Denver Broncos News Blogs - Monday, Aug. 22

Although the tragic death of San Francisco 49er Thomas Herrion overshadowed everything about the Denver Broncos win on Saturday night, there were still positives about the game - including quarterback Jake Plummer's play, the running game and a dominant first team defense.

49ers mourn death of player - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
08/22/2005 - An apparent heart attack killed Thomas Herrion, a backup offensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers, who died after Saturday night's game against the Broncos in Denver, his agent, Frederick Lyles, said Sunday. The official coroner's report won't be released for up to six weeks, after all lab tests are completed.

Last time to talk - Denver Post - Mike Klis
08/21/2005 - Feeling satisfied, if a bit bushed, about his contribution to the long touchdown drive that had finished the game, Thomas Herrion sought out a friendly acquaintance. The final two seconds at Invesco Field at Mile High had ticked off Saturday night and Herrion, a backup guard with the San Francisco 49ers, converged with Broncos defensive end Aaron Hunt for a chat between friends. This past spring, Herrion and Hunt were teammates for the Hamburg Sea Devils in the NFL's Europe league.

Death of Herrion stuns 49ers, NFL - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold and John Aguilar
August 22, 2005 - As he scrolled down, one missed call after the next, all in the early morning hours, all from the San Francisco 49ers, Fred Lyles felt the rising queasiness as he read the numbers. He just knew something was wrong with Thomas Herrion. "I had gone to sleep, but my first thought after seeing all the calls from the same place so early in the morning (was) that he must have been hurt, maybe his knee, I don't know, something. But I knew that something bad had to have happened to Thomas," said Lyles, Herrion's friend and agent, from his Plano, Texas, home Sunday. "I never imagined it could be like this. Thomas was just one of those great people you love to be around.

Ground game on firm footing - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
August 22, 2005 - The Denver Broncos were back on solid ground Saturday night. The Broncos rushed for 266 yards on 47 carries in their 26-21 preseason victory against the San Francisco 49ers, with Mike Anderson, Tatum Bell and Ron Dayne doing nothing to disturb the pecking order that has emerged in the backfield throughout training camp.

Watts still flashing on and off - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer And Jeff Legwold
August 22, 2005 - The consistency the Denver Broncos were hoping to see from wide receiver Darius Watts failed to materialize Saturday night. Watts, demoted from the No. 3 position on the depth chart last week because of erratic hands, failed to cash in on two opportunities for scores in a 26-21 preseason victory against the San Francisco 49ers. "It was a mediocre night," Watts said after the game. "I think I could have done better. I had a couple good plays but the couple plays I could have had, I've got to make sure I work on them so they don't happen again." Watts finished with two catches.

Krieger: Battle at receiver is quite fetching - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
August 22, 2005 - Is it just me, or are Charlie Adams and Todd Devoe, the Broncos' fifth and seventh receivers, better than both Jerry Rice and Darius Watts at this point? To put it another way: Just how much extra credit do you get for being a legend and a high draft pick? Let's face it: This competition between Rice and Watts for third receiver looks like a giant slalom between nonskiers.

Lincicome: Pointless tragedy is tough to absorb - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Lincicome
August 22, 2005 - The thought for today was to wish Jerry Rice well, to wish Jerry Rice was still what Jerry Rice was and to wish to never again see Jerry Rice strung out and exposed trying to catch one of Bradlee Van Pelt's wobblers. What a recipe for danger that is, the slowed at the mercy of the flawed. The thought was to suggest that Rice call it off, his late life raging against the light, and to persuade Rice that no one questions his courage, his dedication, his right to be carried off the field on his shield, a legendary warrior lusting for a battle too far.

Adams boosts special teams - Daily Camera - Zak Brown
August 22, 2005 - After the starters' nights were over and most of the viewers had likely switched over to Seinfeld or Law & Order, Charlie Adams was saving the Denver Broncos special teams Saturday night. Before the punt returner worked his nifty moves at Invesco Field, the Broncos had a forgettable night on fourth down against the San Francisco 49ers. New punter Todd Sauerbrun had one punt partially blocked. Jason Elam missed two field goals. First-year return man Darrent Williams had just one punt return for five yards.

Herrion's death a mystery - Daily Camera - Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times
August 22, 2005 - SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The last minutes of Thomas Herrion's life gave no indication of the tragedy to come. The 23-year-old guard for the San Francisco 49ers looked fine coming off the field after an exhibition game Saturday against the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field. He knelt alongside his teammates to pray in the locker room. Suddenly, he collapsed.

Broncos are happy with three-headed monster at running back - Fort Collins Coloradan - Ian St. Clair
August 22, 2005 - The running game for the Denver Broncos is morphing into a three-headed monster. It has become a monster that keeps gaining immeasurable strength with each passing day of practice and the first two preseason games. Mike Anderson, Tatum Bell and Ron Dayne comprise the triumvirate that is making NFL defenses shake and the looming decision to name a starting running back just a little more difficult. This is quite a transition from years past when the Broncos were led by a featured back, be it Terrell Davis, Olandis Gary or Clinton Portis who piled up all of the yardage. And following the Broncos preseason 26-21 defeat of the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday at Invesco Field at Mile High in which the three rushed for a combined 188 yards on 34 carries, a decision to name the starter grew more difficult.

Defense: So Far, So Good - Denver Broncos.com - Andrew Mason
Monday, August 22, 2005 - All one needs to do is look at the first-quarter stats of the Broncos' opening pair of preseason games to gauge the progress the first-team defense made from week to week. Seven days after permitting the Houston Texans to gain 100 yards on 16 plays and amass six first downs in the first quarter, the Broncos yielded only eight yards on 11 plays and two first downs to the San Francisco 49ers. That dominating opening 15 minutes in the 26-21 win over the 49ers represented the first in-game evidence of the defense's progress in attempting to fine-tune its performance following back-to-back top-five league rankings in terms of yardage allowed. The progress to date has agreed with 2004 defensive captain Al Wilson -- so much so, in fact, that he sees his unit's work outpacing previous editions at this stage of the year.

Triple the Fun - Denver Broncos.com - J. Michael Moore
Sunday, August 21, 2005 – Call it the Denver Broncos' version of Murderers' Row. Running backs Ron Dayne, Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell's lockers are placed next to each other on the east side of the Broncos locker room. Anderson, the veteran in the group resides in the center. Dayne to his right. Bell to his left. Together they formed quite the offensive juggernaut Saturday night. The trio combined for 188 of the Broncos 266 rushing yards in a 26-21 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. In fairness, the original Murders' Row – the heart of the New York Yankee lineup in 1927 – played an entirely different sport. But both the Bronx Bombers of their day and the new group of Broncos' runners share one thing. Power.

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