Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Football endangering Roethlisberger’s life

Ben Roethlisberger has rare, dangerous rib injury
www.nfl.com

Roethlisberger told reporters on Wednesday that the injury could kill him by pressing against his aorta and puncturing his lung. So that’s not good.

His rib is partially dislocated. Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com and NFL Network passes along word from Roethlisberger that his pain level is at a 9 on a scale of 1-10. He’s only sleeping four hours a night. Ed Bouchette of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette doesn’t expect Roethlisberger to play for a while.

This morning I got a paper cut that I would describe as a 6, so one only imagines what would make Roethlisberger dole out a 9.

Some things are more important than football.  A man's aorta (along with his testicles) happens to be one of those.

The Steelers can wait--even if they have to wait until next year.

Tebow strikes while the iron is still hot

NFL quarterback Tim Tebow teams up with TiVo
www.usatoday.com

TiVo is getting Tebowed. The DVR pioneer, on the comeback trail after losing subscribers in recent years, is turning to the NFL’s Tim Tebow to spread the company gospel. TiVo hired the famous backup quarterback of the New York Jets as its brand ambassador — and not just because of the similar sound to their names…

...What Tebow likes about TiVo: Because he spends a lot of time on airplanes, he relishes catching up on favorite shows Revenge and Castle. “Plus, TiVo learns me.” He says he’ll give the Showtime series Homeland a try based on a TiVo recommendation.

We couldn't be happier for the Ultimate Teammate™. As they say, you've got to strike while the iron is hot, even if behind the "aw shucks" persona, you plan to plant the iron squarely across the face of Mark Sanchez.

I still think Sanchez's days are numbered, but, as we found out this morning, The Ultimate Teammate™ isn't exactly inspiring his fellow players in New Jersey the way he did in Denver. In fact, they seem more than happy to rip him--anonymously, of course. Perhaps they saw what happened when Demaryius Thomas dared to defy the zombie horde.

What the Jets really need is a PR guy like Jim Saccomano--you know, someone who keeps his thumb over the local media (and its access) so only the good stuff gets out.  We're not so sure, though, that even the mighty Sacco--the guy in the arena, don't you forget it--could hold down the New York media.  

UPDATE:  Now that ESPN has weighed in, there's no need to comment.  Jason Whitlock must have missed the memo, however.  He just wrote:

What does that make Tebow? A total media creation. Honestly, I’m glad Tebow is an athletic, white quarterback so we don’t have to hear whining about how racist it is that the Jets don’t like Tebow...Tebow is Vince Young, a great college QB who can’t cut it in the pros.

Von Miller, would-be Cam Newton troll

Broncos LB Von Miller: If I sack Cam, I'm doing 'Superman'
www.usatoday.com

If Miller, the Broncos’ bespectacled outside linebacker, sacks Carolina quarterback Cam Newton on Sunday, he’ll forgo the dance he calls the DeSoto Shuffle in favor of something else far more recognizable: The Superman – Newton’s signature touchdown celebration.

Miller, tied for second in the NFL with nine sacks, is already envisioning himself pretending to rip off his white Denver jersey, just like Newton does.

“That would be great,” Miller told USA TODAY Sports Thursday afternoon. “I hope I get a chance to do it.”

Von Miller: obnoxious glory boy, or respectful competitor with a sense of humor? Discuss...

Roger Goodell: buzzkill

Amendments don't change leagues' stances on marijuana
www.usatoday.com

Though voters in those states approved a constitutional amendment Tuesday legalizing recreational marijuana, the drug remains illegal under the NFL’s and NBA’s substance abuse policies, league spokesmen said. “The NFL’s policy is collectively bargained and will continue to apply in the same manner it has for decades,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told USA TODAY Sports Wednesday morning. “Marijuana remains prohibited under the NFL substance abuse program.”

And here I was hoping the Broncos could use the marijuana angle for player recruitment.

Oh well, you can't win them all.  Take solace in the fact that there's still alcohol (and the ad revenues that come with it indirectly to the NFL).  After all, who wouldn't prefer this to a guy craving Doritos:

Two thumbs up for not vomiting!

Holliday latest Bronco to win weekly performance award

Holliday Earns Weekly Honor
blog.denverbroncos.com

On Wednesday, the NFL named Holliday its AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, marking the first time the second-year player has earned that honor.

Holliday becomes the 23rd all-time AFC Special Teams Player of the Week in Broncos history, and the second this season after Matt Prater took home the honor for Week 4.

The award is the fifth individual weekly accolade for the Broncos this season, as following each of the team’s wins, someone on the roster has earned an individual weekly honor.

A Broncos player has now taken one of these awards for each of Denver's five wins this season. Certainly not a bad thing.

Chiefs cut six-million-dollar man; Crennel gives up DC duties

Romeo Crennel removes himself as the Chiefs’ defensive coordinator
www.kansascity.com

In an effort to fix some of the many problems ailing the 1-7 Chiefs, head coach Romeo Crennel announced today that he has giving up his duties as the defensive coordinator, handing them over to linebackers coach Gary Gibbs.

The Chiefs also released starting cornerback Stanford Routt, signed last winter as a free agent, and signed defensive lineman Shaun Smith, a former Chief.

