Training Camp News Briefs - Tuesday, Aug. 9

Denver Broncos defensive lineman Gerard Warren, formerly of the Cleveland Browns, is all smiles during training camp. Learn why in today's news reports as well as all the other latest news from Dove Valley.

Plummer fine; Clarett sore - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
08/09/2005 - While Jake Plummer's injury questions were answered Monday, there were more issues for rookie running back Maurice Clarett. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said Clarett may need an MRI for a groin injury he aggravated Monday afternoon. Clarett was laboring in the afternoon practice and could miss more time. Shanahan said the MRI may be necessary to figure out why the injury is lingering. Clarett was held out of practice Thursday, returned Friday and was struggling Friday afternoon in a special-teams practice. He was held out of Saturday's workout.

Warren now happy camper - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
08/09/2005 - On the field, Gerard Warren relentlessly runs from sideline to sideline, making his presence felt on virtually every play. Off the field, Warren has the same effect - laughing and talking loudly, much to the delight of his highly entertained teammates. "Rod Smith told me he's going to slap the smile off my face because it's always there," Warren said. "I can't help it." The enigmatic defensive tackle has taken to his new surroundings since being traded from the Cleveland Browns to the Broncos in early March. Warren, a former Florida star and the No. 3 pick of the 2001 draft, was traded to the Broncos for a fourth-round pick in April's draft. The trade seems to have cleansed Warren's NFL soul. He had felt the weight of the Browns' success and failure was on him, and that his every step was overly criticized. In Denver he feels wanted and that winning is not foreign.

Fullback role just fine by Kyle Johnson - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
August 9, 2005 — The Broncos' backfield is set. Well, at least half of it is. Kyle Johnson, who was waived a total of five times by three different teams from September of 2002 to November of 2003, appears to have found a comfortable home in the NFL as Denver's starting fullback. Just don't joke with Johnson that Mike Shanahan wants to see him in his office. "I can't be so confident that won't happen," Johnson said after Monday's morning practice. "But to be given this opportunity is something that can make you smile and make you feel good about having a good practice and inspire you to have a great camp."

Williams takes change in stride - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
August 9, 2005 — D.J. Williams made some rookie mistakes last season, but if you blinked while he was on the field then you probably didn't notice. What catches your eye is the fact that Williams led the Denver Broncos in tackles during his first NFL season. "There's always a struggle. There were a lot of mistakes that I made," Williams said. "As long as you play fast and play hard you can make up for them." Williams finished the 2004 campaign with 114 tackles. Tom Graham, also a linebacker, was the last rookie to lead Denver in tackles, with 73 in 1972. During the offseason, the Broncos reacquired Ian Gold and moved Williams from the weak side to the strong side. Other than covering more tight ends, he says the new position isn't much of an adjustment.

Players all learn to wait their turn - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
August 9, 2005 - When he gets right down to it, the number is still 11. There is just no way around that for Broncos safety Nick Ferguson. He still looks around and sees 10 other people trying to get things done, 10 other people with their own dreams, problems and aspirations. That he's just one, that it all must fit.

Ernster tries to gain foothold - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
August 9, 2005 - Paul Ernster began to sense the level of frustration he was causing with his kicks last season in college, when an opposing coach essentially told him to break a leg before a game - and wasn't wishing him good luck. Ernster was in the middle of his senior season with Division I-AA Northern Arizona, during which 31 of his 47 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. A University of Montana football coach, perhaps only half in jest, was quoted as saying he hoped Ernster fell down and hurt himself. It was the coach's way of saying the special teams would at least have an opportunity to create a spark without the kicker/punter on the other side.

Coleman finds way to be useful - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
August 9, 2005 - Marco Coleman saw the writing on the wall, or, more specifically, the roster. The Denver Broncos had restructured Trevor Pryce's contract and signed Courtney Brown at defensive end, so retirement after 13 seasons seemed a viable option. "What do they want Marco for?" he asked himself. Coleman, 35, liked the answer he received when he posed that question to the Broncos in March. It convinced him to keep his NFL career alive.

