12/01/2005 - Everybody may call him Champ. Opponents perusing his stats would say he's an all-pro sandbagger. Strangely, incredibly, Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey is having the best and most frustrating season of his otherwise splendid seven-year NFL career. The worst of times: a hamstring injury that cost him the preseason, a dislocated shoulder in the regular-season opener and another hamstring strain that forced him to miss the first two games of his career and brought momentary embarrassment against Terrell Owens. The best of times: his career-high six interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns that were pivotal in the Broncos' two toughest victories. Wednesday, as he prepared for Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Bailey learned he was named AFC defensive player of the month.
Veterans set winning tone - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
12/01/2005 - The question for the Broncos since Ron Dayne ran them to a Thanksgiving victory at Dallas was how Dayne will fit in the rest of the season. How much he plays Sunday at Kansas City remains to be seen, but expect him to play. "I'm not sure if Ron will get 10 carries, 15 or get two, but when he does play, hopefully he plays at the level he did against Dallas," Denver coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday. Against the Cowboys, Dayne set up the winning field goal by Jason Elam with a 55-yard run on the second play of overtime. Dayne ran for 98 yards on seven carries. Starter Mike Anderson and backup Tatum Bell also will get carries against Kansas City. Bell's playing time could depend on his health. He missed the Dallas game because of a bruised chest. Bell practiced Wednesday and is listed as probable on the injury report. He said he definitely will play against the Chiefs.
Ground hogs on defense - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
December 1, 2005 - "Whew, baby." With those words Wednesday, Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Larry Coyer summed up his feelings about facing a Kansas City Chiefs running attack that will have 10-time Pro Bowl tackle Willie Roaf back in the lineup and a halfback making the most of solo duty. But the Chiefs just might be muttering similar colorful expressions about the unit that will try to slow them Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. Few teams have tested the Broncos on the ground this season, consistently having trailed them. But when the Dallas Cowboys finally employed a smash-mouth approach on Thanksgiving against the Broncos, they largely failed. Dallas rushed for 85 yards on 32 carries, the most attempts the Broncos have encountered since Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins. And by the time Week 12 was over, the Broncos had emerged as the league's top-ranked defense against the run.
Pressuring Green key for defense - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
December 1, 2005 - Round and round the Denver Broncos defense goes. Where it would like to stop, well, the guy with the ball in his hands is always a good start. "Any kind of defensive term for movement, apply it," Kansas City Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said. "They know what they're doing and it's tough to follow. . . . They knocked Trent down too many times the last time we played them." Trent would be Chiefs quarterback Trent Green, the same guy the Broncos defensive front will be chasing Sunday at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium. In the Broncos' 30-10 victory on Monday Night Football on Sept. 26, the Broncos sacked Green only twice but knocked him to the ground several more times as they jostled him throughout the game.
Recovered Bell is 'good to go' - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
December 1, 2005 - As is usually the case for Denver Broncos running backs, Tatum Bell doesn't know how many times he might carry the ball Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, but he says he is ready to get back in the lineup. Bell was held out of the Thanksgiving victory against the Dallas Cowboys because of a chest injury he suffered four days earlier against the New York Jets. "I don't know if I'm starting . . . ," Bell said. "But I'm looking forward to getting back on the field. I'm good to go." Bell, the team's second-leading rusher with 640 yards, was at practice Wednesday. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said the team would have a little more contact today to better gauge Bell's readiness. The second-year running back practiced some in the days before the Broncos' trip to Dallas, then was made inactive on game day. Ron Dayne played in his place, finishing with 98 yards on seven carries, including a 55-yard run in overtime to set up the winning field goal by Jason Elam.
Broncos playing in spotlight - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 1, 2005 — The Miami game. Remember that? Dolphins 34, Broncos 10. "I think at the start of the season, everybody saw that down in Miami and probably thought that we weren't going to be that good," Jake Plummer said. "But we kept together and now we are sitting here with a pretty good chance to keep getting better." Denver has won nine of its last 10 games since the eye-opener. Now that his team has gone from rock bottom to near the top of the AFC, Plummer is fielding questions during his Wednesday press conference from ESPN and Sports Illustrated. A 10-win season didn't seem realistic after the loss at Miami, but the Broncos can improve to 10-2 with a win against Kansas City on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
Johnson doesn't miss beat for Chiefs - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 1, 2005 — Priest Holmes will not play. It seems like something for which the Broncos should be grateful. After all, the fantasy football hero carved up their defense for 566 yards and eight touchdowns over his final five starts against them. Even after Denver's impressive opener last season against Kansas City at Invesco Field, defensive coordinator Larry Coyer felt ill looking at the tape of Holmes gashing his scheme for 151 yards and three touchdowns. The Chiefs' superstar was injured for the December rematch, giving a backup with an ordinary name a chance to make his first NFL start against the Broncos. Larry Johnson made the most of the opportunity with 151 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-17 victory. With Holmes on the injured reserve since Nov. 1, Johnson enters Sunday's game with four consecutive 100-yard performances and can tie Holmes' franchise record of five at Denver's expense.
