From the Broncos PR Staff
HEAD COACH JOSH MCDANIELS
"It is great to be back. I have seen a lot of people over the last few days. You know, we have been away for a while, so it is always great to be back and kind of get things started again with the staff and players. We have a lot of veteran players that haven't reported yet but are here around the building. It is always great to have that refreshed feeling when you get back and get ready to start training camp. I think everybody kind of feels the same way. We put in a lot of good offseason work, and I think our team knows that the most important work that we have is in front of us and it is in training camp. It's tough, but I think if you want to be a good football team in this league, then you certainly have to put in the time in training camp to make sure you have a good camp. I think that's what we will get with our players. We are excited about a lot of the competitive situations we have on our roster. We really made a strong focal point on that in the offseason to try and address that and see if we couldn't bolster the competition in every spot that we could. We are excited to see how all those play out. In regards to (WR) Demaryius (Thomas) and (QB) Tim (Tebow), (General Manager) Bryan (Xanders) is working frequently with them and their representatives. We hope to have both of them as soon as possible. You know, I don't have any timetables or anything like that, but we will look forward to seeing them as soon as that process plays out. We know that is just something that happens. We are certainly not unique in that scenario. There are a lot of teams dealing with that, and we will try and wrap that up and get them in here as quickly as we can. This time for us in camp - this initial portion where we ask the rookies and the quarterbacks and injured players to report - it certainly gives us an opportunity to get those players a head start. That's kind of what we are focused on. The injured players, certainly to get back out there and get some confidence and whatever the injury may have been, before we start hitting each other. The quarterbacks - certainly we ask a lot of them in our system, so it's important for them to have an opportunity to get started early, and the rookies are all still behind. Any extra work we can do with them serves our team well. It was good to see some players like (OL) Russ Hochstein, (RB) J.J. Arrington, (LB) Nick Greisen, (TE) Marquez Branson; you know some guys that missed a lot this spring, it was good to see them out there and participating. We look forward to them being a big part of what we do. Again, we are excited. I am excited to be back, and look forward to our second year here."
On what he might change this year as compared to last season's training camp
"Not a lot, not a lot. It's going to follow the same format for us, and we think to establish ourselves as a football team that's going to be physical you have to be physical in training camp. You can't just talk about it and rest and kind of go through the motions in training camp and hope that on September 12, we kind of turn out to be a physical team. I think there's a balance there. We are going to try and make sure that we are smart with our football players, smart with our team about getting back to the season healthy, but he have to have a physical camp. We will be in pads. It is the alternating schedule with a few walkthroughs left in there too that will take some hitting off us. That may be something you see a little more from us. Instead of going out there and having a two-a-day every single day, we will have a scheduled two-a-day where one of them might be a walkthrough and the other a padded practice. For the most part though, it is going to be the same style."
On his philosophy on free agency
"I certainly can't speak for the other teams. Just, you know, each player is different and each situation is different. Certainly, there are other teams and other players who have not gone down the path we have gone with (OL) Chris (Kuper) and (LB) Elvis (Dumervil). We just know that those players are important to us, but we have other important players where that hasn't necessarily been the case as far as working out a deal to keep them here long term yet. We are just trying to do the best we can and keep the best football team on the field. I can't say enough about Elvis and Chris and the professionalism that all of our players have displayed, but especially those two in a situation where they didn't have to do that. I thought they represented themselves and the organization with a lot of class. It is great for the Broncos."
On the importance of a quarterback being present at the beginning of training camp
"...I think that each day that we are here is an opportunity to improve and learn and take advantage of; you know we went through 60 pages this morning in an installation meeting and those pages are filled with information and it's not that we aren't going to go back and review that. We will. I think that any opportunity to get in more, particularly a young player, whatever position it is; whether it is a quarterback or something else. I think it helps them and so we are trying to get those two players in as quickly as we can so they can have an opportunity to compete and learn, but I wouldn't say that anybody has panicked or anything like that or anything is detrimental at this point."
On what his offensive line will look like on Sunday
"We are going to go physical and hit on Sunday. We will be in pads and likely (OL) Ryan Harris and (OL) Chris Kuper (will be) on the right side, (OL) Tyler Polumbus on the left side; and we are going to move some people in and out at center and left guard. I certainly don't' want to declare anything at this point in terms of who will be there and who we want because you are going to see a lot of different bodies. On player may start one period and another may start another, so we've got a competitive situation there. (OL) Russ (Hochstein) has a lot of experience in our system and can play both, you know, (OL) J.D. (Walton) and (OL) Dustin (Fry) have competed all spring at center. (OL Seth) Olson from last year that we drafted and (OL) D'Anthony Batiste that we drafted this year; you know we have a lot of bodies that can be put in there, so it will be a situation where we evaluate what we have. We are going to put them in position to win the job if that's the case, and you know let them compete."
