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Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks - 1/30/11




Klis: Defense, running ball go together - The Denver Post
First, the Broncos will run more because Tim Tebow is a young quarterback in the early-development stage. In his three-game audition to finish the season, the Broncos averaged 126.0 yards rushing — a clip that over a full season would have ranked eight in the league. And that was without a running back. Knowshon Moreno was hurt, and Correll Buckhalter is limited even when he's healthy. Tebow accounted for 53 percent of the team's rushing yardage in those final three games.

Lloyd works to impress NFL's best - The Denver Post
"It's funny when they throw me the ball in our practices, I've been concentrating hard on catching every ball," Lloyd said. "I want to run the right route. I want them to trust me, to know that I'll come back to the ball. I am not taking this opportunity for granted. It's been surreal."

Brandon Lloyd: A Journeyman’s inspiration | All Things Broncos
Lloyd’s story here is one of perseverance. Never mind his three teams in six-year frustration to start his journey. Underrated in Lloyd’s comeback year was how he was treated like the 53rd man on the Broncos’ roster just last season. The first 14 games in the 16-game season, Lloyd didn’t get to wear his game jersey on Sunday.

Did Champ Bailey just clinch Hall of Fame? | All Things Broncos
"That’s what makes his situation so funny — his status as far as coming back to the Broncos,’’ said Broncos receiver Brandon Lloyd, who is in Hawaii on his first Pro Bowl appearance. "He’s still got it. It’s not like you can put a number on him and say he’s got another year, or two years. He can play for as long as he’s healthy. If he stays healthy he can play for at least another five years.’’ Blogs " Blog Archive Final thoughts on the eve of Pro Bowl "
Don’t be surprised if Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd goes off and ends up being named the game’s most valuable player. Obviously, everyone here is honored to have made the Pro Bowl. But of all the players I spoke with this week, nobody meant it like Lloyd, who is looking to wow the crowd. So if Phillip Rivers, Peyton Manning and Matt Cassel decide to look Lloyd’s way often, I’d expect him to shine.


Vince Lombardi's guys savor Super Bowl memories and Green Bay's new success - The Denver Post
Here's one thing Forrest Gregg knows for sure: If Vince Lombardi were coaching the Green Bay Packers now, he'd absolutely hate all the Super Bowl hoopla.

Barely Lifting a Finger to Get Super Bowl Rings -
Five Rings: Inner Circle MSGR. PETER ARMSTRONG He was the beloved team chaplain for the 49ers in the 1980s and 1990s. That was an easy job. It is not as if he was team chaplain for … the Cowboys.

ESPN study finds misuse of prescription drugs by retired players | ProFootballTalk
The "study" sounds official and scientific (especially since the word "scientific" is used repeatedly when the study is mentioned on television), but it essentially consisted of phone surveys to the men, who retired between 1979 and 2006.

Sabermetric Research: "Scorecasting:" is home field advantage just biased officiating?
12. In the NFL, "Home teams receive fewer penalties than away teams -- about half a penalty less per game -- and are charged with fewer yards per penalty. Of course, this does not necessarily mean officials are biased. But when we looked at more crucial situations in the NFL ... we found that the penalty bias [increases]."

One former player could see an 18-game season working | ProFootballTalk
While the 18-game schedule is at the forefront of fan and media discussion, it doesn’t seem to be at the top of issues between the league and players. The main issue seems to simply be how to divide up revenue, and what counts as a "direct cost" to be subtracted from revenue before the players get their share.

Being Exciting Doesn't Help Win the Super Bowl -
Thuuz created a metric that ranks sporting events for excitement by analyzing factors such as pace, parity and novelty. By plugging the data into an algorithm, Thuuz assigned each game an excitement rating out of 100. Tightly-contested games receive high marks, but the system also takes strange and rare occurrences into account, such as a flea-flicker or a fake punt.

Don't forget about Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger's past behavior - Ann Killion -
Roethlisberger's style of play is called "bruising." That is being celebrated by many this week. For others it conjures up details of the evidence -- "bruises, lacerations and bleeding" -- that was found on a 20-year-old, 5-foot-4 college girl last March, after she went to the police and then to the hospital. Guess your perspective all depends on what prism you're looking through.

Peaked performance - The Boston Globe
Berthelot speaks with the bemused detachment of a French existentialist. What he predicts for the future of sport is just as indifferent, especially for the people who enjoy it: a great stagnation, reaching every event where singular athleticism is celebrated, for the rest of fans’ lives. And yet reading Berthelot’s work is not grim, not necessarily anyway. It is oddly absorbing. The implicit question that his work poses is larger than track and field, or swimming, or even sport itself. Do we dare to acknowledge our limitations? And what happens once we do?

