Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Chiefs Lilja: everyone wants to crown the Broncos, but Matt Cassel is taking us places

Chiefs' Lilja offers a full-throated defense of quarterback Cassel
www.sunherald.com

“But Matt’s the guy, and Matt’s going to take us places. Matt’s a general in the huddle. People don’t see how hard he works. They don’t see the stuff he plays through, because we don’t talk about it. But take my word for it: There aren’t many guys I’d rather play with.”

“I’m perfectly content with the Denver Broncos and their situation and them bringing him in. They’re already building Lombardi trophies for them, it sounds like to me. I like that. Nobody thinks we can do much. That’s kind of a fun place to be in. Time will tell.”

Part of the fun of being a fan is the ability to gloat when your team wins in the offseason.

Fact: the Chiefs desperately wanted a shot at Peyton Manning.  They didn't even make it past the rope line.

Ryan Lilja can delude himself all he wants (and he probably needs to in order to wear ketchup and mustard every Sunday), but the only place Matt Cassel is taking the Chiefs is to the bottom of the AFC West.

Amobi Okoye mystery continues, but will supposedly sign with someone soon

Bears signal DT Okoye on way out
www.chicagotribune.com

The Bears have hoped to re-sign Amobi Okoye but speaking on a conference call with season-ticket holders, the general manager said the defensive tackle likely is headed elsewhere.

“Right now, Amobi is trying to decide which direction he is going,” Emery said. “We’ve had conversations with him. So far, we have not been able to work out a deal. Amobi is probably going in a different direction.”

Dan Pompei added this tweet today as well:

Chances of Amobi Okoye returning to Bears are fading fast. Could sign with a new team soon.

What is soon?  Okoye was supposed to visit Cincinnati on Tuesday, but that was pushed back so the Bengals' coaching staff could attend Notre Dame's pro day.  Nothing signals a team's desire to sign a free agent more than rescheduling to go watch a pro day.

The Broncos were supposedly one of the five teams interested in Okoye.  The other include the Bengals, Bears, Bucs, and Patriots.

The Bears look to be out.  The Bengals may have botched their opportunity.  And we've not heard whispers of Okoye visiting any other teams.

Do the Broncos suddenly enter the picture--and fast?

Shanny’s spider sense told him where Manning would sign—that and his cap situation

Peyton Manning's fitness did not concern Mike Shanahan
www.washingtontimes.com

“I don’t think anybody is convinced until he’s ready to go,” Shanahan said when asked his belief about Manning’s health. “Knowing him, knowing his work ethic, knowing his passion for the game, I would be shocked if he’s not ready to go – just knowing him and how he prepares and how hard he works…

...“It was kind of just interesting, fun to sit down and talk football for a number of hours,” Mike Shanahan said. “At the end I had a feeling what direction he may go, especially with our situation with the cap – which I can’t talk about in detail. We had a good conversation.”

The Mastermind.  I guess he knew all along and just didn't tell us.

With a great base tan comes great responsibility.

Polian: Manning isn’t de facto OC, likes to run the ball

Broncs bomber: How Denver will transition from Tim Tebow to Peyton Manning
insider.espn.go.com

Peyton is not an offensive coordinator, nor does he want to be one. That’s a pure misconception. He’ll give his input on McCoy’s playbook, and he’ll certainly have the ability to call multiple plays in the huddle and audible at the line. But Peyton always worked within a system in Indianapolis, and he’ll do the same in Denver.

To dispel another misconception about Peyton, he actually likes to rely on the running game. Our most successful offensive play in Indianapolis was a play-action pass off a stretch play, which worked only when we were picking up yards on the ground from the actual stretch play.

Overall, I’d expect Denver’s offense to be a work in progress as everyone adjusts to a new quarterback and a new system. But I’d bet that the offense will take off in the second half of the season, making the Broncos legitimate championship contenders.

These quotes are from an ESPN Insider/Mag column by former Colts GM Bill Polian; the rest is mostly the typical "Peyton works really hard" and "Peyton is brilliant" stuff, plus Polian reiterates his high opinion of Denver's line (probably since the one he himself put together for Indy was so poor in recent years) and expects new tight ends Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen to light it up in the early going.

Ryan Leaf is desperately addicted to painkillers, arrested a second time in two days

Former QB Leaf arrested again in Montana after burglary
www.nfl.com

HELENA, Mont.—Two days after posting bail for drug and burglary charges, former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf has been arrested a second time in Montana…

...Hickman says the new charges stem from a burglary on Sunday—two days after Leaf was arrested and charged with burglarizing an acquaintance’s home for prescription painkillers.

This story was only slightly amusing the first time.  Now it's just sad.

The guy needs help.

Broncos getting intimate with Brock Osweiler

Dolphins at Osweiler pro day PLUS private workout coming
miamiherald.typepad.com

Oswelier has been addressing his mechanics since the end of the college season.

