Denver Broncos News Blogs - Friday, Sept. 9

Read about wide receiver Rod Smith's role as a leader of the Denver Broncos in today's news reports.

A team in a leader's good hands - Denver Post - Mike Klis
09/09/2005 - If his nerves were wired like most, this weekend would frazzle Rod Smith to his sticky fingertips. His Broncos will open their 2005 football season, to varying expectations, on Sunday in Miami, where Smith's 80-yard reception from John Elway in 1999 was the second longest in Super Bowl history. Smith, 35, now senior leader of the Broncos, begins his 12th NFL season optimistic that the team has addressed several weaknesses that have kept it from winning another playoff game since he and Elway connected on that day.

Pass rushers eager to reach Frerotte - Denver Post - Mike Klis
09/09/2005 - Once he drops back and sets, Gus Frerotte may as well turn into a statue equipped with a stadium-sized slingshot. Bad feet, great arm. For the Broncos' newly revamped defensive front four, Frerotte presents an inviting, season-opening target. His strong arm, however, also will deliver a get-him-or-else challenge Sunday when the Broncos open their season against Frerotte and the Dolphins in Miami.

Kubiak salutes former Marine - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
09/09/2005 - Gary Kubiak was in a hurry and had only a moment. It was enough time to drop a bombshell of an opinion. Asked his thoughts about his top tailback, the Broncos' offensive coordinator offered an observation of what he saw this summer. "In all of my years around a pro camp, I've never seen a player have a better camp than Mike Anderson," said Kubiak, a former Broncos quarterback and San Francisco 49ers assistant coach. Ever? Remember, this is a guy who played in the NFL for nine seasons and who has coached in the NFL for 12 seasons. This is a guy who has worked with John Elway, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Terrell Davis and Rod Smith, all in their prime. "Mike was it," Kubiak said. Anderson was stunned.

Broncos Mailbag - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
09/09/2005 - When I was in Las Vegas on vacation, I saw that the Broncos' over/under for wins this year was 8.5. I put $100 on the over, meaning they have to win at least nine games for me to win. Do you think that was a sucker bet?

Doing the yardwork - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 9, 2005 - The Denver Broncos spend hours trying to draw up plays nobody sees coming. But the tale of this season might be told by the one play everybody knows is coming - the shoving for 36 inches worth of ground that turns a third down into a first, turns a first down into a touchdown. "When it's third-and-1 and you're looking for another way to get a first down other than line up and say, 'Here, we're coming right here,' that's not good," offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said. "We want to be able to say, 'Hey, everybody knows what we're going to do, it's third-and-1 and everybody in the stadium knows we're going to run the football and we're good enough to do it and our backs are good enough to get that yard.'

Legwold: Rice exits the stage with his head held high - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 9, 2005 - The Oakland Raiders traded Jerry Rice. The Seattle Seahawks cut him. And Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan looked Rice in the eyes and, arming Rice with the knowledge he would not be a major part of the team, gave him the opportunity to decide how he wanted to exit.

Quarterback quagmire - Rocky Mountain News - Clay Latimer
September 9, 2005 - DAVIE, Fla. - Less than two days after Hurricane Katrina swept through South Florida, darkening moods and spirits from Fort Lauderdale to South Beach, the local talk shows were engulfed with callers. Anger, frustration, confusion, disgust - all the usual emotions surfaced again on that grim Saturday night, which seemed only natural. The subject was Miami Dolphins quarterbacks. Depressing? Gus Frerotte, who will be the starter Sunday against the Denver Broncos, hardly is a comforting alternative to Dan Marino. But he might not be any worse than Jay Fiedler and A.J. Feeley, who shared starts a year ago, and Brian Griese and Ray Lucas and the rest of the temporary caretakers who have feebly attempted to succeed Marino, who left the team in quarterback limbo when he retired after the 1999 season.

Draftee makes special effort - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 9, 2005 — The Broncos don't feel like they can lose a coin flip this season. If the captains make the right call, Denver will almost always choose to receive the kickoff. If the opposing team gets the ball first, Denver's defense expects to force a punt on the first series. In the worst-case scenario, the opposing offense scores on the first drive before kicking off. No matter what, the plan is for Darrent Williams to be the first Bronco to have the football in his hands this season. The impressive rookie cornerback will make his NFL debut returning kickoffs, punts and perhaps even an interception Sunday in the opener at Miami (11 a.m., Channel 4).

Frerotte ready for Broncos - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 9, 2005 — Bradlee Van Pelt earned his position as the Denver Broncos' backup quarterback by beating out Danny Kanell and Matt Mauck in the eyes of the coaching staff this summer. But the fact is the former Colorado State star was Plan C prior to training camp. Mike Shanahan tried to lure two veterans with starting experience during the offseason. Jeff Garcia — Plan A — passed on Denver after deciding to reunite with head coach Steve Mariucci in Detroit. The former San Francisco and Cleveland starter is expected to miss the first six weeks of the regular season with a broken leg. Gus Frerotte — Plan B — knew Jake Plummer couldn't be beaten out and saw a better opportunity for playing time in Miami. Sure enough, the former Bronco will be in the starting lineup for the Dolphins on Sunday after winning the job over A.J. Feeley and Sage Rosenfels.

Mike Anderson Answers Your Questions - Denver
Friday, September 9, 2005 - The name Mike Anderson rings many bells for Denver fans. As far back as the 2000 season, Anderson had a memorable year as he played in all 16 regular-season games as a rookie and even started 12 of them. He picked up several accolades during that year, being named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press, Pro Football Weekly and Football Digest; NFL Rookie of the Year by USA Today; NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month and AFC Offensive Player of the Month for December, and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for September while he earned All-Rookie honors from Pro Football Weekly, Football News and Football Digest.

A Different World - - Andrew Mason
Friday, September 9, 2005 - The preseason is one thing. What lies ahead Sunday is another matter entirely, and it doesn't take any regular-season experience to know the difference. All it takes is an open ear, which cornerback Darrent Williams has been more than willing to provide in his four-plus months as a Denver Bronco. When seasoned players with Pro Bowl pedigrees like Al Wilson, Champ Bailey and John Lynch remind Williams that what begins Sunday is unlike anything he's experienced on a football field, the second-round pick nods. Little can fully prepare him for what he will experience in the steamy, sweaty crucible of an NFL game in the noonday sun of a South Florida afternoon, but at least he knows it will be different than the past four weeks.

Flashback: Broncos-Dolphins, Sept. 19, 1971 -
Thursday, September 8, 2005 – The 1971 Miami Dolphins entered the season opener ready to expand on a 10-4 record and a playoff appearance from the previous year. They boasted names like Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick in the backfield and Bob Griese at quarterback. The Broncos were 5-8-1 the previous year under head coach Lou Saban and were hosting the Dolphins for a season opener for the first time. But previous records and predictions meant nothing in this game. The teams battled to a 10-10 tie in front of a then-record crowd of 51,200 at Mile High Stadium. "It is just what I thought it would be," Saban said after the game. "A tough football game."

Notebook: No Preseason? No Problem - - Andrew Mason
Thursday, September 8, 2005 - Champ Bailey didn't take a preseason snap and didn't go through a full week of practice until last week while he nursed a hamstring injury. For some, such inactivity would have an effect. Bailey doesn't believe it will. "I don't think so," the seven-year veteran said when asked whether the lack of preseason game time would hinder him. "The one thing about the NFL (is that) you've just got to make sure you're in game shape. I'll find out how good a shape I'm in when we get to Miami." Whether he's 100 percent is a matter of conjecture or semantics, depending on one's perspective.

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