Tuesday, January 04, 2005 - Broncos defensive coordinator Larry CoyerLarry Coyer was enjoying a pipe Sunday after the Broncos' playoff-clinching victory over Indianapolis. While the sweet smoke rose to his face, Denver's defensive coordinator savored the Broncos' accomplishment of advancing to the postseason for the second consecutive season. However, Coyer knows his work is just beginning.
Smith sees super similarities - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Tuesday, January 04, 2005 - Undeterred by the Broncos' 41-10 loss to Indianapolis in the playoffs last season, Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith, right, expects Denver to make a run to the Super Bowl.Rod Smith doesn't care that the Indianapolis Colts are heavy favorites over his Broncos in Sunday's AFC wild-card game. Nor does it concern the veteran wide receiver and team captain that the Colts whipped the Broncos 41-10 in last year's wild-card game. Smith remains a true believer, and he's not afraid to say so.
Source: Browns looking at Sundquist - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Tuesday, January 04, 2005 - The Cleveland Browns' search for a general manager may lead them to Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist, according to an NFL source with knowledge of Cleveland's candidacy list. The Browns have begun the interview process for a job the personnel community considers a strong one, and the source said the Browns have Sundquist high on their list of candidates. The Browns also are looking for a head coach. Sundquist, the Broncos' general manager for the past three years, said he had not been contacted by the Browns.
Colts' six-pack needs crunching - Denver Post - Thomas George
Tuesday, January 04, 2005 - By week's end, the Colts' receivers will be testy over the slap that they can be punched into submission. They will be bristling over the idea that they shrivel when meaty forearms collide under their chins. Actually, after their 19-point loss to Denver on Sunday, their backs were already stiffening. Dallas Clark, still woozy from the blow dispensed by Broncos safety John Lynch, said while dressing slowly at his locker: "I had a headache and they did not want to risk anything, so I didn't go back in. No offensive player wants to start looking for any defensive player's hits. You do that, you lose half the battle. There are a lot of hard hitters in the NFL. They've got some. They fly around. But we pride ourselves on being tough and being tough to catch. We'll be ready. I'll be ready."
Indy pays little mind to last loss - Denver Post - Michael Marot, AP
Tuesday, January 04, 2005 - Now that their meaningless regular-season finale is behind them, the Indianapolis Colts are concentrating on a larger priority: making a Super Bowl run. Coach Tony Dungy said Monday he would prefer going into the playoffs with nine consecutive victories, but the bigger goals in Sunday's 33-14 loss to the Broncos were escaping the game with no major injuries and giving Denver little to scout for next Sunday's rematch in the first round of the AFC playoffs.
Figure on Broncos in double figures - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Tuesday, January 04, 2005 - The Broncos haven't won a playoff game in longer than we would care to remember, but being a pro football fan in Our Town isn't a bad gig. To wit: The Broncos finished the season 10-6, their 15th season with double-figure wins since the NFL switched to a 16-game format in 1978. That's second in the league behind the 49ers, who've had 19.
Broncos cornerback Middlebrooks pleads not guilty to hitting girlfriend - Denver Post - Felisa Cardona
Tuesday, January 04, 2005 - Broncos cornerback Willie Middlebrooks pleaded not guilty Monday to beating up his girlfriend over the New Year's holiday, Arapahoe County court officials said. Middlebrooks was expected to post a $20,000 bond Monday afternoon at the Arapahoe County jail. Middlebrooks, a four-year NFL veteran, was charged with third-degree assault and harassment, both misdemeanors.
Newest Indiana pacers - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
January 4, 2005 - If the Denver Broncos offense's task in the wild-card playoff round had a catchphrase, like in championship boxing, it might be this: Match Game P.M. As in Peyton Manning. With Manning spearheading an attack that put up 522 points, 34 off the league's single-season record, the Indianapolis Colts figure to keep the scoreboard operator busy Sunday at the RCA Dome. Their stockpile of offensive weapons isn't only pacesetting in the NFL, it falls just shy of warranting NATO inspections. So it just might be up to the Broncos to match the Colts' offensive game.
Measuring stick awaiting Plummer - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
January 4, 2005 - Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer knows the deal. He knows whatever criticisms have been tossed his way during the season, how he performs in the playoffs is going to be how he ultimately is judged. Plummer has played in only three playoff games in his eight-year career - two with the Arizona Cardinals, one with the Broncos - and is 1-2, including a 41-10 loss against the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC wild-card game last season.
