Some teams surge toward the playoffs. Look at Denver, Seattle, Washington and Green Bay.
Most recent posts
Some teams surge toward the playoffs. Look at Denver, Seattle, Washington and Green Bay.
According to ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen , the Jacksonville Jaguars are a “virtual certainty” to acquire current New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow in 2013, via free agency or the trade route. Tebow, who remains a bit player with the Jets after the team bumped Greg McElroy above to starter following the decision to bench Mark Sanchez this week, has reportedly requested that the Jets trade or release him. Tebow, who is from the Jacksonville area, has been the subject of the franchise’s interest for quite some time. In March, Jaguars owner Shad Khan put himself in with the Jets in the derby for Tebow’s services, offering a fourth-round pick and $3 million to offset Tebow contract with the Denver Broncos. But Tebow chose the Jets, and that hasn’t worked out for him at all. After throwing 126 completions in 271 attempts for 1,729 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2011 for the Broncos, Tebow was relegated to the role of option/gimmick player for the Jets. He’s completed six of just eight passes for a total of 39 yards in 2012.
Originally posted here:
Report: Tebow a ‘virtual certainty’ to play for Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013 (Shutdown Corner)
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Knowing as well as anyone that time is no longer his friend, Peyton Manning went looking for a team last summer. He gambled on the Denver Broncos, and when he signed the contract, the players who were already in Denver got the message: Their new quarterback thought the pieces were in place to win the Super Bowl, and win one quickly. “You had a guy like Peyton. He had the opportunity to go several places,” cornerback Champ Bailey said. “You know he wants to win and he goes to the place that can help him win. It raises your expectations.” On a nine-game winning streak and positioned for a first-round bye in the playoffs, it’s safe to say the Broncos (11-3) are living up to what Manning hoped they would be. They are not a team headed for the playoffs based on smoke and mirrors, the way many critics felt last year’s team was with Tim Tebow at the helm. That team finished the season ranked 23rd on offense and 20th on defense. This year’s team is dominating statistically. -Manning’s offense has scored 30 points in all but three games this season. It ranks fifth in the NFL with 387 yards a game, and the quarterback himself (4,016 yards, 31 touchdowns), is in reach of finishing with the second-most yards and passing touchdowns in his 15 seasons. -The special teams picked up a special returner in Trindon Holliday, who has scored two touchdowns on returns. -The defense, led by linebacker Von Miller and coached by coordinator Jack Del Rio, is ranked fourth in yards allowed, second in sacks and has allowed the fewest points in the AFC (274). “They’re very fundamental,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said of the Broncos defense his team will face Sunday. “They do a good job against the run. They play well. And it kind of correlates on offense. They’ve scored 30 points in nine games this year, so you can be just a little bit more reckless when you know on the other side of the ball, you’re going to score points.” Manning, of course, was looking for a contender, not a project. His quote on the day he signed – “This is a `now’ situation. We’re going to do whatever we can to win right now” – said everything about both his mission and his time frame. Quarterback Peyton Manning throws a pass against the Houston Texans at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on Sept. 23, 2012. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) Much has been made of the instant bond he formed with John Elway, the former Broncos quarterback-turned-executive, and the working relationship he knew he’d be able to form with head coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. As meticulous as he is, though, Manning said he did not drill down deeply into the Broncos roster when he made his final decision. “You can’t know everything about a team when you’re making a decision like that. I’d be lying if I said that I went through every single player on the roster,” Manning said. “I had some questions. I met with John (Fox) and met with Mike (McCoy) and met with Del Rio, met with all of them during my visit here and had some questions for them and got those answers and felt comfortable about those types of things.” If Manning was concerned with any single position, it would have been receiver. He essentially brought his old buddy and teammate, Brandon Stokley, along with him. Meanwhile, the top two wideouts already on the roster heard Manning was coming and knew they’d have to up their game. “We had a lot of good talent last year,” Eric Decker said. “The defense was playing well. Offensively, we were doing what we could to move the ball and score points. And to have him add a big piece to our offense has really helped the team in general. And just who he is as a person, who he is as a professional, the guy demands the best out of himself and that carries over to his teammates.” Decker needs 77 more yards to reach 1,000 in receiving for the season, which would make him and Demaryius Thomas the first Broncos duo to reach 1,000 yards each since 2004. “I never took it as pressure,” Thomas said of Manning’s arrival. “At least not too much pressure. But he did choose to come here so you know you’ve got to mind your `P’s and `Q’s. If he comes here and you’re a bust, he’s saying, `Man, I could’ve gone somewhere else.’ You don’t want him saying that.” NOTES: Broncos OL Zane Beadles was named the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year nomination for his community service work. “I definitely didn’t expect it,” the third-year player out of Utah said. … With the field cleared of snow, Denver practiced outside Thursday. OL Chris Kuper (ankle) didn’t participate, while FB Chris Gronkowski (hamstring) and DT Kevin Vickerson (groin) were limited. … The Broncos will be facing their first rookie QB of the season in Brandon Weeden. “He looks like he has the talent to get it done,” perennial Pro Bowler Champ Bailey said. “He can make you look back if you let him.” … LB Von Miller said he never sacked Weeden when Miller suited up for Texas A&M and Weeden at Oklahoma State. “I got a roughing-the-passer call,” Miller said. “Hopefully, things can be different this season.” (© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Go here to see the original:
Manning’s Choice Adds Pressure In Denver
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The more the Denver Broncos win, the better the chance they lose — coordinators, that is. Defensive boss Jack Del Rio and his offensive counterpart, Mike McCoy, figure to be hot commodities for any head coaching vacancies when the season finally winds down. That’s simply the price of success. “You like to see people get opportunities and have those options,” said coach John Fox, whose Broncos (11-3) will host Cleveland (5-9) on Sunday. “I’m sure it will be no different this year.” Losing a defensive coordinator has almost become a rite of passage for cornerback Champ Bailey. One year with the Pro Bowler and they’re out the door. That’s been the case the last six seasons and there’s a possibility it could happen again after this year, especially with the way Del Rio has the defense humming along. Surely, orchestrating one of the top defenses in the league will garner Del Rio some consideration for another head coaching job. Bailey understands, though. He would never stand in the way of an upgrade, even if it meant learning another new system from yet another coordinator. “It (stinks) not to have a guy coming back that you’ve done good things with, but any time a guy gets a promotion, you’ve got to applaud that,” Bailey said. “I’d be happy for him. It would (stink) for us, because we’d have to start all over again, but it is what it is. “Everybody wants a promotion.” McCoy nearly had one a year ago, receiving not only kudos for the job he did with overhauling the offense to fit Tim Tebow’s unorthodox style, but strong consideration as a head coach. He was in the running for the Miami Dolphins job before it went to Joe Philbin. This season, he’s assisted in resurrecting the career of Peyton Manning, who’s thrown for the fourth-most yards passing (4,016) in a season for the Broncos and has an outside chance to break Jay Cutler’s franchise mark (4,526) set in 2008. Not bad considering Manning was coming off neck surgery and few figured he would have this bountiful of season. So dominant has the offense been during the Broncos’ nine-game win streak that they’re beating teams by an average of 12.7 points. Even more, they’ve also averaged 29 points a game this season, an output that could draw teams in need of a head coach toward McCoy. Although, he quickly deflected the attention. “Good players make good coaches,” McCoy said. “My wife and I and the kids, we absolutely love Denver. We’ll see what happens. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. If not, hey, we can stay here for a long time. “We have a lot of football left this year to go. We’ll see what happens down the road.” McCoy has certainly earned the respect of Manning, who also credits quarterbacks coach Adam Gase with his stellar performance this season. “I’m grateful for their help and support,” Manning said. A defensive coordinator moving on after a season in this city has almost become expected. After last season, Dennis Allen bolted to take over in Oakland. Other coordinators who have filled the spot over the last few years include Larry Coyer (2006), Jim Bates (2007), Bob Slowik (2008), Mike Nolan (2009) and Don Martindale (2010). That has Bailey wondering — kiddingly, of course — if he’s doing something to drive them off? “I know I’m up there,” Bailey said of where he would rank among players who’ve had the most coordinators through a career. “I’ve got to be up there. I don’t know how many I’ve had — 12, 13, whatever. It’s nothing new to me.” Del Rio has a rather good thing going in Denver with two of the elite pass rushers in the game in Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, a talented linebacker collection and a secondary led by Bailey. That’s a pretty formidable ensemble in which to build a dominating defense. He’s really in no rush to go anywhere just yet. “When you’re a young guy and you haven’t been there, the urgency and desire to get that opportunity is such that you’d take just about any job given to you,” said Del Rio, who was in charge in Jacksonville for nine seasons. “I don’t feel that way now. If there’s something that fits and the right situation comes along, so be it. But in the meantime, I’m all in, 100 percent as a lieutenant on this staff. I’m somebody that John Fox, John Elway … and the players can count on. I’m 100 percent invested in helping them be their best.” Any chance Baily would consider being a player-coach, should Del Rio ever move on? That way, Bailey could assure a level of continuity for years to come. “Ahh, no,” Bailey said, smiling. NOTES: Broncos OL Chris Kuper missed practice Friday with a balky left ankle and migraine symptoms. He’s doubtful for the game against the Browns. … FB Chris Gronkowski (hamstring) was limited at practice. There are nine other players on the injury report listed as probable. “Right now, we’re relatively healthy considering we’re second-to-the-last regular season game and that’s all good,” Fox said. (© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Read the original:
McCoy, Del Rio May Benefit From Broncos’ Success
Jim Poore is back with his weekly picks against the spread. Check out who Jim predicts in his Game of the Week.
