Denver Broncos News Blogs - Thursday, Sept. 7

Defensive end Courtney Brown is listed as questionable, but continued practice on Thursday. Check out all the latest stories about the Denver Broncos in today's news reports.

Front four taking shape - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
09/07/2006 - That Broncos defensive line everyone has been so concerned about? The team just wants to see it. Heading into the regular-season opener, Denver's defensive line - the most questioned unit on a team with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations - wasn't able to play a snap of a game together in the preseason. However, with the opener at St. Louis coming Sunday, the Broncos hope to unveil their front four.

Shanahan still not tipping his hand - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 7, 2006 - Mike Bell isn't sure he'll be starting in the Broncos backfield Sunday in the opener. If he is, the undrafted rookie is fairly certain he knows what the St. Louis Rams defenders will be thinking when they cast their attention in his direction in his NFL debut Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome. "That I'm young, inexperienced and everything's going to be 100 miles per hour and I'm not going to know what I'm doing," Bell said Wednesday. "Some of it's true. Some of it's not true." The Broncos' choice to delay a public decision on the No. 1 back - as well as withholding the information from the three candidates, who don't expect to know their fates until the weekend - seems to be directly related to the team's interpretation of what's fact and fiction.

With Sauerbrun suspended, Ernster gets a shot - Rocky Mountain News - Arnie Stapleton
September 7, 2006 — Punter Todd Sauerbrun isn't allowed anywhere near the Denver Broncos for the next month while he serves his suspension for using the banned dietary supplement ephedra, so he's working out at a high school football field while his teammates toil across town. His replacement for the first four games is second-year pro Paul Ernster, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament and some cartilage in his kicking leg last year. Ernster beat out former Broncos punter Micah Knorr in training camp by averaging 38.7 net yards on seven punts and placing four of them inside the 20.

Broncos out to prove receiver Walker will be the difference - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 7, 2006 - Every year in every NFL outpost, the box gets shaken. Shaken and stirred. The pieces cascade out, falling here and there. Some stay, some go. Some fit, some do not. "Because you're either getting better or getting worse," is how Steelers coach Bill Cowher described it. "You never stay the same. You can't. Sometimes you don't have to change much, but it's important how you do it." So here are the Broncos, standing on the doorstep of the '06 season. In the rearview, they have an AFC West title from last season and one of the more disappointing losses in the franchise's history, in the AFC Championship Game, staring back at them. But the powers that be liked that team; they liked how it was put together, how things fit on and off the field. They liked it so much that when the Broncos looked at all of the pieces this offseason, most stayed.

Smith's eyes remain fixed on success - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 7, 2006 - In those gifted hands already are the Broncos franchise records for catches, touchdown receptions, receiving yards and total touchdowns. In his heart is the desire for more. And in his voice is a Super Bowl hopeful's siren song, kind of like The Pied Piper of getting it done. "I don't have to scold anyone; nobody really has to scold anyone," Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer said. "We let Rod do it. Like a parent." It never has been confirmed, but if Smith felt like Broncos owner Pat Bowlen wasn't pulling hard enough on an oar to keep the Broncos' ship moving, would he . . . ?

D.J. Williams aims for strong suit - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 7, 2006 - It all was a ruse. D.J. Williams on the strong side. Ian Gold at weak side. That's how the Broncos listed their outside linebackers in 2005. It was supposed to represent a shift in philosophy, for Williams particularly, given he had played the open- side spot the previous year during a season in which he was third in voting for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. The only problem was, for the most part, those weren't the roles of the two players. "Everybody thought I did, but I never swapped," Williams said. Said defensive coordinator Larry Coyer: "We didn't really change anything but wording, that's all."

Cutler is taking the strong arm approach - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 7, 2006 - Broncos quarterbacks coach Pat McPherson recalled his first thought after popping in the highlight tape of Jay Cutler during the team's predraft evaluations in February. "He's got a hose," McPherson said with a laugh, referring to the rookie's strong arm. While lesser passing prospects tend to use their whole bodies, punctuating their throwing motion with their back leg jerking forward and straining themselves to produce velocity, Cutler seemed at ease when McPherson studied him. The QB twisted his lower torso and the ball just exploded out of his hand. Now that Denver has taken Cutler with the 11th pick in the draft and is trying to mold him into its future franchise signal-caller, one of the primary goals in his early development has been, in some respects, reining in that arm.

