Plummer's gesture still a hot topic

The "Bird" won't fly away. At Wednesday's press conference, the subject of quarterback Jake Plummer's obscene gesture during the Miami game was still the main topic of interest. In other news - Tatum Bell's availability will be determined during the next few days of practice and Trevor Pryce's status has been upgraded.

Lynch turning loose at crunch time - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Thursday, December 16, 2004 - The way John Lynch sees it, a big hit on the football field is akin to blood in shark-infested waters. "If you make one of those plays early in a game, it almost becomes a frenzy," the free safety said Wednesday as the Broncos begin preparing for Sunday's game in Kansas City. "Everybody wants a piece of that action. All of a sudden, people start running to the ball a little bit faster. And running backs aren't so sure about getting that extra yard, and receivers aren't so sure about going across that middle. "I think a big hit can be game-changing."

Time for Droughns to defend position - Denver Post - Anthony Cotton
Thursday, December 16, 2004 - When the Broncos played the New Orleans Saints a few weeks back, announcers Dick Enberg and Dan Dierdorf went on and on about Reuben Droughns' sunny disposition. Similarly, when ESPN televised the game against the Raiders the following week, the crew raved about the running back's blithe spirit. However, Droughns lost a costly fumble that Sunday night, and has coughed up the ball twice more since. In the process, it appeared he would lose more than his good nature - getting replaced in the backfield by Tatum Bell.

Jake looking to right wrong - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Thursday, December 16, 2004 - Focused on rebounding from mistakes on the field and a poor decision on the sideline, Jake Plummer has a solution for getting back in the good graces of the Broncos faithful. "Anytime I've ever made a mistake or I've ever done wrong, I want to move on and the only thing I can do is try to correct that," Plummer said Wednesday. "A big win in Kansas City is a right step in that direction."

CBroncos' Wilson facing suit over bar fight - Denver Post - Deborah Sherman, 9News
Thursday, December 16, 2004 - Broncos linebacker Al Wilson and two former teammates are being sued over a bloody bar fight in downtown Denver two years ago. Tyrone Gray claims Wilson and then-defensive ends Kavika Pittman and Keith Washington severely beat him at the Zodiac club on Market Street in April 2002. Gray is suing for at least $300,000 for medical care to treat dizziness, headaches and neck and shoulder pain he said was caused by the attack.

Chiefs' defense offensive - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Thursday, December 16, 2004 - The big reason the Kansas City Chiefs have slumped to 5-8 this season is no mystery to coach Dick Vermeil. But that hasn't made the season any easier for him. "This is probably the most disappointing (season), in that the expectations were high, and there was no reason not to be optimistic," Vermeil said Wednesday. The Chiefs head into Sunday's game against the Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium with a defense ranked 31st overall (383.2 yards a game), 32nd against the pass (270.4) and 31st in points allowed (28.0).

Finger food for thought: It's handy - Denver Post - David Harsanyi
Thursday, December 16, 2004 - Ah, the Middle Finger. The Digitus infamis. The Digitus impudicus. It is often suggested that the infamous one-finger salute has been provocative ever since the days of ancient Greece. Shaggy Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer was almost certainly oblivious to this long history before having the good sense to flip the bird to a grating fan last Sunday. Our problem? Jake, the execution was simply atrocious. Isn't anything worth doing, worth doing right?

Finger food for thought: It's handy - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Thursday, December 16, 2004 - The next two days should determine whether rookie running back Tatum Bell can play Sunday at Kansas City. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said Bell, who suffered a left shoulder separation Sunday in a 20-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins, will try to practice today and Friday. If he can practice without any setbacks, Shanahan said the second- round draft pick should be able to play Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. Bell is listed as questionable on the injury report.

Giving finger of blame a res - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
December 16, 2004 - As if Jake Plummer didn't know it already, all he had to do was glance at the morning paper Wednesday for a tidy little reminder. The Denver Broncos are 8-5 and heading to Kansas City for a game Sunday against a long-standing rival, and Plummer has been the center of a controversy this week because he aimed a certain finger at a heckling fan. Yet it was John Elway, tossing footballs to soldiers in Kuwait, who was the front-page news. And there, in short, is the story of playing quarterback for the Broncos.

