How do teams adjust to Denver's altitude?

Steelers Q&A with Ed Bouchette

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Q: Hello Ed. With the Steelers having the week off and a Monday night game in Denver how early could they go to get accustomed to the altitude? Or would they have some way of training at their facility? Thanks for your time.

Charles Lewis, Akron, Ohio

BOUCHETTE: Teams and coaches varied their approach about that. Chuck Noll would sometimes go there two days ahead, sometimes just one. Coach Marty Schottenheimer took his Cleveland Browns to the thin air of Albuquerque, N.M. to train in the week leading up to the AFC championship game in Denver 20 years ago. What has emerged is that if you have to play football in Denver, it's better to spend as little time there beforehand as possible, unless you have a week to spend there and train and that's usually not possible. So, most teams head there the day before the game. The Steelers are 4-9-1 in Denver since they began playing the Broncos in 1970. They lost their most recent trip there in 2007, but did win the AFC championship game there after the 2005 season. They last won a regular-season game in Denver in 1990.


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