Plummer looking for more big plays from receiver corps - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 7, 2006 - Jake Plummer's vision for the upcoming season extends directly downfield. The Broncos quarterback envisions more than the seven pass plays of 40 or more yards the team managed last season. "There's going to be some opportunities for big plays," he said during training camp. "You can't cover all these guys and respect our run game without one time or another letting someone deep. And that's what we're practicing on. Our defense doesn't give up many big plays, and when you see us getting them on them in practice, you know they're going to come during the year." That doesn't mean the Broncos suddenly will be chucking the ball all over the field. Those chances will have to occur organically from play-action out of their strong rushing attack.

Broncos' Smith closing in on 800 career catches - Kansas City Star - Pat Graham
Thu, Sep. 07, 2006 - Denver Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith quickly doused any discussion about the fact he's three catches away from 800 for his career. "I'm not worried about it," Smith said Thursday. "I'll worry about it when my career is over. "I like wins. I want the stat for the most wins as a receiver, that's what I want. That's more important to me than anything." With three more catches, though, Smith can become the 15th player in NFL history to reach the 800-catch milestone and the first undrafted player to do so. Smith is already the undisputed receptions leader among undrafted players. The former Division II Missouri Southern University star has 797 catches, which is 217 ahead of Wayne Chrebet (1995-2005).

Practicing and Waiting - - Andrew Mason
Thursday, September 7, 2006 - Tens of thousands of fantasy-football players, hordes of Broncos fans and those connected to the St. Louis Rams all want to know who the Broncos' starting running back at St. Louis will be. And, all those collective multitudes are joined in their lack of knowledge by the prospective first-string backs themselves -- as well as their head coach. "I just really don't know at this time," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "I'm not trying to be coy." Mike Bell, Tatum Bell and Cedric Cobbs understood. All they expected to know about their Sunday status was that they wouldn't know until the actual game approached. "He told us at the beginning of the week it was going to be like this, so it isn't a surprise," Tatum Bell said. "We already know where we stand."

Plummer reaches road rage plea - Denver Post - Mike Klis and Carlos Illescas
09/06/2006 - Provided Jake Plummer can behave the next nine months, his case of rage will end in a peaceful dismissal. The Broncos' quarterback reached a plea agreement today, according to his attorney, Harvey Steinberg. Under the plea, Plummer did not have to issue an admission of guilt while his case trial was given a nine-month continuance, according to Steinberg. If Plummer avoids infraction for the next nine months, Steinberg said all charges will be dismissed.

Broncos 2006: Denver seeking atonement - - Arnie Stapleton
Wed Sep 6 - Safety John Lynch had a good feeling about this season when the Denver Broncos gathered for the first time since their fantastic flop in the AFC title game at Invesco Field. On a brilliant blue March morning, Lynch looked around the locker room and almost everybody was there for the start of the team's offseason workout regimen. "That was an awesome sight," Lynch said. "I think we got better as a team just by our personnel and by the way we went about our work." The Broncos simply couldn't wait to get started on 2006 following their disheartening loss to Pittsburgh in the conference championship.

Longshots ready for prime time - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
09/05/2006 - In the past year, Chad Mustard went to math class in Nebraska while Erik Pears went to Europe. Both will go to St. Louis as the Broncos begin the season Sunday against the Rams. Of the 53 men on the Broncos roster, Mustard's and Pears' recent journeys stand out. Mustard was a surprise addition to the roster, less than year after he was a substitute math and science teacher in Millard, Neb. Pears, who went to Denver's Kennedy High School and then Colorado State, won all-NFL Europe honors while playing for the Cologne Centurions this offseason.

Adams earns spot after years of trying - Denver Post - Mike Klis
09/06/2006 - No matter how much they try, the Broncos can't get rid of Charlie Adams. Every season, it seems, he's teetering on the 53-man roster ledge, never more so than this year. The Broncos cut him once four years ago, only to have him show up in their locker room day after day after day. They tried trading him away to the Dallas Cowboys this year, only to have him return once again. "I'm like a weed," Adams said. He keeps coming back.

