The Daily Lard 8-15-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Legwold checks in on DT Marcus Thomas, who has of course played for a different defensive coordinator in each of his five NFL seasons with the Broncos. Thomas, who will only be turning 26 next month, tells Legwold that, "Every year it seemed like I was trying to learn a new system, learn something new," followed by the obligatory, "I feel like this defense suits me and the things I can do."

As Legwold points out, Mike Shanahan called Thomas a "first-round talent" after he dealt three picks to the Vikings in a draft day trade for the 121st-overall pick the Broncos would use to select the ex-Gator. One of those picks (Denver's '08 third-rounder) would eventually end up with KC, who utilized it to draft Jamaal Charles. Interestingly, that #121 pick had been Denver's original fourth-rounder, but they'd dealt it away the year before as part of their two-part move up to get Jay Cutler, and other players tied to its transactions include WR Sidney Rice and the oft-rumored Denver target John Abraham. Pretty simple, right?

Broncos


Kiszla thinks John Fox has changed the atmosphere at Dove Valley for the better, with less tension and more professionalism. However, he also says Josh McDaniels wasn't "arrogant" like the ex-coach's distant critics like to reiterate, but rather insecure as a young head coach and perhaps his mistake was not letting the players and fans get to know him better.

Legwold figures the Broncos will at least consider drafting a QB in the first round of next year's draft.

CBS4 on the emergence of Eron Riley (and the proper pronunciation of his name, which is EE-ron) and Jeremiah Johnson, plus Klis on the impressive play of Kyle McCarthy.

Legwold thinks Denver needs to run the ball 500 times per year to guarantee success. While someone I know basically wrote the same thing 2.5 years ago, upon further reflection I'd have to say that it's of course a flawed conclusion - did they win because they ran a lot, or because they were really good at running the ball? And were they able to run so many times because they had leads to salt away?

Mike Rice's impressions from the preseason opener.

Trimmings


The NFL still hasn't told Terrelle Pryor if he's eligible for Wednesday's supplemental draft, and he's seeking a meeting with the Commish to find out. Kind of strange they've left him twisting in the wind for so long - it's not like the guy's killed anyone, and there are guys playing in the league who've done that. Kid sold some of his equipment and got some tattoos - big whoop. The NCAA is the problem here, not Terrelle Pryor.

Shanny dumped Shayne Graham after the kicker missed two FGs on Friday night.

The Niners are giving Daunte Culpepper a tryout today.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh is visiting the Pats, who signed Niko Koutouvides. Oh, Shanny. Meanwhile, Doug Farrar isn't buying rumors that one of Al Haynesworth and Chad Johnson may get cut before the season starts, and Sam Monson looks at flexibility New England has on defense.

Osi Umenyiora is ending his holdout with nothing gained, yet.

The Chiefs are planning to use Jared Gaither as their starting LT.

Tony Sparano is trying to maintain that Chad Henne is still the Dolphins' starting QB despite his suckitude.

Here's PK's MMQB, plus the latest Whispers from PFW covering the AFC and NFC.

Jason Cole thinks the Titans are the new Jets - promising their star players new contracts and then reneging.

Pat Kirwan reports from Redskins camp, SI's Andrew Lawrence checks in on the Titans and Texans, Andy Benoit previews the Jets' season, and Khaled Elsayed does the same for the Cards and Falcons.

Preseason analysis: PFF's first impressions: Bills/Bears, Vikings/Titans, Colts/Rams. Matt Bowen was impressed by Shawne Merriman and Marion Barber's performances in their respective preseason debuts. Bucky Brooks also liked what he saw from Merriman and was very impressed by Cam Newton and Colt McCoy. Plus, here's what Jonathan Comey learned from the first week of preseason games.

Andrew Brandt explains the cap implications for Logan Mankins' new deal with the Pats, plus the new standard it sets for paying guards.

It's been at least three days since a new QB rating system was unveiled - so here's another one from PFF, although this one looks pretty good as it accounts for drops, spikes and throwaway passes and lessens the impact of TDs and INTs.

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

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