Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - As coach Mike Shanahan closed the door on the season and began considering the future, he made his thoughts and plans clear Monday during a nearly hour-long state of the Broncos address. As the Broncos attempt to pick up the pieces from a second consecutive lopsided loss at Indianapolis in the AFC wild-card playoffs, Shanahan said he likely won't make any major changes.
Colts clearly saw rout coming - Denver Post - Thomas George
Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - It was Indianapolis that probed best when the Broncos beat the Colts in the regular-season finale, the game the Broncos won against reserves to reach the playoffs. It was the Colts who hid in the grass, induced Denver to show its prime weakness on defense and then gashed it in the playoff game Sunday. The Colts concluded that the Broncos did not have a third cornerback worthy of Reggie Wayne. The Colts discerned that the Broncos' pass defense behind the linebackers and in the middle was soft. Ouch. There's that word again.
Last stop a sour end - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - The Broncos' season was a Mr. Twister roller-coaster ride. Like the famed wooden monster at Six Flags Elitch Gardens, it had soaring highs, stomach-dropping lows and enough twists and turns to try any fan's patience. The lowest point came Sunday when the Broncos turned in a dreadful repeat playoff performance. In the 2004 wild-card playoff loss at Indianapolis, they lost 41-10. Sunday, they lost 49-24 to quarterback Peyton Manning and Co.
Coach gives Plummer full backing - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - Coach Mike Shanahan supported Jake Plummer all season, and Monday Shanahan stood up for his maligned quarterback more than ever. Lauding his quarterback's performance under pressure, Shanahan left no doubt that Plummer is the Broncos' leader of the future. "I'm very happy with Jake," Shanahan said. "Jake played extremely well." Shanahan put more of the blame for Plummer's mistakes this season on himself.
Lower the boom on high hopes - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - It was all about execution, they said. If the Broncos had just executed in the first half as they did in the second half, they would have given the Colts a game. Uh-huh. Either that, or it's time for a major reality check in this dusty old cow town. As we lower the curtain on the Broncos' season, what do you say we lower the expectations, too? The time has come to give the Broncos' standards a rest, the ones they keep talking about but fail to live up to.
Report: Syracuse to hire ex-Broncos coordinator - Denver Post
Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - Syracuse will name Texas co-defensive coordinator Greg Robinson as its head coach, according to a newspaper report. Robinson interviewed with Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross in Los Angeles on Friday and accepted the job Monday, according to The Dallas Morning News. Robinson, 53, spent 14 seasons in the NFL, including stints as defensive coordinator with the Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs. He succeeds Paul Pasqualoni, who coached the Orange for 14 years.
Rosy postmortem - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
January 11, 2005 - Feelings are hurt. Super Bowl aspirations are gone. But down-and-out in any other sense? Hardly. That was the message Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan tried to convey in an hourlong state-of-the-team news conference less than 24 hours after Sunday's harsh playoff exit. Asked if the Broncos (10-7) were far from being a championship-caliber team, Shanahan didn't hesitate. "I thought we were this year," he said confidently Monday, repeating for emphasis, "We were there this year." They weren't in Sunday's game, though, and a 49-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts - the second successive blowout at the RCA Dome in January - to many outside Dove Valley seems miles removed from parades and Civic Center Park ceremonies in the near future.
Beaten-up Broncos look to next season - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
January 11, 2005 - Monday, the Broncos began to officially pick up the pieces from their playoff loss at Indianapolis. The players collected their belongings, got exit physicals from the medical staff, while some met with coach Mike Shanahan as the team started pointing toward the 2005 season. AdvertisementTo that end, several players will need surgery in the coming weeks. Safety John Lynch will have surgery to insert pins in his fractured left thumb. However, Shanahan said Lynch should be able to play in the Feb. 13 Pro Bowl. "He's planning on playing in the Pro Bowl right now,'' Shanahan said.
Tuesday Morning Quarterback: Advancing in the playoffs must begin at Invesco - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
January 11, 2005 - To some, it seems, the sky has fallen for the Broncos and cratered the front lawn. In between the public's calls to steamroll the team's Dove Valley complex to make room for a Crate and Barrel, the Broncos were left to pack up their belongings as they sifted through the remains of the season. While the Colts' 49 points worth of misery will be where everybody starts with what went wrong, truth is, the Broncos lost their playoff game long before they set foot in the RCA Dome on Sunday.
Adams: Broncos still need talent booster shot - Rocky Mountain News - Sam Adams
January 11, 2005 - Now what? That is the question being asked by Denver Broncos fans after seeing the team get blown out of the playoffs for the second consecutive season - and third time in the past five years. Denver has been eliminated from its past three NFL playoff appearances by an average score of 37-13 - or 37.0-12.5 to be mathematically precise. Being outscored 111-37 is very reminiscent of the three Super blowouts that totaled 136-40 during the John Elway-Dan Reeves Era.
Krieger: Shanahan's knack for smoke, mirrors fading - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
January 11, 2005 - If you ever took Philosophy 101 - and no, running the football was not in the syllabus - you know there is no such thing as reality. There is only your perception of reality. And mine. And Mike Shanahan's. Luckily for Shanahan, he's in charge at Dove Valley and gets to enforce his reality on everybody else as long as he is. Which is what he did Monday when he sat down with the wretches for an extended postmortem less than 24 hours after fleeing the scene of the crime in Indianapolis. In the process, he made clear he isn't going anywhere, all speculation to the contrary notwithstanding.
Shanahan standing his ground - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
January 11, 2005 - Pat Bowlen steps to the podium, grabs the Vince Lombardi Trophy and proclaims, "This one's for ... Mike!" Of course Mike Shanahan, six seasons removed from back-to-back Super Bowl victories, is still driven to get that third ring for the Broncos. This time without John Elway. But how close is Denver to being a realistic contender for the NFL's crown? The Broncos didn't play like they belonged in the same league as Indianapolis, a talented team still looking for its first Super Bowl, during the Colts' 49-24 wild-card victory on Sunday at the RCA Dome. In the three first-round playoff games Shanahan has coached since No. 7 road off into the sunset, the Broncos are a spectacular 0-3, having lost by an average score of 37-12. The coaching artist formerly known as the Mastermind maintains that his team is a lot closer to championship-caliber than it appears on artificial turf."
Shanahan: 'No Question' About Plummer's Future in Denver - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Monday, January 10, 2005 - When it comes to quarterback, the Broncos' future sits in Jake Plummer's hands. "No question about that," Head Coach Mike Shanahan emphatically stated at his season-ending press conference Monday afternoon. "I'm very happy with Jake," Shanahan said. "Jake played extremely well. He had a stretch in there of four games -- one touchdown, eight interceptions -- that he didn't play well. I'd like to throw those four games out. But I can blame myself probably more than Jake because I think sometimes I put him in situations that I shouldn't have put him in. So I think when I assess someone's year, you can't just go to stretches. You have to say, 'Hey, did he get the job done for you or didn't he?'" In Shanahan's eyes, Plummer did, particularly in late-game scenarios.
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