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Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks - 2/14/11

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NFP Sunday Blitz | National Football Post
The other common thread between the Patriots, Falcons and Chiefs is they have a system specific personnel philosophy. "We haven't wavered because of what other teams perceive to be a good fit, or how they rate players," Dimitroff said. "We've always tried to draft for our team, not the league. So sometimes you have to pass on a very talented football player. It's easier to put together a team when you just put talent together. There is a lot more thought and rumination that goes into to acquiring players who fit into your team and your philosophy."

Don Yee’s 18-game idea sounds good, but won’t work | ProFootballTalk
With Commissioner Roger Goodell strongly opposed to teams that have clinched playoff berths sending in the scrubs in the later weeks of the season, Goodell won’t want to see teams periodically shuffling in second-teamers throughout the course of the season, via a cockeyed suicide pool for coaches. It also would create a major problem on special teams, where key members of the punt and kickoff units would have to be arbitrarily benched and players not necessarily accustomed to those duties pressed into service. That’s a recipe for injuries, possibly serious ones, during punt and kickoff returns.

Super Bowl lawsuit raises interesting questions regarding revenue sharing | ProFootballTalk
It’s ironic, to say the least, that a potentially significant expense incurred by the Cowboys will be spread equally among all teams, given that Jones widely is believed to be the loudest voice against true revenue sharing. "Right now, we are subsidizing this market," Jones said in August 2009 regarding the Vikings and the place they currently call home. "It’s unthinkable to think that you’ve got the market you got here — 3 ½ million people — and have teams like Kansas City and Green Bay subsidizing the market. That will stop. . . . That’s going to stop. That’s on its way out."

Ten ways to improve the Hall of Fame selection process | ProFootballTalk
The Board of Trustees ultimately determine the contents of the Hall of Fame’s bylaws. All too often, members of the panel who are faced with criticism of the selection process instantly explain that their hands are tied by the bylaws. So change the bylaws. Blogs " Blog Archive Six things we love about the 2000s "
Anybody who grew up in the 2000s cannot imagine a world without text messages, Facebook and "Glee." Nor can they remember an era when the Super Bowl was not the best game of the season. But for children of the 1980s, a Super Bowl blowout was an indelible part of the decade as much as Air Jordans, Motley Crue and Ronald Reagan. But we should rejoice in this golden age of the Super Bowl. Even the blowouts of this decade would have been considered close by 1980s standards.

Curtis Martin and a More Sensible Hall of Fame -
Martin, fourth in career rushing yards, will probably go in with Parcells next year. If he doesn’t, is something wrong with the Hall of Fame? - NFC West 2010 season-in-review team reports
NFC West 2010 season-in-review team reports

Wallace vs. Shields: breaking down press-coverage | National Football Post
Press-coverage (or "bump and run") is purely technique based. Your hands, footwork, hips and eyes are all tested when you want to challenge the WR at the line of scrimmage. Lose your technique—or guess—in the NFL and you will get beat. Sounds simple, but vs. the speed of a No.1 WR you have to rely on your technique to win.

Eagles want a simple defensive approach -
While none of the coaches assembled directly said it, the complexities of McDermott's defense - of which there were many - will be abandoned in favor of a scheme that is more primal in its approach. Each made use of the word simple, or some form of it, when asked to describe what kind of defense new coordinator Juan Castillo would employ.

Solving a few of the 10 great mysteries of the 2010 Cleveland Browns: NFL Insider |
3. How can an NFL team that only runs the ball on offense configure its roster to have two running backs and seven wide receivers? Heckert: "I don't know how to answer that one. I think [the RB depth] was good for a while. When we had Peyton, Jerome and a couple of other guys here, we were OK. But once Eric wanted us to get rid of Jerome, that's when it started [going bad]. Once you get rid of that guy then it's just tough to find guys." news: Expect teams to study, copy Packers' plan of attack vs. Steelers
Every Super Bowl has an impact on the following season. The Patriots' dramatic win over the Rams put a serious dent in the "greatest show on turf." Teams studied Bill Belichick's defensive strategy that utilized a ton of man-under-two-deep coverages, daring Kurt Warner to run with the ball. St. Louis' scoring machine had been slowed down, and it left a lasting impact on that offense going forward.

Lawyer to NFL: Meet now to avoid ugly Super Bowl ticket resolution - The Huddle: Football News from the NFL -
Last week, NFL executive VP of business affairs Eric Grubman chided lawyers such as Avenatti for getting involved with the process. But Avenatti defended his role on behalf of his clients.

