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 Post subject: Broncos News&Notes
PostPosted: Tue 10.02.2007, 09:52 
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Monday, October 1, 2007



Notes: Seeing Red Inside the 20

Glenn Martinez played against the Colts Sunday after watching the first three games of the season as a member of the practice squad.

By Christopher Smith
DenverBroncos.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- The red zone.

The area inside the 20-yard lines gets a special name. It even has its own statistic, invented by University of Colorado sports information director Dave Plati.

It's no coincidence Old Spice has a deodorant body spray called the Red Zone. It's where teams win or lose games.

Right now it's a word that makes Broncos fans cringe. The perception is that Denver's offense can't punch it in, but the Broncos actually rank 15th in the NFL for touchdown percentage, tied with the Indianapolis Colts by converting 50 percent of their opportunities.

It could certainly be worse; the St. Louis Rams have scored two touchdowns in their 10 red zone trips.

"We've got to score more than we have in the red zone. We had an opportunity to have a number of big plays and we were just a hair away," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "You play the game offensively like we did against Indy, good things are going to happen. We played hard, made a couple mistakes but if we give that type of effort, good things are going to happen. We let a couple opportunities slip by, but it'll come."

The offense may not need a defibrillator, but with the additions of Daniel Graham, Travis Henry and Brandon Stokley to go along with a healthy collection of talent and a successful offensive line, fingernails are raking through scalps and shoulders are shrugging.

"I don't know... I mean we move the ball pretty well," Selvin Young said, failing to find a legitimate explanation. "I believe stuff like that happens. It's a long season. I believe statistically by the end of the season, we'll be scoring above 90 percent in the red zone. I'm looking forward to scoring every time we get in the red zone from now on out."

Brandon Marshall maintained a positive outlook, comparing it to a sprinter trying not to peak too early in the season. But he refused to deflect criticism or deny the assertion that the offense needs to score more points.

"It's like (LaDainian Tomlinson said). I'm at a loss for words right now," Marshall said. "No, it's just one of those things where again, when you're playing against the Colts, you can't afford to make any mistakes, and when you get the opportunity to punch it in and score touchdowns instead of field goals, you've got to take advantage of it. We didn't do that and it came back to haunt us in the second half."

Meanwhile, Jay Cutler and the offense are sixth in the NFL in total offense and 19th in total points.

"We're real close. We came in and watched film; it might be one or two people that have to make their block and we're scoring touchdowns. We just have to work harder in practice, and when we work harder in practice, it'll turn over to the game," Graham said.

So what exactly is the problem?

It's a bit like writing a novel; there's going to be ebbs and flows in the plot as the pages turn and some parts may be better than others, but there's just a few pages devoted to the ending. Either it's riveting or it's lacking. There's no in between.

A bad ending can spoil the whole book, posing a delicate balance of risk and reward.

"By the time you get down there, you've got one play, two plays to make something happen," Young said. "At the same time, you always want to reserve the right to kick, so when you're play-calling down there in the red zone, you honestly get limited in some of the things you can do."

The defense has an advantage in the red zone. The receivers have less room to run and the back of the end zone boxes in the offense. Defenses are less likely to give an extra cushion to receivers and more likely to play aggressively. Coaches would sum up the challenge with the word execution.

"We have to execute better. No one's really stopped us; we've stopped ourselves when we got down there," Graham said.

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PostPosted: Tue 10.02.2007, 09:54 
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Monday, October 1, 2007
denverbroncos.com




Defensive end Elvis Dumervil has been one of the bright spots on a Denver defense that has had a difficult beginning to the 2007 season.

After a 2006 rookie season that saw him post 8.5 sacks, Dumervil is well on his way to besting that mark as he has notched four sacks through the first four games of 2007. Dumervil is currently tied for first place in the AFC in sacks, and has also grabbed an interception and a fumble recovery.

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PostPosted: Tue 10.02.2007, 21:46 
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http://www.milehighreport.com/story/...0/2/184929/266

The Denver Broncos on Tuesday signed wide receiver Brian Clark and waived wide receiver Domenik Hixon, Head Coach Mike Shanahan announced.

Clark (6-foot-2, 204 pounds) is a second-year player who rejoins the Broncos after the club waived him Saturday. Clark, who was inactive for Denver's first three games this season, entered the NFL with Denver on May 3, 2006, as a college free agent from North Carolina State University.

As a rookie in 2006, Clark spent the first six weeks of the season on Denver's practice squad before he was signed to its active roster on Oct. 23. He played six games (0 starts) for the Broncos, leading the club with 23 kickoff returns for 512 yards (22.3 avg.).

In 43 career games (23 starts) at North Carolina State, Clark totaled 78 receptions for 1,311 yards (16.8 avg.) with 11 touchdowns. He was an All-Academic Atlantic Coast Conference selection as a junior in 2004 and also competed on the school's track team.

