September 20, 2003 - Preseason talk about Ed McCaffrey's starting status has been replaced by chatter about getting him started. Through two games, the Denver Broncos receiver has made only one catch for 5 yards. His statistics are his lowest individual output in two successive games since November 1997, when he caught one pass for 8 yards against Seattle, then failed to haul in a pass against Carolina. The latter preceded the game that began a streak of 68 games in which McCaffrey caught a pass, a run that ended in the 2003 opener at Cincinnati.
At helm, expect Plummer as rep - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer and Lynn DeBruin
September 20, 2003 - Jake Plummer is a go for the Denver Broncos' game on Monday night if things progress as expected over the weekend in the quarterback's recovery from a separated right shoulder. "Unless there's a setback, I expect him to start," Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said Friday of his starting quarterback.
Tests suit Buchanon - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
September 20, 2003 - When it comes to style, Oakland cornerback Phillip Buchanon ranks right up there with former University of Miami roommate Clinton Portis. Never mind that Buchanon played in only six games for the Raiders last season.
Gannon assesses Raiders - San Francisco Chronicle - Nancy Gay
September 20, 2003 - Rich Gannon has a novel solution to the Raiders' inefficiency on offense, their inconsistency on defense and seeming inability to play well on special teams. "We just have to play better. That is the big thing. I'm talking about all the players. It's not just one guy. Everybody has to be better,'' the quarterback said Friday as he addressed questions regarding his performances in the team's 1-1 start.
Booming punts making Lechler a happy Raider - Oakland Tribune - Bill Soliday
Friday, September 19, 2003 - ALAMEDA -- For a punter, going to Denver is a bit like getting a free pass to Disneyland with an all-you-can-eat coupon thrown in. "I look forward to that trip every year," said Oakland Raiders punter Shane Lechler. "I like kicking in that stadium. I'm finally kicking there with decent weather. It won't be cold, and the ball carries good there."
Frustrated Rice takes back rant - Oakland Tribune - Bill Soliday
Friday, September 19, 2003 - ALAMEDA -- Jerry Rice realized his postgame comments sounded harsher than he intended on Sunday, so Thursday he softened his stance with regard to the Raiders' offensive woes. "It's easy to point the finger," Rice said, flashing back to last year when the Raiders went into Denver on the heels of a four-game losing streak. Things looked bleak at the time but instead of turning on one another, he said, the Raiders stayed the course and turned their season around.
Janikowski silences his critics - Contra Costa Times - Steve Corkran
Sat, Sep. 20, 2003 - ALAMEDA -- A month ago, questions first surfaced about Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski's effectiveness and readiness for the season. The concern grew as the exhibition games played out and his misses on field goal attempts mounted. Janikowski laughed off any suggestions of his being in a slump, not working hard enough at his craft during training camp and not being reliable. This, after missing four of his first five attempts.
Raiders can't catch up with Lechler's booming punts - Contra Costa Times - Ann Tatko
Fri, Sep. 19, 2003 - ALAMEDA -- Raiders punter Shane Lechler boomed his kicks so far this past Sunday that his coverage team couldn't keep up. The Raiders gave up an average of 18.7 yards on three punt returns in a 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Sounds bad, until you consider Lechler still has a net average of 40.6 yards per punt.
Injury Hasn't Kept Portis Down - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Sept. 18, 2003 - For Clinton Portis, the week has been painful, as he tries to shake off the bruised sternum he suffered against the San Diego Chargers. Yet you'd have to forgive an observer for believing that the running back was already back to 100 percent, because when it came to his off-the-field tasks, he was in fine form.
Shanahan on Plummer: Barring a Setback, 'I Expect Him to Start' - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Sept. 19, 2003 - Head Coach Mike Shanahan expressed his belief that Jake Plummer would be healthy enough to start by the time the Monday night game with the Oakland Raiders rolls around. "Unless there's a setback, I expect him to start," Shanahan said following Friday afternoon's practice at Dove Valley.
Jason Elam Answers Your Questions - DenverBroncos.com
Sept. 19, 2003 - For 10 seasons Jason Elam has been one of the most consistent kickers in the National Football League. At the conclusion of the 2002 season though, Elam felt his run in Denver would be over until he and the team agreed to a new contract that would keep the veteran in the Mile High City on February 4.
First ... And 10: AFC West rivalry - ESPN.com - John Clayton
Sept. 19, 2003 - Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Few rivalries have the significance of the Raiders versus the Broncos. These games mean everything, and you don't want to be on the losing end. Go back to a year ago. The Raiders were in a four-game losing spiral that left them at 4-4. Confidence on offense was fragile. The Raiders averaged only 16 points a game coming into Denver. The question was, Should they be a passing team or a running team?
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