Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Manning’s motion was a mess last fall; several ex-teammates aided his recovery

Quarterback sneak: How Peyton Manning regained his confidence and throwing motion
insider.espn.go.com

The result was a spaghetti pile of a throwing motion, the mechanics of a man in a hurry…Manning’s body was way out in front of his arm, forcing his throws to catch up to his chest and legs instead of pushing through with them. For reference, Cutcliffe dug through the mountain of film he’s kept on Manning over the years…

During visits to Durham and back in Indianapolis, Manning started an autumn-long ramping-up process. First were tosses to no one. When his arm began catching up to his chest, he began throwing routes to receivers, starting with one, then expanding into multiples.

(Todd Helton) declared he could keep up with Cutcliffe’s football workouts, then quickly demanded a TV timeout when it got too intense—“because that’s what you football guys do.” He played every position on the field during Manning’s simulations.

Manning and Helton would work out in the morning while Cutcliffe ran Duke’s spring practice and watched film at lunch with his coaching staff. Come late afternoon, the three would meet on the field to run their own drills….Helton never openly campaigned for Denver, because at that point no one believed the Broncos would even be suitors.

McGee's story also tells of Brandon Stokley, Austin Collie, and Jeff Saturday joining Peyton to simulate the 2009 AFC championship game on the Duke campus while the Blue Devils hosted Maryland's Terps at Cameron Indoor. (Insider or ESPN Mag required)

Cole: New CBA means more trade talk atop draft

Trades for high NFL draft picks discussed more than previous years
sports.yahoo.com

The more important issue to consider is that trading at the top of the draft is no longer cost prohibitive. Because of the slotting system devised by the league and the NFL Players Association, teams are locked into only four-year deals with the draft’s top picks.

Moreover, those deals feature far less guaranteed money…That’s why trades at the top of the draft…are now much more doable.

Multiple sources said teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 11 and Philadelphia Eagles at No. 15 have talked about moving up into the top eight selections.

Would anyone be disappointed by an aggressive move up the board by KC to take Ryan Tannehill? Yeah, didn't think so.

Casserly: Tamme, Stokley will fill role of Manning translators

Q&A with Charley Casserly
www.denverbroncos.com

Let’s assume there’s going to be a lot of similarity to the system in Denver as it was in Indianapolis. So you’ve got Tamme, who can handle the tight ends, teaching them, and now you’ve got Stokley, who can teach the receivers. I think that’s really critical when you’re implementing a system that you’ve got somebody in the locker room, in the meeting room—besides the coaches—that can work with the players and understand the system. I think it’s important to have a couple people in that locker room that understand Peyton Manning’s personality. Manning has been described to me as the most driven player people have ever been around. I think he’ll be even more driven, if that’s possible, this year…I think people are going to have to understand the personality they’re dealing with, and I think Stokley and Tamme will help on that.

It's too bad for Denver that Green Bay was willing to pay Jeff Saturday so much, because it sure would have been nice to have a center (or any lineman, for that matter) so well versed in Manning's LOS histrionics, not to mention one who can handle Peyton's ire.

Eagles will reportedly take 5th or 6th for Samuel after nixing Denver offer of a 5th or 6th

Report: Eagles willing to trade Samuel for 5th or 6th
www.nfl.com

The asking price for four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel is dropping.

Reports the Philadelphia Eagles “we’re looking for a 3d or 4th rd pick for (Samuel) were wrong. They are willing to take a 5th or 6th,” tweeted Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Interested teams remain aware of Samuel’s age—he’s 31—and can’t be thrilled with his contract. With two years left, Samuel’s set to earn $10 million with a $100,000 offseason workout bonus in 2012 and $11.5 million with a $100,000 workout bonus in 2013. The Eagles are reportedly willing to chop $2.5 million off next season’s bill, but that won’t please Samuel.