Broncos fans keep sellout streak strong 36 years - and counting - Denver Post - Mike Klis
09/05/2006 - Long before Elway, long before Morton, before Charley Johnson, just before the Broncos joined the NFL, even, Denver played a home game before a nonsellout crowd. It was Dec. 14, 1969, and a quarterback named Pete Liske led the Broncos past the Cincinnati Bengals 27-16 in an AFL game before a crowd of 42,198 at old Mile High Stadium. Since then, the Broncos have played 292 consecutive home games, including playoffs, before sellout crowds, a streak that has lasted 36 years, the past five at Invesco Field at Mile High. Only the Washington Redskins have a longer sellout streak, at 320 games.

Calling the same signals - Denver Post - Mike Klis
09/06/2006 - The gunslinger not only has arrived in this dusty old cowtown, he has shown a real good aim from long distance. Jay Cutler is going to be something, all right, and the man he will replace one day knows it. Jake Plummer, the Broncos quarterback since as far back as four years ago, says all the right things about the kid, does all the right things, and that has drawn the admiration of many. More important, Plummer has performed as if he doesn't give a hoot who's lurking from behind. The kid may be good, but Plummer's reaction has been to step inside the first-team huddle and prove he remains the best man to lead the 2006 Broncos.

Lessons from the very best - Denver Post - Mike Klis
09/05/2006 - Like all Broncos kid receivers in recent years, Brandon Marshall can refer to Rod Smith as his mentor. "I call him Coach," Marshall said. Coach works, too. But the rookie from Central Florida is different from previous Broncos receivers who deferred to Smith. Marshall has gone even higher for his pass-catching education, at least according to the NFL all-time receptions list. Since Marshall was 10 years old, he has known George Carter, older brother of Cris Carter. On the all-time list, Cris Carter is second with 1,101 receptions. Smith begins the season ranked 15th on that list with 797 catches - 65 behind seventh-place Jimmy Smith.

Kuper fits Broncos' mold of linemen - Denver Post - Mike Klis
09/05/2006 - There are rules offensive linemen must abide by if they want to block for the Broncos. Rule No. 1: No blocking for a long time. The wait must be at least a year. George Foster, the Broncos' starting right tackle, was a first-round draft pick in 2003, selected 20th overall. For his rookie year, Foster was inactive for the first 15 games of the 16-game season. And he didn't start in the finale, a meaningless game against Green Bay. Left guard Ben Hamilton was a fourth-round pick. He was inactive for all 16 games as a rookie in 2001, then had to prove himself in NFL Europe before he got his chance with the Broncos in 2002. Tom Nalen, the starting center, was the 218th selection of a 222-player draft in 1994. He was cut as a rookie and waived onto the practice squad before becoming a 12-year starter.

From a dream to real thing - Denver Post - Mike Klis
09/05/2006 - All kids dream, and Mike Bell was no exception. He had signed an NFL contract, been given a Broncos uniform and Bell couldn't help but think maybe, just maybe, he eventually could run to glory. Then again, every time Bell's mind would wander, he'd catch himself. After Draft Day and Draft Day II, Bell was fighting to keep reality from overpowering fantasy. It wasn't easy. Bell had been ignored in rounds 1 through 7, by teams 1 through 32. So when this spectacular experience in humility was followed a mere three months later by an announcement from coach Mike Shanahan that Bell would be his No. 1 running back - not as a possibility for the future, but as a certainty for the present - the undrafted rookie was just as surprised as Ron Dayne and Tatum Bell, the more proven backs he had surpassed.

Scheffler arrives in passing land - Denver Post - Mike Klis
09/06/2006 - If all goes as the Broncos plan this season, Tony Scheffler will exceed Stephen Alexander in nearly every prominent statistical category. Scheffler will have caught more passes, scored more touchdowns, attained more glory. So how come Scheffler begins this season wishing he could be more like Alexander? "To be this guy that's labeled as a specialist or a third-down guy, it's something that gets old," Scheffler said. "As time goes on and I get more experience and all the great coaching they have going on here and the great strength program, that's my ultimate goal - to become a true tight end."