Clark, who received PrepStar honorable mention All-Southeast Region honors at Chamberlain High School in Tampa, Fla., was born Dec. 26, 1983, in Jacksonville, Fla.

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PostPosted: Tue 10.02.2007, 21:51 
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From NFL.com

Broncos running back Henry has MRI on knee and ankle,
Associated Press
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos running back Travis Henry had an MRI exam on his right knee and right ankle Monday after being injured at Indianapolis.

Denver Broncos
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Henry's status and that of other injured players won't be known until later this week.

Henry ran for 121 yards in the Broncos' 38-20 loss to the Colts on Sunday before leaving the game cringing after an unspecified injury. He returned for limited action in the fourth quarter and finished with 131 yards.

Defensive end John Engelberger also had an MRI, coach Mike Shanahan said.

Shanahan didn't comment on either player's availability for Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers.

Wide receiver Javon Walker (knee), running back Mike Bell (concussion) and defensive backs John Lynch (groin) and Hamza Abdullah (hip) were inactive against the Colts. Shanahan said he would know more about the players' availability on Wednesday.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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PostPosted: Mon 10.08.2007, 00:51 
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Nalen might be gone for season

Nalen is believed to have torn a biceps muscle.

LINCICOME: 'Embarrassed' Shanahan takes blame
Chargers deliver shock to Broncos
By Lee Rasizer, Jeff Legwold, Pat Rooney and Brad Byler, Rocky Mountain News
October 8, 2007

There were fears after Sunday's game center Tom Nalen will be lost for the season with an upper arm injury.
Nalen played the entirety of the Broncos' 41-3 loss despite getting hurt on the opening series. It's believed he might have torn a biceps.

Asked if he feared his season could be over, Nalen responded, "Yeah," adding, "I don't know for sure," and won't until a magnetic resonance imaging exam today.

Nalen's loss would be critical for an offensive line already missing its primary backup.

Ben Hamilton was placed on injured reserve last week with post-concussion symptoms.

If Nalen is unable to play during the final 11 games, he likely would be replaced by Chris Myers, who has filled in for Hamilton as the starting left guard.

That would then push Chris Kuper into the lineup in Myers' guard slot.

The Broncos also have center Greg Eslinger on their practice squad. He has been in the team's offensive system the last two years.

Nalen, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, has played all 16 games 10 of the past 11 seasons. He missed the final nine games of the 2002 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.Bad memories

Tom Nalen and Jason Elam had seen this movie before, but it was an oldie.

On Sept. 18, 1994, the Broncos were enduring a 43-7 pasting at the hands of the Oakland Raiders and venom was being spewed at the home team at old Mile High Stadium.

The players reminisced on the sideline about the similar scenario as it unfolded again Sunday, with fans booing then filing out of the stadium Sunday as early as midway through the third quarter.

"I said that's the last time I could remember anything remotely like this happening," Elam recalled of his in-game conversation.

Invesco Field at Mile High nearly was empty by the time the San Diego Chargers put the finishing touches on a 38-point blowout.

"They have a right to leave and say whatever they want," Nalen said. "It's tough. But we deserve it."

The end result was a low point of what has become a troubling trend for the Broncos - a startling lack of success at home. Playing at altitude used to be a badge of honor.

No longer. The Broncos are 2-6 in their last eight home games dating to Oct 29.

The only wins since that time came with the help of a botched extra-point snap in the final minute against the Cincinnati Bengals last season that likely would have sent the game into overtime, and last month against Oakland, when a timeout wiped out a potential winning field goal by the Raiders and was followed with a missed kick. The Broncos prevailed in overtime.

"We're a different team, I guess," Nalen said of the Broncos' home dropoff. "We just haven't been winning at home. It's tough to put a finger on the reason. But we just haven't performed well."

Broncos tight end Daniel Graham grew up in Denver and watched as the Broncos build up the majority of their league-best 75-24 record since 1995.

"It's just awful. You can't really say much about it. I never thought we'd see anything like this," he said.

One shining moment

The Broncos had few bright spots Sunday, but one of them came on Tony Scheffler's blocked punt during the fourth quarter. Scheffler, who just returned from a broken foot that kept him out of the Broncos' first four games, got his hand on Mike Scifres punt with 11:31 remaining in the game for the Broncos' first blocked punt since Jashon Sykes blocked one against Indianapolis in 2003.

"We didn't come out the way we wanted to, but it felt good for me to get out there and get my hands on some balls and even on a punt," Scheffler said.

Boo birds

The Broncos were showered with boos as they left the field after the 38-point loss. Brandon Marshall wasn't pleased with the negative reaction.

"That's bandwagon," he said. "I love you all to death, but that's not first class."

Some of the other Broncos said they only had themselves to blame.

"I heard a couple boos," Brian Clark said. "It's understandable. They were disappointed, and we're just as disappointed."

