From the Denver Broncos PR Department
QUARTERBACK KYLE ORTON
On signing a contract extension with the Broncos
"It was an exciting day for my wife and I last night. We certainly love the community, the organization has treated us fairly and we’re just excited to know we’re going to be here again."
On whether he knew the extension was coming
"It had been kind of talked about back and forth over the last couple months there and I was just real happy with my play — where I’m at right now as a player and just like I was talking to (Head Coach) Josh (McDaniels) about last night, I feel like I’ve come a really long way in three months and feel like there’s still a ton of room for exponential growth going forward. I’m just happy to be in a system that gives me a fair chance to play good football and I’m really just excited to play with the guys that I have around me in the huddle. I have great players around me that allow me to go out and look good as well."
On the extension
"Well, just my whole deal, it was just talking to Dave Dunn, my agent and everything. It was really an interesting situation throughout the whole negotiation and certainly in the labor environment that we’re in. He felt like the Broncos were very creative — (General Manager) Brian Xanders and (Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniels) and the whole organization — they were very creative to get a deal done that we both liked and feel like is fair for both parties."
On whether the money is guaranteed for next season
"Well not if you’re locked out, but when you come back from it the money will be there. But it was a deal that we thought was good for both (parties) and we were just really excited about it."
On whether the extension is a sign of the Broncos’ appreciation for him
"Well, I know I’m appreciated here — I knew that last year. I think anytime you can go out there and just display a good work ethic and just do everything team oriented, which I always try to do, I think you’re always appreciated by your teammates and your coaches. That might not travel outside the building but I knew how appreciated I was even last year inside the building."
On the financial security provided by the extension
"Well that’s great, that’s certainly huge for my family and that was really my really only thoughts going into the whole deal is ‘What’s the best way I can support my family?’"
On whether he thought the deal would get done during training camp
"I just went into the whole camp saying, ‘Nothing is going to get done, I’m going to go out and have the best year of my career and have to wait until next year,’ and I was fine with that. If something came about that we thought was fair, we were going to take it and it kind of came about really quickly."
On whether he would have preferred a different deal
"I really didn’t have a whole lot of say in anything. I let Dave Dunn, my agent, and (General Manager) Brian (Xanders)... I didn’t want to be a part of it, I didn’t want to talk about it and certainly Dave knows what I want and when he thought we had something that I would consider, he came to me at that point."
On why he signed an extension now instead of waiting for free agency at the end of the season
"That’s the way I thought — there is risk involved in every decision and we just thought that this was the decision that best fit Bridget (his wife) and myself."
On the status of the negotiations between the NFLPA and the NFL owners
"Well just as players, I know that certainly the American Needle case was a big deal for the players but we’re still taking the approach that we’re going to be locked out and we’re hoping that that’s not the case but to not prepare for something like that would be a fault by all the players."
On how the extension affects his teammates’ perception of his status with the team
"I hope my play is what tells the team that I’m the guy. I think I’ve elevated my play, I’ve elevated my leadership, I’ve elevated my understanding of the offense. I think we’ve got a lot of guys in the huddle that see that and I hope that’s what really gives them that comfort is by my play."
On whether this is the best training camp he’s had
"I’m excited for the year. I want to get this year started. I’ve had so many questions about (my) confidence level and (my) play and really all that stuff. There are a lot of things that factor into confidence — being in the system for a second year and really understanding what it’s all about, being healthy finally and feeling good physically, but more like I was talking to Josh, having the players surround you that you know that you can succeed with is a huge deal and I’m really excited about the group of guys we have on offense and think we have a chance to be real special."
On how his approach changes with the extension
"Nothing, nothing changes with my play. I’m going to go out there and try to be the most prepared guy on the field and do whatever it takes to win and hopefully that’s how I’m judged still, is just by wins and losses and hopefully we can go out and win a bunch of games."
