01/25/2006 - Look at it this way. Take away the Lombardi Trophy, and what's the big deal about Detroit? By not making that 1,272-mile trip toward what the NFL is temporarily calling the Promised Land, the Broncos get to revisit the offseason, where the possibilities are endless. Let the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks have their two weeks of hype and Super Bowl XL. The Broncos have some dreaming to do. Imagine beginning their 2006 season with Rod Smith split out one way, Ashley Lelie running out wide the other way while a guy named Terrell Owens lines up in the slot. Question is, would this be a dream or a nightmare?
Kubiak leaves crater to fill - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
01/25/2006 - Obsessed with Super Bowl dreams, let's say the Broncos do something outrageous. Something crazy, like acquiring Terrell Owens, a receiver with the certifiable talent to push a team over the top or over the edge. Who will step in to keep quarterback Jake Plummer's sanity and prevent T.O. from becoming Excedrin headache No. 81 on your Denver roster? The man who kept the peace at Dove Valley is gone. Gary Kubiak has left the building. Gone home to Texas. Hired by Houston.
T.O. is welcome, with certain standards - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
01/25/2006 - How did coach Mike Shanahan react when he read three of his locker room leaders said they would accept wide receiver Terrell Owens as part of the 2006 Broncos? Well, it didn't ruin his breakfast. "I didn't have a problem with it," Shanahan said Tuesday.
"Almost" season just isn't good enough - Denver Post - Domonique Foxworth
01/25/2006 - And then there was none. Seemingly without warning, the 2005-06 season came to an end for the Broncos, and with it ended my status as an NFL rookie. As the final moments ticked off the game clock Sunday, the reality began to set in that the Pittsburgh Steelers would be going to Detroit as the AFC representatives in Super Bowl XL, and our chance to compete for the title of world champions was gone. From the first day of training camp, we all fully expected to play on the biggest stage in sports, the Super Bowl, and we were constantly striving to reach that goal.
Cupboard isn't bare - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
January 25, 2006 - The door might be slamming on Gary Kubiak's career as Denver Broncos offensive coordinator, but the window of opportunity for the group he's leaving behind remains wide open. That was Kubiak's assessment in his first extensive comments about the Broncos offense since it became known he is expected to become coach of the Houston Texans. "I think it's got a lot more runs in it," Kubiak said Tuesday, two days before he's expected to be introduced by the Texans. "I've never been around a classier group of players, and I'm speaking from my perspective from my room and my side of the ball. Guys like Tommy Nalen and Rod Smith and Matt Lepsis have a lot of good football left in them. And they'll be right back many times.
Shanahan doesn't stick out neck this time - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
January 25, 2006 - One year ago, Mike Shanahan's season-ending news conference included a proclamation the Denver Broncos were close to a championship team. It raised eyebrows, especially after a second consecutive blowout loss in the wild-card round of the playoffs. "I was in denial at the time," Shanahan joked Tuesday. "I read the quote the next day and thought I might be pushing it a little bit." Shanahan nearly was proven right in the final analysis. "We did some amazing things this year," he said. The Broncos reached the AFC Championship Game, though the few players he maintained were needed last January turned into a couple of handfuls by the time the 2005 season started. There were no such bold statements Tuesday in assessing the team that now is in the off-season.
Shanahan starts planning - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
January 25, 2006 — Mike Shanahan may still have been in shock during last year's season-ending press conference when he stated that the Broncos were a player or two away from competing for a Super Bowl. Denver had just lost 49-24 at Indianapolis after sneaking into the AFC's postseason field as a wild card, and Shanahan was under intense scrutiny from the outside after failing to win a division title or a single playoff game for the sixth consecutive season. "I was in denial at that time," Shanahan said with a smile while putting a wrap on the 2005 season Tuesday at Dove Valley. "I read the quote the next day and I thought I might've been pushing a little bit."
Smith, Lelie in need of support - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
January 25, 2006 — Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie could use some help. How about from a first-round pick and a second-round pick? The Broncos have already acquired that kind of help. Now it will be up to David Terrell and Darius Watts — who combined for two catches and 23 inactive games in 2005 — to live up to their draft status and catch Mike Shanahan's eye during minicamps and training camp. The head coach didn't want to talk about Terrell Owens on Tuesday during a season-ending press conference and Charlie Adams and Todd Devoe contributed on special teams and avoided injury to stay ahead of Terrell and Watts on the depth chart throughout the season.
