Smith up for Payton award

Denver Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith is one of the 32 finalists for the Walter Payton Award which recognizes a player's community service as well as his playing excellence. Read about Smith in today's news reports.

Broncos' Smith in running for Walter Payton award - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Sunday, November 21, 2004 - A few days before Super Bowl XXXIX, the NFL will announce the winner of the 2004 Walter Payton man of the year award. Named after the legendary Chicago Bears running back who died in 1999, it is the only NFL award that recognizes a player's community service as well as his playing excellence. Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith is one of the 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. Kansas City offensive lineman Will Shields won last season's award. Shields joined an elite list of winners that includes 12 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Plummer in control out of pocket - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Sunday, November 21, 2004 - Two weeks ago in the Broncos' 31-13 victory over Houston, Rod Smith passed Shannon Sharpe to become the all-time team leader in career receptions and touchdown catches. When Smith set those milestones, the fans at Invesco Field at Mile High gave him a warm ovation. That was nothing compared with warmth he received from his teammates in the locker room. "Rod is one of my best friends and nobody deserves this honor more than him," linebacker Al Wilson said after the game. "He's become like my big brother." "He's a pro's pro," coach Mike Shanahan said. "Rod? He's pure class," running back Reuben Droughns said. "You see where he's come from and you realize what it takes to make it in this league."

Broncos better win big in Big Easy - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Sunday, November 21, 2004 - What do you mean we won't know until December whether the Broncos will make the playoffs? Today's matchup in the Superdome isn't a football game. Litmus test is more like it. If the Broncos can't beat the Saints, they don't deserve to go anywhere and won't. Want to know what the Saints are all about? The answer lies atop Jim Haslett's head. If the Dolphins are the NFL's worst team, the Saints are the league's best blond joke.

Droughns rides hot streak - Denver Post – Woody Paige
Sunday, November 21, 2004 - What a schedule. Last week the Broncos played in Las Vegas, this week New Orleans. Where are they playing next week - Grand Cayman? Wait. I know what you're thinking. How could the Broncos have played in Las Vegas? There's no NFL team there. But I never said they played football in Vegas. On their off weekend, many of the Broncos - including Reuben Droughns - went to Las Vegas to shop or eat or see Cirque du Soleil or something.

Game 10 overview - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Sunday, November 21, 2004 - The Broncos are tied with the San Diego Chargers with a 6-3 record atop the AFC West, but have been a .500 team over their past four games. A Saints team with a lousy run defense presents a near must-win situation for Denver. NFL writer Bill Williamson breaks down what Denver needs to do today against the New Orleans Saints.

Caught up in thick of things - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
November 20, 2004 - There they stood: two future multimillionaires unsure if their future fortunes were threatened by inactivity. Ashley Lelie and Donté Stallworth were nursing pulled hamstrings and doubt as they stood in the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, watching the other receivers auditioning for the 2002 NFL draft by going through pass-catching and agility drills and running 40-yard sprints at the annual scouting combine.

Broncos must maintain cool under pressure - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
November 20, 2004 - A push here, a shove there, some harsh words are spoken. "Then the penalty flags come," Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey said. "And we need to stay away from all of that."After staring at video of the New Orleans Saints this week, many Broncos players say poise will be almost as important as executing their assignments Sunday at the Louisiana Superdome. The Saints, under coach Jim Haslett, are a fiery bunch on the field, and several teams have been reeled into the rough stuff. That list includes the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

NFL injury report, November 20 - Rocky Mountain News
November 20, 2004 - NFL injury report, November 20

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