Sauerbrun knows he's marked by steroid scandal

DENVER -- Todd Sauerbrun ended his media boycott this week, saying Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan was "cool" and that the stigma of the steroid scandal that surrounds him "won't go away as long as I'm in the NFL."

In an interview with the Denver Post, the oft-troubled Denver punter said he was glad to be out of Carolina, where his every move was scrutinized, and was glad to be playing for Shanahan.

"I know it sounds cheesy, but I idolize him a little,"
Sauerbrun said. "Mike Shanahan is one of the coolest coaches,
really, one of the coolest human beings I've ever been around. For a coach to be a human being, that's hard to find. I'd run through a
wall for that man."

Sauerbrun was identified in a CBS report in March as having filled steroid prescriptions written by South Carolina doctor James Shortt, who was charged last week with distributing steroids and
human growth hormones.

The punter refused to discuss the steroid case, other than to say he was sure it would stay with him as long as he's in the NFL.

Some thought the Broncos were taking a risk by trading a seventh-round draft pick to bring in troubled punter in the offseason. Sauerbrun said coming to Denver from Charlotte was a well-needed relief.

"It's a small town there, and there's nothing going on," he said. "I felt like I was being written about every day. It's so much better for me here."

He's doing well with the Broncos, taking over the kickoff position and leading the AFC at 46.6 yards per punt. He's also been accepted by his teammates.

"I knew the type of player and the type of person that he was," said linebacker Keith Burns, who played with Sauerbrun in Chicago. "So it really didn't matter what he did in the past or what happened in Carolina. He was coming here to play with the Broncos and leave it at that."