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DT calls Shanahan 'little man'

DENVER -- Denver Broncos defensive tackle Daryl Gardener lashed out
at coach Mike Shanahan on Friday, a day after he was suspended one
game for conduct detrimental to the team.

Gardener called Shanahan "that little man up there" on a
Denver radio station and said he doesn't believe Shanahan wants him
on the team.

"So, my future is at stake right now. And right now, the way
it's looking, this man doesn't want me to be a Denver Bronco
because he doesn't even want me around the facility or around the
players," Gardener said on KRFX radio.

Shanahan suspended Gardener for Sunday's game against Chicago on
Thursday but didn't give specifics.

Gardener said he believes he was "set up" to overreact to an
edited tape shown to players this week that depicted Gardener
failing to hustle on several plays.

"Right now, I have to believe it was a sabotage for me to
react, in order for them to suspend me for the year, or for conduct
detrimental to the team," he said.

"It was a setup, because things weren't quite right."

Shanahan said Friday the suspension was an internal issue.

"It's an in-house issue and it will remain in house," Shanahan
said. "I will meet with Daryl Tuesday and if the matter is
resolved, he will play next week. If it isn't, we will move on from
there."

Gardener was supposed to be Denver's big free agent acquisition
in the offseason, getting a seven-year, $34.8 million deal with
Denver.

But he's yet to fulfill those expectations. He was arrested in
July after a late-night fight outside a pancake house and missed
all of training camp because of wrist surgery stemming from the
incident.

Gardener returned to practice in early September but missed the
next four games because of lingering soreness in his wrist. He saw
limited action his first two games before moving into the starting
lineup for two games, starting Oct 12 against Baltimore.

Gardener was replaced as the starter by Mario Fatafehi last
week, which may have had something to do with his suspension.

"I'll tell you what, that man is in control of that whole
building," Gardener said. "If you want to be on that field, he
can get me out on that field. For him to pull this power move, it's
stupid. We could have talked about (it) like some men, but
evidently we can't talk like some men."

Shanahan said he wouldn't respond to Gardener's comments because
he didn't hear them.

"Let me say this. Anything that I'd comment would be to Daryl,
(and) his agent, before I share it with anybody else," Shanahan
said. "We do things in-house. We don't do it through the TV, we
don't do it through the newspaper. If I did make a decision or I
did make some comments, I would make it through that player before
anyone."