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Griese Earns Next Start


Brian Griese regained the starting quarterback job on Wednesday that he never really lost in the first place.

Confused? It's understandable these days as the Denver Broncos continue to search for a stable successor to John Elway.

Griese, promoted in the preseason, lost his job to Bubby Brister in the wake of Denver's 0-4 start, but he has led the Broncos to consecutive wins after a muscle strain prevented Brister from accepting his promotion.

Brister threw on the side Wednesday and remains questionable for Sunday's game at New England. Griese's solid performances have made Brister's ailing rib muscle a moot point.

"Brian would still be the quarterback," coach Mike Shanahan said. "I like the way he played. I like the way he handled himself, and we played well around him."

Griese, in his second year out of Michigan, seems to have gained confidence in the past two weeks, remaining poised in the pocket and scrambling when things break down.

He threw an interception Sunday but countered with two touchdown passes and another TD run. Griese also finished with 363 yards passing.

"I've come to learn that if you're given the starting job and have an opportunity to play, you need to respect that because it's not always going to be there and it's dependent on your performance," Griese said. "I'm going to do everything I can to continue to prove (Shanahan) right."

By no means is Griese's starting job permanent. Shanahan said he will continue to evaluate Brister's health as well as Griese's progression as a first-year starter.

"Let's take this thing week by week," Shanahan said. "Hopefully he'll keep on playing like he's played. I'm going to have to make decisions in the best interest of the team, and it's hard to say right now when you're 2-4."

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