Denver Broncos News Blogs - Friday, Sept. 30

The Denver Broncos head to Florida with the status of their two starting cornerbacks questionable. Read more in today's news reports.

Finding secret to road success hasn't come easily to Broncos - Denver Post - Mike Klis
09/30/2005 - Break down John Elway's Hall of Fame career, and it's safe to conclude his road to Canton went through the home streets of Mile High. At home, Elway was a scrambling, throwing, improvising legend, posting a remarkable .807 winning percentage on a 96-23 record. Elway and the Broncos may have gone to five Super Bowls, but on the road the bottom line said they were losers: a 52-59-1 record for a .469 winning percentage. Some of this disparity can be explained as life in the NFL. On any given Sunday, home field may be the single greatest advantage between two teams. Maybe even more than talent.

Corner injuries raising concern - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
09/30/2005 - After the Broncos' last visit to Florida, their cornerback situation was left in shambles. Sunday, the Broncos may enter their game at Jacksonville in the same shape. Three of Denver's six cornerbacks, including starter Champ Bailey and Darrent Williams, did not practice for the second straight day. Roc Alexander was the other cornerback not to practice Thursday. It appears the injury situation may be uncertain until game day. While Williams said he hopes to practice today, his ankle injury could preclude his activity and Bailey - who has a hamstring injury - may not try to run fully until Sunday. "We'll have to see on both of them," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "We still have some time." Denver's healthy cornerbacks are Lenny Walls and rookies Domonique Foxworth and Karl Paymah. Walls and Foxworth will likely play extensively even if Bailey and Williams play.

Rise and shine - Rocky Mountain News - Clay Latimer
September 30, 2005 - He has thought about it on the practice field. He has thought about while watching game tapes. He has thought about it in the locker room, in the weight room, at home. But actually doing it? That was a completely different story for Byron Leftwich as he crouched behind center Sunday at Giants Stadium, where the Jacksonville Jaguars faced third down in overtime against the New York Jets. With everything on the line and their options narrowing, some quarterbacks break down and lose their way; others break through with a clutch play.

Shanahan also is Captain Hook - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 30, 2005 - It is the place everybody knows the way to, but nobody wants to go. A place often simply referred to as "upstairs" or "down the hall." It is where decisions get made, where the depth gets put onto the chart, where it is decided who plays and who doesn't. "And here, Mike Shanahan's the boss," Broncos receiver Rod Smith said. "I tell young guys all the time, 'Mike's going to tell you, man. You're not going to be confused about where he comes down on things. He's going to look at you and tell you. He might even tell you in front of everybody else."

Despite demotion, Walls vows to fight - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 30, 2005 - There are worse things than losing a job. Losing a family member to senseless violence, for one. Lenny Walls, benched last week but back in the Denver Broncos secondary after Champ Bailey's left hamstring injury, has soothed himself with such thoughts in the past week or so. He related the story of his cousin Freddie Johnson, known as "Country," who was gunned down off Turk Street in Fillmore, Calif., during Walls' freshman year in college. Walls served as pallbearer at the funeral and played the same weekend. So if Walls now has to fight his way back into the lineup in the same season in which he was supposed to secure his financial future in free agency, then he will plug through that, too.

Stepping to outside - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 30, 2005 - "Pick your poison," Reggie Hayward said this week. In in his four seasons with Denver, the Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end saw enough of the Broncos' bootlegs and rollouts set up by the team's strong running game. He knows the Broncos' mutually beneficial relationship between rush and pass creates difficult choices for defenses. Commit to attacking the zone-blocking scheme by slanting hard from the backside of the play and get caught moving the wrong way on a play-fake with quarterback Jake Plummer running across the formation the other way. Stay at home and possibly create a cutback lane for a Broncos runner.

Timing key to Jake's bootleg - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 30, 2005 — The bootleg. Reggie Hayward knows it's coming, but Jake Plummer will probably fool his former teammate on Sunday anyway when Denver plays at Jacksonville. How do defenses — like Kansas City on fourth-and-goal at the 1 — allow the quarterback to casually run around the end all alone on big plays? Plummer says it's as easy as Mike Anderson's 44-yard touchdown run earlier in the 30-10 victory over the Chiefs. Once the ground game is established, the defense has to focus on it and tends to forget about the mobile quarterback, if the timing is right.

Broncos set for battle of attrition - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 30, 2005 — On Dec. 26, 2004, the Jaguars blew it. Houston 21, Jacksonville 0. With a chance to seize control of a wild-card spot, Byron Leftwich and Co. were shut out at home after watching the Broncos handle their business on Christmas night at Tennessee. So in the final week of the regular season, despite Jacksonville's 13-6 victory over Oakland, Denver was able to clinch the AFC's final playoff seed with a 33-14 victory over Indianapolis' backups at Invesco Field. The Broncos (10-6) edged out the Jaguars (9-7), and the 7-6 loss at Alltel Stadium in Week 2 didn't end up haunting Mike Shanahan.

