|09-19-2005, 11:15 PM||#1|
Never say Always
Join Date: Jan 2003
Coyer & D again
Can they make Coyer do his Vermeil impression again? Let's hope our offense has one of these Kodak moments just about 37 seconds before KO this week.
Coyer rallies Broncos past Chargers
BY DAVID RAMSEY
DENVER - (KRT) - The abyss. It was there, awaiting the Denver Broncos.
They teetered on the edge of a deadly canyon of zero wins and two losses, and that's a canyon they never could have escaped. A season would have ended after two weeks.
It was looking shaky, very shaky, as the Broncos trotted to the locker room at halftime trailing the San Diego Chargers 14-3.
The season was on its way to oblivion. The Broncos have opened with consecutive losses seven times. They never have recovered to make the playoffs and their combined record in those seasons is 30-70-2.
That scary scenario brought defensive coordinator Larry Coyer to life.
"Never thought about it. I have too much faith in our football team," said Coyer, the man who led the charge that rescued, at least for now, Denver's quest to remain relevant.
Under Coyer's direction, the Broncos defense delivered an astonishing, punishing second-half performance to key a 20-17 victory.
The Chargers, despite being blessed with LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates, crawled to 41 total yards, failed to convert a third down to a first down and managed only one drive longer than 3 yards in the second half.
Cornerback Champ Bailey shook his head as he considered his unit's second-half mastery. He said he's never been part of a defensive unit "that dominated like we did."
He also issued a reminder to Broncos fans. Bailey knows you've been wondering and wavering. He wants everyone to relax.
"This is a 16-round fight," Bailey said.
Coyer looked as if he had gone a few rounds as he talked outside the locker room.
It had been a tough week. He had watched the Broncos get smacked around by the mediocre, at best, Miami Dolphins. He listened to questions about his strategy.
Still, even as he watched his defense struggle in the first half, he refused to consider the thought of losing.
"I just think our football team came together," he said. "It was incredible to watch. It's been a long time since I've seen a bunch of guys playing together like that."
Coyer's voice began cracking, and he struggled to construct complete sentences.
"The way we came together ... the look in their eyes," Coyer said.
He stopped and raised his hands to his eyes. He was weeping, and he couldn't speak.
"I'm a little emotional," he said, before pausing for a few seconds. "It was something."
Yes, it was.
Bailey began the barrage on the first play of the second half. Chargers quarterback Drew Brees is usually a wise young man, but something in his mind cracked on the first snap.
He challenged Bailey.
Big mistake. Big, game-changing, perhaps season-changing mistake.
Bailey made the jump of jumps on the pass and could have walked backward for his 25-yard trip to the end zone. Boom. In a blink, the Broncos cut the deficit to 14-10 and seized momentum.
The Denver offense didn't know what to do with all of its good fortune and did its best to keep the Chargers in the game. The Broncos' bumbling offensive ways still make it risky to believe in this team.
Sure, Denver's defenders were magnificent, but the season retains a hazy look. Can this powerful defense carry this sluggish offense?
For a half, yes.
It was quite a show. A team on the brink of extinction found itself, just in time.
Coyer thought about the revival, thought about his defenders' refusal to surrender. His voice was shaking, and his eyes remained full of tears.
"I was hoping," he said. "I was hoping they would come together."
For one half, he was granted his wish.
© 2005, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.).
Visit GT Online, the World Wide Web site of The Gazette, at http://www.gazette.com
|09-20-2005, 07:16 AM||#2|
Never say Always
Join Date: Jan 2003
There is some interesting tidbits in here regarding Jake, Rod, Dane etc that I hadn't seen elsewhere. Thought you all might appreciate seeing it if you had missed it.
Injury: Jackson's Achilles' heel
September 19, 2005
DENVER -- Vincent Jackson hunkered over a three-ring binder and jotted post-game notes from his stall in the visitor's locker room after his San
Diego Chargers lost 20-17 to the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on Sunday.
The Chargers' rookie wide receiver planned on contributing on the field by now. Instead, the former University of
Northern Colorado star has been relegated to the sidelines, nursing an ailing left Achilles' tendon that has forced him to miss the first two games of the season -- including a much-anticipated homecoming in Denver.
"It's tough and frustrating, but it's a long season and I've got to think about helping this team down the road," said Jackson, who never missed a game in college and became UNC's highest draft pick in April.
Chargers trainers have exercised caution with Jackson since he injured himself in the team's first preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on Aug. 11. An MRI later revealed Jackson had strained his Achilles' tendon, an injury that can become nagging if not treated correctly.
Jackson's last practice was as a member of the scout team prior to the Chargers' season opener against the Dallas Cowboys. He plans on practicing Wednesday and, if all goes well, could be ready for the team's next game on national TV against the New York Giants in San Diego.
"I really wish I could have played at Invesco, it's such a great setting, but I will get the opportunity again for many years to come," he said. "I'm ready to get out there and play."
n DEAD ZONE: Inside the Red Zone, the Broncos stumbled for the second consecutive week. The Broncos made three trips inside the 20-yard line, but scored only once when fullback Kyle Johnson bulled his way into the end zone from three yards out in the third quarter. Last week against the Miami Dolphins, the Broncos were 1-of-4 inside the Red Zone.
n THIRD DOWNS: The Broncos were slightly better on third-down efficiency this week. They converted first downs six times on 16 attempts. Last week, they were 4-of-12 on third-down conversions.
n HEISMAN FORM: Down the stretch, Broncos backup running back Ron Dayne rushed for 38 yards on six carries and converted three first downs, including a crucial fourth-and-1, to help set up Jason Elam's winning 41-yard field goal. Dayne and starter Mike Anderson combined for 93 yards rushing on the day.
n KEENAN VS. ROD: Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith (8 receptions, 83 yards) caught a pass for the 94th straight game. He has 9,945 career receiving yards and for now is in front of the Chargers' Keenan McCardell for 23rd place all-time.
n HOME OPENERS: Broncos coach Mike Shanahan improved his record in home openers to 10-1. It was the 10th time in 11 years Denver opened either 2-0 or 1-1 under Shanahan The win was also the Broncos' seventh straight in September dating back to 2002.
n Gold standard: Ian Gold sacked Chargers quarterback Drew Brees for a 7-yard loss in the third quarter. It was his first sack in a Broncos uniform since 2002. In all, the Broncos sacked Brees four times Sunday.
n MOVING UP: Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer passed Charley Johnson (517) to take fifth place on the team's all-time completion list. Plummer finished the day 23-of-37 passing for 248 yards and one interception. He now has 537 career completions.
n L.T.'S RECORD: Chargers all-everything running back LaDanian Tomlinson scored in his 14th consecutive regular-season game, breaking the NFL's all-time record shared by George Rogers and John Riggins.
n COLORADO CONNECTION: Grand Junction native Marques Harris also sat out Sunday's game. The rookie outside linebacker, who played at the University of Colorado before transferring to Southern Utah State, signed with the Chargers as a free agent.
n Broncos sidelined: Punter Todd Sauerbrun filled in on kickoffs for Paul Ernster, who was among Broncos players inactive for Sunday's game. Sauerbrun booted two of his five kicks for touchbacks. Other inactive Broncos players were: David Terrell, WR; Marques Anderson, S; Karl Paymah, CB; Monsanto Pope, DT; Wesley Duke, TE; Nate Jackson, TE; Marco Coleman, DE.
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