Potent Quotables - McDaniels Monday Meet-up

Opening statement

"After evaluating the film, we certainly did some things that we identified as keys for us to win the game yesterday. I think it started with our performance in the kicking game. We knew that that had been a strength of Kansas City's, and we felt like we really challenged them in every phase of our special teams. (WR) Eddie (Royal) did a nice job returning the football. He handled every ball against a punter (Dustin Colquitt) who certainly has given returners some fits. Credit him for doing that. There were a few that were over his head, and he went back and got them and had a big day returning the football. (K Matt) Prater kicked the ball well. (ILB/FB) Spencer Larsen had four tackles (on special teams). All in all, we just really handled the kicking game well.

"Defensively, obviously, any time that you force turnovers and you can turn them into points, that's a huge help on the road. We did a nice job of creating some three-and-outs, which I know a lot of the time the offense gets credit for time of possession, but when the defense forces 10 three-and-outs or better, that certainly lends itself to the offense having the ball for a long time. The defense certainly gave it back to the offense yesterday.

"Offensively, we did a nice job in the running game at the line of scrimmage. We only had one negative run in 45 carries, which we've talked a lot about that this year. We really did a nice job of controlling the line of scrimmage (and our) backs ran well. We improved our red-zone production as well. It's been something that's been a little bit of an Achilles heel for us. We got down in there six times and came away with four touchdowns. (There's) still room to improve and get better, but (it was) much better than what it's been. We scored on a screen play, which was a big deal to us.

"All in all, (we are) happy with the way our team approached the game yesterday. We are excited for the opportunity to get ready for the Colts this weekend."

On ILB/FB Spencer Larsen's contribution on special teams

"Toughness, consistency, effort (and) attitude. He works at his craft. He does his job every time he's out there. He's a great leader for that group. We've got a lot of leaders who play a lot on special teams, (ILB Wesley) Woodyard, (OLB/DE Mario) Haggan, Larsen, (S Darcel) McBath, (S David) Bruton and (S Josh) Barrett. There are a lot of them, (OLB/DE Darrell) Reid, who are out there all of the time on those kicking units. They enjoy it. They accept the challenge. They want to be out there. I think a lot of times in the kicking game, that's part of it is wanting to be out there and run down on the kickoff, block people and sometimes take on double teams. It isn't always pretty, but Spencer attacks all of those challenges head on. It's great to have him out there."

On starting CBs Champ Bailey and André Goodman contributing on coverage units

"Those plays are just as important as the other plays in the game that they may be on the field for. We knew going into yesterday-they've been playing that role for a while now. I think that just shows our team how important we feel the plays are, and it also shows the rest of our players that those guys are out there working hard to try to help us in any way they can. We've got a very unselfish team. I don't think there is any player on our team who wouldn't do anything we asked of him in the kicking game. Those two are good examples."

On if it is unconventional to have two defensive starters on coverage units

"I don't think so. There are some teams that have maybe more starters than others (on special teams), but (Kansas City RB) Jamaal Charles was right beside the kicker on the opening kickoff yesterday. Each coach and each team has a different set of players and a different set of philosophies on that, but I think the kicking game is a huge phase for us and is very important. We don't treat it as any less than offense or defense. We would like to have the best players we can on the field."

On Bailey, a potential NFL Hall of Famer, being willing to play on coverage units

"Like I said, I don't think he would consider it ‘willing to play.' I just think he would consider it as we asked him to play that role, and he's saying yes. I don't think it's one of those things where we present it like, ‘Hey, would you mind?' We don't do that. We try to put the best 11 (players) on the field every time we can, whether it's an extra point, a field goal, a field goal block, punt team or whatever it may be. The guys we feel like can give us the best opportunity to win that play, we hope, are out there all the time, within reason. There are certainly plays where you can't have a whole bunch of starters out there because they just played 12 plays or something. We, again, appreciate everybody's attitude and effort in the kicking game here in Denver."

On RB Correll Buckhalter carrying 10-15 times a game

"We don't call the game offensively based on who's in the game at the running back spot. I'm not going to say I don't know who's in the game, but I almost don't care who's in the game. It's not like we're running a bunch of different plays because ‘Buck' is in there, and then when (RB) Knowshon (Moreno) goes in there, it's a whole different set of plays. We don't do that. I just think both of them had a good day. (RB) Peyton Hillis had another good day, too. He ran the whole six-and-a-half minutes off the clock in the four-minute offense. It doesn't really change what we do. We feel comfortable with both of them in there. (‘Buck') did have a good day. He was close (to breaking a big run) on a couple of those."