"It's sad, but you can't blame them," Jarvis Moss said. "We didn't get it done (Sunday)."

No Rice

Broncos defensive end Simeon Rice was one of the Broncos game-day inactives.

Rice played in only eight games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2006 season because of shoulder surgery and the Broncos are saying he's still not fully recovered. But Rice had played in a situational role during the previous four games.

He has six tackles this season to go with one pass batted down. He does not have a sack.

"He's just not 100 percent yet," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "You watch him play, watch him practice and that shoulder is probably about 80 percent, we thought it was in the best interest to go another direction. When he is healed, he brings a lot to the table. When he is healthy, I'm sorry, he bring a lot to the table."

Asked if he was surprised to be out of uniform Rice said, "Of course, my off week is ill."

Rice signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Broncos just before the regular season began, a deal that also includes bonuses for his sack totals.

Rice would earn $250,000 for 10 or 11 sacks; $500,000 for 12 or 13 sacks; $750,000 for 14 or 15 sacks and $1 million for 16 or more.

Happy homecoming

Colorado Springs native and former University of Northern Colorado star Vincent Jackson enjoyed his finest game in Denver during his three-year career, catching three passes for 84 yards and one touchdown.

Jackson's 84 yards was the fourth-best single-game mark of his career and dwarfed his production in his visit to Denver last year, when he caught three passes for 39 yards and one touchdown. Jackson was inactive when the Chargers visited Denver during his rookie season of 2005.

"You get the guest fans (seats) but they don't get very good tickets," Jackson said. "I had some guys from high school and college sitting up at the top. I knew where they were and I could see them up there waving the blankets and flags."

Unfamiliar drubbing

The 38-point loss marked only the eighth time in coach Shanahan's 13-year tenure the Broncos suffered a defeat by at least nine points at home.

The loss also was the first time the Broncos have suffered two such defeats in one season, after the nine-point loss they suffered against Jacksonville on Sept. 23.

Injury report

• Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey will be sent this morning for a magnetic resonance imaging exam on his left thigh.

Bailey suffered the injury on 9-yard touchdown reception by Antonio Gates with 9:20 left in the third quarter and missed most of the remainder of the game.

Bailey said he was just trying to push off on the leg and "felt something."

He said if there is no significant damage to the muscle that he believed he could play with pain if he had to following the bye week.

"It doesn't feel good," Bailey said.

• Tight end Nate Jackson suffered a groin injury and also will have an MRI today. He was limping significantly after the game.

• Receiver Brandon Stokley was also taken out of the game during the second half with what the team called a head injury.

Etc.

• The Broncos have lost three straight games for only the fifth time under Shanahan.

• Broncos receiver Glenn Martinez, playing extensively in three-wide sets, had six catches for 70 yards. He entered the game with one career reception.

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PostPosted: Tue 10.09.2007, 11:03 
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Monday, October 8, 2007



Nalen, Jackson Lost for Season


Center Tom Nalen and tight end Nate Jackson leave voids that the Broncos will try and fill before facing the Pittsburgh Steelers after the bye week.

By Andrew Mason
DenverBroncos.com

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Battered by the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, the Broncos emerged from the game not only banged-up, but minus two of the previous day's starting 22 players for the remainder of the season.

Neither Tom Nalen nor Nate Jackson will be able to return this year, the victims of a torn biceps and groin, respectively. They join a rapidly expanding list of wounded that already included guard Ben Hamilton, safety Hamza Abdullah and wide receivers Rod Smith and Javon Walker, although Walker is expected to return in time for the Oct. 21 Sunday Night Football duel with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Nalen tore the right biceps muscle during the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss but kept playing.

"Not many guys would do that," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "We couldn't even run inside running plays; we had to run outside running plays, (because he) didn't have any strength in there.

"Most guys would come out of the game. He just said it was a little sore," Shanahan added. "He knew he tore it early. But he also knew we only carried six offensive linemen into the game, too, and there was no way he was going to come out. That gives you an idea of his mental toughness and what he brings to the table."

But the absences of Hamilton and Nalen rob the Broncos' offensive line of two of its three most experienced starters. Of the other players to fill out the line, only Matt Lepsis was on the roster prior to the 2005 NFL Draft, which will leave the Broncos with their least experienced offensive line in over a decade.

Replacing the injured players there will require patience -- more so than at other spots around the lineup.

"I think offensive line takes more time than most positions," Shanahan acknowledged.

Nalen's recovery time should be about four months, and Shanahan expects him to be ready to play in 2008.

For Jackson, the injury comes just as his career was starting to blossom. After spending the 2003 and 2004 campaigns at wide receiver, he moved to tight end in 2005 after suffering a season-ending ankle injury in December 2004, but battled hamstring problems in his first year at the new position.

In 2006, he worked his way onto the game-day active roster as a backup tight end and special-teams contributor. But this year, he was playing substantially on offense as the No. 2 tight end.

