Shanahan weighs in on Marshall celebration

Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall's planned touchdown celebration has drawn a lot of attention, including from his head coach.

The Broncos receiver had planned to take a glove out of his pants if he scored against Cleveland last Thursday that was half white and half black, then wear it as a symbol of a unified country. Barack Obama had been elected president two days earlier.

Marshall scored with just over a minute remaining to give Denver the lead, went to the glove but Brandon Stokley stopped him because the Broncos couldn't afford a 15-yard penalty. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan wasn't pleased to hear about the demonstration.

"Obviously you can't ever put yourself in front of the team," Shanahan said. "That could have been a 15-yarder."

Had Marshall been assessed a penalty, it could have been a huge blow to the Broncos, who had been giving up long returns to Josh Cribbs most of the game. They would have had to kick off from their 15-yard line.

"You can't put your team in jeopardy," Shanahan said. "Obviously we have conversations about those things that will stay in house. But you've got to check before you do something like that."

Marshall was emotional after the game as he spoke about people of all races coming together to form a unified United States.

"I might get some criticism, but social landmarks are bigger than fines to me," Marshall said after the game.

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--QB Jay Cutler appears in line for a huge statistical second half of the season. The Broncos are very thin at tailback and could decide their most effective offense is spreading the field and going with one or no backs. Cutler is coming off a 447-yard game and could have more big games ahead.

--RB Peyton Hillis is the logical choice to start at tailback this week, although the Broncos are unlikely to announce any choice. Hillis fared decently when he was the emergency replacement last week against Cleveland. With a full week to practice tailback, Hillis could have an effective outing against Atlanta, if he does get a bulk of the carries.

--RB Alex Haynes was signed to provide Denver depth at tailback. He has also been a fullback but Mike Shanahan said the team, which has put four tailbacks on injured reserve, will look at him as a tailback first. He has three carries and 3 yards in his career so he isn't a good bet to see many carries right away.

--WR Brandon Marshall caught a game-winning touchdown against Cleveland and got a lot of attention for his aborted celebration, but he admits he had a rough night. He had a few drops and seemed to be pressing. The final touchdown -- and a good matchup against Atlanta this week -- could get him back on the right track.

--WR Eddie Royal continues to impress. He already has set Denver's rookie record for receiving yards, and has almost half the season to go. His 93-yard touchdown against Cleveland turned the game around. He is showing no signs of fading or that his production will slip.

--TE Daniel Graham has become a bigger part of the passing game. He had a big fourth-quarter touchdown at Cleveland last week. He isn't going to put up many big days, especially with Tony Scheffler healthy again, but he is likely to surpass last year's production.

--TE Tony Scheffler came out often against Cleveland because he was still nursing a groin injury. Still, he had 92 yards receiving. He's a good bet for a solid second half of the season, as long as he stays healthy.

--K Matt Prater missed a field goal on Denver's first drive at Cleveland. Prater has missed a field goal in each of his last two games after a torrid start, but he should bounce back strong. He is 16 of 19 on the season.

--CB Champ Bailey has a chance of returning this week. He was going to test it early in the week and see if he can practice this week. He has been out three weeks with a groin injury.

--LB Wesley Woodyard had 10 tackles in his first NFL start. The undrafted rookie was filling in for D.J. Williams. Williams is slated to miss three more games, and Woodyard could have a few more nice games before he goes back to the bench.

--LB Nate Webster should miss this week's game with a sprained knee. Webster hurt himself in the first quarter against Cleveland. Replacement Niko Koutouvides had only one assist and no solo tackles in more than three quarters of work.



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