Denver Broncos News Blogs - Wednesday, Aug. 24

The Denver Broncos are looking for more turnovers on defense and running back Ron Dayne is making an impact on offense. Read more in today's news reports.

Aggressive defense key to turnover turnaround - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
08/23/2005 - New Broncos defensive line/tackles coach Andre Patterson has been in five NFL team training camps since 1997. This year at Dove Valley, something stood out. "I've never seen as many turnovers as I did this year," Patterson said. "We were getting them left and right. It's unbelievable. I've never seen anything like it. We're getting five or six turnovers a day." The Broncos' summer turnover fest was welcome. They have struggled to intercept passes and flopped on fumbles in recent years. In 2004, the Broncos ranked 29th in the league with 20 turnovers - 12 interceptions and eight fumble recoveries. The year before, Denver was tied for 28th with 20 turnovers.

Herrion's passing real life reminder - Denver Post - Domonique Foxworth
08/23/2005 - All competitions I have ever entered I have expected to win. Saturday's game against the 49ers was no different. While I anticipate having a celebratory postgame meal with my family, I have learned that is not always the case. Sometimes my team and I are not victorious. Going into the game against the 49ers, I believed a somber postgame meal after a loss was the worst possible conclusion to the evening. But I was wrong.

Manning good preseason test - Denver Post - Mike Klis
08/23/2005 - Defense, boys. Defense. Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts are coming to town Saturday for arguably the most meaningful game on the preseason schedule. Based on past performances when it has mattered most, the Broncos' defense might want to work on its combination six-defensive back, eight-man front packages, given the way Manning has been known to treat the Broncos' defense as if nobody was there. "I know people are going to make this game a big deal," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "But you're not going to get so carried away that you show people what you're going to do during the regular season. It's a fine line. You want to play well and stay injury-free. At the same time, it doesn't mean anything as far as the regular season. In my experience, preseason only means something to people if you lose. It doesn't mean anything if you win." Shanahan then smiled at the irony. Preseason, indeed.

Memorial draws teammates, Tagliabue - Denver Post - Bob Sherwin
08/24/2005 - Santa Clara, Calif. - Alex Smith, the San Francisco 49ers' high-profile rookie quarterback, was singled out on Aug. 16 to provide his best rendition of Utah's fight song. Coach Mike Nolan wanted to lighten the mood as the team waited for the former 49ers quarterback and Hall of Famer Steve Young to address the players. "So some rookie hazing commenced," said Smith, the NFL's No. 1 draft choice. "I was pretty embarrassed, red in the face. I started a few words, and there's Thomas standing up in the back, shouting," Smith recalled Tuesday. "He's pretty musically talented. He jumped up and helped me. That felt pretty good." It was just like Thomas Herrion, Smith's teammate for two seasons at Utah, to do that. An offensive lineman is supposed to defend and protect his quarterback.

Still in search of special delivery - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
August 24, 2005 - When Ronnie Bradford says he wants sound special-teams play, apparently he means it. "I always tell my guys we want a crescendo," the second-year assistant with the Denver Broncos said Tuesday, referring to the progress he expects during the preseason leading to the real thing. The volume already has been increased. There has been prodding, cajoling, even screaming directed at the kicking and punting units this summer, by Bradford and coach Mike Shanahan. But whether a harmonious chord ultimately is struck in time for the regular season remains to be seen.

Shanahan remembers his near-death experience - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
August 24, 2005 - The death Saturday of San Francisco 49ers guard Thomas Herrion likely will give people pause for some time, Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. And Shanahan understands more than some how quickly things can happen in life. "I talked to (49ers coach) Mike Nolan (on Monday) . . . and everyone was shocked that (Herrion) had been talking and joking in the locker room right before he collapsed," Shanahan said Tuesday. "Sure, it makes me think about some things." It conjured memories of the time he almost died.

Shock, praise fill Herrion memorial - Rocky Mountain News
August 24, 2005 - MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - Thomas Herrion was remembered as a wonderful friend and teammate Tuesday night at a memorial service for the San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman who collapsed and died after a preseason game in Denver last Saturday. About 500 people attended the service, including NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, union head Gene Upshaw and all of Herrion's teammates and coaches in San Francisco. Herrion's mother and brother sat near the front along with his fellow offensive linemen.

