Droughns receives League honor

Fullback Reuben Droughns has been named the AFC's Special Teams Player of the Month for the first month of the season for his performance on kick-off returns. Read all the latest news on the Denver Broncos in today's reports.

Specialist label fits Droughns perfectly - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Friday, October 01, 2004 - Kansas City's Dante Hall jukes. San Diego's Tim Dwight jets. Denver's Reuben Droughns? "I kind of go straight up the middle and get what I can get," Droughns said, then released his trademark chuckle. Droughns is getting plenty.

Gruden backs shaky Johnson - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Friday, October 01, 2004 - Considering the siege he's under, it's hard to believe that less than two years ago, Buccaneers quarterback Brad Johnson was the toast of Tampa after leading his team to a victory over Oakland in Super Bowl XXXVII. Sunday, the Bucs fell to 0-3 with a 30-20 loss at Oakland. Johnson provided Monday morning quarterbacks plenty of fodder when his third-quarter pass was intercepted by the Raiders' Phillip Buchanon and returned 32 yards for a touchdown.

Plummer opts not to wear Tillman decal - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Friday, October 01, 2004 - Jake Plummer will continue to honor the memory of his close friend. It just won't be visible on game day. After losing a debate with the NFL to continue to honor his former teammate Pat Tillman, the Broncos' quarterback said Thursday he will abide by the decision. Plummer had thought about wearing a decal on the back of his helmet regardless of the NFL's decision but decided against it.

Trade din - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Friday, October 01, 2004 - When will the media quit telling us about the Clinton Portis-for-Champ Bailey trade every time these players are mentioned in an article or quoted?

Retooling under a cap's shadow - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
October 1, 2004 - He was awash in the sunshine of an off-season at the time, so Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick was in a reflective mood when the question was asked. Was it all worth it? Whether winning the Super Bowl to finish the 2000 season was worth dismantling the roster the following year. And if it was worth missing the playoffs two years later and still having to try to pick up the pieces again in 2004.

Broncos have difficulty generating gaps - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 30, 2004 - Right now, the queries are met with a things-will-change gaze, but three games into the season and the Broncos' customary exclamation point on offense - their well-nurtured run game - suddenly is their biggest question mark. Especially after a 37-yard rushing day against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday - the worst single-game output in Mike Shanahan's tenure as coach.

Griese thirsts to start again - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 1, 2004 - Relative anonymity as a third-string quarterback in Tampa Bay suits Brian Griese, if only temporarily. No more Denver pressure cooker or Miami frustrations. No more legends for the media to compare him with, whether it be John Elway or his father, Bob. The only act he has to follow this season is fellow Bucs QBs Brad Johnson and Chris Simms. Yet Griese longs for those old days, too: a starting job, big games.

Plummer decides it's best not to defy uniform code - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 1, 2004 - Talk about sticker shock. Threatened with a $30,000 league fine, Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer has decided to back down and remove the "40" decal honoring Pat Tillman for the team's game Sunday at Tampa Bay. Plummer had worn the tribute for his late friend against San Diego on Sunday in violation of the league's uniform policy. The NFL responded by promising, through Plummer's agent, David Dunn, to assess a retroactive penalty of $10,000 for that game, plus $20,000 if the quarterback sported the sticker again. Plummer on Thursday called it a fight not worth fighting.

Just a flag football game? Not to Elway, Montana and friends - Rocky Mountain News - Paul Willis
October 1, 2004 - It is unlikely John Elway will live a peaceful-and-quiet lifestyle, but things have tapered a bit since the former Denver Broncos quarterback was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August. "Just a little," Elway said Thursday. "I can see light at the end of the tunnel. After this game is over, things will start to slow down." The contest he is referring to is the Game of Fame tonight, a flag football game featuring several former NFL players (7 p.m., Invesco Field at Mile High). Elway and fellow Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana are the main attractions, and each will captain a squad.

Something to prove - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
October 1, 2004 - Ted Sundquist doesn't recall the particulars of Denver's Monday night showdown against the Oakland Raiders in 2002. The Broncos general manager just knows his team endured plenty of pain that November night, with Bill Romanowski inflicting most of it. "I remember him flying around the field," Sundquist said of the 36-year-old linebacker. "He was faster, quicker, stronger, and I'm thinking, 'That's not the guy I remember.' "

For some, fresh start a first step to stardom - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
October 1, 2004 - When Shannon Sharpe switched teams, it hardly affected his Hall of Fame career. He was good in Denver, solid in Baltimore and just as good in Denver when he returned. Ditto for Jerry Rice, who looked as sleek in silver and black as he did in crimson and gold, and Deion Sanders, who won Super Bowl rings with San Francisco and Dallas.

