Quotes Courtesy of The Denver Broncos P.R. Staff
HEAD COACH JOSH McDANIELS
On whether the starters will play into the third quarter vs. Pittsburgh on Sunday
"Yes, no question. We'd like to go through a halftime where they're going to go back out there and kind of simulate, ‘Alright, this is what it's going to be like here in a few weeks.' You know, adjustments, corrections, first few calls we use in the third quarter - whether it be on offense or defense - same thing in the kicking game. I think we want to go through our normal process of halftime like we would during a game so that's the plan right now."
On why team added depth at certain positions
"I think the biggest thing we looked at last year - I don't think there was one thing that we pinpointed and said, ‘The way we played in the last six or eight games was really based on this one factor.' We certainly felt like from a depth standpoint we ran thin and that was why we did that. It wasn't because we don't have decent players at any of those positions, we felt like we kind of wore down a little bit - and I think any team can wear down if you don't have depth in there to make sure that your guys are fresh so we did that. Training camp - we were in pads this training camp plenty, but not as much as last year. We took the pads off a little bit more; we didn't have that many two-a-days when you really think about it. We just tried to spend our time very efficiently in training camp and we feel like the depth that we've put on our team - at a few different spots - will help us as we move forward."
On training camp
"Every team has their own style and their own philosophy on what to do but I've been on teams that were wearing pads every day, we went two-a-days three, four, five, six days in a row and won championships that way. I was on a team that practiced in pads seven times in training camp and we won a championship that way too. I think there are a lot of ways - and we did the same thing and didn't make the playoffs - so I think there's a lot that can be made of how you do training camp or how you chose to run your camp. Ultimately, I think you've got to get your team ready to play and I think you've got to continue to do that as the season wears on. I think you need to be smart with them also as you go through the season because what you do during the season is probably just important as what you do during the beginning in training camp. There are a lot of factors that go into how you play later in the year. I think that we're focused on trying to continue to push our guys to improve. Hopefully the depth we've added at some places will help us too."
On whether the team did anything differently this offseason from last year
"We did change our offseason program - we did more emphasis on strength and explosion and a little less on pure conditioning this year. We think our team definitely responded. We definitely made some strides in those areas. All in all, we tried to keep it somewhat similar in terms of our schedule. Our nutrition program is the same as it was - we feel like we've got the right idea in that regard. Our nutritionist does a good job of making sure we're eating the right things. I think it's a lot of factors that weight into that. Hopefully our guys take those things seriously because they all matter as we go through the season."
On whether the team made an adjustment in terms overall size
"I think that's another thing - when you're bigger up front on offense, you're bigger up front on defense, maybe you have a lesser likelihood of wearing down. So, we tried to do that, there's no question about that and hopefully that will pay off for us also."
On LB Jason Hunter
"Well, he's got a great attitude and a great approach. He's been in here - basically since he arrived he's been in here trying to get caught up in the system. He's a big, physical player that has shown the ability to rush the passer before he got here. Those things give him a chance - I think any player going from defensive end to outside linebacker - those are the kinds of things you're looking for. And again, there's no question that he's behind but I think we brought him here with the mindset of letting him compete and that's what he's doing."
On WR Demaryius Thomas' rehabilitation process
"I think it can be frustrating I think for any player - I think he's handled it well. Again, he was out there the other day, did some decent things and we don't expect him to be out very long."
On how quickly a former defensive end can adjust to playing outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense
"Again, I think there's a balance there with what we try to call when those players are in the game, when they're just learning and adjusting to playing that position. I don't think we want to make them learn everything in two weeks. If we feel like (LB Jason Hunter) is going to help us win by being out there on the field then we've got to be smart in terms of how we use him. I don't think we want to just pretend that we have a player that's been in our system for two years when he really hasn't. We'll try to play to (Hunter's) strengths - if that's the case - but that's the same thing we do with (LB) Jarvis (Moss), same thing we'll do with (LB) Baraka (Atkins). We just try to go out there and focus on what they do well and try to keep them doing that as many plays as we possibly can and avoid the things that we think they need more time to learn."
On how many quarterbacks will play this Sunday vs. Pittsburgh
"We're just going to play one - that's the rules - one at a time (laughing)... We'll see how Tim (Tebow) does. He's still pretty sore and there are some things that I don't think he can really do effectively at this point. But, we've got a few more days here before the game. We'd love for him to be in the game and play, so there could be two or there could be three (quarterbacks that play). That's the best answer I can give you right now."
On his use of statistics in game planning
"The biggest thing with statistics is that I think they change based on the opponent. If you just say, as a blanket rule, you're going to do this on third-and-six-to-eight - I mean, Pittsburgh doesn't play anywhere near the same way Detroit plays on third-and-six-to-eight. I think you use them individually and try to make the best decisions you can each week. I think it's more of a what do you expect the defense to do or what do you think the offense is going to do and those statistics are kind of what we use as coaches to try to help us call the game the best way that we feel we can. I don't think we look at the league and say, for example, the draw play on third-and-eight - some teams yeah, some teams no. There's a chance that you have a team that pass rushes and runs up the field and you've got a good chance to get a draw play and be successful and then there are other teams that don't do that. I think that individually we look at them and we try to analyze them from one week to the next and they definitely play a part in our game plan. They absolutely play a part in what we want to try to do but they're definitely unique to that team."
