Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Latimer: Put me in, Coach!

Broncos still on the hunt for returners
espn.go.com

Second-round draft pick Cody Latimer has also approached Rodgers about trying to return kickoffs…“I just feel like the more you can do, the better it is,” Latimer said. “I think I can do it with a little work.”

The idea of trotting out someone who hasn't returned kicks before is a bit discomfiting, but putting Wes Welker or Emmanuel Sanders (who may not play on Thursday) at risk is scarier.

This isn’t the same Marvin Austin from three years ago

Marvin Austin finally healthy in Year 4
www.usatoday.com

“Oh, my spine works now,” Austin said. “It feels great. I’ve been humbled throughout my career, so I know what type of opportunity I have. So, I’m just grateful to be here. I’m grateful to be able to say that I can still play football and especially at the NFL level.”

It's a far cry from what was written about Austin prior to the 2011 Draft, when many hoped the Broncos would take him in the first round. For all he's endured, Austin has become a great story. Let's just hope he's able to stay healthy.

John Madden won’t drink Goodell’s Kool-Aid on letting six-year-olds tackle

John Madden doesn’t believe in the Heads Up Football program
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

“I’m a firm believer that there’s no way that a six-year-old should have a helmet on and learn a tackling drill,” Madden said. “There’s no way. Or a seven-year-old or an eight-year-old. They’re not ready for it. Take the helmets off kids…Start at six years old, seven years old, eight years old, nine years old. They don’t need a helmet. They can play flag football. And with flag football you can get all the techniques. Why do we have to start with a six-year-old who was just potty trained a year ago and put a helmet on him and tackle?...We’ll eventually get to tackling.”

Why, John Madden? Why?

Because flag football is for sissies, and Roger Goodell, for one, isn't about to stand back and lose future customers to soccer.

Get your priorities straight, old man.

Why sportswriters shouldn’t “stick to sports”

Why sportswriters shouldn't "stick to sports"
sports.vice.com

When sportswriters do dip their toes into politics it’s almost invariably to express ideas so benign they should be apolitical as the American flag (gay men are OK and should be allowed to play in the NFL, punching women is bad) but they’re nevertheless greeted by an outcry from a section of the fan base that’s getting louder and dumber all the time.

Which is why sportswriters should continue speaking truth to idiots.

This dude totally nails it, and it reminds me of the time when I tried to fire some readers, but failed, because even people who hate us personally are compelled to read our football stuff.

Peyton Manning is a bargain

Andy Dalton, Bengals reach six-year, $115 million deal
espn.go.com

Dalton, who will sign the deal later Monday, had one year remaining on his rookie contract and was scheduled to make slightly less than $1.7 million.

Obviously, we know better than to overreact to this contract, as it's probably really just a two- or three-year deal with a series of one-year team options tagged onto it.

But, still. If Jay Cutler, Joe Flacco, Colin Kaepernick, and (the very mediocre) Andy Dalton are each paid similarly to what Manning gets from Denver in any given year, then the Broncos are playing Moneyball, and winning.

Kyle Orton and Jay Cutler were made for each other

Emery open to Kyle Orton reunion
espn.go.com

Emery tried to sign Orton during free agency in 2012, but the quarterback opted to play for the Cowboys.

They were traded for each other, of course, after Cutler demanded his way out of Denver and away from Josh McDaniels.

Orton then begged his way out (understandably) from under Josh's worst decision of all, and recently weaseled his way out of Dallas by not showing up for practice.

Seems like a match made in heaven for two party animals who just donnnnnn't caaaarrrrrreeeeee.

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.