Denver Broncos News Blogs - Tuesday, Sept. 6

Jerry Rice's retirement dominates today's news about the Denver Broncos. Catch up on the latest in today's reports.

Rice's run is over - Denver Post - Mike Klis
09/06/2005 - Before Broncoland really got a chance to say hello, Jerry Rice said goodbye. By statistics, he was the greatest receiver in NFL history. By age, the 42-year-old Rice no longer had enough legs to beat out the likes of Charlie Adams, Darius Watts and Todd Devoe for the Broncos' backup receiver spots. Told last week by coach Mike Shanahan that he no longer would be the Broncos' No. 3 wideout behind starters Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie, the legendary Rice ended his record-setting, 20-year career Monday when he announced his retirement at the team's Dove Valley headquarters. "I came here to fight for that third position, and it didn't happen," Rice said. "And I knew I had to make a decision, and I feel like I made the best one."

Family foremost in Rice's decision - Denver Post - Thomas George
09/06/2005 - Jerry Rice sat next to wife Jackie at their son Jerry Jr.'s high school football game Saturday in the Bay Area. It was approaching halftime of a game their son's team would win 48-0. "I could see he was deep in thought the whole game," Jackie said of her husband. "I could almost see the wheels spinning in his head." Just before halftime, just before the clock ran out, time stood still. At least, for Jackie Rice, it felt that way. "He just turned to me and said, 'You know, I think this is going to be it for me; I'm not going back,"' Jackie said. "I asked him if he was sure. He said, 'That's it."' Time moves on. The NFL and the Broncos move on without Jerry Rice. The league had him for two decades, the Broncos for three months.

Van Pelt apologizes for antics - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
09/06/2005 - Bradlee Van Pelt may never go to another Colorado State-Colorado game again. It would hurt the current Broncos backup quarterback and former Rams star not to support his school in person in their rivalry game, but after he created a disturbance on the CSU sideline Saturday in the Rams' 31-28 loss to the Buffaloes at Folsom Field, Van Pelt thinks it may be in his best interests to stay away. "I get too passionate about it," Van Pelt said Monday. "I might just have to stay away from it because I can get in too much trouble." Van Pelt apologized Monday to CSU, CU, the Broncos and fans for his antics on the sideline. Van Pelt was wearing a shirt with an obscene word on it, supporting the Rams. He also engaged in some heckling with Buffaloes fans on the sideline.

Roster needs to be finalized - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
09/06/2005 - With Jerry Rice retired and Matt Mauck on his way to the Tennessee Titans, the Broncos have two holes to fill. The Broncos likely will finalize their practice squad today and may wait until later in the week to fill the 53rd and final spot on the active roster. The roster spot opened Monday when Rice confirmed what the Broncos expected all weekend, that he would retire from the NFL, ending a 20-year career. The Broncos had hoped to plug their practice-squad opening with Mauck, a quarterback who was on the squad last year. However, Mauck opted Monday to sign with the Titans to be on their practice squad.

Rice knows when to say when - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 6, 2005 - Through all of the games, all of the practices and all of the lonely workouts in the blazing sun, Jerry Rice had promised himself, had promised others, he would know when it was time. Time to end the football run of the player Broncos coach Mike Shanahan called "the greatest player to ever play the game." And facing the prospect of being a reserve receiver, one with no guarantee of being in uniform on game day, Rice looked upon his storied career last weekend and decided it was time to walk on to the next place in his life. "Never thought I would see this day, but it's here now," Rice said. "I feel pretty good about it. I'm happy with my decision."

A career that was Jerry-built - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 6, 2005 - Super Bowl XXIII was counting down and Boomer Esiason's time was at hand. Mickey Mouse, the bejeweled ring, the whole nine yards. Public-relations people, makeup artists and producers congregated around the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback on the sideline with about 3 1/2 minutes to play, just as the San Francisco 49ers were getting the ball for the last time, making final preparations for a postgame commercial spot. But Esiason never got to go to Disneyland or say where he would be headed. He instead went to Aruba on an unplanned vacation after John Taylor's touchdown reception capped one of the greatest NFL finishes for the 49ers and another San Francisco receiver walked away with Most Valuable Player honors after making 11 catches for 215 yards. "Before I could get my head out of my hands, the Disney people were going across the field looking for Jerry Rice," Esiason said. "They didn't even say goodbye to me."

