Broncos face Texans in Houston tonight

Former Colorado State quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt (in photo) will get a chance to show his stuff as the Denver Broncos face the Houston Texans tonight at 6:00 MDT in their first preseason game. Meanwhile, Broncos starters Champ Bailey, Gerard Warren and Matt Lepsis will sit out. Read the latest on tonight's game in today's news briefs.

Broncos - without Clarett - face Texans - Denver Post - Kristie Rieken
08/13/2005 - Houston - Maurice Clarett's hiatus from game action has spanned more than two years, seven months and one week. And it will stretch at least seven more days. The former Ohio State star and third-round draft pick was expected to headline Denver's preseason opener tonight against the Houston Texans, but he didn't make the trip because of a sore groin. br>
Bailey, Warren to sit out Houston- Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Friday, Aug. 12, 2005 - 08/12/2005 - Houston - Nagging hamstring injuries have officially shelved two more Denver starters for Saturday night's preseason opener against the Houston Texans. Denver coach Mike Shanahan said this morning that cornerback Champ Bailey and defensive tackle Gerard Warren will not play because of hamstring injuries. On Thursday, left tackle Matt Lepsis was ruled out because of the same injury. Bailey aggravated the injury Monday at practice. Warren was hurt Monday. Like Lepsis, Bailey and Warren aren't expected to be out long.

Competitor at heart - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
August 13, 2005 - HOUSTON - He talks about butterflies careening around in his stomach and the excitement of pulling on a game jersey for the first game with his new team. Never mind the 13 Pro Bowl selections, the three Super Bowl rings or 38 NFL records. Jerry Rice says he's still a tad nervous about the Denver Broncos' preseason opener tonight against the Houston Texans in Reliant Stadium (CBS 4, 6 p.m. MDT).

Warren, Bailey, Lepsis won't play - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
August 13, 2005 - HOUSTON - A few of the Denver Broncos' high-profile players will have to wait at least another week for their first game action of the preseason. Coach Mike Shanahan said after practice Friday that defensive tackle Gerard Warren, cornerback Champ Bailey and left tackle Matt Lepsis would be held out of the Broncos' game tonight against the Houston Texans in Reliant Stadium (6 p.m. MDT, CBS 4).

Anderson, Bell face off - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
August 13, 2005 - HOUSTON - One might forgive Mike Anderson for not doing cartwheels about playing this preseason. After all, he was poised to perhaps become the Denver Broncos' starting tailback last summer when he suffered a season-ending groin injury in a meaningless exhibition game. Yet Anderson is psyched, not psyched out, about taking the field for the first time in game action this summer when the Broncos visit the Houston Texans tonight. So far, he has been able to hold off Tatum Bell for the No. 1 backfield job after two weeks of practices. The preseason games will help determine whether the sharpness he has demonstrated in workouts translates into on-field gains against opposing defenses.

Lincicome: Van Pelt has his place, it just shouldn't be as No. 2 QB - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Lincicome
August 13, 2005 - Since Mike Shanahan has the sense of humor of a carp, we must take him seriously on the matter of Bradlee Van Pelt. Young BVP is to be the QBW of the Broncos, as in Quarterback in Waiting, a job done best if a clipboard in hand is never replaced by an actual football. So, as happened last season, if Jake Plummer again takes every snap, it will not matter who is standing on the sideline, a knee wrench away from hard duty. And I will say this about BVP, he looks better on the sideline than in street wear.

Van Pelt set for prime time - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
August 13, 2005 - HOUSTON — Jake Plummer has been scrambling under the radar since the coaching staff decided to shine the training camp spotlight on Bradlee Van Pelt, moving the former Colorado State quarterback up to No. 2 on the depth chart ahead of veteran Danny Kanell. On Friday, after the Denver Broncos finished on-field preparations for tonight's exhibition opener against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium (6 p.m., Channel 4), it was Van Pelt who was surrounded by cameras while fielding questions about running the offense and his expectations for the season. Before heading for the showers unnoticed by reporters, Plummer stopped and poked his head into Van Pelt's media scrum.