$10M sounds steep, but Samuel did rate +9.2 overall last season according to PFF (-1.7 run defense, +9.6 pass coverage, +1.3 penalty), which was 12th-best among cornerbacks and ahead of Denver's own Champ Bailey (+7.5 overall) and Chris Harris (+6.0). Gotta wonder if the price will continue to drop, or if Philly will consider cutting Samuel outright, a move that would appear to cost the Eagles about a $2M cap hit. Of course, at that point Denver would presumably be competing with other teams for Samuel's services, if they were to maintain interest in the 10th-year player.

As Matt Bowen sees it, any team that employs a good deal of Cover 1 should be pursuing a deal for Samuel.

Of course Robert Griffin III is a selfish glory boy

Rating the NFL draft prospects: Quarterbacks
www.jsonline.com

“As much as is written about his athleticism, his athleticism under duress in the pocket isn’t even close to Cam Newton’s. This guy, the only way he gets big plays with his feet is if he’s got a wide-open field and the sea opens for him. He’s got a little bit of a selfish streak, too. Everybody was laying on Cam, but for some reason this guy has become gloves off. He doesn’t treat anybody good.” Another scout also questioned the way Griffin deals with people.

We'll clearly soon be hearing that Griffin doesn't work hard, might have trouble picking up NFL schemes, is uncoachable, comes from a questionable family background, has a forty-person entourage he rolls with, has little respect for authority, does lots of drugs, and had too many girlfriends in college. Oh, and that he runs better than he throws.

The Minnesota Vikings are now on the clock

Source: Colts inform Andrew Luck
espn.go.com

The Indianapolis Colts have told Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck that they will take him with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, according to a league source.

It’s unclear precisely when the Colts informed Luck, but a league source said the team has known for weeks that Luck would be its pick.

Granted, they've essentially been on the clock and Luck to Indy has been all but a foregone conclusion for months now, but that Maybe Indy will shock the world and take RGIII talk can be put to rest.

There’s a storm coming…

Denver Broncos - Rise (2012 Promo)
www.youtube.com

Based on the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, the upcoming finale to the Christopher Nolan-directed Batman trilogy.

This video by @BroncoJohnson. Here's the original trailer. (h/t AldenBrown)

Broncos will open 2012 season at home against Steelers on SNF

NFL chose matchup over Denver visit to New England
www.denverpost.com

The league will feature the Broncos in its first Sunday Night Game of the 2012 season. The Broncos will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in their season opener Sept. 9 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, an NFL source said.

New England was a possibility for the Broncos on the Sunday night opener, but the NFL went with Pittsburgh instead.

The rest of the schedule is due at the top of the next hour, and of course we'll have that for you here.

Broncos win offseason Super Bowl, but that won’t get them to Disneyland

Lingering NFL offseason issues, best available free agents and winners/losers
sports.yahoo.com

OFFSEASON WINNERS
1. Denver Broncos: The dual move of a playoff team gaining a future Hall of Fame quarterback (Peyton Manning) and ridding itself of a giant question mark (Tim Tebow) was brilliant on its own. However, getting cornerback Tracy Porter, tight end Jacob Tamme, defensive tackle Justin Bannan and wide receiver Andre Caldwell solidify an impressive offseason of work. There have been a couple of losses, such as Brodrick Bunkley and Andre’ Goodman, but those are tolerable.

As fun as it is to see the Broncos win in the offseason, I think we'd all prefer they win actual games.

So far, so good, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.  The Broncos haven't won anything yet.

Next steps:

  1. Killer draft
  2. Bangin' training camp
  3. Monster season 

If you had one shot to seize everything you ever wanted, would you take it or let it slip away?

Sacha Heppell tries out to be Denver Bronco cheerleader
www.ksdk.com

“When I dance, I lose myself.”

They said I couldn't be a male cheerleader. They said I couldn't wear these stretchy pants. 'ppreciate it.

After watching this, I got so pumped up, I had to listen to Eminem's Lose Yourself.  

Never give up the dream, Sacha Heppell.  Never.