Broncos camp report, August - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
August 9, 2005 - After tweaking his left knee Saturday and being forced from practice, quarterback Jake Plummer ran the starting offense in both workouts. Broncos starters were efficient in team drills with Plummer completing crisp passes to Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie. In the afternoon practice, the Broncos pushed their way through sun-baked drills. Ron Dayne got more work in the offensive backfield with Maurice Clarett being pulled out after aggravating a groin injury. With so many defensive linemen being given the afternoon workout off, John Engelberger and Raylee Johnson were at the defensive end spots with the starters. Sapp faces uphill battle to earn job Former CSU running back near bottom of depth chart

Sapp faces uphill battle to earn job - Fort Collins Coloradan - Jeff Bersch
August 9, 2005 - - Cecil Sapp has his work cut out for him this season. He knows it. Not only is the former Colorado State University standout trying to make a team loaded in the backfield, but Sapp's options this season are limited. In his third season with the Denver Broncos, Sapp cannot go back to the practice squad, where he spent the majority of the past two seasons. For Sapp, he'll either make the Broncos active roster or be forced to look for work elsewhere. Players cannot be members of a practice squad for more than two seasons. "It's different, but every year I've been here I never worked to try to get on the practice squad," Sapp said. "I always try to fight to get on the roster, and it's what I'm still fighting for."

Lynch looking to put ugly past behind him - FoxSports.com
Monday, August 8, 2005 - The hit. The fine. The letter. Last season didn't end well for Broncos safety John Lynch, who got embroiled in an uncomfortable give-and-take with the NFL over his crushing hit on Indianapolis tight end Dallas Clark. Eight months later, the $75,000 fine still stands - "a hit to my kids' college fund" Lynch calls it - but the 13th-year veteran wants to move on and accomplish the goal he set when he came to Denver. "I said I want to win a championship, and I still stand by that," he said. Even had the hit not occurred, the end to last season would have been a disappointment and an embarrassment for Lynch. After the Denver secondary got burned by the Colts in the 2003 playoffs, Lynch and Champ Bailey were brought to Denver with much fanfare. The pair of Pro Bowlers were expected to make the difference the next season.

Training Camp Day 10 Notebook: Van Pelt Rebounds - Denver Broncos.com - Andrew Mason
Monday, August 8, 2005 - It's official -- Bradlee Van Pelt is the second-team quarterback. After a week of working with the No. 2 offense and assuming the reins of the first unit when Jake Plummer temporarily departed with a sore left knee on Saturday morning, Van Pelt's name was listed right behind Plummer's when the Broncos issued their first public depth chart of the 2005 season on Monday afternoon. But for Van Pelt, the most important aspect of Monday's work was not where he sat on the depth chart, but how he did on the field in bouncing back from a Saturday performance that was so frustrating that it caused him to curtail his planned Sunday of playbook study.

A Special Visit - Denver Broncos.com - Andrew Mason
Monday, August 8, 2005 - Kyle Johnson is one of the Broncos' most eloquent speakers, and in addition to becoming one of the team's starters, has grown into the role of statesman and spokesman as his career at fullback has blossomed in the last year. But on Monday morning, as he and his teammates met 16 U.S. soldiers who were wounded during military operations in Iraq, the message he and his teammates wanted to offer was the simplest -- and yet most powerful -- in the lexicon. "We say, 'Thank you,'" Johnson said. "'We appreciate you and what you do for us and our country and how you inspire our people and protect our safety.' It helps just to tell them how much we understand their sacrifice for us and how much we appreciate the sacrifices that they give just for our way of life." The soldiers watched practice from the sidelines, and then were ushered into the center of the Broncos' post-practice huddle, where they received a rousing round of applause from the players and coaches present.

LeSueur is Broncos' safety net - Loveland Reporter-Herald - Pat Graham
8/1/2005 — There are the good moments when Jeremy LeSueur is glad he was switched to safety. Like when the Denver Broncos' second-year player correctly read the eyes of quarterback Jake Plummer and intercepted a pass during training camp drills. But then there are those forgettable times that make him miss being a cornerback. Like when he had cleat marks on his chest from when rookie running back Maurice Clarett stomped all over him. LeSueur is going to have up-and-down days. That's an occupational hazard of learning a new position in this league. It wasn't until two months before camp was set to begin he even found out about the position change. The Broncos asked him to switch and he willingly accepted.

Fab Five compete for Broncos tailback spot - San Diego Union-Tribune - Eddie Pells
August 1, 2005 – The Denver Broncos have a history of turning no-names into stars at the tailback position. This year, they won't have to do that. Mike Anderson, Tatum Bell, Ron Dayne, Quentin Griffin and Maurice Clarett have all been heard from before, and all have the credentials to win the starting job and become Denver's next 1,000-yard rusher. Along with the defensive line, this is the most intriguing position battle in camp. Anderson, who is fully rehabilitated from a groin injury that kept him out last year, is sharing reps with Bell on the first team. But Griffin, who began last season as the starter, also has a chance. Dayne, who came in as a free agent, has looked pretty good in camp. Only Clarett, the rookie with the troubled past, has struggled a bit, but everyone knows what he did during his lone year of college.

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