**Courtesy of the Denver Broncos PR Staff
Have you ever been associated with a play that crazy?
"No. I've seen it happen one time to my father, but we were on the good side of that one too. You just have to play as long as they'll let you, and we did. Our guys kept fighting, obviously. We made one more play than they did today."
Does the defense get credit for the win today?
"The defense played well. Our plan was solid. We wanted to stop the running game with six or seven guys up there and take away the big plays, which we did for the most part. I know we missed some tackles and gave up some big plays after catches. But I thought we disrupted (Carson Palmer's) rhythm, and didn't let him get going. Offensively, we didn't do enough with the ball. At the end of the game, they had the ball for 33-34 minutes. We wore down a bit on that last drive. And give credit to the Bengals. They moved the ball down the field well at the end."
Can you go through your emotions from beginning to end of that play?
"When we called what we called, we just wanted to give someone a chance. We were planning on using a timeout and taking a shot from there to get into field-goal range. It was right in front of me when that ball went up in the air. I knew that Brandon (Stokley) would catch it, but I didn't know where everyone else was. Once he caught it, and there was only Dhani Jones to beat, I kept yelling, ‘Don't get caught! Don't get caught!' because Stokley is not the fastest guy we have on the field. I was looking up at the scoreboard because I didn't know if he needed to get out of bounds. I didn't know if anyone else was coming at him at an angle. Once it was apparent that he was going to score, I turned back and scanned the field for a yellow hanky."
Thoughts on Brandon Stokley using more clock before entering end zone ...
"I think that's the right call as long you're safe. If he does that, and someone tackles him at the one, we would be talking about a completely different scenario. We talk so much to our players about being aware of the situation. We scored a field goal at the end of the half, and we scored during the final 10 seconds, which of course we didn't script it like that. I think they understand that if you play hard, anything is possible. We didn't turn the ball over and we were on the wrong end of the field position game, which obviously hurt our opportunities to score. It's a win. This is the National Football League and I'm proud of those guys for playing hard for 60 minutes."
Can you share the play call?
"It was ‘All Go,' fittingly enough."
Even though you were known as an offensive coach, your defensive experienced did have something to do with becoming head coach ...
"Our defensive staff had a great plan. We went back and forth with some things this week, and used some things that were successful previously against this team. Again, this was that kind of game. They didn't do a whole lot offensively either. For the most part, it was a field position game. And, it was a game about who could make the last play. Fortunately for us, we did. We have a lot of work to do. We have a lot of improvements to make. There were some good things and there is obviously stuff we need to work on."
What was the situation with the clock at the end of the game?
"It was an odd situation. They had called a timeout. Then the upstairs decided to review whether he scored or not. When they came back out and said he didn't score, they didn't tell me they were going to wind the clock. They made the decision to give them their timeout back and then start the clock. I was watching the clock and it never started. So I didn't call our timeout, but I would have. Ultimately, what ended up happening because it was a replay challenge, they put the time back on the clock and then charged them with a timeout. They did a good job of trying to iron it out and make sure that they got it right."
Do you have to get more out of your quarterback?
"We have to get more out of a lot of people. It isn't just about the quarterback. The quarterback did some good things today and we missed a few opportunities. There are a lot of people who are going to have to play better. We know that. That team in there knows that. It's week one, and you build off of your performances as the season goes on. We are not naive to that and we know we have to get back to work tomorrow."
Thoughts on Brandon Marshall ...
"I thought he played well. He made some plays and made a big third-down catch on that one drive. He really got into a rhythm. It was hot and humid and we needed all of our guys today. We had some guys get dinged during the course of the game. I think all of our receivers did a great job with the opportunities that they had."
Thoughts on injury to Spencer Larsen ...
"I'm not exactly sure what happened, but it happened here. It was kind of a fluke accident. I'm going to be updated on it here in a minute. It happened here in the locker room before the game."
