**Courtesy of the Denver Broncos PR Staff
HEAD COACH JOSH McDANIELS
On preparing for Cleveland after Sunday's victory over Cincinnati
"Every week whether you win or lose, you have got to take it for what it is worth and move on and prepare hard for the next opponent, just like you did the prior opponent. We have begun that process."
On the Broncos benefitting from the 87-yard touchdown to win the game last week
"It goes either way. If we don't make a couple of mistakes and score when it was 6-0, you don't know what the outcome of the game is going to be. That is every week, though. One or two plays here, one or two plays there change the outcome of the game. We are not giving it back."
On the momentum gained from the win
"It is always better to come to work after a win, and I think our guys understand there are a lot of things that we want to fix and a lot of things we want to improve on, which, I think, is really where most teams in the league are right now. You are never at your peak after Week 1. Our players saw that on the film on Monday, and we have got to get better."
On if Cincinnati took WR Eddie Royal out of the game
"They played a lot of split-safety coverage. You go where you are supposed to go with the ball. Sometimes, it will go to some guys more than others. Hopefully, we will be able to stay balanced and keep a lot of people involved in the offense. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't."
On his history coaching with Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini
"I actually go back a long ways with all three coordinators. (Cleveland Offensive Coordinator Brian) Daboll and I worked together for a number of years. He is actually the reason why I went to New England. I worked with him at Michigan State. He is (Cleveland's) offensive coordinator. Rob Ryan is the defensive coordinator. I worked with him on the defensive staff in New England. Brad Seely is their special teams coordinator, and I worked for him for eight years in New England. Obviously, Eric and I worked together for a number of years before he went to the Jets. I am very familiar with all of those guys, very good coaches. I know they are going to be well prepared and well coached because that is how those guys work. (They are) creative and put a lot of pressure on you in terms of their schemes. They put pressure on you on defense with their blitz packages. Offensively, they are going to give you a bunch of formations and looks that you probably haven't seen on film. In the kicking game, they are very disciplined, very well coached and have got a great returner. This is an explosive team that has got explosive players, and their scheme really plays to their strengths."
On speaking with Mangini during the offseason
"Eric and I have talked a couple times off and on during the course of the spring and the offseason. I appreciated that. He had said that they had looked at some of the guys that we signed in free agency and some of the guys that we drafted. It was just a nice conversation and phone call to get from a fellow head coach and say, ‘Hey, things look like they are going in the right direction,' and he shared some of his thoughts on those guys."
On playing at INVESCO Field at Mile High
"You always want to feel good about playing at home. It is a high priority for our team to start fast and play well here in front of our home crowd. Any time you can get the energy in the stadium at a fever pitch early in the game, it always helps your performance and makes it tougher on them. Noise, obviously, is a big factor. It was a factor in Cincinnati in certain things, and hopefully, it will be a factor in a negative way for Cleveland this week. We have run a lot. We have practiced in pads a lot. We hope we are very well conditioned because we can take advantage of the altitude or what advantage you get from that. We are looking forward to playing at home. We really are."
On if he was a Browns fan growing up
"Not really. I was more of a college football fan but followed them very keenly once they got to the playoffs. (I was) just interested in when they had (QB Bernie) Kosar and those kind of teams back then. They had some good teams, good players. It was a fun time to be around there as a young kid because they were doing very well. I followed them. I wouldn't say I was a rabid fan, but I followed them."
On where "The Drive" and "The Fumble" stand in his memory
"I was watching both games. Now, I am happy to be on the other side, I guess. I remember both games clearly where I was at. I think most people in Ohio do, too. Whether they are good memories or bad memories for you, it is kind of insignificant at this team. It was two good teams playing two close games, really good football teams at that point in time. I do have a strong recollection of those two games."
On if he will look at film from the Broncos' game against Cleveland last season
"We have looked at a lot of tape from last season to evaluate players, not really scheme because the scheme has changed on both sides. You go back as far as you need to get a really good feeling on their players offensively, defensively or in the kicking game."
On the offensive line adopting the new run-blocking scheme
"We have kind of battled some inconsistency in some areas, but they understand what we are asking them to do. There were definitely times the other day and in the preseason where we have played very physical and run the ball the way we wanted to. That is just another area that we are looking to improve on our performance. Really everywhere offensively, we are trying to get better production and more consistent play."
On if the offense is close to mastering the new run-blocking scheme
"I hope so. I don't know how close to the end result we are going to be right now. It is the beginning of the season. We are going to try to get better and better and better every week of the year."
