Broncos Update Insider - Monday, Aug. 21

By suspending arguably his two best defensive players for a preseason game, Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan sent a message that nobody is above his rules. Check out the latest on Champ Bailey and Al Wilson and all the rest of the Denver Broncos in today's edition of Broncos Update Insider.

By suspending arguably his two best defensive players for a preseason game, Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan sent a message that nobody is above his rules.

Cornerback Champ Bailey and linebacker Al Wilson were suspended for Denver's second preseason game against Tennessee after missing team curfew the night before. Shanahan would not discuss the specifics of what happened the night before the game, only that the players were suspended.

"We've got rules and they go for everybody," Shanahan said.

Shanahan said there would be no more punishment for either player.

The players were surprised by the suspensions. Many of them didn't find out until during or after the game. They did get the message, however.

"Rules are rules and they apply to everybody," safety Nick Ferguson said. "Coach Shanahan runs a tight ship and he knows how to handle his team."

There wasn't much angst among the players towards Bailey or Wilson. Wide receiver Rod Smith was indifferent about the two players missing a preseason game.

"It ain't regular season, I don't care," Smith said. "Champ picks the ball off every day at practice and takes it back so I don't think he needs practice at that, and Al is doing what Al does.

"It'll be something we'll definitely talk about because no one is bigger than the team. They know that. Whatever the situation was, those guys don't do things like that. It's a matter of kind of what happened and we move forward."

The common theme from the players was they understood why the discipline was handed out. They also understood that Bailey and Wilson don't have a history of transgressions, and there isn't any reason to believe the situation will linger very long.

Bailey has been a Pro Bowl player and generally accepted as a good teammate and locker room presence. Wilson is one of the unquestioned leaders of the Broncos. He has been a team captain and sets the tone for the defense. Neither player was in Shanahan's doghouse before missing curfew.

"That's something they're going to have to deal with," quarterback Jake Plummer said. "Those are two guys we're going to count on. It's not an alarming thing and we don't need to worry too much about it anymore."

CAMP CALENDAR: The Broncos broke training camp on Aug. 18, before their second preseason game.

NOTES, QUOTES --Javon Walker didn't have one pass thrown his way against Tennessee, but that wasn't a big deal to him. It was Walker's first game since tearing his right ACL in Week 1 last season when he was with Green Bay. Walker said he had no physical issues against the Titans.

"It felt real good to get out there and play," Walker said.

--Rookie quarterback Jay Cutler's second game wasn't as good as his first, but he still made many plays. Cutler completed six of 12 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown to rookie tight end Tony Scheffler.

"I missed some throws," Cutler said. "I'm sure there's some little things I missed."

The Broncos don't want to use Cutler during the regular season, but Cutler's play in the preseason gives them a comfort level if Jake Plummer misses any time.

--The Broncos' starting defense had a strong second game. On Tennessee's first drive, linebacker D.J. Williams and tackle Demetrin Veal had sacks on back-to-back plays. Safety Nick Ferguson got an interception on Tennessee's second drive. The Titans got a field goal on their third drive and the Broncos pulled their starters.

Denver's starting offense scored three touchdowns on three drives, and the starters outscored Tennessee 21-3.

--Denver was pleased with its attendance at training camp this year. The Broncos set a record with 26,827 fans, the most since the team moved its training camp from Greeley to its Dove Valley headquarters in 2003. The previous record was 18,671 fans last year.

--Rookie receiver Brandon Marshall, who was competing to be Denver's third receiver, might miss the entire preseason with a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Broncos coach Mike Shanahan wasn't too concerned about Marshall falling behind in picking up the offense.

"He has a good feel for the system," Shanahan said.

--Defensive tackle Gerard Warren, who dislocated his big left toe early in training camp, had a walking boot removed last week. He said he is feeling good. The Broncos hope he returns by the season opener.

"It's going good," Warren said. "We're progressing."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He did well. I am not going to blow it out of proportion like you guys (the media) do. I am sure you all think he is John Elway or something." -- WR Rod Smith after rookie Jay Cutler's impressive debut against Detroit.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

The Broncos traded receiver Charlie Adams to Dallas for a sixth-round draft pick, but the trade was voided when Adams failed his physical. However, the trade shows that the Broncos are happy with their depth at receiver, even with Ashley Lelie holding out. Adams was Denver's third receiver last year, but slipped to ninth on the depth chart this year.

--FB Cecil Sapp can't shake a groin injury. He missed Denver's second preseason game and has missed many practices. Sapp began camp as the starter but could be losing ground to Kyle Johnson.

--DT Demetrin Veal had a pair of sacks against Tennessee. Veal is filling in for Gerard Warren, who is injured. He could help Denver's problems rushing the quarterback with the front four.

--WR David Kircus had a nice catch against Tennessee. He has a chance to beat out Darius Watts for the Broncos' third receiver spot.

--OT Dwayne Carswell has been working with the second-team offense. Carswell is coming off a major car accident that ended his season last year. He hasn't missed a practice this year.

--WR David Terrell returned punts and kickoffs in the first half of Denver's second preseason game. Terrell might need to contribute on special teams if he wants to make the final roster. The Broncos have a lot of depth at receiver.

INJURY REPORT: DE Courtney Brown is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. The Broncos are still hopeful he'll return for the regular-season opener, although it is on artificial turf at St. Louis and the Broncos might be careful with him.

--DT Gerard Warren is recovering well from a dislocated big toe. It appears he will be ready for the season opener.

--WR Brandon Marshall will miss another week or two with a knee injury. Because he's a rookie, it would be beneficial to play in the final preseason game, if possible.

--RB Ron Dayne has a turf toe injury. The injury has set Dayne back in the competition at tailback. He could return this week.

--DE Patrick Chukwurah has a sprained ankle. He should return this week.



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