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  • Smith and Walker to debut this week!

    http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_4177495]]

    Smith, Walker ready to receive
    After sitting out preseason opener, starting wideouts will make 2006 debuts this week
    By Mike Klis
    Denver Post Staff Writer


    Broncos wide receivers Rod Smith, left, and Javon Walker are new teammates this season. Walker was acquired from Green Bay, which traded him for a second-round draft pick. He had 89 catches for 1,382 yards in 2004. (AP / Jack Dempsey)

    Javon Walker and Rod Smith know when to make an appearance. And the city of Detroit, where the Lions play on artificial turf, wasn't it.

    Coming Saturday to a stadium near you: "The Receivers."

    Having missed the Broncos' preseason opener Friday night at Detroit's Ford Field as a precaution to injuries, Walker and Smith will make their 2006 debuts Saturday night in Denver's preseason home opener at Invesco Field at Mile High against the Tennessee Titans.


    "I'm ready to get out there and team up with Rod," Walker said. "We're always talking to each other, trying to get a feel for one another how we're going to work together. It will be good to get out there and play together."

    At this time last year, the local buzz hovered around Jerry Rice, the NFL's all-time leading receiver, who was about to play his first game in a Broncos uniform before a Denver crowd. And then there was Rod.

    This year, it's Walker, the erstwhile Green Bay Packer and Pro Bowl receiver, who will put on a Broncos uniform for the first time at Invesco Field. And then there is Rod.

    "He's an afterthought to you guys because you're used to him and you take him for granted," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said of Smith. "Not from a coaching standpoint is he an afterthought. But it is human nature to take a guy for granted who is consistently good. You just expect him to be Rod."

    Smith, 36, is coming off nine consecutive seasons of at least 70 catches. He's also coming off a hamstring injury that sidelined him nearly two weeks until he returned to practice Sunday afternoon.

    In the absence of their top two receivers, the Broncos' first-team offense had three first downs during their first series against Detroit, and had just crossed a fourth marker when rookie running back Mike Bell fumbled. Ballgame. On the next series, Shanahan put in his second-string offense.

    "I think the guys came out of there a little frustrated," Smith said. "They were moving the ball and then we had the turnover and they were like, 'Why can't we stay in?' But at the same time we understand it's preseason."

    Against Tennessee, the Broncos' first-team offense will play at least the first quarter and maybe a series into the second. It could be the first significant test for a Denver passing game that figures to be significantly improved this season with the addition of Walker, rookie tight end Tony Scheffler and possibly backup quarterback Jay Cutler.

    Starting quarterback Jake Plummer completed 3-of-4 passes for 33 yards against the Lions, then gave way to Cutler, who went 16-of-22 for 192 yards in his NFL preseason debut.

    "He played well," Smith said of Cutler. "The good thing is he got a few plays against their (first-string defense). But people are going to exaggerate, get a little too carried away. If he's doing that in the playoff game and getting us to the next level, that's a totally different thing."

    Cutler and Bell were the newcomers drawing the most interest in Denver's first preseason game. Walker figures to have the spotlight Saturday night. The Broncos reached the AFC championship game last season, and in their quest to win at least one more game this year, Walker was their most notable offseason addition.

    After missing most of last season because of a ligament tear in his right knee, Walker is planning to gradually work himself back to 2004 form, which was 89 catches for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. The question is: How long will it take?

    "In 2004 in preseason and training camp, it was always a grind," Walker said. "I got better as the season went on. I feel like I'm the same pace where I was the last couple years in the preseason. Obviously, now I'm learning new plays. There's some rust, but that's what the games are for."

    And Rod? Once again, he will start the preseason as the "other" receiver for the Broncos. If he finishes the season as their leading receiver, it will be for the eighth time in nine years. The last time Smith didn't lead the team in receptions was 2000, when he had 100 catches and Ed McCaffrey had 101.

    "I just fly under the radar and they forget to cut me because they're busy focusing on everybody else," Smith said. "Think about it. I've played with (John) Elway, (Shannon) Sharpe, Eddie Mac, (Terrell Davis), (Steve) Atwater, (Gary) Zimmerman. I've played with all these guys. I've been under the radar my whole career. I love it."

    Mike Klis can be reached at 303-820-5440 or [email protected].


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    Although both of them probably wont play for very long Im looking foward to see rod back in action and to see what walker can do!

    I enjoyed smiths quote at the end too. so modest
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  • #2
    HOORAY!!! (who started last weeks game?)

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    • #3
      watts and baby TO..(marshall) ...

      i think...


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      • #4
        Originally posted by anton1287
        watts and baby TO..(marshall) ...

        i think...

        yup and now with Brandon injured Im guessing that kircus will be 4th in the depth chart. untill brandon returns at least.
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        • #5
          And then there was Rod...
          11/6/11 - The day the Oakland Raiders got raptured!

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          • #6
            Id kindof like to see how well cutler would do with walker and smith in the game. They will probably be taken out before he gets in though. unfortunately.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Prodigal19
              Id kindof like to see how well cutler would do with walker and smith in the game. They will probably be taken out before he gets in though. unfortunately.
              My thoughts exactly.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Prodigal19
                Id kindof like to see how well cutler would do with walker and smith in the game. They will probably be taken out before he gets in though. unfortunately.
                Mee 2 man. It would be a glimpse of greatness im guessing. 2 bad it'll never happen but one can wish.

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                • #9
                  I want Champ in.

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                  • #10
                    Love that quote from Rod Smith. We love it too man
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                    • #11
                      Sick.......

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                      • #12
                        LOL... I posted this same thing at 3:30 and it got completely ignored...http://forums.denverbroncos.com/showthread.php?t=67670
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                        • #13
                          This is why Rod is the greatest person in the NFL



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                          • #14
                            It's gonna be great to see them, even for just a series...

                            I wonder if Cutler will ever get a shot this preseason to have them on the field. probably not...

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