Thoughts on being the ninth Broncos head coach to win his opener ...
"It feels great. To share that with the guys in the locker room, coaches, ownership and the organization, that's the fun part. This isn't how we drew it up, but when you win one, you win one. It's the first one for our team and for a bunch of new guys in there. I'm proud of them. It feels great to be 1-0. We know that there will only be 16 teams like that after week one and we're proud to be one of them."
Can you describe the crazy play that your father was a part of?
"There was two minutes to go with a four- or five-point deficit. The ball was downed on the one-yard line. Through a slant pattern, the wide receiver caught it and ran 99 yards for a touchdown. I remember the same kind of feeling because of how long the play was. That play took the game clock all the way down to 10 seconds. It took a long time, and it felt like it did. It was similar as far as unusual circumstances."
Take us through the game-winning play ...
"It was an ‘all-go' play - everyone was going vertical. At that point, you are just trying to catch a break. You hope to catch a ball, call a timeout and have another chance to get around the 40 and give Prater a chance to make another field goal. Everybody (on the defense) just went to Marshall. I don't know if he tipped it or what, but I was just in the right place at the right time."
Where were you going with your route initially?
"I was just going up the inside edge of the numbers, and I knew they were going to play a really soft Cover 2. It is tough to complete a long pass against that coverage."
When you caught it were you thinking about getting out of bounds?
"I had so much go through my head. I didn't know if someone was behind me. I thought, ‘Just get as much as you can.' Then I started thinking about getting caught inbounds. I forgot if we had any timeouts left. Then when I got around the goal line, I saw one of their players pull up, and I just decided to waste some time."
How did you know if someone was behind you? Did you look up at the scoreboard?
"No, I didn't do the (scoreboard). I am just fast (joking). I didn't know who it was (behind me), but I could tell that I was pulling away, so when I got around the goal line, I decided to waste some time."
How do you have the presence of mind to waste time?
"My mind was just racing with what I should do when I got the ball. Should I head towards the sidelines and get out of bounds? Then I felt myself pulling away from the guy behind me, so I just decided to go for it all."
A lot of attention went to the play that won it, but would you give this one to the defense?
"The defense played great. They kept us in there, especially in the first half. We couldn't get a first down at all. We put them in the short field and the defense kept making plays for us. Then we got a little momentum right before the half, and that was big for us. We started getting some things going in the second half a little bit better. We just have to finish off drives and hopefully do better this week."
Where does this rank for you in terms of great moments?
"You can't really rank it with the playoffs or the Super Bowl. But as far as the regular season, it ranks at the top. To be the season opener, you always want to get off to a good start. I think regular-season wise, this is tops in my career."
What does this mean for this team after a tough offseason?
"It's big. You always want to get off to a good start. We did have a lot of change, but that's the way it goes in the NFL. We know what we have in that room, and we are just going to keep chugging away and trying to improve."
When Cincinnati scored late, what were you thinking?
"You know that you need a miracle at that point. You are hoping to get a good kickoff return, and when that doesn't happen, you need a miracle, and basically that's what we got. It was frustrating, because we had a chance to put it away with a field goal on our second to last drive, and we didn't take advantage."
What was going through your mind on the game-winning play?
"We obviously weren't moving the ball great and had quite a few three and outs. We weren't in rhythm, but we didn't do anything to beat ourselves. We didn't turn the ball over and had the field goal just before the half to go up 3-0. We came into halftime and were feeling pretty good about ourselves. We didn't play that well and we didn't execute that well, but we were still up by three. We just kept battling, didn't beat ourselves, and the defense was great, obviously. Offensively, I would say the only stupid thing we did was knocking ourselves out of field goal range on our second to last drive."
How was your finger throughout the game?
"It felt all right. I am hoping to have this behind me now and be glove-free next week. I didn't have any setbacks today, which is important."
Where does this rank in terms of bizarre finishes in your career?