Chiefs Notebook: Sims making progress - Kansas City Star
Thu, Dec. 01, 2005 - Ryan Sims took another step toward playing in Sunday's game against the Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. Sims took part in practice, and the Chiefs kept him afterward in pads to hit against some offensive linemen. "We'll do the same again (today) and then make a decision whether he'll be available Sunday," coach Dick Vermeil said. "He wants to play so bad he can taste it. I didn't see him favoring the foot in any way." Sims hasn't played since injuring the foot in the season opener against the Jets. Sims said he was preparing to play as many as 30 snaps against the Broncos and be as effective as he was on that balmy September afternoon against New York.
Broncos face a desperate Chiefs team on Sunday - Mercury News - Frank Schwab
Wed, Nov. 30, 2005 - Dick Vermeil still can't put his finger on what happened when his Kansas City Chiefs lost 30-10 to the Denver Broncos on Sept. 26. "Other than they just beat the hell out of us, I don't know what it was," the Chiefs coach joked. The Chiefs weren't rationalizing the loss by saying a few bad plays or calls went against them or the Broncos caught them on a bad day or any of the other cliches that are spouted after a lopsided loss. The Chiefs, who get their rematch against the Broncos on Sunday, were pretty realistic about what happened.
Broncos Second-Best to Colts - Again - Yahoo.com - Eddie Pells, AP
Wed Nov 30 - This season is shaping up as a special one for the Denver Broncos. Still, there is something disconcerting about that 9-2 record and Denver's postseason prospects. The elephant sitting in the middle of the Denver locker room — the subject everyone knows is there but very few want to deal with — is the undefeated Indianapolis Colts. You know, the Colts? The team that has plastered Denver in the playoffs the last two years by a combined score of 90-34. You know, Indianapolis? The city that coach Mike Shanahan said was imperative to avoid in the playoffs if Denver is ever going to get back to the Super Bowl. There they are, two games ahead and showing no signs of slowing. Barring a drastic change, and if form holds, all signs point to another rematch with the Colts in Indy.
Returner won't get free pass - Longmont Daily Times-Call - Pat Graham
11/30/2005 — Read into this what you will — the Denver Broncos are going to kick to Kansas City returner Dante Hall. It either shows a lot of moxie or extreme foolishness. Hall is the best in the business. Kicking to him is like messing with a rattlesnake; sooner or later you're going to get bit. Last year in Kansas City, Hall took the opening kickoff 96 yards for a score against Denver. Game over, just like that. Denver chose to kick to him, and it backfired. The Broncos ended up getting walloped, 45-17, as Hall paved the way. "He is the standard," Denver punt/kickoff returner Darrent Williams said. "He's extremely dangerous." Given Hall's recent history, though, Denver still doesn't plan on showing him any preferential treatment. The Broncos won't squib kick or pooch it high in the air. Even with special teams player extraordinaire Keith Burns on the shelf with an MCL injury, Denver won't shy away.
Bailey Paces Turnover Trend - Denver Broncos.com - Andrew Mason
Thursday, December 1, 2005 - Champ Bailey's selection as the AFC's defensive player of the month might have been officially considered an individual accomplishment, and with three interceptions -- including one returned for a touchdown -- and 20 tackles in the month, it would be hard to argue against his selection on purely individual merits. But consider that Bailey got the award primarily because he was the only player in the NFL to intercept a pass in each of his November games. Consider that the perennial Pro Bowler already established a career standard for interceptions with five games still remaining and participation in just nine of the Broncos' first 11 games. Consider that Bailey missed approximately half the game or more in three of the nine games in which he did play.
Nate Jackson's Journal: On the Road Again - Denver Broncos.com - Nate Jackson
Thursday, December 1, 2005 - People often get the impression that the life of an NFL athlete involves a whole lot of traveling. However, during the regular season, we spend a total of eight nights away from Denver for games. That's it. Only eight nights. But from the time we arrive at the airport to the time be return, it is a swift and snappy excursion.
Notebook: Bell Returns to Practice - Denver Broncos.com - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - If the Broncos' 24-21 win over the Dallas Cowboys had fallen on a Sunday as opposed to Thanksgiving Day, running back Tatum Bell might have been able to play. But had it not taken place so early and yielded a run of four rest days in five days, he might not have been healed enough to practice Wednesday. A chest injury incurred against the New York Jets on Nov. 20 forced Bell to sit out the Broncos' return to his native Metroplex. But that now means he's more likely to play Sunday at Kansas City.
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