The Daily Lard 9-8-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The team will hold its first full practice regular-season practice and issue their first injury report today. As Lindsay Jones reiterates, the Broncos are hoping to get DTs Brodrick Bunkley and Marcus Thomas back in time for Monday's opener.

So, today is the day the DP unleashed their preview of the Broncos' season, and the focus is John Elway. Where Woody Paige typically shares an interview with team owner Pat Bowlen, Mike Klis instead presents one with Elway as the clear face of the Broncos organization. Within it, Elway speaks of lifting the pall that's enveloped the franchise in recent years as the tragedy of Darrent Williams and Kenny McKinley's untimely deaths, and the ugliness of the Jay Cutler drama have come to dominate the Denver headlines.

Elway strangely theorizes that it's a good defense that creates home-field advantage (tell that to Colts and Saints fans) and defends himself against the ridiculous notion that great players can't become great team execs, just because a few of them have failed to do so in the past. As for that garbage, Elway scored a 29 on the Wonderlic and Dan Marino scored a 16. Marino's flop running the Dolphins predicts nothing for Elway's stewardship.


As John Clayton had tweeted last night, the Broncos put in a claim for CB Darius Butler, who had been waived by the Patriots and claimed by Carolina in front of Denver. ZOMG WTF is Xanders doing, trying to McD-ify the team again?!?!

Legwold continues the Elway-centric preview with Elway's thoughts on rebuilding the Broncos to their winning ways. Of course, Elway says it will take some time and he'll need plenty of help along the way.

Terry Frei again speaks with Elway about their late fathers, who had worked together scouting for the Broncos years ago.

Andrew Mason profiles Joe Mays as he transitions from ST stalwart to starting linebacker, plus he revisits last year's 59-14 loss to Oakland.

Lindsay Jones profiles Champ BaileyRyan Clady and Von Miller, while Brian Dawkins answers fan emails for the DP.

Legwold says this is a big year for Kyle Orton, and that the team will show more balance in the red zone. Plus, he shares his notes on each offensive and defensive (plus ST) player on the 53-man roster.

LJ talks with Elway about finding a franchise QB, plus Terry Frei says Elway is paying proper attention to the team's defense.

Krieger revisits John Fox's time as the Raiders' DC and his hasty departure prior to the 1996 season.

The DP checks in with Nolan Ryan and Jerry West to consider what Elway is facing as a playing legend-turned team exec, while Terry Frei lists several of their peers and focuses on Elway's competitive side.

Video of John Fox and Kyle Orton speaking after practice yesterday, and Chris Hall revisits last season's thrashing at the hands of the Raiders for Broncos TV. Kenny Legan on stopping Oakland's rushing attack, plus a Q&A with Mario Haggan and a profile of Eddie Royal by Max Henson.

The DP looks back at all the primary starting QBs since Elway's retirement, plus the top 10 moments of Elway's career as chosen by the DP and its readers.

According to Forbes, the Broncos have been the 12th-most financially efficient team in the NFL over the past decade but have taken quite a hit in that department over the past three years.


How are the Raiders preparing for Monday night? By practicing at night, of course - and they started doing so yesterday. Gotta admit, it makes sense. Can't hurt, at least.

Corkran's pre-practice and post-practice notes: WR Louis Murphy, TE Kevin Boss and S Mike Mitchell did not practice, and Corkran is guessing that Murphy will be listed today as out, Mitchell as doubtful and Boss as questionable. It sounds like Nick Miller will be returning punts for Oakland on Monday, as he was the sole PR in practice.

Jerry McDonald examines the impact the 59-14 debacle had on the Raiders and Broncos.

An AP story on Al Saunders and his fit as the Raiders' new OC.

Turns out the Raiders did not release FB Marcel Reese as was reported in the CCT the other day. How come we never see corrections like this from the DP?


The NFL has agreed to a deal with The Worldwide Leader to keep MNF on ESPN through the 2021 season.

New England reunited former Broncos TE Dan Gronkowski with his brother Rob, and to make room for him they released old friend Gerard Warren.

San Diego gave P Mike Scifres a new deal with essentially $8M in guarantees.

Matt Cassel insists he's playing Sunday for the Chiefs, while OC Bill Muir will be calling plays for the team.

Jim Irsay says Peyton Manning will be out "for a while" and Mike Freeman is hearing that Manning could miss half the season but could also be back quickly.

The Cowboys lost RT Tyron Smith and CB Mike Jenkins to injury yesterday - both may be out 2-4 weeks. Plus, they signed WR Laurent Robinson.

Buffalo claimed OT Sam Young off waivers from Dallas and released WR Ruvell Martin.

Cincy got back Cedric Benson after he served a shortened jail sentence. They also dumped QB Dan LeFevour from their PS and replaced him with QB Zac Robinson.

Jack Bechta examines the conflict of interest that arises from GMs and coaches having the same agents representing them as do the players and coaches they are trading/signing/hiring/firing/coaching.

Mike TanierAndrew Brandt and Khaled Elsayed preview tonight's Saints/Packers opener. Plus, Mike Freeman shares his Week 1 thoughts and George Bretherton wonders if the balance of power now leans towards the NFC.

Doug Farrar lists some defensive players he sees as potential breakouts for 2011, while Matt Bowen constructs a game plan for Rex Grossman.

Jason Whitlock thinks the Commish needs to have someone else doling out the league's discipline for him.

Mike Lombardi's blue/red chip rankings place Denver 30th, although this is based purely on 2010 performances.


You know what sucks? Being a practice-squad player and having to pay a $20K fine for a preseason hit. Ouch.

Scott Kacsmar goes in depth in exploring Aaron Rodgers' role as a front-running QB. In other words, he's got nothing (as of yet) on John Elway as far as comebacks go. Heck, even Kyle Orton has a better Q4 comeback rate.

The FO guys make some predictions for the season, including Ben Muth's guesstimate of 6-8 wins for Denver (which would exceed the FOA prediction).

We're a bit backed up here on KSK links - NFC over/unders, Rob Ryan speaking up about Sexy Rexy, Drew interprets PK's MMQB, and a message to all those arrogant Colts fans out there.

AA has compiled an oral and written history of the atrocious treatment of Bruce Feldman at The Worldwide Leader. Plus, their dumbest announcer/analyst quotes of the week - aka Pammies.

Brian Burke is looking for some writers.

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

The Lard