Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Tony Dungy forgot from whence he came, apparently

Tony Dungy 'wouldn't have taken' Michael Sam ... 'things will happen'
www.cbssports.com

“I wouldn’t have taken him,’’ Dungy told the Tampa Bay Times. “Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.

“It’s not going to be totally smooth ... things will happen.”

As Michael David Smith correctly notes, Dungy would not have his own pulpit, if not for someone like the late Chuck Noll having been so inclusive and progressive.

Of course, this isn't really that surprising, given that Dungy is an outspoken, bible-thumping bigot.

Orange Julius: I’ve had a long offseason to-do list

Julius Thomas on contract talks: I want to be in Denver long term
larrybrownsports.com

“I’ve had a lot of fun trying to improve my run blocking and pass blocking,” Thomas said. “Also just certain parts of my routes. I was able to do some good things in the passing game (last year), but it wasn’t always easy to execute some routes. So I’m just trying to be a little bit more cleaner and overall do more to help my team.”

We'd be content if Julius is the same player he was last year. But considering his age (26) and newness to football, there's no reason to think he can't improve.

First-round status hasn’t stopped Roby’s hard work

Broncos CB Roby using offseason training for physical, personal growth
www.si.com

“I’m just learning more about the game,” he told me when I asked him about that perception. “When I get that overall knowledge of the game up—anything and everything. Who’s my [safety] help, how I fit in the system, what I’m supposed to do on this play, this and that. That’s where my game can be great. But I realize that when I wasn’t thinking that way. When I wasn’t thinking about Oh—I have help here, so I should be outside, or ‘I have outside help, so I should be inside… When you get away from things like that, you give up big plays because you make mistakes in areas you shouldn’t if you really pay attention to all the small things.”

Confidence with a good measure of self-awareness. Seems like a good mix for an NFL cornerback.

Oh yeah, there was also this breaking news about Peyton Manning and pressure

Denver Broncos 2014 preview: As always, a Manning team has a shot
msn.foxsports.com

But there are whispers in Denver that Seattle exposed some weaknesses in Manning’s game at this stage of his career—namely, his inability to create plays once the original play breaks down. Seattle cut off Denver’s quick slant and short routes in the Super Bowl, which gave the Seahawks that extra split second to get a rusher in Manning’s face—and that didn’t fare well for Manning. It will be interesting to see if the rest of the NFL tries the same strategy this season—take away his initial reads and bring pressure up the middle.

Really? Bringing pressure up the middle has been the ideal strategy against Manning for roughly 16 years now - not six months.

This is what happens when you get some schmuck in KC to write about the Broncos

Denver Broncos 2014 preview: As always, a Manning team has a shot
msn.foxsports.com

The only issue is that Ball isn’t nearly the game-breaking back that Moreno was. Ball is a head-first, initiate-contact plugger who gets the most out of tough yards inside. But Ball is anything but elusive and speedy. The days of any back going 80 yards will vanish with Ball in the backfield.

Is this dude serious? Knowshon might have saved his best performances for the Chiefs, but game-breaking back?!?!

Moreno's longest run, among 846 NFL carries, was for a measly 36 yards. Ball, in 120 attempts as a rookie, already has a 45-yarder to his credit. That's not exactly a home run either, but this hack obviously has no idea what he's writing about.

Hopefully, Osweiler is at least a better QB than this guy was

Andrew Walter running for office, to host firearms-related fundraiser
www.cbssports.com

On Friday, Walter is hosting an “Evening of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms” at a Scottsdale gun club, reports the Arizona Republic.

Contributors forking over $1,000 will get 250 rounds of ammunition and a chance to fire from three weapons. Donations of $250 will get you one box of ammo and a chance to fire a Glock 18.

Andrew Walter is the failed former Raider QB who Brock Osweiler interned for during the offseason.  Living here, I can say that there is some truth to the statement in the article that Arizonans love them some guns, but this is just a ridiculous way to do a fundraiser, in a state where Gabby Giffords got shot and 6 other people got killed just three years ago by some gun nut.  Walter's opponent, if he wins his primary, will be Democratic incumbent Kyrsten Sinema.  She's best known for being the first openly bisexual congresscritter, and for having the guts to list no religious affiliation.

Report: Shanny considered broadcasting gig

Mike Shanahan Nearly Joined Dick Stockton in Booth for Fox NFL Coverage
washington.cbslocal.com

“Dick Stockton in an airport, telling me — and again, I didn’t tell him, like, ‘I do a 10-2 show and I’m gonna mention this tomorrow’ — but I certainly didn’t hide the fact that I’m in the business,” Paulsen said. “And he just kind of offered that. He said, ‘Yea, I was going to do it with Mike Shanahan, but it sounds like that’s not happening anymore.’”

Any time in the National Football League, when you have a chance to get a two-time SB-winning coach into the broadcast booth, you go for it.

Gabriel: Broncos aren’t AFCW shoo-in

Team preview: Denver Broncos
www.nationalfootballpost.com

I look for Ball to have an outstanding year in 2014. He is a physical inside runner who knows how to score…The Broncos signed former Steeler Emmanuel Sanders and he will be an upgrade over Decker. While Sanders lacks Decker’s size, he has more speed and toughness. Sanders will be able to play both inside and outside.

Williams was a first-round pick a year ago, filled in nicely when Vickerson got injured and actually may have played a little better. He has big-time potential…A player to keep an eye on is Quanterus Smith. Smith was a 2013 draft choice who missed last year recovering from an ACL tear. He has good outside pass rush talent.

Pretty run-of-the-mill stuff as far as the team's outlook goes. But since Gabriel's a scout, it's his takes on individual players that are really worth paying attention to.

Another way of saying TD should be a HOFer

Examining the variation in rushing throughout NFL history
www.footballperspective.com

Among running backs eligible but not yet in the Hall of Fame, it’s not Jerome Bettis who ranks highest on the list. Bettis, who ranks 6th in career rushing yards, finishes two spots behind Terrell Davis using this methodology. Should Davis be a Hall of Famer? That’s outside the scope of this post. This analysis tends to support his case, though, and it even ignores his touchdowns and his postseason play (it also ignores his lack of receiving and the value he gained from playing in Denver).

While this is again preaching to the choir, it never hurts to have more ammo to support TD's case for enshrinement.

Magazu: Garland is Denver’s Energizer Bunny

Ben Garland blazing military-NFL trail
espn.go.com

“He doesn’t wear down, which is really incredible,” Magazu said. “Even some of the other guys will ask, ‘Aren’t you even tired.’ Yeah, but you don’t ever see it. He has that mental toughness and that physical toughness he can push through it. It doesn’t look like there’s a dent in his armor.”

According to Ashley Fox, Garland still has one year of practice squad eligibility remaining.