On whether Broncos Hochstein has been cleared to practice without limitations
On WR Demaryius Thomas and QB Tim Tebow
"I've seen both of them plenty this week. They were in our building as far as yesterday working out and doing those things and that's typical. I have talked to them and again like I said, it's a situation where I think we're all working for the same end result here. It's not a competitive situation where we're trying to get one-up on one another. I think they want to be here and we want them to be here and that's what Brian (Xanders) and their representatives are working hard to do so I'll talk to them - and they both know that - as much as they want to. If they have questions, I'll certainly answer the phone and tell them anything they want to know."
On OL Ryan Clady's progress
"He's getting better and again, to talk about what he can and can't do at this point - I think he's working really diligently to try to get back on the field as soon as he can and there's no timetable for that but Ryan is working extremely hard to put himself in a position to play as soon as he can and each day is a better day and that's what we're focused on with him right now. We're certainly not going to rush anything and when he's back, we'll work him back in there and make sure we're smart with him once he's able to play."
On whether he's encouraged with Clady's progress
On if there are a designated number of roster sports for each position
"No, I think you go in with an idea. Scenarios, I would say, are common at this point. You don't ever say, ‘Well, it's going to be this, this, this, this and this and we're never going to waver from it.' I think you look at positions - sometimes safeties and running backs are actually competing for the same exact spot because they play those same positions in the kicking game so not only so do we have competitive situations at each individual position but a lot of times we have different players on different sides of the ball competing for the same spot. And they know it too, because they're out there and they're both playing right wing on the punt team and one of them is going to be the right wing and one of them may not be. You've certainly got to be flexible with that. We have an idea of what we want to keep and how we're going to form our roster but certainly there's nothing in stone."
On whether he was pleased with WR Eric Decker's participation
"Yeah, I think certainly he's a talented player and he's got really solid hands and he's a big kid, runs good routes. We're going to see, really the test for Eric is going to be, he's going to get in there with a lot of other players that have played in these spots and we're going to see how competitive he can be moving around and doing different things. I think there are some different skills that he possesses that we'll see grow as we go throughout camp but I think today was a good day for Decker because he got to get out there and run and catch and there wasn't the training that he was doing all spring - it was football. I think every day that he's out there, again, that's part of this time of year - bring him in and try to get him some confidence and I think each day that he goes out there, hopefully he'll get more and more confident with what he's doing and he'll play fast by the time we get to pads."
On the difficulty of learning multiple positions on the offensive line
"I think it's difficult for any player, I also think it's something that you have to do in this league unless you're an elite starter at one spot. You better be flexible because again, you go to the game and a lot of times you have seven offensive linemen so you don't have a backup for every position so somebody has to be responsible for multiple spots along the front. Sometimes those players are starting players that if something happens to a tackle, maybe you kick a guard out and maybe you put in the sixth lineman, who's a guard. That's not just for (OL) Zane (Beadles), (OL) Eric (Olsen) is learning multiple positions, D'Anthony Batiste is learning multiple positions - they're all being trained at multiple spots because I think this league, the way they work the active list on gameday, you have to be ready to go for that."
On players who might step up if teams pay more attention to LB Elvis Dumervil
"We're hopeful that there are a lot of players that will improve from last year to this year. (LB) Robert (Ayers) certainly can and has worked extremely hard to put himself in position to do that. (LB) Jarvis Moss had an excellent offseason - everybody is excited about what he may be able to do along with all of the guys in our front. If you assign two people to one in the pass rush that usually gives multiple people the opportunity to rush one-on-one so the pressure or the responsibility will not just go to one player if they're trying to dictate that Elvis will not beat them in terms of creating sacks and pressures on the quarterback. I think that responsibility is a team responsibility and I think our players will see that as such. Whether it's Robert Ayers or a guy like Moss or anybody else, I think we're all excited to see what they can do in their second year in the system and hopeful for a big improvement."
BRONCOS QB KYLE ORTON
On today's practice
"It was a good day to get out. You know, I like to get out these three days early and get the arm going and I haven't been able to throw much with (WR Eric) Decker and some of the young guys so just to get them out and not really concentrate on (WR) Jabar (Gaffney) and some of the guys that I know what they can do. It's good to get out with some of the young receivers. We have some young offensive linemen and to work that communication is good."
On the offensive line
"There are some new faces but we have some familiar faces as well who are pretty good players so you put those guys next to (OL Ryan) Clady and (OL) Ryan Harris and (OL Chris) Kuper and they'll show them the way."
On competition between the quarterbacks
"I compete with myself and if I play my football, I know where I'll end up and those kind of have been my only thoughts about it."
On a specific area where he emphasized improvement during the offseason
"Well, just do what it takes to get to the playoffs, really. I think as an entire team that's what we've got to think. You didn't do enough last year because we didn't make it to where we wanted to go so whatever that might be for each player, he's got to work on it."
