Training Camp News Briefs - Thursday, Aug. 4

In today's reports from Day 6 of the Denver Broncos training camp - center Tom Nalen hints this may be his last season. Also - defensive end Trevor Pryce misses practice as his back problems flare up.

Pryce takes brief breather for his back - Denver Post - Mike Klis
08/04/2005 - Trevor and the Browns were missing their main man Wednesday. Sensing building concern about his ailing back, Trevor Pryce stopped at the cafeteria door, turned and performed one of the more popular hip-hop steps. "Could I do this if I was hurt?" Pryce said, laughing as he danced. For Broncos players who don't participate in special teams, a select group that includes the starting defensive line of Pryce and former Cleveland Browns' Gerard Warren, Courtney Brown and Michael Myers, there was only one training camp workout Wednesday. Pryce missed it for the most worrisome of reasons: His back was acting up.

Nalen gearing up for possibly last season - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
08/04/2005 - Never one to toot his own horn, center Tom Nalen - nasty and reliable on the field, leery and under the radar off it - is heading into what he said could be his final season. Doom and gloom is as big a part of Nalen's bag of goods as his media silence, his untamed mane and unrelenting, knock- you-on-your-south-side playing style. Nalen, 34, has thought every season year could be his last since he rose from the the Broncos' practice squad in 1994. But this year actually might be. "I'd be lying if I didn't say I didn't think about it," Nalen said. "I don't have a contract for next year. I don't know what's going to happen."

Kanell upset about demotion - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
August 4, 2005 — Who says blondes have more fun? "I haven't slept the past couple of nights," Danny Kanell said. "I'm pretty ticked off." Four days after raving about Kanell's commitment to the Denver Broncos' offseason program, head coach Mike Shanahan and his staff decided to demote Jake Plummer's backup to the No. 4 spot. Former Colorado State standout Bradlee Van Pelt was still running No. 2 with Matt Mauck No. 3 on Wednesday after the pecking order was changed Monday night. "They made no indication to me that it was performance-related," said Kanell, who calmly spoke with reporters after doing his best to avoid them on a terrible Tuesday for the former Florida State standout. "I think it was just giving Bradlee a shot. ... Things change and things evolve, as long as I keep persevering and keep working that much harder things will fall into place."

Lynch a believer in Denver defense - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
August 4, 2005 — John Lynch, a former baseball player at Stanford, thought the AFC West was going to be more like the National League West. Weak. Perhaps the worst division in the NFL. "It's the conference I grew up watching," said Lynch, who was raised a Chargers fan in San Diego but often visited his Bronco-loving grandparents in Boulder. "Part of the reason I chose the Broncos is because I thought the AFC West looked to be down." After being released by Tampa Bay, where he won a Super Bowl and established himself as a consistent Pro Bowl safety for 11 seasons, Lynch included San Diego and Denver on his spring 2004 free-agent tour.

Nalen can see finish line with Broncos - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
August 4, 2005 - Tom Nalen's public speaking engagements are like birthdays, once-a-year events. And on Wednesday, it was the media's rare turn to discover what the five-time Pro Bowl center is thinking. They might have been famous last words, since he won't be talking again any time soon. Nalen said it's his belief that his 12th season with the Denver Broncos likely is his final one, even though he's still having fun playing football, and retirement isn't something he wants to consider.

Pryce not concerned about back - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
August 4, 2005 - Denver Broncos defensive end Trevor Pryce wanted to show he felt OK Wednesday, that a sore back was "nothing for anyone to worry about," so he did a little dance in the doorway to the team's cafeteria. "I'm fine," he said. "See, could I do this if I wasn't feeling OK?" Regardless, Pryce was held out of the Broncos' morning workout because he encountered some soreness in his lower back. The four- time Pro Bowl selection underwent surgery Sept. 22 to repair a herniated disk in his lower back that caused him to miss 14 games last season.

Broncos camp report, August 4 - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
August 4, 2005 - The Broncos' morning practice ended with an off-target throw from Matt Mauck to Todd Devoe, which summed up the quarterbacks' inability as a whole to get the ball downfield with accuracy so far during camp. Another example came earlier when starter Jake Plummer had Ashley Lelie in single coverage, with the receiver in perfect position against Champ Bailey on a deep-post route, but the ball fluttered and was well off the mark. Another time, Lelie had to lay out for a bomb to the right pylon and nearly made an acrobatic catch with Domonique Foxworth covering, but the pass was incomplete. Plummer was sharp on the intermediate game.

As a 'complete pro,' Smith still is setting an example for team - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
August 4, 2005 - Rod is Rod. And so it goes around the Denver Broncos for much of the past 11 years. Rod Smith, with his full allotment of verbal needles to lob on those who venture near, and sometimes not so near, is always there it seems. And they mean always. "We all know," cornerback Lenny Walls said. "For 11 consecutive years he hasn't even missed an off-season workout. Eleven, man. That's ridiculous. He never misses anything, he's always on time and he always catches the ball. That's what being a complete pro is.

Training Camp Day 6 Notebook: Leach the Pass-Catcher - Denver - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - Wednesday morning's practice is an example of Mike Leach could possibly contribute to the club as more than a long snapper. Deep snapping is -- and will remain -- a specialty of Leach's, and the William & Mary alumnus has become one of the league's most consistent at the craft, holding down the rarely-noticed-yet-keenly-vital duty since arriving after Week 8 of the 2002 season. But on Wednesday morning, Leach became the most prolific pass-catcher among the Broncos' tight end corps, ably snaring several passes, including two in which he acrobatically stretched out for the football to keep it from zooming past.

Kanell Unbowed By QB Shuffle - Denver - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - The news that Bradlee Van Pelt would be working with the second team during training camp hit Danny Kanell with the force of an unblocked defensive end storming into the backfield from the blindside. "(The coaches) sat us all down the quarterbacks the other day (and said), 'Here, this is what we are going to do," Kanell recalled. "I haven't slept the past couple of nights." For nearly two years, the No. 2 slot in the Broncos' quarterbacking hierarchy has belonged to Kanell, who assumed the spot when Jake Plummer returned from an injury in November 2003 and hadn't yielded it since. Plummer's unusual durability in 2004 meant that the title of "Broncos second-string quarterback" yielded little more during games than standing on the sidelines, observing and almost being a coach in uniform, but he prepared relentlessly every week, eternally ready for a call that never came last season. And for the moment, the second-team slot is in the hands of the former Colorado State standout.

Darrent Williams' Rookie Journal - Denver - Darrent Williams
Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - I was nervous on Friday, the first day of camp. All the cameras and all the media were out here and you don't really know what to expect because it's your first NFL camp. A lot of people were telling me how it is, how hard it is, and being a rookie, I'm kind of nervous. But the first day went well. I was a little winded, but I broke up a few passes so it went well for me.

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