Broncos Daily Update - 10/20/06

There goes the stadium threat for this Sunday's game in Cleveland, Kyle Johnson returns to practice and Rod Smith is ready to give blood....

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October 20, 2006
Well, so much for the NFL stadium threat. It seems some idiot in Milwaukee made the whole thing up with an equally brain-dead freak in Texas, as part of a contest to see who could post the scariest threat.

Ok, it may not be the scariest, but it's got my vote for stupidest. How twisted do you have to be to post a terrorist threat on the internet, involving the mass destruction of seven different NFL stadiums and expect to go unnoticed?

… Kyle Johnson participated in a portion of today's practice and will apparently be a game time decision this Sunday. Cedric Cobbs, another ankle victim, remains questionable.

… Rod Smith will be one of several Broncos on hand for the annual Bonfil's Blood Drive, held this Tuesday at Invesco Field. Head on down anytime from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm, drop a pint, grab a few autographs and hang with the cheerleaders – it's a great cause.

October 19, 2006
For the second straight day FB Kyle Johnson was held out of practice with a severe ankle sprain. While he is considered questionable on the injury report, I doubt he will see any significant action come Sunday.

Cedric Cobbs did participate, and may see limited minutes against the Browns. Cobbs, who's sat out the past three weeks, was upgraded from doubtful to questionable on the teams' official injury report.

Media moguls have been trying all week to make an issue out of the former Browns defense returning to their home turf. Unfortunately, none of the former Browns are buying it.

"Normal game," said defensive end Kenard Lang, one of four ex-Browns that currently make up the Denver starting line. In addition to Lang, the roster of ex-Cleveland players include Ebenezer Ekuban, Michael Myers and Gerard Warren, as well as practice squad lineman Amon Gordon and defensive end Courtney Brown, currently on injured reserve.

… Don't expect to much from the Broncos tight ends this Sunday. Cleveland's 3-4 defensive front may force the Broncos to keep Stephan Alexander and Tony Scheffler close in, as protection to Plummer in passing situations. In other words, things will pretty much remain the same for a position that has accounted for only 7-catches for 72-yards through the first six weeks of the season.

… Former Broncos running back Reuben Droughns spoke to the local media during a conference call at Dove Valley today – excited to be facing his former teammates.

"The trade, I think, worked out for the best for both of us," Droughns said. "(The Broncos) got what they wanted on the D-line, and the Browns got what they wanted at running back and surpassing something they hadn't had in 20 years. There's no regret there."

With last season's 1,232-yards, Droughns became the first Cleveland running back to break the thousand yard mark since Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner did it in 1985.

Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006
The big question on everyone's mind is when Jake Plummer and the Broncos offense intend on waking up and returning to form from last year. Through the first six weeks of the season both the running and passing game has been virtually non-existent, and no one is more aware of the situation than head coach Mike Shanahan.

"You go back and analyze each game and go through each scenario and you figure out what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong," said Shanahan. "It is really not that difficult to look at. Sometimes it is hard to get it executed, but it is really not that hard to figure out. People go, ‘Are you conservative? Are you bringing the game plan back?' and anybody that knows anything about football knows that if you have the leading receiver in the AFC in yards per attempt (WR Javon Walker), you may be trying to throw the ball too much down the field and that goes back to execution. You don't average 20 yards a reception and be conservative." …Heading into this week's matchup against Cleveland, offense takes center stage. Plummer and Javon Walker continue to work on timing patters and each seems more comfortable with the other as time goes on. Key to the offensive success will be finding a way to integrate twelve-year veteran Rod Smith into a more active role.

…T.Bell is still finding his way as starter and at times has trouble following his blockers, but his speed off the cut is amazing. Coaching changes along the offensive line have certainly played a role, but as the game plan expands itself over the next week, look for more roll outs and play option.

…Defensively, it's a homecoming, and these guys are pumped. The spotlight Sunday will focus on what many consider to be one of the top defenses in the league. If the offense can find itself on the same page, this team will be hard to stop.

Until then, however, it's anybodies guess.

We've just got to keep working hard, keep practicing. Pressing, it doesn't help it at all. You've got to go back and do a little more each week – prepare a little harder, study a little more. Once it breaks, I think we'll be fine.

Who's got the best fans in the NFL?

Well according to the latest television ratings it's the Denver Broncos.

The television broadcast of the Denver Broncos' 13-3 victory over the Oakland Raiders last Sunday earned a local rating of 38.6, the highest number for any NFL team in its local market for games played the weekend of Oct. 15-16.

Injury Report
Fullback Kyle Johnson was the only player that did not participate in today's practice session (ankle), and was listed as questionable for Sunday. RB Cedric Cobbs, also the victim of an ankle sprain, is listed as doubtful.

Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past ten years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio stations around the country.

Schon can be reached at

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