On going into his second year under Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniels
"I think the whole offense should be better. It wasn't just me last year going into a new system - it was all 11 guys, which is tough, but now we have familiar faces in the huddle that know the system and it's not just me that's going to play better, it's everybody else around me."
On Broncos QB Tim Tebow's desire to get to camp
"Especially as a first rounder - you just had all of the second rounders sign yesterday so it's just a process and all the players know what the process is and he'll get in as soon as he can."
On his eagerness for camp to start
"I think everybody in our locker room...to start off as fast as we did last year and to fall short - that's tough to deal with. As little as everybody likes camp, I think everybody is kind of juiced up for this camp and to get this offseason over with and to get back onto the field."
On Broncos WR Eric Decker
"I watched him a little bit. I threw to him yesterday - just kind of one-on-one out here, just kind of goofing around. I think he's a kid that's smart and his size is good and his route running is really good. He's somebody that seems to be able to pick it up pretty quickly so we'll see how much we can throw at him and see how far he can go."
On how long it takes to build chemistry between a quarterback and wide receiver
"It's just a continual process but the better the receiver and the better the player, the better the chemistry seems to be."
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN ZANE BEADLES
On his first day of training camp
"It was good. It feels good to get back out there on the field and start running and playing some real football now."
On his mentality coming into today
"You know mentally you come in and you know it is time to work. The season is on us now and you come out here every day with that mentality."
On getting his contract signed before camp
"It feels very good, you know to put that behind me. Now I can just come out here and play football and that's all I need to focus on now. To get that done and not have to worry about it is a very good feeling."
On how important he thought it was to get the contract settled
"Yeah, it was very important for me to come in and learn as much as I can, and be here for Day One. That was something that was very important for me going through the whole process."
On what position he thinks he will play
"I do not know, you know. Like I said, I come out here every single day and wherever the coaches put me I am going to put my best foot forward and we'll see what goes on from there."
On the advice he has been given on training camp
"Yeah, you talk about it a little bit. Obviously, it is going to be a step up from college and you take one day at a time and come out and improve every single day."
WIDE RECEIVER ERIC DECKER
On whether it feels better to get back on the field in pads
"It does feel better. I had some jitters going into it. I'm excited to be out on the field and just to get some work in. To come early, before training camp for the veterans, hopefully get some good work in and be comfortable going in with them - that's my biggest goal going into this."
On when the first-day jitters went away
"About Period Two when I was focusing on the drill work, you know - not about just being out here with the guys and finally putting pads on, strapping them up. It finally set in about Drill Two."
On whether it was important for him to get extra work in before camp
"It definitely was for me because not being able to participate during the offseason in OTAs, mini camp, I wanted to be able to get some good work in and Coach McDaniels told me that this is a crucial time for me to understand the philosophy, run through it and feel comfortable - like I was saying before, to get in there with the veterans and to be able to help out whenever I can."
On Broncos first-round draft picks WR Demaryius Thomas and QB Tim Tebow
"They both want to be out here...it's tough for both of them - they're both competitors and they want to be here with their teammates and they'll be out here soon and it'll be fun to have them on the field."
"To be surrounded by guys like that - Larry Fitzgerald - he brought in Chris Carter, Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice last year and just to learn from those guys, just the little subtle things, minor details. It's unbelievable how much more confidence you have in yourself when you surround yourself with those guys and you know that you're working as hard as them and picking up little things, cues that they've picked up over the years and experienced and they've been successful doing it."
On learning how to use his size from veterans at Fitzgerald's camp
"Right, because you know, being a bigger receiver, obviously is different than the smaller receivers in getting off the line, being able to use your body in and out of runs, obviously blocking and those crucial things, to learn from guys like that, that have been successful in their careers has been vital to me."
On recovering from his foot injury
"It goes back to the confidence thing, knowing that I could run and feel comfortable getting in and out of my cuts and to go consecutive days in a row - because camp is going to be a long haul here and I need to be able to come out every day and compete."
On whether he thinks about the injury while he's practicing
"I think there are some mental lapses I need to get over, just because you're always nervous the first time going and putting all your weight through it and not going through the experiences that I experienced in eight months. I think over time I'll get more comfortable, especially when I get repetition and more experience and that's something that comes, like I said, with more practice."
On whether this is a good transition into camp after his long layoff
"Yeah, it definitely is because you get out here early. I think there's a little less pressure without the veterans here. You're able to run through it and we only had four receivers out there so I got more repetitions and I got more run-throughs and that definitely helps me."
On learning from the veteran receivers
"It was my first day out here. Obviously we have a very veteran receiver corps which I'm happy about because I get to learn a lot from Jabar Gaffney, who's been to a Super Bowl, Brandon Stokley, who's been to a Super Bowl and all those guys have vital experience that I can learn from and I just want to be able to come out and do the best I can, get better and create a role for myself on this team."