Broncos News Briefs - Friday, May 27

Jerry Rice says he just wants to be a part of the team, not a distraction, during his first press conference as a member of the Denver Broncos. In other news, Jeremy LeSueur has moved to strong safety. Read the latest on the Broncos in today's news reports.

Fun remains name of game - Denver Post - Terry Frei
05/26/2005 - Why? Jerry Rice's mother, Eddie B., wondered. When he was as young as 11, Rice would leave the family's small home on the unpaved Mississippi road and run past sometimes bemused neighbors on porches, ignoring the dust blowing into his eyes, nose and hair. Some days, he would run for about 45 minutes, all the way into Crawford, the hamlet with a population of about 500 and a Main Street one block off U.S. Highway Alternate 45.

Rice can help in red zone, Montana says - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
05/26/2005 - Joe Montana believes Jerry Rice can help the Broncos, especially in the red zone, where the Broncos can use some assistance. "He can make a difference, especially with the rules the way they are now," the Hall of Fame quarterback said Thursday. "They won't let defenders get their hands on guys, and Jerry is the kind of guy who can find a hole in the end zone. You only need to get in the right position, and he can get in the right position."

Rice runs a sly pattern - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
May 27, 2005 - Not only is Jerry Rice finding it hard to leave the NFL after two decades, getting him to even talk about walking away is difficult. This season probably is his final go-round. But in the same breath, Rice said Thursday during a conference call with Denver media he wanted one more chance to play and is "just going to see how this season goes" with the Broncos and "we'll see what happens after that." Take that route and he would miss out on all those on-field ceremonies and accompanying freebies that would come with a proper farewell for arguably the greatest receiver in NFL history. He does not seem to mind missing out.

Slowly but surely, LeSueur makes switch to safety - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
May 27, 2005 - This is not Jeremy LeSueur's rookie season, but forgive him if he has experienced some of those same wide-eyed feelings the past couple of weeks. After hernia surgery wiped out his first year in the NFL, LeSueur was told by the Denver Broncos coaching staff this off-season he would be switching from cornerback, his natural position, to safety. The move was not a complete shock because, before he was drafted in the third round in 2003, some teams had him pegged as a safety.

Lincicome: That Rice might catch on says lots about Broncos - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Lincicome
May 27, 2005 - To be the Greatest Of All Time is to be at least Muhammad Ali, who loitered too long in his sport just as is Jerry Rice, though Ali still suffers more for it. And not to be contentious about this, but as we welcome Rice as our famous and temporary neighbor, I would argue that he is not even the Greatest In His Own Draft, pretty good pickings back in 1985 that started with Bruce Smith at No. 1 and had Doug Flutie way down at No. 285. In fact, were the Broncos really into whimsy - as good a reason as any for offering Rice one last October (my over; August would be my under) - they could have had Flutie-to-Rice, an all-time generational convergence.

Rice set for 'last dance' of his career - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
May 27, 2005 - The last image NFL fans will have of Jerry Rice, statistically the greatest wide receiver to ever put the pads on, will likely be of him as a forty-something role player on the Denver Broncos. Rice said on Thursday that he simply wants to enjoy his 21st season and then quietly ride off into the sunset. Go ahead and shine the spotlight back on Jake Plummer and Rod Smith and Champ Bailey and Al Wilson. It's their team. He just wants to make it.

Rice: Smith deserves to keep No. 80 - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
May 27, 2005 - Jerry Rice may be the greatest receiver of all time, but Rod Smith is still the No. 1 receiver on the Denver Broncos. Which means Smith will also wear jersey No. 80. "What No. 80 has done for us is, to me, unprecedented," coach Mike Shanahan said. "He's a leader both on and off the football field. Jerry Rice has enough class not to ask for it, and Rod Smith would be silly to even give that number up."

ATV accident proves costly - Daily Times-Call - Pat Graham
5/27/2005 — Just the other day, Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan brought up the Kellen Winslow Jr. incident to his players. Winslow, a tight end for the Cleveland Browns, was doing stunts on his motorcycle in a parking lot in early May and rammed into a curb, flipping the bike. He may have ended his season before it began by tearing the ACL in his knee. Shanahan warned his players to be careful and not do anything that could jeopardize their health. "They didn't pay attention to it," Shanahan said.Denver offensive lineman P.J. Alexander was apparently not injured in a practice-related incident last Friday, as first reported. According to Shanahan, Alexander was riding on a four-wheeler when he began to tip to the side. He put his foot down and tore his ACL. Alexander will miss the entire season.

Notebook: 80 Still Smith's - - Andrew Mason
Thursday, May 26, 2005 - If Jerry Rice and Head Coach Mike Shanahan have anything to say about it, No. 80 will remain the domain of Rod Smith. Smith -- who has become the franchise's all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns -- has known no other number since moving up to the Broncos' active roster in 1995 after a year of matriculation on the practice squad. Rice chose to respect a man who's meant as much to the Broncos' receiving history as he did to the 49ers, and swiftly chose not to pursue asking Smith to change numbers for his sake. "I'm not going to go in there and try to fight for that jersey," Rice said. "Rod is the guy there and I think he deserves to keep that number." The notion of anyone other than Smith wearing No. 80 struck Shanahan as preposterous.

'It Was Meant to Be' - - Andrew Mason
Thursday, May 26, 2005 - As days turned into weeks and weeks became months without NFL teams showing any interest in Jerry Rice, the NFL's all-time leading receiver allowed himself to ponder the idea that the recently-completed 20th season of his NFL career would also turn out to be his last. "I didn't have a problem with that," Rice said as he spoke to Denver-area media for the first time Thursday via speakerphone. "Being a 42-year-old, you're not going to have that many opportunities out there. I had some phone calls. But I waited and this one came through for me and it was the right one."

A Wrap on Quarterback Camp - - J. Michael Moore
Thursday, May 26, 2005 - To say the least, it has been an eventful two weeks for the Denver Broncos. The club's eight-practice quarterback camp opened at Dove Valley on May 16 with all eyes on rookie running back Maurice Clarett. Camp ended Thursday with all ears turned to the experienced voice of wide receiver Jerry Rice. Clarett, of course, took the field for the first time in more than two years. Rice officially declared his intentions via conference call to return for his 21st season of professional football and a chance to expand on the multitude of receiving records he owns as a Bronco. Throw in a trade for Pro-Bowl punter Todd Sauerbrun and the signing of veteran offensive lineman Cameron Spikes and Denver may officially have the busiest offseason in the league. And it's not even the end of May.

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