HEAD COACH JOSH McDANIELS
On Oakland Head Coach Tom Cable announcing that QB Charlie Frye will start on Sunday
"It's not going to change our preparation. We'll get familiar with him this week. I've had some familiarity before. He's played in games, obviously, in this league for a few years. This won't be his first opportunity (to play). We'll get to know him over the next four days. We don't expect their offense to change that dramatically. They've got a lot of explosive players (and a) good running game. We'll prepare like normal."
On how to familiarize the Broncos with Frye
"We'll have all the film of him actually playing in games and all of that stuff available for our players here today. We'll talk about some of his strengths and weaknesses just like we would any other player."
On how the secondary's communication is affected if S Renaldo Hill cannot play against Oakland on Sunday
"'Dawk' (S Brian Dawkins) certainly does a lot of communicating in the back end, also. The secondary as a group has to communicate together. If one of those guys-and sometimes there are five or six of them on the field together-doesn't know the call, then you've got a bad play. The corners have to communicate to the safeties. Everybody who's giving a call has to get a call. Everybody who's supposed to get one is going to keep asking for it until they hear it. Brian, the corners, (CB) Ty (Law) and the guys that have been playing, they'll be in there and they'll help. We've got a couple guys who we're going to rep (at safety) this week, and then we'll see how Renaldo progresses. Other guys have to kind of step up and pick up some of that burden whenever you lose a player who is really kind of like a quarterback in the secondary."
On if S David Bruton and S Josh Barrett will take reps in Hill's place during practice
"David, (S) Vernon (Fox) and Josh, they're all back there. Like I said, we'll see how Renaldo progresses this week. We've got who we've got."
On Bruton's and Barrett's progress this season
"They've played a lot in the offseason and the preseason. (They) haven't played much safety during the course of the regular season. They get reps every week (in practice), and they get in there and they play and they learn. It's their job to know the game plan, but you'll find out a lot more when you put them in there in a real game. (We) have faith in both of them or all of them and trust them back there in the deep part of the field."
On how to protect the Broncos' health late in the season
"You have to kind of balance that with what you need to do to get ready for the game. We're certainly not unique in that we have some guys banged up and a long list on the (injury) report that says we've got some people with some bumps and bruises. You're right. This time of the year, everybody's going through that. I think you kind of take a hard look at your team and see what they need. Today, we're not going to go ahead and practice in pads today because we're banged up a little bit and just came off of a physical game. That's what we need today. We'll evaluate it going forward. Again, the biggest thing is if you can get your football team to game day where they can play physical on game day with a lot of energy and feel good about themselves physically and mentally. That's the most important thing. Right now, we've got nine practices left during the course of the season, and I hope by now we know how to do most of the things that we're trying to do physically. The most important thing at this part of the year is that your team is mentally fresh and as physically fresh as you can have them on game day."
On maximizing WR Brandon Marshall's ability
"He's a very good player. We all know that. You guys have known that for a while. He's got a unique skill set that allows you to do a lot of things with him. One of the things that I admire the most (about Marshall) is how smart he is because receiver is not an easy position to play in this league against all of the different looks you see, against all the different techniques and against all of the different corners. Guys have different talents and abilities that are covering (wide receivers), and you have to understand how to get open and what can help you get open. Any feedback that they can give us on game day certainly is worthwhile as long as it is the right stuff. He understands adjustments. We change some things during the course of the game, and he can change right along with us. He's great to coach, fun to have out there on game day and does a lot of great things. Hopefully, we'll (maximize his ability) this week, too."
