the contrary.)

From the cynic's perspective, this also theoretically buys Elway another draft in the public's eye. If 2012 goes less swimmingly than the Peyton Manning-fueled anticipation would suggest, what are the chances that Jim Saccomano & Co. trumpet the 2013 offseason as the first one free of McDaniels and Xanders's input? In reality, #7 was likely running the show last weekend anyway, and the departure of Xanders was a mere formality at this point. But again - there is no hiding the fact that it's Elways show now.


Elvis Dumervil is back in Denver and joined the team for offseason conditioning, and he spoke yesterday about having blown up Peyton Manning's phone with recruiting texts.

Becoming an NFL second-round pick hasn't excused Derek Wolfe from his duties shoveling pig poop.

Mike Klis admits to having lower expectations for Peyton Manning than most, although he figures Peyton could benefit from the mental vacation provided by a year spent off the field.

Reebok is no longer outfitting the NFL's jerseys, but the company will maintain its relationship with the Manning brothers and shoot a commercial with them next month in Denver.

PFF's Scott Spratt considers the FF ramifications of the AFCW teams' draft hauls.


Ex-Charger Drew Brees participated in Sunday's paddle-out to honor Junior Seau; tragically, a woman nearly drowned during the tribute, and is reportedly in serious condition after having been rescued.

Brandon Marshall, who has not yet been cleared for his recent NYC dustup, wrote an op-ed for the Sun-Times stressing the importance of seeking help for mental health issues, especially for males who are conditioned from a young age to "be tough."

The Minnesota House approved a bill for a new Vikings home after lowering the amount of public subsidies; the measure must next pass the state Senate.

If their new stadium is finished in time, the Niners may have a chance to move out of Candlestick a year earlier than previously planned.

Saints interim coach Joe Vitt claims he did not tell Anthony Hargrove to lie to NFL investigators about the team's bounty system.

After several years on the proverbial hot seat, it appears Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith are about to get new contracts with the Texans, who yesterday signed K Shayne Graham.

Raiders safety Tyvon Branch signed his franchise tender, and the two sides are still working on a long-term deal; San Diego released LB Travis LaBoy.

Buffalo gave RB Fred Jackson a two-year extension; Matt Bowen recalls the former practice-squadder as a remarkably hard worker.

Minnesota cut K Ryan Longwell; New Orleans brought back DT Remi Ayodele after he spent a year in Minnesota; Tampa Bay added WR Tiquan Underwood, adding to Greg Schiano's growing collection of Rutgers alums; Ravens CB Cary Williams signed his restricted tender.

Patriots tackle Matt Light officially announced his retirement yesterday.

The Bengals joined the Jets in expressing interest in WR Braylon Edwards.

It appears new Niners WR A.J. Jenkins will be joining Jerry Rice on the legendary Hill, whether he likes it or not.


Greg Cosell shares thoughts on the NFCW teams' drafts.

Khaled Elsayed revisits the top single-game performances by quarterbacks and running backs last season.

Ben Koo wonders if the expanded Thursday Night Football schedule will lead to an end to the silly holdouts by TV providers not yet carrying NFLN.

Wes Bunting breaks down presumptive 2013 top picks Matt Barkley and Landry Jones.

Christmas Ape interprets PK's MMQB. And yes, there is such a thing as Phil Rivers-inspired art.

Deservedly, Sarah Phillips has already become a nobody as quickly as her star had risen, working in some AT&T store in Oregon. Of course, she'll probably start scamming people and get fired like she did from T-Mobile.

More tributes to the late Adam Yauch via Grantland and Deadspin.

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of Allen Iverson's legendary Practice?! presser.

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

The Lard