***Transcript Provided By The Fine Folks With The Denver Broncos P.R. Staff***
BRONCOS HEAD COACH JOSH McDANIELS
"It was a good Day 2, second day we did that (opportunity practice) in a row - second day consecutively, I should say, that we've done it with that group of guys and I think we got a lot out of it and we're excited to get everybody back in here tomorrow and see if we made some progress with the 60-some players that were out there and then get back to work during this week."
"Just that it was unfortunate that it couldn't work out under the circumstances, because we did get to spend some time with him last year and got to know him really well. He had an opportunity to make an impression on us and he learned really well and we were excited about it and then ultimately, it just never healed the right way. I don't think you can ever make promises (where) if that situation comes up, ‘Hey, we'll come back around to it.' I think everybody left on good terms which was the most important thing. I thought we dealt with him professionally and he dealt with us the same way and we just wanted to make sure he had the opportunity to get healthy and if we had an opportunity to bring him back here and it fit us at this point in time, then we would try to do it and that's kind of how it fell for us."
On how he stayed in touch with Arrington after his release
"I just checked in on him after his procedure and all that and to show some personal side, I guess, because I knew what he was going through. He was disappointed that he couldn't play and just showing him that we were supportive of him and hoping the best for him and his career, regardless of whether or not it happened to be in Denver or somewhere else. We're excited for him, he's obviously not quite ready to go yet but he'll get there and when he is, we'll be really excited about what we've got in him."
On Broncos OL Ryan Harris
"I'm hoping that he'll be full-go, ready-to-go but I'm not going to put a specific day or timetable on that. The trainers, doctors and his body will tell us if he's ready to go but I think he's doing very well with what he's been able to participate with so far."
On the new contract for Broncos OL Chris Kuper
"It wasn't last week, those things take a lot of time and ultimately, the conversation kind of accelerated a little bit because there was a point where we felt like we were making solid progress where both sides could really be happy with the result of the deal and it just so happened that it ended up on Friday. I couldn't be more excited about that. He's earned it, he really deserves it and we're really excited that he'll be a big part of our future moving forward."
On the progress of contract talks with LB Elvis Dumervil
"Same thing, we'll be in communication with Gary (his agent) and keep working towards what we're all (striving towards). It's hard to gauge (the status). You have conversations with him and sometimes they feel better than others, but ultimately nobody really cares until it gets done. When it gets done, it progresses really fast and everybody is content with the result and when it's not done, while you're working on it, everybody can say what they want. We're going to continue to work. We know what we want and we know what they want and we're trying to make it happen."
On WR Eric Decker
"I'm not going to set any timetable with Eric but I know he's working really hard to get out there. He's doing everything that we're asking of him. All of our injured players are really in that same boat. We've got a great group of guys who are really working hard to try to be out there as soon as possible. None of them want to be in the training room. As soon as he's ready to go and we can feel that we can put him out there without any risk of a setback then he'll be ready to go and hopefully all of those players can be as ready to go as they possibly can when we start training camp in August."
On if the defense had the upper hand over the offense today
"No, the offense made a whole bunch of really good plays today and they made some really bad plays today. Every time the defense makes one, obviously, the offense is at the other end of the barrel and when the offense (makes a good play), the defense didn't do the right thing. I think that's this part of the year. This time of the year is for everybody to make mistakes and the big key for us is if we can come back tomorrow and not make the same ones that we made today. We had a lot of guys that did some really good things in the last two practices where, our focus is now on, ‘Alright, you showed us that you can do it right, now let's not go back to doing it the other way.' There are always pros and cons and usually every period when you ultimately watch it and break it down, it falls somewhere in the 50-50 (range). The defense played well on some plays and the offense did some good things too - hopefully everybody is getting better."
On Broncos CB Nate Jones
"The more you can do, the more opportunities you have to play. Nate certainly, first of all, he's got a lot of experience playing in this league - against a high level of competition. He's played multiple positions, he's played safety before, he's played in the slot in the nickel situations and he's played outside, so we're really not asking him to do anything that he hasn't already done in the NFL, but I think the fact that he can handle it certainly increases his value because the more he can do for us, obviously, the harder it is not to take him to the game. He's done very well with everything that we've asked of him and we expect that he play a significant role on our defense this year."
On Broncos LB Robert Ayers
"Certainly, he's not a rookie and he shows that. He's very vocal and his ability to communicate out there - we have a lot of loud guys on defense and he's usually one of the most vocal players before the ball is being snapped to make sure that everybody is communicating properly and on the same page which is a great thing for a second-year player. I think he's obviously shown some improvement in some of the things we've asked of him in the pass game in terms of coverage. It's not a big thing, and his real test is going to come when we get to August and he can be physical and set the edge and rush the passer and those kinds of things too. He's embraced his role, he's embraced trying to improve in every area that he could. I'm really proud of the work ethic that he's displayed this offseason. He's been one of our finest offseason program workers, both with his work ethic and the progress that he's made. Everything about him right now is going in the right direction."
