Volek will present challenge for Broncos

Billy Volek almost became a Bronco last summer, but instead decided to stay with the Tennessee Titans. Volek is now starting and Denver will face one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL on Saturday. Read about Volek in today's news reports. Also - more on the selections of Champ Bailey and John Lynch to the Pro Bow.

Remember new Titans QB - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Thursday, December 23, 2004 - There are two ways to view Christmas night's Broncos-Titans game in Nashville, Tenn. Scrooge would say the Broncos are in deep trouble. And Scrooge might be on to something, given the way the Broncos' defense collapsed Sunday in a 45-17 loss at Kansas City, and the way Titans quarterback Billy Volek has been slinging the football. But Broncos safety John Lynch, fresh off his sixth Pro Bowl selection Wednesday, prefers to see his Christmas stocking as half-full.

Bailey, Lynch earn Pro Bowl - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Thursday, December 23, 2004 - A Denver franchise criticized for the failings of big-ticket acquisitions in recent years had to be pleased Wednesday with the announcement of the Pro Bowl rosters. Defensive backs Champ Bailey and John Lynch will represent the Broncos and the AFC in the all-star game Feb. 13 in Honolulu. Both players were acquired to bring talent and leadership to the defense.

DT Johnson opts to put off retirement - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Thursday, December 23, 2004 - When defensive tackle Ellis Johnson was traded to the Broncos in September, he made no guarantees he would play in 2005. He considered himself semiretired and thought this could be his last season. Wednesday, he reconsidered. "I'll be playing ball next season," said Johnson, who was acquired from Atlanta for a conditional draft pick that likely will become a fourth-round pick. The free agent said he seriously would consider coming back to the Broncos. "If (Denver) would see it fit to want to bring me back, I'd be open to it," Johnson said. "This is a great organization, and I really enjoy it here."

It's old hat for two Denver newcomers - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
December 23, 2004 - Forget the Pro Bowl. John Lynch just wanted to make sure he could survive the rigors of the NFL season without any problems with his surgically repaired neck when the veteran safety signed with Denver last March. On the other hand, a trip to the postseason all-star festivities was the expectation for Champ Bailey and the Broncos after the team acquired him in a blockbuster trade during the off-season. Different paths. Same result. Both members of the secondary have earned a trip to Hawaii as the Broncos' only two Pro Bowl selections. Lynch now has been selected six times; Bailey five, all in a row. Each made it in the AFC for the first time.

NFL injury report, December 23 - Rocky Mountain News
December 23, 2004 - NFL injury report, December 23

Smith won't forget Titans coach - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
December 23, 2004 - Denver Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith is the franchise's all-time leader in receptions, yards receiving and receiving touchdowns. On Sunday, he also became only the 20th receiver in the history of the NFL to make at least 700 receptions. And Saturday, he will face the coach he says helped him the most to reach those milestones - Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger.

Broncos set for red-hot Volek - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 23, 2004 - Mike Shanahan has said he will bring Jake Plummer back for a third season, which would mean giving the talented but inconsistent quarterback a $6 million roster bonus, unless the two can reach an accord on a restructured contract. During the offseason, the Denver Broncos were among a handful of teams that tried to sign an insurance policy by the name of Billy Volek, but the dollars didn't quite make enough sense for the Tennessee free agent.So on Saturday night — instead of perhaps getting benched in favor of Volek — the struggling Plummer will have to outplay his red-hot counterpart to keep the Broncos (8-6) playoff hopes alive against the Titans (4-10) at the Coliseum.

Bailey, Lynch Hawaii-bound - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 23, 2004 - Champ Bailey and John Lynch, the two major offseason acquisitions for the Broncos, were named to the Pro Bowl on Wednesday. "I thought I was due," Denver head coach Mike Shanahan said when asked about having two big-name free agents work out so well. "The law of averages." Unfortunately for Shanahan, they are currently the franchise's only representatives in the NFL's annual all-star game. Trevor Pryce has been out since the opener with a back injury, Luther Elliss is on injured reserve and Bert Berry leads the league in sacks for Arizona. Despite an inconsistent pass rush, Bailey and Lynch have played well for most of the year.

A Stellar Pair - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Thursday, December 23, 2004 - Two Pro Bowlers. Two offeseason acquisitions. Two successes. "I figured I was due," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said, smiling, referring to past offseason pickups. "Law of averages." But Champ Bailey and John Lynch defied averages. They were proven players who many teams craved in the offseason. Denver closed the deals on both, fortifying their defense in the process and giving it two standout defensive backs, a quality duo that hasn't been seen in Denver since Ring of Famers Louis Wright and Dennis Smith patrolled the secondary together for a few years in the 1980s.

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.

Bailey and Lynch Earn Pro Bowl Nods - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason and Mike Sarro
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - When Denver added Champ Bailey and John Lynch to the roster last March, the club knew it was adding two quality players. Nine months later, they're the Broncos' only Pro Bowlers. Bailey and Lynch were both selected to the AFC All-Star roster for the Pro Bowl on Wednesday, marking the fifth and sixth selections for each defensive back, respectively. As a member of the Washington Redskins, Bailey made the trip to Hawaii after each of the past four seasons. But making it a fifth consecutive trip didn't weigh heavily on his mind in the day prior to the selection announcement. "I just want to win," he said. "We've got to get in these playoffs. Forget the Pro Bowl. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't."

Wednesday Notebook: Broncos Fill Last Spot on 53-Man Roster - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - After four days, the Broncos are back to a 53-man roster. Denver signed guard Tim Stuber to its active roster Wednesday, filling out the last spot on the active roster, one that became available when the team waived defensive tackle Darius Holland on Tuesday. The team had promoted Tyson Clabo from the practice squad on Tuesday, but that move only allowed Broncos to replace the second of two spots created when Willie Middlebrooks and Luther Elliss went on injured reserve last Friday.

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