Broncos say they can handle the heat this time - Mercury News - Frank Schwab
Thu, Sep. 29, 2005 - When the Denver Broncos travel to Florida this time, they say the heat and humidity won't be a problem. On Sept. 11, the Broncos played at Miami and wilted in the heat. The temperature at kickoff was 89 degrees with 64percent humidity. Sunday's game at Jacksonville will be in the low 80s with heavy humidity, which the Broncos see as a relief. "It shouldn't be too bad," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. If the heat and humidity don't get to the Broncos, maybe the cross-country trip or short week after playing Monday night will. They certainly have their share of convenient excuses available if they lose to the Jaguars. The Broncos are 2-10 in Florida in franchise history, including a 30-10 loss at Miami in the opener. Shanahan said he wouldn't allow his team to use any of excuses that might be offered to them.

Williams, Bailey Sit Out Another Day - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Friday, September 30, 2005 - Champ Bailey wasn't expected to practice Thursday and didn't. Fellow first-string cornerback Darrent Williams was, but the afternoon session found the rookie out of uniform as the Broncos continued preparations for Sunday's game at Jacksonville. A day after Head Coach Mike Shanahan and Williams himself expressed optimism that his sprained right ankle would be improving enough to allow him to practice, Williams was reduced to watching practice in sweats. "He's still a little bit sore," Shanahan said. "(Head Athletic Trainer) Steve (Antonopulos) thinks he'll be able to go tomorrow, but we'll have to wait and see."

Rookies at the Ready - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Friday, September 30, 2005 - Karl Paymah knows his opportunity might arrive Sunday. But he can't assume that it will. "Right now, I'm just ready for everything," the rookie said, "because you never know what happens." As Champ Bailey and Darrent Williams have each missed two consecutive practices this week while grappling with hamstring and ankle injuries, respectively, the Broncos' cornerback depth was called into action. But with Roc Alexander also fighting a hamstring injury, the Broncos' entire compliment of healthy cornerbacks on the 53-man roster consists of Paymah, Domonique Foxworth and Lenny Walls.

Ian Gold Answers Your Questions - DenverBroncos.com
Friday, September 30, 2005 - Ian Gold is finally back in a Denver Broncos' uniform. The sixth-year linebacker spent most of the 2003 season with Denver on the injured reserve list after tearing the ACL in his right knee and last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was a 13-game starter with Tampa Bay, finishing the season with 120 tackles, including 70 solo shots. In his days with Denver, he earned a spot on the 2001 Pro Bowl team as a special teams player. In 2002, Gold made the move to starting linebacker and, unfortunately for opposing offenses, hasn't let up ever since. He posted a career-high 166 tackles (130 solo) as a 16-game starter with the Broncos in 2002 and ranked fifth among linebackers in the AFC with 6.5 sacks for 34 yards.

Flashback: Broncos-Jaguars, Dec. 27, 1997 - DenverBroncos.com
Thursday, September 29, 2005 – The Denver Broncos had waited nearly a year for a rematch. Eleven months and three weeks earlier, the Jacksonville Jaguars came into Denver for an AFC Divisional Playoff Game in January 1996 and spoiled the season with a 30-27 victory. Head Coach Mike Shanahan said the team was left for dead the following offseason. Hardly any national media showed up to cover the squad at the beginning of the 1997 campaign. That quickly changed as the Broncos put together a 12-4 regular season and hosted the same Jaguars in an AFC Wild Card Game in 1997. This time, the Broncos avoided the upset, trouncing Jacksonville 42-17 en route to Super Bowl XXXII and a World Championship.

Broncos try to get over Florida flops - Grand Junction Sentinel - Eddie Pells, AP
Thursday, September 29, 2005 – If it's not the heat, it's the humility. The ineptitude began in 1966, a 24-7 loss to Miami at the Orange Bowl that came before any of the current Denver Broncos were born. It has continued right through this month with a 34-10 loss at Dolphins Stadium in which the Broncos were ill-prepared for the weather, the long trip or their opponent. Denver's next trip to Florida comes Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Broncos are 2-10 in their 46-year history in the Sunshine State, a combined 0-9 at Miami and Jacksonville. "The hotter the better," Jaguars linebacker Mike Peterson said. "Two-and-10 doesn't sound right. I like two-and-11. That sounds better." In Denver's most recent Florida flop, the heat and humidity clearly played a factor.



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