Friday, September 9, 2011

Broncos ready for revenge on Oakland Raiders

When the Denver Broncos faced off against the Oakland Raiders at home in 2010 the result was an embarrassing 59-14 defeat. On Monday, both teams will face off again in Denver on ESPN's Monday Night Football double header.

This time, things will be different.

A lot of things have changed in Denver since last season. Legendary Broncos quarterback John Elway returned to the team as the Vice President of Football Operations before the team hired defensive minded John Fox as Head Coach and Dennis Allen as the defensive coordinator.

Denver then brought in players to upgrade the rushing attack (e.g Willis McGahee and offensive tackle Orlando Franklin); the home stadium was renamed Sports Authority Field at Mile High and perhaps above all, 2nd overall draft pick Von Miller will be joining defensive end Elvis Dumervil as the team's top two pass rushers.

With all that said, the Broncos still haven't forgotten what happened last season.

"You definitely don't want that to happen again," said cornerback Champ Bailey. "And I guarantee that won't happen again."

The Raiders agree with Bailey.

“They are playing with so much excitement and one thing I’ll say about their defense — they run to the ball very well. You’ll see one guy make a tackle and then there are six or seven blue shirts in there around the ball," said Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell It’s a tough challenge because you look at them on defense and they are totally different.”

Without a doubt, things will be different this year, including several jersey numbers.

On Thursday, Broncos defensive end Jason Hunter switched to No. 90 -- a more defensive lineman-esque number which will precede fellow DE's Robert Ayers (91) and Elvis Dumervil (92) numerically -- and linebacker/special teams captain Wesley Woodyard switched to No. 52 (previously worn by Hunter). Woodyard said it marks a new beginning for him.

Former Broncos running back Terrell Davis will be featured during the game's coin toss and will be on-hand to see what Denver's new two-back tandem of shifty Knowshon Moreno and powerful Willis McGahee are capable of.

McGahee, in honor of Davis, wants to bring back the Mile High Salute, which was popularized when Davis was with the team in the 1990's.

"We've got to bring back the 'Salute,'" McGahee said on Wednesday. "We have to represent for the running backs, Terrell Davis and those boys. When those guys were there we knew Denver was coming in and running the ball. That's got to be our mindset - running the ball against whoever, whenever, whatever they put up. We're ready."

Kickoff is just four days away, get ready for the return of Broncos Football!

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