Scheffler arrives in passing land - Denver Post - Mike Klis
09/05/2006 - There are many ways to divide an NFL locker room. Offense and defense. Kickers and linemen. Today and tomorrow. Today and tomorrow? On the Broncos' defensive line, there are veterans such as Kenard Lang. The longer a man plays in this league, the more he worries only about today. Then there is a rookie named Elvis Dumervil. Having set all kinds of college records last year by recording 20 sacks and forcing 10 fumbles at Louisville, Dumervil is a Bronco who figures to have many, many tomorrows. "I've only got a couple years left, I'm going to be honest," Lang said. "Elvis is stepping in the door. I'm not walking out the door, but I can see outside, know what I mean? The main thing is helping him become a better football player, a better professional as far as study habits, doing the little things on the field."

Surprise survivors for Broncos - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
By Jeff Legwold, Rocky Mountain News September 6, 2006 - Uncertainty, thy name is Bronco. Maybe persistence, too, with a little luck tossed in, mixed with some good timing. Yes, it's all there in the Broncos locker room these days, carried in by some unexpected names in the roster shakedown. "It's definitely the wildest ride I've had in my career," receiver Charlie Adams said. "What can you do? All you can do is show up every day and try to make the best of each situation. Mine is a little odd, but I got through it. Things happen, you know."

Wednesday Notebook: Preparing for the Opener - - J. Michael Moore
Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - With a game at St. Louis Sunday the Broncos will face a rookie head coach in the season opener for the second straight year. Last season Denver faced off against Nick Saban in his first year with the Dolphins. Rams head coach Scott Linehan is in his first season as the Rams head coach. Linehan, coincidently, was the Dolphins offensive coordinator in 2005. The presence of new head coaches creates an interesting dilemma for NFL teams who rely on game film to determine tendencies and formulate game plans. In the case of Linehan, the Broncos have nothing but preseason footage to find out how he behaves as a head coach. Head Coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday that preparing for such a game takes some extra homework, but isn't necessarily more difficult.

Preview: Broncos at Rams -
Wed, Sep 6, 2006 - A fantastic 2005 regular season for the Denver Broncos was tempered by a bitter defeat in the AFC championship game, leaving the club wanting more. Considered a top Super Bowl contender, the Broncos begin this season by visiting the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. Oddsmakers have St. Louis listed as a 3 1/2-point home underdog. The total is set at 46. Thanks to a career year from quarterback Jake Plummer, Denver went 13-3 last season and won the AFC West title for the first time since 1998. Long considered turnover-prone, Plummer made his first Pro Bowl by throwing 18 touchdowns and a career low-tying seven interceptions.

Dayne happy to join Kubiak in Houston - Rocky Mountain News - Kristie Rieken, Associated Press
September 5, 2006 - HOUSTON — The Houston Texans figured out a way to field a Heisman Trophy running back after all. And while Ron Dayne doesn't exactly command the hype of say, Reggie Bush, he's excited that his next chance in the NFL means a reunion with Gary Kubiak, Dayne's offensive coordinator when the two were in Denver. Of course, now that Kubiak is running the show in Houston, their friendly relationship might be a little different. "He's down to earth. Real calm and a great guy," Dayne said Tuesday, the first day he practiced with the Texans. "I like him more as a friend, too. That's kind of how I looked at him in Denver. He was the offensive coordinator, so we always tried to make jokes and mess with him. Now that he's the head coach, it might be a little tougher."

Broncos fans ranked eighth in support - Denver Business Journal
09/04/2006 - The Denver Broncos have fallen to No. 8 in a ranking of which NFL teams have the most fan support. The ranking was compiled by American City Business Journals, parent company of the Denver Business Journal. The study set out to identify the NFL's best fans. Not the ones who turn out in strong numbers for a winning team, but the ones who stay loyal even if their team is losing, the weather is frightful or their local market is small.

