Broncos News Briefs - Friday, September 17

The $950,000 fine and loss of a draft pick is the big story today's news about the Denver Broncos. Also - read about players such as Rod Smith (in photo) and Champ Bailey doing odd jobs for the team and coach Mike Shanahan closes in on a milestone.

NFL fines Denver Broncos -
New York, NY, Sep. 16 (UPI) - The National Football League fined the Denver Broncos $950,000 Thursday and took away a third-round selection in next year's draft. The action was taken because of salary cap violations that took place between 1996-98. One of the violations involved the Broncos agreeing to defer salary with interest and not waive a player before a certain date. The Broncos went 39-9 during the 1996-98 regular seasons, winning a pair of Super Bowl titles.

Broncos fined money, pick - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Friday, September 17, 2004 - For the second time in less than three years, the Broncos received a substantial fine and lost a third-round draft pick for manipulating financial issues involving player salaries. The NFL said the team circumvented the salary cap in part to help pay costs connected with the building of Invesco Field at Mile High, which replaced Mile High Stadium as the team's home in 2001.

Broncos Mailbag - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Friday, September 17, 2004 - I am very confused about what I saw in Sunday's Chiefs-Broncos game. When Quentin Griffin scored his first TD, all he did was give the ball to the referee. Then on the next two scores, he did the same. Where are all the antics that everyone else in the league does?

Shame part of Broncos' shine - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
Friday, September 17, 2004 - The diamonds in their Super Bowl rings still shine. But the NFL championships won by the Broncos have been tarnished. After a 20-month investigation, the league ruled Thursday that Denver circumvented salary-cap rules from 1996-98, a crucial period in franchise history when the Broncos won back-to-back world titles and earned taxpayer approval for a new $400 million stadium. The punishment for the Broncos was a fine of nearly $1 million and forfeiture of a third-round draft choice. The shame of getting caught should be far greater.

Pro Bowl players flirting with odd jobs - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Friday, September 17, 2004 - If Rod Smith has said it once, he has said it 1,000 times. "Great players make plays." Regardless of age and primary occupation. Which is why the Broncos are using their Pro Bowl wide receiver in the dangerous job of punt returning, and using Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey as a receiver on occasion.

Shanahan basks in glow of compiling many wins - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Friday, September 17, 2004 - As he approaches a milestone, Mike Shanahan has allowed himself to reflect on his 10 seasons with the Broncos. "This is a special situation because of the people that surround me," said Shanahan, who won his 99th game as the Broncos' coach, postseason included, against Kansas City on Sunday.

Bailey, Walls hit with $5,000 fines - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Friday, September 17, 2004 - Champ Bailey and Lenny Walls weren't dancing Thursday after they opened their mail. The cornerbacks were fined $5,000 each by the NFL for celebrating Bailey's interception in the Broncos' 34-24 victory over Kansas City. Along with cornerback Kelly Herndon, Bailey and Walls did a hand-slap routine on the field after the play. They were penalized 15 yards for taunting. Bailey said he will appeal the decision, and Walls said he is likely to do the same if Bailey appeals. Bailey wasn't happy with his first such fine.

Bailey, Walls hit with $5,000 fines - Denver Post
Friday, September 17, 2004 - The Jacksonville Jaguars haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 16 games. But that streak could be in jeopardy Sunday against the Broncos. "It's going to be a challenge," Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer said. "It's going to be a dogfight down the middle, in the trenches with those guys, and they are very good against the run. "The pressure is on our guys to run the ball well."

Pipeline to NFL - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
September 17, 2004 - The garnet and gold shorts, now ragged and ripped, probably should have been discarded years before. But childhood dreams fade slowly, and Darius Watts, now 22, still finds himself slipping them on as comfortably as he did the first time 10 Christmases ago. "Florida State, that was my school," said Watts, proudly describing the Seminoles logo near the hem.

