Denver Broncos News Blogs - Friday, Sept. 16

The quick recovery of Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey has everyone scratching their heads. Read about Bailey in today's news reports.

Second verse same as the first? - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
09/16/2005 - Those expecting the Broncos to exorcize the demons of their season-opening loss by taking it out on San Diego Chargers quarterback Drew Brees may have to readjust their plans. "This might be a tough game for us to get going with the sacks," Denver defensive coordinator Larry Coyer said. "That kid is tough. We have to find other ways." Other ways? "Tighter coverage," Coyer said. "We've got to cover tighter." A pass rush and coverage don't work as one unless each is pulling its weight. Using an aggressive one- to three-step drop approach - featuring short, chain-moving pass plays - the Dolphins' statue-like quarterback, Gus Frerotte, savaged a humidity-weary Denver defense, wearing it down in a 34-10 Miami upset Sunday.

Catch 22's double-duty - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
09/16/2005 - Denver Post staff writer Bill Williamson posts his Broncos Mailbag each Friday during the 2005 NFL season.

It takes special friend to fill gap - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
09/16/2005 - Wearing his peewee football jersey, a boy named Steven stares unblinking at a video game and tells me about the day his mother died. "It was April 7. Back when I was 8 years old," Steven says. "I don't know how she died. I just know she did. Somebody told me my mom wasn't coming home." On the screen reflecting Steven's smooth face and hardened eyes, there flickers a digital cartoon image of a thoroughbred horse weeping with joy after winning a race. My heart breaks in shards on the floor of a Denver arcade wired with electronic happiness.

Dinged Bailey won't back off - Denver Post - Mike Klis
09/16/2005 - Three weeks for most men. Three days for the man called Champ. By all medical rights, Broncos left cornerback Champ Bailey was supposed to be sidelined three weeks with a dislocated shoulder. Instead, he practiced Thursday after missing three days. "It gives you an idea of how tough he is," coach Mike Shanahan said. Bailey has started every NFL game since he was drafted before the 1999 season, a streak of 97 games. It appears the streak will live on to No. 98 when the Broncos play the San Diego Chargers in their home opener Sunday, even though Bailey's left shoulder was dislodged on the Dolphins Stadium turf last week in the season opener.

Recharging their batteries - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
September 16, 2005 - SAN DIEGO - Perhaps it was the late-afternoon sun melting his brain. Or maybe it was the lingering effect of being poked in the eye a few days earlier. Whatever it was last week, San Diego Chargers linebacker Steve Foley forgot where he was for a second. He was talking about the expectations in the city after the Chargers' incredible 12-4 turnaround when the word "Cincinnati" inexplicably came tumbling out of his mouth. Almost immediately, he caught himself.

There's no need for introductions - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 16, 2005 - If knowledge is indeed power, then the Broncos and their opponents are going to have plenty of kilowatts to light their way during the next two weeks. Because few, if any, know the comings and goings of the Broncos over the years like San Diego Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer and Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham. And, of course, Shanahan knows their tendencies as well.

Defensive line bends over backward - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 16, 2005 - Play on your heels. Backpedal. The concepts go against everything defensive linemen are taught from the first time they put on shoulder pads. But on snap after snap Sunday, the Denver Broncos defensive line was less front four and more front three or two as it dropped into zones to accommodate numerous and varied blitz combinations. "We'd rather go forward, but we have to play within the defense, and if it calls for us to drop, we drop," said Broncos defensive tackle Michael Myers, who twice did that.

After practicing, Bailey isn't looking for a shoulder to cry on - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 16, 2005 - An elite cornerback almost always has top-end recovery speed. Champ Bailey took it to the extreme Thursday. Bailey went through an entire practice four days after dislocating his left shoulder in the opener and appears on track to start at his normal left-cornerback spot for the Denver Broncos in Sunday's home opener against the San Diego Chargers. "For him to come back and practice the way he did is pretty special," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said.

Bailey makes speedy return - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 16, 2005 — Four days. That was how long the Denver Broncos were able to keep Champ Bailey off the field after the cornerback dislocated his left shoulder in the regular-season opener. Four days. Broncos head trainer Steve Antonopulos has witnessed just about everything in the NFL. But perhaps not a recovery like this. "Yeah, very surprised," was Mike Shanahan's reaction to having Bailey participating in Thursday's physical practice. "You know, I'm not a doctor, but Greek's seen these injuries before and for him to come back and practice the way he did is pretty special."

