Sunday, October 03, 2004 n- There was a time when a "statement game" in the NFL meant two proud franchises battling it out for supremacy, with John Facenda's voice chronicling the glory and splendor of it all. Nowadays, though, the phrase has taken on a decidedly more personal tilt. The first game of the 2004 preseason, the Hall of Fame contest in Canton, Ohio, saw Clinton Portis of Washington and the Broncos' Champ Bailey facing their former teams after the offseason's biggest trade.
McCardell's holdout harmful - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Sunday, October 03, 2004 - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in dire of need of offensive help. Keenan McCardell is sitting at home. However, barring an unexpected, last-minute deal, McCardell will not be on the field today when the Bucs host the Broncos. McCardell and Tampa Bay are embroiled in a nasty contract dispute that has kept him out since training camp. There is no end in sight in the stalemate.
Plummer wants more W's - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Sunday, October 03, 2004 - Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer passed for two touchdowns in the 2004 season opener against the Chiefs. In his first 15 starts with the Broncos, Plummer has an 11-4 record.Today marks the completion of Jake Plummer's first full season as the Broncos' quarterback, thus ending his first term in perhaps the most polarizing position in Colorado. If a quarterback's ultimate measuring stick is wins and losses, then Plummer's tenure with the Broncos has been successful. Heading into today's game at Tampa Bay, he is 11-4 as the Broncos' quarterback. The record includes 12 games last season, including a playoff loss at Indianapolis, and the first three games of this season.
Absence of Anderson felt in short yardage - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Sunday, October 03, 2004 - If the Broncos are having such a hard time on short-yardage situations, namely third- and-1, then why don't they activate Cecil Sapp and give him the ball? I know that guy can move the pile. Or maybe Kyle Johnson. Have they tried this? I'm sick of hearing how badly they miss Mike Anderson.
Game-day capsules - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Sunday, October 03, 2004 - Game-day capsules
Hot must-see videos geared to home study - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Sunday, October 03, 2004 - Most Friday nights, Broncos cornerback Lenny Walls stretches out on his couch, pops in a DVD and watches opposing wide receivers do their thing. It's not exactly "Kill Bill: Vol. 2" and a bowl of popcorn, but it's part of Walls' weekly ritual. "I pick two days out of the week, usually Friday and Saturday evenings, and I watch for a couple of hours," he said. "I watch the opponents, and what they did the year before or the week before. I'm looking for tendencies - anything that can help me on the field."
D-line adds Johnson - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Sunday, October 03, 2004 - Ellis Johnson will be part of the Broncos' defensive line rotation today against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Johnson was activated off the exemption list Saturday. To make room for the newly acquired Johnson, the Broncos cut wide receiver Charlie Adams. Johnson was acquired from Atlanta on Sept. 20. The Broncos received a two-week exemption from the NFL for Johnson, who was holding out from the Falcons at the time of the trade.
Quentin quotient quickly quieting - Denver Post - Woody Paige
Sunday, October 03, 2004 - Cue Q. Q's ready. Quent The Quote is ready to run wild when the Broncos and the Buckos play today. We know Quentin Griffin is extremely ready because he has been examining film since an hour after last week's game. For those who have forgotten or were not following along, after the Q-Cumbered Griffin "rushed" 12 times for an amazing 252 inches against the San Diego Chargers, he was not eager (again) to address his adoring media. You can't run, but you can hide.
Gold last to hit zone for Broncos' D - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Sunday, October 03, 2004 - The Broncos will face former teammate Ian Gold today at Raymond James Stadium. And what claim to fame does Gold have? He scored the Broncos' last defensive touchdown, returning an interception 12 yards during the 2003 opener at Cincy. The Bronx have accounted for eight interceptions and no defensive scores since that day. The Patriots have had 35 interceptions and six defensive TDs.
Broncos vs. Bucs Preview - Daily Camera
October 3, 2004 - KEY MATCHUP: Jon Gruden vs. Mike Shanahan. Can Gruden, the former Oakland head coach, find a way to score any points on Denver's top-ranked defense? Can Shanahan fix his running game enough to get a road win against Tampa Bay's still-salty defense? Shanahan has a 7-1 advantage in head-to-head meetings with Gruden.
Gruden weathering the storm in Tampa - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 3, 2004 - Have you heard about the latest weather disturbance down here? It's being reported that Hurricane Chucky is wreaking havoc on this city's NFL team. Amazingly, less than two years after winning the Super Bowl, Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden is being criticized by local media and fans after an 0-3 start for the Buccaneers.
Which Way Is It? - Tampa Tribune - Roy Cummings
Sunday, October 3 - From the very start it sits in wait for your arrival. There is absolutely no avoiding it, no way of dodging it. Most teams, the successful ones most assuredly, come upon it late in the year, well after the leaves have turned and the skies have grayed. Not the Bucs. Thanks to an 0-3 start, their first since 1996, they already are standing at the crossroads of their season. Down one path is success, or some semblance of it. Contending for a playoff berth maybe. Down the other is failure for 2004.
Acquisition Of Bailey Revitalizes Broncos - Tampa Tribune - Joey Johnston
Sunday, October 3 - On the surface, it seemed unfathomable when the Denver Broncos this winter traded Clinton Portis, who rushed for 3,099 yards and 29 touchdowns in his first two NFL seasons. Not when you look deeper. Not when you consider who came back in the exchange. The Washington Redskins got Portis. The Broncos received Champ Bailey, the NFL's best cornerback, who has helped revitalize Denver's No. 1-ranked defense.
Keys To The Game - Tampa Tribune
Sunday, October 3 - Maybe the Broncos should have kept RB Clinton Portis. His replacement, Quentin Griffin, isn't tearing up the league. He's gained just 73 yards on 37 carries the past two games - an average of 1.9 ypc - and he's fumbled three times. That said, Griffin is still a threat. He has extremely good quickness and the speed to break free and cause real problems.
Down, but are they out? - St. Petersburg Times - Rick Stroud
October 3, 2004 - This is new subterranean territory for Jon Gruden, who never has begun an NFL season with three consecutive losses. The Bucs coach knows he shouldn't be trapped in a bunker like this without Tommy Franks. Or at least Tiger Woods. And Gruden feels added pressure to beat the Denver Broncos today, since teams making the playoffs after an 0-4 start are rarer than sushi. With another defeat and the next two games on the road - at New Orleans Oct. 10 and at St. Louis for Monday Night Football Oct. 18 - the Bucs could be looking at some bingo records: O-4 ... O-5 ... O-6.
Simeon's sacks suffer without Sapp - St. Petersburg Times - Rick Stroud
October 3, 2004 - Simeon Rice's body is a landscape of muscles, rock-hard biceps and abdominals and a mountain range of shoulders. But all the defensive end needed was his right index finger to record his only sack of the season Sunday night when Raiders quarterback Kerry Collins went into a slide behind the line of scrimmage and was touched down by Rice. Why, after averaging 15 sacks the past two seasons, is Rice having so much trouble getting to the quarterback?
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