Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

PFF: Von Miller was still great last season

2014 Preview: Denver Broncos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Fox: Wes Welker says he’s ‘feeling good’ after latest concussion

Retirement 'not been brought up' for concussed Broncos WR Wes Welker

“That has not been brought up at all,” head coach John Fox said Monday, two days after Welker was concussed late in the second quarter of Saturday’s preseason game against the Houston Texans. “You’d have to talk to Wes in that area. I didn’t sense that.”

Undoubtedly, that's great to hear. But let's just hope that Welker does the right thing (whatever that may be, including retirement) for himself as a human being, rather than as a football player, or a Denver Bronco.

Sounds about right

NFL players would least like to play for Oakland, new poll claims

An ESPN/NFL Nation Confidential poll surveyed 100-plus players to find the least desirable location to play in the NFL. The question was this: “The only way I’d play for [team name] is if they doubled my salary.”

The “winner”? Oakland, with 23 percent of the 82 respondents.

We're not big fans of these small polls, but sometimes a large sample isn't required to uncover the truth.

Just when you thought you understood how hard Peyton Manning works…

To understand Peyton Manning, one has to know where he came from

The clock in the hotel room shows 9:45 p.m. Peyton Manning is standing in somewhere between the bed and the television set holding a football, as if he is taking a snap from center. On one side of him is Emmanuel Sanders. On the other, Cody Latimer.

To say that Manning is driven, or that he works hard, just doesn't cut it anymore. There has to be another word for it, because this is far beyond work, an obsession, a mania, devotion, fixation, or anything else on