Quotes Courtesy of The Denver Broncos P.R. Staff
HEAD COACH JOSH McDANIELS
"Well, last day for Pittsburgh, (we’re) working in the red area, two-minute (offense), our goal-line stuff — this will be a lighter day, obviously, physically. This will be a good test for us. (Pittsburgh is) a physical team, we’ve talked a lot about that to our players. It’ll be a test, no matter what phase we’re talking about. It’ll tell us where we’re at in terms of how physical we play and our style of football too."
On whether he talked to LB D.J. Williams before signing his brother, LB Worrell Williams
"Yeah, we did. I talked to D.J. and D.J. was just very honest with me about what Worrell was going to bring and he has already. I don’t fear having brothers on the same team or anything like that — they’ve been fine. (Worrell) has fit in well here so far. He’s just practicing hard — he reminds me a lot of D.J. in terms of his attitude and how he practices and how fast he plays and all that. He certainly doesn’t know everything that we’d like him to know eventually but he goes out there, works hard every day and that’s a great start and we’ll see where the future takes it."
On taking LB D.J. Williams’ advice on his brother
"I think you’ve got to make your own evaluation of the player once you have him. We certainly did a workout with him and liked what we saw from the physical approach that we could evaluate in terms of when we brought him here and mentally, he’s doing fine. So, I think we’re going to take a look at what he does while he’s here more importantly. We saw some of the things before and we know that he’s a competitive kid so we’ll let him go ahead and play and then we’ll make our evaluation on his future here in Denver after we see him do that the next couple of weeks."
On the status of the Broncos’ injured players
"You’re going to see (RB) LenDale (White) back out there, (RB Correll Buckhalter) "Buck" back out there and hopefully I’d love to say that both of those guys could play (vs. Pittsburgh) but I’m not going to do that because if that’s not the smart thing to do on Sunday night, we’re going to try to make sure we’re doing the best thing for the team. (QB Tim) Tebow — the same thing — he’s sore but if we feel like it’s not going to set him back then he’ll play on Sunday night but everybody else is kind of in that same boat. I think (LB) D.J. (Williams) is ready to go. Hopefully that will be a big boost for us on defense to have him out there playing — that’ll be big. Right now, we’re just going to go out there and push those guys through and hopefully get a good day of work out of them and then try to make the best decision we can here in a couple of days."
On the offensive line rotation
"I think on Sunday night, you’ll see (Stanley) Daniels in there, you’ll also see (Zane) Beadles in there too, with (Seth) Olsen. Beadles is going to play some tackle for sure in this game, no question about it — maybe early. We’re just finalizing how we’re going to rotate those guys around and last for four quarters doing it so you’ll definitely see a combination of Daniels at left guard with Beadles at left tackles. You’ll see Beadles at left guard with a different set of tackles in there. There are a lot of guys that are still competing for that job, and that’s how we’ve practiced this week. We’ve definitely put them in and out, we’ve rotated them, we’ve not given the job to anybody and we think both players are really competing hard for it."
On DL Justin Bannan
"Versatility is definitely something that gives Justin added value. He’s played inside in our sub defenses. He’s played the end obviously in our 3-4 and he’s played end in 4-3 for us this year, too. He’s a smart player, a tough player. Really anything you give him to do, he really focuses on doing his job and he does it really well. He’s fit in great with our group. We look forward to a lot of contributions from him in different areas this year."
On whether the rookie offensive linemen can wear down over the course of 20 games
"I hope we’re playing more than 20 games, to tell you the truth. That’s part of the learning curve, I think. Is there a situation where they’re going to feel sore and tired? Yeah — I’m sure everybody else will, too. I think if we didn’t get them this experience now they might not play 20 games because they might not have been in there. You’ve got to balance that, I think. Getting them that work early and then getting them all this work against good players early in these preseason games, and then continuing to play — I think every opportunity we have is a learning experience for them. They’re taking advantage of it and hopefully it will improve their play and hopefully it will be better for our team as we move forward."