On LB Elvis Dumervil
"We're just, again, letting the thing heal - the stitches and all that stuff and we're going to talk to the doctors here soon. We have not made any decisions yet. We're going to see in the next few weeks here how this goes and then try to make the best decision we can for him and for the team but we're going to give it as much time as we can. Obviously he's a very valuable player to us but he also has a very valuable future so we're not going to try to compromise one to save a few games here or there if that's what it ends up being. We're going to try to do the best thing for the team and I think also, the last couple weeks here as the roster plays out, based on the injuries, maybe there is a better chance that we just hold out hope, maybe there's not. I think there are a lot of things that could factor into this but nothing is more important than his health."
On making roster cuts
"I think it's just kind of been our mindset that going into this game and then into next week's game - if we feel like we're going to play our starters longer in this game so that there's less opportunity for some of the players that are kind of fighting for those last spots or adding depth to our roster in terms of the 80-man roster - if they're not going to play much this week and we don't feel like those players are in a situation where we would play them a bunch next week on a short week anyway, we think it's fair to give them an opportunity to go somewhere else and play maybe on a team where maybe they have a chance to win a job. That was really all it was and we'll probably try to do more of the same after this game even though we're already down there just because I think it's the fairest thing to do for the player."
On the depth at wide receiver
"Really and truly, (WR Brandon) Stokley has been out for a little while now with a groin (injury) but Demaryius (Thomas) is fighting back - we expect him to be back sooner rather than later. And then, we've got a lot of competition out there as it is - Eddie (Royal) has been healthy, Matt Willis has been healthy, Jabar (Gaffney) has been healthy (Brandon) Lloyd has been healthy. We've got a lot of guys out there - (Eric) Decker is now back out there doing some different things. I think in terms of depth, I think it's OK. All of us are going to feel better when Demaryius is fully ready to roll and he can go out there and stay out there and keep playing but I don't think we're - we're not concerned about it. I think there's nothing we can do about it so it really doesn't make any sense for us to sit here and worry about those things right now."
TIGHT END KORY SPERRY
On how it feels to be back in Colorado where he grew up and went to college (Colorado State University)
"It feels good. (I'm) glad to be here. A lot of my family is here. The air is a little thinner than Florida, so it's hard to adjust to that so far."
On if he remembers the altitude from growing up in Colorado
"Yeah, I knew that, but being from here you don't believe it when you are gone for a year and come back. It definitely affects the lungs a little."
On playing in the same state he played college football in
"Yeah, it's kind of weird. I grew up in Colorado my whole life, got to go around to Florida down there to play a little and then once I got released we didn't know where we were going to end up. I got to end up here, which is a team I grew up watching and enjoying and always a big fan of, so I mean it's just great to be here."
On his relationship with former University of Colorado TE Riar Geer
"You know, they give me a little - talk trash talk. You have to, but we got them last year; so I guess, you know, they can't say too much."
On how much sleep he gets now
"Not much. You know, I try to get as much sleep as I can, but at the same time I would rather get the playbook down so hopefully I get a chance to get in a few games and make some plays here."
On what the coaches have told him about this opportunity
"When they brought me in, they just said, ‘You know, let's learn the playbook. We want to get you out there, see what's going on and give you a chance and we brought you in here to get a look at you.' So, basically I'm just kind of keeping my nose and head down and keeping my - you know keep going forward and see what happens."
On how he felt when he got the call to come to Denver
"Actually, when I got released I was down in Florida with my girlfriend and we didn't know what was going on. My agent was on the phone constantly and as soon as the 24 hours came up he called and said, ‘Guess what, you are going home,' and I was like, ‘You've got to be kidding me, I'm going to Denver?' and he was like ,'Yeah' and I started jumping up and down. I was excited, called my parents - they were excited. It was a good feeling."
QUARTERBACK TIM TEBOW
On how close to full strength he feels
"I don't know - (I'm) constantly getting better so I'm feeling better each and every day and that's as much as I can do - just try to get better every day."
On his limitations
"I don't know - I went out there yesterday and felt pretty good. So, you know, just getting better as far as that. I feel range of motion has been good so now it's just the next thing is contact."
On how tough it was for him to sit out
"(Laughing) it was hard, but that's what they wanted me to do and they felt it was right so (I) just do as I'm told."
On whether he thinks he'll play vs. Pittsburgh on Sunday
"I don't know - that's the coaches' decision and whatever they tell me to do, I'll be obedient to what they say."
On what he'd say if Coach McDaniels asked him if he could play
"(Laughing) I don't know that he will - I'm a rookie."
On whether he's suffered the same injury before
"Not specifically, but yeah, I took a lot of hits in college. That's just a part of the game - play football."
On what he was able to learn from observing the Broncos' game vs. Detroit
"I think I was able to learn a lot - just one, from being in all the game-plan meetings - just understanding our game plan and the obviously watching it from up top and seeing it. It can definitely look a lot easier from up top than it does when you're under center but then just trying to know what the quarterbacks are thinking and walk through the steps in my head of the ‘Mike' calls and what I would do versus this and this and so I tried to play the game in my head."
On WR Demaryius Thomas
"Yeah, I've talked to him a lot - he's a great kid and he's doing great and his mind and his attitude and his focus have been great so now it's just about working hard and trying to get as healthy as he can."