Broncos News Briefs - Friday, Nov. 26

Denver Broncos running back Reuben Droughns and the Raiders DL Warren Sapp had words the last time the two teams played. Read more about their smack-off in today's news reports.

Droughns shows Sapp he can trash talk, too - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
November 26, 2004 - Warren Sapp had just been "Punk'd," and he wasn't happy. Denver's 31-3 win against Oakland on Oct. 17 at Network Associates Coliseum was filled with trash talk between Sapp, the verbose Raiders defensive lineman, and Reuben Droughns, the Broncos' new featured back. Their exchanges included a shouting match on the way to the locker room at halftime during which the two players were forcefully separated.

Bailey's tackling only adds to total package - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Friday, November 26, 2004 - The Denver cornerback, considered the league's best, makes everything he does look easy. The things that make Champ Bailey a premier NFL cornerback - stride-for-stride coverage, self-confidence, natural grace and pure athleticism - didn't surprise fellow Broncos corner Kelly Herndon. Nor did Bailey's leadership and charisma. It was Bailey's tenacious, technically sound tackling that caught Herndon off guard.

Understudies abroad - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Friday, November 26, 2004 - Regarding Matt Mauck and Bradlee Van Pelt, do you think the Broncos will assign one or both to NFL Europe this spring for some under-center experience? Or, will they keep them here to work out with the team, to better learn the playbook and to spend time with the coaches?

Lynch lured by similarities - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Friday, November 26, 2004 - Oakland made a late run at John Lynch in free agency, but the safety already was close to signing with the Broncos by the time the Raiders got in the picture. Oakland did sign one Tampa Bay defensive stalwart - Warren Sapp. And his time in Oakland has been something of a struggle. Sapp is struggling to pick up the Raiders' 3-4 front. The Raiders used a 4-3 some last week against San Diego.

QB displays signs of improvement - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Friday, November 26, 2004 - Oakland Raiders quarterback Kerry Collins might not be such an easy mark for the Broncos this time around. That's the opinion of Raiders coach Norv Turner, who watched Collins complete 18-of-30 passes for 227 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions last Sunday against San Diego. Although the Raiders lost 23-17, Collins posted a 105.8 passer rating, by far his best this season.

Broncos ponder change of face - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
November 26, 2004 - As the NFL stretch drive nears, the secrets are out, the cards are spread all over the table. "And everybody knows what you do now," Denver Broncos linebacker Al Wilson said. "It's out. Now it's about doing what you do now and doing it well."

Raiders week always special - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 26, 2004 - Mike Shanahan was asked about the Broncos' top AFC West challenger during his Wednesday press conference. Even more surprising than the season San Diego is having is the fact that Denver's one-at-a-time head coach broke form and answered the question about the Chargers. Sure, the division will be on the line on Dec. 5 when the Broncos (7-3) travel to Qualcomm Stadium to take on Marty Scottenheimer's co-leading Chargers. But this is Raider Week.

Nate Jackson's Jounal -- Happy Thanksgiving -
Thursday, November 25, 2004 - Today marks the second Thanksgiving in a row I will have spent away from my family. Growing up, I never really thought much of this day. I knew it was all about the Pilgrims and the Native Americans sharing a feast. I knew that pretty much everyone ate turkey. I knew I got to see a large portion of my extended family. And I knew I usually wore clothes that I didn't pick out and maybe didn't really enjoy being represnted by (evident in a Thanksgiving picture, circa 1989, in which I wore a pink turtleneck). And that was pretty much it. Then I started growing up.

Kyle Johnson: It Comes with the Territory - - Doug Collins
Thursday, November 25, 2004 - All across Denver, kids in schoolyards dream of being like their favorite Broncos players. While you might hear some shout "I'm Rod Smith!" or "I'm Jake Plummer", it's unlikely you'll witness the shout of "I'm Kyle Johnson!" And while the talk around the water cooler on any given Monday after a Broncos game might revolve around the play of Ashley Lelie or Champ Bailey, it's not likely that people would mention Johnson. That's just the life of an NFL fullback. It's a tough, up-at-dawn, grinding job. The rewards are less evident than those of other positions, and touching the ball almost never happens. To Kyle Johnson, the Broncos starting fullback, it just comes with the territory.

Fantasy Preview: Giving Thanks - - Bronco Dan
Thursday, November 25, 2004 - Last time the Broncos faced the Raiders, I predicted that the tight end would score his first career touchdown. Lo and behold, he did just that, providing the highlight to his three-catch, 52-yard day. Given the fact that fellow tight end Dwayne Carswell also scored that day, and San Diego's Antonio Gates had a field day this past week against Oakland, there's no reason to change tactics this time around. Look for the Raiders to key on Reuben Droughns, Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie, providing plenty of areas for Putzier to operate.

Wednesday Notebook: Still Crazy After All These Years - - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - It has been a generation since the Broncos and Raiders' decade-plus run of shared dominance atop the AFC West. But the grit and passion that built their rivalry from the 1970s through the mid-1980s remains in the form of a running duel that is among the best in the NFL. The teams finished with concurrent winning records in nine of 13 seasons between 1973 -- when the Broncos finished above .500 for the first time -- and 1985, when the Raiders won the AFC West at 12-4 and the Broncos became the only 11-5 team to ever miss the playoffs. That disappointing ending for the Broncos was compounded by the fact that the Raiders beat the Broncos twice that year -- both in overtime. A win in just one of those games would have given Denver the division title and a home playoff game in the divisional round.

Droughns Focused on Playing, Not Jawjacking - - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - It's not as if the Broncos' cantankerous rivalry with the Oakland Raiders needed any more spice. But when Reuben Droughns and Warren Sapp exchanged barbs as they left the field following the first half of the team's Oct. 17 game at Network Associate Coliseum, yet another vignette was added to a rivalry that has produced an encyclopedia's worth of odd occurrences, tall tales and mutual enmity. Droughns and Sapp shared what can be euphemistically described as a spirited repartée. But to Droughns, the exchange wasn't personal, it was just part of the game.

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