NFL injury report, October 1 - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
October 1, 2004 - NFL injury report, October 1

Plummer carrying the load - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 1, 2004 - Last year Jake Plummer was kind of like the door man of the Denver Broncos' offense. Right this way, Mr. Portis. Here you go, Mr. Sharpe. This season, through three games, Plummer is acting more like the well-paid starting quarterback. Without Clinton Portis or Shannon Sharpe, there is obviously more pressure on his shoulder pads. And, so far, Plummer has delivered.

Pittman returns to Bucs' lineup - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 1, 2004 - Tampa Bay's offense has had bad luck with injuries but good timing with respect to the suspension of its starting running back. On Monday, less than 24 hours after Charlie Garner sustained a season-ending knee injury against Oakland, Michael Pittman was reinstated by the NFL after serving a three-game suspension.

Bucs Defense Mixes It Up With More Man-To-Man - Tampa Tribune - Katherine Smith
Friday, Oct 1, 2004 - Denver coach Mike Shanahan has long been an admirer of the Bucs defense. In studying film for Sunday's game, Shanahan noticed something different. He saw a little more man-to-man coverage than in years past. It's still the Tampa 2, with a lot more bump-and-run involved. "They'll mix it up. You never know what you're going to get," Shanahan said. "You'll get two-deep, you can get a bunch of zone and three-deep and you can get a little bit of the corner coverage. They've got the whole package."

Walker Battling Frustration - Tampa Tribune
Friday, October 1 - Kenyatta Walker is busy preparing to block out his most difficult opponent. Frustration. The former first-round pick out of Florida was inactive for the opener against Washington and he didn't play a snap the following two weeks as veteran free agents Derrick Deese and Todd Steussie started for the 0-3 Bucs.

Phillips: 'I'm not Lynch' - St. Petersburg Times - Joanne Korth
October 1, 2004 - So far, Bucs safety Jermaine Phillips is most proud of a wallop he delivered two weeks ago, a bone-jarring collision with Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander. A textbook tackle. Phillips timed the hit just right, accelerated through the numbers on Alexander's jersey and knocked him backward. Crunch! Phillips popped to his feet, then waited. "He was down for a couple seconds," said Phillips, smiling as he provided the details. "Once they stand up and you see the glossy look in their eyes, you're like, "Okay, I know I got you. He knows who I am. He'll see me next time.' " Like they saw John Lynch.

Shuffle looms for the O-line - St. Petersburg Times - Rick Stroud, Roger Mills
October 1, 2004 - The Bucs have changed quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends and receivers. But despite being ranked 31st in the NFL with 11 sacks allowed, there are no immediate plans for any changes on the offensive line. Coach Jon Gruden, however, hinted for the first time Thursday there might times when backups Kenyatta Walker, Anthony Davis and Sean Mahan get playing time.

Droughns Honored by NFL - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason and Doug Collins
Thursday, September 30, 2004 - Reuben Droughns entered training camp fighting off six contenders who grappled for kickoff return duties. But nine weeks later, he ends the first month of the regular season as the AFC's Special Teams Player of the Month. Droughns, who also serves as the Broncos' starting fullback, led the league in kickoff returns in September, averaging 30.5 yards per return. Droughns' returns have allowed the Broncos to place themselves among the AFC's top five in average drive start after a kickoff. The versatile fullback was taken aback by the honor.

Defense Sits Atop League - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Thursday, September 30, 2004 - The Broncos didn't make their ascent to the top of the NFL's defensive rankings until after the Washington Redskins allowed the Dallas Cowboys to gain 284 yards on Monday night. The Redskins moved down to No. 3, and the Broncos ascended to the top slot, allowing just 236.0 yards per game so far this season. The Broncos are also second in first downs allowed and in passing defense and third in yards-per per play and third-down conversion percentage.

Bronco Dan's Fantasy Preview - Week 4 - DenverBroncos.com - Bronco Dan
Thursday, September 30, 2004 - FB Reuben Droughns: Maybe I'm feeling a little cocky. After all, I'm three-for-three on Broncos recommendations, going with Quentin Griffin, Jason Elam and Jake Plummer the last three weeks, each of whom was the offensive star for Denver. But I don't think that success is clouding my judgment. Droughns has been running the ball with authority on special teams, proving to the coaches that he's a threat with the rock in his hands. Couple that fact with the Broncos' struggles in short yardage and I see No. 34 getting a few carries and receptions, especially in the red zone.

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