Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Exciting back-to-back wins mask Broncos' plentiful
problems - The Canadian Press - Staff
Date - "Toro!" one week. "Timeout!" the next. Despite plenty of problems and more than a dozen new starters, the Denver Broncos are off to their first 2-0 start in four years because of coach Mike Shanahan's sound split-second decisions late in games. On Sunday, he correctly bet that Sebastian Janikowski couldn't kick two 52-yard field goals in a row, using a timely timeout in overtime to negate his first one and icing Oakland's kicker, who missed his second. Jason Elam then kicked the game-winner, just as he had a week earlier at Buffalo, where Shanahan made the crucial call just before the last play from scrimmage to have his field-goal unit rush the field in a "Toro!" fire drill rather than risk not getting the first down or spiking the ball with too many men on the field.
Ex-Lion Bly makes big mistake, big play -
Detroit Free Press - Staff
09/18/2007 - For good or for ill, Dre' Bly showed he's in Denver to gamble. The $33 million cornerback's aggressive play fueled two of Sunday's biggest plays during Denver's 23-20 win over the Oakland Raiders. The first play gave his opponents hope. The second saved his team and granted him redemption. The performance gave those at Invesco Field an idea of what they can expect from the big-ticket corner opposite Champ Bailey. "Dre' is a guy who has shown an ability to make plays. At some point, he's going to make it," safety John Lynch said. "That's the great thing about the corners we have: You may get them once, but you're not going to get them over and over again."
'Old school' training helps Lynch prepare for Broncos'
season - Co Springs Gazette - Frank Schwab
09/18/2007 - John Lynch battled to keep his lunch down the first few times he hit the boxing gym. Shortly after last season, the veteran Denver Broncos safety spent about six weeks doing boxing training. Trainer Richard Ruiz thought Lynch might throw up. Many first-timers do. "We keep a spit bucket inside the studio, just in case," said Ruiz, who owns and operates Stac Fitness Center in the Denver Tech Center, where Lynch trained. Lynch wanted to try something new before his 15th NFL season to shock his body and to keep his training fresh. His longtime personal trainer, Pete Egoscue, told him for years he should try boxing training, and Lynch finally did it.
Shanahan: Team will get point across - Co
Springs Gazette - Frank Schwab
09/18/2007 - By all measures but one, the Denver Broncos offense has been the best in the NFL after two games. The Broncos have the most yards, ranking fifth in passing yards and fourth in rushing yards. Denver has a player in the top five in passing yards, rushing yards and receptions. The team's problem is that the yards don't match up with the points. Denver scored one touchdown against Buffalo and two against Oakland — none in the second half or overtime. The Broncos have scored 38 points, 17th among the league's 32 teams. That might be a bigger concern if the Broncos weren't 2-0. For now, coach Mike Shanahan isn't worried. "If you move the football like we did, eventually the points are going to come," he said. "I'd say if you're averaging 400 and something yards per game — and normally about 375 to 380 leads it — that you feel pretty good. But you want to score points. That's the nature of the game."
Elam confident he can kick bad habit - Co
Springs Gazette - Frank Schwab
09/18/2007 - One player the Denver Broncos have rarely worried about since 1993 is kicker Jason Elam, who has made 80.2 percent of his field goal attempts. Last season, Elam made 93.1 percent of his field goal tries, a career best. This year, Elam has missed three kicks — one more than he missed last year. Elam's season hasn't been too bad, however. He kicked game-winning field goals on the final play of the first two games, and has made six field goals. Coach Mike Shanahan said he doesn't think Elam will be affected by the missed kicks.
Is best from Broncos yet to come? - Denver Post
- Mike Klis
09/18/2007 - They have two wins in two games against two teams that might well finish as the AFC's bottom two. Is this the start of the Broncos becoming No. 1? The Broncos might be the only NFL team that is 2-0 and off to a slow start. There is encouragement in that. "What's exciting," said Broncos safety John Lynch, "is we don't know how good we are, yet."
