Broncos News Briefs - Tuesday, Dec. 7

Denver coach Mike Shanahan and quarterback Jake Plummer come in for some criticism from former Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe. In other news - wide receiver Nate Jackson is out for the season with a broken ankle.

Broncos wasting opportunities - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Tuesday, December 07, 2004 - A deficit of four points separates the Broncos from being considered an elite team in control of the AFC West. After two devastatingly close defeats, the Broncos are in familiar territory: fighting for their playoff lives. As a result of Sunday's latest close-but-not-enough, 20-17 loss at San Diego, the Broncos are 7-5 and are on the outside looking in on the playoff race with only a quarter of the season remaining.

Not-so-dream season barely missing "it" - Denver Post - Anthony Cotton
Tuesday, December 07, 2004 - You have to wonder if Charles Barkley has DirecTV or the NFL Network, or any means of catching Broncos games in between platters of chicken wings. If he did, he'd realize the Nuggets aren't the only local team that has serious issues with intangibles. Whenever the Nuggets lay an egg on TNT, Barkley is quick to point out how the team ultimately won't succeed because the sum of its parts don't equal one winning whole. That may be as good a reason as any to explain why your NFL heroes are one omelet from missing out on this season's playoffs - they just don't have "it."

Shanahan to keep using Bell - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Tuesday, December 07, 2004 - Tatum Bell's expanded role as the No. 2 tailback Sunday in San Diego likely will continue. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said Monday that Bell played well against the Chargers in the backup role to Reuben Droughns and will be used as a change of pace back to give Droughns some rest. Bell had seven caries for 31 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown run when the second-round draft pick displayed his speed. Bell has been slowed by injuries in his rookie season, but Sunday he got his chance to spell Droughns.

Dolphin stands by comment - Denver Post
Tuesday, December 07, 2004 - Davie, Fla. - Miami Dolphins tight end Randy McMichael is displeased with his role in the offense. McMichael came into Sunday's game as Miami's leading receiver, but he was upset after catching only two passes for 14 yards in a 42-32 loss to Buffalo. He said after the game he went from being the go-to guy to out the door. "I don't take anything I said back," McMichael said Monday. "I said it. I meant it exactly."

Portis is now team player - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Tuesday, December 07, 2004 - Ashburn, Va. - From the first day of the Washington Redskins' first minicamp in March, Clinton Portis was marching to a different beat. While his teammates were practically swooning over their first practice under returning Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs, Portis was the one shaking his head over the short offseason. "Being here a month before the draft, I think it came too quick," he said. The Redskins already knew from Portis' Denver days that he was flamboyant, defiantly confident and very much an individual. Such players are fun to have on the team, but they can be dangerous wild cards in the locker room when things go sour.

Sharpe tongue returns - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
December 7, 2004 - Shannon Sharpe promised to hold nothing back in his second career as a broadcaster. On Monday, he came out firing at his former employer, the Denver Broncos. Speaking on his Sirius satellite radio show, Sharpe claimed the Broncos should consider firing coach Mike Shanahan or lessen some of his power, mocked quarterback Jake Plummer and questioned whether the team's big-money players were earning their keep.

Fired Broncos assistant to fight dismissal - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
December 7, 2004 - Former Broncos secondary coach David Gibbs, who was fired by coach Mike Shanahan on Nov. 9, has informed the NFL and the NFL Coaches Association he plans to dispute his dismissal. Gibbs, who had been with the team since 2001, is the first assistant who has been fired during the season in Shanahan's tenure as Broncos coach. Shanahan was hired before the 1995 season. At issue is whether Gibbs was informed properly of the problems the Broncos had with his job performance before he was fired. The Broncos are paying Gibbs through the end of the season. However, Gibbs has asked the league and the Coaches Association for an arbitrator to rule whether he had signed a contract extension before the start of the season that covers him for the 2005 season as well.

Krieger: This isn't time to cut off Mike - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
December 7, 2004 - Why are we such cowards? Why don't we have the guts to tell it like it is? Why don't we call for Mike Shanahan's head, for Jake Plummer's head, for Micah Knorr's head? Why are we such cowards? This is my mailbox. Let me defend my fellow wretches by pointing out many of them do exactly what these screechers demand; in fact, some of them do it pretty much every time the Broncos lose.

Tuesday Morning Quarterback: Broncos haven't painted pretty picture this season - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
December 7, 2004 - In what just might be the 1,000-word picture of the Broncos season thus far, there was Wade Phillips on Sunday evening, a smile cascading across his face, index finger raised in the air as he slowly jogged into the tunnel toward the Chargers locker room. "We're No. 1, baby,'' Phillips shouted. "We're No. 1.'' Phillips, who was sent on his way by Broncos owner Pat Bowlen after the 1994 season and replaced by Mike Shanahan, is the Chargers defensive coordinator. And Phillips, after being replaced as interim coach of the Atlanta Falcons after last season, has hit the ground running with the NFL's latest glass-slipper outfit.

Broncos need some help now - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 7, 2004 - Playoffs? Playoffs? We're just trying to win a game. Playoffs? Those words made for a classic sound bite when Jim Mora Sr. uttered them after a difficult loss years ago. On Monday, in the aftermath of another puzzling defeat, Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan repeated them in a more low-key manner. "I'm going to give you the standard line," Shanahan said before talking about focusing on the next opponent — the 2-10 Dolphins. "We have to get ready for Miami."

Broken ankle ends Jackson's season - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 7, 2004 - As Nate Jackson limped in agony to the visiting training room at Qualcomm Stadium after Denver's 20-17 loss to San Diego on Sunday, the wide receiver's ankle didn't look sprained — the initial report given in the press box after he left the game in the fourth quarter. On Monday, head coach Mike Shanahan updated what was clearly a more gruesome injury. Jackson, the Broncos' No. 4 receiver, suffered a fractured ankle and will be placed on injured reserve, ending his first season on the active roster.

Monday Notebook: Jackson Out for Season - - Andrew Mason
Monday, December 6, 2004 - Denver lost more than the game Sunday to the San Diego Chargers; the team also lost wide receiver Nate Jackson for the rest of the season. Jackson fractured an ankle during Sunday's contest, Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. The second-year wide receiver did not play after going up for a pass in the end zone midway through the fourth quarter of Sunday's game. Shanahan expects to place Jackson on injured reserve, but the team won't make a move to fill the roster spot "for a day or two," he said.

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