Chukwurah still battling for job - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
August 13, 2005 - HOUSTON — Two years ago, Patrick Chukwurah was hitting as many Broncos as possible in an effort to impress head coach Dom Capers and make the expansion Texans' roster. But despite the fact that Houston runs a 3-4 defense, the team didn't have room for the linebacker and cut him before the season. Denver was impressed enough during its practice sessions here that the team signed Chukwurah briefly at the end of the 2003 season, and the former Wyoming standout made the roster as a reserve and special teams player last season. Now training camp has come full circle as he hits as many Texans as possible hoping to remain on coach Mike Shanahan's radar.

Kubiak still awaiting chance - Houston Chronicle - Alisha J. Ricardi
Aug. 13, 2005 - Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak has interviewed for three NFL head coaching jobs, including the Texans, but has yet to get the final call-back. When an NFL head coaching position comes open, the names of candidates to fill it are close behind. One name that has made a consistent appearance for openings in recent years is Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. But despite being one of the usual suspects, Kubiak, a Houston native starting his 12th year as an NFL assistant, never has been offered a head coaching spot. It's not like he hasn't tried. Kubiak has interviewed for the top job in New Orleans, Cleveland and Houston, but he remains in Denver, where he has been working under head coach Mike Shanahan since 1995. This week, Kubiak returned with the Broncos to Houston, where he was a finalist for Dom Capers' job four years ago.

Rice feels like a rookie - Loveland Reporter-Herald - Pat Graham
8/13/2005 - HOUSTON — Butterflies before the first preseason game would be the norm for a rookie. But a 21-year veteran? Yet, Denver Broncos receiver Jerry Rice claimed he'd be nervous before today's game against the Houston Texans, (6 p.m., Ch. 4), at Reliant Stadium. "I'm sure I'm going to have butterflies," Rice said. "I'm looking forward to putting that uniform on." Although he's hampered by tendinitis in the heel, Rice will see some action today.

Broncos' Duke trying his Antonio Gates - Mercury News - Frank Schwab
Fri, Aug. 12, 2005 - HOUSTON - (KRT) - Denver Broncos tight end Wesley Duke's last football season was 1999. He was injured after one play that year. "I got a 10-yard first down," Duke said, although he blew out the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on the play and missed the rest of the year. Duke hopes Saturday night is his first football game in six years as the Broncos start their preseason against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Since his last football action at Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Ga., Duke was a four-year starter on the basketball team at Mercer University and never played a down for the football team in college. Duke is trying to hook on with the Broncos and follow the lead of San Diego Chargers' tight end Antonio Gates, who played basketball instead of football in college. Last year Gates set the NFL single-season record for touchdown catches in a season by a tight end.

For Watton, Opportunity Knocked in Houston - Denver - Andrew Mason
Saturday, August 13, 2005 - HOUSTON -- For most of the players and coaches with the Broncos, the city of Houston represents the place where their 2005 season begins with Saturday night's preseason lid-lifter against the Texans. For center Chris Watton, it's more. It's the place from which his wife hails. It's also the spot where two weeks ago, he got a second chance to play in the NFL in his adopted hometown of Denver. After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had waived the lineman, Watton flew to Houston to ponder the next phase of his football journey, one that had already taken him through a full season with the Arena Football League's Colorado Crush, a workload that had just ended seven weeks earlier with the team's title-clinching win over the Georgia Force in ArenaBowl XIX. But when Watton landed in Houston less than two weeks ago, the dream of playing in the NFL -- one that seemed to have died with the Bucs' decision to waive him -- gained a sudden and complete resuscitation.

Whether Young or Experienced, Butterflies - Denver - Andrew Mason
Friday, August 12, 2005 - HOUSTON -- Bradlee Van Pelt has one possession in a preseason game to his name. Jerry Rice has played in 303 games in a 20-season career. Their experience levels could scarcely be more different. What they share is the same tinge of nervousness and anticipation that comes with the arrival of a new season, and the kickoff of the year's first preseason game. "I already have butterflies just being out here," Van Pelt said. Rice knows from two decades of experience that they will never completely vanish.

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