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Broncos' Griese Smooth Again


Just Armour did the one thing every young player vying for an NFL roster spot wants to do. He got the attention of the coaches.

Armour,

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  • who sat out the last two seasons after playing 15 games for Buffalo as rookie in 1995, caught a 48-yard touchdown pass from rookie Brian Griese with 4:21 to play, leading the Denver Broncos to a 17-10 exhibition victory over the New Orleans Saints on Friday night.

    "When I get chances in the offense I need to make the most of it," Armour said. "I got the big eyes at the snap of the ball. I ran an out rout and he got the ball to me."

    Broncos coach Mike Shanahan took note.

    "We're evaluating some of these younger guys each week, and I saw a number of them step up and play the way they should play," Shanahan said. "Justin Armour got our attention."

    After John Elway directed an opening scoring drive, the Broncos struggled offensively most of the game until Griese's appearance.

    With the score tied at 10, Griese, selected by Denver in the third round out of Michigan, directed the Broncos (2-0) on a four-play, 81-yard game-winning scoring drive.

    "When (New Orleans) did tie it up, I was happy to see some of our young guys come in and make some plays," Shanahan said.

    The Saints (0-2) managed to score their first touchdown of the exhibition season as quarterback Danny Wuerffel guided an 88-yard, 19-play series that ended with a 6-yard pass to Andy McCullough, drawing the Saints into a 10-10 tie wit5:34 to play.

    "Danny did a great job for us," Saints coach Mike Ditka said. "He got the ball to different receivers. Although Denver didn't have its starters out there, our guys still got open. It was fun to watch us execute while Danny was at the helm."

    Wuerffel was 12-for-18 for 102 yards and a touchdown.

    The Broncos, playing at home for the first time since winning the Super Bowl, came out looking like champions on their first possession. Elway engineered a seven-play, 80-yard drive capped by Terrell Davis' 3-yard run over right tackle with 11:16 to play in the first quarter.

    Denver's next real scoring threat came in the second quarter when Elway completed an 18-yard, fourth-down pass to Rod Smith at the Saints 15.

    On the ensuing play, the ball was stripped away from Davis by New Orleans linebacker Mark Fields with 2:00 left in the half.

    Saints quarterback Billy Joe Hobert completed passes of 15 yards to Brett Bech and 23 yards to Gunnard Twyner, taking New Orleans to the Denver 35 with 35 seconds to play.

    After an incompletion, Hobert picked up his own fumble and attempted a shovel pass that was intercepted by Darrius Johnson. Johnson's 37-yard return to the New Orleans 16 set up Elam's 34-yard field goal that gave Denver a 10-3 lead at the half.

    Elway, scheduled to play only 20-25 plays, took all the snaps in the first half for Denver, completing 9-of-14 passes for 131 yards.

    Davis, the Super Bowl MVP, also played the entire first half, running for 57 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown.

    Hobert, who played the first half, was 10-for-15 for 123 yards and an interception.

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