Sunday marked his first career start after five seasons and 29 games played.

The fact that Jackson could not play through his torn groin was testament to the severity of the injury, Shanahan said.

"He would play hurt," Shanahan said. "Anytime you tear a groin, that's pretty serious. It's a bad tear, too, so it will take some time."

Last year's second-round pick, Tony Scheffler, replaced Jackson and logged his first receptions of 2007 in the 41-3 loss Sunday.


REPLACING NALEN: In spite of having the question phrased in a myriad of ways, Shanahan declined to go into detail regarding who would replace Nalen at center. Left guard Chris Myers is listed as the second-teamer on the depth chart, but the Broncos also have a pair of potential centers on the practice squad in Greg Eslinger and Mark Fenton, both of whom worked at the slot in training camp.

Eslinger was an All-NFL Europa selection at center this past spring.

"We're not going to get into that right now, relative who's going to fill in what roles, and those types of things. what types of moves we're going to make, those types of things," Shanahan said. "We have a bye week coming up. We've got some time to make those decisions."

Had Hamilton not suffered the concussion that necessitated a stint on injured reserve, he would have taken over at center, Shanahan said.

"Ben would've been a natural to go into that position," Shanahan said. "That's one of the positions he really wanted to do when he first came here. That's not an option, obviously."

BAILEY'S MRI NEGATIVE: The MRI examination on cornerback Champ Bailey revealed no tear in his left quadriceps muscle. While Shanahan acknowledged that the All-Pro would likely not have played if the Broncos had a game this Sunday, he said Bailey "should be fine" for the Steelers game on Oct. 21.

"I'd say it's sore," Shanahan said. "There's no tear. It is quite sore."

BRONCOS BYTES:


Shanahan couldn't say whether Javon Walker would be able to return to action in 13 days after missing the last two weeks due to inflammation and fluid in his right knee. "We'll find out," Shanahan said. "To say that right now is premature. It’s been a couple weeks, so hopefully with this bye week he’ll be ready to go next week."
The Broncos will practice on Tuesday and Wednesday before scattering for the bye weekend. They return to work next Monday.

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PostPosted: Tue 10.16.2007, 10:58 
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Monday, October 15, 2007



Broncos Get Back to Work

Javon Walker was back at practice Monday as the entire team settled in for Pittsburgh and the rest of the season.

By Christopher Smith
DenverBroncos.com

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Most people ease back into work after long weekends. Check some e-mails. Have some coffee. Tell the co-worker down the hall about that Thai restaurant.

Not the Broncos.

They did practice a few hours later than usual Monday, but went right to business.

After pausing to pose for the team photo, the Broncos practiced in pads and finished with conditioning sprints.

Now that they've spent some cherished time with loved ones, they will refocus their attention on snapping their three-game losing streak at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night.

That starts with evaluating what they've done to this point.

"I think any time you have a bye week you kind of go back to basics and fundamentals and that's all we've done. It gives you a chance to take a look, do some self-scouting and see where we've been missing," John Lynch said.

"You can look at the whole body of work and it's pretty obvious what we need to work on and you try to address it. I think most of all it gave us a little breather. Everybody came back with a fresh attitude and ready to turn this thing around."

Head Coach Mike Shanahan and his staff said the team worked on "a little bit of everything" during Monday's session.

"There's so many things that it's hard to really isolate which one it was, is that what you're suggesting?" Shanahan joked. "No, offensively, just kind of review some things in the running game and the passing game -- protections, blitzes -- just different things you review.

"Defensively, any time your rushing defense hasn't been very good, you want to work on those things. We've been working on the things that statistically we haven't been very good at."

Lynch and his teammates trust the time the coaches have spent preparing the team and will do their best to execute against the Steelers.

"We've got good coaches. They're going to put us in the right spots," Lynch said. "It's up to us to execute though and it's up to us to demand perfection from our teammates.

"If you're supposed to be in that gap, be in that gap. If you're supposed to make the tackle, make the tackle. Those are things where leadership comes in and whatnot. You always need it, but in particular when you're struggling, people have to step forward."

Like a boulder at the top of a hill, the struggle is straining to get the rock out of the ground. Once it starts careening down the side, it's easy to keep it going -- and it's destructive to those that get in front of it, Champ Bailey explained.

"I've always believed in (momentum) because once you get something going -- you get some picks, they come in bunches. That's just the way it goes," Bailey said. "A good game breeds another good game.

"It starts with production. I mean you've got to play well period. Forget momentum if you don't play well. I think if you play well then you can definitely get it started."

LYNCH BROADCASTING: Lynch commented for Fox NFL Sunday during the bye, evaluating a possible post-football broadcasting career.

A man with a face for TV that's known for giving a good quote and being immersed in football, Lynch seems like a natural fit.

"If you go in there, you want to do a good job, so I tried to prepare and catch up to what's going on around the league. I think sometimes you get so focused on your own team, I had to do some studying around the league and whatnot," Lynch said.

