Friday, December 24, 2004 - Baby, it's cold outside, but it's plenty hot in the coach's seat, even for a two-time Super Bowl champion such as the Broncos' Mike Shanahan. Which begs the question: Is it tougher than ever to be an NFL head coach? "No, I don't think it's tough at all," Shanahan said. Pause. "As long as you win."
Pryce is possible against Titans - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Friday, December 24, 2004 - Before this season, the only NFL game Trevor Pryce missed because of injury was the Broncos' 1999 Christmas Day game at Detroit. Pryce may return Saturday after missing the past 13 games in Denver's second Christmas Day game in franchise history. "I am encouraged, this is the first time (Pryce) has a legitimate chance to play since the injury," said coach Mike Shanahan after practice Thursday. Pryce has been out since the second week of the season with a lower-back injury that required surgery Sept. 22. Shanahan said if Pryce plays against the Titans it will be in a limited role in pass-rush situations. Pryce has been practicing for the past three weeks with the scout team.
Tatum taking after Terrell? - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Friday, December 24, 2004 - How electric is Tatum Bell? Do you agree or disagree: when I was watching him against the Dolphins (a very good defense, mind you), he looked faster and more balanced than Clinton Portis. Bell seemed powerful, with the vision of hitting the holes as Terrell Davis was ... what a deadly combination.
Tennessee worried weather aids Denver - Denver Post
Friday, December 24, 2004 - Nashville, Tenn. - Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher wanted to put his Titans through a workout outside to help them get used to cold temperatures. The weather just hasn't cooperated. The Titans worked out inside Tuesday and Wednesday because of rain. They showed up Thursday despite having to drive on slick roads because of an inch of ice and snow that fell overnight and found their three outdoor fields completely white. "We really wanted to go outside today, but the field froze up. They understand and we may have a walkthrough outside (today) just to get them used to it," Fisher said.
Broncos - Titans Scouting Report - Denver Post
Friday, December 24, 2004 - Broncos - Titans Scouting Report
At issue: Broncos - Denver Post
Friday, December 24, 2004 - Playoff help needed. Help, please. That's the Broncos' Christmas wish as they stumble into Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday night in a prime-time holiday special. In an ever-developing story, the Broncos are on the cusp of one of the worst collapses in franchise history. This was a 5-1 team, but after five losses in their past eight games and three out of the past four, the Broncos are an ordinary 8-6 and just one of a cluster of teams hoping to get the final spot in the AFC playoffs.
McNair needs time to recover from painful '04 - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
December 24, 2004 - For so long, people in and around the NFL told Steve McNair what he couldn't do. They told him what he wouldn't do. And they told him what he shouldn't do. That he couldn't read defenses, that he couldn't lead a team, that he wouldn't leave his free-wheeling ways from Alcorn State behind. So for nine years, all McNair did was cover his ears to those ridiculous thoughts, buckle up his helmet and go play. Play through injuries and doubt, through pain and criticism. Then he took the Tennessee Titans to a Super Bowl, played in two AFC Championship Games and finished the 2000 season with the best record in the NFL at 13-3.
NFL injury report, December 24 - Rocky Mountain News
December 24, 2004 - NFL injury report, December 24
All Broncos want for Xmas is a win - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 24, 2004 - 'Tis the season to be melancholy. The Denver Broncos have lost three of their last four games and five of eight since a 5-1 start. If they can't beat a beat up Tennessee team on Saturday, it will take a post-Christmas miracle to win the wild card. Something has to change, for playoffs sake! "If you haven't been watching much film, watch more film. If you go to bed late, go to bed early. Just try to change things up," safety Kenoy Kennedy said. "If you eat Fruit Loops, try eating Frosted Flakes or something." That said, perhaps having a short week and traveling/playing on a major holiday will change the way the Broncos have been performing. The coaches burned the midnight oil last week and believed they had the team ready for the critical game at Kansas City, but from the opening kickoff to the 45-17 final score it was another embarrassing and costly Sunday.
Thursday Notebook: Pryce Still Questionable - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Thursday, December 23, 2004 - Another practice, another day of work at practice for defensive lineman Trevor Pryce. Pryce has been listed as questionable all week, his best injury-report status since missing the first of 13 consecutive games in September at Jacksonville. He's participated in every practice since Wed., Dec. 8. "He looked pretty good today," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "I'm still not sure if he's going to go. I'm going to talk to him." If Pryce can play Saturday, it will be on a situational basis, nothing more.
Broncology: Air Assault the Titans' Pass-Time - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Thursday, December 23, 2004 - In less than a fortnight, the Titans' passing offense has ascended like a helicopter, moving straight up from pedestrian to prolific. Until this week, the Titans didn't even rank in the top half of the league in passing offense, spending most of the season in the 20s and never rising higher than No. 16 in the league -- which they only attained after Billy Volek threw for 426 yards at the Kansas City Chiefs' expense on Dec. 13. Now, they sit in the league's top 10, ranking ninth in the NFL on the strength of Volek's recent aerial assault upon NFL defenses. Since Volek returned to the starting lineup on Dec. 5 at Indianapolis, he's piled up staggering per-game averages of 30.0 completions in 46.0 attempts, 395.7 yards and 3.7 touchdowns.
Titans At a Glance - DenverBroncos.com - Tucker Gilmore
Thursday, December 23, 2004 - It's the holiday season, and the Broncos would like nothing more for Christmas than a win in Tennessee. Denver (8-6) is coming off its most humbling defeat of the season at the hands of rival Kansas City. In order to get into the postseason, the Broncos are faced with the challenge of winning both of their remaining two games, then needing help from other teams. The first test comes on Christmas day in Tennessee, against a Titans (4-10) team that has put up gaudy offensive numbers in the past two weeks. Denver still ranks in the top 10 in both total offense (No. 5) and total defense (No. 7) in the NFL, but turnovers have put a damper on those rankings. Currently the Broncos rank 14th in the AFC and 26th in the NFL with a minus-10 turnover margin.
Holiday Memories, Broncos-Style - DenverBroncos.com - Brady Smith
Thursday, December 23, 2004 - Like any human being who finds out they have to work on the holidays, there was surely a collective groan from the Denver Broncos when they first received the 2004 schedule that pinned the team for a Christmas evening matchup against the Titans in Nashville. But for at least one member of the squad, missing one day of this particular week won't dampen his holiday plans. Rookie cornerback Jeff Shoate celebrates Kwanzaa, a week-long celebration that stresses the importance of family, community, and peace through seven written principles known as the Nguzo Saba.
Bronco Dan's Fantasy Preview - Week 16 - DenverBroncos.com - Bronco Dan
Thursday, December 23, 2004 - The Broncos are at their best when they are running the ball. It allows them to control the clock and set up their play-action passing game, making them very difficult to beat. Of late, game situations have forced Denver to veer away from their grind-it-out style. And the results have been mixed. Thus, I look for the Broncos to run the ball often against the Titans on Christmas night. And when they do, Bell's the guy I see carrying the load. Head Coach Mike Shanahan said that Bell and Reuben Droughns would split carries this game. But Bell has been the most explosive player on the field in each of the last three weeks (yes, I'm counting his lightning-quick touchdown run against the Chargers), providing evidence that he could be the man of the future for Denver.
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