On Browns WR Joshua Cribbs' kick return abilities
"He is the best in the league, in my opinion. He and (Chicago WR Devin) Hester are certainly guys that when they touch the ball-I don't care if it is on offense or in the kicking game-you have got a chance to score if you are on their sideline. (He is a) very explosive player, hard to tackle, great vision and awareness in the return game. Sometimes, he may not go where the return is blocked to go because he sees that people are over-pursuing or squeezing too hard. We are going to have a huge challenge with him because he is so dangerous, so explosive. If you are playing in tight games and that guy is back there returning kicks, it could be one play and that change the result of the game. (He is) one of the most dangerous players we will play all year, no doubt about it."
On how often Cleveland's offense will line up in the Wildcat formation
"I don't know how much they are going to give us. We will prepare for it. They showed it a little bit last week, obviously. We are going to have to be ready for it however many times they want to use it. They usually line up in it, so it is not kind of a guessing game. It is just a matter of executing when they do it and playing the call that you want to play against that look. It is another challenge that they give you with their scheme. That is how they play. They are always going to give you some different things, some different looks, and you are going to have to be ready to handle all of them."
On Cincinnati converting a fourth down on a trick formation last week
"I take full blame on that for the issue. We actually weren't lined up poorly on the play, and we had a chance to stop the play. We didn't exactly have the people out there we would have wanted on the field. We would have kept some guys out there. We have adjusted to trick and gadget formations before, and we did a decent job of it. We didn't make the play."
On what RB Knowshon Moreno needs to improve on
"All of the rookies need to understand that, and they do, if they make a mistake now that this is not college football anymore and they can't get away with it. We had a bunch of rookies playing on opening day, and each one of them saw, whether they made one mistake in the game or five, when you make an error, the guys on the other side of the ball are too good. They exploit it, they see it, they find it and then they make it go for their side. Knowshon is in that group where if we can limit the mistakes, then the production definitely goes up. If you don't, then you are going to have trouble no matter what area it is, maybe pass protection, running the ball, catching the ball, on defense in coverage or rushing the quarterback. They all saw examples of where they made a small mistake and it got exploited for a big play on the other side."
QB KYLE ORTON
On the status of his finger injury
"It is doing well. Just trying to get better throughout the week and have it ready to go by Sunday."
On if he is still experiencing pain in the finger of his throwing hand
"It has seen improvement every day for sure."
On if he will wear a glove on his throwing hand against Cleveland on Sunday
"I don't know. We will have to go and just kind of go through the practice week to see how it goes. I played with it last week, so if I have to, it shouldn't be that big of a deal anyways."
On if there were any benefits of wearing the glove on his throwing hand
"Not really. It is just not what I have done for my entire life, so I would rather play without it, obviously."
On if anything stood out about the game after watching the film
"Not really. I think as an offense we kind of took turns kind of not doing our job. It is tough to execute when you do that. It wasn't a whole lot of major stuff. It was just kind of small things. If we can get those corrected-if you go back and watch the tape, we probably left 150 to 200 yards of offense on the field. Certainly, we can't make a habit of that, but it was the first week. I saw some different things. Make some corrections, and we will be ready to go this week."
On if the win creates momentum for the offense
"Yeah, I think we played well at the end of the first half on our two-minute drive. We started playing a little bit better toward the end of the game, and we got a win. We should have momentum coming out of that game. We got a win opening week on the road, which is tough to win."
On the importance of having a positive turnover margin
"I certainly don't go in trying to play scared or anything. I just try to go in thinking I am going to make the right decisions. Some weeks we go in and try to take some shots, and if that is the case I will give my guys a chance. If that is not the case, I am going to try to make smart decisions and get the ball to the backs and the tight ends."
On if there is a tough line between playing safe and playing scared
"I don't think so. In the NFL, if you give the other team more possessions than you, it is tough to win. That is a fact. You can look at all the numbers and all of the stats, and that is just fact. It certainly has got to be a priority most weeks."
On the Broncos' potential for progress from Week 1 to Week 2
"Everybody hopes that we make a lot of progress this week (and) get better. I think we are in the same boat as every team in the league in that it is a race this week to see who can make the most improvement. I don't think any team Week 1 played perfect. It is just who can make the corrections and have that carry over to Week 2."
On why the Broncos did not capitalize on offensive opportunities against Cincinnati
"It is just doing our job. We have got a job to do. Make no excuse about it, it was the first time in a regular season game with this offense, with this group of guys, but that is just what it is, and we have got a job to do. You have got to make sure you do it on every play."
On if limited time with the Broncos' receivers made it tough to be in rhythm with them
"We are fine. We put a lot of time into it in practice every day. We throw a lot of balls. Our timing and rhythm shouldn't be an issue."
On the importance of first down
"We made an emphasis about that. They (Bengals) were a very good team when they started off drives well. We couldn't get much going at all on the first play of the drive. It is tough in this league when you are sitting in second-and-10, second-and-long. It usually translates into third-and-long, and nobody converts a lot of third-and-longs. We have got to do a better job at the start of drives to carry momentum and put ourselves in good situations."