Lynch went 3-2 as a prognosticator.

"Obviously (I did) not (do) too well with my picks, but it was fun -- no doubt about it," Lynch said. "It's going on, talking football, and those guys have a great time."

More importantly, Lynch got another chance to experience working in the studio, an idea he's seriously considering.

"I used to know that's what I wanted to do. I went back to kind of test it again. Is this something I want to do in the future? I had a great time, so we'll see," Lynch said. "I think it's a great opportunity to still stay involved with the game. They have a ton of fun and you're talking football and getting paid to do it. Not a bad deal."

WALKER CUT: Javon Walker didn't leave town during the four-day hiatus. He stuck around to rehab his knee so he could practice again Monday.

With many of his teammates gone, Walker had his fun getting a sharp-looking haircut.

"I was just going back to my 'GQ' look. I always switch it up. I think that's why nobody recognizes me, because I always have a different look every week," Walker said.

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Broncos to Host Steelers Sunday
denverbroncos.com

BRONCOS RETURN FROM BYE WEEK; HOST 4-1 STEELERS ON SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Fresh off their bye week, the Denver Broncos (2-3) return to action in Week 7 to host the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Kickoff at INVESCO Field at Mile High is set for 6:15 p.m. MDT. The Broncos own a 14-4 record in their game played immediately after the bye week, and that .778 winning percentage is the third best in the league since the bye was introduced in 1990. Denver, which is 10-2 in games played after the off week at home, has won its last four games following its bye week.

ONE OF THE BEST AFTER THE BYE

Denver owns the NFL’s third-best winning percentage (.778 / 14- 4 record) in the game immediately following the bye week, which was introduced by the league in 1990. A victory on Sunday against the Steelers would tie Denver with Minnesota and Philadelphia (15- 4) for the league’s top record after the bye week. Both the Vikings and Eagles posted victories following their byes this season. Denver is 9-3 (.750) in those games under Head Coach Mike Shanahan (1995-Pres.). All-time at home after the bye week, the Broncos have a 10-2 record. Denver also has won its last four games coming off a bye week.

FACING A TEAM AFTER ITS BYE

When the Broncos return to action on Sunday against the Steelers, they will be facing a team that also is coming off its bye week. Sunday’s game marks the first time since 1997 that Denver will return from its bye week to play a club that also was coming off its bye. Denver owns a 13-8 (.619) record when facing a team that had its bye the previous week since 1990 when they were introduced by the NFL. Under Head Coach Mike Shanahan (1995-Pres.), Denver is 9-5 (.643) in games against a team coming off its bye week. Following their game against the Steelers, the Broncos will face another team coming off its bye week when the Green Bay Packers visit for a Monday Night Football game on Oct. 29. That two-game stretch also marks the first time since 1997 that the Broncos will play consecutive games against teams returning from their bye week.

BEFORE AND AFTER THE BYE

Under Head Coach Mike Shanahan (1995-Pres.), the Broncos own a better winning percentage (.646 / 62-34) in games played after the bye week than they do in games played before the bye (.624 / 63-38 )

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007



Notes: Offense Waiting to Explode

Javon Walker had a huge day the last time he faced Pittsburgh, and is hoping to do the same on Sunday.

By Charlie O'Brien
DenverBroncos.com

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Brandon Marshall juking his way past multiple defenders. Travis Henry bowling over an overmatched cornerback. Jay Cutler rocketing a pass squarely between the eight and nine on Daniel Graham's chest. Brandon Stokley making a catch in traffic over the middle to convert a long third down.

Throughout the season, Denver's offense -- which remains among the best in the league in total yardage gained -- has offered glimpses of its potential.

But as the team looked forward to Sunday's tilt against the Pittsburgh Steelers, many players expressed confidence that the best was yet to come for Denver's offense.

Wide receiver Javon Walker, hoping to return from a knee injury that's kept him out of the last two games, said he's ready to carry the offense on his shoulders and lead them to an explosive performance.

"This is almost the same situation we were in last year, and I came out and said, 'We want to score points, and I can score points,'" Walker said. "I guess it's just being put in the right position and letting guys make plays, just going out and playing football."

Walker said playing on Sunday Night Football on a national stage was a perfect chance to put everything together and show the league just how potent the offense can be.

"(Other teams) really haven’t seen anything yet," Walker said. "But hopefully we get the ball rolling in due time."

Graham said it was only a matter of time until the offense starts to click and get things going.

"We have a lot of potential on this team. In due time when we click as a unit, we'll be able to show a lot," Graham said. "We're working hard in practice, especially in the red zone on putting the ball in the end zone. We know as an offense we need seven points and not three, so that's a big focus for us when we’re out on the practice field."

Head Coach Mike Shanahan said despite any shortcomings the offense has experienced to date, the players and coaches were plugging away, even through the bye week, hoping to tweak the offense into a finely-tuned machine.

