Denver Broncos News Blogs - Monday, Aug. 29

As the first cut down approaches, Denver Broncos running back Maurice Clarett was the first to get the axe. Read more about the termination of Clarett's short career with the Broncos in today's news reports.

Clarett's bid cut short - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
08/28/2005 - Maurice Clarett's unstoried Broncos career abruptly ended Sunday afternoon when he was called into coach Mike Shan- ahan's office and told of his pending release without playing in the preseason. The pending release ends a national story that started in April when the Broncos shocked the NFL by drafting the controversial running back from Ohio State with the final pick of the third round. "It's a shame it didn't work," said Steve Feldman, one of Clarett's agents.

Conceit produces wasted selection - Denver Post- Mark Kiszla
08/28/2005 - The faithful still believe Broncos coach Mike Shanahan is a genius on Sundays. Good thing. Because, as an evaluator of talent, the mastermind's IQ has been docked another mandatory deduction. Blame Maurice Clarett. Clarett has an uncanny ability to make any football coach who trusts him look stupid. The career of America's favorite wayward running back has taken another wrong turn. Without gaining one yard for the Broncos, Clarett is long gone. Doomed to the waiver wire as a wasted third-round draft choice by Denver. Shanahan knows football. And you don't. Just ask him.

Denver's starters look ready for season - Denver Post- Mike Klis
08/28/2005 - Excitement is building and skins are bursting, all because the first team is rolling. Is it time to start the NFL season yet? The final preseason test remaining for the Broncos is patience. Not only are the Broncos' 3-0 in the exhibition season, but their latest win, 37-24, came against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, who have inflicted season-ending embarrassment upon Denver. "It was a difficult mind-set for (Saturday's) game, because this was the team that sent us home the last two years," Broncos safety John Lynch said. "In the same token, it's the third preseason game and everything needs to be working towards the regular season. So we didn't lose that perspective. But we did study these guys." Further validating the Broncos' preseason success is only some, but not most, of the credit goes to players who won't be here next week. In each of the wins against Houston, San Francisco and the Colts, it was clear the Broncos' first team had outplayed the other guys' starters.

Kanell hears he won't be keeper - Denver Post- Bill Williamson
08/28/2005 - It had gotten to the point where Danny Kanell was hoping to remain with the Broncos as their No. 3 quarterback after starting training camp as Jake Plummer's primary backup. Kanell, however, found out Sunday he won't even get that opportunity. The former NFL starter said he was told by the Broncos he will be released as part of their first wave of cuts. "In the back of my mind I was hoping to stick around because I like it here so much and because I'm so comfortable here," Kanell said. "It's tough to leave. But I was told that injuries can happen and maybe I'll be back. That would be great." Several other players, including defensive end Raylee Johnson, tight end Patrick Hape, offensive lineman Tim Stuber, running backs Maurice Clarett and Kris Briggs, receivers Romar Crenshaw and B.J. Johnson, defensive tackle Luther Elliss and offensive guard Cameron Spikes were at Dove Valley on Sunday to meet with coach Mike Shanahan, though the Broncos didn't make any cuts official.

It's a cut and run - Rocky Mountain News- Jeff Legwold
August 29, 2005 - For a guy who has made starting over a habit during much of the past three years, Maurice Clarett will have to try again. Clarett, who stood smiling in front of a Denver Broncos banner in April and offered "everything is on my shoulders," will have to carry a little more baggage in his embattled football life. The rookie running back was told Sunday by the Broncos he would be released, 127 days after the team shocked much of the league when it selected him with the last pick of the third round of the draft. Clarett was one of at least 15 Broncos called to the team's complex Sunday afternoon to be told they would be released. Some of the others included defensive tackle Luther Elliss, a Mancos native, defensive end Raylee Johnson, quarterback Danny Kanell, receiver B.J. Johnson, guard Tim Stuber, tight end Patrick Hape and former Colorado School of Mines quarterback Chad Friehauf.

Cornering the market - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
August 29, 2005 - There was no time to think about matters of status, or think at all, in the moment. More important things were at hand, or on foot, Saturday night, like impeding Marvin Harrison's progress while one of the best receivers in the NFL went streaking down the right sideline with his sights set on catching a deep ball on the first series of the third quarter. It was only afterward that Darrent Williams, the Denver Broncos rookie cornerback, could reflect about just how far he has come in a short time.

