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Will Broncos' McDaniels, Chiefs' Haley shake hands this time?

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels seemed to welcome a respite Wednesday from questions about videotape violations and instead answer queries about a postgame handshake snub.

The Broncos (3-8) visit the Chiefs (7-4) this weekend in the rematch of Denver's 49-29 blowout of Kansas City last month at Invesco Field, after which Chiefs coach Todd Haley broke postgame etiquette and wagged a finger in McDaniels' face instead of shaking his hand.

Haley apologized one day later in his news conference, but he never called McDaniels, who said he expects both men to shake hands Sunday regardless of what happens on the field or scoreboard.

"I have a great deal of respect for everybody in that organization, and I would anticipate that this will just be a competitive game," McDaniels said. "I plan on shaking hands and all that stuff. It's not a big deal to me. I plan on doing that no matter what the outcome of the game is."

Asked if he would shake McDaniels' hand, Haley demurred.

"Again, I'm very much in the present tense right now," he said. "We got through Wednesday's preparation practice, and we're going to have some meetings this afternoon. Every minute is precious to be prepared and try again and try to be more competitive than we were last time, because we didn't make much of a game."

Haley has declined to say why he was upset, leaving others to speculate about the reasons. Maybe it was the Broncos blitzing gimpy Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel well into the fourth quarter, or McDaniels chest-bumping his players on the sideline after scores, or throwing the red flag when the game was well in hand.

McDaniels said he hasn't looked back to see what, if anything, he might have done differently.

"I mean, we were just trying to play football. Really, they were continuing to play the whole game, and so were we, and I think that's really how it goes every week," McDaniels said. "We were trying to stop them on defense, and we were trying to move the ball effectively on offense. And there's really no other way to play."

The Broncos were outscored by the Chiefs 29-14 after scoring the game's first five touchdowns, and Cassel had a monster day throwing the ball to Dwayne Bowe.

No lead seems safe in the league these days, especially in Denver, where the Broncos trailed the St. Louis Rams 33-13 heading into the fourth quarter last Sunday before losing 36-33.

So McDaniels doesn't believe any teams are letting up on the gas even with a big lead.

"You've got to keep trying to chop wood and keep playing, because you get a break here or there, you force a three-and-out, you get a turnover, you recover an onside kick, you block a punt, something like that, and then all of a sudden now the game becomes a game," he said.

McDaniels has been under pressure for problems on and off the field this season. Denver is 3-8 for the first time in two decades and has won just five of its last 21 games, its worst stretch in nearly 40 years.

McDaniels was fined $50,000 last weekend for not reporting his videographer for breaking NFL rules by taping an opponent's practice.

On Monday night, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen told AOL FanHouse that McDaniels' job wasn't in jeopardy. Less than an hour later, the team released a statement from Bowlen that backed off that endorsement and said: "We will continue to monitor the progress of the team and evaluate what's in the best interest of this franchise."

In his first public comments over the mixed signals, McDaniels said his focus was on things he can control.

"I have a normal routine with Mr. Bowlen, and we see each other every day," McDaniels said. "He's here every day, we talk about practice, we talk about the opponent, and he's usually out at practice.

"I'm just going to continue doing my job, and our relationship hasn't changed. We talked the other day, we talked today, and I'm going to focus on the Chiefs."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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