Broncos Update Insider - Thursday, Sept. 14

It's not unusual for the Denver Broncos to be in the position they find themselves in this week, hoping for quarterback Jake Plummer to right himself. Read the latest on Plummer and the rest of the Broncos' personnel in today's edition of "Broncos Update Insider."

It's not unusual for the Denver Broncos to be in the position they find themselves in this week, hoping for quarterback Jake Plummer to right himself.

The Broncos have tried to break Plummer of the bad risk-taking habits he picked up in Arizona, but once in a while he'll have a relapse. Last week was one of those games.

Plummer had four turnovers in a season-opening loss at St. Louis, including three interceptions and a fumble. He forced a few passes, which led to the turnovers. Plummer has dealt with a few of those performances in his career.

"I've bounced back from worse games than that," Plummer said.

The other common thread to Plummer's week is that he has been criticized heavily. Plummer has never been overly popular with Denver fans as a whole. After the Week 1 debacle, radio talk shows were flooded with calls hoping that rookie Jay Cutler would get his chance sooner rather than later.

Plummer said he figures to get some grief from the fans if he doesn't have a fast start against Kansas City on Sunday.

"I'm sure I will," Plummer said. "I can't go tell the fans what to say or who to cheer for. If I could tell them anything, it's that I'm playing as hard as I can."

Broncos coach Mike Shanahan wasn't pleased with Plummer's performance against St. Louis. Plummer had a very good season last year, throwing only seven interceptions, but Shanahan said Plummer needs to keep working at minimizing his mistakes.

"Sometimes when the quarterback has been very successful like Jake has for a lot of games, obviously that's in your mind," Shanahan said. "You forget about not taking a chance, and you start taking chances."

Not only did Plummer have four turnovers, the passing game as a whole was anemic. Plummer had only 138 passing yards. He said he missed some big plays that were available.

"When we had a couple chances to make plays, I made bad plays," Plummer said. "Wash those away, learn from it and come back this week ready hopefully ready to make those plays."

Plummer admitted to all of his mistakes from the St. Louis game. He has taken the good and the bad so often he understands he can't get too frustrated with his play and let it affect him the rest of the season.

"As a quarterback, if you crawl in a hole and your teammates see that, they've got no respect for that guy," Plummer said. "That's something I've never done. I'll bounce back."

NOTES, QUOTES

--Tatum Bell is happy to have the starting tailback job for the Denver Broncos. But he realized pretty quickly that there's more responsibility with it.

"I just wanted to say I was No. 1, but now it's bigger than that," he said. "Coaches trust you and you got to really protect the quarterback and there's a whole lot more to it than just saying you're the starter."

--The Broncos were drubbed in their season opener last year and finished 13-3. They lost 18-10 in the season opener this year but can't take it for granted that they'll have a similar resurgence.

"You learn from history, that you can't fall into that trap that it's automatic that we were here and we finished 13-3," safety John Lynch said. "We came back and won in Week 2 because we took a good look at ourselves and cleaned things up. That's what we got to do."

--The home team has dominated in the Broncos-Chiefs series. The Broncos have yet to lose to Kansas City at Invesco Field at Mile High, which opened in 2001. The home team has won 10 of the last 11 meetings between the two teams.

--The Broncos will likely be without defensive end Courtney Brown, at least for this week. Brown is listed as doubtful. He had arthroscopic surgery on his knee in August, missed all preseason, and it isn't improving. The Broncos will evaluate him each week.

--Even though journeyman Damon Huard will replace quarterback Trent Green in the Chiefs' starting lineup, the Broncos are trying not to be overconfident for this week's game.

"He's mobile, athletic and very bright," defensive coordinator Larry Coyer said. "He's been around this league, and he knows what's going on out there."

BY THE NUMBERS: 10 -- The Broncos enter the season with a 10-game home winning streak. That is tied for the longest in the NFL with Seattle.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Unless we solve some of those mistakes with turnovers, we won't win many games." -- Broncos coach Mike Shanahan after his team had five turnovers and lost 18-10 in the season opener at St. Louis.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

The Broncos have decided a tailback committee is their best option. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan didn't use a committee for his first 10 seasons as Denver's head coach, but last year's tandem of Tatum Bell and Mike Anderson worked. So this year Shanahan has said he will start Tatum Bell, rotate series with Mike Bell, and if one back emerges as the hot hand during the game he'll stick with him. That setup should keep both backs fresh late into the year.

PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES

--WR David Kircus handled kickoff return duties for most of Sunday's game against St. Louis. Kircus got plenty of action on offense as well, working as Denver's third receiver.

--WR Brandon Marshall should play this week. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said he was concerned about Marshall's conditioning before last week's game. Marshall missed most of the preseason with a knee injury.

--OT George Foster had some problems with Rams DE Leonard Little. Foster struggled against top pass rushers last year. If Foster has a poor year, the Broncos might consider using veteran Adam Meadows at right tackle if Meadows is healthy.

--DE Patrick Chukwurah played a lot in passing situations. The Broncos think the former linebacker can help get a pass rush in their nickel defense.

--CB Karl Paymah got a few plays against St. Louis when Darrent Williams hurt his ankle. Paymah was a third-round pick this year, but he is stuck behind Williams and Domonique Foxworth on the depth chart. Paymah struggled in preseason.



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