Rice absence: Take with grain of salt - Rocky Mountain News- Jeff Legwold And Lee Rasizer
August 29, 2005 - Receiver Jerry Rice said he knows the minifrenzy he caused last week when he missed three days of practice to see his daughter off to college. Never mind that, the 42-year-old said. Never mind those public second thoughts about playing at least one more season before he arrived for training camp. He said he still looks forward to what the coming season has to offer. "There is no story there," Rice said. "People are wasting their time. There's no story there. I am totally committed, totally committed. "I'm not going anywhere, I'm not. And I'm here for the long haul."

Krieger: Clarett's fall was easy to call - Rocky Mountain News- dave Krieger
August 29, 2005 - If you missed the Maurice Clarett Era by, say, sleeping through it, I can't begin to recount all that happened. The highs, the lows. The ups, the downs. Not to mention the groin strain. Clarett was as advertised, only more so. Mike Shanahan consciously ignored the many character questions surrounding Clarett when he drafted him in the third round. Now he's paying for it. Andy Geiger, the former athletic director at Ohio State, warned ESPN about them when Clarett made his sensational charges against the Buckeyes football program last fall. "I just hope you've checked into the background and history of who you're dealing with," Geiger told ESPN. If only he'd mentioned that to Shanahan.

Clarett experiment a bust - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
August 29, 2005 — Moments after Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner risked their well-earned reputations as tailback experts on draft night, Maurice Clarett vowed to make the most of his fresh start in Denver. "Coach Turner took a gamble on me, he and coach Shanahan," Clarett said after the Broncos surprised the football world by selecting him with the final pick of the third round. "And I just don't want to make them look stupid." Shanahan and Turner obviously made a mistake in trusting Clarett, who had not played since his freshman season at Ohio State. But history suggests they will look smart again when Mike Anderson, Tatum Bell, Ron Dayne or perhaps even Quentin Griffin becomes the latest running back to rush for more than 1,000 yards under their watch. As for Clarett — whose agent confirmed on Sunday that he will be cut from the Broncos' roster by Tuesday — the notorious rookie still has a lot of maturing to do to make it in the NFL.

Thorburn: Future looks promising for defense - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
August 29, 2005 — After Saturday night's exhibition game at Invesco Field, a group of Broncos assistant coaches were making their way down from their press box-level booths to the locker room when the gray-haired leader of the pack strayed. "Hey, Larry!" one assistant shouted before pointing in the direction of the team's postgame festivities. "No, I'm going this way," the defensive coordinator said without stopping. Larry Coyer found a quiet corner and puffed his pipe for a few minutes, something he does after every practice and game. But this time, Coyer actually seemed to be enjoying the moment.

Broncos giving up on Clarett - Mercury News - Frank Schwab
Mon, Aug. 29, 2005 - Maurice Clarett never played in a preseason game for the Denver Broncos, but the team didn't need to see any more of the rookie running back before deciding to cut him. Clarett was informed Sunday by coach Mike Shanahan that he will be among the team's first round of cuts when they are announced this week, Clarett's agent Steven Feldman said. The cuts have to be submitted to the league by Tuesday. Clarett, who was drafted with the last pick of the third round, will likely go down as one of the worst picks in team history. Shanahan wasn't available for comment Sunday. Denver selected Clarett even though many teams were concerned with his off-field issues, his poor workout in February at the NFL scouting combine, and his two-year absence from football.

Growing Up Fast - Denver - Andrew Mason
Monday, August 29, 2005 - Darrent Williams has shown not even the slightest hint of intimidation at his NFL surroundings. Being awestruck? That can happen. But even that didn't take place when he lined up on the opposite side of the scrimmage line from Marvin Harrison and Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts. It didn't happen during the game, which Williams started. Before the game, though ... "The pregame, I went out there and saw Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison," Williams said. "I (thought), 'I'm on the field with them. I've been watching them since I was in college.'"

Monday, August 29, 2005 - In their final tune-up before regular season play, the Denver Broncos face the Arizona Cardinals on Friday night at Sun Devil Stadium looking to secure a perfect record in the preseason for the third time in franchise history. The game, which features the NFL's two remaining undefeated teams in exhibition play, is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. MST. Denver improved to 3-0 in the preseason for the seventh time in team history last week with a 37-24 home victory against Indianapolis. The Broncos have ended their preseason against the Cardinals more times (7) than any other opponent and have won their last six exhibition games played on a Friday. Denver has a 10-5 all-time record against Arizona in the preseason. All five of its exhibition losses to the Cardinals have come in preseason finales, including last season's 33-21 defeat at INVESCO Field at Mile High. Arizona (3-0) is coming off a 17-16 win last week against Oakland at McAfee Coliseum.

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