"I think you always look at what you're doing good and what you're doing poorly," Shanahan said. "Obviously we've always kind of controlled the ball and the tempo of the football game and we haven't been able to do that over the last few weeks, so that's a little bit different for us. We have been moving the ball. We haven't gotten the ball in the end zone enough obviously but those are the things we're working on."

The general feeling in the locker room and on the practice field can only be summed up as an overall anticipation, just waiting for that Sunday when the offense finally jells and gets all its pieces working smoothly with one another.

And with all the talent this team possesses on offense, when it finally does come together and explode, quarterback Jay Cutler said opposing defenses had better watch out.

"We have a lot of new guys out there playing and getting a feel," Cutler said. "There are a lot of young guys playing, like myself. We are getting better and better each week. We just need to get an explosion. Go out there and put up some points and get rolling. I think we’ll be good."

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Javon Walker will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery Friday and be out for "a few weeks," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan announced Thursday. The Denver Post reports Walker will likely be out four weeks.

This is a crushing blow to Denver's offense and the cause of Jay Cutler. Brandon Stokley moves into Walker's starting split end spot, with practice squader Glenn Martinez sliding into the third receiver role. While Walker is much younger than Terry Glenn, we've seen that players with knee troubles (and wideouts in particular) struggle to return after multiple surgeries on the same knee. This is the same right knee Walker had reconstructed in 2005. Oct. 18 - 5:52 pm et
Source: Denver Post

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PostPosted: Sun 10.21.2007, 23:02 
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Sunday, October 21, 2007



Broncos Eke It Out at End, 31-28


Brandon Stokley's 15-yard touchdown catch opened Denver's scoring.



By Andrew Mason
DenverBroncos.com

DENVER -- Jason Elam has said in the past that he enjoys it when teams take time out before he lines up for game-deciding kicks. It gives him a chance to analyze the situation, the environment, the wind.

The Pittsburgh Steelers did that ... and paid the price.

With two seconds left in regulation, Elam lined up for a 49-yard field goal. Pittsburgh called time out before the snap, and Elam coolly stepped back, took a couple of practice swings and then drilled the game-winning kick to give the Broncos a 31-28 win in front of 72,932 onlookers at INVESCO Field at Mile High on Sunday evening.

Denver improved to 3-3 and snapped a three-game skid. Pittsburgh dropped to 4-2.

The Steelers had scored 14 straight points in the fourth quarter to tie it. They narrowed the gap to seven points when Ben Roethlisberger found Matt Spaeth for a 13-yard touchdown with 10:10 left in regulation, then tied it on their next series -- a 12-play, 78-yard march.

But the Steelers' game-tying drive was not without controversy.

It appeared as though Steelers left tackle Marvel Smith moved before the shotgun snap, but no flag flew and Roethlisberger completed the 16-yard pass to Hines Ward that moved Pittsburgh to the Denver 49. Seven plays later, Roethlisberger hit Heath Miller for the 12-yard touchdown pass that made the game a 28-all deadlock.

The endgame suspense was a long way from the first half, which saw the Broncos dominate, forcing the Steelers into three turnovers while finding the end zone three times to take a 21-7 lead. While the Broncos offense was effective early -- marching 69 and 61 yards to a pair of touchdowns in the first and second quarters, it was the defense that electrified the chilly night late in the first half.

In those final minutes before halftime, Denver's pass rush accelerated to a furious tempo, recording three sacks and a forced fumble in the last 2:45 of the quarter. The first sack, however, was the biggest one of the night, as Elvis Dumervil jarred the football loose from Ben Roethlisberger and onto the ground.

From there, rookie defensive end Tim Crowder took over. He alertly picked up the loose football at Roethlisberger's side at midfield and scooted untouched for a 50-yard return -- one that saw him actually gain yardage on the Steelers chasing him -- to give Denver a 21-7 lead.

Alvin McKinley notched a sack on the Steelers' next play from scrimmage one possession later, but Pittsburgh pulled itself out of that purgatory and found itself at the Broncos 31 in the final minute of the half. But from there, Broncos pressure sent the Steelers moving backwards, first forcing a Kendall Simmons holding penalty and then leading to Dumervil's second sack for a six-yard loss that pushed the Steelers back to the Denver 47.

Pittsburgh then called upon Josh Reed to attempt a 65-yard field goal, but the kick fell short and into Dre' Bly's hands as the first half ended.

Jay Cutler threw three touchdown passes for the Broncos.