Cardinal rule No. 1: K.C. formidable without Priest - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
December 16, 2004 - The last time the Broncos saw the Kansas City Chiefs, it was running back Priest Holmes who was romping in and around the Denver defense for 151 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries. But Holmes hasn't played since injuring ligaments in his right knee Nov. 7 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and yet the Chiefs still are No. 3 in the league in rushing. Holmes was placed on injured reserve last week. And with his backup, Derrick Blaylock, slowed by a sprained left knee, the Broncos most likely will see Larry Johnson in the Chiefs backfield Sunday.

Cornerbacks' backs against the wall - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
December 16, 2004 - The subject in August was the Denver Broncos' rookie cornerbacks, including Roc Alexander and Jeff Shoate. Coach Mike Shanahan responded by talking about the talent he believed they possessed. "They're what you're looking for," he said. Four months later, opposing quarterbacks from Kansas City to Tennessee to Indianapolis figure to be thinking the same thing when they get a glimpse of those same players. Injuries have ravaged the secondary as the Broncos prepare for their game Sunday against the Chiefs and beyond.

NFL injury report, December 16 - Denver Post - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
December 16, 2004 - NFL injury report, December 16

Injuries disrupt Bronco, Chief offenses - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 16, 2004 - On opening night, Quentin Griffin and Priest Holmes combined for six touchdowns and 306 yards of offense during Denver's 34-24 win over Kansas City. Neither starting running back made it to December. Griffin lost his job by the end of September after struggling against more stout defenses. He suffered his season-ending knee injury returning a kickoff in the Monday night fiasco at Cincinnati on Oct. 25. Holmes was placed on injured reserve a week ago after missing the previous four games with a knee injury.

Flippant gesture to fan still hounding Plummer - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 16, 2004 - Jake Plummer is ready to flip the page. Nearly 72 hours after Plummer was caught making a regrettable gesture to a fan at Invesco Field, the Denver Broncos quarterback was hoping to talk about this Sunday's game against Kansas City. And why wouldn't he, considering the Chiefs have the worst pass defense in the league? But during his Wednesday press conference, the subject of Plummer's middle finger, well, came up again. "Oh yeah. It's something I expect," Plummer said when asked if he thought the incident would be such a hot-button issue in Denver. The all-overrated NFL team

Flippant gesture to fan still hounding Plummer - Daily Camera - Dennis Dillon, The Sporting News
December 16, 2004 - Imagine a football team that included 14 players who were first-round draft picks and 15 players who had been selected to a combined 57 Pro Bowls. With all that talent, you'd think it would be a Super Bowl lock. What we have instead is the NFL's all-overrated team. The Sporting News assembled a panel of eight NFL scouts (one from each division) and two TV analysts and asked them to pick the most overrated players at each position. Some will surprise you, and some won't.

Chief Concern - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Thursday, December 16, 2004 - Not long ago, conventional wisdom dictated that the Kansas City Chiefs' running game would crumble without the benefit of its most powerful weapon, Priest Holmes. That has hardly proven to be the case. Granted, the Chiefs' rushing average is down by 23.8 yards per game since a knee injury ended Holmes' season in a Chiefs loss at Tampa Bay on Nov. 7. But that decrease only dropped the Chiefs to a 136-yards-per-game average, which would still rank seventh in the NFL. Running backs Larry Johnson and Derrick Blaylock have assumed the burden nicely; Blaylock has one 100-yard day and Johnson has a running streak of two 100-yard games, during which he's gained 222 yards on the ground, 75 more via receptions and scored four touchdowns.

Wednesday Notebook: Plummer Remorseful About Incident - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - Immediately after Jake Plummer raised a middle finger Sunday, he knew that the incident was destined to take on a life of its own in the days that followed. "Oh yeah. It's something I expect," Plummer said. "You're looking at a guy that's not perfect. I'm not a robot. I'm a man that's got warm blood that sometimes gets hot in there and runs through my veins." Corpuscles aside, fullback Kyle Johnson observed that the heckling following Plummer's first-quarter interception was unusual. "I think what happened to us on Sunday was that somebody was right behind our bench and they were going on incessantly," Johnson said. "It would not stop. It was a little unexpected, even for us. We were like, 'Who is that?' Everybody's turning around."

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