On DL Ryan McBean
"Ryan did a lot of good things for us last year. We brought in people, but we brought in people to compete, not to take jobs from other players necessarily. Ryan just did a great job of being open to whatever changes we wanted to make and whatever competition we wanted to put him in. He moved from the left last year to the right this year, and he’s handled that transition very well. He’s played solid in the preseason. He’s still a young player who’s getting better, too. We see a lot of upside with Ryan in terms of what he can do and what he can become. I think his attitude and approach when he saw people come in at his position was exactly what we hoped it would be which was, ‘That’s great, hopefully that will make me better,’ and it has. He’s really competed hard to keep his spot in the starting lineup."
On how competitive the preseason should be
"My preseason record’s not very good right now. We understand that, but I think when you play the game — and we tell our team this — when we play the preseason game, we’re playing to win the game. Now that doesn’t mean that the same group is going to be in there the whole time, but we’re playing the situation to try and win the game. If we have to kick an onside kick, we’re doing it. If we have to go for two, we’re doing it. If we have to run the two-minute offense a little bit more in the second half, we’ll try that — we did that in Cincinnati. We're going to play the situation and play the game as if it were a regular season game from that standpoint. We just might not have the same people in at the same time. I think as a coach, competitively it's really difficult to balance. You want to put every scheme that you think could possibly give your team the best advantage in the game, you want to put it in the game plan. The problem is that you also want to save it for Jacksonville, Seattle, or (Indianapolis)and everybody else at the beginning of the season because you think it’s a good concept and you want to use it when it will help in the wins and losses category when they actually start to count, so it's difficult to balance it."
On preseason losses
"It's a game, and you want to win. I think you want to win no matter what you're doing. No matter what anybody says, you’re evaluated by whether you had more points than they did or not, so we’re going to try to do everything we can to win this game — the same thing on Thursday — and we’ll see how it goes."
On the possibility of an 18-game schedule
"I just want whatever they’re going to give me. I don’t know. First of all, I have no bearing on whether that’s going to happen or not or how much the offseason would change. My opinion is probably pretty moot at this point, so it’s whatever they’ll give us. Obviously coaches like to coach, and we like to be around our players as much as possible but we do understand the balance there. If they cut back something to give us more time in the fall, then we have to work with whatever parameters they put on us. We’ll all be in the same boat. No coach will have more time than the others, which is the same as it is right now. As long as it’s even, as long as we can all do the same thing to try and get our team ready, I think it’s fair."
On Zane Beadles and Stanley Daniels competing at guard
"It’s a competitive situation. There have been no decisions made on who’s going to be our starting left guard as we start the season, there’s no question about that. I think that just means that both players are competing hard to be that player. I think both players also understand that they’re not where we want them to be — they’re probably not where they want to be either in terms of their consistency and their level of play all the time, but I don’t think that’s a negative connotation for any player. I think that’s a good thing for our team — I think it means we have players that will give us some versatility as we go forward. Both players have high upsides. They’re both young guys that are in their first year in our system. Hopefully the winner of that job will play well, and the player who may not have that job at the beginning of the season, hopefully he continues to push and compete to try to continue to take that job away. I think that will only make both players better."
On finding the right balance between youth and experience
"I think it's always important to have experienced players on your team. I think that leadership is really the thing that matters the most, because if you have young players that are good leaders, that's okay too. I think I've been around young players that could do that and I've also had situations where young players weren't ready to do that. I think that experience, if it correlates with solid leadership on both sides of the ball across your team, I think it's necessary. I also think that if you have too many players that need rest, that need days off, those kind of things, that could be something that could bother you as you go down the road too, because you certainly can't do that and continue to do that all year long with too many of your players or else you're not practicing with your team. I think we’re trying to obtain a good balance here. Certainly we're younger right now on offense than we are on defense — I think that shows. Certainly the leadership and experience we have on defense — that's also a factor for us too — that has definitely played a big role in the maturity of some of the players on our team, because they get to be around those players all day long. I think it’s a good mix, a good balance. Really, what you're looking for as a coach is you're looking for when some of those young players are going to start to become the leaders of your team also. That's really up to them, they've got to feel comfortable and confident in their job, and once they do I think that they'll push forward and then they'll take the leadership role, however big or small it may be. I think that you need some experienced players, or more importantly, some leaders out there when things don't go right. I don't know that I necessarily think that it has to be an older player that's played in the league for 10 or 12 years. I think that you can have a leader on who's played in the league a couple of years, four or five years or whatever. I think that's dependent on the person. There are certainly young players that have become great leaders right away."
