BRONCOS HEAD COACH MIKE SHANAHAN
On Thursday morning's practice --
"It was a great practice. We had good tempo and had great spirits. We got a lot done."
On the competition at defensive tackle --
"It's good; we have some good competition there. Every day you come out here you see one guy that flashes. We have a number of preseason games to put our defense in, but I'm looking forward to seeing them in live conditions. We've got some great effort; we've some young guys with a lot of potential. We'll just wait and see."
On DE Ebenezer Ekuban not practicing --
"It's very similar to what I've done with Tom Nalen, what I've done with (Dewayne) Robertson. Here is a veteran guy that came off surgery and missed six practices in a row and didn't complain and didn't want to miss practice, but I thought it was the best for him."
On the status of Tom Nalen --
"He's going to have an MRI today to just check everything out and make sure if there is something we have missed. According to (Head Athletic Trainer) Steve (Antonopulos), it's not the knee, it's beneath the knee. The bursa sac is causing him a little irritation right now. He doesn't think it's anything serious, but to prevent anything we are going to check it with an MRI and hope it'll be fine and just a little bit sore."
On the defense --
They are still learning the system; we still have some great competition and we are trying to get 11 guys on the same page. That's pretty tough against our offense because we throw so many formations at them. We are picking up things very quickly. Like I said it's a great competition out there."
On QB Jay Cutler --
"(He is having a) good camp. He has his weight back. Anytime you are in your third year you feel a lot more comfortable-the terminology, the system, the supporting cast and the defenses. Most quarterbacks in their third year want to go out and prove themselves."
BRONCOS' SAFETY MARLON MCCREE
On how Lynch's departure changes his approach to training camp --
"It really doesn't. I wasn't promised anything. All I was promised was the opportunity to compete, and I'm still competing. I have nothing but respect and admiration for John Lynch, I was sorry to see him leave. I was learning a lot for him, and he was a great veteran leader, and I am going to miss him around here."
On if he was surprised to see Lynch go --
"I was surprised. He didn't say anything to anybody. Obviously he and Coach (Mike) Shanahan spoke. It was new to us all yesterday. I wish him the best and I hope that he lands somewhere else. I wish him nothing but success."
On whether Coach (Mike) Shanahan and Coach (Bob) Slowik have asked him about San Diego's view of the Broncos offense --
"Not yet. When I came on my visit, we spoke about some things. Coach Shanahan is a guru, he knows everything. If he needs me, I am available he knows that. I am sure as the games get closer, and Week 2 starts to arrive, I'm sure I will have a sit down with the offensive coordinator."
On the leadership burdens as a veteran on the defense --
"I have always tried to carry myself as a leader, and was in San Diego. In this secondary, with Champ (Bailey), Dre' (Bly) and Hamza (Abdullah), I'm able to focus on doing what I need to do to help this team win games, and win the division, and ultimately get a chance to win the Super Bowl. I am more than willing and capable of being a leader, and that is what I plan on doing."
On surprises being part of life in the NFL --
"It is just how life is in the NFL. Life doesn't end after the NFL, so John (Lynch) will go on and have much success, and I'm sure that if he wants to play, he can play at a high level. If not, he will be successful in other areas, so nothing but success and best wishes to John. "
On quarterback Jay Cutler --
"He's got a pretty strong arm. Every time we got ready to play him our coach said, ‘Stay deep, this kid can throw a hundred thousand yards.' He's got a strong arm, he's got a cannon. I'm impressed by him, I am impressed with (Brandon) Marshall, (Brandon) Stokley and (Eddie) Royal. Those guys don't drop anything. The hard catches, they make them. Cutler is doing really well, I am impressed by him too."
BRONCOS' CORNERBACK CHAMP BAILEY
On S John Lynch's departure --
"I'm a little shocked. Me playing with John for last four years and how competitive he is and how much pride he has about what he is doing on the field. It (stinks) that he can't play every down but that is what he wants to do. He wasn't happy with his role and I am behind his decision all the way whatever he wants to do. I would love him to stay but every guy has to look out for himself."
On whether he expected John Lynch's departure coming --
"Not to this extreme, I didn't see it coming. I knew that he was uncomfortable with his role and that is pretty much all I knew."
On where the Broncos will suffer the most with Lynch's departure --
"He was almost like a fourth linebacker out there. He's great in run defense and his leadership, most of all, is going to be missed because he is a proven winner and a Hall of Fame player and guys look up to him and respect him for what he has done and what he can do."
On filling the leadership role John Lynch held --
"Well you don't have to yell at anybody to be a leader. I think people misunderstand; you can just lead by example. I think the way you lead on this defense is by just working hard everyday and when guys get down you pick them up. I know myself that I have to step up a little bit without John here because John was always the guy who would say something. There are a lot of guys that lead by example, look at D.J. Williams. We expect everybody to pick themselves up and gather around him."
On Lynch's frustration --
"He was very frustrated. This would have been his 16th year. I can't say that I have been there but he just came off of a pro-bowl year. It is not like he can't play. When a team is ready to move on and go in a certain direction that is the way you have to take it. Jerry Rice didn't finish in San Francisco but he was a great player."
On whether Lynch's absence will set the defense back --
"Well not really. I think the hardest thing is that we will just miss his presence and what he brought to us. I think we have a lot of time to adjust so I don't think it will set us back too much."
On the other safeties stepping up --
"They are smart players and they have been around so we expect them to fill in and play as well as we expect them to.
On the number of new faces on the defense --
"I'm getting used to it. Looking back at ‘05, we probably have 10-12 guys on the whole team. It's nothing new it is just the way this business is."
BRONCOS' CB DOMONIQUE FOXWORTH
On feeling a void on the defense --
"We need to step up. Losing a player is all part of the game. You have people and you lose them. It's the responsibility of everyone else to step up and fill that role whether it is on field stuff or leadership. I think we have enough guys to do that."
On if he was surprised to see (John) Lynch go --
"It caught me off guard a little bit. It's hard to say I'm surprised. What is it, like 15 years? It's not just a flat out surprise, but the fact that he has been here five days and just disappeared caught us all off guard."
On if he sensed frustration in John Lynch during training camp --
"I didn't sense it. He did a good job covering it up. It's hard to imagine he wasn't a little frustrated, being the perennial pro-bowler that he is. To come in and not be an every down guy, I'm sure he's frustrated."
On who steps up as a vocal leader --
"I don't think its one person. I think we have a lot of great leadership. One of the best things about this team so far is that people have been self motivated and leading themselves. It makes for a better team. We haven't had any situations where we needed a guy to step up by yelling and screaming to get us in line. Everyone is here everyday and ready to work."