On why Marshall leads the Broncos in receptions
"Certain games dictate that the ball goes to somebody more than others. We've seen that through the course of the year. Brandon has been a beneficiary of that; (WR) Eddie (Royal) was, certainly, earlier against New England. (WR) Jabar (Gaffney) has caught a bunch of balls here and there throughout the course of the year. (TE Tony) Scheffler had a bunch in San Diego. We still continue to have that philosophy. The ball is going to go where we think that it should go based on what they're doing to us, and hopefully, we've got enough talented players out there to hurt them in whatever coverages or blitz schemes they try to use against us. You always try to get the ball to guys who can make plays, and we've got a lot of them. It just so happened the last five or six weeks here we've really kind of been able to get him the ball a bunch. He's getting open. Again, it's a two-way street. You don't just design plays and then automatically have (a player make) 12 catches. You design your offense, and it's their responsibility to create separation and give you an opportunity to throw the ball in there. He's done a great job of it and a lot of our guys have. It's just he's had more turns. Again, there's not a big ‘force the ball to Brandon Marshall' philosophy going on here. You guys know that. He was open a bunch last week, and that's why he caught so many passes."
On if he is concerned with the Broncos' offensive balance against Indianapolis
"No, because again, if they want to just let us throw the ball to one guy, you take what they give you. Last week, we took what they gave us, and we're going to continue to do that. If they take that away, then the ball will go somewhere else. The most important thing for us is that we're moving the ball and having positive plays. Whether that be to 10 different receivers or five or three (to the) tight ends, backs or receivers, it doesn't make any difference. We're hoping to be productive no matter who we're throwing to."
On how the Raiders have changed since the Broncos last played them
"They're playing with a lot of guys who we didn't play against in the first game. (WR Chaz) Schilens is a go-to receiver. There's no doubt about that. Third down (and) red zone, he's had a big impact there for them. (He) made a bunch of big plays in the Cincinnati game late. (QB Bruce) Gradkowski obviously did some different things and moves in and out of the pocket well. We don't expect that to change. (RB Justin) Fargas, we didn't play against, either. (He's) a different style of runner. (Oakland) is one of only two teams or maybe the only team that has three backs who have 80 carries or more. Fargas, (RB Darren) McFadden and (RB Michael) Bush, they don't really care who's in there. They give it to all three of them and let them go with it. (WR Louis) Murphy is certainly playing much better. He was a young kid, obviously, when we played them the first time. This guy's made a bunch of big plays, a bunch of big catches and touchdowns the last month. He's playing at a different level. Defensively, I think 26 passes have been thrown at (CB Nnamdi) Asomugha in 13 games, which is amazing to me because he just shuts everybody down. They've created turnovers in the red zone, and then they've created turnovers when people have been backed up, which has given their offense a short field sometimes, and they've punched it in. They've continued to progress and get better and improve. They've got some players healthy now who they didn't when we first played them. We know what happened here last year. We were 6-4 and they were 2-8, and they came in here and drummed us 31-10. The fact that we are 8-5 and they're 4-9 doesn't really make a difference to us. It's a division game. We know it's going to be tough and physical, and they're playing a different style of football. They're aggressive. The word I use to describe them is ‘explosive.' (With) their kickers, their offense and their defense, if you take a play off, you're giving yourself a chance to have a big play put up against you."
On if his message to the Broncos changes entering the season's final three games
"We all understand where we're at. At the beginning of the season, we wanted to put ourselves into a position at this point to be able to compete to be able to play in the postseason. We've done that. Now, our urgency has to go up along with the rest of the league's. We can't take any days off (or) any plays off. We have to have good practice days the rest of the season because like I said, we only have nine of them left to try to earn more. The only thing we know is if we win three, we'll have a chance to play longer. That's what we're focused on right now, and it starts with the Raiders."
QB KYLE ORTON
On why Oakland CB Nnamdi Asomugha is so successful
"(His) speed (and) length; (he's) physical and basically runs the receivers route for him; he's extremely fast, quick; and he's got great length, too. It's not like you can just expect to throw the ball up on him and have him not make plays on the ball. When he's there and people throw at him, he certainly makes plays at the ball, so that adds another factor that makes him very tough."
On how you attack a corner like Asomugha
"You certainly don't want to live working against him if you have a choice. The other (cornerback) is very, good too. (No.) 37 (CB Chris Johnson) is a good player, but if you certainly have your choice, you don't want to be going at (No.) 21 (Asomugha)."
