Shanahan hopes to get back on winning track

Broncos' coach Mike Shanahan is one of four coaches in this year's NFL playoffs who've won the whole thing. But recent years have not been as fruitful for Shanahan in the playoffs. Read about his post-season records as well as those of Colts' coach Tony Dungy in today's reports.

Numbers add up for Broncos - Denver Post - Woody Paige
Friday, January 02, 2004 - Figures lie, Charles H. Grosvenor asserted, and liars figure. Donald Huff said statistics "sensationalize, inflate, confuse and oversimplify," while Benjamin Disraeli claimed there were "three kinds of lies - lies, (execrable) lies and statistics," and Scottish poet Andrew Lang berated an unsophisticated forecaster who "uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts."

Postseason credentials come into focus - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Friday, January 02, 2004 - Nobody is more familiar with the AFC's all-star coaching lineup than Tiffany. It produced the sterling silver trophy that four of the six AFC head coaches in this season's playoffs have touched.

'Monotone Tony' seeking reversal of playoff fortune - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Friday, January 02, 2004 - A nice guy? Tony Dungy is no more just a nice guy than LeBron James is an average, ordinary teenager.

Berry leading defense against old teammates - Denver Post - Joseph Sanchez
Friday, January 02, 2004 - The last time Indianapolis and Denver played, Broncos defensive end Bertrand Berry got a piece of his old buddy, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. He got half a sack.

Shanahan concerned about false-start calls - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Friday, January 02, 2004 - The Broncos pumped up the volume Thursday at Dove Valley. That's a day earlier than usual. The Broncos always practice with simulated crowd noise to help them prepare for road games, but the jumbo speakers usually come out on Fridays. But in preparation for Sunday's wild-card playoff game against the Colts at the noisy RCA Dome in Indianapolis, the Broncos got an early start.

James believes Portis can join 2,000-yard club - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Friday, January 02, 2004 - Edgerrin James was the last former University of Miami running back to win an NFL rushing title. But to hear James tell it, he probably won't be the next one. Clinton Portis will.

Skies not friendly for all - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Friday, January 02, 2004 - Will traveling a third straight week take its toll on your team?

Broncos have role in Super forecast - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Friday, January 02, 2004 - Once there were dominant teams, money teams, dynasties. No longer. This league is more evenly matched than Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Just look. Philadelphia loses to San Francisco two Sundays ago. St. Louis loses to Detroit last Sunday. Now the fun begins.

AFC notes - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Friday, January 02, 2004 - Before they played their first postseason game, the Chiefs opened these playoffs with a big victory. Coach Dick Vermeil informed his assistants - whose contracts all expire after this season - that he will return for another season. Until then, there were serious questions whether Vermeil, 67, would return. Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders will have wait at least one more season to become Vermeil's successor.

The first 2004 NFL mock draft - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Friday, January 02, 2004 - An early look at the first mock draft of the season, taking into consideration the juniors who are expected to leave school early:

Remastered - Rocky Mountain News - Clay Latimer
January 2, 2004 - Mike Shanahan never does anything in a small way. The morning after Super Bowl XXXIII, the Denver Broncos coach hopped into a helicopter in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and flew to Miami for the winners' news conference, literally soaring above the rest of the league's coaches and general managers. But it turned out to be a short joyride.

Shanahan's personnel blunders - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
January 2, 2004 - Five costly mistakes coach Mike Shanahan has made since the Broncos' most recent Super Bowl appearance.

Broncos scouting report - Rocky Mountain News
January 2, 2004 - The Broncos rolled up 227 yards on the ground the previous time these clubs met, and did it without Clinton Portis and starting right guard Dan Neil, both of whom were out because of ankle injuries. Both are now close to 100 percent, which should make for some sleepless nights for Indy defenders.

Hoping to have splashy playoff debut - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
January 2, 2004 - They've heard all the speeches from men with Super Bowl rings on fingers and from other assorted NFL veterans. They've been briefed on the dialed-up intensity, reduced margin for error and increased speed of the postseason. Now, it's time for the Denver Broncos players lacking playoff experience on their résumé to get a taste of the action for themselves.

Indy rush 'D' defenseless - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
January 2, 2004 - The lengthy pause from Tony Dungy told the story. "I'd have to think back . . . off the top of my head . . ." Then, finally, he remembered Week 8, when the Miami Dolphins ran only 14 times for 47 yards in a 23-17 Indianapolis victory. "That was probably our best day against a real good runner," Dungy said Wednesday. Unfortunately for the Colts, there have been many other days like two weeks ago, when the Denver Broncos ran through Indy's defense.

Dungy hopes nice guys finish first - Rocky Mountain News - Clay Latimer
January 2, 2004 - Every once in a while, Tony Dungy loses his cool. When one of his players messes up, really messes up, the Indianapolis Colts coach tracks him down, pulls him aside, looks him in the eye, and launches into a . . .

Special? Coverage teams are hardly that - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer, Lynn DeBruin and Clay Latimer
January 2, 2004 - The Denver Broncos haven't allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown since October 2001. Not that it makes special teams coach Frank Bush feel any better.

Third down is now charm for Broncos - Rocky Mountain News - Pat Rooney
January 2, 2004 - It didn't take long for Denver Broncos safety Kenoy Kennedy to absorb one of the first lessons preached by Larry Coyer. When Coyer took over as the Broncos defensive coordinator after last season, he immediately set to work correcting the Broncos' maddening habit of allowing first downs in key situations.

Shanahan, Dungy ready to match wits once again - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
January 2, 2004 - A lot is being made of Tony Dungy's X's vs. Mike Shanahan's O's. What changes will Dungy's Indianapolis defense make for Sunday's game after being dominated by Denver in the regular-season meeting less than two weeks ago?

It's an uphill struggle for these teams - Daily Camera - Ken Murray, Baltimore Sun
January 2, 2004 - NFL wild-card weekend features three regular-season rematches, six 1,200-yard rushers and four young quarterbacks performing in the postseason for the first time. What it probably won't feature — if history holds form, anyway — is either of this season's Super Bowl entries.

Portis will try to pick up where Griffin left off - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
January 2, 2004 - Quentin Griffin ran for 136 yards, and Mike Anderson added 56 yards and a touchdown during Denver's 31-17 victory over Indianapolis 12 days ago. So, healthy or not, who needs Clinton Portis?

Portis Says He's '100 Percent' for Colts - - Andrew Mason
Thursday, January 1, 2004 - Clinton Portis and the Broncos would have preferred for the second-year running back to not receive an injury-induced Christmas holiday in the first place. But the fact that the team could afford to sit him down for the Dec. 28 loss at Green Bay proved to be a blessing, as he recovered to the point where he pronounced himself "100 percent" and ready for Sunday's game at Indianapolis.

Notebook: Bypassing Parties for Practice at New Year's - - Andrew Mason
Thursday, January 1, 2004 - While most of the Western world partied and reveled to ring in the New Year, the Broncos generally took it easy and turned introspective on Wednesday evening. Some headed home to study. Others simply called it an early night, needing a rest from the rigors of a game-preparation week. "I was asleep at 11 o'clock," defensive lineman Trevor Pryce said.

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