Broncos' opponent has rough history

The Denver Broncos' opponent on Sunday has quite a history - of losing. Read about the New Orleans Saints' problems in today's news reports. Also - Coach Mike Shanahan expects safety John Lynch to be able to play on Sunday.

Haslett knows history of losing old story in New Orleans - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Friday, November 19, 2004 - Coaching is hard in the Big Easy, where the New Orleans Saints have won only one playoff game in their 38-year history. Just ask Jim Haslett, who has heard the rumors that this season could be his last if the 4-5 Saints don't turn things around, starting with Sunday's game against the Broncos at the Superdome. He says the Saints' long history of losing has made the natives restless. "In history, we really haven't done much," Haslett said this week. "We won the one playoff game in 2000, which is the only playoff game they have ever won. I understand the frustration that goes on in this city. We obviously aren't trying to lose games. We are trying to get it right and make them proud and get them a championship."

Plummer in control out of pocket - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Friday, November 19, 2004 - Heaven on a football field looks like this for Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer: He fakes a handoff to tailback Reuben Droughns, momentarily freezing the defensive line. Then Plummer rolls out and scans the field. If a safety or cornerback worried about Plummer's running ability makes a move toward him, Plummer lofts the ball over the defender's head for a big play. That heavenly vision became reality when Plummer threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Ashley Lelie in the Broncos' 31-13 victory over the Houston Texans on Nov. 7. "I like doing it," Plummer said of his mobile passing game. "I've been doing it for a long time, through Pop Warner ball, junior high, through college and out here.

Assistant Spencer adjusts for new role - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Friday, November 19, 2004 - It's opening-game week all over again for Jimmy Spencer. As the Broncos begin their stretch run, Spencer is preparing for his debut as head defensive backs coach. Spencer said Thursday the week has been hectic as he prepares his players to face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. "It's a lot of responsibility, but it's been a good week," Spencer said. "There is a lot preparation time involved. But the guys are really responding, and I think it's going to work out well." Spencer was promoted from assistant defensive backs coach to the top position when David Gibbs was fired Nov. 9. Kirk Doll replaced Spencer as the assistant secondary coach.

WR Smith nominated for Payton - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Friday, November 19, 2004 - Veteran wide receiver Rod Smith was honored Thursday night as the Broncos' nominee for the Walter Payton man of the year award. It's the only NFL award that recognizes a player for his community service, as well as his excellence on the playing field. Smith becomes one of 32 finalists for the award, one representing each NFL team. The finalists will be reviewed by a yet-to-be-named blue-ribbon panel that will select the winner. The NFL will announce the winner a few days before Super Bowl XXXIX. The only Bronco to win the award was Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, who was named NFL man of the year for 1992.

No crybabies allowed - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Friday, November 19, 2004 - How does Broncos coach Mike Shanahan keep his star players from acting like crybabies, like Keyshawn Johnson or Terrell Owens, when they don't get the ball enough? I've never seen Rod Smith act like that, and he is every bit as good as any receiver in the league. Shanahan would never stand for a player yelling in his ear like Keyshawn.

Boos can be sobering - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
November 19, 2004 - Six plays. That's all it took. The New Orleans Saints had run all of six offensive plays from scrimmage Sunday before the ticket-buying jury once again rendered its verdict on Aaron Brooks. With only 5 minutes, 18 seconds having clicked off the game clock on an NFL afternoon that was just getting started, Brooks took the snap from center, tripped, fell down and was sacked for a 4-yard loss. Then the boos cascaded down on the quarterback. It has become an all-too-familiar feeling for Brooks as he works his way through his fourth full season as the Saints' starter.

Union might cut it out - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
November 19, 2004 - NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw and league football operations president Art Shell want offensive linemen's actions to be a cut above. The two, who were Hall of Famers at the position, reportedly will push for the league's competition committee to tweak the rules on cut blocks, limiting contact to higher than the knees. AdvertisementDon't count on those modifications happening, Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "It'll never get passed because everybody does it," he argued. "It sounds good, but it won't happen." The latest talk about changes stemmed from a legal, though arguably unethical, block by Broncos right tackle George Foster in Cincinnati on Oct. 25.

Bowlen: 'MNF' spot 'dumb' - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
November 19, 2004 - Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said Thursday he knows what ABC was trying to accomplish with its controversial opening segment on Monday Night Football this week but that doesn't mean he wants to see anything like it again. "Just dumb, really dumb," Bowlen, longtime chairman of the NFL's broadcasting committee, said of the segment featuring actress Nicollette Sheridan and Philadelphia Eagles receiver Terrell Owens. "My take is that it really was stupid. And it has no real place in the ABC Monday Night Football broadcast. I know what they were trying to do. It was distasteful in different forums to different people, but to me, I'm saying 'This is about football, why do we have this stuff?' "

Heaven help them - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
November 19, 2004 - Three feet of ice does not come from one day of cold weather - Chinese proverb. The voice, loud and proud, simply roars down the phone line, grabs you by the shirt and shakes you around. In a machine-gun staccato, it is fueled by certainty, pushed by passion. The ex-Marine the voice belongs to is absolutely, unflinchingly sure he has no patience for anyone who says those who lose games can't learn how to win them. Because, after all, former New Orleans Saints coach Jim Mora has been there and he's proof of that.

