Thursday, July 29, 2004 - It was a turbulent offseason for Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer. In March, Plummer walked away from the altar and ended his six-year relationship with fiancée Sonia Flores. In April, U.S. Army Ranger Pat Tillman, Plummer's good friend and former teammate, was killed in action in Afghanistan at the age of 27. It was a spring of upheaval, but preparing for his second season with the Broncos provided a respite from the emotional roller coaster of real life.
Unsigned Bell waits for Dallas rookie deal - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Thursday, July 29, 2004 - Memo to the agent for Tatum Bell, the only Broncos rookie who failed to show up for the opening day of training camp: Denver wide receiver Rod Smith believes you are doing your client a disservice. "I love my agent, but sometimes agents get in the way, honestly," Smith said. "My thing is, you find a way to get it done so your guy can get to play with his friends.
Watts already electrifying - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Thursday, July 29, 2004 - When the Broncos used a second-round draft choice on Marshall's Darius Watts, they envisioned the type of ooh-and-ahh plays the wide receiver turned in Wednesday during training camp's opening practice. First Watts beat right cornerback Lenny Walls along the left sideline for a long reception. Minutes later, Watts beat left cornerback Champ Bailey along the right sideline for an even longer reception. Two big plays resulted in one lasting impression.
Broncos no longer hot Rod of NFL - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
Thursday, July 29, 2004 - More than 2,000 days have passed since coach Mike Shanahan last won an NFL playoff game. But why bother counting? The time is long gone since Denver was home to one of the league's elite teams. How do we know this to be true? Once lauded as football innovators, the Broncos now shamelessly copy the success of recent Super Bowl champ- ions. Once hailed as the keenest offensive mind in the game, Shanahan is now cribbing a defensive-first philosophy from New England coach Bill Belichick.
Dove Valley days - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Thursday, July 29, 2004 - Fans who attended the first practice of training camp Wednesday morning witnessed man-to-man battles featuring cornerbacks and wide receivers. They saw cornerback Champ Bailey take apart wide receiver Ashley Lelie, but they also saw rookie Darius Watts burn Bailey for a deep catch.
Plummer is back to try to plug the leaks - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
July 29, 2004 - Rod Smith lives life on football's bottom line. He has been there, caught that. Smith has championship rings and Pro Bowl seasons on his résumé, so ask him about most anything, including Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer, and he's quick to dish. "Jake is going to have a hell of a year," Smith said Wednesday. "Because he knows his personnel, working with them, he knows our system better. And the rest of us will adjust to him to make his job easier. "We'll make him better. That's our job, to make him better."
Second-round pick not answering Bell - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
July 29, 2004 - Tatum Bell eventually might prove to be one of the Denver Broncos' quickest players on the field, but off it, the rookie running back has demonstrated he's the slowest - at least when it comes to contract negotiations. Bell, the first of the team's two second-round picks and No. 41 overall, remained unsigned and missed the first two practices Wednesday.
On opening day, rookie shows Broncos Watts up - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
July 29, 2004 - Darius Watts knows how to make a first impression. In his first training-camp practice as a pro Wednesday, the Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver found himself on a deep "go" route down the right sideline with the team's top cornerback, Champ Bailey, on his hip. But Watts shielded Bailey, leaped and caught a slightly underthrown spiral from quarterback Jake Plummer before safety Kenoy Kennedy could provide defensive help over the top.
Broncos have special spots to fill - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
July 29, 2004 - Ronnie Bradford might have found it useful to slip some reality TV into his off-season film sessions. All over the airwaves, there are examples of ugly ducklings turning into swans and dumps getting turned into mansions - and quickly, too. His task is somewhat similar in his role as Denver Broncos special-teams coach. He must turn a bit of a mess into something shiny and new, and he has only about six weeks to do it.
Adams: Bailey is new kid on Elway's block - Rocky Mountain News - Sam Adams
July 29, 2004 - If Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey ever wants to buy a car, learn more about his head coach or know about living life under a blue-and-orange microscope, he can ring the doorbell of his next-door neighbor, John Elway. Bailey recently purchased a house next to Elway's in Cherry Hills. The two never faced each other on the field because Elway retired in the spring of 1999 - not long after Bailey was drafted in the first round (seventh overall) by the Washington Redskins. Though Bailey knows who his Hall of Fame-bound neighbor is, he said he hasn't spent a lot of time talking football with Elway.