BRONCOS BYTES:


Joining Bailey on the Broncos' inactive list were running backs Andre Hall and Mike Bell, defensive linemen Amon Gordon and Simeon Rice, offensive lineman Isaac Snell, safety Hamza Abdullah and wide receiver Javon Walker, who underwent knee surgery on Friday.
Chris Myers made his first start at center after lining up at left guard in the previous five games, while second-year lineman Chris Kuper made his starting debut at left guard.
Pittsburgh's Aaron Smith left the game with a left knee injury and did not return.
Tony Scheffler made his first start of 2007 as the Broncos opened the game in a two-tight end formation.
The Broncos wore blue pants for the first time since Dec. 3, 2006 against Seattle. The Broncos have donned the blue-on-blue look for their last five prime-time home games, as well as two Monday Night Football appearances in 2003.
When the Broncos took a 14-7 second-quarter lead, it marked their first advantage during a game this month; they had last led in the Sept. 30 game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Brian Clark's 7-yard, first-quarter reception gave him his first career regular-season catch.
The Broncos exceeded their previous season high for points by the end of the third quarter.
Snow fell in Denver on Sunday morning, but by game time, the skies had cleared out and the temperature was 37 degrees.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007



Young Competitive, Impressive at RB

Selvin Young overcame shortness of breath in his first NFL start to piece together a decent outing.

By Christopher Smith
DenverBroncos.com

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Selvin Young listened. And listened. And listened. Selvin Young, running back, Texas. Selvin Young, running back. Say Selvin Young.

The draft stage was an endless turnstile of picks and celebrations. Dreams came true. Friends, teammates and rivals rejoiced.

Yet no matter how many times Young murmured his name, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell never announced it aloud.

That was six months ago.

He fancied himself a starting running back in the NFL ever since he started writing down his goals. Monday night he was just that.

Starting in place of the injured Travis Henry, Young was one holding call away from over 100 yards rushing and a spot on SportsCenter.

Trailing 13-10 in the fourth, Young blazed to the left sideline, picked up a few blocks and skirted down the sideline 48 yards to the 4-yard line. Brandon Marshall was flagged for holding. It appeared Marshall's man wouldn't catch Young.

The flag slashed 30 yards off the play and the Broncos eventually punted.

"I thought I was gone," Young said. "I saw a flag and felt a little slow motion going on. We've got to make plays and we've got to cut down on the penalties and we've got to punch it in when we get the opportunity."

Young's electric preseason earned him playing time from Week 1 at Buffalo, but Sunday's start fashioned a faster cadence for his pulse and a thicker coat of adrenaline for his blood stream.

"I felt -- not jitters, but a little breathing, techniques I've got to learn early in the game," Young said. "It's been a long time since I carried the load for a team. But I felt like I sunk in. I feel like the future's going to be bright, as long as I continue to get a chance to help myself."

Other than a couple of first-quarter goal-to-go runs on which he lost seven yards, Young fed fans an enticing appetizer. He improved his average every quarter, finishing with 18 rushes for 71 yards. Young led the team in receptions, catching six passes for 49 yards as well.

"I thought he did a very good job for his first game. I thought he came back in the second half and made some plays," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "Of course that one penalty we had took back a long yarder. You're not going to get big plays (against the Packers), but every once in a while you've got to take advantage of it. I thought we had one but they called it back."

Young's eyes twinkle with compassion, uncovering a rookie still filled with dreams and unconscious of the ceiling on his abilities. After the game, they were etched with as much agony and disappointment as anyone.

Ironically, injuries gave Young a shot to make the roster in the first place. Henry, Andre Hall and Mike Bell were all bruised heading into the preseason game against Cleveland, and Young wowed Shanahan with a 91-yard, one touchdown performance in another close loss.

"Man, I can't stand losing, period. I'm probably the sorest loser around here. When I lose, I go home and I feel sad, and I even go run in the middle of the night, wondering if I could've done something -- could've been in a little (better) shape, if I could've done a little something to help win.

"I always feel like I've got to think to myself, 'What can I do to help this team win,' then go out there and try to do it for the next week," Young said. "I feel like if everybody had that same mindset, there won't be too many more (losses)."

Whatever Henry's status, Young's proven a knack for hustling in and performing at the last minute.

"Travis didn't practice all week," Young said. "In my mind I was ready to go, regardless if they came to me and said, 'Selvin, you're starting,' or, 'Selvin, you're not starting.' They never told me I was starting, and they didn't have to tell me I was starting."

Young's burst in open spaces shines especially on screen passes and runs where he gets to the edge, but he also has a propensity to break tackles. He generates momentum like a waterfall careening down a steep ledge, turning his five-foot-11, 207-pound frame into a mini bowling ball.

If given the opportunity to tote the load this year or in the future with the Broncos, Young's aggressive, self-evaluating and confident mentality will only help him.

"There's really no such thing as getting nervous with me. It's all about, 'Can you do it, or can you not? Are you prepared, or are you not prepared?' I feel like I've been prepared for a very long time to play football and to go out and look like I belong on an NFL field with a team."

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PostPosted: Wed 10.31.2007, 19:42 
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Now, John Lynch can only wait.