Mum's The Word - Denver Broncos.com - J. Michael Moore
Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - Broncos Head Coach Mike Shanahan is a stickler for rules, his own and those imposed by the NFL. That's why he was careful in choosing his words when questions concerning Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens came up at his year-end press conference Tuesday afternoon. Shanahan is prohibited from commenting on Owens because he is under contract with the Eagles. The receiver was benched and de-activated for the final nine games of the regular season. The five-time Pro Bowler made national news last preseason during a contract dispute and was sent home from training camp by Eagles head coach Andy Reid. He was dismissed by the team later in the season for conduct detrimental to the team.
Moving On - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - By the time Head Coach Mike Shanahan stepped onto the podium for his season-ending press conference Tuesday, some 45 hours had passed since his team's season had ended with a 34-17 AFC Championship loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The pain of the defeat had yet to dull. "The hangover will last a long time," Shanahan said. "Any time you play in a championship game you know what an opportunity it is, and if you don't take advantage of it, it hurts." But even the worst of hangovers doesn't last forever. The football version of two tablets of asprin and a glass of water is the cyclical nature of the sport itself, because the 2006 season is already under way, for all intents and purposes. The team's scouts are at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., evaluating players. The National Scouting Combine is just four weeks away, commencing on Feb. 22. Free agency begins a week later. Between now and the beginning of March, Shanahan and his coaching staff have a pair of primary tasks -- both of which have value in free agency. The first is to evaluate their team, poring over a season's worth of game tape in exacting detail.
Moving On - Longmont Daily Times-Call - Pat Graham
1/24/2006 — Time is supposed to heal all wounds. But for this particular wound, 24 hours wasn't enough time. The Denver Broncos were still aching after the team's 34-17 loss to Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday. They were supposed to come in for practice Monday morning. Instead, there were boxes of trash can liners on the tables so they could empty out and tidy up their lockers. "I was planning to work this week and then go to Detroit," Denver center Tom Nalen said. "It's a disappointment, but it's a stepping stone to next season. This is something to build on." Don't change a thing. That would be Nalen's advice to upper management — more specifically, coach Mike Shanahan. The team was close to getting to Super Bowl XL with this cast of characters, and no drastic overhauls are needed.
Broncos can already begin work on '06 - Pueblo Chieftain- Tom Purfield
1/24/2006 — It has been less than 48 hours since the high hopes of the Denver Broncos' faithful were crushed like the thousands of Bud Light cans drained on Sunday. The Pittsburgh Steelers throttled the Broncos 34-17 in the AFC Championship game Sunday at Invesco Field at Mile High, bringing a swift and painful end to the most promising season since the retirement of John Elway. As with any season that concludes with a loss, the posthumous analysis of what the heck went so horribly wrong will continue for some time. In this particular case, the conclusion is not so difficult to reach: The Broncos received a thorough butt-whoopin' in just about every aspect of the game.
Shanahan the VP let down Shanahan the coach - Mercury News - Milo F. Bryant
Tue, Jan. 24, 2006 - Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan did an outstanding job during the 13-3 regular season and in making it to the AFC Championship Game. Shanahan took a team with an extremely good defense and an efficient offense and played in the conference's title game. That's good coaching. Shanahan took an unmanageable quarterback in Jake Plummer and made him manageable enough to go the Pro Bowl. That's great coaching. Coach Shanahan couldn't have done more. Now, Shanahan, the Broncos' executive vice president of football operations, that Shanahan failed coach Shanahan. "I don't like the VP aspect at all, and that's why so much of my responsibility, (what) I get credit for, sometimes is done by the other guys," Shanahan said Tuesday. "I don't enjoy negotiating contracts or looking at the salary cap, I enjoy coaching."
School Board To Investigate Broncos Jersey Debacle - KDKA.com - AP
Jan 25, 2006 - BEAVER FALLS The Big Beaver Falls Area School board says it wants to find out more about what happened to a student who claims a teacher ridiculed him during a midterm exam for wearing a Denver Broncos jersey. Joshua Vannoy, a 17-year-old junior at Beaver Falls High School, says he was so shocked by his teacher's actions that he couldn't finish the test in his ethnicity class. The teacher hasn't commented to The Associated Press, but has said he singled out Vannoy in good fun as an object lesson on discrimination – which is one of the purposes of the class. Vannoy says he was told to sit on the floor to take the test last Friday -- two days before the Broncos lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game. Vannoy also says his teacher made other students throw wadded up paper at him.
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