On the Asomugha-Brandon Marshall matchup
"Brandon is pretty good, too. He's got to cover Brandon, so it will be a good matchup all day. We have a lot of confidence in (No.) 15 (Marshall) when we throw to his routes."
On not being 100-percent healthy late in the season
"I don't think anybody is. That's part of the league. Good teams can deal with it, and teams that can't win late, they can't deal with it. You've got to have depth, you've got to have tough guys that play through it and you've got to just, more than anything, have production on the practice field. You can't just have everybody shutting it down three days a week and then showing up to play (on Sunday) and nothing ever gets done. It's tough and it's a battle, but we've got a lot of guys out there practicing and trying to get ready for this week."
On having to play through pain late in the season
"Obviously, there are some things that you can't play with, but if you can play with it, you've got to be out there."
On his ability to perform better when he's 100-percent healthy
"Obviously, the healthier you are (and) the better you feel, the better you are going to play. To start off the season for five games and have a broken finger, it's not perfect. It's not how you want it, but that's just how it is. You just try to deal with it and get through it."
On Marshall's football intelligence in comparison to his physical ability
"His size and his physical ability, to me, is what are most impressive, but he's a smart football-he's a total football player. You're not as good as he is without understanding the game and understanding defenses and what teams are trying to do. You just can't catch that many passes without having a good understanding of how teams are trying to take you away."
On his confidence in the receiving corps
"I have a ton of confidence. You look at (WR) Jabar Gaffney, (who) has been big all year. (WR) Eddie Royal has had big games for us. Whenever (WR Brandon) Stokley plays, he comes in and has huge plays for us. Our two tight ends (Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler) have been very productive as well when we've asked them to be. We've got a lot of people to throw the ball to. It's not like Brandon is going to be getting 20 balls every game."
On the Broncos' running backs in short-yardage situations
"(RB) Knowshon (Moreno) runs the ball pretty tough in short yardage. You can't run through everybody. We've got to do a better job of blocking for him. We've got to do a better job of getting a surge. That's on everybody on the offense, not just Knowshon. We've got good short-yardage backs. (RB) Peyton (Hillis) is a good one as well, but this isn't Knowshon's problem. This is the offense's problem."
On the Broncos' depth at running back
"We've had a deep backfield all year. We've got (RB) LaMont (Jordan) who hasn't played a ton for us lately that can come in and do good things. (We also have) Peyton, Knowshon and ‘Buck' (RB Correll Buckhalter). We've got a lot of guys that can play."
On if he is resting more and receiving more treatment in attempts to remain healthy late in the season
"(You do) everything, all of the above. As bad as you feel (on) Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, you've got to have faith that your preparation for your body is going to show dividends on Sunday. I know that's how I've felt. I haven't felt very well until about Saturday. (On) Saturday, you start feeling a little bit better, and by Sunday, you feel alright. The next week, you've got to go and do it all over again."
On if the Broncos' urgency increases entering the last three games of the season
"For us, it does for sure. We know what we've got to do the last three games. If we take care of our business, we'll be right where we want to be. It all starts this week with a tough divisional game, and we can't sleep on them. Every game you ever play inside the division is a tough game. We've got two (division games) out of the three (remaining), so we'll have a tough task, for sure."
S BRIAN DAWKINS
On if Oakland's announcement that QB Charlie Frye will start on Sunday affects the Broncos' preparation
"No, it is about what they do as a team. You know what they like to do. (They are a) big, physical team. They are going to try and run the ball and take shots when they have opportunities. You prepare for what they do best. Whoever plays or whoever does not play shouldn't make a difference in how we prepare."
On how the secondary will respond to injuries at safety
"It makes other guys who have been in the backseat doing some special teams work step up and play some ball. That, basically, is what it does. As far as (injuries) in a game, I've seen things happen in games before, and you have to continue and roll and continue and play and do what you can until those guys who can come back, come back. The guys who are going to step up have to be able to step up and make big plays for us."