On whether he's satisfied with the progress of the quarterbacks
"Sometimes, sometimes not. You know, I'm going to yell at them when they make mistakes and we're going to coach them hard. Right now, we're showing them so many things out there on defense that a lot of times it's the first time they are seeing something. If that's the case, then you are going to find yourself making some mistakes, but we that's why we go into the film room. I think there is a lot of progress being made at that position. There's a lot of little things that I am sure you guys don't get a chance to see or hear that, to me, shows a big step in the right direction, whether it is their communication or their ability to do things at the line of scrimmage. It's not just throw that one pass to that one guy. We are also putting them in there with 12 different receivers, five different tight ends and a bunch of different guys blocking for them up front. They are sometimes the product of the people around them, and there's mistakes being made at every position. I think there's definitely progress. We are excited about that and we will see where that will take them."
On how QB Tim Tebow can practice freelancing in scripted periods
"You can't go out and practice that. You can't tell them, Hey guys miss the protection on this play so that we can see how he reacts.' We are going to get some of that at some point. We are not going to call plays and try to script that at this point in time. We want him to be as solid as he can be playing in our offense without that kind of stuff. When you put him in a game situation and a play breaks down and they can't tackle him or can't chase him or catch him, then we buy ourselves extra seconds in the pocket. Those are some plays we are going to see in the game and will not necessarily see that in practice. I think we can let him do everything we ask him to do. If it's a seven-on-seven drill and no one is open we tell him to run, just like we tell all our quarterbacks. It's hard to script unscripted plays. If it's going to be a freelance play, you have to let it happen and let ability take over. That includes a lot of players. The focus right now is to try and get him to do the run game, and pass protections, and the reads and all those things properly. If we get into a game situation and something breaks down, then we can go from there."
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN RYAN HARRIS
On his health status
"I'm good enough to be out there doing a lot of the work that needs to be done. I'm taking some mental and physical reps and (I'm) just happy to be back on some grass in cleats."
On whether his recovery has taken longer than he thought
"No, I really didn't. When it initially happened, I expected to be back the next week. I've been on a long road... I don't think anyone else in this camp is more excited for camp than I am."
On what the rehab process has been like
"It's been a lot of lifting. I've been in the workshop doing a lot of lifting and a whole lot of things in the training room, rehabbing and stuff but that's the road I have to take and the things I have to do to get better and I'm going to do that."
On dealing with a toe injury
"It definitely is (tough to deal with). For me, being the person I am, I looked at - you know, (NBA player) Shaq (O'Neil) had toe problems, (San Diego TE Antonio) Gates had it and (former NFL RB) Eddie George has had it, so it's happened in football and that gave me a little more positive state of mind because I knew that people have come back from this and that's what I'm trying to do."
On whether it's difficult for the offensive line to gel in practice with the injuries
"It's something that people talk about, but training camp is a long process - we're going to have a lot of time. Fortunately for us, a lot of us have played together for a long time so I think once we get healthy; you'll see we pick up where we left off. There will be some growing pains, but that can happen each year regardless of injury. We really feel that we're in the same spot that we would be without the injuries."
LINEBACKER ROBERT AYERS
On the defense's performance today
"We got a few (turnovers) but that's part of getting better - we're going to win some and they're going to win some. We just want to keep competing. They kept competing, they kept fighting back and we just kept trying to keep (this thing going). That's our goal and their goal is to put up points so we're just going to keep fighting."
On whether the defense likes hearing Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniels yelling at the offense
"Oh yeah, we always love that. He's supposed to be neutral though, if we were messing up, he'd be getting on us too but we like it when he's on them, it makes our (deal) a lot easier."
On how he's improved from last year
"I definitely feel like I can improve on last year, you know, but that's part of getting better - you look at (tape) and you talk to the coaches and realize what you need to get better at in the offseason. That's what I've been working on - working on my core strength and my lateral movement and just trying to be better in each area and I feel like I'm doing that."
BRONCOS LB/FB SPENCER LARSEN
On adjusting to the offensive side of the ball
"At (the University of) Arizona, I was given a lot of responsibility. Sometimes you try to force something and I limited myself big time by thinking linebacker, linebacker, linebacker. By being open to that (playing fullback), it has brought on a new opportunity for me, and I am really thankful for that."
On whether or not he misses playing linebacker
"Football is football. A lot of it is the same techniques. Linebackers have a different personality but to me it is all football. By doing this, I can still be a special teams member and it is something I care about."
On the difference between hitting as a fullback as opposed to linebacker
"It is all the same. Contact is contact and it is a reward now to get a good block and de-cleat someone."
On how last year prepared him for this season
"I would say I am just a little more comfortable and confident. Now, I am at ease and can focus on things better."