Thursday, November 18, 2004 - When an NFL player is released by a franchise, he often counts the days until he gets a chance to show the team it made a mistake. The New Orleans Saints present Donnie Spragan with that opportunity Sunday. After suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament as an undrafted rookie at training camp in 1999, Spragan was cut by the Saints the next season. He spent the year out of football, which began a difficult odyssey that eventually landed a starting gig with the third-ranked defense in the NFL. Spragan isn't feeling vindictive as he prepares for a return trip to the Big Easy.
Quarterback cousins - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Thursday, November 18, 2004 - The Broncos failed to contain Michael Vick. They vow to do better against his kin Sunday at the Louisiana Superdome when they face New Orleans Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks, Vick's second cousin. Like his cousin, Brooks has a strong arm, quick feet and loads of talent. "We know he can move outside the pocket and all of that, but when he decides to let the ball go, it comes at you really fast," Broncos cornerback Kelly Herndon said Wednesday. "He can throw the ball on a rope, but he can also throw with touch."
Lynch to discover fate Friday - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Thursday, November 18, 2004 - Safety John Lynch practiced Wednesday on a limited basis and continued to make progress toward playing Sunday at New Orleans. It likely won't be determined until Friday if Lynch can play Sunday. The plan is for him to be limited in practice again today, and he will attempt to practice the entire session Friday. "I continue to get better every day. I know myself and how I have felt in the past, and I feel like I have a good chance to play Sunday," said Lynch, who has been upgraded to questionable. "I'm not 100 percent, sure, but I feel like I have a good chance to play."
Broncos can satisfy a craving - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
November 18, 2004 - Reuben Droughns tried to take the high road time and again this week so as not to agitate those who'll try to tear him up Sunday. Thus, all questions about a New Orleans Saints rush defense that ranks last in the league were met with stock answers, with plaudits attached. They don't give up. They're going to play hard. They'll be doubly tough after what Kansas City did to them Sunday: 36 carries for 200 yards.
Bye week instrumental in Lynch's recuperation - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
November 18, 2004 - Denver Broncos safety John Lynch took part in some of Wednesday's practice and believes he will be able to play Sunday in New Orleans. Lynch, who did not play against the Texans on Nov. 7 because of a stress fracture near his tailbone, spent much of the Broncos bye week trying to make sure he didn't miss a second game because of the injury. "I'm not 100 percent sure, but I feel like I've got a good chance to play," Lynch said. "He looked pretty good," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "He got some practice in."
Krieger: Don't worry, he's happy - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
November 18, 2004 - Pat Bowlen is on the line, about to be asked for the 1,347th time - and that's just by me - whether he still wants Mike Shanahan to coach his football team. I tell him I am aware he has declared his devotion publicly many times, and then I start to ask him again, anyway, when he cuts me off. "Why doesn't everybody get it?" he asks, which I take to be a rhetorical question. When have I ever given any indication that I wasn't happy? All this stuff has been going on for so long, it's like a soap opera. Come on." Actually, he didn't say "stuff," but that was my interpretation.
Adams: Shanahan could join elite company - Rocky Mountain News - Sam Adams
November 18, 2004 - Every year, since beginning his tenure as coach of the Denver Broncos in 1995, Mike Shanahan states an annual goal of winning the Super Bowl. Not making the playoffs, but winning the Super Bowl. In his first nine years as Broncos coach, Shanahan has won two Super Bowl rings - back-to-back wins after the 1997 and 1998 seasons. However, guiding a team to three or more Super Bowl wins in 10 seasons or less has been one of the most daunting tasks for an NFL coach - even in the days before unrestricted free agency and the salary cap. Consider the following: In the history of the Super Bowl - which first was played at the end of the 1966 season - only three coaches have won three or more championships. Only two did it within their first 10 seasons.
NFL injury report, November 18 - Rocky Mountain News
November 18, 2004 - NFL injury report, November 18
Lynch aiming to return Sunday - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 18, 2004 - John Lynch was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice and is optimistic about returning to the Broncos' lineup on Sunday when Denver plays at New Orleans. Lynch is listed as questionable with the lower-back injury that kept him out of the Nov. 7 Houston game. The safety plans to test himself at full speed during Friday's practice. "I continue to get better every day. Knowing myself and how I've felt in the past, I feel like I have a good chance," Lynch said. "It's not 100 percent sure but I feel like I have a good chance to play on Sunday." The Broncos defense will be without Trevor Pryce and Luther Elliss against a dangerous Saints offense. Getting the hard-hitting Lynch — who is very familiar with New Orleans from his Tampa Bay days — back would certainly help the cause.
Injuries take toll on sack total - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 18, 2004 - Trevor Pryce hasn't played since opening night. Luther Elliss continues to be plagued by injuries. And Bert Berry, the team's most productive pass rusher last season, is leading the NFC in sacks. All of the above helps explain why Denver's defense, ranked third in the league overall, is only 18th in total sacks. Getting more consistent pressure on the opposing quarterback is an area the Broncos must improve before Peyton Manning comes to town. If not, then there is a chance the Indianapolis Colts, who play at Invesco Field in the last regular-season game on Jan. 2, could be Denver's final opponent for a second consecutive year.
Broncos foiled N.O. by drafting LB Williams - Times-Picayune - Brian Allee-Walsh
November 18, 2004 - If not for the Denver Broncos, who picked one spot ahead of the Saints in the first round of the 2004 draft, former Miami (Fla.) linebacker D.J. Williams might be playing for the Black and Gold today. Instead, he'll be starting against the Saints on Sunday at the Superdome. "He's already the best player in their front seven," Saints offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy said Wednesday. "He looks like he understands the defense as far as his alignments and his gap responsibilities. He's a good coverage guy. He covers a lot of ground. He hits the tackles."
Horn questionable after reinjuring knee - Times-Picayune - Brian Allee-Walsh
Thursday, November 18, 2004 - Saints wide receiver Joe Horn reinjured his left knee during Wednesday's practice and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos at the Superdome. Horn, who has caught a team-high 54 passes for 758 yards and five touchdowns, was added to the league's injury report after the workout. He joins left cornerback Mike McKenzie (left knee, questionable), special teams' captain Steve Gleason (left hamstring, questionable), tight end Ernie Conwell (right shoulder, questionable) and weakside linebacker Derrick Rodgers (lower back, doubtful) on the injury report.
Elliss Out for Saints Game - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - The Broncos will be short another defensive lineman for Sunday's game at New Orleans. Wednesday morning, the team released its first injury report of the week, which declared that defensive tackle Luther Elliss is out with a calf injury. Elliss joins defensive tackle Trevor Pryce, who has missed eight consecutive games since suffering a back injury and subsequently undergoing surgery. "It's a big impact," defensive end Reggie Hayward said. "Luther is a great guy who comes out and works hard. That's going to be a great void that we're going to have to (fill). Elliss' absence could be an extended one. "It could be anywhere from two weeks to two months," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "You really don't know with that injury."
Wednesday Notebook: Lynch Gets Back to the Field - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - Two weeks ago, Nick Ferguson observed that fellow safety John Lynch was sitting atop ice in a team meeting, nursing the sacrum that was fractured during the Oct. 31 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Wednesday, Lynch was back on the field, seeing limited action during the Broncos' practice but nonetheless taking another step forward as he points to a possible return by Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints. "He took a couple of reps in each period (of practice)," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "He looked pretty good."
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