Broncos Update Insider - 11/1

The Denver Broncos' pass defense hadn't been a problem until the last two games, when they gave up a lot of yards to Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and Green Bay's Brett Favre. The Broncos hope to correct the problem this week as they face Jon Kitna and the Detroit Lions.

Cornerback probably won't be a long-term concern for the Denver Broncos, but their big-name starting duo had a nightmarish game against Green Bay.

Champ Bailey, who is widely accepted as the best cornerback in the NFL, was beaten by Packers rookie James Jones for a 79-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Then in overtime, Dre Bly was beaten deep by Greg Jennings for an 82-yard touchdown to end the game.

The Broncos secondary won't have a rest this week. Detroit likes to spread the field and throw the ball, so Bailey and Bly have to move on quickly.

"It's going to happen to everybody," Bailey said. "It's how you come back from it."

Bailey hasn't been beaten much the last two seasons. Most teams avoid going his way, but he was coming off a quadriceps injury during the game against Green Bay. The Packers tested him early, with Brett Favre throwing deep to Jones. Jones just beat Bailey deep, then outran safety Nick Ferguson and Bly to the end zone.

Bailey wasn't 100 percent but said he should continue to get better.

"I feel confident about next week," Bailey said.

Bly had to endure many questions about the final play of Monday's game. The Broncos hadn't showed much bump-and-run coverage but started overtime with it. Jennings ran by Bly, then Bly said he lost the ball in the air when Favre threw deep. Jennings adjusted well, caught it and was already past Bly on his way to the end zone.

"I can't recall getting beat like that, on the last play of the game for that amount of yardage," Bly said. "It happens. It happens to the best."

The Broncos tied the game on the final play of regulation, and Bailey felt the Broncos generally played better than the Packers.

"Two plays beat us," Bailey said.

Bailey and Bly are both longtime veterans, which will help them this week. Bly chalked up Jennings' big play to a great throw and a good adjustment by Jennings. He said he felt he had good coverage until he looked back and couldn't find the ball, and added that he wouldn't dwell on it too long.

"I'm not going to hang my head down," Bly said. "I'm a playmaker. I make plays. I had honest coverage and the guy made a play on a great throw."

The Broncos' pass defense hadn't been a problem until the last two games, when they gave up a lot of yards to Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and Favre. That's one reason Monday's game was so shocking for the Broncos.

However, Bailey and Bly remain confident and plan to play well going forward.

"We don't give up too many balls like that," Bly said. "Normally when the ball is up in the air like that, we make the plays."

NOTES, QUOTES

--The Broncos and Lions were trading partners this offseason in a big deal, with Detroit sending CB Dre Bly to Denver for OT George Foster and RB Tatum Bell. The teams also swapped late-round draft picks.

The deal seems to have worked out best for the Broncos. Bell was inactive for the Lions' last game, and Foster has been in and out of the lineup. Although Bly was beaten for a game-ending touchdown in overtime last week, the Broncos are pleased with him.

"He has played extremely well," Shanahan said.

--Denver and Detroit almost had a second blockbuster deal this offseason. Denver coveted Georgia Tech receiver Calvin Johnson and tried to move up to the second pick to take him. The Broncos thought they had a deal, but the Lions changed their minds the next morning and selected Johnson themselves in the draft.

"Hey, that happens all the time," Shanahan said in April about the trade falling through.

--S John Lynch was concerned about a neck stinger he suffered in Monday's game against Green Bay. Stingers caused him to have neck surgery after the 2003 season. He has had a few minor stingers since joining the Broncos in 2004, but he said this was the worst one.

"This is the first kind of big one I've had, so it's a little bit of a concern," Lynch said. "But things bounced back fairly quickly."

--DE Simeon Rice was inactive for two games because of a bad shoulder but was put back in the lineup against Green Bay on Monday. Rice didn't have a sack, but he had two solo tackles.

"Simeon has made some strides, and I think he is a little more healthy than he has been," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "I don't think he is completely there yet, but will be in a short time."

BY THE NUMBERS: 10-1 -- The Broncos' record in games immediately following Monday night contests since 2000.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "From the minute they traded me here, the minute I saw the schedule, I pinpointed this game, and I look forward to going back." -- Broncos CB Dre Bly on facing Detroit, his former team.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

The Broncos surprised a lot of people by deactivating first-round pick Jarvis Moss in favor of veteran Simeon Rice for their last game against Green Bay. It's not a surprise that Rice is back on the active roster -- the Broncos think he can be a factor if his surgically repaired shoulder is healthy. But Moss has played a role for the Broncos in passing and rushing situations. The Broncos said Moss was physically worn down a bit, which isn't a good sign seven games into the season.

PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES

--CB Domonique Foxworth would replace John Lynch in the lineup if Lynch misses some time with a neck stinger. Foxworth is a natural cornerback, but he is also the top backup at each safety position.

--WR Rod Smith didn't practice Wednesday. He returned to practice last week after being out the entire year following hip surgery. The Broncos insisted Smith didn't have a setback, that he had a meeting with doctors.

--WR Glenn Martinez had a good game against Green Bay as a punt returner. He had a 26-yard return on his only attempt, and he will continue to hold that job.

--RB Andre Hall returned kickoffs for the Broncos on Monday. He had a 24.5-yard average. Hall isn't guaranteed an active spot on game days with Travis Henry healthy, so the job could switch hands again.

--RB Selvin Young led the Broncos with six receptions against Green Bay. He is a dangerous threat out of the backfield because he does well when he can get to the perimeter.



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