Lelie's dedication pays dividends

Wide receiver Ashley Lelie was, by his own admission, a disappointment last season. After some souling searching in the off-season he rededicated himself to the game and the results are apparent. He has the longest gain in each of the Denver Broncos' first six contests. Read more about Lelie in today's news reports.

Lelie starting to fulfill promise - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 23, 2004 - There were always those darned distractions. Paying bills. Chilling in front of the TV. Going to the clubs. It was OK, Ashley Lelie thought. This was the off-season. His time. Sure, there was work to be done improving his trade as an NFL wide receiver. And he did go about doing his business, in that regard. He would put in his time on schedule, shower at the Denver Broncos' training facility, then go about his life. Nothing less. Nothing more. Wanna get away? Lelie did, and he made sure of it.

Bengals' Johnson no longer in pink - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold,
October 23, 2004 - Few players have benefited more from Reuben Droughns' move from fullback to running back than fullback Kyle Johnson. "You can't complain about that," Johnson said. "I'm happy for him, and if that presents an opportunity for me, then I want to make sure I make the best of it." With Droughns' move, Johnson went from primarily a special-teams player to a guy who now will see plenty of work when the Broncos put a lead blocker in front of Droughns.

NFL injury report, October 23 - Rocky Mountain News
October 23, 2004 - NFL injury report, October 23

Middlebrooks likely to play vs. Cincinnati - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Saturday, October 23, 2004 - Broncos cornerback Willie Middlebrooks' remarkable journey from the injured list to the field continued Friday when he practiced in preparation for Monday night's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Middlebrooks practiced for the third consecutive day and likely will play in nickel and dime packages against the Bengals. Middlebrooks injured his left hamstring Oct. 10 against the Carolina Panthers and was expected to be out for four weeks. He missed the Oakland Raiders game but has made unexpected steady progress.

Plummer gets attention on, off field - Cincinnati Enquirer - Kevin Kelly
Saturday, October 23, 2004 - The quarterback's intention was to heighten awareness of a friend, and that man's wartime sacrifice, with a sustained tribute. So a circular decal imprinted with Pat Tillman's number 40 remained on Jake Plummer's helmet until the NFL stepped in and enforced its uniform policy. "That's really what I wanted to do: get people thinking about him again," said Plummer, the Broncos' starting quarterback. "He's not a guy I think the NFL should just forget about."

Braham, Perry expected to play - Cincinnati Enquirer - Mark Curnutte
Saturday, October 23, 2004 - Center Rich Braham and running back Chris Perry did not practice Friday but are expected to play Monday night against Denver. Wide receiver Peter Warrick (shin) was downgraded to out and will not play for the third consecutive game. Safety Kim Herring was added to the report as questionable with an elbow injury, as was cornerback Reggie Myles, who is probable with a toe injury. Perry is probable with an abdominal strain. Braham is not on the injury list and said he made it through the Cleveland game last week in good condition. He had arthroscopic knee surgery Sept. 1. Defensive lineman Carl Powell (knee) returned to practice. Center Jerry Fontenot missed practice to tend to a family matter back home in Louisiana.

Kennedy Comes Into His Own - DenverBroncos.com - Brady Smith
Saturday, October 23, 2004 - Legendary coach and NFL luminary Vince Lombardi once stated, "Football is not a contact sport. It is a collision sport." That being said, Lombardi might not approve of the abundance of fines in today's National Football League that have been levied for solid hits that have been deemed "unnecessary." It seems that if Lombardi was still around today, Broncos safety Kenoy Kennedy would have been exactly the kind of player he would want on his football team. Kennedy, in his fourth NFL season, is quietly turning into one of the best and brightest young safeties in the league. Well, maybe not so quietly.

Friday Notebook: Lelie Unsatisfied With Strong Start - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Friday, October 22, 2004 - In the hours following the season-ending playoff defeat on Jan. 4, Ashley Lelie heard a similar message from fellow wide receiver Rod Smith and Head Coach Mike Shanahan -- that it was time to raise his game to the potential he'd displayed in bursts through the first two seasons of his career. So far, Lelie has done just that. He's responsible for the longest gain in each of the Broncos' first six contests -- five times via receptions and once against Tampa Bay when he drew a 37-yard pass-interference penalty to crank up what would eventually become the game-winning, field-goal drive.

Putzier Answers Your Questions - DenverBroncos.com
Friday, October 22, 2004 - This week's Q&A is with Broncos tight end Jeb Putzier. After making a strong start to the regular season, he had one of the best games of his career in Oakland during Week 6. Putzier made his first career touchdown reception, and lead all Bronco receivers in receiving yards. He capped off the 2003 regular season, his second in the NFL, with a strong finish as he caught his first career reception at Green Bay and added three more receptions that game for a total of 34 yards (8.5). Showing his versatility, he also contributed on special teams in 2003 and returned a kickoff for 16 yards vs. Baltimore. A solid tight end with great size and skill, Putzier saw action in four games last season. He joined the Broncos as a rookie in 2002 and played in three games, including a start. Before his NFL debut, Putzier starred at Boise State, where he caught 128 passes for 2,050 yards during his career and was named All-WAC as a senior. The Broncos selected Putzier, who also lined up at receiver in college, in the sixth round (191st overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft.

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