Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Breaking Madden: Jadeveon Clowney breaks RG3

Breaking Madden: Jadeveon Clowney's quest for 201 sacks in a game
www.sbnation.com

The purpose of this series will surely vary from week to week, but broadly speaking, I’ll be concentrating a little less on destroying a video game I have already destroyed, and a little more on laying waste to our understanding of the sport of football.

We're really sorry we missed this series last year. There's just something about those tiny linemen...

Report: Wes Welker’s suspension re-energized talks of new drug policy

NFL, NFLPA trying again to complete deal to implement HGH testing
www.washingtonpost.com

One person close to the situation said a catalyst for the latest change in attitude toward the negotiations was the four-game suspension given this week to Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker for testing positive for a banned performance-enhancing substance.

Perhaps Wes will tell us he "DID IT FOR THE GOOD OF THE SPORT."

So, we should have another 15 years of Peyton Manning in Denver?

Peyton Manning: Play 'until you suck'
espn.go.com

“If you can really produce and help a team, and you enjoy playing, I think that’s up to the individual.”

Minutes later he said, “Yeah, right until you suck—I think that’s a pretty good rule right there.”

Remember when we would all have been happy with just a couple years out of this guy?

PFF: Von Miller was still great last season

2014 Preview: Denver Broncos
www.profootballfocus.com

And though he’s listed as a linebacker, Von Miller is often a de facto lineman coming off the edge. He earned a whopping +42.8 grade last season in just nine games, and his return will give the Broncos one of the most disruptive players in the league.

Between his suspension and injury, there's no denying that Von had a tumultuous 2013, and he didn't quite meet his own lofty standards.

But he still graded out as PFF's best linebacker, by far. In just over half the snaps (552 in 2013 vs 996 in 2012), his QB hits (8 vs 16), hurries (27, 52), tackles (25, 43), and run stops (23, 51) were very much in line with his 2012 production.

If suspension is a ‘blessing,’ why was John Fox going to let Wes Welker play?

Wes Welker’s Suspension Gives Broncos One More Dose of Uncertainty
www.nytimes.com

Coach Fox suggested that Welker’s drug suspension was just as well. “Sometimes these things are blessings in disguise,” Fox said. “The extra four weeks will give him plenty of time to heal.”

Doesn’t that, I asked, suggest that Welker was taking a big risk in planning to return this weekend? Should the team help this brave player decide his career is at an end?

Good question.

Benoit: Von & DeMarcus could be best ever pass-rushing tandem

Broncos Preview: Even Better Than Before
mmqb.si.com

Such a MASH-list for a 32-year-old raises a red flag, though Ware had never been significantly dinged prior to last season. If Elway’s bet on him pays off, the Broncos could have the most explosive pass-rushing tandem of all-time.

While he loves their offseason moves, Andy Benoit doesn't see the team getting over the pain of SB 48. In fact, he doesn't even have them returning to the conference title game.

Some fresh meat on Pot Roast’s menu for Sunday night

Signed Sunday, A.Q. Shipley ready to anchor Colts line
www.indystar.com

Shipley was cut by the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday morning, signed by the Colts on Sunday, aboard the first thing flying that evening and at Colts complex before 7 a.m. Monday morning. He huddled with line coach Joe Gilbert for a crash course on the playbook and team terminology. By 10, Shipley was on the field with the first-team offense…The Colts have changed their offensive coordinator, system and language since they traded Shipley to Baltimore in early 2013, but he is a quick study.

A.Q., meet Terrance Knighton. Terrance, meet Andrew Luck.

BTW, the Colts cannot afford an injury to either of their starting tackles this week, either, as both of their backups are hurt.

Marvin Austin continues to impress

ReFo: Broncos @ Cowboys, Preseason Week 4
www.profootballfocus.com

Marvin Austin, DT: +3.9

Breakdown: The former second-rounder made life difficult for the Cowboy backups, registering a hit and pressure rushing the passer to go along with a stop in the run game in 26 snaps. This was in addition to his work as a general nuisance to Dallas – standing up blockers and squeezing the point of attack – that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. However, with many of his teammates on the defensive line also seeing success in this game (check out 14:55 of the fourth quarter for an example), we’ll see whether this performance (and his +1.7 last week) was enough for Austin to secure a roster spot.

No shock here for Broncos fans, who have watched Marvin put his talents on display in every preseason game.

Marvin is also a lesson to us all: draft grades are not fixed. Talent emerges when it's ready. Injuries, emotional maturity, scheme--all play a role.

Perhaps shouldn’t be eating the mystery meats at the Jerrah Dome?

Broncos Ronnie Hillman, Kayvon Webster hospitalized overnight in Dallas
www.denverpost.com

The Broncos did not disclose the nature of the illness, although the team did confirm Hillman and Webster were taken to a Dallas-area hospital for treatment and evaluation.

All kidding aside, we wish good health for Ronnie and Kayvon.

Injuries to Welker, Norwood may help Isaiah Burse stick around

Isaiah Burse looks to make Broncos 53-man roster
www.denverpost.com

The Broncos might have considered picking up a returner on the waiver wire when the league engages in final cuts this weekend, but now the team is likely to pick up a kicker to replace Matt Prater, who will be suspended from the season’s first four games.

We're not really sure what Klis means here, as Prater won't count toward the 53-man roster during his suspension; it's not like the Broncos can't claim both a kicker and a returner via waivers.