No more sleepers in Internet age
Get ready to retire an overused NFL draft cliché.
The day of the “sleeper” is finally being put to bed.
Scant secrets remain about prospects on the league’s draft radar. Few, if any, of this year’s picks will cause a team’s front-office members to scratch their heads and ponder, “Who?” when names are announced April 25 to 27 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Expansive scouting services and the internet flood of draft information from league, media and independent outlets make it impossible for a well-regarded prospect at any level to remain clandestine. And thanks to the league’s Super Regional combine, the same discovery is happening with some less-ballyhooed talent that once would have flown under the draft-day radar.
Doug linked a crappy Jeff Legwold article in this morning's Lard, about how there are no more sleepers in the NFL Draft. Somehow, some way,
I keep coming up with funky-ass rhymes like every single day Alex Marvez wrote substantially the same article on the same day. Umm... AWKWARD! There doesn't appear to be any plagiarism here; just two feeble football minds thinking as one.
Broncos regular season schedule expected next week
For the Broncos, the greatest intrigue is with their opener. A league-opening, Thursday night playoff rematch against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 5 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High is a possibility. But nothing is finalized and several other possibilities are in play, from opening at home on a Sunday afternoon, to primetime Sunday night on the road, to Monday night at home.
My wild guess has all along been that Denver would open in New Jersey against the Giants, in a Peyton v. Eli Sunday Night affair. Whatever happens, we all know the Broncos will be featured plenty of times on primetime national television; the IAOFM staff will just hope that the opener isn't the back half of the MNF doubleheader, for sleep considerations.
Some think Rivers is down to his last chance in San Diego
There’s an asterisk that applies to that school of thought. If the quarterback that a new coach has inherited lands on the short list of NFL franchise quarterbacks, the new coach has no issue with the status quo.
The biggest question in San Diego is whether Philip Rivers still falls on the presumptive do-not-cut-trade-or-bench list. Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego believes 2013 will be Rivers’ “final audition” with the Chargers. Tom Adams of the same publication believes that, if Rivers is indeed playing for his job, he’ll pass the test.
OMG, who would have ever possibly thought that Rivers may not be the apple of the new Chargers regime's eye? Oh yeah, I did. I had more to say here, too. In fact, I've been saying Rivers isn't a franchise QB for a few years now. Good luck getting rid of a putative "franchise QB" when he sucks again in 2013, suckers. The only thing the Chargers have going for them is that their fan base is so crappy and apathetic that not many people may even notice.
Word of Muth: Examining Clady's Set
I watched the Week 16 game between the Broncos and Browns figuring that between Joe Thomas and Ryan Clady, I would have plenty of plays to choose from. It didn’t take long for me to find a play with Clady putting on a pass-blocking clinic.
As always, fine analysis from Ben Muth, who just last week broke down the breakneck speed off the edge shown by one Von Miller.
Wes Welker, Peyton Manning dined
Welker said Manning and Brady, his quarterback for six seasons with the New England Patriots, are very similar.
“I think they’re both extremely accurate ... they’re extremely smart players and have a good idea where the rush is, and moving around and buying time and getting the ball out quick and being smart and putting it right on the money.
“Not being the biggest guy out there, I definitely need a quarterback that can put it on you and just be able to read the defenses like I do and see it the same way, and I think both guys do that well,” he said.
The biggest difference, of course, is their respective ring counts, and spurned Chowderheads are all too happy to remind us that Welker and Brady didn't team up to win any SB titles. But perhaps Wes can help Peyton catch up to Tom in that department...
“Sometimes you have to make a decision. You pray about it,” Dumervil said. “At the end of the day there was no ill will or hard feelings. I just felt it was a time to change scenery.”...
...“It was an unfortunate situation,” Dumervil acknowledged. “Obviously leaving a really good organization like the Denver Broncos, they’re proven winners. I have nothing but good things to say about the organization. But when an opportunity came that I could come to another winner and a first-class organization, it was just leaving one great one to another great one. So I took it.”...