Lack of turnovers not yet a concern - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
August 24, 2005 — All 32 NFL teams have played at least two exhibition games this month and 31 of them have forced at least one turnover. The only franchise without a single interception or fumble recovery at this early date? That would be the Denver Broncos. "I'll take 25 yards (given up) on six possessions and forget about the turnovers," head coach Mike Shanahan said after Tuesday's practice, noting his first-team defense's overall domination of the hapless San Francisco 49ers on Saturday night. "So hopefully we can keep that going. If you can do that you don't have to worry about turnovers." Larry Coyer, Denver's third-year defensive coordinator, has been stressed about a lack of turnovers since he took the job.

Van Pelt, Watts work out kinks - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
August 24, 2005 — Two of the last players off the field on Tuesday afternoon were Bradlee Van Pelt and Darius Watts. At the moment, they are two of a kind — second-year players who struggled with the second-team offense in the second preseason game. Both still have a lot of work to do. Van Pelt completed only seven of the 18 passes he threw against San Francisco. The former Colorado State standout did not have a touchdown pass or an interception. Watts was the No. 3 receiver when training camp started, but after three drops in the exhibition opener at Houston he was demoted to No. 4 behind 42-year-old Jerry Rice. He had two catches for 27 yards against the 49ers, but failed to get a foot down for a touchdown and dropped another pass in the end zone.

Broncos just want Warren to play without great expectations - Mercury News - Frank Schwab
Tue, Aug. 23, 2005 - A few days into training camp, Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan was predicting big things for defensive tackle Gerard Warren. "He's one of our leaders," Shanahan said Aug. 5. "He's a great hustler. He does everything you ask him to do. From what I've seen of him in the first week, I'd be disappointed if he's not in the Pro Bowl." Broncos assistant defensive line coach Andre Patterson, who coached Warren as the defensive line coach in Cleveland the past two seasons, likely believes Warren can have that kind of a season - he raved about the training camp Warren had and thinks he played much better with the Browns than critics claim. But Patterson doesn't want to place any goals on Warren this season. He wants Warren to just play and not worry about expectations, something he couldn't do in Cleveland as the third overall pick of the 2001 draft.

Dayne making big strides in Denver -
Tuesday August 23, 2005 - Ron Dayne takes the ball from the quarterback, scoots down the line of scrimmage, finds a hole and starts running. It looks like he's running downhill. It looks like he used to run when he was a Heisman Trophy winner in college. "It seems like I haven't played football in five years," Dayne says. Anyone who caught a glimpse of him during those five years with the New York Giants would certainly agree. A first-round draft pick in 2000, he was supposed to give the Giants a bruising, straight-ahead presence in the backfield. Despite his size -- 5-foot-10, 245 pounds -- he simply didn't run that way.

Lynch: Mere Notion of Fine 'Ridiculous' - Denver - Andrew Mason
Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - The notion that John Lynch's Saturday night, late-first-quarter hit on San Francisco 49ers tight end Billy Bajema was under consideration for a league fine was preposterous to both Lynch and Head Coach Mike Shanahan, and neither were shy about admitting their displeasure over the broachment of the topic following Tuesday afternoon's practice. "I think it's ridiculous (that) people (are) even talking about it," Lynch said. "If you know the rule, it's ignorant to even bring up the situation because it's a completely legal play. It baffles me that people are even talking about it." Added Shanahan. "You can hit anybody in the helmet if they've got possession of the ball ... The person John hit had been running with the ball for 10 yards. I don't know how that got started." Lynch's hit left Bajema staggering; he appeared to temporarily lose his balance as he arose from the ground after the hit. But Shanahan pointed out that the play -- during which no penalty flag was thrown -- was not subject to any kind of evaluation by the league office.

Notebook: Watts Reflects on 'Mediocre' - Denver - Andrew Mason
Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - It's fair to say that the last 10 days have been frustrating ones for wide reciever Darius Watts. He moved down one slot on the pecking order at his position; he dropped a pass in Saturday's game against San Francisco and had another play where he couldn't quite get his back foot inbounds, nullifying what could have been a spectacular touchdown play. "You feel for him," quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt said, "but I think that's being young in the NFL." In spite of the tumult of Watts' preseason, he remained true to his post-practice ritual, catching one ball after another from the JUGS machine at a field adjacent to the Broncos' headquarters building, just as he has for most days since he joined the Broncos in April 2004.

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