On factors influencing his decision to run the ball more late in the season

"I think it is a combination of a lot of things. I don't think it's just that year (2007), but I think every year that I've been in the National Football League, the weather, obviously, plays a role. What you do at the end of the year if you're an east-coast or cold-weather climate team that's going to have to deal with those conditions, you certainly are going to have to be able to do more of that, maybe, later in the year. I think all defenses and all offenses and all coaches at this point kind of know you better than what they maybe did Week 2 or Week 3 of the season, certainly. Whatever their plan is going to be, it may dictate that they want to play with more defensive backs, they want to play with the safeties back, with the safeties down, more man coverage or whatever it may be. There are a lot of circumstances that go into what you do. You've just got to take it for what it is that week and try to do the best thing you can with your game plan."

On the Broncos' offensive identity

"It's week by week, I think. Our identity, I am not big on saying what our identity is, but we try to do whatever we think is in the best interest of beating the opponent we have on the schedule this week, which changes quite a lot. A few weeks ago, it was more four-wide receiver (sets), and yesterday, it was none of that. It might be a bunch of blitzing one week and not much the next week depending on who you're playing and what you think you have to do to beat them or what you think you can be successful with. That goes back to the players being able to handle those adjustments. Sometimes the swing is huge from one week to the next. Sometimes it's not. We just try to put them in a good position to be successful and hope that we can execute our plan against whoever we play."

On wanting to keep Indianapolis from finishing the season 16-0

"My big focus this week is beating them because it'd mean we're 9-4. I think that's the most important thing for me and our team. If in some way it can derail history, then it is what it is."

On beating Indianapolis

"This is a very talented team that doesn't make mistakes, is very well coached (and) a great organization. I've had the opportunity to play against them a number of times in New England. It's always been a great challenge to get ready for them. They give you a lot of different things to get ready for. Certainly, the offense with (QB) Peyton Manning and their ability to throw the ball and score a lot of points certainly poses a huge challenge. Defensively, I think they're leading the league in points allowed. They get to the quarterback. In their kicking game, they're fast, they do a good job of kicking the football, they return the ball well, they cover well (and) they've got great speed. This is, to me, kind of the ultimate complimentary football team. They get ahead of you, and then they send rushers at you and don't give up many big plays on defense, which forces you to go a long distance and run a lot of plays to score on them. I think they count on making a few negative plays along the way, and if they get you in second-and-15 or third-and-13, it's hard to convert on them. Once you get behind and you start making it a passing game, it becomes a problem."

On Indianapolis' ability to win

"They've won a lot of different ways. They were behind 17-0 to Houston a couple weeks ago. Miami had the ball for 45 minutes. They were down by 17-20 points in the second half to New England, and they win that one. I don't think this team ever flinches. They don't lose their composure. They're confident and focused on what they need to do. They have a tremendous amount of playmakers on their team, not just on their offense, on their team. They have two of the best pass rushers (DE Dwight Freeney and DE Robert Mathis) in all of football on their defensive line. They have quite possibly one of the best receivers in all of football in (WR) Reggie Wayne, one of the best tight ends in all of football in (TE) Dallas Clark and one of the best quarterbacks in football in Peyton Manning. I could go on and on. They're not even playing with (injured DB) Bob Sanders. It's a talented football team that you have to play a really solid football game in all three phases, but I think one of the things you really have to do is you've got to play 60 full minutes because it doesn't take them long to make big plays. You just pointed out the Miami game. They don't need 32 minutes of time of possession to score a bunch of points."

On comparing all-time great quarterbacks as a youth

"Certainly, I grew up in what I would call an exciting time to be a kid who loved football (with) (former Denver QB) John Elway, (former San Francisco QB) Joe Montana and (former Miami QB) Dan Marino, among others. There were a lot of guys that you could really appreciate and kind of fall in love with if you liked football and liked quarterbacks. I think it's very similar now. There are a lot of guys that you can really appreciate and could talk about up there with the best of all time. Who am I to say who the best of all time is, but I know the guy who we're playing this week is right there at the top of the list."

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