Lynch focuses on Tampa Bay

Safety John Lynch has had Sunday's game against th Tampa Bay Buccaneers circled on his calendar ever since coach Mike Shanahan first courted him to become a Denver Bronco. Lynch's return to play against his former team tops today's news stories.

Seeing red in the zone - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - On first-and-10 from the San Diego 12, Ashley Lelie comes up empty-handed Sunday as the Chargers' Quentin Jammer (23) tries to bat the ball from Lelie's grasp. The Broncos settled for a 22-yard field goal from Jason Elam in their trip inside the Chargers' 20-yard line. On second down, the Broncos' second play in the red zone against the San Diego Chargers, Jake Plummer completed a pass to Rod Smith, who made a nice move and ran into the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown. It was classic red-zone efficiency. The Broncos moved the ball inside their opponent's 20-yard line one play earlier before the quick strike from Plummer to Smith during the Broncos' 23-13 victory Sunday over the Chargers. If only they all were that easy.

Lynch warns of Bucs' pop - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders and Bill Williamson
Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - John Lynch sees a football game. It's one of the qualities that made him a five-time Pro Bowl player. The Broncos safety can sense the direction of a play and disrupt pass patterns, or make a receiver wish he hadn't ventured across the middle. Lynch sees things off the field, too, which is why he met Tuesday with the media. Call it a pre-emptive strike against the barrage of questions he knew would come this week as he prepares to head to Tampa, Fla., for a game Sunday against the 0-3 Buccaneers.

Bucs down, not out - Denver Post - Fred Goodall, Associated Press
Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - It was difficult to tell whether Jon Gruden was serious or attempting to make light of a trying situation. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 0-3 for the first time since 1996, and their coach insisted things aren't as bad as they seem. "I think the future's so bright here, you've got to wear shades," Gruden said Monday after beginning his answer to a question about the team's emotional state, saying: "We're all dejected; we're all down." Broncos cash in on Shanahan gambles - Denver Post - Jeff Legwold
September 29, 2004 - In the schedule-happy world of the NFL, where everything from lunch to special-teams meetings are clocked to the minute, even spontaneity has had its time and place. But in their win Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, the Broncos decided to spin the wheel, live a little and give the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - and Denver's remaining opponents - a little more to consider.

Lynch seeks ideal end to his drama with Bucs - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 29, 2004 - When John Lynch packed the last of his things to leave Tampa Bay, he admits now, he might have put at least a piece of his idealism in the boxes as well. That's because what he thought, what he believed and what he hoped for in his NFL career was bruised a little when the Buccaneers told him, after 11 years, five Pro Bowls and one Super Bowl win, he no longer fit in their blueprint.

Denver works out 5 offensive linemen - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 29, 2004 - The past three weeks, the Denver Broncos have worked out a long list of linebackers and defensive linemen to keep scouting reports up to date in case of injuries down the line. Tuesday, the team worked out five offensive linemen.

Pegasus lands on the gridiron - Rocky Mountain News - Ann Carnahan
September 29, 2004 - Before John Elway, before the Orange Crush, the Three Amigos and "The Drive," before the Mile High Magic ever dazzled anyone, there was Frank Tripucka. Tripucka was the Denver Broncos' first quarterback, leading the team from 1960 to 1963. He threw the first touchdown pass in the history of the American Football League and was one of the first players inducted into the Broncos' Ring of Fame.

No cavalry can save bad Bucs - Daily Camera - John Romano, St. Petersburg Times
September 29, 2004 - The clues were ignored last season. The risks were not taken seriously enough in the offseason. And now, this morning, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still refuse to admit the obvious. This is a bad football team. And it will remain that way indefinitely. Or, at least until someone in a position of power acknowledges a new direction is needed. You can talk about injuries, and heaven knows coach Jon Gruden has, but this team was already shallow and creaky. You can talk about being a play away, but the reality is the Bucs don't win the close ones anymore.

Lynch set for return to Tampa - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 29, 2004 - It's not quite Raymond Bourque returning to Boston in a Colorado Avalanche sweater, but it's close. Put it this way: if John Lynch gets another Super Bowl ring in a Denver Broncos uniform, there are plenty of people in Tampa, Fla., who would want to throw a parade for him. Lynch is one of the most beloved sports figures in Tampa's history and will return to the Bay, where he spent the first 11 years of his NFL career, on Sunday when the Broncos play the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.

A Business Trip - Tampa Tribune - Joey Johnston
Sep 29, 2004 - Devoted Denver Broncos fans know all about The Broncos Store, located a few deep post patterns away from the team's training facility. It has everything. Bronco earrings. Bronco caps. Bronco T-shirts. Bronco playing cards. And, of course, a flood of authentic Bronco team jerseys. Jake Plummer's No. 16. Champ Bailey's No. 24. Rod Smith's No. 80. Not to mention a popular new item - John Lynch's No. 47. "One of our hottest sellers," said Sue Kissel, the store manager.

Bucs Will `Lean' On Reinstated Pittman - Tampa Tribune - Katherine Smith
Wednesday, September 29 - Coach Jon Gruden gave running back Michael Pittman a list of things to work on while he was away from the team. Apparently, timing was one of them. Pittman's return Monday from a three-game league suspension for violating the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy coincides with the announcement that starting tailback Charlie Garner is lost for the season with a ruptured patella tendon in his right knee. The Bucs (0-3) are hoping the return of last year's leading rusher will boost a struggling offense.

Will you cheer? - St. Petersburg Times - Gary Shelton
September 29, 2004 - Imagine third down, 9 yards to go. It shouldn't be a reach, because the entire Bucs season has been third down, 9 yards to go. Even kickoffs. Imagine Tim Brown cutting 6 yards across the middle. Again, we are not stretching the limits of imagination here. There are weeks the Bucs' game plan seems dedicated to the goal of coming up just short of the first-down marker. Now imagine a familiar face in a foreign uniform sweeping down upon him. Imagine the same old crunch, the sound of a truck's fender denting a car's. Imagine John Lynch winding up on a Bucs receiver. Do you cheer?

Champ stamps arrival - St. Petersburg Times - Roger Mills
September 29, 2004 - In the years before he became a member of the Denver Broncos, former Bucs safety John Lynch said he believed some cornerbacks were not as good as their reputations. Lynch said he would sit in the film room with ex-teammates Ronde Barber and Brian Kelly and recognize ability without being in awe. But when it came to Champ Bailey, then with the Redskins, that was a different story.

Anything But Normal - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - John Lynch didn't even attempt to cling to the clichés about Sunday's contest being just another game. He knew that attempting to build that facade would be a lie. He's known the game and the week around it would be different from the day he arrived in Denver. So when he spent part of his off-day at the team's facility answering questions about the impending return, he wasted little time casting aside pretenses that Sunday's duel with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is just another game.

Fantasy Review: Week 3 - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - Jake Plummer's two-touchdown, 294-yard, no-interception game against San Diego was worthy of praise, as he continued his solid play since throwing interceptions on back-to-back possessions in Week 1. But in this space, we'll tip the hat to kicker Jason Elam, who posted an 11-point day to boost his season total to 27 -- tops among all players in the AFC and third among NFL kickers. That averages to 9.0 points per game, which would put him on a 144-point pace -- easily enough to maintain his streak of 100-point seasons, assuming he stays healthy.

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