Adams: Manning got a lot of looks at Broncos - Rocky Mountain News - Sam Adams
January 4, 2005 - Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning stood on the sideline talking through a headset for a good portion of Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos. His body might have been resting, but Manning's mind might well have been involved prominently with the game. Afterward, some reporters asked if Manning was calling plays for the Colts. "That's a good question," Colts rookie backup quarterback Jim Sorgi said after Denver's 33-14 win at Invesco Field at Mile High. "Peyton was talking in my ear. I don't know if the calls were Peyton's or if he was getting them from (offensive coordinator Tom) Moore."
Krieger: Will it be Dr. Jake or Mr. Hyde? - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
January 4, 2005 - There is a rumor going around Dove Valley that Jake Plummer was going to shed his Jeremiah Johnson look a couple of weeks ago, but when members of my tribe started making a big deal about it, he changed his mind. This is what Mike Shanahan likes most about him. Well, not so much Jake's opinion of the media, although that, too. It's the other thing. Competitiveness, defiance, whatever you call the difference between flipping someone off and curling up in the fetal position. Because Shanahan has experience with a quarterback in the fetal position and it's hard to throw from there.
Tuesday Morning Quarterback: Broncos will try to keep a stiff upper chip - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
January 4, 2005 - We can only presume the Broncos spent Monday shopping for some chips for their shoulders. Because the local NFL franchise, having sprinted into the postseason party Sunday with a win against the Indianapolis Colts, will have a chance to use them this week. In part because they will get the Colts again Sunday, and this time the Colts will mean it. And in part because that is just the nature of this Broncos team. "We know what people are going to say, not many are going to think we can win and this and that, so we're going to have an opportunity to go out and shock the world," linebacker Al Wilson said. "But it's not like people have been telling us how good we are anyway."
Road ahead has potholes for Broncos - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
January 4, 2005 - The long road to the Super Bowl for the Broncos starts in Indianapolis Sunday at the RCA Dome, where the Colts were 7-1 during the regular season and beat Denver 41-10 in the wild-card round a year ago. If the Broncos upset Peyton Manning and the league's No. 1 offense, trips to New England and then Pittsburgh would likely follow. The Patriots (14-2) and Steelers (15-1) were a combined 16-0 at home this season.
Lynch ready to play despite broken thumb - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
January 4, 2005 - Will John Lynch be able to play Sunday at Indianapolis? Thumb's up. The Denver Broncos new Pro Bowl safety fractured his thumb on the first play of Sunday's 33-14 victory over the Colts at Invesco Field but played the entire game. Lynch, who is expected to be fined by the league for his helmet-to-helmet hit on tight end Dallas Clark, finished with three tackles and a pass defended.
This time, Indy will be playing for keeps - Indianapolis Star - Mike Chappell
January 4, 2005 - The instant replay awaiting the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos in the first round of the playoffs is rare, but not unprecedented. Sunday's AFC wild-card playoff rematch in the RCA Dome marks just the 13th time in NFL history when teams that met on the final weekend of the regular season square off in the first round of the postseason. Five times, the regular-season winner completed the sweep. But on seven occasions, payback carried the day. Experience with the unique replay will reside on the Colts' sideline.
Notebook: Blue Nation will be heard - Indianapolis Star - Phil Richards
January 4, 2005 - Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy traces it to Week2 of the 2003 NFL season. The Tennessee Titans came to the RCA Dome that Sunday, and they brought a considerable complement of fans with them. When the visitors took the field, their fans cheered. Colts fans reacted. They began roaring and they haven't quieted since. "They've been great the last two years, definitely," said Dungy, whose Colts (12-4) meet Denver (10-6) at the dome Sunday in an AFC wild-card game. It's an ideal situation for the Colts.
Monday Notebook: Lynch Fractures Thumb - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Monday, January 3, 2005 - The Broncos emerged from Sunday's win victorious and alive for another week, but not unscathed. Safety John Lynch fractured his thumb on the first play of the 33-14 win, Head Coach Mike Shanahan said at his Monday afternoon press conference. However, the injury didn't keep him off the field as Sunday's game progressed and shouldn't hold him back from playing in the rematch against the Indianapolis Colts at the RCA Dome. "He'll have a little cast on it," Shanahan said. "(It will be) probably sore for a couple of days, but it shouldn't keep him from playing."
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