Texans see something in Dayne - Pueblo Chieftain - Arnie Stapleton, AP
09/04/2006 - The Denver Broncos are optimistic they'll have their defensive front four on the field Sunday at St. Louis after having to play their entire preseason without linemen Courtney Brown and Gerard Warren Brown (knee) joined Warren (toe) on the practice field Monday. Coach Mike Shanahan indicated that health and not the artificial surface will help him determine whether to play Brown against the Rams. "We'll find out during the week how he's doing. If he's ready to play, he'll play. If not, he'll play when he's ready," Shanahan said.

Plummer road-rage case going to trial - Denver Post
09/05/2006 - Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer's attorneys and Englewood prosecutors could not reach an agreement on his misdemeanor road rage case on Tuesday and the case will go to trial, his attorney says. Plummer previously pleaded not guilty to intent to "injure or destroy property" linked to an altercation on April 20 in which he allegedly kicked a headlight on a pickup truck and then backed up into the truck.

Williams plans on many happy returns - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 5, 2006 - The road locale of the Broncos season opener isn't the only item that may seem slightly foreign to cornerback Darrent Williams on Sunday. Williams was given the preseason off on punt returns, and coupled with a groin injury and a lack of opportunities late last season, it means he hasn't actually had a return in that role since Dec. 4. Williams said he wanted to get back up to speed last month but agreed with the decision to keep him out in order to ensure he was healthy for the games that count. Besides, he added, "I've been doing it since, like, eighth grade, so it's kind of natural, really."

Broncos have bad memories from last St. Louis trip - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 5, 2006 - As far as memories go, these didn't make the old orange-covered scrapbook. But the last time the Broncos ventured into St. Louis to face the Rams in a season opener, Denver came out at the wrong end of the vapor trail. When the teams were done with each other on that September night in 2000, they had piled up 77 points on 10 touchdowns, 937 yards worth of offense and left two defenses reeling as football America had looked in on the Monday Night Football battle. "It was a wild game," Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said. "I remember it as a disappointment, though, because we had some chances and we lost. . . . I just remember feeling like we had done so much and we still lost the game. We didn't play any defense in that game," Broncos linebacker Al Wilson said. "Neither team did. No defense at all."

Marshall ready for game day - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
09/04/2006 - In training camp, the Broncos' new-look, three-receiver set of Rod Smith, Javon Walker and rookie Brandon Marshall was ready to be unleashed. In the preseason, it never developed because of injuries. The trio will be healthy when the Broncos open their season Sunday against the Rams in St. Louis, but Marshall isn't taking anything for granted. "As far as I know, I am going to be the No. 5 or No. 6 receiver," said Marshall, who had a three- week layoff because of a knee injury. "I'm just a guy with one preseason catch. I haven't done anything yet. I want to and hope to, but I have to start doing it." Marshall and fellow backups David Kircus, Todd Devoe and Charlie Adams are vying for playing time. Marshall, a fourth- round draft pick from Central Florida, shined when healthy in camp. He was injured in the preseason opener Aug. 11 at Detroit.

Broncos' top tailback top secret for opener - Denver Post - Mike Klis
09/04/2006 - Mike Bell, Tatum Bell and Cedric Cobbs have been lined up behind a shroud of secrecy. Presumably the trio assembled in that order, but in no way were any Broncos, from coach Mike Shanahan to each running back, confirming their exact placement. "For this game, I won't give away which back will start for tactical reasons," Shanahan said. "Now after this game, it'll be different." For the season opener Sunday against the St. Louis Rams in the Edward Jones Dome, the best guess is Mike Bell will start, Tatum Bell will rotate in by the second or third series, and Cobbs will have to wait until the game develops.

Texans see something in Dayne - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
09/03/2006 - It turns out Ron Dayne will be playing in the Broncos' offense this season after all. One day after being cut by Denver, the former Heisman Trophy winner agreed to terms Sunday with the Houston Texans. The one-year deal, which includes incentives, is expected to be announced today. Dayne might practice today in Houston and play in the Texans' season opener Sunday against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles. The Texans hope he will help them in short-yardage situations after the team lost Domanick Davis for the season. "If Ron isn't in Denver, that's the next closest offense," one of his agents, Karim Lawrence, said Sunday night. "He's going to Denver South."

