Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

DeAngelo Hall: Shanny meddled with Haslett

DeAngelo Hall says Mike Shanahan used to overrule Jim Haslett
www.washingtonpost.com

“When the coaching change happens and Jim Haslett remains, some folks kind of scratch their heads,” Hernandez said. “But let’s be honest here, Jim Haslett wasn’t always the guy calling the plays for you guys last year. How difficult was it knowing that the head coach was sticking his head in and making changes, or making calls?”

We can't help but wonder whether otherwise successful coordinators like Ray Rhodes and Jim Bates had similar experiences before they were run out of Denver. (via LBS)

Brandon Lloyd is back to chase his childhood dream

Brandon Lloyd quit the NFL for good. What made him come back?
www.sportsonearth.com

“When I was working in the aerospace industry, people sometimes would make a comment,” Lloyd said. “They’d say, ‘You know there is a football player who has the same name.’” Lloyd laughs. He didn’t want them to know. One time, he admitted it, he said. And it helped him make a sale.

A relentless drive like Peyton Manning's or J.J. Watt's may be what it takes to be the very best, but there's always been something refreshing about Lloyd's perspective, and his acknowledgement that there's more to life than just football.

Adam Gase explains why the preseason matters

Adam Gase describes philosophy of evaluating players
coachingsearch.247sports.com

“We’ve had guys in the past that go in (the stadium) and they lock up. It happens. It happens to one guy every year. Some guys eliminate themselves. Then there are some guys who act like they are out playing in the backyard like nobody is there. They just play loose and they play good and go get the ball. If they’re a lineman, they see the looks, come off the ball, and drive someone off the body. You know (right away), that’s what we’re looking for.”

Then, there are guys like Terrell Davis.

Mason: Clady still shaking off the rust

Mason's Five Thoughts from Camp Day 8
prod.www.broncos.clubs.nfl.com

The road back from last September’s Lisfranc injury has not been easy for left tackle Ryan Clady, Although he has practiced since taking the field for organized team activities in May, he acknowledged there is still “a little soreness here and there” in the foot.

Clady says he's aiming to get to 100% by the time Week 1 rolls around, which has us nervous about a possible recurrence during the preseason.

Orange Julius: I’ve got plenty of room for improvement

Julius Thomas stays hungry after Pro Bowl year
gazette.com

“When I go into tape back in April and we’re breaking it down as a position group, you’re ducking your head during certain plays, like, ‘Oh, what was I doing there in Week 2? And what was I doing in Week 8?’” Thomas said. “Just seeing my progress throughout the year, I can’t wait to show how much I’ve grown, continue to learn more and keep getting better.”

Usually, we'd say a quote like this is just typical summertime fluff, but Julius has only been playing football for four years.

Psst: Peyton Manning is closing in on the all-time touchdown record

Shutdown Countdown: Denver Broncos hear about 43-8 all offseason
sports.yahoo.com

Manning has 491 career touchdown passes, and is just 17 behind Brett Favre for the all-time career record. One of the game’s all-time greats is going to break one of the sport’s bigger records, and there has been little fanfare attached to it.

Are people really as negative about the Broncos as Frank Schwab says they are?

Report: Gordon’s drug test wouldn’t be a failure by Olympic standards

Josh Gordon's legal team to say second-hand smoke reason for positive marijuana test
espn.go.com

Because of this, Gordon’s test results would have been negative for marijuana if considered under other professional sports testing regimens—including the strict Olympic standard and Major League Baseball—the federal workplace testing standards and various state testing standards, including California and Nevada, which govern boxing and MMA.

The Broncos figure to pay close attention to this case, since Von Miller is also in Stage 3 of the league's Draconian substance-abuse policy, and would face a one-year ban for any positive test.

Broncos’ defensive trio grew close while on IR together

Trio of Broncos bounce back after missing 2013
www.usatoday.com

The modern version consists of safety Quinton Carter, defensive end Quanterus Smith and linebacker Lerentee McCray.

This eclectic trio became fast friends after going on injured reserve last August, the vanguard of an injury epidemic that would sideline five defensive starters by the Super Bowl.

If McCray has an impactful 2014, we'll have to wonder if the Broncos screwed up by redshirting him last year, when he might have provided important depth to an injury-ravaged unit.

Urban Meyer aghast at Tebow-less NFL

Urban Meyer: 'I still don't get' why Tim Tebow is out of NFL
www.nfl.com

I still don’t get that part of it,” Meyer said Tuesday at Big Ten Media Days. “He’s the second-most efficient passer ever to play college football.”

“He had really good personnel around him (at Florida) and we utilized his skill very well,” Meyer said. “I think in a traditional setting, it is difficult, but there’s a lot of non-traditional offenses now in the NFL.”

Just when I thought I didn't have to take on Tim Tebow's PR team...First, let's admit one thing: Meyer is right. The NFL has incorporated more non-traditional sets and formations.

It doesn't matter if your guy can't remember the play from sideline to huddle or from the huddle to the line of scrimmage. That was always the misleading part about Tebow. It was never about the mechanics, slow release, or even the lack of passer rating or completion percentage, although those were the easiest explanations. It was the simplest of things. He struggled with the basics of playcalling. In the NFL, that's unforgivable.

T.J. Ward as good as advertised

Mason's Five Thoughts from Camp Day 5
www.denverbroncos.com

5. The full-contact, short-yardage period saw the No. 1 defense twice get the better of the top offense. Jackson, Williams and safety T.J. Ward were chief among those responsible. When the two defensive linemen crash through against the run, Ward arrives to finish off the play and close any gaps on the flank. Ball didn’t have much room as a result, but did eke out one first down.

Quick reminder--T.J. Ward is a tackling machine.

It will be fun to see Ward pound his cousin and Raider Maurice Jones-Drew when the bodies hit the floor.