You may recall that Routt got $20M in guarantees from Oakland in February 2011, and the Raiders cut him following the season. This past February, the Chiefs gave Routt $6M in guarantees, and he lasted seven games with Kansas City; that's $26M for 23 games in a year and a half.

FWIW, the eighth-year corner has graded out at minus-5.7 this season according to PFF, which is 87th among corners. Last season, he was 84th at his position with a minus-4.8 grade. As for where Routt will continue his tour of salary-cap destruction, the Chargers and Raiders could each use a cornerback...

Porter sitting out yet again

Broncos rule CB Tracy Porter out for Sunday
www.cbssports.com

Denver Broncos CB Tracy Porter will miss a third consecutive game because of symptoms that in August were a precursor to a seizure…

...“We’re still regulating the medication,” Broncos coach John Fox said. “Not that it was a setback, but there was a little bit of an issue, and we’ll evaluate that moving forward. His safety is what’s the utmost concern right now.”

While this move has to be frustrating for Porter, it's hard to fault the Broncos for playing this one ultra-conversatively.

D.J. Williams wants to retire a Denver Bronco

Broncos LB D.J. Williams Q+A: full interview
milehighsports.com

If there’s one message you have for the fans, what is it?

I’m the ultimate team player and I’m willing to do whatever to win. At the end of the day, that’s the most important thing to me. I love playing football. I’ve been playing football since I was seven. I’ve been playing 23 years. I actually played football two years early because I weighed enough. I’ve never had any job but this job. So for somebody to think that football is not important to me, if it wasn’t important – I’m on my second contract, I have money. If football wasn’t important to me, why would I stop playing now and just go live the ‘Dyme Lyfe?’ I think people try to make ‘Dyme Lyfe’ seem like it has been pulling away from my football career. No, it hasn’t. It actually hasn’t, at all.


If it were up to you, would you retire as a Bronco?

Yes. That’s actually my plan, to retire as a Bronco. The crazy thing about it, when I was up for my second contract (in 2008), I spoke to (then-head coach Mike) Shanahan. He said, ‘Hey, I’m going to be honest with you. You’re probably not going to be the highest-paid guy in your position, but we’ll do the best we can to get you as close to that, and we’ll treat you right.’ And since I’ve been here, the Broncos organization – with whatever coach has been here – I’ve been treated fairly and I’ve been treated well. I enjoy the city. I like the fans. I like how the whole organization as a whole treats me, so if it was up to me, I would retire as a Bronco. I’m close friends with Rod Smith, and to see how he went through his career and his life, and the relationships that he built, I want to have the same thing.

In a wide-ranging interview, D.J. Williams opens up on several subjects, including Buddhism, working out, the so-called "Dyme Lyfe," his dislike for some media members, and serving his time for doing his crime.

One topic that wasn't covered by Chris Bianchi, though: D.J.'s non-human urine sample.

Barnwell: Broncos should avoid black cats, walking under ladders

NFL Halftime Report: The Numbers Game
www.grantland.com

The unluckiest team in the league is one you’ll see come up once or twice in this column as a team of extremes. The Broncos saw their luck seemingly bounce back in the second half of their game versus the Chargers, but they still rate out as the most fumble-unlucky team in the league, having recovered just five of the 22 pigskins up for grabs in their games (22.7 percent).

Another team with a notable strength-of-schedule split are those pesky Broncos, who had the league’s toughest projected schedule heading into the season. After going up against the league’s seventh-most-difficult schedule through this past week, no team in the league has an easier slate over the final nine weeks than Peyton Manning’s boys.

Barnwell says Denver is among the league's most fortunate in terms of defensive scores for and against, but have had bad luck relative to their opponents making field goals. Of course, Denver's altitude must factor into that.

Dual-threat formations, no-huddle have Broncos offense humming

Peyton Manning deftly directs explosive Denver Broncos offense
www.nfl.com

After attempting to utilize a conventional approach during the first few games of the season, the Broncos have exclusively featured the no-huddle offense in recent weeks…I believe the switch was intended to make Manning more comfortable as the leader of the offense. By operating at a quicker pace, the Broncos are able to limit defensive substitutions, resulting in fewer exotic schemes and pass-rush packages…

The move to the no-huddle offense also discourages defensive coordinators from blitzing; they’re reluctant to call pressures against hurry-up teams for fear of a cornerback or safety failing to hear the play call and blowing their assignment. This allows Manning to attack a static defense without the threat of a heavy rush. For a pinpoint passer with extraordinary anticipation and awareness, the game transforms into a 7-on-7 contest, with all of the odds tipping in the offense’s favor.

Finally, the Broncos’ utilization of the no-huddle allows Manning to take control of the game at the line of scrimmage. The veteran will step to the line, read the alignment of the defensive front and the coverage and get the Broncos into the proper call to exploit the look. Given Manning’s experience and exceptional football IQ, the Broncos are rarely in a bad play, which leads to fewer negative plays for the offense.

Not to go overboard on tonight's we told you so theme, but for weeks, we'd been calling for John Fox and Mike McCoy to unleash Peyton's no-huddle attack earlier within games, and were thrilled to see them do just that against New Orleans. And, like we'd also stressed, doing so did not swing the pass/run balance in favor of the air attack; as Brooks notes in his excellent piece, Manning is not all about passing - he's about getting his team into the right play call at the LOS.