Broncos News Briefs - Thursday, Jan. 6

As the Broncos gear up for their meeting with the Colts in Indianapolis, a war of words erupts. Read about it in today's news reports. Also - Broncos safety John Lynch will appeal his $75,000 fine.

Hard hitting won't go soft - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Thursday, January 06, 2005 - If there's any concern the stiff fine incurred by Broncos safety John Lynch will inhibit him or his teammates' plan to play physically against the Indianapolis Colts, there shouldn't be. "None at all," Denver cornerback Champ Bailey said. "We're going to go after them. We're not worried about any fine. We'll play punch-them-in-the-mouth football. I know Lynch, he's not going to shy away from anything. That's his game. He's a hitter."

Putzier catches key role vs. Colts - Denver Post - Joseph Sanchez
Thursday, January 06, 2005 - There probably aren't many game plans that feature the backup tight end as the go-to guy in an NFL playoff game. So when the Broncos play the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Jake Plummer probably won't be looking for Jeb Putzier every time the quarterback drops back. Every other dropback might be more like it.

Lynch must watch his head - Denver Post - Thomas George
Thursday, January 06, 2005 - John Lynch sent a message last Sunday to each Colts receiver with his pulverizing hit on Indianapolis tight end Dallas Clark - run this way, you pay. The NFL office sent a message to Lynch from New York on Monday - one more shaky blow and out you go, starting in Sunday's playoff game at Indianapolis. Both actions helped ignite a slew of criticisms, accusations of subterfuge, ill tempers and ill wills in the past 72 hours. By the time we get to real football in the next 72, who knows how much more the plot will have twisted?

Don't bet against Bailey - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Thursday, January 06, 2005 - Champ Bailey never backs down from a challenge, and he's not about to start as he prepares to face the NFL's most prolific offense. Informed Wednesday that the Broncos are heavy underdogs against the Colts in Sunday's AFC wild-card game in Indianapolis and that oddsmakers have made the Broncos 80-1 shots to win the Super Bowl, the Broncos' Pro Bowl cornerback came back with a Champ-worthy answer.

Plummer poised for postseason push - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Thursday, January 06, 2005 - Jake Plummer knows quarterback legends are made in the postseason. Regular-season success is nice, but you have to win in the playoffs. "You don't talk about many quarterbacks that have not done anything in the playoffs or the Super Bowl," Plummer said Wednesday. "Obviously the playoffs are where it is made; that's where you have to perform and play well, in those situations. I have not had a lot of opportunities in my career, so I am looking forward to this one."

Manning honored by AP - Denver Post - Anthony Cotton
Thursday, January 06, 2005 - The onslaught of honors for Peyton Manning, a sizable collection that is expected to include the NFL's most valuable player award, lurched into motion Wednesday when the Indianapolis Colts quarterback was named The Associated Press' offensive player of the year.

Curses! Coyer will not be foiled again - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
January 6, 2005 - All the pleasantries had just been handed out and Larry Coyer had more than given the Indianapolis Colts their due Wednesday. Peyton Manning: greatest player in the game today. The coaching staff that guides him: brilliant. The receivers who catch Manning's passes: best in football as a group. But as the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator kept talking to reporters flanking him Wednesday, his face began to redden. The intensity level began rising.

Colts shrug off tough talk from Broncos - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
January 6, 2005 - Let the games begin. Reacting to comments from the Denver Broncos last weekend about being "physical" with the Colts receivers and "sending a message" - notably from safeties Kenoy Kennedy and John Lynch - several Indianapolis players went on the offensive Wednesday. "People try to make a statement every week," receiver Reggie Wayne said. "Football is a physical game. I've been playing this game since I was 7 years old and there is no coward in my blood. I'll be there Sunday. I'm not going to stay home. Our team will be there Sunday." Several Colts were asked if it bothered them the Broncos had said they were "soft."

In another fine mess, Lynch defends his play - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
January 6, 2005 - Saying he will defend "a reputation I am proud of," Broncos safety John Lynch said Wednesday he has appealed his fine from the NFL. Lynch, fined $75,000 Tuesday for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end Dallas Clark on Sunday, said he was taken aback by the amount. "I was certainly surprised and that's why we had a difference of opinion," Lynch said. "There is an appeal process that's available to us and we'll take it up." Lynch, who broke his left thumb on the first play of the game and will wear a cast this week, said he didn't want to discuss the specifics of the appeal but it likely will hinge on how the play was called on the field.

Adams: Denver's mission: Don't turn it over - Rocky Mountain News - Sam Adams
January 6, 2005 - Turnovers can - and usually do - play the biggest role in an NFL playoff game. The Denver Broncos on Sunday will play the 11th AFC road playoff game in the franchise's history. Denver has gone 3-7 in AFC road playoff games with a minus-4 in turnover ratio. Their playoff record away from home is 5-11 with a minus-13 turnover ratio, including six Super Bowl appearances. Last season, Denver was minus-2 at Indianapolis in a 41-10 loss to the Colts. The Broncos have been on the plus side for turnover ratio in five road playoff games, with a 4-1 record. That includes plus-2 at Cleveland for the AFC Championship Game in January 1987 and plus-2 at Pittsburgh in the AFC title game in January 1998.

