Bron­cos hit re­set but­ton after first loss

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Arnie Sta­ple­ton AP Pro Foot­ball Writer

The Bron­cos in­sist their first loss of the year offers them the chance to re­cal­i­brate. The team faces a tough chal­lenge in re­bound­ing from their loss to the Fal­cons when they visit the Charg­ers Thurs­day night.

EN­GLE­WOOD, COLO. >> The Bron­cos in­sist their first loss in 295 days offers them the rare chance to re­cal­i­brate but doesn’t be­stow a blue­print upon other op­po­nents.

“Well, if ev­ery­body goes and gets a Coleman, then they’ve got the blue­print. Good luck,” cracked cor­ner­back Aqib Talib.

The Bron­cos were still in awe of Tevin Coleman on Tues­day, 48 hours after the Fal­cons’ backup run­ning back with break­away speed torched them for 132 yards on four catches in At­lanta’s not-as-close-as-it­sounds 23-16 win in Den­ver.

The Bron­cos’ usu­ally de­fi­ant de­fense shut down Julio Jones a week after his 300yard game against Carolina but got burned by At­lanta’s tail­back tan­dem of Coleman and Devonta Free­man. They ac­counted for 119 yards rush­ing and 167 yards re­ceiv­ing.

“We just had a tough day on Sun­day,” pass rusher Von Miller said.

“Ev­ery team doesn’t have a Devonta Free­man and a Coleman. It’s just not some­thing that’s go­ing to hap­pen week in and week out. That was one day out of the month, one game.

“We lost a game last year about this time to the Colts, and we lost an­other game right after that and we were able to rally.

How we fin­ished the sea­son, that’s all his­tory. It’s how you bounce back from it that de­fines what type of team you are.”

The Bron­cos (4-1) face a tough chal­lenge in re­bound­ing from their first loss since Dec. 20 when they visit the San Diego Charg­ers (1-4) Thurs­day night. They have: • a short work week, • a head coach who’s on the couch ,

• and a quar­ter­back quandary to nav­i­gate.

Spe­cial teams co­or­di­na­tor Joe De­Camil­lis is run­ning the team this week with Gary Ku­biak heed­ing doc­tor’s or­ders to take a week off after head­ing to the hos­pi­tal in an am­bu­lance with a mi­graine after Sun­day’s game.

“We miss him around here, Kube’s our leader,” Talib said. “But we un­der­stand that he needs to get some rest. He needs to get healthy, man. We’re grown men, we know our jobs. And we still know how to do our job whether he’s here or not.”

The pres­sure falls on De­Camil­lis to try to ex­tend Den­ver’s record-break­ing 15-game di­vi­sional road win­ning streak, and it’s the 51-year-old son-in-law of for­mer NFL coach Dan Reeves who also gets to make the call on who to start at quar­ter­back.

De­Camil­lis will con­fer with doc­tors, train­ers, play­ers and GM John El­way be­fore nam­ing Trevor Siemian or Pax­ton Lynch his starter shortly be­fore kick­off Thurs­day.

“Yeah, I’m ex­pect­ing to play,” said Siemian, who is 4-0 as a starter but missed last week­end’s game with a sprained left shoul­der.

Lynch fell flat in his first NFL start through a com­bi­na­tion of nerves, bad foot­work and poor pro­tec­tion, es­pe­cially from tackle Ty Sam­brailo, who al­lowed three sacks be­fore be­ing benched.

Tight end Vir­gil Green and right tackle Don­ald Stephen­son have both missed the last three games with a pulled left calf and both ex­pect to re­turn to ac­tion against San Diego.

With­out them, the Bron­cos’ ground game has sput­tered, and that al­lowed the Fal­cons to put too much pres­sure on Lynch.

Left tackle Rus­sell Okung said the Fal­cons “hit us in the mouth up front ... and with a young quar­ter­back out there we’ve got a mar­gin of er­ror so small.” But, he added, “I trust this group. I know we’ll bounce back.

I know what we have the po­ten­tial to be and we can be the best in the league.”

Coaches are re­sist­ing the temp­ta­tion to reach out to Ku­biak this week.

“I’m not call­ing him,” of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Rick Den­ni­son said. “I went over and saw him that night and he started talk­ing about the game and I told him, ‘Just rest. Just re­lax. Get bet­ter.”’

Notes: It was an­other “hat day” for the Bron­cos at prac­tice, where Siemian was the only one wear­ing shoul­der pads at the start . ... Den­ni­son said he’ll stay in the coach­ing box on game day and not join De­Camil­lis on the side­line.

JACK DEMPSEY — AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Den­ver Bron­cos head coach Gary Ku­biak stands on the side­lines dur­ing Sun­day’s 23-16 loss to the Fal­cons in Den­ver.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.