Shanahan likes what QB loves - Denver Post -
09/18/2007 - Undefeated and walking on sunshine, the Broncos exude an optimistic vibe. Why? You could draw a big heart, and inside it affectionately scribble: Shanny + Jay-C. Coach Mike Shanahan loves the Kid QB. Unlike his usually successful but often-quarrelsome and constantly tense relationship with former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer, Shanahan has found a kindred spirit in 24-year-old Jay Cutler. "The difference between the two is Jay loves football," Shanahan said Monday. "Now, I'm not saying Jake doesn't love the game ..." But Denver, like any NFL city, is a much happier place when the coach has total trust in his quarterback. "Jake was not a student of the game," Shanahan said.
Graham worth investment: Tight end earns Shanahan's
praise after stellar efforts - Denver Post - Bill
09/18/2007 - It's becoming clear why the Broncos broke the bank for Daniel Graham. After two games, the former CU and Thomas Jefferson High School star has been a difference maker in the offense. Graham, who signed a five-year, $30 million contract during the offseason as a free agent from New England, has been a devastating blocker and a big reason why Travis Henry is the NFL's leading rusher. Coach Mike Shanahan praised Graham for the second consecutive week Monday after his performance in the Broncos' 23-20 overtime win over Oakland. "The unsung hero in this game was Daniel Graham," Shanahan said. "He dominated the line of scrimmage and gave us 60 minutes of unbelievable football."
Broncos 'D' looks to tighten up against the run
- Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
09/18/2007 - The numbers certainly don't lie; they stick out like a bruised psyche. It's just that the Broncos say the numbers don't tell the whole truth about their run defense at the moment. "Look, I'm the first to say we know we have to get better," coach Mike Shanahan said. "And we do have to get better because there are stronger offenses out there that we'll see, and over the long haul you're just not going to be one of the better defenses if you can't defend the run consistently." And, despite all the heroics that have come in the Broncos' two opening edge-of-the-seat victories, they have certainly not defended the run consistently.
LEGWOLD: Not particularly fond of close wins? Get used
to them - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
09/18/2007 - One point. Three points. That is the Broncos season. The Broncos sit at 2-0 after a bumpy ride that has seen them win on the last play of the game - twice in two tries - by one and three points. That means, in two September outings, the Broncos are outscoring their opponents by a not-so-robust average of two points per game. There are times in a football life when the close win brings as much wringing of hands as the blowout loss, times when there seem to be as many questions with either. In the interest of helping those in need, we offer this advice: Get used to it. Welcome, again, to the NFL.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Broncos rookies show aptitude, ability - Rocky
Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
09/17/2007 - Kids today, they grow up so fast. Broncos rookies apparently are no exception, and they're only two games into their NFL careers. Defensive tackle Marcus Thomas intercepted his first professional pass Sunday against Oakland on a play on which he resembled an NBA power forward skying for a rebound in traffic. Defensive end Jarvis Moss entered the sacks column for the first time by demonstrating the type of closing speed that made him a first-round draft pick. And Selvin Young, an undrafted running back whose ascension into getting meaningful snaps this season is the most surprising of the youthful trio, showcased tightrope skills in staying upright for a pivotal 40-yard run. "That was our biggest goal, to come in and just be able to help," Young said. "And it seems like we're finding our fit."
Broncos consulting with doctors on Hamilton -
Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
09/17/2007 - The Broncos were in contact with specialists Monday to determine when guard Ben Hamilton will return to the team's complex. Hamilton was not at the team's facility last week for meetings or practice because doctors believed at least a week away might help him recover from symptoms caused by a concussion. He missed nearly all of the preseason after being injured in training camp Aug. 3. He tried to return the next week but lasted only a few plays and has continued to suffer dizziness when he works out.
Belichick says he'll turn over materials in NFL spying
probe - Rocky Mountain News - Associated Press
09/17/2007 - Patriots coach Bill Belichick will comply with the NFL's latest request in its spying investigation and provide any notes or tapes made from video recordings similar to those that drew a stiff penalty against him and the team. "Of course," he said, when asked about the request for materials. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell fined Belichick $500,000 and the team $250,000 on Thursday for violating a league rule that prohibits clubs from using a sideline camera to videotape the opponent's sideline. New England also must forfeit a first-round draft pick next year if it makes the playoffs or a second- and third-rounder if it doesn't.