Read more here:
POORE’S PICKS: Week Sixteen
COMMENTARY | When you boil it down to basics, football is not that complicated. It only seems that way when you’re watching the New York Giants.
Read more from the original source:
Giants Must Get Back to Basics, Starting in Baltimore (Yahoo! Contributor Network)
Weekend mail call: Nate from Blacksburg, Va., wants to know if I think the Chiefs could pursue Washington backup quarterback Kirk Cousins in a trade …
The rest is here:
Mailbag: Will Chiefs pursue Cousins?
In the video, Mark Schlereth and Jerry Rice make their predictions for the Browns at the Broncos. Here’s what the other ESPN experts are predicting: …
ESPN experts predict Browns-Broncos
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Jeff Saturday has one Super Bowl ring and was looking forward to having a chance to play for another with the Green Bay Packers getting ready to return to the playoffs.
Former Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, and New York Jets defensive lineman Trevor Pryce, who played under current Jets head coach Rex Ryan when Ryan was Baltimore’s defensive coordinator from 2006 through 2000, and a little bit for the Jets in 2010, has an interesting theory about the current breakdowns in the Jets’ overall plan — at least, as it applies to Rex himself. Certainly, the current Jets team, standing at 6-8 after losing perhaps the worst football game of the year at any level last Monday night to the Tennessee Titans, are not getting the full benefit of Ryan’s football acumen. Pryce, who recently penned a guest column for the New York Times on the subject, believes that Ryan is too nice in the wrong ways — and before he can succeed long-term as an NFL head coach, he’ll have to change his modus operandi. If every team had the exact same talent level on its roster, and commanding an N.F.L. sideline involved nothing more than X’s and O’s, Ryan would be one of the more revered coaches in sports. He is a brilliant strategist, a man who works to the point of exhaustion and possesses a passion for and knowledge of football that is unmatched. Combine that with the fact that no coach in the N.F.L knows how to get more out of less, and you have the makings of a perennial championship contender. Sadly for Ryan’s fans and friends, being a head coach these days has very little to do with X’s and O’s and more to do with your personality. And the two personality traits that are stopping him from being a great head coach are the same two that make him a great human being: He is loyal to the point of defiance, and he cares enormously about the people around him. I can certainly side with the schematic point of view. Ryan, who started his run as a defensive coach for Eastern Kentucky in 1987, has forgotten more about defensive football than most people will ever know. His book, ” Coaching Football’s 46 Defense ,” is a must-buy primer on a host of concepts for anyone interested in the Xs-and-Os of the game. But as Pryce wrote, that matters little when you’re the one overseeing the team — and it’s why coaches like Norv Turner, Wade Phillips, and Dick LeBeau have not been able to succeed has the head guys despite their legitimate playbook genius. More of Pryce’s take: Ryan somehow winds up with players nobody wants and then talks about them as if they are Pro Bowlers in order to build their confidence. In some cases, he is right, and the player ends up being a contributor for years. Bart Scott is one of the most successful examples. But in way too many cases Ryan is wrong, and that reality eventually becomes painfully apparent. The examples of defensive end Aaron Maybin and all of his current quarterbacks come to mind. No one ever said Ryan was not a tough coach or a competitor. He is. It’s the reason he used to record the fights in practice and took the Jets to two AFC championship games in a row. But these days being tough is not quite enough. In today’s world of access and social media, a head coach also has to be cold and calculating. Agreed, and that’s not always done the same way from coach to coach. You don’t have to throw tantrums or engage in feuds with the media to put that across. Having covered the Seahawks through Pete Carroll’s tenure, I know that Carroll hasn’t changed the way he is in casual conversation that much from his days at USC, or from his failed shots with the New York Jets and New England Patriots in the 1990s. But what Carroll learned over time is that if his players aren’t concerned about their employment status and places on the starting lineup at all times, problems will ensue. Thus, even though he doesn’t seem mercenary during his press conferences and media blips, Carroll has created an undercurrent of murderous competition beneath his snappy “Always Compete” slogan. If he signs you to a big off-season deal, as he and general manager John Schneider did with quarterback Matt Flynn, and a rookie out-plays you — as Russell Wilson did from the start of the 2012 pre-season — that contract doesn’t mean a thing. You’re not getting on the field. And as Pryce notes, that’s what Ryan needs to develop.