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JUSTIN BANNAN IS PLAYING AGAIN WITH DENVER BRONCOS
Tue, 17 Apr 2012 02:17 AM EDT

Justin Bannan anticipates his 2nd stint with the Denver Broncos to go much better than his 1st. Basketball scores

The 11th-year defensive tackle confirmed a 1-year agreement to return to the team he played for during a 4-12 season in 2010, the worst in franchise history.

Now, he gets to play between Pro Bowl pass-rushers Elvis Dumervil, who missed the entire 2010 season, and Von Miller, the 2011 Defensive Rookie of the Year. NFL scores

Drafted by Buffalo after a standout career at Colorado, Bannan has played in 144 NFL games with the Bills (2002-05), Ravens (2006-09), Broncos and Rams.

Bannan started all 16 games for the Broncos in 2010, but when he discarded to take a substantial pay cut in 2011, the Broncos released him. He signed with St. Louis, where he started fourteen games, collecting 35 tackles and one sack.

“At the close of the day, it is simply business,” Bannan said. “I think it’s easier for the opposite side to say it is only business. Sometimes, you do take it personal. Or it just hurts. It is never fun to get dismissed. It’s no fun to lose your job. But I will say they didn’t hate me as a person or a player. … I just went thru a similar thing again in St. Louis. They dropped plenty of the supposed older players who had higher cap numbers.”

Although over 50% of Bannan’s 57 career starts have come over the last 2 seasons, he’s lost 26 games after leaving Baltimore.

“It’s no joy to lose, particularly coming from Baltimore, where I was in the playoffs 3 out of the 4 years I was there,” Bannan related. “I was used to winning and used being on a great defense. And then came over to Denver in 2010 and we had a real hard year.”

He had an even tougher year in St. Louis, where the Rams went 2-14 past season.

Bannan, who turns 33-years-old this week, helps fill a big space in the middle of the Broncos’ defensive line, where one starter, Brodrick Bunkley, left for New Orleans in free agency and the other, Marcus Thomas, remains a free agent. Top backup Ryan McBean is facing a 6-game suspension to start the season, and 2 other tackles, Kevin Vickerson and Ty Warren, are trying to return from season-ending injuries.

The Broncos most likely will grab a defensive tackle in the draft, too. But Bannan has every intention of starting again in Denver.

“I feel good. I feel rather like I did when I came here the 1st time,” Bannan related. “I certainly feel a bit like I’m on a mission. I am hungry. I want to win. I want to be on a fantastic team and I would like to do my portion. So, I’m more than motivated this year to prove to the new guys that are there what I’m all about.”

Bannan played in Josh McDaniels’ ill-fated 3-4 scheme in Denver. Now he’ll be playing in John Fox’s 4-3 system that better fits his skills.


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