Denver Broncos News Blogs - Tuesday, Aug. 16

Wide receiver Jerry Rice has moved into the third spot on the Denver Broncos depth chart, replacing Darius Watts. In other developments from training camp - running back Maurice Clarett is still unable to return to practice as he nurses a sore groin muscle.

Rice climbs depth chart - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
08/15/2005 - This is why Mike Shanahan pursued Jerry Rice. This is why the Broncos coach talked Rice out of retirement on the eve of training camp. His reliability. With signs that Rice is capable of making an impact and second-year player Darius Watts has yet to make the strides the team has hoped he would, Rice moved ahead of Watts in practice Monday and worked as the Broncos' No. 3 receiver. Shanahan said Rice will serve in that role in a preseason game Saturday night against San Francisco at Invesco Field at Mile High. Watts, a second-round pick from Marshall in 2004, will work as the No. 4 receiver against the 49ers.

Clarett's setback continues with rookie still sidelined - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
08/15/2005 - In his short NFL career, Maurice Clarett is known more for a nagging groin injury than for his ability to move up the Broncos' depth chart. The fact the rookie running back from Ohio State sat out yet another day of practice Monday because of the groin injury, which has been bothering him for nearly two weeks, disappointed the Broncos. The team had Clarett take an MRI last Tuesday. The test showed no serious damage, and coach Mike Shanahan had hoped Clarett would be back on the practice fields Monday. The Broncos tried to speed up Clarett's healing process by having him stay behind last week while they worked out with the Texans in Houston. Clarett had four rehabilitation workouts each day but continued his rocky training camp. The third-round pick could return to practice as early as today. Shanahan, though, chose his words carefully when pointedly addressing the rookie's situation.

Pryce hopeful return pays off - Denver Post - Thomas George
08/15/2005 - When the Broncos met Indianapolis in the playoffs last season, a huge question was if defensive end Trevor Pryce could make the start. Pryce had played in the first regular-season game and the last one. He had missed 14 in between because of a herniated disc. Against the Colts, against that express offense, the Broncos needed Pryce. He said the back pain was too severe. He said he could not play. No Pryce in the playoffs? No Pryce to chase quarterback Peyton Manning? Pryce unable to give it a go? That helped set plenty in motion. Pryce was told two months later that he and his agent could seek a trade. The Broncos took the stance that Pryce was too costly, that by moving him they could add more depth to their defense, especially along the line. The Broncos were ready to move forward without Pryce. He was set to part with the Broncos.

Rice now is No. 3 Broncos receiver - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
August 16, 2005 - All Jerry Rice wanted was a chance to prove himself all over again in his 21st NFL season. He was given his biggest opportunity yet Monday when the Denver Broncos demoted Darius Watts for now and moved Rice alongside Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie in three-receiver sets. "I'm just going to take it and try to make the best of it," Rice said. The move has more to do with Watts than Rice, although the league's all-time receptions leader quickly has assimilated the offense.

Broncos on the cutting edge - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
August 16, 2005 - In the end, they all want to be just a number. Just one of the 53 players with names and numbers on the backs of their freshly creased jerseys when all is said and done with the Broncos preseason. And having already run around in Houston's humidity in the preseason opener Saturday night, what seemed like such a long way to go two weeks ago suddenly is down to a couple weeks. They know decisions are coming and the time to get noticed is growing shorter.

Stubborn groin injury has Clarett's future in limbo - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
August 16, 2005 - Maurice Clarett on Monday called his ongoing absence because of a right groin injury "part of camp" and was unable to put a timetable on his return. "I'm just getting strength back into it," the Denver Broncos running back said of the injury, one of several terse answers he gave reporters. Clarett first missed practice Aug. 5 but returned the next day. He hasn't been on the field since, missing six days and the Broncos' 20-14 preseason-opening victory against the Houston Texans. He stayed home during Denver's four-day buildup to the game, putting his status on the depth chart, and perhaps the roster, into question.

