08/30/2005 - In many ways, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan could have made his life easier by keeping Maurice Clarett. He could have avoided the aggravation of listening to critics say "I told you so," by hiding the controversial Clarett on the practice squad for a year. He could have waited for the moody former college star to mature, then provide the talented running back with another shot next year. Redirecting the football hounds off their scent, however, would have put Shanahan in conflict with his concern for a much smaller group that gathers each day in the Broncos' locker room.
Brown returns, may play Friday - Denver Post- Bill Williamson
08/29/2005 - The previous time Courtney Brown practiced, his screams of pain echoed. Monday, there simply were sighs of relief when he returned to the field with his teammates. "It's good to be back and it felt good to be out there," the defensive end said. "I just want to get going again." Brown dislocated his left elbow Aug. 4 while trying to make a tackle. Brown has missed 33 of 80 games in five NFL seasons. Denver coach Mike Shanahan said Brown will play Friday at Arizona in the preseason finale, if he doesn't have any setbacks in practice this week. Brown will be one of the few starters playing against the Cardinals.
With Clarett gone, Broncos carry on - Rocky Mountain News- Jeff Legwold
August 30, 2005 - The seven of them, those remaining Denver Broncos running backs, gathered in their usual circle after practice Monday and shouted "R-Bs." Maurice Clarett was not among them. Out of sight, the Broncos are going about the business of putting the rookie out of their minds after the third-round pick was told Sunday he would be released. "Any time you cut somebody in the third round, you feel like you made a mistake," coach Mike Shanahan said. "But when you do that, you make a mistake and you go on." And move on they did. Running backs Mike Anderson and Ron Dayne, both of whom tried to reach out to Clarett during his short tenure with the team without much success, said they didn't want to comment. Safety Nick Ferguson and fullback Kyle Johnson said they "wished him well."
It might not be a snap, but Van Pelt confident - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
August 30, 2005 - Steve Young once was the backup quarterback at the disposal of Mike Shanahan. Young is only a word that describes the position entering the 2005 season in a changing NFL landscape. The likely official release of veteran Danny Kanell today means Bradlee Van Pelt is about to enter the season as the Denver Broncos' No. 2 quarterback without the benefit of one pro snap. The move is partly a gamble that starter Jake Plummer, a 16-game starter in four of the past seven years, can stay healthy. It also is a calculated risk that Van Pelt's positives outweigh the negatives.
Krieger: Broncos may finally turn the corner - Rocky Mountain News- Dave Krieger
August 30, 2005 - It is symmetrical, somehow, that the year Mike Shanahan finally missed on a running back, he finally hit on a cornerback. Maybe it's too early to say he hit on Darrent Williams, but rookie corners are either ready to play in the NFL or not, and mostly not. Going up against Marvin Harrison on Saturday night, Williams looked ready - as opposed to, say, poor Roc Alexander going up against Reggie Wayne in January. Unfortunately, even if Williams finally breaks Shanahan's cornerback oh-fer, it might not be enough for the Broncos' much-toasted secondary to match up with Indianapolis in January, but more on that in a minute.
Shanahan rolls with punches - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
August 30, 2005 — Marcus Nash. Deltha O'Neal. Willie Middlebrooks. They weren't around these parts for long, but hard-core fans of the Denver Broncos will never forget them. All of the above were first-round draft picks that coach Mike Shanahan missed on. On Monday, the franchise's all-powerful executive vice president of football operations/head coach admitted that another glaring April mistake had been made on his watch. Maurice Clarett — the last pick of the third round (101st overall) — will be officially waived by the Broncos today.
Kanell on way out of Denver - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
August 30, 2005 — It may be a frightening thought for many Denver football fans, but in 2005 Jake Plummer is to the Broncos what Peyton Manning is to the Colts. If the starting quarterback goes down, well, so does the team's status as a serious playoff threat. It appears more and more likely that if Plummer sustains an injury during the upcoming regular season, the fate of the Broncos will be in the hands of Bradlee Van Pelt. If Manning is lost to injury, Indianapolis' will only go as far as backup Jim Sorgi takes them. Hey, at least Van Pelt, the former Colorado State standout, is an exciting player.
Broncos rectify draft-day mistake - Longmont Daily Times-Call - Pat Graham
8/30/2005 — Mike Shanahan won't often confess he messed up. But the Denver Broncos coach admitted Monday he made an error drafting running back Maurice Clarett with a third-round pick. "Anytime you cut somebody (from) the third round, you feel like you've made a mistake," Shanahan said. "The bottom line is you've got to do what's best for your football team." Clarett wasn't the only player sent packing Monday. The Broncos also severed ties with running back Kris Briggs, quarterbacks Chad Friehauf and Danny Kanell, cornerback Rod Babers, linebacker Markus Steele, offensive linemen Tim Stuber and Cameron Spikes, tight end Patrick Hape, receivers Romar Crenshaw and B.J. Johnson and defensive linemen Luther Elliss and Raylee Johnson. The Broncos need to trim the roster down to 53 players from 65 by Saturday. Shanahan claimed the decision to waive Clarett wasn't for what he failed to do as much as what the other running backs did do.
Notebook: Kanell to Be Released - Denver Broncos.com - Andrew Mason
Tuesday, August 30, 2005 - Head Coach Mike Shanahan left open the possibility that quarterback Danny Kanell might return to the Broncos. But for the moment, the veteran is on the outside looking in, as Shanahan informed him of the team's decision to release him on Sunday, leaving Jake Plummer as the only Broncos quarterback with regular-season game experience. "He gave us everything he had," Shanahan said. "If ... somebody goes down, there's always a possibility that he could come back here." Kanell was released once before by the Broncos -- two seasons ago, just after final cutdowns. The team brought him back two weeks later when Plummer suffered an injury at San Diego, and the Florida State product remained on the roster for the next two seasons, starting games at Baltimore and at home against New England in 2003 but sitting on the sidelines for all of 2004 as Plummer took every snap.
BRONCOS AIM FOR PERFECT PRESEASON; PLAY AT ARIZONA IN CLASH OF UNBEATENS - Denver Broncos.com
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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