On competition with the other quarterbacks on the roster
"I think that’s the case for 26 or 27 teams in the NFL — they’re always trying to replace the quarterback. That’s just life in this league, that’s life in this position is that they’re going to try to bring in somebody better, younger and all that stuff. But ultimately, as long as the decision is made on the field and based on play and all that stuff, you really can’t have any gripes about it and fortunately that’s been the case and I’ve been able to play well."
On the American Needle Inc. lawsuit
"I think really, it was a situation where the owners kind of appealed their own win in an appellate case but we saw it as an attempt to take away an antitrust situation for the players and as most people know, we’ve really never won a strike but the only thing that we’ve ever won is in antitrust situations in going to court. So that was a big win for the players to (have the court) say that the league is 32 competitive teams and not one whole entity."
On how his play has improved in his second year in the offensive system
"I think that my play individually — just knowing where to look and making good decisions and not having your eyes all over the field. I think, really, in this league you’ve got to be able to eliminate one of your problems and be able to focus on what you need to focus on, on each play or the game just moves too fast and I wasn’t really able to do that last year. I think more than anything, just as a collective whole, I can communicate with so many different people and make sure that we’re on the same page going into every play and I think that’s just helped the offense out."
On his touchdown pass to WR Brandon Lloyd against Cincinnati
"I think this is an offense where we do a lot of two-play calls in the huddle and all that stuff. (We) really never got into a whole lot of just changing the play or doing something with one individual guy with a signal or something like that and I think that’s what we’re evolving to as an offense and certainly you have to have a great understanding of each play to know what you can do, maybe with a certain guy that’s not really built into that play, so you have to have a great understanding of that. I’m feeling better with that and certainly the receivers are able to adjust and take that information that I want to give them and maybe we have two seconds on the play clock but maybe it’s a head nod or maybe it’s a look in the eyes or whatever it is and we can figure it out and get the play run how we want to run it."
On if he would have been able to execute the same play last season
"No way, and I don’t just think that’s my development in the offense but I think that’s everybody’s development in the offense. I think so much has been made of my second year — we’ve got 10 guys now that it’s in their second year in the offense and that just makes the whole ship run smoother."
On QB Tim Tebow’s rushing touchdown against Cincinnati
"You try to score every play that you can and if that’s the option then that’s what you’ve got to do."
On whether he recognizes what QBs Brady Quinn and Tim Tebow have to go through to learn the offense
"Yeah, there’s always growing pains when you’re coming in — there were growing pains when I was coming into Chicago in a new system and there were growing pains for me last year. You really can’t expect to play flawlessly, that’s just reality. The more you can do stuff, the more you can make mistakes and then go back and watch those mistakes and say, ‘You know, I shouldn’t be doing this; totally wrong thought,’ the more you can get that film work and those corrections made, the better you play."
HEAD COACH JOSH McDANIELS
"Obviously, we are excited about having the opportunity to come to an agreement with (QB) Kyle (Orton) and his agent (on a contract extension). (It’s) Something we’ve talked about for a little while and I think that through the course of the offseason and just his performance, his leadership, his understanding of the offense — all the things that he’s done — he’s really demonstrated that he’s at a different place than he was last year. I think it’s good for our team. I think it’s great for him. I think our philosophy is pretty simple. I mean, if we have players in this locker room that are good, solid players that we feel like they can help us win we would like to try to keep them here. This gives us an opportunity to continue that with Kyle, and at the same time he knows it’s a competitive situation, will always be a competitive situation. I think he’s really been symbolic of what we would love to have from all our players that are put in that position — respond to any challenge by playing your best and doing all the things that you want a quarterback to do. So, exciting for us, exciting for him and look forward to tomorrow night (against Detroit)."