"I was on the other side of a situation like this last year. We were playing Atlanta and we scored what we thought was a game-winning touchdown with 12 seconds to go, but we ended up getting beat in the last 12 seconds. I know how that felt, and I know how this feels, and this is a whole lot better. This is a great way for this team to start the season off. A lot of people have questioned us, but we feel that we are a good football team. We have a lot of improvements to make offensively, but we are going to work hard and try to play better next week."
Can you take us through what you saw on that last play?
"It was just like the first play, I was trying to hit Brandon Marshall on the sidelines. I didn't think we were going to score a touchdown, but I thought we still had a chance with one timeout left. We were trying to eat up big chunks of yardage. I saw the ball go straight up in the air and Stokley right underneath, and he just took off running."
Did you ever think about the chance of an interception on that play?
"I wasn't even worried about an interception in that situation. I want to give my player a chance to make a play. I thought the first play on the drive was a pick anyway and the game was over. But you have your hands tied in that situation."
It seems like you've won a lot of games in your career that aren't necessarily pretty ...
"I think you win a lot of games in the NFL when you win the turnover margin, and that's what we did as an offense. We didn't turn the ball over, and didn't really have any penalties until the next to last drive. If you can play smart football, have more possessions than the other team and stay penalty-free, you have a chance to win a lot of games."
What do you carry with you following today's game?
"You have to play every game to the end. The ball bounced in our favor today."
Talk about the Broncos offense's performance today ...
"You've got to give a lot of credit to our team's defense. We know the offense has some things to work on now. Our defense hung in there and kept fighting today. You've got to give the defense a lot of credit for the win today."
Talk about coming out of this game with a win ...
"It was a hard-fought game. We knew this game was going to be won in the fourth quarter. This is why we were working so hard in training camp and OTAs. It came down to one of the last plays in the fourth quarter and (Brandon) Stokely came down with it."
Talk about some of the dropped passes in today's game ...
"It's something to work on in the first game. There are going to be things that we have to work on after the first game. We know what those things are and we have to get better."
How does it feel to be 1-0?
"Winning is a great feeling. You learn to appreciate it. Especially after a game like this. We want to go home with a win and represent Denver and the Broncos the right way."
Have you ever been a part of a win quite like today's?
"I've seen some things in football, but never anything quite like this."
Is it hard to not give up when the clock is winding down and you are losing on the scoreboard?
"Coach (Josh) McDaniels is always talking about playing 60 minutes of football. We had 38 seconds left when they kicked it off to us. You've got to play 60 minutes, because anything can happen in this league."
What did you see on the touchdown play from Orton to Stokley?
"I saw players not giving up when we had an opportunity to make a play. Kyle (Orton) gave Brandon (Marshall) a chance and he tipped it to (Brandon) Stokley and you saw the results."
What did think of Stokley's delayed crossing of the goal line?
"That was a veteran move. I think he knew what he was doing."
Talk about the performance of the Broncos' defense against the Bengals ...
"My hat's off to the defense today. We need to do a better job of keeping them off the field. They were on the field a lot and they held the Bengals to seven points."
Talk about how your performance today ...
"My teammates gave me respect and believed in my abilities and I tried to go out and show what I could do."
Talk about the offseason changes of this team and what's it been like for you and this team?
"It was different at first. Nobody knew what to believe, but we've got to keep faith. We believe in Coach McDaniels now, and we've got to go out and do what we can to win games."
Did the Broncos defense keeping the team in the game?
"That's what it was today. It's not a one-sided game. It's offense, defense and special teams. It takes all three parts to win. Sometimes we need each other. There are going to be games where we need the offense to carry the defense. They scored the touchdown when it counted at the end today. I think we did some great things, but there are some things we need to clean up as well.
What did you see in your first regular-season game in the 3-4 defense ...
"I think we did some good things. I need to watch the film, but I know we tried to play tough today. I'm sure we made some errors, but the important thing is that we came out with a victory."