Ernster eagerly awaits opener - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
09/03/2006 - When the Broncos found out Todd Sauerbrun wouldn't be with the team for the first four games of the season, they immediately searched for a veteran to hold down the punting and kickoff chores. Paul Ernster was on the roster, but the Broncos wanted veteran insurance. So they signed Micah Knorr. In an impressive training camp battle, Ernster beat out Knorr in both punting and kickoffs. So when the Broncos formed their 53-man roster Saturday, Knorr was cut and Ernster, a seventh-round pick in the 2005 draft, remained. "I feel like I'm close to clicking on all cylinders," Ernster said. "I had a good preseason, and now it's time to go out and perform in the regular season. I feel great that I made the team. But now I still have to go out and earn it every week."

Shanahan being coy about his starting running back - Rocky Mountain News
September 4, 2006 - Mike Shanahan wasted no time declaring undrafted rookie Mike Bell his top tailback early in training camp. He's being more coy about naming his starter for the Denver Broncos' opener at St. Louis on Sunday. "You'll have to show up to that game, as we talked about before," Shanahan said Monday. "Good try, though." It's not that Bell did anything to lose his status as the starter. It's just that Tatum Bell responded so well to the snub that he put his name back in the mix to be the Broncos' next workhorse running back.

Walker knows why he's a catch - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 4, 2006 - Opportunity is now knocking. And Javon Walker says it's loud enough for all of the Broncos wide receivers to hear. "The big plays, going across the middle, catching the balls I used to catch in Green Bay, that's what I want," Walker said. "Just give Jake (Plummer) the confidence of throwing the ball up and that if I don't come down with it, no one else will. Just take my game to another level. Because in this offense, that's where the big plays are going to be." With the preliminaries finally over, the Broncos get down to the business of their 2006 season in earnest today as they head toward the regular-season opener Sunday in St. Louis. And talk to defensive coordinators around the league, and at least one thing the Broncos are poised to do better this year than they did in '05 is work the middle of the field in the passing game.

Back to Work - - Andrew Mason
Monday, September 4, 2006 - One by one, some key ingredients in the Broncos' 2006 recipe are arriving back in the mix. A week after defensive tackle Gerard Warren and wide receiver Brandon Marshall returned to practice following toe and posterior-cruciate-ligament injuries, respectively, the Broncos welcomed defensive end Courtney Brown back to the practice field Monday as they commenced on-field preparations for the regular-season opener at St. Louis. Brown's return to work, though, does not guarantee that he'll be on the field when the Broncos kick off against the Rams in six days. "We'll find out during the week how he's doing," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "If he's ready to go, he'll play, if not, we'll play him when he's ready."

Broncos have no shortage of skilled RBs - Colorado Springs Gazette - Frank Schwab
September 04, 2006 - Whoever Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan picks as his starting tailback shouldn't expect to get all the carries this season. After Denver's preseason finale, Shanahan praised Mike Bell, Tatum Bell and Cedric Cobbs, and indicated that they all deserve to play in the regular season. "Hopefully we can stay healthy, and if we stay healthy all three guys will play," Shanahan said. Mike Bell, a rookie, is the frontrunner to start. He started all four preseason games and led Denver in rushing yards in the final preseason game. Shanahan said he wanted to use that last game to evaluate all three tailbacks and pick a starter for Sunday's regular-season opener at St. Louis. There's a chance the Broncos will start the season using a tailback committee.

Texans pick from leftovers - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
09/03/2006 - It didn't take long for Houston to grab ex-Broncos. The team agreed to terms with running back Ron Dayne on Sunday and claimed cornerback Roc Alexander off waivers. Both Alexander and Dayne were released by Denver on Saturday. The Texans are coached by former Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. Houston's new general manager Rick Smith also came from Denver this offseason. Dayne was a mild surprise in being cut by the Broncos. He was the starting tailback at the beginning of training camp but he slid to No. 4 after a turf-toe injury. He is healthy and may start for the Texans because of an injury to Domanick Davis.