On if Cincinnati took WR Eddie Royal out of the game
"I think every team is aware of Eddie and what he can do, but that shouldn't matter. Eddie, he is the type of guy if he does get some double coverage, he can still get open. If they want to take one (defensive back) and follow him around the field, he can still get open. We like to get Eddie the ball, and he should be productive most weeks."
On if the team hopes to get Royal the ball in the upcoming weeks
"Obviously, you want to get your best players the ball, and he is certainly one of those guys for us."
On when the Broncos' offense will be in sync after players missed significant time in the offseason
"Hopefully this weekend. We expect ourselves to play well with whoever is on the field. (RB Knowshon Moreno and WR Brandon Marshall) are some of our better players. (We need to) get them on the field and play well."
On Head Coach Josh McDaniels' reaction to his play
"Just probably like everybody else on the team, we did some good things and did some things that we can learn from and improve from. Like he said, there is no better time to be extremely critical of your play. That is the best time to do it. You are feeling good, but now go back and just be overly critical of your play, expect perfection and try to go back and carry it over to the practice field this week."
On if McDaniels yells during games
"Yelling doesn't get you too far. Everybody is in it for the common goal and that is to play well. That doesn't mean that you are not going to be upset or frustrated when things do not go well, but to sit there and yell and scream is counterproductive. Let's learn from it, improve from it and move on."
On the Chicago-Green Bay game
"We were on the bus so I didn't get to see a whole lot of it."
On his reaction to the Chicago-Green Bay game
"I felt for them. I felt for (LB) Brian (Urlacher) to be out for the season. He is the face of the franchise and the face of the city, really. For him to go down is a terrible loss for them for sure."
On his reaction to Chicago QB Jay Cutler's play on Sunday
"Week 1 is tough. It is tough to play. Jay is a good quarterback, and I am sure he made some decisions looking back that he didn't want to make, but that is how it goes. I am sure he is not going to pull off the trigger or anything like that. He is going to keep on going and try to make the throws to win the game."
On if he ever speaks with Cutler
"No, I don't know him."
On adjusting to Cleveland's run defense
"We will adjust. We will adjust to the things we think we can do well. They are a good defense. They are very stout, obviously, up front with (DL) Shaun Rogers. I have played against him for a number of years now, and he is a very good player. (They have) probably the best secondary that we have seen so far. (DB Eric) Wright, No. 24, is a great player. They have got a lot of confidence in their secondary. It will be a good matchup for us up front and also at the skill-position level."
On the similarities between the Broncos' defense and the Browns' defense
"There is some carry over, obviously, being a 3-4 defense, but they do a number of things that we don't do, and we do a number of things that they don't do."
On McDaniels and Cleveland Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini having coached together previously in New England
"I probably think it levels out. (Mangini) knows a lot about our offense. We know a lot about his defense. It will be who shows up and plays the best."
S BRIAN DAWKINS
On improvements needed on defense
"There are certain things, mistakes, mentally that we made technique wise that allowed them to get a couple of first downs, and that last drive we can't have that. Defensively, you always want that situation. You want to be on the field with the score in your favor and be able to get off the field. We didn't do a good job of that, so we have to make sure that doesn't become a trend."
On what allowed Cincinnati to drive down the field at the end of the game
"(There were) just mental mistakes, too many mental mistakes. You can't have that in that situation. It's a hurry-up (offense), I know. You have to think fast. We have enough guys that have been through those things to be able to get our jobs done."
On fatigue affecting the defense on Cincinnati's touchdown drive
"(It) doesn't matter. You are put in that position. You are up. Defensively, you want to get off the field. It doesn't matter. Four minutes or something like that left, you can do something for four minutes. Whatever you have in your reserve tank, you just pour it out. You have a couple of days to rest to get back if you need that."
On if his approach will change due to Cleveland QB Brady Quinn's experience
"It is pretty much the same game plan every week from every defense that I have played, and this defense is no different. You want to disrupt the quarterback. No matter if he has been in there for two years or 13 or eight or whatever. You want to disrupt. You don't want to sit back there and let him feel comfortable in the pocket. This week will be no different for us as a defense. (Defensive Coordinator) Mike (Nolan) is going to call what he is going to call, and we are going to do our job to make sure we don't allow him to stay comfortable back there in the pocket."
On the redness in his eye after being poked in Sunday's game at Cincinnati
"I love it. That is why I keep looking to the left so everybody can see the redness in the right side."
On how his eye became red
"I got poked. He got under there some type of way."
On if he has been poked in the eye through his visor before
"No, this is the first time this has happened. It is football. It is a physical sport. You kind of expect everything and you play through it."
On if the eye redness will affect his game
"No. I'm ready to go."
