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Rookie Eddie Royal, a second-round pick out of Virginia Tech, is impressing teammates, coaches, opponents and Sporting News Today's team of NFL scouts, who recently ranked him as the NFL's 19th-best wide receiver. Sporting News Radio's Tim Montemayor caught up with Royal after his six-catch, 164-yard, one-touchdown game against the Browns in Week 10.
SN: Is the team comfortable on offense?
ER: We're a confident group. We have confidence in each other. And it's kind of one of those things where we had to get back to doing the little things the right way. We started to establish the run (Thursday) until our running backs went out. And then when our running backs went out, we actually had a fullback (Peyton Hillis) step up and playing running back for us.
SN: How long before we see you lining up in the I-formation to run the ball?
ER: I did it my freshman year of high school, so maybe ...maybe next game. Atlanta, watch out.
SN: How happy were you with your performance last week against the Browns in which the Broncos snapped a three-game losing streak?
ER: It was a great game. I was happy I could come out and give a little spark to help our team out with some momentum and be a playmaker for us. But I'm sure there are some things I could've done better, a few opportunities where I could've made some more plays. You've just got to build on it. We've got to use this momentum and build on it and keep it going to Atlanta.
SN: How good is your quarterback, Jay Cutler?
ER: He's remarkable. He's got to be one of the best in the league. He's one of the young up-and-coming quarterbacks, and he's a great leader for us. He's everything we need in a quarterback: He can make every throw, and he's calm in the huddle. No matter what's going on, no matter if it's a highest point or lowest point, Jay's going to stay the same. And that's what you want. He's perfect for our team.
SN: Did Brandon Stokley do the right thing by persuading Brandon Marshall not to pull out the glove to honor president-elect Barack Obama following Marshall's touchdown last week?
ER: I heard Brandon talk about it in the locker room, and I think Stokley did the right thing. Stokley's been around the game. He's been in different situations to know when is a good time to do something like that. And I think Stokley was right. It was at a key point in the game; you never know what's going to happen with the refs and what type of situation can happen because of that.
SN - How did Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer impact your career?
ER - With Coach Beamer, it was all more than football to me. I knew he was a great football coach. I knew I would win football games. But when I met with him and he met with my family, you could tell it was more than football; he actually cared about me as a person. When I got to Tech, he wanted to make sure I graduated. He actually cared about me as a person, and that means a lot to a kid. When you've got a coach like that who cares about more than just football, you play harder for that guy. You want to win for a guy like him. And I've got all the respect in the world for Coach Beamer.
Great to see the kid getting some recognition for just how good of a season he is having as a rookie wide receiver.