View Full Version : Carter: Dante is best vs. Denver

09-11-2004, 01:05 AM

Hall is best vs. Denver

Chiefs receiver has had great games against Broncos

By IVAN CARTER The Kansas City Star

DENVER — The crowds inside Denver's Invesco Field have become more wine and cheese and less Orange Crush since the team moved across the parking lot from Mile High Stadium. Nevertheless, Bronco fans are still among the NFL's loudest.

Still, there will be a few moments during Sunday night's season opener between the Chiefs and Broncos when the place will fall into an Operalike silence.

One will be just before the national anthem. The others will be in those precious seconds right before Dante Hall fields a Micah Knorr punt or kickoff.

“With Dante, people have a tendency to stop what they're doing and watch,” said Chiefs linebacker and special-team player Quinton Caver. “I don't care if it's the coaches on the sideline, the players, the dude up in the stands selling popcorn, whoever. You can kind of feel everyone in the place hold their breath for a second. It's like: ‘Is he going to do it again?' ”

When it comes to Hall facing the Broncos, the answer is usually yes.

Just as Michael Jordan had a habit of going off on the Cleveland Cavaliers, Hall has been a pain in the you-know-what to Mike Shanahan and the Broncos.

Since coming into the NFL as a rookie in 2000, Hall has hit the Broncos for his longest punt return (93 yards), his career high in single-game receptions (11), a career-high in single-game receiving yards (143), his longest reception (75 yards) and his highest amount of total yards in a single game (296).

And no Dante Hall story would be complete without references to his two greatest NFL highlights. The first came at Denver in December of 2002, when Hall caught a short pass from Trent Green in the flat and proceeded to put a series of ankle-breaking moves on John Mobley, Ian Gold and Deltha O'Neal among others before scoring a 49-yard touchdown.

The second came last October at Arrowhead Stadium when Hall bailed the Chiefs out with a twisting and turning 93-yard punt return for a touchdown. Three of Hall's 11 career touchdowns have come against Denver. Those touchdowns have covered 49, 75 and 93 yards.

“I don't know what it is about them,” said Hall, who returned five kickoffs for 108 yards in his NFL debut at Denver in September, 2000. “It's not like I get up to face Denver more than any other team. I really don't. It's just worked out to where I've been able to make some big plays against them.”

The Broncos ranked 28th in punt coverage and 26th in kickoff coverage last season, which is one reason why Ronnie Bradford is in his first season as the squad's special-teams coach.

“We definitely have to pick up our coverage,” Bradford told the Denver Post. “I think we struggled there last year, but I'm confident we can turn it around.

“We will always be prepared, and we are confident in what we do. It's a challenge and with Hall back there, no question, it's a challenge to our guys. We have to get some people around him and make sure he doesn't get a big play.”

But Hall's success hasn't stopped the Broncos from showing their cocky side. Several Denver players popped off in the media before last December's Chiefs/Broncos meeting at Invesco, and Hall heard plenty of trash talk as the Broncos put the finishing touches on a 45-27 victory.

“Oh, they're going to talk,” Hall said. “They have guys who talk before the game, during the game, after the game, whenever. I think it's just that Denver/Kansas City rivalry. We're both going for the same thing, and I guess that's why we get so amped up to play each other.”

But Hall will be facing a different group of Broncos on Sunday night.

Denver lost two special-teams aces, Keith Burns and Gold, to free-agency and another, Mike Anderson, to injury, and the defense now features new faces like cornerback Champ Bailey, safety John Lynch and outside linebacker D.J. Williams.

In addition to handling his kickoff and punt-return duties, Hall will get between 20 and 30 plays at wide receiver. He will line up in the slot, as he did so successfully last season, he will line up on the outside, where he's created some big plays downfield in the passing game, and there may be a few formations where he starts in the backfield.

Given Hall's success against Denver, it's hard to imagine Broncos defensive coordinator Larry Coyer not paying special attention to Hall when he's in the game. Hall may even see a heavy dose of Bailey, who is one of the game's best cover corners.

“He has grown as a receiver from his first year being here when he was still making a transition between running back and receiver,” Green said.

“Now, what he's worked on this season and this off-season is catching the ball more with his hands and being more of a receiving-type threat. And I think that's been evident through the preseason, how hard he's worked at it.”

09-11-2004, 02:00 AM
He's had some good game against the donks but, I hate the thought of the little guy playing starting wide out for long. But hell this is a road game against a division foe. If they want to put Bailey on Hall, whose gonna cover Kennison, Gonzo, and Priest out of the backfield. I'm a little worried about Hall's blocking downfield.

09-11-2004, 03:06 AM
what's wrong with our new doncos smily ?

09-11-2004, 03:19 AM
what's wrong with our new doncos smily ?
I disabled it. All you have to do is click on that little "disable smilies" box when you make the post.

And actually... I forgot to check that box to begin with, but it wouldn't let me post the article because it had "too many smilies"... so I had to fix it. :)

09-11-2004, 03:49 AM

09-11-2004, 08:58 AM
I disabled it. All you have to do is click on that little "disable smilies" box when you make the post.

And actually... I forgot to check that box to begin with, but it wouldn't let me post the article because it had "too many smilies"... so I had to fix it. :)

I've to admit that the smily is a little bit too big, I think it won't be a problem if it's the same size as the Raiders .

still, I appreciate to the mods to add the Broncos smily, I've been waiting for it for a long time. :)

09-11-2004, 11:42 AM
All I have to say is PHUCK DENVER!

09-11-2004, 12:32 PM
I hope we destroy those Denver Dorkos!!!!!!