The workouts get all of the attention and savvy NFL draft followers know that the medical grades are actually the most important part of the Combine. One critical piece of the Combine pie that gets very little exposure is the player interview process. In the past, the interviews teams get with players have only earned attention when something bizarre occurs -- like last year when the Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland asked then-Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant about his mother's ... uhhh... profession.

Sources: Combine boycott talk on table - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
"I’m all for getting those contracts for the top six to 10 players under control; we all see that it’s a problem," one prominent agent said. "But what the league is talking about, it’s criminal. Five years and a flat amount? For a lot of guys that’s their whole career. We all get it, [disappointing] guys like JaMarcus Russell(notes), Aaron Maybin(notes) or even Matt Stafford getting hurt, there’s a lot of risk for the clubs. "But if a guy plays and plays well, there should be ways for him to make up the difference. The league isn’t even talking about [playing]-time incentives for these guys. It’s ridiculous and, ultimately, it hurts the veterans because you need the best players making real money to help bring everybody up."

2010 vs. 2011: Quarterbacks - Mocking The Draft
First of all, Cam Newton is undoubtedly a better runner than Tebow. Tebow could outrun linebackers. But Cam Newton could outrun safeties. I watched Newton stiff-arm a defensive lineman into the ground, juke a linebacker, juke another one, then outrun a defensive back to the house. Against South Carolina, a very good SEC team. Beyond running the ball (remember they aren't halfbacks), I personally put their passing skills in the same league, but I give the slight edge to Cam because of his better mechanics and strength. Plus Newton is a good 2 inches taller, so he will easier be able to see over the line and deliver the ball with his high release (he is no Vince Young). The bottom line is Cam Newton is a better NFL prospect than Tim Tebow was. Tebow showed some good things close to the end of the NFL season with Denver, but Newton's ceiling is much higher. - DE Bowers living up to expectations
Da'Quan Bowers has been the most talented player on the football field for most of his career. Bowers was the top-rated recruit by ESPN coming out of Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School in South Carolina. However, it took the loss of a close friend for Bowers to translate that talent into production. For Bowers, the decision to get into football was a family matter. He picked up the sport at age 6, and became more passionate about the game as he matured. "I had a cousin play college football at Clemson in the early 1990s and he dropped out," Bowers said. "My father told me to never be like him. If you are going to start something, make sure you finish it."


League claims it didn’t abandon CBA talks last week, even though the facts suggest otherwise | ProFootballTalk
As a result, it’s reasonable to question whether the NFL truly wants to do a fair deal, or whether the NFL will only do a deal on its skewed and one-sided terms. As time passes, we’re starting to wonder whether, at the core, this fight isn’t about revenue sharing or the players getting a "such a great deal" in 2006 or an unsustainable model that generated $9 billion in a bad economy. We’re starting to suspect that the enormous financial success of the league has left the owners believing that the players are simply making too much money, and that the owners want to take some of it back.

Sources: Talks between NFL and NFLPA ended over inaccurately presented documents - ESPN
But there is a growing discord and mistrust between the two sides. Management was irritated by Smith's decision to release the owners' counterproposal on a rookie wage scale to players and player agents, as opposed to offering a response directly to management. Even the choice of descriptive words was a source of irritation. Whereas Smith noted that renegotiations or extensions of rookie contracts were "banned" until after the third year, a management official said the proposal "allows" for those renegotiations or extensions after the third year. Regardless, the intent and meaning are the same. - Rookie salary major issue between NFL, players
In an NFLPA memo obtained by Mullen, she reveals that the NFL proposed cutting the league minimum to players in their first four years by nearly 30 percent, from $405,000 to $275,000. Players whose performance exceeded those numbers would be stuck, as "re-negotiations or extensions would be banned until after three years for drafted players" under the NFL Rookie Wage Scale proposal. Also, to save the owners from paying younger players so much up front, signing bonuses would be fixed and paid over the life of the contract instead of all at the beginning.

NFL analyst: Jerry Jones 'has to feel pretty embarrassed' about Super Bowl | Dallas Cowboys News - Sports News for Dallas, Texas - SportsDayDFW
What had happened in 2006 is what had been pretty much a family league turned into the high revenue-type of league with Jerry running it, with Bob Kraft and Woody Johnson and all the high revenue type of teams; they finally took control and now have it where they have nine key votes that they can get, pretty much, what they want but also, too, in the end, they also want something that’s good for the league. But all the debt that Jerry has and the Mara family has with the Giants and all the debt that’s all around the league from all these new stadiums, something needs to be done and there’s no need to be overly greedy on these things. One thing you know about Jerry: he’s going to try and cut the best deal for Jones and also the Dallas Cowboys. He’s pretty generous with his players. I mean, he pays pretty well. He usually has a very high payroll and so, in the end, I think he can get something done.

