Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Shanny rehires Coyer, but not for *that* job

R*d*k*ns add a scout and offensive assistant

He will serve as an advance scout for the R*d*k*ns. Most recently, Coyer served as defensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts from 2009 to 2011.

Coyer is best known around these parts as the guy whose defense allowed PMFM & Co. to rack up 90 points in consecutive playoff games, but we prefer to remember him as the architect of the seventh-stingiest defense in Denver history relative to points allowed per game.

A five-game stretch in 2006 during which the team allowed just 26 points called to mind the Orange Crush defense of 1977, but things fell apart quickly from there, leading to the nightmarish Bob Slowik Era.

Coyer was again undone by Manning in 2011, when the QB's injury led to a 2-14 season for Indy, and you know the rest...

2014 Draft moved to May; rest of NFL calendar stays, for now

2014 NFL draft scheduled for May 8-10

The NFL announced Tuesday that next year’s combine will be held Feb. 18-25 while the league year — and the ensuing free agency frenzy — will begin on March 11. Those dates remain in line with the current 2013 calendar.

The NFL would need approval from the NFL Players Association to make any other significant changes to the calendar.

It remains to be seen what tangible impact this ends up having, but for now, we're guessing there will be somewhat fewer unsigned veterans by the time the draft rolls around next year.

PK: Woodson to Oakland was all about the money

Woodson eager to justify Raiders' faith in him; mail

Woodson, the 36-year-old safety coming off an injury-plagued season in Green Bay, signed a one-year, $1.8 million deal with Oakland last week that included a $700,000 signing bonus. And it’s the bonus that was the major difference between the offers he got from Oakland and Denver, Woodson said.

“It was all about getting something to sign,’’ Woodson told “That was it.’‘

Woodson said the emotion of returning to Oakland was a factor as well. But I got the feeling talking to him that if Denver believed he was worth the risk at 36 of staying healthy for the year, and backed that belief with a significant signing bonus, he’d be a Bronco today. “My visit there was awesome,’’ said Woodson. “Meeting with John Elway and coach [John] Fox, I was very impressed.’‘

It's not for us to suggest Woodson should have taken less money and a smaller role in Denver to play such a dangerous sport, but let's just say we hope the cash helps sooth the pain of another ten-loss season, while the Broncos are off chasing rings.

The power of the written word

Peyton Manning is a true man of letters, the handwritten kind

Since childhood, Manning has jotted handwritten thank-you notes, and for years he has maintained a tradition of sending them to various NFL players retiring from the game.

“I was so touched that the very first letter I got when I retired was from Peyton,” Lynch said. “It was a handwritten note that meant more than the gift ever was. He sent a case full of Silver Oak. It meant so much to me because of the respect I have for him. I still don’t drink it, so there’s a case of Silver Oak in my wine cellar to this day from him.”

Manning said the habit of writing letters, as opposed to relying exclusively on email, is a holdover from childhood. “My mother sent me an article one day on the fact that the handwritten letter was becoming a lost art in the text-messaging and email world,” he said. “My mother writes handwritten letters. Her parents, my dad’s mother was a legal secretary, so she was always writing personal letters.

This probably isn't the right time to admit that I wished my own mother a happy Mother's Day via email.  Of course, I followed it up with a text: "did you get my email?" 

I feel so ashamed.  Curse you, Peyton Manning.  

It sure sounds like John Elway understands what’s wrong with Foxball


The other thing is he was very, very aggressive, and he wanted to win on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. A lot of coaches tried to sit back and win on defense. As a quarterback, why I liked Mike was he wanted to win it on the offensive side. If we needed a first down late in the game, we were going to be aggressive offensively rather than punting and putting the game in the defense’s hands. That’s something I admired about Mike, and it led to a lot of success when I played with him.

At least John Elway understands the sanctity of possession in the NFL. Does John Fox?

(h/t bmp210)

Manning: If I’m feeling good at 40, I’ll keep playing

Peyton Manning Q&A: Broncos QB details long road back, ambitions

Q: You think you will play until you are 40?

Manning: “I really don’t know. I take it one year at a time. My contract is really four one-year deals. I wanted to be fair to the Broncos. I don’t feel like I’ve put them in any type of a bind and I could go out there and play freely. If I can still go out there and perform and be effective, and still enjoy doing it, I will do it. I would like to think I will be a guy who knows when it’s time to stop. I don’t want to be a guy who hung on and hung on. I do not have a goal in mind of a year or a statistic. People might think I am lying, staying to break this. The most important thing is whether I can still play.

Manning's age 40 season is 2016; the final year of his contract with the Broncos. This is a must-read from Pete Prisco and Manning, who says he's throwing the ball "signficantly better" than he did a year ago, and he blames his own limited preseason road action for the disastrous start to Denver's Week 2 loss at Atlanta.

Chiefs sign former Texans safety Demps

Chiefs add two defensive backs, release two others

The club signed unrestricted free-agent safety Quintin Demps, who spent three seasons at Houston and two with Philadelphia, where he played for Chiefs coach Andy Reid. Demps has three career interceptions, one sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 48 NFL games.

Demps returned 52 kicks as a rookie under Reid, including one for a touchdown. Last year, in 354 snaps over 12 games, he graded out at minus-2.1 overall according to PFF, with 20 tackles, three assists, three missed tackles, and four stops.

During Houston's Week 3 win at Denver, Demps saw 53 snaps and tallied six tackles, one assist, and one stop.

Urlacher retiring; had been pre-draft favorite of Broncos fans in 2000

Urlacher retiring from NFL

“After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire,” Urlacher said in a statement he posted on Twitter. “Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards. When considering this along with the fact I could retire after a 13-year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear.”

Denver ended up trading down from the #10 pick prior to the 2000 Draft, and the athletic freak went at #9 to Chicago, much to the disappointment of Broncos fans everywhere. Baltimore took WR Travis Taylor with Denver's old pick (oops), while the Broncos took Deltha O'Neal with Baltimore's (oops).

Mark Kiszla and others called for Denver to go after Urlacher this offseason, and a Chicago gossip columnist reported that they had talked to him, but it was never to be (and we're glad for that).

Chargers add Starks, haven’t yet ruled out Ingram

Chargers land LT Max Starks

The Chargers waived Kevin Haslam, a three-game starter at left tackle in 2012. On the same day, free agent Max Starks donned a Chargers avatar on his verified Twitter account and announced he was joining the team.

With Pittsburgh, Starks faced Denver (with Elvis Dumervil) in back-to-back games - the 2011 WC game, and the 2012 opener, and PFF has Starks down for having allowed one sack, three hits, six hurries, and a cumulative grade of minus-6.9. In other words, just the kind of guy the Broncos want to see twice a year.

Meanwhile, the Chargers are reportedly holding out hope that Melvin Ingram can recover quickly enough from his ACL tear to have an impact on the 2013 season.

Klis: Von Miller a mere “near superstar”

Nate Irving to get "first crack" at Broncos' spot at middle linebacker

The Broncos defense improved dramatically each of the past two years in large part because strongside linebacker Von Miller performed at a near superstar level.

In next week's DP mailbag, Mike Klis explains which NFL players are superstars, given that Von Miller is apparently not among them.