DENVER BRONCOS MINICAMP (JUNE 13, 2010)
*** Courtesy of the Denver Broncos PR Department ***
HEAD COACH JOSH McDANIELS
On situational drills
"Well, I mean, obviously, since we’re on both sides of the situation, both sides aren’t going to be exactly happy with the result but I think the thing we were trying to get across today was the awareness of the situation and how to play it the right way. I think I’m very pleased with our communication and the fact that we have 11 players on each side – usually when the situation is being played out – (that) understand what we’re trying to get done and how we’re trying to win that play. So in that regard, I thought it was very productive and night-and-day from last year at this time. This year, I think our guys really understand where we’re going with this stuff and they played it well."
On the team
"I think I’m proud to be their coach. This is a group of players that come to work with a great attitude every day. The reason we say we want high-character players is because you can eliminate distractions that don’t allow you to keep your focus on winning football games. I think they’re really dedicated to trying to do everything they can to win and that includes not creating anything within our own building that could hurt our opportunity to do that. (I’m) very pleased with the leadership, very pleased with the quality of people we have in there and also very excited about the talent that we have in that locker room."
On the roster makeup
"I just think it’s been something that I was fortunate to be around a bunch of teams that were pretty much assembled in a similar way in that regard – I’m not talking about scheme or anything else; I’m just saying that the focus on trying to eliminate distractions that you can control within your own building is something that I think just gives you more time to focus on football. It’s hard enough to win in this league as it is and if you put time towards other things other than (winning), you know, you’re probably going to fall behind at some point."
"No, Eddie Royal (would be). Perrish was back there today getting a lot of that work. I think Perrish is definitely going to help us - he's got a long way to go to be a dependable returner, I would say at this point. I would say that's true of any rookie in the return game. We talk about ball possession and catching the football and playing the wind and all that stuff. There are a lot of days left for him to improve in that regard before we would stick him out there and trust him with the football at this point but he really works hard every day after practice catching the ball and really has improved since he got here. He's certainly a player who is capable of helping us in the return game significantly but right now, I think Eddie has a strong hold on both of those (jobs)."
On the punting competition
"Again, I think Britton (Colquitt) is ahead. We've done a lot of different situations, we've charted them, we've put them in some tough predicaments and we've monitored their progress. I think both players have really improved a lot in 16 practices and I think, you know, it's always good to have young players pushed. Again, that's a competitive situation, you know, like we have at a lot of places on our football team, and I think that's only making both of them better but at this point, I'd say that Britton has kind of pulled ahead."
On what he expects from the team during the rest of the offseason before training camp starts
"We finish the offseason program here with just two weeks of the offseason program left and then after that they get some time to rest before we come back. You know, they'll all want to try to stay in shape - we don't want to come to training camp in poor shape, in poor condition and they know that. We'll go through the conditioning test and making sure they're doing some things on their own. Some of them may be here certainly, and if they are, they can work out and condition at the facility but we've put in a lot of time and a lot of hard work and after the next two weeks here to finish up the offseason program they've really earned some time, you know, to just kind of relax and get their minds off football for a little bit and then come back refreshed hopefully and ready to go for a long stretch."
On how the defense has changed under defensive coordinator Don 'Wink' Martindale
"It's exciting for us because we have changed some of what is going on with the defense. "Wink's" personality has kind of injected some things into our defense. I think they are excited every day to come in here. I think we have more depth at most positions right now on the defense than I think we did last year. We are deep on the defensive line. We are deep in the secondary. We've got a lot of younger players behind some veteran players that we are not going to be afraid to play at all because we know it's a long season and we need to make sure that we rest those players. Those young players have earned that right. We are excited about that and think that will really help us stay strong defensively throughout the year. There's a lot that's left until training camp. We haven't seen anybody hit anybody or try to win the line scrimmage or try to see how physical we are. We have a feeling we are going to get better in that area. All of us are kind of excited for August 1."
On what is going to be different defensively
"There's going to be some players that move around a little bit more than we did last year. I think we have more versatility with what we've got inside and then some of our linebackers are playing different positions. I think we moved (Mario) Haggan some around the line of scrimmage. Again, he is going to be playing off the ball, and then there will be times when he is on the ball. So, the scheme itself is definitely an added dimension or two in terms of the way we might try to pressure, you know. Some of the base coverages that we are going to play a lot of are different from last year. We are very focused at trying to get good at a good core group of things in both the offense and defense in the spring. I think our players have really focused on trying to master those things and we will feel really good about going into August in terms of their understanding."
On LB Robert Ayers
"Again, he's fine and again, I commend him for the work he has done and the way he has approached this entire offseason. That's something that I think has resolved itself and I think we are all excited to move forward with that - I know Robert is.
On the roles of Ayers and Moss
"They are going to be competing. I mean, we will probably be moving them in and out. We have multiple guys that we can kind of move around at that position. Because of some of the things we will try to do in our nickel and dime and third down packages, we may try to rest a guy here and there so they can play on third down also. It will be interesting to see how they handle it, but I think both of them have improved because of it and we are going to let that play out."
TIGHT END DANIEL GRAHAM
On this season compared to last season
"It's a lot better out there. The young guys are coming along, you know. Some guys feel more comfortable in the whole system and what coach is trying to do with this camp.""
On how he feels camp went this weekend
"We had a good spring camp and (we are) trying not to let all this go to waste right now. We still have a lot to learn and a long way to go. We are just looking forward to the season this year."
On how comfortable he is with the team right now
"It's a lot more comfortable feeling. Guys understand more than we did last year. We are comfortable on both offense and defense. You know, we are just having a lot of fun out here right now."
On his thoughts on Colorado (his alma mater) joining the PAC-10
"I'm excited, because when I retire I can take some trips to the West Coast."
LINEBACKER JARVIS MOSS
On the upcoming season
"I'm looking forward to it. This year, like I said, it's a long ways to go and I'm going to get better from now and to the point when we're kicking the ball off to actually win a game."
On whether he's added muscle weight this offseason
"Yes, when we first started working with (Broncos Strength and Conditioning Coach) Rich (Tuten), I was dropping pounds but I weighed in the other day at around 245."
On whether he plans to add more weight before training camp
"I'm going to try to put on five-to-eight more pounds by the time we report."
On playing linebacker
"I should have been doing this, just being honest. This is what I was supposed to have been doing when I came to the NFL. The more comfortable I get, the more I think about it. When I'm sitting on the couch watching TV - just putting my own little twist and stuff, doing it the coach's way but being comfortable and putting my little twist on it and it's working. It works for me. I'm athletic, I can run, I can move in space and there's nothing that I really can't do at outside linebacker."
On his comfort level at the linebacker position
"It's getting there to that point. I've been rushing my whole life so when it comes that time, the rushing part is down but just covering and understanding the defense, yeah."