After suffering a pinched nerve on Monday, the 15-year veteran sat out Wednesday’s practice while awaiting the results of an MRI examination he underwent Tuesday.

“I’m just waiting on all the information to come back,” Lynch said as he walked off the practice field following the afternoon session. “They’re waiting on a specialist out in Los Angeles who did my neck surgery (Dr. Robert Watkins) to kind of check it out and see what he has to think. But I think everything’s good. We’ll see.”

Lynch categorized the injury as a “little stinger,” and said that his arm went numb after incurring the injury in the first quarter Monday night. He categorized it as the most serious problem with his neck since he underwent surgery on it in early 2004, just before he was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and subsequently signed with the Broncos.

“It’s a concern because I’ve had little episodes since I’ve been here, but this is the first big one I’ve had (since coming to Denver), so it’s a little bit of a concern,” he said.

But, he emphasized, he was “feeling all right,” and said that he could run around the field.

“Things bounce back really quickly,” Lynch said. “I’m feeling a lot better.”

Lynch, defensive tackle Sam Adams and wide receiver Javon Walker were the only players on the 53-man roster to not practice Wednesday; Walker is recuperating from knee surgery while Adams is held out of practice each Wednesday. Running back Travis Henry made it through the full practice after sitting out last week and on Monday night with bruised ribs, while cornerback Champ Bailey also went through the full session after struggling with a quadriceps injury during the last two weeks.

“It felt good,” Bailey said after Monday night’s loss. “That’s the good thing. I finished the game. I was a little worried about that, but I finished strong and I feel confident about next week.”

Defensive tackle Antwon Burton (ankle), guard Montrae Holland (shoulder) and linebacker D.J. Williams (shoulder) were also listed on the injury report Wednesday, but each made it through the full day’s work.

In Michigan, the only Detroit Lion who did not practice at all on Wednesday was former Broncos first-round pick George Foster, who was sidelined with an ankle injury.

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PostPosted: Wed 10.31.2007, 19:44 
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We’re Not Lion on These Facts
This week the Denver Broncos travel to Detroit to play the Lions in beautiful new Ford Field.

I was fortunate to have been able to work the Super Bowl for the NFL when it was played in Detroit, so I am very familiar with the Lions’ new stadium. A spectacular edifice, both functional and attractive.

Of course, everyone knows that Detroit has bounced back in a big way this year, coming into this game with a 5-2 record, but there are still a few fun facts about this franchise that most do not know.

The team actually began play in Portsmouth, Ohio, moving to Detroit in 1934, and it was then that the team settled on Lions as the nickname — not only a classic team name, but one that played off of the baseball Tigers theme as well.

Detroit actually had had earlier pro teams in the fledging NFL, with those clubs known as the Heralds, the Panthers, and the Wolverines.

I have long been partial to the Lions uniform, and especially to the color combination that features Honolulu Blue as the main part of the scheme.

They had silver as part of the combination as far back as 1937, and that blue and silver spawned the Dallas Cowboys color combination, among many others.

The Lions added a black alternate jersey in 2005, but that was not actually new for the Detroit team — the Lions had a second uniform, all black, back in 1948.

The point of all this is just that we see them, we watch them, but usually we don’t know them.

A discussion of the greatest Detroit players of all time can’t be made without including three members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who have Colorado connections.

Jack Christiansen was a Lion from 1951-58, but played his college football at Colorado A & M, now Colorado State University.

Earl “Dutch” Clark played for the Lions from 1931-32 and 1934-38 after being one of the nation’s greatest collegiate players at Colorado College.

And one of pro football’s greatest running backs ever was the consensus three-time All-American from Southern Methodist, Doak Walker, who played for the Lions from 1950-55, but later became a special assignments coach for the Broncos in 1966, before retiring to the Colorado mountains.

Outside of our AFC West opponents with whom we are so familiar, the other teams often seem to be just a blur filling out television screens for three hours.

But everybody has a history.

The Broncos are playing Detroit for the tenth time, the sixth in Detroit — Denver is 3-2 in the Motor City.

Three of the previous five games took place on Thanksgiving Day, as the Broncos have been tabbed for the distinction of playing on that holiday ten times overall.

A long forgotten game between the two teams is actually a huge part of pro football history.

The first-ever meeting between the Broncos and Lions took place in a preseason game at the old University of Denver Stadium on August 5, 1967.

The Broncos won by a 13-7 score in what was the first victory ever for an American Football League team over a National Football League club, and even though it happened in preseason, it earned the Denver team national headlines for the first time in franchise history.

So momentous was the win that Denver Head Coach Lou Saban was carried off the field on the shoulders of jubilant fans and players alike.

The Broncos have come a long way since that preseason win 40 years ago, but this week the cycle of pro football life moves full circle from a rickety wooden park on the DU campus to the sterling palace that is Ford Field, with Bronco fans hoping the results are the same as in that very first meeting four decades ago.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 31st

denverbroncos.com

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