- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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THE BIG CHILL
Dan Reeves, 46, is a tough guy, and he's a tough guy to work for. Now, in what has been his worst season in 10 years as coach of the Broncos, he's hanging tough. "I honestly believe tough times don't last, but tough people do," he said last Friday. "Let me tell you this: I'm one tough son of a gun. And I'm going to last."
After three Super Bowl appearances in the last four years, Denver—3-7 after Sunday's 16-13 loss to Chicago—has almost no chance of making the playoffs this season. What's more, quarterback John Elway told The Denver Post last week that his relationship with Reeves had deteriorated to the point where they hardly talk to each other. Reeves and Elway then met privately to work out better communication between the coach and his players, and they agreed that the quarterbacks would help with game-plan preparations on Tuesdays, their day off.
In the midst of the Reeves-Elway spat, Denver police announced that tackle Gerald Perry was being investigated for an alleged sexual assault on the fianc�e of teammate Orson Mobley, and backup cornerback Elliott Smith was arrested on a DUI violation. (Both missed Sunday's game, with Perry having been given a leave of absence by the team and Smith having entered an alcohol-rehab program.) Bronco players have been arrested 13 times in the past 2� years on various charges, with Perry accounting for four of those. Reeves said the week probably was his "alltime low" in coaching.
Make that a year of alltime lows for Reeves. In January, Denver lost 55-10 to the 49ers in the Super Bowl. Reeves needed coronary surgery in the preseason to clear blocked arteries. He cried in front of his players after a humiliating 34-17 home loss to the Steelers a month ago.
"This is not a game you want to lose at, believe me," says Reeves. "It's a tough enough business when everyone is working together and you're winning. When everyone isn't, it's miserable. But you know what this will do? I believe it'll make me tougher. And I believe it'll make us bounce back."
THE END ZONE
Buffalo radio station WGR-AM has cornered the market on shows hosted by members of the Bills organization. General manager Bill Polian has one, as do coach Marv Levy and quarterback Jim Kelly. And since Nov. 5, Adam Lingner has had one. Adam Lingner? He's the team's long snapper, as anonymous a job as there is in football. Lingner, who has started one game in eight NFL seasons, was such a hit as a guest last month on another WGR sports show that the station gave him his own slot on Monday nights.
One of the sponsors? Snapple beverages, of course.
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