Broncos Release Twelve

Mike Shanahan announced the first roster cutdowns of the 2001 season on Tuesday afternoon, and as expected, there were very few suprises. More moves will be made throughout the week as the team cuts down to an NFL mandated 53-players by Sunday.

The Denver Broncos made their first major roster cut of the 2001 preseason today, releasing twelve players in order to reach the league mandated limit. The final cut-down day, in which the team must reduce it's roster to a maximum of 53 players, is Sunday by 2 p.m. (MDT).

Those released on Tuesday include tackle Ethan Brooks, safety Greg Brown, wide receiver Chris Doering, kicker Steve Lindsey, linebacker Antonio London, running back Basil Mitchell, center Quentin Neujahr, guard Phil Ostrowski, cornerback Darryl Pounds, fullback Mike Stack, quarterback Mike Van Raaphorst, and fourth round draft pick, punter Nick Harris.

Drafted out of California, the 6-2 punter was expected to battle veteran Tom Rouen, who was coming off the worst season of his career. While Harris excelled during camp, his on the field performance during the teams' three preseason games left a lot to be desired, averaging almost 11-yards less per punt than Rouen.

"I went back and fourth with the decision last night," Shanahan said. "But, I really thought that regardless of what would happen Friday night, that I was going to go with Tom Rouen. I thought in fairness to Nick, I'd let him go now, which gives him a much better chance to get with another team.

"I still think he's a terrific prospect, he's got a great leg and it wouldn't surprise me if he stayed in the league for 10 years. He was just not consistent enough for us to take a chance at this time."

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