Broncos back to work

When last seen on the field, the Denver Broncos were performing at their best in the win over Houston. As the team resumes practice today after the bye week, they want to continue play at that same level as they set their sights on a successful drive to the playoffs in the second part of the season. In other news today - the chop block is coming under increasing scrutiny.

A 5-2 finish would benefit Broncos - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Monday, November 15, 2004 - After the Broncos surged into their bye week with one of their most dominating victories of the season, coach Mike Shanahan sent his team packing with a nod of approval and a word of advice: It's November, and beating the Houston Texans 31-13 is a start. But Shanahan told his players to keep it up. Division champions are built in November and December, Shanahan said minutes after the Broncos crushed Houston. With one game down, the Broncos will have to play as effectively in the majority of their final seven regular-season games.

Breaking the code - Denver Post - Anthony Cotton
Monday, November 15, 2004 - Although he has been out of the NFL for 12 years, Solomon Wilcots still has the hands of an ex-player. There are dents and bumps resembling little ski moguls - the result, he says, of establishing some ground rules with opposing wide receivers. "When one would try to block me, I'd try to wedge my forearm up under his chin," said Wilcots, a former defensive back and now a host and reporter for the NFL Network. "They'd say, 'You shouldn't do that,' and I'd tell them I wouldn't if they didn't try to block me." Similar negotiations take place on virtually every play in any given game, interactions that help maintain order among the violence and chaos. They are considered part of the NFL's code of conduct, a kind of governance among players that doesn't fall under the official rules.

Union wants all blocks above the knees - ESPN.com
November 14, 2004 - NFL Players Association head Gene Upshaw and NFL football operations president Art Shell will push the league's competition committee to outlaw cut blocks, Upshaw told ESPN's Chris Mortensen. "Even as offensive linemen, we want the cut block out of the league," said Upshaw, who will push that all blocks must be above the knees. Cut blocks have been a flashpoint for debate this season. Last month, Broncos lineman George Foster's cut block on Bengals defensive end Tony Williams left Williams with a broken and dislocated ankle that has ended his season. Williams is expected to take six months to recover. The Broncos came under withering criticism for the block, which is considered legal under NFL rules.

Broncos find replacing Pryce a group effort - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
November 13, 2004 - When the fifth metatarsal in Jevon Kearse's left foot snapped on the second play from scrimmage in the Tennessee Titans' season opener in 2002, Jim Schwartz felt his defensive playbook go crackle and pop. Kearse, an off-the-edge dynamo who in 1999 set the NFL rookie sack record with 14.5, missed 12 games in 2002 and the Titans felt every minute of every one. "What happened was, we went from being able to play good, sound football, being able to just bore people to death because we could just get it done without any gimmickry, to trying just about everything we could think of to make a pass rush," said Schwartz, who is in his fourth season as Titans defensive coordinator. "What you do is over-coach because you're consistently trying to cover up a weakness." Ah, the Denver Broncos can feel the pain. They have seen their best pass rusher, defensive end/tackle Trevor Pryce, in uniform only once this season.

Thorburn: Long, winding road leads to division title, playoff loss - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 15, 2004 - Sometimes when covering a beat you can get too close to the situation and lose a little perspective. Players and coaches are consistent about one thing each week: having a clich handy to put a positive spin on each game, win or lose. I've never been one to drink the orange Koolaid, but it was refreshing to get away from the Denver Broncos during the bye week and check out some other NFL games from my friendly confines. What I noticed from the cushy seats is that Mike Shanahan's team isn't unique. It's just 6-3. So now are the Baltimore Ravens. And the New York Jets. And the Indianapolis Colts. And the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Davis traveling long, painful road - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 14, 2004 - The drive to Cleveland is one of the more inspiring stories in Broncos history. And John Elway has nothing to do with this more recent tale. The scene is rural Mississippi, where Dorsett Davis — Denver's third-round pick in the 2002 draft — grew up loving two things: his momma and football. Sadly, Davis is living his new life in Colorado without both of them this fall. "Hell yeah, it's tough," Davis, who has the mouth of a truck driver in front of the boys but turns into a southern gentleman the second a woman enters the room, said recently of being placed on injured reserve for the entire season. "To keep on working out and not actually playing is (expletive) hard, man."

Broncology: Setting the Paces at the Bye - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Friday, November 12, 2004 - Let's get the disclaimer out of the way at the start -- much can change between now and the end of the regular season. But the first nine games show some interesting individual statistical trends among the Broncos' skill-position players, namely the proof of the Broncos' increased passing proficiency, the spark Reuben Droughns has generated at tailback, the ability for tight ends to continue generating touchdowns. So, one-by-one, here's a look at what some key offensive players have done and where they might end up should they maintain their current paces.

Broncos At the Bye Part II: Fresh Faces, New Places - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Friday, November 12, 2004 - There was a time when it was a rookie's place to do no more than sit by and wait through his first year, gleaning whatever knowledge he could to help him in the future. A notepad and a keen memory were a rookie's best friends. Those two accessories are still helpful. But now, teams often look to rookies to provide immediate contributions. "The main thing is to get those guys in and have them produce for you early on," General Manager Ted Sundquist said. "There's an emphasis now to get our younger players on the football field. That emphasis may not have been there a few years ago. There are exceptions. Last year's first-round pick -- George Foster -- was one, mainly because of the position he plays.

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