“It’s more over-the-top now,” Osweiler said of a revamped throwing motion. “I was kind of always dragging my elbow when I was playing here at ASU, and we really wanted to utilize my full 6-7 frame, or whatever it is, and make sure the arm and delivery is over-the-top.”

Osweiler, who seems like a third-round talent to me, will go on multiple private workouts for several NFL franchises including the Dolphins.

“I’m meeting with the Chiefs and the Broncos next week and I’m taking trips to Miami and Buffalo and a few other places,” he said.

Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of a 6-7 quarterback to develop behind Peyton Manning.

Rivers vs. Manning is a top-rated Jedi battle

Peyton Manning vs. Philip Rivers fits right in with top QB
aol.sportingnews.com

4. Peyton Manning vs. Rivers. Rivers once had a heated division rivalry with Cutler, when the latter was the Broncos’ starting quarterback. Rivers didn’t like Cutler, so it will be refreshing that his battle with Manning will be one of mutual respect. When Manning and Rivers aren’t sounding like the Southern gentlemen they are, their relentless desire should make for a wild, wild West showdown.

Rivers will no longer have his top wide receiver Vincent Jackson, and Manning needs to get used to throwing to unfamiliar young targets such as Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. That should make Manning and Rivers’ upcoming matchups more unpredictable than Chargers vs. Colts, but you can bet both games will be decided by who’s the better quarterback in the fourth quarter.

Bring out the light sabers.   

Dreessen came to Denver to take it up a notch

New Denver Bronco talks with Times
www.fortmorgantimes.com

“I chose the Broncos to get out of my comfort zone. I wanted to take a risk,” he explained about selecting Denver over five-year employer Houston Texans. “I want to take my game to another level…”

“...It’s not about stats, though. It’s about being out there more plays and making a bigger impact,” he proclaimed. “If it’s special teams or blocking my tail off for a big-time rusher, that’s what I want to do.”

Expect big things from Dreessen this year on the stretch play.  And then notice how surprised you are when he ends up with 10--12 touchdowns off of play fakes at the end of the season.

30-year Broncos fan throws temper tantrum and takes her toys home

Count this writer as an ex-Broncos fan
billingsgazette.com

How do I tell my grandchildren that I am no longer a Denver Bronco fan? They are five years old and have a “jump up and down on the couch” excitement for Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos. I helped make them that way. I was that loyal fan for 30 years through thick and through thin.

Now, my trust and belief in the organization is gone. It’s become apparent that the “head office” wanted to throw Tebow under the bus when they got the chance. Never mind that he rallied the Broncos to inspiring wins that revived the Bronco nation. The Pittsburgh overtime playoff (11 seconds — count them) is one of the best moments in NFL history. And Peyton Manning — he never would have signed with a losing Denver team.

So leaving the Broncos is an easy move for me. What’s not easy is trying to explain to my grandkids that football is not just a game. It’s much more. Elvis has left the building.

Sonja Black
Powell, Wyo.

Poor Sonja.  I'm not sure if I feel more sorry for her or for her grandchildren, since they probably need some ritalin for that jumping-up-and-down-on-the-couch issue.

I've heard different versions of this country song, but they always sing the same chorus: I've been such a loyal subject through the toughest of times, but now, I can't take it any more and I'm going home!

Give me a freakin' break, Sonja Black. The Denver Broncos are bigger than you. They're bigger than me. They're bigger than the whole of Wyoming, Colorado, and the Rocky Mountains for that matter. And yes, they are bigger than Tim Tebow (they might not be bigger than John Elway, though, after that sweet-ass Peyton Manning trade, you know what I'm sayin'?). The good news is with the NFL SUNDAY TICKET™, you can watch your precious each and every week in New York City.

Now, get the hell out of Dodge.  

One final question. Is Sonja comparing herself to Elvis or is she saying that Tim Tebow is Elvis? Either way, we're going to need to bring in some fried peanut-butter and banana sandwiches pronto. Oh, and bring a shotgun. There's some TVs that need shot up--in Powell, Wyoming.

Gayer Tebow, Tighter Passes

After 1 Week In New York Tim Tebow Already A Gay, Homeless Crack Addict
www.theonion.com

Tim Tebow has fallen into sin, Tiger Woods is adequate again, and the Mets are questionable for opening day, but Doc Brooks and Kenny Kennedy still hate each other. It’s GOOMF!

The Onion: taking the craziest conversations we've ever had, adding crack, and making it a positive for Tim Tebow's game.

If you're not familiar with The Onion (really?): NSFW language, if the title hasn't hinted enough at that. If you don't have a sense of humor, you probably shouldn't bother watching either.

If we did pretend to take this seriously for a moment: given the Mark Sanchez-Kate Upton rumors, I'm not sure how he could up his game, but to each his own.