Krieger: Rice runs out pattern - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
September 6, 2005 - Every now and then, a particularly devoted ballplayer vows not to quit until somebody rips the uniform off his back. For most of them, it's a figure of speech, a cliché to indicate their love of the game. Jerry Rice actually meant it. To the very end, going on 43 years old, he still wanted to play. When all objective evidence said he was done, Rice refused to believe it. He went from one old friend to another - Mike Holmgren last year, Mike Shanahan this year - looking for someone to agree with him.

'GOAT' calls it a career - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 6, 2005 — No one wanted to see Jerry Rice play a 21st season more than Pat Bowlen. "He's got to make the team," the Denver Broncos owner told the Daily Camera the day before Rice reluctantly reported to training camp at the age of 42 after seriously considering staying home with his family instead. "I'm one of his biggest fans. I sure as hell hope he makes the team." Six weeks later, Rice did make the team. Barely.

Thorburn: Labor Day exit only appropriate for Rice - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 6, 2005 — Broncos wide receiver Jerry Rice retires. The headline just doesn't sound right. The stories over the last six weeks, even when Rice was "promoted" to Denver's No. 3 receiver spot, never felt right. It simply wasn't fun watching Bronco No. 19 blanketed by Arizona Cardinals cornerbacks in an exhibition game. Rice's legs weren't there last Friday night in the desert, and his heart was never truly a part of the desperate reunion with Mike Shanahan. So let's try to remember the No. 80 from the 49ers' dynasty of the late '80's and early '90's. That version of Jerry Rice was easily the greatest receiver of all time and arguably the greatest NFL player of all time. Fittingly, on Labor Day the hardest-working future Hall of Famer finally decided to give it a rest.

Notebook: Mantle Passes to Young Wideouts - Denver Broncos.com - Andrew Mason
Tuesday, September 6, 2005 - Three weeks ago, Jerry Rice had ascended to the Broncos' No. 3 slot at wide receiver, surging past Darius Watts. Now, Rice is gone, having first been bumped down to the No. 4 position, then accepting the option of retiring -- a choice he announced Monday, just six days before the Broncos open their regular season at Dolphins Stadium outside of Miami. That leaves Watts, Charlie Adams and Todd Devoe representing all of the Broncos' depth at wide receiver behind starters Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie. Watts, Adams and Devoe have combined to haul in 31 regular-season passes as professionals -- all of them coming from Watts during his rookie campaign last fall. The trio has played in a combined 20 regular-season games, 16 belonging on Watts' résumé.

Rice's Brilliant Career Ends - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Monday, September 5, 2005 - When Jerry Rice is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame six years from now, the engraved plaque below his bronze bust will bear no mention of the summer he spent trying to eke one more season out of his brilliant career. But those who shared meeting rooms and a locker room with Rice will remember the three months where he donned jersey number 19, seeking only one more chance to contribute -- a chance that ended Monday when Rice opted to retire rather than be the No. 4 wide receiver and face deactivation during some weeks of the season to come. "He'll have a lasting impact on everybody in this organization," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "I really believe he's the best player to play the game."

Fond Farewell - DenverBroncos.com - J. Michael Moore
Monday, September 5, 2005 – Jerry Rice stood at the podium in the team meeting room here in a neatly pressed, camel-colored suit and made the announcement many expected but no one wanted to hear. The suit seemed to represent the grace, elegance and class with which Rice played wide receiver in the National Football League for two decades. It never lost its crispness, even when tears began to trickle down the legendary player's face. It was also the focal point of Rice's meeting with the Broncos players who practiced with him and shared in is final days as a professional. The room needed a few laughs. Monday, September 5, 2005

Jerry Rice: A Career Timeline - DenverBroncos.com - Jennifer Tavlian
Monday, September 5, 2005 - There's no doubt Jerry Rice is headed to Canton. The legend hung up his pads Monday during an emotional press conference in which 20 years of memories came flooding back. While his honors and records are numerous, here is just a brief history of Rice's amazing and memorable career.

NFL 2005: Whirlwind Broncos keep their trust in Jake - MSNBC.com - Eddie Pells, AP
Sept. 5, 2005 - The preseason came and went, and so did Maurice Clarett and Jerry Rice. Barely causing a ripple through it all was the steady play of Jake Plummer. Quarterbacks can dictate so much about the fortunes of a team. The Denver Broncos, even after the overhaul of their defensive line with a bunch of Cleveland castoffs, head into 2005 still committed to one of the most unpredictable quarterbacks in the league. There is good Jake, the one who put himself atop the franchise record book with 4,089 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2004. And there is bad Jake, the one who threw a league-high 20 interceptions, one with his left hand, made an obscene gesture to one of his own fans and generally kept his coaches, teammates and the Broncos faithful on edge all year.

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