On how members of the secondary can contribute in place of injured Broncos
"Those guys, each one of them brings different things to the table, but the thing that each one presents is a playmaking potential from that position. That is what you always look for: (someone who is) physical, can come up and make the open-field tackle when they need to, can catch the deep ball and go get it when they have to. Each one of those guys is going to be asked to do those things at different times of the season. Hopefully, it won't be too long and (S) Renaldo (Hill) will be able to get back in there soon. Until that time comes, they will have to do it."
On if this Sunday's game against Oakland is a trap game
"Is it a trap game? Trap games? We are in the last part of the season and trying to position ourselves to do what we need to do game by game. How can you have a trap game? There is no such thing as a trap game this late in the season."
On how to keep the Broncos focused on winning all three remaining games
"By not saying what you just said, ‘If we win all three.' It is about winning this one. Then when that happens-if we are able to pull this game out-we go to the next one. It is a one-game attitude. You can't try and crop them together and say, ‘If we do this...' ‘If' will get you beat every week, so we've got to go out and make sure we concentrate on this team, which is a very talented team. They are obviously going to come in here and want to win this game, so you can't look at anybody past this team."
On mentoring younger Broncos like S David Bruton
"I feel like I've been blessed to play this game, obviously, for a long time, and a lot of wisdom, I've received. I feel like it is my duty to pass that on to young guys under me. Whatever I see-he sits right next to me, so I'm always whispering different things to him to allow him to see what I see, what I'm seeing on the field and why I do certain things. Hopefully, it will allow him to be able to step into this position and be able to be where he needs to be right away from some of the things that we've talked about. I believe that is my position. I need to be able to help young guys under me, to help them to make sure that the safety position on whatever team that I'm playing for is a strong one for years to come."
On if it is more difficult to mentally prepare for teams that don't have elite quarterbacks
"This is crunch time. This is what you play football for, to put yourself in position to be able to do some things after (the regular season) if you continue to play good football. You shouldn't really need any one particular player to get you up for any game going forward. It is the position and where we are in the season (that) should get you up for every game. I understand outside of the locker room how that can mesmerize somebody to say that. You don't have (to face) a (Indianapolis QB) Peyton Manning or a (New England QB) Tom Brady or anybody playing at quarterback, but it does not matter this time of the season. The only thing that matters is getting wins and losses-wins hopefully-against good football teams. (Oakland) is a good football team. Their record may not say it and people may look down on them, but I look at the film and what I see is a lot of speed on the outside, a running attack that can gash you at anytime and a huge, physical offensive line that can move people off the ball. That is what I'm looking at. I don't look at their record."
On how he feels physically after a game
"(It) depends on the team, depends on the game and depends on what I've asked my body to do on that Sunday. Usually, Monday is not a fun day. It is a slow day for me, and I try and do everything in my power to get my body ready to come into practice and be able to run and run at a good pace so I'll be ready to run full speed and do the same crazy stuff again on that next Sunday."
On facing Oakland Frye
"Again, our job is to do specific thing, to try and be as familiar as possible with their offensive scheme, what they like to do-a lot of different things-and play football. When the ball is snapped, we have to be where we are supposed to be. We disguise (coverages) with everybody. It doesn't matter the quarterback. Once the ball is snapped, plays have to be made, edges have to be set (and) tackles have to be made. That is the definition of a defense later in the season, when you are able to do those things and correct those mistakes that you've made early so that you can play your best football."
On if he believes WR Brandon Marshall and Buffalo WR Terrell Owens are similar players
"Absolutely, you see that physically on the field. Probably (Houston WR) Andre (Johnson) will be another one from the Texans. (They are) physically just gifted, huge guys that can run and run after the catch and go get the ball when it's in the air. They present matchup problems every week. I don't care what team they are going against, they are going to have matchup problems going against those guys. Each one of them, from those two anyway, that I played with, (their) work ethic is unbelievable (with) the way they work in practice, and that translates into the game. That is why he is able to do the things in the game that he does because of his work ethic in practice."