Shanahan, Cutler and Marshall Take the Podium
HEAD COACH MIKE SHANAHAN
Opening comments --
"It sure was a good way to start. Any time you start on Monday night in the AFC West against the Raiders and you get a big win... But it's short lived because have to get ready for San Diego."
On WR Eddie Royals' play at Oakland --
"To be totally honest with you, that was part of our game plan. We were hoping that he would have a big night. You never know until you actually go out there and get it done. But as you mentioned, Eddie has been very consistent in practice. He's been very impressive since he's been here. To make something like that work your offensive line would have to play as significantly well as they did."
On being called contenders --
"You can call us whatever you want to. We are 1-0."
On devising a game plan with so many offensive weapons --
"I think that's what you want to be able to do. Not too many teams have that opportunity. When I was with San Francisco through some of our best years or here in Denver, you have to have a balanced attack. You can't have a weakness in any position to be one of the top offenses in the league. If you don't have any weaknesses, you got a chance to do something special."
On San Diego losing LB Shawne Merriman --
"Any time you lose a great player its tough, but it's the nature of the game. You're hoping that it doesn't happen at the same position to too many guys because if it does, obviously you will run out of players."
On scheming against San Diego's defense without Merriman --
"Any time you lose a Pro Bowl player is it easier? Sure it is, but does that mean another guy can't come in and play extremely well like Casey Wiegmann has done for us? That's the nature of the National Football League. Every team has depth. You know they thought enough of their back-up to award him with a new contract so they have a lot of confidence in him as well."
On how surprising it was to see Carolina's offense perform against San Diego's defense last week --
"It wasn't San Diego's normal game. They didn't play like they normally played. We know we are going to get their best shot. That was something that I have not seen them give up-250 yards in a half- before. They just didn't play at the level they normally played. They've got 10 Pro Bowl players on that team from a year before. They've got the same team the same scheme. They just didn't play at the level they normally played. We know they'll get to that level this week."
On San Diego QB Philip Rivers' actions on the sideline in Denver's game at San Diego last year --
"I don't get into that to be honest with you. That's history they beat us pretty good. The only thing I can remember is that we weren't in either game. They embarrassed us. Hopefully we will play a lot better than the last two games. There is a lot things don out on the football field. In competition you really don't what is said. The bottom line is whatever they did was between the lines. They kicked us pretty good."
On Broncos RB Andre Hall --
"You know it was really a tough situation. I talked to Dre (Bly) about 2:30 in the afternoon (on Monday) and went through on what he was going through with (Running Backs Coach) Bobby Turner and a couple of other guys. I told him I said, ‘Hey, I could understand if you can't play.' He said, ‘My mom is going to have the best seat in the house.' He wanted to play and it was tough time."
On QB Jay Cutler being hit on a scramble against the Raiders --
"I didn't see until the next day. I gave him a hard time about not turning it up field. He could've got the first down easy. I don't if he was thinking he was Bronko Nagurski going outside and inside trying to make a great run against an excellent athlete. He had the first and he took a shot on top of it."
On if C Tom Nalen will practice today and his return --
"Yes he will. We will get an idea to see what he can do. This is the first time he is able to come out and practice. He'll go through drill work and see if can take some scout team plays. It's going to take a while for him to get back into football shape. How long it will be, I really can't tell you. He's working out extremely well in the weight room and conditioning on the bike but football related drills are a lot different. So he'll be out there today and we'll get a chance to feel where he's at."
On how the defense will perform against San Diego's offensive weapons --
"For three quarters we held them (Oakland) scoreless and to 130 yards, but we didn't play the fourth quarter like we were capable of playing against them. We gave up 184 yards and 14 points and two fourth down conversions. We got to play a whole football game, something in which our team is well aware of. This is a team that has a lot of strengths. They have a great running game and passing game. The quarterback has a great field of coverage on how to read. The kid throws the ball pretty quickly. So it will be a good test. We didn't give them a game last year. Hopefully we'll be able to do that this year."
On the offensive line's performance --
"I felt pretty good about our offensive line through the preseason. Now it's not going to be perfect every week, but you get a good feel of your football team through the OTAs and preseason games and how they are handling themselves. This will be great challenge this week. Not that it wasn't last week as well, but you know we are going to gain experience and a lot of confidence in our offensive line even though their young. We do have some talent we have the right mind set and hopefully it will show when we play the games."
On what it will mean to the offense to get WR Brandon Marshall back --
"Well it's always good to have your starters. If you lose a key guy its always tough. When you lose great players, it's tough to play at the level that you like to play at, but it's going to happen. We talked about these things during the off season that through the season it's going to happen to starters and back ups the great teams are able to play at a certain level when they lose some of those guys. That's why I was pleased when we lost Brandon on how we stepped up as a unit offensively, defensively, and special teams. It's good to get Brandon back and get him back in football shape after a weeks rest. Hopefully he will be playing at the same level that he was playing in the preseason.
On WR Eddie Royal --
"He's a pretty talented kid. He's fast and quick when comes out of the break. He has good hands. For those defensive backs, it wouldn't take them very long to realize that he's got the speed to beat you deep and make them give up the big play. Hall is an experienced guy. We had a number of times that we had time and jay had him a number of times. Hopefully we can give him that time and we can get some big plays out of him."
