Chargers like Brees despite loss

Even though they were thumped by the Kansas City Chiefs last weekend, the San Diego Chargers liked the play of quarterback Drew Brees. In other news, DT Daryl Gardener returned to practice for the first time since he injured his wrist. Read about it in today's reports.

Caught in the middle - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 13, 2003 - Welcome to the second date of the Denver Broncos' Revenge Tour 2003. Last week, after constantly being reminded of Corey Dillon's previous record-setting day against them, the Broncos shut down the Cincinnati Bengals running back in a convincing season-opening victory. Next week, it's a Monday Night Football rematch with the Oakland Raiders, who destroyed the Broncos with nary an incompletion last season. And in between, Sunday, it's the San -Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium - site of one of the most demoralizing losses of 2002, a 30-27 overtime defeat that put a large crimp in Denver's playoff hopes.

Cool Brees refreshes Chargers - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
September 13, 2003 - While some Denver fans wonder if Jake Plummer is the answer, San Diego coach Marty Schottenheimer has no doubts about his quarterback. "The way he played (Sunday), we'll win a world championship with the guy," Schottenheimer gushed, despite the Chargers' 27-14 loss at Kansas City. "The guy was outstanding."

Practice cast includes Gardener - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 13, 2003 - Daryl Gardener always has been willing to join the Denver Broncos lineup. Now, he's nearly ready and able. Gardener, wearing a short cast on his surgically repaired right wrist, practiced Friday for the first time in a team setting since June mini-camp. He sported a scout team jersey, a new experience during his eight-year career.

Weapons plentiful for Denver offense - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 13, 2003 - Rod Smith and Ed McCaffrey were unwanted. Smith was not drafted and started his career on the Denver Broncos practice squad in 1994. He made one start in 1995, another in 1996 and has been a superstar since the back-to-back Super Bowl victories.

Player-coach – it suits Bronco despite the load - San Diego Union-Tribune - Jay Posner
September 13, 2003 - The first reaction Jimmy Spencer had was fairly predictable, especially for an NFL cornerback approaching his 34th birthday. Denver coach Mike Shanahan had just asked Spencer if he would like to join the Broncos' staff as assistant secondary coach. Spencer always said he wanted to coach when his playing career ended – but he didn't think that time had arrived.

Plummer on spot - San Diego Union-Tribune - Jim Trotter
September 12, 2003 - Denver quarterback Jake Plummer throws under pressure as Cincinnati Bengals defense bears down on him last Sunday. No one can speak definitively because no one knows for sure. The Broncos and their fans would love to say that quarterback Jake Plummer's three-interception, zero-touchdown performance last week in his Denver debut will turn out to be an aberration, but they can't bring themselves to do it because they just don't know.

Portis, Tomlinson making their marks quickly - San Diego Union-Tribune - John Marshall
September 12, 2003 – Count on plenty of breathtaking moves and defenders grasping at shoelaces when Clinton Portis and LaDainian Tomlinson meet Sunday. "They both definitely should have tremendous careers with the type of players they are," Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said. "They're franchise backs that you build your team around."

Broncos-Chargers Capsule and Notes -
Sept. 13, 2003 - The Broncos look for their second straight win to open the 2003 season this week when they travel to San Diego for an early-season division battle. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. (PDT) at Qualcomm Stadium. Overall, this is the 87th meeting in the regular season since Denver's inaugural season in 1960, with the Broncos holding a 47-38-1 (.552) edge.

Broncology: On the Road Again - - Andrew Mason
Sept. 12, 2003 - For the Broncos, it used to be that going on the road for Week 2 was to take a trip into failure. Over a time frame that covered 20 seasons -- from 1963 to 1982 -- the franchise didn't even win a road game in the second week of the season; eight trips begat eight defeats.

With the Scout Team, Gardener Returns to Field - - Andrew Mason
Sept. 12, 2003 - Daryl Gardener wasn't familiar with wearing a red jersey at practice -- the covering that is emblematic of a place on the scout team. But for the defensive tackle, just getting any kind of work on the field was a step forward. Friday, he went through his first practice paces since voluntary camp in June, working out with a scout team for what he said was the first time in his NFL career.

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