Broncos Update - Tuesday, September 28

Mike Shanahan said Monday that he's sticking with running back Quentin Griffin. Griffin rushed for seven yards on 12 carries against San Diego on Sunday, his second straight poor performance after a strong opening game against Kansas City, but Shanahan said the Chargers' defensive plan and the lack of opportunities for Griffin were the biggest factors.

"I won't give up on him," Shanahan said.

Denver's 37 rushing yards on Sunday -- its lowest total since 1993 -- brought up questions about whether Garrison Hearst or Tatum Bell might supplant Griffin, but Shanahan dismissed that on Monday.

"It's always disappointing anytime you've had the success we've had in the running game and you take a look at those numbers and go 'Wow,'" Shanahan said. "But I think sometimes people overreact a little bit."

Shanahan absolved Griffin of most of the problems the running game had on Sunday.

"We didn't do a very good job in the blocking," Shanahan said. "Nobody could have run in that situation, I don't care who it was."

Shanahan did say that he wouldn't be surprised if Griffin's confidence has taken a hit, because of his quiet, serious personality.

"He takes it very personal," Shanahan said. "He wants to play perfect. You like guys with that kind of mindset."


Mike Shanahan will be very familiar with one of Tampa Bay's coaches when Denver plays the Buccaneers on Sunday. Kyle Shanahan, Mike's son, is in his first year with the Buccaneers as an offensive quality control assistant. Mike Shanahan said he probably won't be talking with his son this week.

"No, I won't," Mike Shanahan said. "My wife will though."

Kyle Shanahan started his coaching career last year as a graduate assistant at UCLA, and Mike Shanahan said he'll wait until after the game to talk to his son.

"You try to coach your kids that this is not a situation where you do talk to me during the week," Shanahan said. "I have more experience than him, I can get something out of him. At least I think I can. He's probably getting something out of me."

--The Broncos came out of Sunday's game with no injuries. Trevor Pryce, who had back surgery last week, is the only Broncos player that will probably miss Sunday's game because of an injury.

"We got a few people getting treatment, but nothing that should keep anybody out," Shanahan said.

Shanahan said Pryce was told by doctors to take it easy for two weeks before starting rehab on his back. Pryce has been a regular at the Broncos facility since having surgery. He should be back after missing four-to-six weeks.

--DE Marco Coleman, starting for injured Trevor Pryce, led the Broncos with nine tackles on Sunday. The Broncos have been pleased with the play of Coleman, the longtime veteran who retired for a few weeks in the offseason before deciding to continue his career.

--DT Monsanto Pope has played well after getting a starting job when Luther Elliss injured his pectoral muscle. He had four tackles, including a big tackle on an end around that would have been a big gain had Pope not made the play. Pope also had a sack.

--CB Kelly Herndon has played well in Denver's first three games and could remain in the starting lineup even when Lenny Walls is fully healthy. Herndon has started for Walls, who dislocated his shoulder in Denver's first game.

--WR Ashley Lelie continues to make the kind of strides Denver hoped he would make in his third season. Lelie caught four passes for 67 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown, breaking a 15-game drought without a touchdown, including postseason.

--LB Jashon Sykes, a starter last year, was inactive on Sunday. Coach Mike Shanahan said that special-teams considerations as well as Terry Pierce's versatility -- Pierce can play strong-side linebacker and middle linebacker -- was a reason Pierce was activated instead of Sykes. Sykes will have a tough time getting on the field because the Broncos are strong at the linebacker position.

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