Legwold: Crash-and-learn course one QBs looking to pass - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 17, 2004 - When it comes to finding the way out of the great rookie wilderness for an NFL quarterback, there might be no better authority than Peyton Manning. Manning took every snap in his rookie season (1998) for the Indianapolis Colts, some 960 in all. And he threw more interceptions than he had in his life (28), was sacked, harassed and chased into mistakes at almost ever turn.

Herndon stuck to his plan of attack - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 17, 2004 - Oh, Kelly Herndon has heard them all. He has been let down easy and he has been sent down the road the hard way. He has heard the team is moving in another direction. He has heard the oh-if-it-were-up-to-me speech. And he has been told to stick with it, keep at it, that maybe down the line. "Yeah, because you never know. People said that a lot, but that seems like it's way back in the day now," Herndon said. "But you just shake it off, just try to stay strong mentally. You have to believe."

Broncos lose pick and cash - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 17, 2004 - For the second time in three years, the Denver Broncos on Thursday were docked a draft pick and will pay a fine of nearly $1 million to close an investigation by the NFL's Management Council - the league's legal arm - over whether the team broke the league's rules for deferred compensation. As a result, the Broncos will lose their third-round pick in the 2005 draft and will pay a $950,000 fine for undisclosed salary agreements made with select players from 1996 to 1998.

The short story on Hape: He catches TDs - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 17, 2004 - Now that NFL receiving great Cris Carter is in retirement, an unlikely player has stolen his M.O.: Patrick Hape. Like Carter, all the Denver Broncos tight end seems to do is score touchdowns. Hape has scored on six of the 25 catches he has made since joining the Broncos in 2001, a résumé that includes the first touchdown scored at Invesco Field at Mile High. But where Carter once stretched the field in earning his reputation for having a nose for the goal line, Hape condenses it - all eight of his career touchdown receptions are 1 or 2 yards.

NFL injury report, September 17 - Rocky Mountain News
September 17, 2004 - NFL injury report, September 17

Williams makes quick impression - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 17, 2004 - D.J. Williams has always seemed like a man among boys on the football field. Whether it was at De La Salle High School in California where Williams was USA Today's prep defensive player of the year, or at the University of Miami, where he was a freshman All-American and a Butkus Award finalist last year, Williams has dominated.

Broncos try to shore up run 'D' - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 17, 2004 - By most accounts, the Denver Broncos were dominant in their season-opening victory over Kansas City. But it won't mean much the rest of the season unless the Broncos can defend the run better. Lost in the celebration of the 34-24 win over the Chief threat in the AFC West was the fact that Priest Holmes rushed for 151 yards (5.8 per attempt) and three touchdowns.

Thursday Notebook: The Heat Is On - - Andrew Mason
Thursday, September 16, 2004 - As Al Wilson, Reuben Droughns and Kelly Herndon each fell to the INVESCO Field at Mile High grass with cramps on Sunday night, their struggles bore the telltale signs of unusually warm conditions. The problem was, it wasn't that hot. At least, not compared to what the Broncos will likely endure in Jacksonville this coming Sunday afternoon. As the Chiefs game begain, shadows loomed over the field and kickoff saw relatively pleasant conditions -- 82 degrees with a relative humidity of just 19 percent, creating a heat-index reading of 79.8 degrees. Temperatures dropped into the lower 70s as the game went on, making the weather even more unlike what the team will find at ALLTEL Stadium.

Bronco Dan's Fantasy Preview: Week 2 - - Bronco Dan
Thursday, September 16, 2004 - All right, the opening weekend of NFL action has come and gone. And as a fantasy owner, you now have a better sense of what your team looks like. Those nagging questions were answered, some with positive results and some with negative outcomes. But either way, at least you now have some idea of what you're dealing with. That being said, it's time to tweak your roster, not overhaul it. Dump the guys that you thought might be a sleeper but appear stuck on their teams bench (Julius Jones) and pick up a player or two that might have snuck through the cracks (Antonio Bryant). For the most part, you're talking about players that are way down on your depth chart, or least they should be. So don't get carried away with too many transactions after one week.

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