ENGLEWOOD CO - AUGUST 18: Quaterback Kyle Orton #8 and long snapper Lonie Paxton #66 of the Denver Broncos head to the field under the midday sun for training camp practice at Dove Valley on August 18 2010 in Englewood Colorado. The forecasted record high tempuratures hovered in the mid ninties during the afternoon session. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
HEAD COACH JOSH McDANIELS
On OL Ryan Clady
"Obviously he's a very talented player. I think he provides some - and again, this is his first day back, so it's not like you're going to see him doing everything today. We're going to work him back in slowly but I think it starts to get back to some semblance of the group that you thought you were going to play with the whole year. Unfortunately the injury occurred but I think the players are excited, I heard some of the defensive players talking about it. Some of the guys that have never seen him play - they're excited. I think (QB) Kyle (Orton) is excited - the quarterback is obviously excited - but I think the guys who have played in that spot have done a good job too and they're going to have to continue to do a good job because Ryan isn't quite ready to go out there and play 75 plays at this point. I think we're excited about it and at the same time we're going to try to be smart and get him back to the point where we feel like he can play at his highest level and that may not be for a few more weeks."
On CB Perrish Cox's impact on the return game
"He's certainly got a lot of ability. I think the biggest question we're going to have for him is, ‘Can we trust him to field every ball and make sure that we have possession at the end of the play?' He dropped one yesterday in practice but then he does three or four really good things so I think ball possession will be No. 1 - and that's the most critical area for us. (WR) Eddie (Royal) has certainly shown the ability to do that. He's been returning some punts and some kicks in practice too. We still have some time; we're going to let both of them continue to do that. (WR) Matt Willis has also done it; (CB) Cassius Vaughn is back there doing it too. We're not going to make any decision now, but I'd say that Perrish is getting better every day and he certainly has ability to help us in both phases."
On whether it's fair to judge the run defense this early
"Yeah, it's fair to judge. I think whoever is out there has to do what we're trying do. I think we've played good run defense in camp. There's also been some things we've needed to fix - from the Detroit game the other day - we didn't do a particularly good job of containing the edge and then inside we created a few seams in there that we shouldn't have created but I think we have the right idea, I think the players know what we want to try to do. I think when they're all in there and they're all healthy and they're all trying to play together, I think we can be a good run defense. I think that, I really do. It's still something we're trying to progress in and we worked on it hard yesterday and we're going to work on it hard again today. It's something that you really can't stop working on at all."
On what makes Ryan Clady such a good offensive tackle
"Well, I think anytime a tackle comes into the league, I think there's a period of an adjustment to the style of rushers - the different speed of the game and Ryan was able to pick that up quickly. Obviously as a rookie, he did a nice job pass protecting. Last year (he) did a good job of the same thing. That's usually the area where they struggle the most, the young linemen, and I think Ryan has good footwork, he has obviously long arms, he's hard to rush through and he knows how to play the game against different styles of rushers. I think that's really been key to his success as a pass protector. I think every player is different. Certainly a lot of tackles get drafted in the first round and some are capable of playing on that left side quickly and some struggle and we're very fortunate that he's where he's at and hopefully he can return to that form shortly."
On who is competing for the linebacker spot opposite of LB Robert Ayers
"Well it's really the ‘Will,' it's not really the rush spot, I would say, because it could be on the right or the left; we flop them based on the strength of the formation. Robert's always been on the strong side this year. It's going to be (Jason) Hunter, (Jarvis) Moss, (Baraka) Atkins, (Kevin) Alexander, there's a load of them over there and really we're going to let those guys compete and see. If one of them deserves to play 65 plays then we'll let them do that but if we feel like we can get a good 30 plays out of a couple of them, then we might rotate them but they're all competing in there hard, trying to earn that spot."
On LB Baraka Atkins
"He's physical, he's got long arms. Certainly he has the body that you look for to play on the edge. He's been able to do a decent job in the run game and then he's had some production in the pass rush - whether it's been sacks, pressures or forcing the quarterback out of the pocket, he's done some different things there too. He knows both (linebacker) spots also, which is important. He can swing to the strong-side spot and the weak-side spot, which is valuable because if you go to the game, a lot of times you don't go with a backup for every spot so that's also increased his value in our mind. He's shown up a little bit in the kicking game. Again, if you're not a fulltime starter on offense or defense, you better be a pretty good player in the kicking game or else you're standing on the sideline all day and usually those guys are inactive. He's just stood out as being consistent, worked hard, he's been out there every day and I think he's really just steadily improved."