Offense feels pressure - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 16, 2005 — The Broncos are off to a historically bad start and they know it. In the aftermath of Denver's 34-10 loss at Miami — the franchise's worst defeat in a regular-season opener since a 45-7 defeat in Houston on Sept. 3, 1966 — Mike Shanahan made a startling observation about his offense. "I think about my years as a head coach and my years as a coordinator, I don't think I can remember an offense putting as much pressure on (its own) defense as we did," Shanahan, who is in his 11th season as the Broncos head coach and 22nd season coaching in the NFL, said on Monday after watching film of the game. "We did not do a very good job on offense."

Quick Adjustment - - Andrew Mason
Friday, September 16, 2005 - Nick Ferguson had barely finished responding to a question about fellow safety Sam Brandon's Sunday-afternoon sojourn at cornerback when he caught the subject of his words out of the corner of his eye. With an inquistor's microphone still hovering nearby, Ferguson looked over at his younger comrade at his position. "Good job, Sam!" Brandon smiled softly, brushing aside the compliment. "It's just because I'm right here, man," Brandon said. "I'd say it even if you weren't there!" replied Ferguson.

Bailey Gets Back to Work - Denver - Andrew Mason
Thursday, September 15, 2005 - It was remarkable enough that Champ Bailey didn't even brandish a sling on Monday, just one day after dislocating his shoulder early in the second half of the 34-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins. But the sight of Bailey on the practice field Thursday afternoon proved to be a surprising jolt for the Broncos, who didn't expect the All-Pro cornerback to return to practice until Friday. "Very surprised," Head Coach Mike Shanahan replied when asked just how surprised he was at Bailey's rapid return. "I'm not a doctor, but Greek (Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos) has seen these injuries before, and for him to come back and practice the way he did was pretty special." Even Bailey was somewhat taken aback at his recovery, which allowed him to absorb a full afternoon's work Thursday.

Flashback: Broncos-Chargers, Sept. 22, 1991 - Denver
Thursday, September 15, 2005 – The Denver Broncos entered a September game against the Chargers coming off a 16-10 win at home over Seattle and were looking to improve upon a 2-1 record. San Diego started off its 1991 campaign with a 0-3 mark, and head coach Dan Henning was looking for his club to bounce back from a three-point loss to Atlanta the previous week. San Diego opened the day on offense with quarterback John Friesz and tight end/running back Rod Bernstine looking to move the ball early. But Broncos linebackers Simon Fletcher and Karl Mecklenburg, strong safety Dennis Smith and the rest of Denver's defense stalled the Chargers opening drive.

Fantasy Preview: Week 2 - Denver - J. Michael Moore
Thursday, September 15, 2005 - Wide receiver Rod Smith has always been a popular pick among avid fantasy players. He is strong. He has good hands. He's the go-to receiver in the red zone and rarely puts up a low-number game. Even when the Broncos offense struggled in Miami, Smith got his numbers. The Chargers do run a complex 3-4 scheme that should be tough against the run, but they are weak in the secondary. The Broncos ran against a 3-4 twice in the preseason and seem excited to go up against it this weekend.

Pressure on in Week 2 - Longmont Daily Times-Call- Pat Graham
9/15/2005 — Already, Jake Plummer has turned surly. The Denver Broncos quarterback doesn't understand why everyone's making a big deal out of the team's 34-10 season opening loss to Miami. Plummer's take is this: The game is in the past, so leave it alone. Why keep dredging up the disappointing loss? "I'm surprised and shocked that we're still talking about it," Plummer said Wednesday. "It's over. It's done. I'm not going to sit here and mope and whine. We're not going to worry about what we did down there." Meanwhile, some 1,089 miles away in San Diego, quarterback Drew Brees had a similar take on the Chargers' 28-24 loss to Dallas on Sunday.

Tight end turns his attention to beating Broncos - San Diego Union-Tribune - Jay Posner and Kevin Acee
September 15, 2005 - Chargers fans thinking about how Antonio Gates might have helped the team in Sunday's loss to Dallas weren't alone. So was Gates. "Me not being able to help my teammates was probably the No. 1 thing that was going through my mind (during the game)," said Gates, who watched from the Chargers sideline. "Then I thought about, 'Should I have done things differently to be able to help my teammates in that game?' "Obviously, it wasn't going to change, so my mind started thinking about what I could do to prepare for Denver this week." Those preparations began yesterday as the Chargers returned to practice in advance of Sunday's game at Denver. Unlike last week, they worked with their All-Pro tight end as part of the No. 1 offense, not the scout team.

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