On QB Kyle Orton
"I think that ultimately your performance and your wins and losses and your playoff victories and chances to win championships — those will define where you are put in regards to the other players in this league. I think that he’s certainly a different player, there’s no question about it. There are things that he does now every day that there was no way he was ready to do last year in our system. His ability to communicate with the players, to change plays, to get out of a bad play — I think that the trust the players have in him is that he’s always going to try to put them in a great position to be successful. That’s something that comes with time, experience, knowledge, hard work and just repetition. I think that Kyle came back in the spring and was a different player and we didn’t have any practice between January and May, so he was different right from the get go. He carried that all the way through the spring and then certainly has come into training camp ready to go and has improved there too, so I think we all feel like he’s at a different situation. He’s got a better chance to succeed because of what he knows and I think he has really taken advantage of all the opportunities he has."
On how much QB Tim Tebow has had to handle for a rookie quarterback
"I don’t know if it eases. I hope there’s pressure on all our players to try to compete to play as soon as they can. I think the fact of the matter is Kyle is the starter, has played like the starter, is playing very well and is playing at a different level than Tim or (QB) Brady (Quinn) both play at. So, from that perspective, I think that will all kind of die down as the season starts and we’ll see how it all unfolds. In my mind, I don’t know about outside pressure but inside pressure there should be some for all our guys. We’ve got three quarterbacks that are under contract this year and next year and we’ll see what happens, but I think for every competitive player hopefully they want to do all they can to get out there on the field themselves. So maybe it’s a challenge for them — Brady and Tim both. Outside, I don’t know what the pressure is like outside the building for him, but I think that Kyle has certainly put himself in a position where he deserves to be the guy out there."
On the advantage Orton has of being in his second season with the offensive system
"Probably some, but also I think after you have an opportunity to go through a season and really understand some of the things that you did well, some of the things that you didn’t do well — it kind of sinks in, ‘OK, I’m at this level and I want to get to that level,’ and I think that there are a certain number of things that each player can go through. (LB) Robert Ayers is in a different situation but a similar result. There’s something that clicks in your head, a level of understanding that you may not have had a year prior, and it’s not your fault, that’s just the natural progression of playing in the league so he came back more comfortable, more confident. He understood all the things we were trying to get done. I think he feels real confident and comfortable with the players that are around him too and that always helps."
On how the negotiations went
"I think it was a lot of little different conversations and ultimately I think a deal gets done when both sides feel like, ‘OK, that’s a deal that we’ll accept.’ It wasn’t the only thing discussed but I think that everybody kind of felt this is a good alternative, a good option for all of us — something we both wanted to do and that’s really all there is to it."
On negotiating a contract extension given the labor uncertainty
"Like I said, we’ve gone about our business in trying to do the best thing for our team and — (OL Chris) Kuper, (LB Elvis) Dumervil — Kyle has been in the same situation and we understand that there is some uncertainty out there, everybody is dealing with it and we just try to deal with it the best we can."
On whether he was surprised by Orton’s progress
"No, I’ve been around different players that have been able to — at (the quarterback) position — certainly I’ve been very fortunate to coach some good ones before I got here and they learned differently their second year and their third year than their first year. I just think that we choose to do the things we do with our system because we have a quarterback that we feel like can handle those things mentally and process the defense and understand what we’re asking of them and Kyle has really taken the natural step from year one to year two and again, we haven’t played any games, so we’ll find out exactly where we’re at when we start playing games in September. I think he really has earned the respect that he’s getting not only from (the front office) but also the teammates that he plays with every day."
On the message sent by Orton’s extension
"Well I can tell him I like him, we don’t have to — I think that again, I’ve said it before, I get any confidence or comfort level that I have from our players. I think the way he’s gone about his business has been very professional. He and his agent are both obviously to be commended for the way they’ve handled that situation and again, this is not just a one-day thing. We didn’t start talking about this yesterday morning and then all of the sudden we got to something yesterday evening. I think it’s a situation where he handled himself the right way. We were trying to do the same thing with our side and there’s nothing to it other than that. Certainly when you extend a player’s contract, I think it means you feel like they can help you win and that’s what we think Kyle can do."