Lincicome: Throwing in towel has new meaning - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Lincicome
November 19, 2004 - It must be assumed that the NFL's objection to the now notorious Monday Night Football promo was because it violated the uniform code of . . . uh, uniforms, one of which was official and the other of which was missing altogether. The consistency of the NFL is inspiring. Just as it will not let Jake Plummer wear a small decal honoring a dead war hero, neither does it approve of Terrell Owens wearing a naked actress. No, both are bad, and if Owens wants to do such a thing in the future, he will have to do it in something other than his Philadelphia Eagles uniform and do it somewhere other than in the Eagles' locker room. Policy is policy, and if Nicollette Sheridan wants to appear sexually suggestive, the place is not in the American home at 7 p.m. MST but on the sideline with the cheerleaders.

Legwold: Five fast starters stall on way to finish line - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
November 19, 2004 - September is cute. September is all warm and fuzzy. For in September, optimism is the most common of commodities and everyone in the NFL is just so happy about what the season will bring. But then the calendar flips to October and now November. And as the holiday season approaches, things get down to business. "I was raised in this league that the great teams play well in November and December," Broncos safety John Lynch said. "This is the time when football gets exciting. Teams go up or they go down.

NFL injury report, November 19 - Rocky Mountain News
November 18, 2004 - NFL injury report, November 19

Brooks will try to be Vick-like - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 19, 2004 - They are second cousins. They can throw a football far and run fast. And they are both starting NFL quarterbacks in the NFC South. So Michael Vick and Aaron Brooks are basically the same guy, right? "They're from the same area, but (they're) not the same person," Denver cornerback Champ Bailey said. "Come on, it's no comparison." The Broncos hope there is no comparison to be drawn after Sunday game when they face Brooks' New Orleans Saints. Three weeks ago Denver was humbled during a loss to Atlanta in which Vick threw for 252 yards and ran for 115 more. The Broncos' third-ranked defense will have to do a lot better than that to win at the Louisiana Superdome. Or will it?

Shanahan expects Lynch to play in New Orleans - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 19, 2004 - It looks like the Denver Broncos' defense will get one of its three injured Pro Bowl players back in time for Sunday's game at New Orleans. John Lynch, who was able to practice again on Thursday, is healthy enough to return to the lineup against the Saints at the Louisiana Superdome. The safety, who missed the Nov. 7 game against Houston with a lower-back injury, benefited more physically than any player on the team from the bye week.

Saints' defenders on guard to protect themselves against Broncos' technique - Times-Picayune - Brian Allee-Walsh
Friday, November 19, 2004 - Saints defenders have been duly warned this week -- protect your knees and watch your backs. The cut-blocking Denver Broncos are coming to town. "We know we're playing Denver," Saints defensive line coach John Pease said. "We're going to work on cut blocks like crazy as part of our natural drills this week and next week for Atlanta. The officials are not going to call it against them. So, instead of talking about it, and . . . moaning about it, you learn to defense it. "I'm telling my players don't complain about it, just get away from those cut blocks. Don't be where they can run up the back of your legs."

Walls finds way to play despite injury - Mercury News - Frank Schwab
Thu, Nov. 18, 2004 - Denver Broncos cornerback Lenny Walls' season started going south in the first practice. Walls tore cartilage in his right ankle in the morning of the first day of training camp. Walls had surgery and played in only one exhibition game. Then in the first regular-season game, Walls dislocated his right shoulder and missed the next three games. In his second game back from that injury Walls dislocated the same shoulder again, another tough blow in a very unlucky season. The Broncos were looking for big things from Walls this season before the injuries hit. He played well last year, his first season as starter, and this season Champ Bailey, not Walls, was going to shadow the best receiver every week.

Thursday Notebook: Pryce Waits, Wonders About Return - - Andrew Mason
Thursday, November 18, 2004 - Any day could be the day that defensive lineman Trevor Pryce is ready to return after sitting out for over two months. It could be tomorrow. It could be next week. It could be at Christmas. No one knows, least of all Pryce himself. "There's not a time frame," Pryce said as he sat in front of his locker Thursday afternoon. "I don't have to heal. I'm done healing. The doctor said, 'You'll wake up one morning and you'll be 100 percent. What morning that's going to be just depends on your body. You will wake up one morning and it will be like it's never happened.'" But until that day comes, all Pryce can do is wait.

Lynch, Bailey Lead in Pro Bowl Balloting - - Andrew Mason
Thursday, November 18, 2004 - So far, so good. The Denver Broncos possess two leaders at their positions in the annual Pro Bowl fan balloting -- cornerback Champ Bailey and safety John Lynch. Bailey is first among all NFL cornerbacks with 88,326 votes, while Lynch paces all AFC free safeties with 39,787 votes to date. Fan voting continues on-line through Dec. 19. The total fan vote counts as one-third of the Pro Bowl ballot tally. One-third of the vote comes from the players, and the other third from NFL coaches. They will make their votes after the fan component concludes on Dec. 20 and 21.

Nate Jackson's Jounal -- Around the World in 7 Days -
Thursday, November 18, 2004 - Rest and relaxation. That's what it was. Yep, a little R & R. Some well needed time spent away from the field. Pretty much everyone went their separate ways during our week off. Some chose to spend it at home, some chose to venture elsewhere. I chose elsewhere. I have always been an avid duck watcher. I know, I know, sounds weird. But something about those little quacking freaks just fascinates me.

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