Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - While families across the country feast on turkey and holiday ham, pressure will be the main course for Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer on Christmas night in Tennessee. Plummer's slumping team has lost three of its past four games and must defeat the Titans on Saturday in Nashville to have a fighting chance of staying in the AFC playoff hunt. In those four games, Plummer has completed 51 percent of his passes, thrown nine interceptions vs. two touchdowns and has a passer rating of only 54.13.
Working holiday puts hole in soul - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - You're a mean one, Mr. Tagliabue. NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue slithered into the lives of Broncos to give them a most unpleasant Christmas present. No one knows the wicked reason. It could be his head is not screwed on quite right. Or maybe his shoes are too tight. Tagliabue stuffed players up the chimney with glee, ordering the whole Denver team to play Saturday night in Tennessee. For Broncos, there will be no joyous holiday dinner feast, because the commissioner even took their roast beast. But to call Tagliabue the Grinch Who Stole Christmas would be an insult to a green, hairy hermit with a heart two sizes too small.
Kaiser wants half of Broncos - Denver Post - Mike McPhee
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - Edgar Kaiser Jr., former owner of the Denver Broncos, has filed papers in Denver District Court seeking 50 percent ownership of the National Football League team because of an alleged breach of contract by current owner Pat Bowlen. Kaiser recently won an important but financially limited victory in federal court involving ownership of the Broncos. On Friday, Kaiser filed documents stating that Bowlen violated a right-of-first- refusal clause in a 1984 sales agreement with Kaiser.
Defensive stars confident about revival - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - What bothers Champ Bailey most about the Broncos' current state is it's unnecessary. Bailey looks around the locker room and practice field and sees a serious playoff threat. Yet with two games remaining in the regular season, the Broncos (8-6) will need assistance to make the playoffs. Bailey knows his team is not playing up to its potential. "At this point we're underachieving, because we should be much better," the standout left cornerback said. "We're not underachieving when it comes to trying, but we're not getting it done. This should be a team with a much better record. We're not a 8-6 team, but that's where we are."
Droughns keeps starting job vs. Titans - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - Reuben Droughns and Tatum Bell are reasonably healthy and expect to play Saturday night at Tennessee. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said Droughns - who has given up substantial playing time to Bell the past two weeks - will remain the starter. "You can see that we've got two guys that can handle the ball," Shanahan said. "Both guys are going to play. Reuben will start. I feel very good about our situation." Bell, who is recovering from a separated left shoulder, has 173 yards rushing on 26 carries in the past two games and is likely to get playing time. Droughns has 89 yards on 22 carries in the same span.
Losing season wearing on Tennessee - Denver Post - Teresa M. Walker, Associated Press
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee Titans are putting up impressive offensive numbers. Unfortunately, none have translated into victories. In a season in which the injuries just keep coming, some of the Titans are glad the end finally is in sight. "Let's go practice, play these two games hard, try and get these two wins, and then just go into the offseason," linebacker Keith Bulluck said after Sunday's 40-35 loss at Oakland. "I've never been on a 4-10 team in the NFL, so a lot of this is frustration." The franchise hasn't been 4-10 with only two games left since 1994, when the then-Houston Oilers finished 4-12, a season that resulted in Jack Pardee being fired and Jeff Fisher - then the defensive coordinator - being promoted to interim head coach.
At running back, a kiss of depth - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
December 22, 2004 - Plans are nice. People sit around big conference tables, lean back in comfortable office furniture and make them all the time. They make lists, sketch diagrams, toss in a few pie charts and some statistical wizardry and away they go. The Broncos did that. They assembled a running back roster in August so deep that some folks wondered how they would spread around the ball.
No one and only at back - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
December 22, 2004 - Who's No. 1 in the Broncos backfield? Reuben Droughns still officially is listed as Denver's starting tailback and will get the first call Saturday night, coach Mike Shanahan said. "You can see that we've got two guys that can handle the ball," he said. "Both guys are going to play. Reuben will start." But Tatum Bell's performances in the past two games, including 225 yards (173 rushing, 52 receiving) on 28 touches, might change things in the final two regular-season games - especially if he can hang onto the ball inside the opponent's 10-yard line.
Coach comes to Bailey's defense - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 22, 2004 - Your eyes lie. They told you, and a national television audience, that Cincinnati receiver Chad Johnson had his way with Champ Bailey in a season-changing loss for the Broncos. They told you, and a national television audience, that Oakland's Jerry Porter beat Bailey and his helpers for three touchdowns on a snowy night at Invesco Field to send Denver reeling into December. They told you, and 77,702 Chiefs fans, that Eddie Kennison scored two touchdowns with Bailey chasing him during Kansas City's 45-17 victory last Sunday. Get some Visine, learn more about football, and then get off Bailey's back. Mike Shanahan had the vision to trade Clinton Portis for the league's premier "shutdown" cornerback and knows more about football than just about anyone. Listen up.
Broncos cut ex-Buff Holland - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 22, 2004 - Usually Darius Holland is sitting in front of his locker joking with teammates before the Denver Broncos take the field for practice. On Tuesday there was a garbage bag filled with his belongings taking up that space. And, sure enough, Denver announced that Holland, a member of Colorado's talented 1994 team, had been released. The defensive tackle had been inactive for 11 consecutive games dating back to September. After Tuesday's practice, head coach Mike Shanahan was asked why Holland's stock had dropped so far after starting 14 games last season.
Plummer's struggles put Broncos in a jam - The Tennessean - Paul Kuharsky
Wednesday, 12/22/04 - The Denver Broncos have lost three out of their last four games and bring fading playoff hopes to Nashville for a Christmas night contest with the Titans. The source of their current struggles isn't hard to find: quarterback Jake Plummer has thrown nine of his 19 interceptions this season over the last month, and the Broncos have also lost four fumbles, half their season total, over the same span. ''I have been in this situation before and I know one thing you have to do is keep pushing through it,'' Plummer said. ''All you can do is prepare harder, practice smarter and go out and play as good as you can and let things fall where they may. I can't do anything else. I know I can play better and if you ask the guys around me I think they will say the same thing, that their level of play they can pick it up.'' Denver's 27 turnovers this season have resulted in 90 points for opponents, 31.7 percent of the points scored against the Broncos.
Tuesday Notebook: Broncos Waive Holland - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - The roster tweaks of recent days continued Tuesday when the Broncos waived defensive tackle Darius Holland, promoted guard Tyson Clabo from the practice squad to the 53-man roster and added defensive tackle D.J. Renteria to their practice squad. Denver's decision to waive Holland ends the University of Colorado product's two-season stint with the Broncos. He joined the team in the 2003 training camp and became a starter by opening day, eventually starting in 14 of 16 games last year while notching 42 total tackles, three passes defensed but no sacks. However, Holland had not played a snap for the Broncos since being active for the Week 3 win over the San Diego Chargers. He posted one tackle against the Jaguars on Sept. 19 and another against the Chargers, but was subsequently deactivated for 11 consecutive games, including last Sunday's defeat at Kansas City.
Fantasy Review: Week 15 - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - Head Coach Mike Shanahan affirmed that Broncos running backs Reuben Droughns and Tatum Bell would divide the work this coming week. "We've got two guys that can handle the ball. Both guys are going to play," Shanahan said. "Reuben will start." The NFL doesn't play its games for the benefit of the millions of fantasy-football players around the nation and beyond. If it did, we wouldn't see the kind of season-ending, fantasy-team-wrecking scenarios like we do every season, when teams locked into playoff position sit starters to rest them for the playoffs.
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