QB JAY CUTLER
On having WR Brandon Marshall back in the lineup --
"A guy like that, it is always good to have out there. We got by without him. Eddie (Royal) had a great game. We kind of attacked one guy so we didn't have to have him out there. This game we are going to need him definitely."
On if he stayed in contact with Marshall during his suspension --
"We talked every day. I kept in contact with him to make sure he was all right. It is tough missing the home opener, the season opener and being away from the team. He loves football and he loves being out here, so it was tough on him."
On this Sunday's game against San Diego --
"It is another game for us. It's another division game. Last year is over with and they are 0-1 and ready to come in here and give us their best shot. They are a talented team offensively and defensively. It is a shorter week for us, so we have to get ready."
On if there is any animosity toward San Diego QB Philip Rivers --
"No. He doesn't play defense, so I am not worried about it."
On the Chargers losing LB Shawne Merriman for the season --
"I think with him they are a great defense and without him they are still going to be a very good defense. He is obviously a playmaker and everyone knows that and without him they don't have that same presence coming off the edge. They have guys that can fill in, they have (Shaun) Phillips on the other side and they have the two middle backers and their front three are the best. They are still going to be very good."
On the importance of the game --
"It's a huge game. Anytime you play a division team, especially this early, you want to get out to a good start. Obviously we got off to a good one Monday, but this is going to be a good test for us."
On his first impressions of WR Eddie Royal --
"You look at him and you see that he is a smaller guy. When we first saw him, we thought he was going to be good for punt returns and kickoff returns. He is quick, he is fast and as we worked with him more he started to mold into a receiver we can definitely use."
On San Diego losing LB Shawne Merriman for the season --
"We had Brandon (Marshall) out for the first game, so we kind of know what it is like. You don't want to have to lose a guy like that for the entire season, but it is tough. They are a good team and they have a lot of leaders on their team so I am sure they will bounce back."
On being contenders after the win in Oakland --
"It's the second game. I think everyone is a contender right now and you really don't know until teams separate themselves from the pack. Any time you go on the road and win like we did, it is tough to do in this league with the crowd and the travel it is tough to do in somebody else's stadium and do that to them. I think it was confidence but I think everyone realizes it was one game and we have 15 more to go."
On if he was surprised by the way the Broncos beat Oakland --
"Not really. We felt confident and it was just a matter of us going out and doing it. We knew we were capable of it, we knew we could put up a bunch of points and roll up some yards on them but it was a matter of executing. It all started with the O-line, they gave me great protection and we ran the ball well. It was a good win for us."
On the amount of fun he had in the win against the Raiders --
"We threw some different stuff at them. We lined up in some different formations, but we kind of only attacked one guy. Eddie (Royal) had a great game and we got Tony (Scheffler) involved in some stuff. We still have some more stuff saved up and I don't know if this is the week for it, but with that pass rush, we have to get a running game going."
On the game plan going into the Oakland game --
"We wanted to get the ball to Eddie because we knew he was going to have a big game for us. We tried to get him involved early and give him a feel for it."
On the Chargers --
"They are the best in the AFC West and have been for the past couple of years. They definitely owned us at their place and at our place, so it is going to be a big test for us. They are talented across the board and they have been winning longer than we have. Some of the younger guys here, including myself, are 0-4 against them."
On Patriots QB Tom Brady and Chargers LB Shawne Merriman having season-ending injuries --
"It's a shame. You never want to see guys go out especially when your star players go out like they are. It is a different complexion now. With the Patriots having Tom Brady out, they have to find somebody to step up because he led that team and he made it all happen. Merriman on their defense was kind of the trigger guy for them, too. Both teams will bounce back and that is why they are good."
On Tennessee Titans QB Vince Young --
"A lot of it is speculation and a lot of it is rumors. We have no idea what is going on in-house over their just like a lot of people don't know what is going on here in our facility. He is a competitor, and I think he is a heck of a quarterback and I think he will pull through it. It is tough, he had that great rookie year and was the NFL's rookie of the year and then he has struggled kind of like I did after my first five games and then into the next year. Hopefully he will bounce back. We will see though. Pressure is always an issue, especially quarterbacking in this league. Being a number three pick like he was with the franchise on his back, the pressure is going to be there so he has to find a way to deal with it."
WR BRANDON MARSHALL
On WR Eddie Royal --
"He's amazing and a great talent. You can't ask for a better receiver on the other side."
On how excited he is to get back --
"I'm excited. I think we have the opportunity to do some good things as a team and go in a good direction as an organization."
On what kind of tandem threat it will be with himself and WR Eddie Royal --
"Dangerous, but the good thing about it is that we have an offensive line that is strong and we have a running game that is successful and we have a bunch of tight ends that can go the distance."
On if Royal takes pressure off him --
"He will take pressure off of me. From now on every team will play fair. They will not be able to roll double coverage on my side to cover me. If they go cover two we are just going to pound the ball. I'm excited to have them, but I've been saying since the first day I've seen him he's a great talent."
On anticipating his returns --
"It went by pretty fast. Like I said, I did my best staying in shape mentally and physically. It was one week it could've been a lot worse. Thank God I'm back right now."
On what was it like watching the Oakland game on television back home --
"I was a true fan. I was really excited. It was a neat experience, but an experience that I never want to deal with again."