Shanahan shuts down practice

Denver coach Mike Shanahan closed off practices for the first time in many years as the Broncos circle the wagons before their must-win game against the Chargers. Tight end Shannon Sharpe says that the team will need more than just the return of Jake Plummer to win. Read about it in today's reports.

O'Neal draws wrath - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Thursday, November 13, 2003 - One of the worst-kept secrets in Denver became public Wednesday, when Broncos coach Mike Shanahan voiced his displeasure over the play of his former Pro Bowl cornerback, Deltha O'Neal.

QB Elway leads Broncos hopefuls - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Thursday, November 13, 2003 - John Elway passed for 51,475 yards and 300 touchdowns in 16 seasons with the Broncos.The Broncos do not have any players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But they have three players on this year's list of 25 candidates for induction. Former Broncos standouts John Elway, Randy Gradishar and Gary Zimmerman were selected as candidates for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the institution announced Wednesday. The three were among a group of 67 nominated last month, then cut to 25 Wednesday.

Sharpe wants team success - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Thursday, November 13, 2003 - Even as quarterback Jake Plummer prepares to return to Denver's starting lineup Sunday against San Diego, Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe sounded a warning. This is not a one-man rescue mission.

Broncos sign LB Rutledge - Denver Post - Associated Press
Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - Former Arizona Cardinals linebacker Johnny Rutledge was signed today to shore up the Denver Broncos' battered corps. Rutledge, 26, was waived by the Baltimore Ravens in training camp this year. He previously played with Arizona for four years.

Fiction not nearly as strange - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
Thursday, November 13, 2003 - Are the Broncos a football team or a soap opera? This season of Denver's discontent seems more likely to end as an episode of ``Playmakers'' than with an appearance in the Super Bowl. To keep inquiring minds away, a new green tarp cloaks the public entrance to the field where the Broncos put in the game plan. Coach Mike Shanahan does not want anybody to know what goes on behind the green door. He has closed practice to the media. No peeking allowed.

I love New York - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Thursday, November 13, 2003 - Denver Post sports writer Adam Schefter posts his Broncos Mailbag each Thursday.

Jake - second take - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
November 13, 2003 - Having someone ride in on a white horse is part of the post-touchdown celebration at Broncos games. But that isn't supposed to be part of the job of the Denver quarterback charged with producing those points. After his four-week absence, though, Jake Plummer is being looked upon in many circles to fulfill just that role.

Shanahan has short answer to problem - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
November 13, 2003 - Don't expect to see a repeat of Deltha O'Neal's seasonlong coverage problems in the near future. The Denver Broncos' struggling cornerback is getting the antithesis of a vote of confidence from management. First came the signing of free agent Ryan McNeil to possibly take over O'Neal's role in the nickel defense.

Broncos shutting down - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
November 13, 2003 - The first indication things might be different came in the form of a dark green screen on the gate to the practice field. No sneak peaks at Denver Broncos practices by media members who didn't want to watch the entire session.

Marine coach standing behind Anderson - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
November 13, 2003 - As the long arm of the NFL was about to slap him with a substance-abuse suspension, Mike Anderson turned to someone who had guided him through tough times before. And the advice his former Marine base coach gave him was pretty simple: "I told him bad things happen to good people, but you've got to leave certain friends alone," Ron Prater said Wednesday about his conversation Sunday night with Anderson.

Krieger: After all, it was Shanahan's call to make - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
November 13, 2003 - As you know, I sometimes get my hands on transcripts of conversations I'm really not supposed to see. Being a soldier of the First Amendment, I pass them along to you, just sort of FYI. I can't vouch for the authenticity of this one, but I can't rule it out, either. I mean, how sick would someone have to be to make it up?

Elway, Sanders closer to Hall - Rocky Mountain News - Associated Press
November 13, 2003 - CANTON, Ohio - John Elway and Barry Sanders, both in their first year of eligibility, head the list of 25 semifinalists for induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004. Elway led the Denver Broncos to Super Bowl victories in his final two seasons after being on the losing end in his first three attempts.

Shanahan opts for secrecy at practic - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 13, 2003 - Desperate football coaches call for desperate measures. Which makes Sunday's San Diego-Denver game quite the chess match between Marty Schottenheimer and Mike Shanahan.

Sharpe critical of appeal setup - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 13, 2003 - Players are fined and suspended from the NFL all of the time. Kenoy Kennedy for illegal football hits last season. Mike Anderson for alleged marijuana hits this season, an infraction which will sideline the running back for the next four games.

Next Mountain - San Diego Union-Tribune - Jay Posner
November 13, 2003 - Doug Flutie was master of all he surveyed on Sunday at Qualcomm, but the last time he played in Denver was a different story. Like any coach, Denver's Mike Shanahan watched the tape of his upcoming opponent's most recent game. And as he saw Doug Flutie darting and dashing his way through the Minnesota defense, Shanahan couldn't help himself.

McNeil Joins Broncos Not By Need, But By Choice - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - Some in football say that the money doesn't matter. Ryan McNeil truly means it. When the San Diego Chargers released McNeil in August, they did so with an obligation to pay him the money from his guaranteed contract. With his finances secure for the season, McNeil laid back, staying in shape on his own, but waiting for the right opportunity at the right juncture with which he could return for his 11th NFL season.

Wednesday Notebook: Broncos Move On Without Anderson - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - A league suspension means that the Broncos cannot have any contact with fullback Mike Anderson for the next four weeks, and vice versa. But that doesn't mean the Broncos' thoughts aren't with the fourth-year back. And the emotion was universal throughout the facility -- sympathy for their absent teammate.

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