Krieger: Shanahan ventures to other side - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
July 29, 2004 - This is not a change in philosophy, Mike Shanahan insists. Not the last offensive mastermind surrendering to the orthodoxy that defense wins championships. Not a game of follow-the-leader. And yet, there he was after the first practice of training camp Wednesday, quoting a variety of statistics to show that defense wins championships. Frankly, this is not a new concept, except perhaps in certain former AFL cities. But for a number of years, it was more bromide than reality. Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Brett Favre and John Elway headlined an era when offense was king.
Broncos camp report, July 29 - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
July 29, 2004 - The Broncos will practice twice today at their Dove Valley facility. The morning practice will begin at 8:30 with the gates opening at 7:15 a.m. The afternoon practice will begin at 3:50 p.m., with the gates opening at 3 p.m. Admission to practice, as well as parking on the west side of the team's facility, are free.
1 question, multiple choice for Broncos after Portis trade - USA Today - Theresa Smith
7/29/2004 - Coach Mike Shanahan's remarkably adaptable running game has given the Denver Broncos four different 1,000-yard rushers the past six seasons.Wednesday, the Broncos opened training camp needing to answer the latest challenge to the system — their stunning trade of 22-year-old Pro Bowl running back Clinton Portis, who was sent to the Washington Redskins in March for four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey.
Storms shorten first day again - Daily Camera - Kyle Ringo
July 29, 2004 - Last year's storm on the first day of Denver Broncos training camp demolished the bubble covering the team's old indoor practice facility. Another storm arrived this year on the first day, shortening the afternoon practice Wednesday. Lightning and a downpour chased players and coaches to the locker room and several hundred fans to their cars.
Defense expected to hold its own - Daily Camera - Kyle Ringo
July 29, 2004 - Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Larry Coyer said players on his side of the ball have let the franchise down at times in recent years and he doesn't intend to let it happen again this season. Coyer watched from the sidelines of the RCA Dome in Indianapolis in January as the Colts offense destroyed his defense in a 41-10 loss in the AFC Wild Card Game.
Beuerlein signs with Panthers, calls it quits - Daily Camera
July 29, 2004 - Not even a bitter split with the team he adored could taint Steve Beuerlein's love for the Carolina Panthers. Beuerlein signed with the Panthers on Wednesday and then immediately retired, ending his 17-year career where he holds every passing record in team history.
Signs of a rookie - Greeley Tribune - Matt Schuman
July 29, 2004 - No more Mr. Nice Guy. That's the way former Colorado State University quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt is approaching his rookie season with the Denver Broncos after heeding a little advice from his former CSU teammate and second-year Broncos running back Cecil Sapp. "Cecil and I have chatted a few times, and he has informed me that come training camp, you've got to go out, don't be Mr. Nice Guy, don't go out and try to help the veterans," Van Pelt said. "Go out for yourself and experience it and take it in because sometimes as a rookie you get caught wandering. Just stay focused, man."
Broncos' first-round pick agrees to deal - Colorado Springs Gazette - Frank Schwab
Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - The Denver Broncos agreed to contract terms with first-round draft pick D.J. Williams late Tuesday, but Williams' agent said the linebacker will miss the first practice of training camp because he'll be traveling to Denver. Second-round pick Tatum Bell remains unsigned and could also miss this morning's practice session. Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist said Williams, who played college football at Miami, had agreed to a six year deal that has a voidable sixth year.
Plummer more relaxed headed into second Broncos camp - San Francisco Chronicle - John Marshall
Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - Jake Plummer was so excited during his inaugural Denver Broncos training camp that he took a victory lap in front of the fans before the first practice. Plummer was more subdued the second time around, in part because he's more comfortable with being the quarterback of the Broncos. But that doesn't mean the enthusiasm is gone. That was evident by all the high-fives, head-butts and words of encouragement in Denver's first practice on Wednesday.
Training Camp Day 1: Cheers for Champ - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - Ordinarily, the training camp throngs roar loudest for acrobatic receptions from wide receivers. At the Broncos' first 2004 training-camp practice on Wednesday morning, the cheers were reversed. Shortly after the Broncos began one-on-one drills, cornerback Champ Bailey lurched onto the FieldTurf, lining up opposite wide receiver Ashley Lelie. Anticipation filled the air; this was Denver's first chance to see Bailey, in action, in orange and blue. Lelie sprang into action, running his route, but Bailey quickly warmed up the pleasantly cool morning, cutting in front of Lelie at the perfect time to swat away the pass, spawning a roar worthy of the most acrobatic of receptions.
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