Potent Quotables - The Philly Aftermath

Opening comments

"Like I said yesterday, we certainly had our opportunities there in the second half and really couldn't convert on enough plays in the critical situations where we had opportunities there in the fourth quarter to win the game. That's really all phases. Offensively, we couldn't really convert on the opportunities that we had with good field position late in the fourth quarter when the game was either tied or we were down by three. Defensively, we did a decent job of keeping them backed up for the better part of the second half, in particular in the fourth quarter there before the third-and-25 play, which was may be the most critical play of the game in terms of swinging field position. We stopped them at the end of that drive, I think, but ultimately, they punted to us, (we were) backed up, we couldn't get it out, punted it back to them and ended up giving up a field goal as a result. The kicking game, we did a decent job of taking advantage of some opportunities that we had (and) forced a couple fumbles on the kickoff team. (We) did not punt the ball particularly well against a good returner. We didn't allow a lot of return yards but still didn't affect field position the way that we would hope to. All in all, just didn't do enough late in the game when we had an opportunity in a close game on the road against a good football team to win the game."

On if he is familiar with all of the Broncos' playoff scenarios

"I'm briefed, I would say, on what they are. Again I'll say the same thing, the only thing we can control is what we do and how we play and how we prepare for the (Kansas City) Chiefs. I don't think hoping for something else to happen while you're playing or while you're getting ready to play the game is going to do you any good. We understand that we have a chance. We understand that we have a chance not to be in even if we do win. I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about scenarios, though."

On focusing on the Broncos' opportunities rather than difficulties

"We can go back through the season if you want to talk about opportunities. Every week we have an opportunity to play our best football, put our best performance out there, our best coaching or whatever it may be. Looking backward, I don't know other than to try to learn from your mistakes, I don't really think it does a whole lot of good for you. Ultimately, we know this: we can win, and we can play longer. If that's the case and you get into the playoffs, you never know what could happen. It's a one-game-at-a-time season. To sit here and think back about some of the things that we wish we could change isn't going to benefit us right now other than to learn from the things that we didn't do well the last few weeks in particular (and) try to make those positives against the Chiefs and see if we can win the game and then hope that we get an opportunity to play longer."

On if he spoke with WR Brandon Stokley about his ejection

"I did. Brandon, very professional, felt terrible about not being able to help his teammates, our team, play the rest of the game. (It was an) unfortunate situation. I understand-I think there was contact, inadvertently, I think. I don't think anybody would do that on purpose. He's an emotional guy and just felt like there was a foul on the play. We'll move on from that and understand what it was."

On Indianapolis deciding to rest some of their starters during their loss to the N.Y. Jets yesterday

"It's different for each team. It's hard for me to speak about what they want to do and what their philosophy is. I'm not in their situation. Ultimately, what matters the most is what happens in the postseason. Their season is going to be determined by what they do when the playoffs start, not what happened yesterday."

On if some NFL teams have earned the right to rest players late in the season

"(The Indianapolis Colts) certainly have the right to do whatever they want to do. They've earned the right to do and choose to play however they want to play the rest of the way because of what they've done up to this point this year. Nobody's going to argue with the fact they've earned the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage and all the rest of it. Once you've put yourself in that position, really you're dealing with an organizational philosophy or decision on what to do. That's not our business. Our business is to try to win and put ourselves in position so we don't have to depend on somebody to play their guys late."

On the difficulty playing a division opponent for the second time in the season

"I think that the second time you play any opponent, the game is different. It was with San Diego. It was with Oakland. It is a lot of times when you see divisional teams play each other. The team knows you a lot better. You know them a lot better. It's harder to get away from them because usually in that first game, they get your best shot in terms of scheme and all the rest of the stuff that they haven't seen before, and then that second game around the scheme's fairly consistent. Because we just played the Chiefs recently-four weeks ago, whatever it may be-now it's even fresher on our mind, on their mind. It's late December, early January, a divisional game (and there's) a lot on the line. I would imagine it will be a close one. They played really well yesterday (at Cincinnati). I haven't seen the whole thing yet but played hard and took Cincinnati down to the wire in Cincinnati. There are a lot of things to change from the first time you play a team to the second time. I wouldn't suspect that this would be any different."

On the Broncos' 2-6 record in the last eight contests

"There are a lot of little things that go into winning and losing. We can talk about running the ball and tackling, but as late as Kansas City, we ran the ball pretty well and tackled pretty well. You're playing good football teams at the end of the season that are all playing their best, a lot of them playing for something. You've got to make some plays toward the end of the game by doing your job that affect the outcome of the game. We've put ourselves in position to win games-down by five late in the (Indianapolis) game; ahead late in the Oakland game; and tied yesterday in the fourth quarter, really, with (Philadelphia)-and at that point in time we've got to continue to do our job and try to make positive plays that will ultimately win the game. You can put yourself in position to win the game by playing well for a certain period of time, but if you don't ultimately make that scramble for 27 yards on third-and-25 or do whatever you need to do, ultimately, to determine the outcome because a lot of these games are tied late. Cincinnati-Kansas City was tied late yesterday. Pittsburgh-Baltimore was tied late yesterday. Somebody's going to do something and they're going to win the game, and somebody's not. We've been in position, and we've made plays to win games late during the course of the season this year, too. We just haven't done it the last few weeks. It's definitely come back to hurt us."

On why the Broncos aren't making game-changing plays late in the game like they were earlier in the season

"It's not that (the players) don't want to. It's not that we're not playing hard. It's not that we're not trying to do what we're asking them to do. It's not that we're not coaching or preparing hard. It's football, and sometimes you're going to do some of those things and sometimes you're not. There's no blame on one particular aspect because we all have a share in this and we can all affect the outcome of the game in different ways. Everybody's just got to continue to work hard and push through and fight and try to do their job, do their part. Ultimately, if you have enough guys doing that, you're going to make the play to win the game."

On the Broncos' running game during

"Let me just say this: yesterday, we did not win the line of scrimmage offensively, period. When I say that, I'm not talking about the backs. We did not win the line of scrimmage offensively, and they did a great job defensively of being more physical than we were up front. They knocked us back into the backfield quite a few times and held us on a third-and-one. We did convert a short-yardage situation, but ultimately when we watch the running game, we're watching what's going on at the line of scrimmage. If we're not winning the line of scrimmage, like I said before, it doesn't matter what back you have, doesn't matter who you're handing the ball to, you're not going to do a whole lot. I'm not taking blame off the backs because they certainly can do a better job of reading certain plays and all the rest of that, but it starts with what we do up front. We know that as an organization. We know that as an offense. I think everybody knows that around the National Football League. Until we win the line of scrimmage, which we've done this year a number of times, you're not going to run the ball very well. That's just the bottom line."

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