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Ex-Ram Mike Barber Knows What Broncos Need to Defeat Seahawks

October 20, 1985|MICHAEL KNISLEY | The Denver Post

DENVER — One of the Denver Broncos already owns a victory over the Seattle Seahawks this season.

Mike Barber, the tight end the Broncos acquired from the Los Angeles Rams last week, was part of the Rams' 35-24 Monday night win over Seattle four weeks ago in the Kingdome.

That ought to count for something, shouldn't it? Maybe a scouting report, if nothing else?

"All it counts for is what's already very evident," Barber said last Thursday. "I know they're a very good football team. They play very good defense, and everybody hustles. They've got an excellent defensive line. They really get after it. And Kenny Easley is as good a strong safety as anybody in the league.

"They're the kind of football team that's easy to get worked up to prepare for, because if you don't, you'll be embarrassed. It'll be a good game."

Barber sounds like he's been part of the Denver-Seattle series for years.

It probably isn't really much of an advantage to have played against the Seahawks already this year, but Barber did have a session or two with the Broncos' coaches this week to discuss Seattle's personnel.

"We talked a lot about it," said tight ends coach Doc Urich. "He's familiar with them. We talked about their players, who's strong, who does this, who does that. He knew how it was in their game.

"It's pretty hard for a player to really analyze a team, but it certainly doesn't hurt us."

It doesn't hurt that the Rams won that game back on Sept. 23. It follows that Denver maybe ought to try to do what the Rams did against Seattle, since that was so successful.

It makes a little bit of sense, anyway.

So . . . how did the Rams beat them?

"The Rams' offensive line is so big," Barber said. "And the offensive line finally started breaking loose in the second half. We got some big plays after halftime.

"But the main thing in that game was that going into it, Seattle didn't have any kind of turnovers at all; and I think they had something like seven against us. We were fortunate enough to take a few of those turnovers and put points on the board with them. That's how we beat 'em."

It probably has nothing to do with his recent experience against the Seahawks, but Barber figures to make his Denver debut at tight end against Seattle today.

Last week against Indianapolis, he played on only two downs--the last two plays of the game when Broncos' quarterback John Elway fell on the ball to run out the clock.

"Yes, you'll see me in this game," Barber said. "Yes, you will. I know you will. I'll be in on some special teams, and we've got a select number of plays that I already feel comfortable with."

That's consistent with how Urich assesses Barber's progress since he joined the team a week ago.

"I hope he plays," Urich said. "We're trying to get him ready to play in some situations. It's not definite, but he's making good progress. He's studying hard and trying to adapt to the system."

And he knows what it takes to beat the Seahawks.

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