Coding Horror: The Bad Apple: Group Poison
Invariably, groups that had the bad apple would perform worse. And this despite the fact that were people in some groups that were very talented, very smart, very likeable. Felps found that the bad apple's behavior had a profound effect -- groups with bad apples performed 30 to 40 percent worse than other groups. On teams with the bad apple, people would argue and fight, they didn't share relevant information, they communicated less.


Mike Mayock on Nick Fairley: "He has elite ability' | National Football Post
"What I think I want to see from him is to play with better leverage," Fairley said. "When he gets high, he gets washed. When he stays low and goes, it’s really impressive, but he needs to do that a higher percentage of times." Fairley's attitude and play have drawn attention with a history of late hits and roughing the passer penalties. - Senior Bowl game notebook
The player who impressed me the most? Miami (Fla.) ILB Colin McCarthy. He showed a great burst of speed for a linebacker and each of his three tackles, including one for loss, came in the open field with him flying from out of nowhere to make the hit.

Mayock compares Colin Kaepernick to Tim Tebow | National Football Post
"You could make a case that he's this year's Tim Tebow," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. "He's a big, powerful kid who doesn't know what he's doing yet. He’s got a big arm, but he has mechanical issues."

Von Miller wowing scouts at Senior Bowl | National Football Post
"I got a lot of film on Derrick Thomas, I like the way he plays the game," Miller said. "Joe Kines told me a long time ago that I had similar attributes to my game that he had. Right then and there, I looked him up and just watched him. I try to emulate some of the stuff he does. You can’t do some of the stuff he does, but I try my hardest to be like Derrick Thomas.


NFL faces uncertain offseason
"There won't be that much of a difference from this team to that team, in terms of your plan or how smart you are," Casserly said. "But there are some teams with very few free agents and a coaching staff that's been kept intact. Those teams will have a tremendous advantage heading into next season if this thing ends with a mad rush at the end."

For N.F.L., Lockout Would Be a Risky Strategy -
Currently, 10 N.F.L. stadiums are 100 percent publicly financed and 19 are at least 75 percent publicly financed. Next Sunday, however, a global audience will get a look at Cowboys Stadium, which is also commonly referred to as the Death Star. Owners see their own stadium as a way to improve their business and generate more revenue, but they risk alienating fans who see a monument to the N.F.L.’s boom times.

NFL's glass nears empty |
Don’t curl into the fetal position just yet. True, the two sides seem miles apart at this point, but that doesn’t mean we’re looking at a lost season. As some have pointed out — among them David Cornwell, who has worked for both the NFL office and agent Leigh Steinberg during his 23 years in sports law — the league can take steps that are less aggressive than a lockout.

NFL players contract: NFL players and owners leaping into the great unknown -
The best guess is there will be a lockout, and many harsh words. But eventually, maybe in August, the players will buckle at the thought of losing $4.4 billion in salary and benefits. A new CBA will be agreed upon, and the NFL will have a very short period to sign free agents and get teams prepared for a season that could be shorter than usual.

Jets eliminate 30 jobs on business side | ProFootballTalk
On Friday, a tipster tipped us off to the fact that roughly 30 employees had been laid off by the Jets. But before assuming that this was the tip of an iceberg of job losses in the event of a looming lockout, we obtained confirmation and an explanation from the team.

League wants to avoid CBA see-saw | ProFootballTalk
"The league negotiators have told the union on many more than one occasion that they do not want the players four or five years from now to feel the way the owners feel today," the source said. "They recognize that it doesn’t do anyone any good if the players feel abused four years from now. The league wants to break the cycle of every four years or so someone feeling like they have a big need to make up lost ground."

NFL LABOR DISPUTE / Deal - or no football? / All parties in limbo as possibility of lockout looms
Players would then get a 60 percent share of a smaller revenue pie, but owners maintain that new stadiums increase total revenue, which would in turn grow the smaller pie for players. "Our stadium is a perfect example," York said. "You're looking at increased revenue for a lot of players. There's a risk to building a new stadium. How is some of the risk shared with the players? I think that's one of the major concerns."

How much does it really cost to run an NFL franchise? |
Stadiums are expensive and the players don’t have to pay for them. In the past decade, the NFL has spent $4.4 billion on new stadiums. They are trying to build four more new stadiums, including one in Los Angeles for a new NFL franchise and a replacement for the Metrodome. NFL’s lead negotiator, Jeff Pash said that the NFL has been unable to make progress on new stadiums since the current collective bargaining agreement was signed.

Possible NFL lockout: questions and answers
Q: What do owners want instead? A: Primarily, they want to keep more of their total revenue for operating and investment expenses - about $1 billion off the top of total revenue - while reportedly offering players an 18 percent overall pay cut. Players would still get a 60 percent share, but it would be from a smaller pool of total revenue.