IRVING, Texas (AP) -Being back in Texas is a surreal and somewhat painful reminder for the Denver Broncos. The last time they made the trip was for the funeral of a teammate.
Seven months ago, the Broncos traveled together for the funeral of Darrent Williams, the 24-year-old starting cornerback who was shot once in the neck after leaving a nightclub in downtown Denver. That service was in Williams' hometown of Fort Worth, not far from where the team is practicing this week with the Dallas Cowboys.
``Any time you have a young man that passes away at 24 years of age, obviously it's a very tough situation for every member of this team,'' coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday.
Williams was a rising star who had just completed his second season when he was shot. Broncos safety John Lynch, going into his 15th NFL season, still thinks of him every day.
``It's just the way that he treated people, and in particular the thing that resonates for me is the way that he treated my children whenever I brought them by the locker room or he saw them after games,'' Lynch said. ``They would run to him, because he was always so good to them, because he just had that kind of impact on people.''
Shanahan said Williams' mother had been invited to visit with the team.
``It's difficult to see them, difficult knowing they're in town,'' Rosalind Williams told The AP on Wednesday night. ``But I feel good they're near and they're close. That makes me feel good. I'm going to visit them (Thursday).
``I don't know what I'll tell them. Just seeing them, them seeing me, being able to see each other and hug each other will speak volumes,'' she added. ``There may or may not be words. Just seeing each other is going to be a lot of therapy. It will give us all strength.''
After practices Wednesday and Thursday, the Broncos and Cowboys will play a preseason game Saturday night at Texas Stadium.
``She's still going through a tough time watching us play,'' Shanahan said. ``She is going to be at a game this season to honor her and Damien Nash's mom as well.''
Nash, a 24-year-old running back, collapsed and died Feb. 24 after a charity basketball game he hosted in his hometown of St. Louis.
In an interview on HBO's ``Real Sports'' this week, Broncos receiver Javon Walker spoke publicly for the first time about Williams' unsolved death on New Year's Day. Williams died in Walker's arms.
Walker said that was the only time he planned to talk publicly about Williams' slaying, which happened when the stretch limousine in which they were riding was sprayed with bullets.
No charges have been filed in the case, although police believe several men in custody on federal drug charges have information about Williams' slaying. There was an altercation at the nightclub between people in Williams' group and suspected gang members.
``Real Sports'' said another Broncos receiver, Brandon Marshall, and his cousin were partying with Williams' group that night and began spraying champagne around, ``some of which hit a club patron and his friend, who confronted Williams and his entourage.''
Walker said he didn't see the encounter inside the club but saw trouble brewing when he left at closing time, when Marshall and his cousin were exchanging heated words with two men. Witnesses said it was the same men from inside the club.
When asked about the ``Real Sports'' segment that included Walker's interview, Marshall had no comment Wednesday.
``No, I didn't see it,'' Marshall said.
---
AP Sports Writer Arnie Stapleton in Denver contributed to this report

NFL Team Pages

Recent NFL Discussions

Top NFL Public Bets

#1 463 Green Bay Packers 85%
#2 468 New York Jets 83%
#3 471 Miami Dolphins 82%
#4 491 Minnesota Vikings 79%
#5 478 Arizona Cardinals 75%
#7 489 Philadelphia Eagles 73%
#8 469 Indianapolis Colts 70%
#9 487 New York Giants 69%
#10 483 Cincinnati Bengals 67%

NFL Futures

  • INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 3/1
  • GREEN BAY PACKERS 13/4
  • SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 7/2
  • NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 9/2
  • DENVER BRONCOS 5/1
  • DALLAS COWBOYS 6/1
  • PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 11/1
  • ARIZONA CARDINALS 12/1
  • BALTIMORE RAVENS 12/1
  • PITTSBURGH STEELERS 12/1
Sports Insights' Advanced Betting Tools - NFL Free 14-Day Trial