Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - In the midst of a national firestorm, the NFL backed down Wednesday and compromised with Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer in his emotional and controversial tribute to a fallen friend. The NFL announced that it will not fine Plummer for defying league rules and wearing a No. 40 decal on the back of his helmet to honor former teammate Pat Tillman, killed in April while serving as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan. Plummer, who was told on Sept. 29 that he would be fined $30,000 if he wore the sticker again, went with his heart and against the league when he wore the decal Sunday in Denver's 20-17 victory over Carolina at Invesco Field at Mile High.
Start at RB stays secret - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Thursday, October 14, 2004 - Mike Shanahan, who runs the Broncos' personnel business in his own secret service way, spent time with President Bush this week during a campaign stop in the area. The two talked about football and the Broncos' 4-1 start as Denver heads into Sunday's AFC West matchup at Oakland. Good thing the conversation didn't turn to what has been a major question all week: Will Reuben Droughns get another chance to run for nearly 200 yards?
Split personality worries Broncos - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Thursday, October 14, 2004 - The Oakland Raiders are two-faced. That's exactly what concerns the 4-1 Broncos as they prepare for Sunday's game in Oakland, Calif. Playing away from Network Associates Coliseum, the Raiders are 0-3 and have been outscored 89-52. At home, the Raiders are 2-0, defeating Buffalo 13-10 and Tampa Bay 30-20.
Lynch's goal, besides win: Don't let Sapp make catch - Rocky Mountain News - Patrick Saunders
Thursday, October 14, 2004 - John Lynch has two major goals for Sunday's game at Oakland. No. 1, of course, is beat the Raiders. No. 2 is to make sure 300-pound Warren Sapp doesn't catch any passes against him. Lynch and Sapp were Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates for nine seasons and pummeled the Raiders 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII. Two seasons later, Lynch is a Broncos safety and Sapp is a Raiders defensive tackle. Sapp also lines up as a tight end in the Raiders' short-yardage offense and could meet his old friend helmet to helmet.
Sticky situation ends - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
October 14, 2004 - In the end, Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer decided he didn't need to have a sticker on his helmet to have honor. Under a compromise with the NFL on Wednesday, Plummer no longer will wear the No. 40 decal on his helmet to honor his friend Pat Tillman, a former Arizona Cardinals defensive back.
Broncos finally master of fourth quarter - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 14, 2004 - There have been no agonizing 50-yard field goals spinning through snow flurries, then through the uprights. There's been a noticeable lack, too, of sure interceptions slipping through fingers in the waning seconds. Instead, this season the Denver Broncos are dominating the fourth quarter, not cursing it - a late fumble at Jacksonville on Sept. 19 that possibly cost them a game notwithstanding.
Knorr gets kick out of touchbacks - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 14, 2004 - Micah Knorr is going long. The Denver Broncos punter already has 11 touchbacks this season in five weeks in his side job as kickoff specialist. He had accumulated only 32 touchbacks in 61 games before 2004, including 13 last season. Only three kickers in the league besides Knorr currently have more than three touchbacks: Arizona's Neil Rackers (seven), Miami's Olindo Mare (seven) and Baltimore's Wade Richey (five).
Adams: Can it be that K.C. Broncos' chief rival? - Rocky Mountain News - Sam Adams
October 14, 2004 - Are the Oakland Raiders still the No. 1 rival among Denver Broncos fans? Judging from the lack of excitement being shown over the Broncos' upcoming game in Oakland, Calif., it might be that Kansas City has become the chief nemesis in these parts. The Broncos have dominated Oakland since 1995, when Mike Shanahan became head coach in Denver. Before Shanahan's arrival, the Raiders had a record of 13-2 in games played (including the 1993 playoffs) against Denver dating to 1988 - Shanahan's first year as the Raiders coach when the team was based in Los Angeles.
Krieger: Oddly, politics welcome in NFL - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
October 14, 2004 - John Kerry might have Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, but President Bush has Mike Shanahan and John Lynch. Considering Colorado is a swing state in the November election and California is not, you have to give the president points for targeting his celebrity endorsers more effectively. But talk about strange bedfellows. When did politics and sports get all tangled up like this?
Rice says he expects to be traded - Rocky Mountain News
October 13, 2004 - Jerry Rice believes he could be traded by the Oakland Raiders before the Oct. 19 deadline. Rice, who turns 42 today, told Sacramento, Calif., radio station KHTK on Tuesday his days with Oakland might be numbered and that he wants to play for a team that will better utilize his talents. Speculation surfaced last week about a possible swap with the Detroit Lions.
Rice not getting usual attention - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 14, 2004 - Lenny Walls, during his first season as a starting cornerback for the Broncos, was thrilled to have an opportunity to cover Jerry Rice. But this week, as Denver prepares for its annual trip to Oakland, Walls sounded a little sad when asked about the legendary Raiders receiver, regarded by almost everyone as the greatest to ever run routes in the NFL.
Plummer won't wear '40' decal on helmet - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 14, 2004 - The irony of the situation is that Pat Tillman never wanted any attention. When Tillman left the Arizona Cardinals and a seven-figure salary behind for the U.S. Army Rangers he refused to do any media interviews. Tillman's decision, which few men would make, was about serving his country and not his own interests. That reality hit home in April when Tillman was killed during a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Shanahan's Broncos off and running again - San Francisco Chronicle - Ira Miller
Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - Reuben Droughns couldn't make it with Detroit or Miami, and the Denver Broncos signed him as a free agent to become a blocking fullback. Last Sunday, thrust into the featured running role because of an injury, he rushed for 193 yards to help the Broncos defeat Carolina. That was 66 yards more than Droughns had gained in his entire five-year career to that point. Surprised? Well, you shouldn't be.
Broncos, Plummer to Keep Honoring Tillman - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - The number 40 decal will be gone from Jake Plummer's helmet by the time he and the Broncos take the field against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday afternoon. But the quarterback's tribute to Pat Tillman, his fallen teammate of three seasons at Arizona State and four with the Arizona Cardinals, will remain in other forms. The black decal with "40" in white that Plummer had on his helmet last Sunday and that every NFL player wore in Week 2 will be replicated, significantly enlarged and placed next to the play clock in the north end of INVESCO Field at Mile High for the remainder of the season.
Nate Jackson's Journal -- The Nail-Biter - DenverBroncos.com
Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - Sunday's win was a nail biter. As far as nail biters go, this one turned out good for us. Several of the workers on INVESCO's clean-up crew were apparently disturbed by the unusually high number of bloody nibblets and hang nails scattered amongst the peanut shells and puke. But all is fair in love and war, and everybody love's a war like that one. Ups and downs. Hope and desparation. And in the end, the climax occurs with poetic justice.
Fantasy Review: Week 5 - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Tuesday, October 12, 2004 - One five-touchdown game is terrific. Two is extraordinary. With 193 rushing yards and a touchdown on a pass from Jake Plummer, little more needs to be said about running back Reuben Droughns, who posted a career day against the Carolina Panthers. But perhaps the most significant part of Droughns' big day is what it did for the Broncos' average from starting running backs, pushing it up to 97.6 yards per game this season.
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