Practice Squad Set - - Andrew Mason
Sunday, September 3, 2006 - As the NFL's roster deadlines loomed, Brian Clark knew he'd done all he could to make a case for his place in professional football -- whatever it would turn out to be. He'd seen extensive time on kickoff returns in the Broncos' August warm-up games, leading the team with 23.3 yards per kickoff return while logging 10 of its 14 kickoff returns for the preseason. Only one other NFL player had more kickoff return yardage than Clark's final total of 233 yards, and Clark had shown not only an ability to scoot upfield in a hurry, but to absorb a crunching blow and pop right back up.

Power number: 53 - Denver Post - Mike Klis
09/03/2006 - Among the ways to evaluate a final roster is to first rummage through the players recently discarded. Unlike last season, the 2006 Broncos decided the likes of Bradlee Van Pelt, Ron Dayne, Darius Watts, David Terrell, Dwayne Carswell and Roc Alexander were unworthy of their 53-man roster. Those players were among the final cuts Saturday. Nor did the Broncos believe such stalwarts as Trevor Pryce, Mike Anderson and Jeb Putzier would help them get to the next level. They were dumped months ago, released to free agency before finding NFL employment elsewhere.

Reputation means little if released - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
09/03/2006 - Five weeks ago, Ron Dayne was the Broncos' starting tailback and expected to be a crucial veteran presence in the backfield. Last year, in training camp, Darius Watts was the Broncos' No. 3 receiver and considered a star of the future. Today they are former Broncos, two high-profile cuts as the team pared down to the mandatory 53-man roster Saturday. Friday, the Broncos began the proceedings by cutting two popular players: offensive lineman Dwayne Carswell, a 13-year veteran, and former Colorado State star Bradlee Van Pelt, who was Jake Plummer's backup at quarterback last season. Others cut included wide receiver David Terrell, running back Damien Nash and cornerback Roc Alexander, a product of Wasson High in Colorado Springs.

Van Pelt eagerly awaits second chance - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
09/03/2006 - Bradlee Van Pelt awakened Saturday and felt at peace. He didn't expect that feeling, hours after being cut by the Broncos. "It was almost a relief, a weight lifted from me," Van Pelt said Saturday. "I think, deep down, I knew I wasn't going to be successful here and it's time to go. I appreciate everything Denver and the Broncos have given me, but it's time to go." Van Pelt may get the opportunity to work again soon. It's expected that the Houston Texans will consider claiming him today. The Texans are coached by former Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.

Broncos Trim Roster to 53 - - Andrew Mason
Saturday, September 2, 2006 - The gray clouds, rapidly chilling temperatures and spits of rain from an ominous sky above seemed an apt metaphor for Dwayne Carswell as he pulled away from the Broncos' facility after receiving word that he would be among the players released by the club as it pared its roster down to 53 players. Carswell -- who played a dozen seasons with the Broncos -- spent the past nine months coming back from injuries suffered in an automobile accident while driving to the team's facility last October. The crash ended his season after seven games, but he was cleared to return to practice in time for organized team activities less than seven months later.

Watts, Dayne get their walking papers - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 2, 2006 - The Broncos continued to show how much they think of training camp as they trimmed their roster 53 players Saturday. Running back Ron Dayne, who started training camp on top of the depth chart, and wide receiver Darius Watts, who had opened as the No. 3 receiver, were both released. Rosters league-wide had to be at 53 players by 4 p.m. Saturday and the Broncos can sign an eight-player practice squad beginning on Sunday. The Broncos could also make a waiver claim or two, beginning Sunday at 10 a.m. (Mountain Time) if they see a player that interests them, much like when they claim wide receiver David Terrell last September after he had been released by the New England Patriots. However, for every player they claim they would have to make another roster move to make room.

Broncos tell popular Carswell, Van Pelt they will be released - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 2, 2006 - Make no mistake, the scrap for spots on the Broncos roster is not a popularity contest. All the proof anybody needs of that came out of the team's Dove Valley complex Friday as Dwayne Carswell and Bradlee Van_Pelt were told by the Broncos they would be released by today's 4 p.m. deadline. "It looks like we're looking for a new home," said Van Pelt's agent, Matt Brei. "(The Broncos) told Bradlee they were comfortable with two quarterbacks. Bradlee wanted to compete, but the writing has been on the wall since the draft, really, and Jay (Cutler) played well in the preseason. "We'll see where we go from here." Rosters leaguewide must be trimmed to 53 players by this afternoon and the Broncos can sign an eight-player practice squad beginning Sunday.