...“I was drafted there. Honestly, I never intended to leave Denver,” Dumervil said. “But things happen. It’s just the way life is. It’s not like I’m the only person this happens to. A lot of guys have to make decisions.”
His decision to come to Baltimore was influenced in part by his relationship with Ravens inside linebackers coach Don Martindale, who coached Dumervil at Denver and played a part in convincing his former student to switch teams.
“As a coach, it’s all about relationships,” Martindale said. “Obviously, Elvis and I got really close back to Denver, not just because of the player he is, although that helps when he’s sacking the quarterback. But also as a person. I’m happy for both the Ravens and Elvis.”
Actually, Doom, we can't think of any other athletes this happens to--faxually speaking, of course.
We'll assume, for now, he means free agency.
In the race to sign Wes Welker, it was the Broncos by a hair. At least that’s the way Rhode Island-based hair transplant expert Dr. Ryan Welter sees it. The good doctor told GoLocalProv.com, a Rhode Island news website, that Welker bolted New England for Denver because he was embarrassed when the doctor who performed his hair transplant surgery a year ago trotted Welker out in a number of ads for his business.
“Privacy is important and when you tell the world that you had a transplant, that’s a lot of pressure to put out there for everyone to see when the helmet is off,” Dr. Welter said. “Better get it right the first time. I just hope the added pressure didn’t affect his decision (to leave).”
Hair or hairless, it matters not, as long as the ball gets in the end zone
Some believe atmosphere is safe for gay NFL player to come out
And there are serious indications that day may come sooner than later. While I’ve long believed I would not see an openly gay NFL player for decades, that might be wrong. Based on interviews over the past several weeks with current and former players, I’m told that a current gay NFL player is strongly considering coming out publicly within the next few months—and after doing so, the player would attempt to continue his career.
I’m told this player feels the time is now for someone to take this step—despite homophobic remarks from San Francisco 49ers defensive back Chris Culliver and the controversy arising recently at the Indianapolis Scouting combine, when prospects were asked questions about their sexuality. This player’s true concern, I’m told, is not the reaction inside an NFL locker room but outside of it. The player fears he will suffer serious harm from homophobic fans, and that is the only thing preventing him from coming out. My sources will not say who this alleged player is.
Another generation from now, stories like this will be--well, they won't be stories at all.
Until that time, however, the culture war rages.
Champ Bailey, Mike Adams receive $1.5 million worth of roster bonuses
Some Bronco players did better on the fifth day of the league year than others.
Lost in the Elvis Dumervil fax fiasco was the Broncos did pay out roster bonuses of $1.25 million to cornerback Champ Bailey and $250,000 to safety Mike Adams. The roster bonuses clicked in for Bailey and Adams on the fifth day of the league year (which started at 2 p.m. March 15) — or the exact same moment the Broncos terminated Dumervil’s contract to avoid the guarantee on his $12 million salary.
Good catch by Klis on Mike Adams. While $250,000 is a monetary flesh wound to the Broncos, money talks--or at least in this case, it whispers.
AFC West checkpoint
Where are they strong? Denver doesn’t have many holes, and its offense got more potent with the addition of slot receiver Wes Welker. His signing was one of the stories of the offseason. He is a perfect addition and a new toy for quarterback Peyton Manning. Pair Welker with Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, and Denver has arguably the best group of receivers in the NFL. Denver added cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, defensive tackle Terrance Knighton and middle linebacker Stewart Bradley to a defense that finished 2012 rated No. 2 overall in the NFL.
Where are they weak? The Broncos could use a safety, some clarity at middle linebacker, perhaps another pass-rusher and a running back.
Biggest remaining question: Where is Denver going to go with the No. 28 pick in the draft? The John Elway regime is known for taking the best available player. If there is a safety such as Texas’ Kenny Vaccaro or a running back like Alabama’s Eddie Lacy available, I can see Elway pouncing. Either could come in and play a major role.
Perhaps the Broncos pounce and pick the best pass-rushing player.
We just don't know.