BRONCOS HEAD COACH MIKE SHANAHAN
On WR Eddie Royal --
"He is doing a very good job. He has a lot of talent, a lot of confidence. We know what he can do when the ball is in his hands with the punt returns and the kickoff returns. He’s got a burning desire to make the starting lineup. He is very impressive."
On he will use Royal on gameday --
"We practice to give them the opportunity to get it done on gameday. Hopefully, he will take advantage of the opportunity. He has a lot of talent, quickness and speed. He is making plays during practice, and when you make plays during practice, usually it carries over to the game."
On the absence of DT Dewayne Robertson, S John Lynch, and C Tom Nalen at practice --
"Lynch was excused for personal reasons. Roberson is going two practices and taking a day off. Nalen… same thing. The knee is a little bit sore. (RB Michael) Pittman a tight hamstring. Same thing with (FB) Peyton (Hillis)… little tight hamstring."
On Nalen not practicing --
"His knee was a little sore. He wanted to practice. He had a little pain in that area, so we told him to stay away. We’ll feel it out, Hopefully, he will be able to come back tomorrow."
On what separates Pro Football Hall of Famer Gary Zimmerman from other tackles --
"Well number one is the guy never missed a play. That’s a good start. He is tough, hard nosed and he just got the job done. He took a lot of pride in what he did. One story that sticks out in my mind is in the locker room at halftime of the Raiders game. He had his shoulder pads off and his shoulder area was just out of place. You could see that it wasn’t even connected. Of course, they told Zim. He said, "I am not going out until number 7 (John Elway) goes out." With his should out of his joint, he goes out and plays the entire second half. He wasn’t coming out unless John was coming out. That gives an idea of the mental toughness and what a player is like when you play in that type of pain."
On S Marlon McCree --
"He is doing a great job. Our assistants are very comfortable (with him). Marlon starts every day."
On G Ben Hamilton --
"He is doing a good job. He has gone through the whole offseason. At the end of March, he had a lot of practices so it isn’t like it’s his sixth practice. It’s basically in the mid-20s. He’s looked good, and he’ll keep getting better."
On his relief that Hamilton hasn’t had reoccurring concussions --
"It’s a big relief to anybody. Anytime you lose a starting player to any injury, it a setback. Hopefully, there won’t be any setbacks again."
On S Hamza Abdullah’s aggression --
"These guys are all competitive. You have got to protect each other. I don’t mind that. It’s just part of football. But if you don’t make a statement out there, it gets full speed and eventually someone gets hurt."
On practice --
"It’s one of those things that you want the defense to make plays, you want the offense to make plays. Obviously, both sides can’t do it. Today was a practice where you had a little bit of both. The offense had some good plays as well as the defense. We have a lot of guys learning the system. It’s going to take some time, but there is some great effort out there today."
BRONCOS LINEBACKER D.J. WILLIAMS
On playing multiple positions
"Hopefully this is it, this is enough. The only good thing about it is (that) it shows versatility. If you play a lot of positions, you will stay around a long time."
On playing linebacker versus running back, which he played in high school and briefly in college
"I have to make the most of it. I enjoyed [playing tailback] in my years in high school. I enjoyed playing tailback. In my teen years, I had to make decisions playing tailback or playing linebacker. I sat down with my dad, and he said you could be a good running back, or a great linebacker, so I picked linebacker."
On the chemistry among the linebackers
"We are gelling pretty well right now. With linebackers, the biggest thing is communication on and off the field. We communicate out here, and in the locker room, we hang around so we are gelling pretty well."
On not being able to tackle during practice
"You know, to be honest, we get yelled at a lot. Coaches talk about throwing up and grab and not tackling. That is the hardest thing to do. Because you have to go full speed, hit the guy and then you have to stop your own momentum from going to the ground. So that’s a pretty tough thing to stop."
On the transition from playing at half speed during training camp to full speed during game time
"Once you are in a game, everything is serious. It goes on just like that it’s not a hard change."
On how the first team offense looks
"First-team offense is looking pretty well. They have a lot of weapons and a lot of receivers. All the running backs are doing pretty well. Anthony Alridge is bringing an edge against our defense once he gets in there. He’s a very explosive guy. We have Eddie Royal and Brandon Marshall… Just a number of names."
On if he takes it as a compliment that he has played so many linebacker positions
"Sometimes. You can look it as a compliment or you can look it as if you weren’t good enough to play this position. I spoke to the coaches, and they told me the reason why they moved me so many times because I was versatile and they needed me in certain positions so that I can make a defensive play."
On preparing mentally to practice six days in a row
"It’s not so much mentally. I think the physical toughness creates the mental toughness because your body gets tired and your legs get tired. You get tired of waking up and things like that."
On the breakdown routine before practice
"The whole breakdown thing is to get everybody in the mood. Everybody knows its going to be hot and tough out here. We put somebody up front to give a little entertainment. Get some smiles and laughter to get everybody ready for practice."
On having more of a big-play defense this year
"I rather have a stout defense than a big play defense. Because a lot of times you have a big play defense you take chances. I’d rather have a solid run defense than a solid pass defense."