It’s going to get ugly folks… | isportsweb
I might also add, in my personal experience this is one of the most unusual union negotiations I have ever seen. Basically labor is not asking for more, they were happy with the status quo. Oh they would like more insurance for injured players but their demands are a pittance when compared to the amount of revenue being brought into the league. I have never seen ownership ask for a give back without supporting their position by opening up their books to labor. The ownership saw the NHL bully their way into a new agreement with their players by forcing some young folks in their 20′s to sit out a season and lose money they likely will never have a chance to earn back in order to break the players union. They have hired the same council who did it once in the NHL. The facts do not paint a pretty picture for the players or the fans.

American Chronicle | Dissecting the NFL's labor impasse
On another level, however, the players are almost innocent bystanders. The way the current deal is structured, the smaller-market, lower-revenue teams -- such as the Rams -- are hard-pressed to keep up with the big boys such as Dallas, Washington and New England. Those big-market teams have been able to make a killing on non-shared revenue, such as luxury suites, stadium naming rights and corporate sponsorship -- money that isn't shared with other teams and therefore doesn't go into the pool used to establish the salary cap. The result? The amount of money that smaller-market teams are paying for labor costs is a much larger share of their overall revenue.

Tickets for games that might be canceled?! - NFC North Blog - ESPN
Every team follows its own structure for renewal, but in most cases the process is either underway or soon will be. The Minnesota Vikings are requiring a down payment by Feb. 23. The Green Bay Packers expect payment 60 days after the end of the season. The Chicago Bears have set an April deadline. (The Detroit Lions are not advertising a deadline.) You can join all the Internet protests you want, but the most direct way to be heard is to hit owners in their wallets. Let's be clear here: By renewing your season tickets on schedule, you're contributing to the league's lockout fund.

Beer Buyer Is Smarter Than Goldman Banker: Scott Soshnick - Bloomberg
Feeling wasn’t enough for Rupp, who learned the value and necessity of catering to the customer as a 15-year-old working as a produce clerk in a Cleveland-area supermarket. Rupp skated to the Penguins bench, where he asked the trainer to retrieve a puck, a piece of paper, a pen and a $10 bill from his wallet. Rupp wrote, "Here’s for your beer. Sorry," on the paper, which he wrapped around the money and taped to the puck. The 31-year-old returned to the scene of the spill, tapped on the glass, got the soggy fan’s attention and tossed the puck to him. The fan read the note, smiled and offered a two-thumbs- up response.

Line of Scrimmage: Now the real game begins - NFL - Wire -
The owners' decision to walk out of Wednesday's meeting wasn't so much an indication of the sizeable chasm that presently consists between the two parties, but more a sign that neither is feeling a sense of urgency to get something done at the moment. It's a stage where public relations takes precedent over the real issues in question, with both sides desperately seeking to show a perception of strength and solidarity while additionally trying to portray the other as the evildoer in the eyes of the fans.

When lockout starts, league policies go out the window | ProFootballTalk
It means that drug testing will end and that players who are arrested during the lockout won’t be subject to fines or suspensions. Though we don’t recommend that players get arrested in order to prove a point, the point already will be proven once the CBA expires and the lockout begins and the league loses all power to control men whom the league has grown very accustomed to controlling.

NFL Lockout: Wide Spread PED Use To Be Expected
My first thought when I read this wasn’t, "Well that’s it, everyone is going to start smoking marijuana now." And it wasn’t, "Will NFL players now routinely pack guns like Plaxico Burress?" It wasn’t, "Are they all going to act like Ben Roethlisberger in a bar now?" either. What came to my mind first was PED’s. If players know there is going to be no drug testing (and you can’t do it in hindsight), what’s to stop them from taking steroids? Are we naïve enough to think that everyone is going to be on the honor system?

Jay Feely: Jerry Richardson insults intelligence of players | ProFootballTalk
Speaking on the Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio in New York, Cardinals kicker Jay Feely passed along a story from last week’s brief bargaining session in Dallas that Brees and Manning attended. "Jerry Richardson . . . he’s going to criticize Peyton Manning and Drew Brees and their intelligence in our meeting Saturday?" Feely said. "And sit there and say dismissively to Manning ‘Do I need to help you read a revenue chart son? Do I need to help break that down for you because I don’t know if you know how to read that?’"

Vikings DE Edwards will turn to boxing if players locked out - NFL - Sporting News
If the NFL does impose a lockout on players during the CBA negotiations, Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards says he will try his hand at becoming a professional boxer.