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Horse Tracks - 11/21/08


Milehighreport_small_medium Just when it seemed the Broncos might make it through the week without a serious injury, Nate Jackson suffered a season-ending hamstring injury while running a route in practice Wednesday.

Milehighreport_small_mediumSpencer Larsen has received a stamp of approval from none other than Chuck Bednarik.

Milehighreport_small_mediumI've got this really catchy quote that sums up the state of the Broncos-Raiders rivalry. At least I would have had one if Mike Shanahan had been asked about it during his Wednesday news conference.  There's your answer. There's all you need to know about the once-proud rivalry. Shanahan wasn't even asked about it.

Milehighreport_small_mediumOf all the factors that led to the Broncos' 7-9 season in 2007, Mike Shanahan will tell you the biggest was the injury bug that bit the offensive line.


Milehighreport_small_mediumVOTE FOR THE 4 GREATEST BRONCOS EVER!  Rocky sports cartoonist Drew Litton is looking for a few friendly faces for his mountain. Which four Denver Broncos greats should be immortalized on Mount Crushmore? Help us decide.

Milehighreport_small_mediumAs a group four months ago, they were so lacking in ability and creativity, they literally were booed off the stage.

Milehighreport_small_mediumTight end Daniel Graham knows he can block - opposing defensive coordinators consistently use the word "dominant" about his work there. He knows the Broncos like it when he blocks because, well, they ask him to do it a lot.

Milehighreport_small_mediumIn his sights frequently this week: Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, whom the Broncos' Mike Shanahan this week labeled the most underrated player he has seen in his entire NFL coaching career.

Milehighreport_small_mediumRaiders at Broncos -- The Matchups

Milehighreport_small_mediumRaiders at Broncos -- 5 Keys


Milehighreport_small_mediumDenver liked James when he was a free agent in 2006 before he signed with the Cardinals. The team thought he would be a good fit for its zone-blocking scheme. Coupled with the Broncos' previous interest and the fact James would fit is that Denver has a need at running back.

Milehighreport_small_mediumWhether he likes or not (and he doesn't), Michael Bush is now working at fullback in Oakland. It says here Bush should just suck it up and deal with it. The Raiders could do a lot of things with him at fullback and he could get the ball more or, at least, he could get more action.


Milehighreport_small_mediumSince Broncos tackles Ryan Clady and Ryan Harris went another game without giving up a sack last week, they continue to be a part of an amazing statistic. According to Stats, Inc., there are 44 offensive tackles that have started all 10 games for their teams. Only three have not allowed a full sack, and two of the three are Clady and Harris. Tennessee’s Michael Roos hasn’t allowed any sacks, and Clady and Harris have allowed a half of a sack each. The Broncos have attempted 80 more passes than the Titans this season. Indianapolis’ Charlie Johnson was on the list last week mistakenly — he has not allowed a sack but has started a few games at guard.

Milehighreport_small_mediumTeams don’t test Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who is pretty much taking away his half of the field this season. Against Carolina, star receiver Steve Smith had one catch against Asomugha for 9 yards, and Asomugha had an interception. A cornerback shouldn’t tie a Pro Bowl receiver like Smith in that matchup.

Milehighreport_small_mediumThe Broncos are expected to beat the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, and with good reason.

Milehighreport_small_mediumWith a Southern twang, a hankering for Hank Williams and exotic cowboy boots, Peyton Hillis isn't your average starting NFL running back.

Milehighreport_small_mediumDenver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan will take a running back, any back, throw him behind an offensive line that excels at the zone-blocking scheme, sit back and reap the dividends of yet another 1,000-yard season.