Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan is not allowing his players to watch this Sunday's matchup between the San Diego Chargers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Normally the players have access to televisions in their locker room, and they can usually watch the early games around the NFL. But coach Shanahan doesn't want his team to lose their focus and mental edge. Last week the Broncos watched what seemed to be a sure-fire Kansas City victory only to have the Chargers pull off an impossible comeback win. Shanahan felt his Broncos lost their appetite for victory because they assumed the Chiefs would defeat the Chargers. He doesn't want that to happen this week, and is taking some drastic measures:
"I'm sure if guys want to find out the score, they probably could. But it's not going to be easy for them. I really don't care what San Diego does. We want to play a complete football game, and hopefully we will."
Interestingly, there are some players within the locker room who support this decision. Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall, the man who last year brashly called the AFC West the Broncos' division, supports coach Shanahan's decision, almost going as far as saying his teammates are mental midgets:
"I think the San Diego-Tampa game's been canceled," receiver Brandon Marshall cracked. "So, in order for us to win, we have to beat Buffalo. We have so many guys in the locker room, and unfortunately you've got some guys who can't handle it. If San Diego is not doing good it might affect some guys, and if they are doing great it might affect other guys. I think it's going to keep us focused and worried about Buffalo and the tough job ahead of us."
As everyone probably knows by now, in order to stay alive in the playoff hunt, the Chargers need to win in Tampa Bay and they need the Buffalo Bills to beat the Denver Broncos. I requested a comment from Tomlinson, asking if he'd talked to his former college teammate Aaron Schobel, now playing defensive end for the Buffalo Bills. Unfortunately, LT said he hadn't talked to him, but I wish he would...