Hayward & Spicer gearing up for the Broncos

Reggie Hayward and Paul Spicer each have a score to settle with the Denver Broncos. This Sunday, they'll get their chance.

Reggie Hayward is a high-priced free agent who got a $25 million contract with $10 million in guaranteed money this year.

Paul Spicer joined the NFL as an undrafted free agent and is making a modest $1 million a year.

Yet Spicer had three sacks in the team's 26-20 overtime victory over the New York Jets last week while the Jaguars coaches have awarded Hayward two sacks in three games although he's yet to get one on the stat sheet.

The two players, though, have something in common.

They're both fired up for Sunday's game against Denver.

Hayward started his career in Denver before leaving as a free agent his year while Spicer suffered a broken leg in the second game against the Broncos last year.

The Broncos say Spicer was hurt in a freak accident but Spicer feels he was the victim of the Denver blocking schemes that have been known to injure players. Spicer, though, won't be complaining this week about the hit.

"This isn't about me," Spicer said. "It's not about what happened last year. It's about the game."

Spicer, an early candidate for comeback of the year honors after his three sack game against the New York Jets last Sunday, doesn't want to settle any scores with the Broncos.

"The best revenge is going out there and beating them, 30-0, and seeing that goose egg up there with the time has expired," he said.

The only thing he'll concede is that beating the Broncos would be something to savor.

"It's always going to be a little more because of everything that happened last year. But the ultimate goal is that we beat them and that'll be the end of it," he said.

Spicer said he won't allow the memory of last year's injury make him tentative on the field.

"I don't play like that," he said. "You go out there through the tunnel and if you worry about getting hurt, you're going to get hurt. I don't worry about that at all."

Like Spicer, coach Jack Del Rio doesn't want that injury to be the focus of the game.

"The only thing I mentioned to him is that we don't want the story to be anything other than us fighting and winning this football game some way, some how. I think that needs to be the story," he said.

Spicer is sticking to the story that the game is the thing.

"Winning is the number one thing. They're an AFC opponent," he said.

Referring to the fact that the winner of the game would have the head-to-head tie-breaker advantage, Spicer said, "If the playoff pictures boils down to us being tied with somebody, that's what we're going to look at."

The real story, though, may be Spicer's comeback from the injury.

He's back better than ever. After having just seven sacks in his first 57 games, he had three against Chad Pennington of the Jets Sunday and knocked him out of the game and possibly ended his season.

Spicer is no stranger to coming back.

He broke his leg early in his junior year at Saginaw Valley State, but came back to get 21.5 sacks as a senior in 1997, but that didn't get him drafted.

Spicer hopes to have another big year coming off a broken leg.



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