Krieger: Without Alexander, Broncos on the rocks - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
January 6, 2005 - You don't want to say they're between a rock and a hard place because it's a cliché, and it's not spelled right, either. It's more like a Roc and a long ride home. Meet Roc Alexander, 23-year-old rookie cornerback from Colorado Springs by way of the University of Washington. He'll be easy to spot Sunday in Indianapolis. He'll be the guy wearing Tom Moore's laser pointer. Against the Colts' grizzled offensive coordinator, the Broncos are only as strong as their weakest link, and when Peyton Manning looks out over their defense, everything will point to Roc.

Constant Colts queries irk Broncos - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
January 6, 2005 - The questions were colder than the temperature outside the Broncos practice facility on Wednesday. How great is Peyton Manning? Can you put the Colts offense in historical context? Is there anyway to stop them? Remember last year, when you guys were embarrassed in the first round at the RCA Dome? Are you prepared to improve on 41-10? Finally, Denver defensive coordinator Larry Coyer — consistently patient and honest with the media — had heard enough.

Lynch will appeal fine for hit - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
January 6, 2005 - Denver safety John Lynch bit his tongue and said the Broncos and the NFL can agree to disagree about the league hitting him with a $75,000 fine for a helmet-to-helmet shot on Indianapolis tight end Dallas Clark last Sunday at Invesco Field. "I think my reputation has preceded me in terms of playing hard and playing physically, but also I've taken great pride in playing within the rules," Lynch said on Wednesday as preparations for this Sunday's wild-card rematch with the Colts got serious. "We have a difference of opinion with the league on this particular situation. I'm not going to get into the details because it will be appealed, and that's all I'd like to say."

Broncos give Colts 'soft' label - Indianapolis Star - Mike Chappell
January 6, 2005 - The gauntlet has been boldly placed at the feet of the Indianapolis Colts' prolific receiving corps. They've been called a four-letter word by members of the Denver Broncos' secondary. Soft. The best way to deal with the Colts' fleet of smaller, quicker receivers, according to safeties Kenoy Kennedy and John Lynch, is to rough them up. The Broncos' defensive game plan for Sunday's AFC wild-card playoff game in the RCA Dome apparently includes getting up close and physical with Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokley.

Lynch, Bailey provide toughness - Indianapolis Star - Phillip B. Wilson
January 6, 2005 - Pro Bowl defenders John Lynch and Champ Bailey realized they became immediate offseason solutions for a Denver Broncos defense taken apart by the Indianapolis Colts in last year's 41-10 playoff loss at the RCA Dome. The Broncos signed Lynch as a free agent and traded running back Clinton Portis to Washington to get Bailey. Lynch gave his new team a hard-hitting safety, switching from the strong side to the free, for which he made his sixth Pro Bowl. Bailey is among the NFL's elite cornerbacks, named to his fifth Pro Bowl, and allows the Broncos to avoid relying on zone coverages. Both point to moments such as Sunday's AFC wild-card game against the Colts at the RCA Dome as the reason for being where they are.

Indy Man - - Andrew Mason
Thursday, January 6, 2005 - Defensive tackle Ellis Johnson isn't dwelling upon the memories of his seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. He played there, he played well, he moved on, although he still maintains a home there. "I wanted to go out and see the world and see different systems and how I would play in different systems," Johnson said of his 2002 offseason departure that saw him begin a two-year stint with the Atlanta Falcons. "The system we had in Atlanta worked out well for me; I played well in it. "I got tired of that and retired, and Denver called and I came back."

Plummer Named AFC Offensive Player of the Week - - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, January 5, 2005 - The end of the regular season brought one more individual league honor to the Broncos -- and dropped it upon Jake Plummer's doorstep. Wednesday, the league named Plummer the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his 246-yard, two-touchdown, no-interception performance in the Broncos' 33-14 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Plummer also ran for a third-quarter touchdown to put the Broncos up by two scores, a lead they maintained and built upon as the game continued. "It's a reflection around me: guys making big plays," Plummer said after the game. "The way we run the ball, there is no reason why we shouldn't be able to throw for big yardage."

Wednesday Notebook: Bring on the Noise - - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, January 5, 2005 - Friday practices prior to road games usually see the Broncos work in a setting worthy of a Metallica concert, as the team rolls out speakers and turns piped-in crowd noise up full blast to simulate the din that fans try to create on the road. But this week, the Broncos will spend one extra day bathed in sound, maneuvering the speakers into place for Thursday's session as well as Friday's. "We'll get a chance for two days to use our crowd noise," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "So we'll get a chance to practice against it. Hopefully it pays dividends." That's what's necessary when playing in what tight end Jeb Putzier believes is the loudest venue in the league. "By far," he said. "You can't hear yourself think in there."

League Fines Lynch for Hit on Clark - - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, January 5, 2005 - The NFL proved to be the bearer of bad news for John Lynch. Three days after his jarring first-quarter hit on Colts tight end Dallas Clark, the 12-year veteran learned he'd be fined $75,000 for it. "I was certainly surprised," Lynch said. "There is an appeal process that's available to us and we'll take it up." Lynch intends to appeal the fine. "I'd just like to just say that throughout my career I was taught to play hard and I think I have throughout my career," Lynch said. "I think my reputation has preceded me in terms of playing hard and playing physically, but also I've taken great pride in playing within the rules. We have a difference of opinion with the league on this particular situation. "I'm not going to get into the details because it will be appealed and that's all I'd like to say. Again, I felt like I've stuck to what I've always tried to do – play hard and do my job to the best of my abilities. I really just want to focus on the game this week."

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