On if his performance was affected by missing part of training camp
"I felt great conditioning wise. I felt great. I was able to do everything I thought I needed to do. A couple of bad angles I took at a couple of tackles, but for the most part, I felt pretty comfortable what I was asked to do. I just need to fix those things I made mistakes on and that will take care of itself as long as I'm out there and working hard."
On if the secondary will continue to play Cover 3
"You have to check it out for yourself. I can't give you any secrets. We are just going to do a good job of trying to confuse the quarterback like we talked about earlier. The end result of it may be a three-deep. The end result may be a two-deep share, but it is going to be up to us as a safety tandem to be moving around a lot to not allow the quarterback to see exactly what we are in. Hopefully, we will be able to get some turnovers out of it."
On if facing Cleveland RB Jamal Lewis gets him excited
"No, I am up regardless. I really am. I am equal opportunity. I know what I have to do. I know my teammates are depending on me to be a certain way, and if I need a trigger so to speak from the opposing team to get me up every week, what if I don't have it one week? Now, I don't have a trigger so it means I can't play all out? No, I have to be the same way every week. "
On how the pass rush affects the secondary
"That always has an impact on how we play in the secondary. Everything starts up front. You guys have heard it for a gazillion years and that is not going to change. When they are able to get a pass rush early, that allows us to sit on things. Sometimes as a secondary, we have to hold on guys a little longer to give them a chance to second rush on a play action pass. We work hand-in-hand, but those guys did a great job up there for us."
On OLB/DE Darrell Reid sacking Cincinnati QB Carson Palmer on a three-man rush
"That is great effort. He got off the ball really well. The tackle was kind of still in his stance when he got off the ball. Again, that goes with us moving around. We have to continue to move around to confuse quarterbacks. You don't know we are going to rush three. If you know we are going to rush three, maybe he doesn't make that block or whatever. When we are moving around, the quarterback doesn't know where the rush is coming from (and) the line doesn't know where the rush is coming from. That is all the better for our guys up front."
On why he is so enthusiastic on game days
"I am a blessed man. I am an anointed man. I do what I do and I don't take it for granted. I love what I do. It is an opportunity for me to go out and have a great time. Just this game of football, people who are going to watch this interview would love to do what I do for a living. People come to the game to have a great time. I go to the games to have a great time. I am not going to allow anything to deter me from that. My preparation is key, my conditioning is key and my belief in the abilities I've been blessed with to get the job done is key."
On if he has always been so enthusiastic on the field
"Yeah, high school is a little different. They tell you to tone it down. College, (the) same thing: tone it down a little bit. When I got to the NFL-I'm not trying to show off anybody-I just do what I do. My teammates love it."
On changes in his play as he has aged
"With age, obviously, should come wisdom. Not always for a lot of people, but some people. (I have changed) just the things I do. I stretch a lot more, massage a lot more (and) have my chamber that I get in on a consistent basis. I take care of myself. I listen to my body. That's one thing I've learned to do is listen to my body. My body is telling me something, something is off. I listen to it and I take care of it right away."
On what Head Coach Josh McDaniels told him before he signed as a free agent
"He saw me as a play-making safety. Our conversations had nothing to do with limitations or my age. From that, I respected that tremendously because I felt that I still can do what I need to do for my teammates, whether it be here or there. In coming here, like I said in previous conversations about Josh, we talked about winning now. It was not a win later situation. I know that many of you guys don't feel that way, but I feel that way and he felt that way. Then, the respect I had for (Defensive Coordinator) Mike (Nolan) and what he has done on that defensive side of the ball. The opportunity or the potential for him to use me in different ways, I welcomed all that."
On Nolan's impact on the defense
"It's a mentality that he wants us to play with. It's a toughness. It's an attitude, so to speak, that he wants us to play with. We have the guys that are capable of doing that if we know our jobs. If we are not thinking on the field, then we have the talent, the aggressiveness, to get the job done. He is just someone who has had so much success in the past. When you have that, guys are going to buy into it faster, I believe. Then the personnel, we have jelled together. Accountability is very high on this defense as far making mistakes. We are very accountable for our mistakes."
On if it helped to join the team with several new players
"I don't know. It is kind of a toss-up there, I guess. As long as we jelled, it really didn't matter if we had a bunch of new guys or whatever because the fact remains that even if a lot of guys were still here from last year's defense, it is still a new defense that we are putting in, so we all have to learn this thing. We are all learning the same defense and have to jell quick."
On helping bring DL Vonnie Holiday to Denver
"Me and Vonnie we go back to our old ACC days, North Carolina-Clemson. I have respected him for a long time, even from college. As far as his toughness, the things that he would be able to teach and do on the football field, the young guys who are learning a new defense, a defense which he has been in for awhile, I just thought that is another talented guy who is sitting out there that could help us on the defensive side of the ball, get pass rush and stop the run-Why not?"