On the players' reactions to roster cuts
"I think they all understand. Maybe the first couple of times that you have to start to cut the roster down, I think there might be a little bit of, ‘Oh, it's that time of year,' kind of thought process. I thought our players practiced hard yesterday - it's not a part of the year that anybody looks forward to. Certainly we've been working with a lot of these guys for months now and they've done everything we've asked and I think our players understand that it's something that we have to do. We have to get down to 53 on the roster and they responded yesterday to the things we did yesterday well and I hope that they have that mentality going forward."
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN RYAN CLADY
On what is feels like to finally be out at practice
"It feels good. Right now, (I'm) just trying to get back to full speed and I would like to thank ‘Greek' (Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos) and the rest of the training staff for getting me where I am now, and just try to continue to improve."
On how these last few months have been for him as he has watched training camp
"Just rehabbing and just trying to stay focused on football - watching film and seeing what the other guys are doing and try not to make the same mistakes."
On when he expects to return to playing
"I don't know. I mean right now we are just taking it day-by-day and just trying to improve."
On how he feels in terms of his readiness to play
"I feel pretty good, and like I said just try to take it slowly and get back to full speed."
On if he ever worried about his injury
"No, I didn't really worry too much. I knew that with the trainers we have here I would be able to get back as soon as possible."
On how frustrating it was to just watch training camp
"Yeah, it's a little frustrating. You want to be out there with the guys and also getting better every day; so it's a step back I took but I will move forward and try to improve."
On how much pressure he feels to get back on the field
"I mean there's a little pressure. With any starter in the NFL, you've got to just try to get back as soon as possible and try to play and make the team better."
On what he has seen from the young players on the offensive line
"We've got some good talent out there. We've just got some younger guys. They're getting better every day, so it's just a new offense for them and it's the NFL; they should be ready though."
On if he has given any advice to the rookies
"I mean you just have to be patient and just go out there every day with a good mindset and try to work hard."
On if he second-guessed his decision to play basketball in the offseason
"You know, it's just something I do in the off season to try and stay in shape. I won't be doing that any more. So, we won't have this discussion again."
On if he is in better shape after rehabbing
"Yeah, yeah my upper body is pretty strong right now, so I'm feeling good about that."
QUARTERBACK KYLE ORTON
On getting OL Ryan Clady back at practice
"Every time we're getting these guys back, it's a good sign and certainly Ryan is one of our best players so as soon as we can get him back, the better."
On the importance of the offensive line practicing as a complete unit
"Well, it is important - you've got to work as a group, no question about it. It's not five individuals out there, it's a group out there playing so you've got to get the timing and all the calls that you want to make, so that's important but more importantly we want the guys healthy."
On whether getting OL Ryan Clady back changes his approach as a quarterback
"You know, you can make small little differences in the play calls to help out with your backup tackle or whatever. Usually when we have the big guy back there, he's one-on-one and everybody knows that."
On getting RBs Correll Buckhalter and LenDale White back from injury
"Well, it's big - obviously it's big to the backfield, they're big parts of what we do in the run game and in the pass game. But, you know, at any position we need all these guys getting back as soon as possible so we can get some practice time with them before it gets to be (Week 1 at) Jacksonville."
On the third preseason game vs. Pittsburgh
"Yeah, this is a good week for us, you kind of game plan a little bit more for the third game. You try to take your preparation like you would a little bit closer to a regular-season game so to get in that routine with some guys that haven't been around is important and really offensively, this is your last time to get out there and get significant playing time before Jacksonville, so you obviously want to end with a good taste in your mouth."
On OL Ryan Clady's rehab
"Yeah, he's had quite the busy offseason. He's spent a lot of time with (Head Athletic Trainer Steve) "Greek" (Antonopulos) and (Strength and Conditioning Coach Rich) Tuten and all those guys but he's worked hard to get himself back into shape and I'm sure he has a ways to go."