Broncos camp report, August 16 - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
August 16, 2005 - The Broncos returned to the field after the players had the day off Sunday. They practiced for 2 hours, 10 minutes with a heavy emphasis on end- of-game situations. During that portion of team drills, tight end Jeb Putzier hauled in a Hail Mary pass from quarterback Jake Plummer despite being surrounded by four defenders. When the Broncos went to their three-receiver look, it was an attention grabber as Jerry Rice was in as the third receiver, replacing Darius Watts. Rice has been steady throughout camp so far, while Watts has had trouble hanging onto the ball at times, including Saturday's game in Houston.

Rice moves up on depth chart - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
August 16, 2005 — Jerry Rice, true to his word, is here to compete for a roster spot. The greatest receiver of all time was on the field in the Broncos' three-receiver sets during Monday's practice trying to prove that he still has what it takes to make an impact during the regular season. Rice — who for the time being has moved ahead of Darius Watts in the pecking order behind starters Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie — even gave the competion some advice on how to get the No. 3 spot back. "He told me, 'When you miss a couple you've got to keep attacking the ball and don't fade away from it,' " Watts said. "He gave me a little advice about that." Watts, who struggled with drops during his rookie season, turned three more completions into incompletions during Denver's 20-14 victory over Houston on Saturday in the exhibition opener.

Clock ticking for RB Clarett - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
August 16, 2005 — Apparently, when quizzed about the injury that is keeping him out of the Denver Broncos' training camp, Maurice Clarett has two different answers. When reporters tape recorders are rolling, the rookie running back says he is relying on head trainer Steve Antonopulos to tell him when his next step on the football field will be. "It's all up to them," Clarett said Monday after resuming his rehabilitation of a right groin injury while teammates resumed practice. "It's just whatever they say. Greek been doing it for 30 years, so I just go off his advice."

Broncos name Rice team's third receiver - Mercury News - Frank Schwab
Mon, Aug. 15, 2005 - Jerry Rice, who was not guaranteed a roster spot with Denver when he signed with Denver in May, was promoted to the Broncos' third receiver Monday. Or, more accurately, Rice benefited when the Broncos demoted Darius Watts. Rice, who was the fourth receiver, and Watts exchanged positions on the depth chart after Watts dropped two passes and failed to make a tough catch in the end zone during the Broncos' preseason opener Saturday against Houston. "I'm just going to take it and try to make the best of it," Rice said.

Camp Day 15 Notebook: Rice Works as Third Receiver - Denver Broncos.com - Andrew Mason
Monday, August 15, 2005 - Jerry Rice greeted the news of his ascension to the No. 3 spot among the Broncos' corps of wide receivers with a shrug. "I'm running No. 3 and I'm just trying to do the best job that I can do, so that's it," Rice said after stepping off the practice field late Monday afternoon, having just completed two-plus hours of work that saw him line up with the first team when it went into three-wideout formations. Rice's rise meant that he -- for the moment, at least -- usurped Darius Watts, who'd held that distinction through camp and into Saturday's preseason win over the Houston Texans.

Clarett: Health the Main Concern - Denver Broncos.com - Andrew Mason
Monday, August 15, 2005 - As the Broncos returned to team headquarters Monday to resume training camp, running back Maurice Clarett continued his treatments and rehabilitation workouts on his injured groin, just as he did last week while his teammates practiced in Houston. "It wasn't really my decision," Clarett said of the Broncos' choice to have him stay behind last week. "They just wanted me to stay back here and get more rehab ... I was okay (with the decision)." Saying that he received treatment on the groin "twice a day" in the past week, Clarett emerged from a Monday afternoon workout session unsure of when he might be able to return to practice.

Broncos Bowl Brings Out Kid in Everyone - DenverBroncos.com - Jennifer Tavlian
Monday, August 15, 2005 - The look was common: a fascinated glance around at teammates who are pounding each others' shoulder pads, a deep breath and loud exhale to drown out the noise of the fans in the stands. Names were announced and, one by one, participants of Sunday's second Annual Broncos Bowl sped out of the tunnel at INVESCO Field at Mile High to live out the dream of playing where their heroes play. The Broncos Bowl included teams representing six youth leagues in the metro Denver area, including Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, Aurora Youth Football, Arapahoe Youth Football, Broomfield Youth Leagues, Denver Police Activities League and Jefferson County Youth Football.

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