Brown still in doubt for Broncos' opener - Denver Post - Lee Rasizer
September 2, 2006 - Courtney Brown was back running Thursday night in pregame warm-ups. The question now is whether the defensive end is ready to race back into the Broncos starting lineup. Brown, who underwent arthroscopic left knee surgery Aug. 9, ending his preseason, isn't sure he'll be able be ready for the regular-season opener in St. Louis in eight days. His plan is to "hopefully" be incorporated into Broncos practices in the next few days, but when asked whether the odds are better than 50-50 he'll be able to play against the Rams, he was unable to muster a guess. "I don't know," he said. "I just know it's taking a little bit longer than I thought."

Broncos' Mike Bell overcomes his anxiety to make run at top spot - Rocky Mountain News - Clay Latimer
September 2, 2006 - It must have been a creepy feeling for Mike Bell to be in Tucson on the night of Nov. 12, 2002, knowing what was happening on the University of Arizona campus. With mutiny on their minds, more than 40 of his teammates were meeting secretly with school president Peter Likins to complain about Wildcats football coach John Mackovic, whose distant, abrasive style had divided the team and town. As midnight neared, there even was a rumor swirling through the desert the Wildcats might boycott their next game, the darkest turn yet in a tumultuous season.

Broncos to cut Van Pelt, Carswell - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
09/01/2006 - Bradlee Van Pelt, one of the most popular Colorado college players in recent history, has seen his time with the Broncos end. But it won't be a surprise if Van Pelt's Colorado connections help him land elsewhere. After Van Pelt is officially released by the Broncos on Saturday, he may be claimed by Houston, where former Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak is the Texans' coach. Van Pelt, a former Colorado State star quarterback, was told Friday he will be among the Broncos' 21 cuts Saturday, when the NFL requires teams to be down to the 53-player limit.

Cutler in unusual spot - Colorado Springs Gazette - Brian Gomez
September 02, 2006 - The end of the Denver Broncos' preseason Thursday marked the beginning of the waiting game for Jay Cutler. The presumed heir apparent to quarterback Jake Plummer anticipates he'll need plenty of patience. It has been five seasons since Cutler, the No. 11 pick in this year's NFL draft, has not been his team's starting quarterback. He redshirted as a true freshman at Vanderbilt in 2001, then became the school's all-time leading passer as starter the next four seasons. Plummer will be Denver's starting quarterback Sept. 10 in the season opener at St. Louis, and it's his job to lose. If Plummer stays healthy and resumes his 2005 form, Cutler probably won't start another game until next preseason.

Van Pelt among Broncos waived - Longmont Daily Times-Call - Bill Wilson
9/2/2006 — Bradlee Van Pelt's solid performance in the preseason finale wasn't enough to save his job. The Denver Broncos waived the third-string quarterback Friday, according to his agent Matt Brei. The move came less than 24 hours after Van Pelt conducted two touchdown drives in a come-from-behind win over Arizona. Cuts will not be official until today, when teams must trim rosters to the league maximum of 53 players. Van Pelt will have 24 hours to clear waivers before becoming a free agent. Denver will not reveal its final roster until this afternoon, but Van Pelt wasn't the only notable Bronco who had already received a pink slip. Tackle Dwayne Carswell, who has been with the team since 1994, also was waived Friday.

Broncos cut Carswell, Van Pelt - Pueblo Chieftan - Frank Schwab
Saturday September 02, 2006 - Offensive lineman Dwayne Carswell and quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt were informed they will be among the Denver Broncos cut today. Carswell, an offensive lineman who has been with the Broncos since 1994 and was returning from a major car accident last October, was called to coach Mike Shanahan's office on Friday afternoon and told he will be released. ‘‘It was very tough,'' Carswell said. ‘‘This is all I know, as far as professional football. I got a lot of memories and a lot of good friends and good coaches. I pretty much grew up here." Van Pelt was also informed he will be released today, according to his agent Matt Brei.

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