***Transcript Provided By The Fine Folks With The Denver Broncos P.R. Staff***
BRONCOS HEAD COACH JOSH McDANIELS
On naming the starting quarterback before training camp
"(Kyle Orton) is the starter. He is the starter, no doubt."
On whether Ayers is being punished.
"I'm not going to talk about it."
On what a quarterback competition means to him
"If somebody beats out the starter, they become the starter. It's pretty simple."
On if there is a timetable for resolving the quarterback competition
"It needs to be resolved whenever it's clear - there's nothing to be resolved really. We've got a guy who's going to go into camp as the starter, no question about it and he deserves it and if somebody comes in there and plays better than he does then that player will play."
On the possibility of using other quarterbacks in special packages or formations
"If we felt like that was something that we could do well and it was something that our guys could actually function in and it'd help us win games, we might try it. We doodled around with it a little bit here. There are no guarantees or no plans to play multiple people unless it's the right thing to do. At this point, until we get in pads and see how that all sorts out, I don't think you can really (do that)"
On how the quarterbacks compare to one another
"I would say, again, we talked about gaps and all the rest of that and it's clear, I think, that Kyle is definitely ahead, there's no question. He's playing that way and the other two guys - I don't know if it matters if it's close or not but they're going to keep pushing him and working hard to try to improve their game so that they can make it close."
On how close the competition is
"I think we had three guys out there that practiced pretty well today."
On Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas
"He's doing great. In terms of trying to get better at the things that he has struggled with or made an error with - he has really worked hard to try to fix those. He's had a great attitude and approach. He hasn't made the same error a lot. You know, he's dropped a couple balls - I think that everyone has seen this guy make tremendous catches and then there's been some other ones that he's dropped. I think that comes with playing and knocking off some of the rust and you know, it's only his fourth or fifth practice where he's been out there against NFL caliber defensive backs. Like I said, he'll only get better every day and today was better than yesterday."
On whether it's easier for rookie offensive linemen to adjust to the offense than other positions
"I wouldn't say it's easy. I think it's tough at every position to learn how to do what we're asking you to do - whether it be on offense or defense or in the kicking game. I think those guys are learning a lot. We're putting a lot of situations in front of them that are very difficult. They're reacting well to them. I think we have a lot of young linemen, all on the offensive side of the ball and they're certainly being challenged and they're making progress. They're fixing the things that we didn't do well. I mean, two weeks ago, we had some practices that I would consider bad, because it was the first time that we'd seen a lot of the stuff. Then they saw more of it yesterday and today and it looks like we know exactly where to go, who to block, how to sort things out, who to communicate with and I think they're really picking that up. Really, the most difficult thing for a young lineman is his ability to work with the other group of four because what he's doing is obviously affected clearly by what the other four are doing and vice-versa so you've got to be on the same page. It can't just be, ‘How well did he practice today?' It's really the line practices well or it doesn't and I think they're doing better each day."
On the changes to the offensive line due to injuries
"I think that when the players change, certainly how you feel about communicating, how the call is given to you, how you receive it from somebody else... There's certainly some of that. It's not a whole lot different from a quarterback playing with a wide receiver and then all of a sudden another one comes back from an injury and now he hasn't necessarily ran the same routes. We've got to work those guys in, you know, in training camp and I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities for us to get that communication to where we want it to be before September."
On wide receivers that have stood out
"Obviously (Brandon) Lloyd has done very well in the spring. He hasn't been out here the last couple of days but he's done well. (Kenny) McKinley, (Matthew) Willis - they've certainly done a lot of good things. I think everybody saw Matt make a really nice play at the end of practice and that has been coming. I think Eddie (Royal), his role, in terms of playing in the slot is now, I would say, significant and he has a smile on his face and he knows what he's doing and he feels great about being in there. I think everybody has a good feeling about that. And then, we have some younger players and they're really trying to integrate in there but those guys have all really performed at a higher level than they did last year. Some at a different position, some not. I think the biggest key for us is how it's going to sort out in training camp because you can't keep eight receivers on your roster - we all know that. Some of them had good springs last year and they've got to take that performance and really show it in training camp and throughout the preseason when they have the opportunities but each one of them has really stood out and we're expecting it to be really competitive in training camp because it's been that way all spring."
On Broncos CB Perrish Cox
"He's a rookie like everybody else who's come in here and he's made his share of mistakes but he's also earned, I think, some of the respect of the veterans there's some trust that I think he's probably earned. We've been putting him in and out - sometimes he's playing off that first group in the secondary and that's been great for him to learn from those guys. At the same time, he's made mistakes that cost us but he doesn't usually make the same mistake multiple times which is very important for a young player to learn. I think he goes about his business every day. He's out there working hard. He's here early and stays late. He's trying to find a role in the kicking game as well as competing at both sides at corner. He hasn't disappointed us in terms of what we thought we were getting."
On Broncos QB Tim Tebow's work ethic
"I obviously knew something about his work ethic but I think it's different when you put them all here. We have a lot of guys competing in some of those situations and he's just trying to compete and get better. I think that's really his focus whether he's running sprints or staying after practice or going out early, whatever it may be. I think that's great for any player to have that. I think we have a lot of players that feel that same way and really try to improve in every area that they can."
On how much of the playbook has been installed so far
"There is very little that we haven't really exposed them to at this point. We've changed, I would say, a significant portion of what we're going to do offensively, defensively this year and they've really been great about picking it up. We threw a lot of things at them. Again, some of the stuff is carryover but there's plenty that was new. I don't think there's really a lot left for us that we left out. I would assume that the first week of training camp and the first 13, 14 practices of training camp will be very similar in terms of the amount of installation and exactly how we kind of went about it during the first 14 practices here."
BRONCOS WIDE RECEIVER DEMARYIUS THOMAS
On the ups and downs of being a rookie
"It's going good. It's just little things that I learn from veterans, so I'm pretty sure I'll be fine."
On how he's improving
"I think a lot. It was just some little stuff that I was doing wrong and came out and tried to correct some of it today so I think I'm doing okay."
On whether he's caught up with the playbook
"Yes, I am."
On what has been the most difficult thing to learn
"Probably the playbook - that's mainly it and just coming off the foot injury and trying to get back to 100 percent."
On working with former Broncos WR Rod Smith after practice Friday
"He helped me out a lot, actually. Just some of the stuff that he told me he did and would help me out and I tried it today and it did help."
On what advice Smith gave him
"It was basically getting off the line and getting off press and using my body and using my shoulders - something I never did before."
On what he's learned about NFL defensive backs
"I know they're good and they don't make mistakes."