CORNERBACK ANDRE GOODMAN
On helping the younger players
"I think I've got a pretty good hold on what my role is on this team. But with the young guys, it's your obligation to help them. You know what they're here for, and you know how the game works, but it's your obligation to help. It's your obligation to help the organization as long as your part of the organization. It's really not that hard, and it's really not that big of a deal."
On how much CB Perrish Cox has impressed him
"Very. It's tough for a young guy to come in and be as comfortable as he is at the corner position, which is one of the toughest positions in my opinion to transition into. The guy has all the athletic ability in the world, and he's an aggressive guy. He's probably made more plays than anybody in camp."
On if the defensive line has helped the team’s pass defense
"Well, yeah, but I think the first two games we've also been inconsistent. To say, ‘Yeah it may help in the pass game’ — we'd like to think so, but we've given up a lot of yards rushing the first two games — that’s first and foremost. I think the guys (in the secondary) trust what those guys up front are trying to do, but we have to be more consistent in the way we play."
On whether he’s concerned about the pass defense
"I don't see a long-term issue, but because of the way we finished last year, it's something we want to get corrected fast."
On judging the preseason performances
"It's very tough to judge. It's the preseason. There are a lot of things you kind of test out to see what you can get away with in the preseason. But again, I don't think we're judging those two games and making that our barometer."
On moving Mario Haggan to inside linebacker
"I think the biggest thing is trying to be stronger in the middle. I think it's one of the biggest things (Head Coach Josh McDaniels) talked about, and I think Mario does a good job of coming down hill and creating that strength."
On QB Kyle Orton's preseason performance
"I think most guys would come in and tell you that Kyle has been very impressive during training camp — and even OTAs. His leadership skills (are one thing), but also just the confidence that he's walking around with now — he seems like a different guy, and I think the competition brought the best out in him."
On the importance of the third preseason game for the first-team defense
"I think not just as a unit, but as a team to kind of get a real feel of where we are as a football team against this Pittsburgh Steelers team that we know is a contender — so just to get a feel overall for what kind of team we have."
On the third preseason game last year
"That's a tough question. Last year, I don't know. I think we improved from the second game to the third game. Honestly, I think as a defensive unit we played a lot better. I don't know what it was. I think we adjusted a lot better going into the third game, and we hope to see that kind of improvement again."
On what excites him about this team
"I don't think people expected much out of us last year, either. We started 6-0 and kind of surprised people. We went from the bottom to the top and all the sudden we were contenders. I think you're judged by what you do on Sundays (during the regular season), honestly. On paper, people don't see much out of us, but again, come on guys, it's the NFL. Every year teams go from the bottom to the top just like that. I think we have confidence in what we have, and I think we're going to do a good job."
On the second year in the system
"I think guys are moving faster, maybe because they're seeing things faster. I think guys have gotten comfortable in their positions. Again, with the way we finished last year, we don't want to put too much on what we're doing right now. We're trying to improve every day, and that's our main goal."
On CB Nate Jones
"Nate is feisty, man. Nate's a fighter. I had him for a year down in Miami. He's just a fighter, and again, I think (Defensive Coordinator Don) "Wink" (Martindale) would tell you, you can put Nate anywhere. I would put Nate as noseguard and feel comfortable. That's just the kind of guy he is. He's a fighter."
WIDE RECEIVER BRANDON LLOYD
On the offense's goals for the game vs. Pittsburgh
"We want to put together consistent drives similar to how we came out in the Cincinnati game — we were consistent and we were executing running pass plays. We want to be more effective in the run game and we want to win, most importantly. I think putting up a win in this preseason, going into the regular season that could do a lot for us."
On if wins make a difference in the preseason
"I think so. I think it's just good for morale purposes. Winning, getting that taste in your mouth going into the regular season — I'm a proponent of the preseason, because coming in as a fourth-round pick I had to prove myself. I like the preseason. I think it's good practice going against other opponents and then going into the regular season. I would like to get a win and I feel it would be good for momentum."
On the possibility of an 18-game regular season
"One of those reasons is for those young guys, the guys that need to prove themselves that they can play on this level. Taking two games away from them — that's taking a lot of opportunities away."
On if the other players feel the same
"I don't know. That's what I was asking some of the media guys, ‘What have been most of the reactions to the 18-game season question?’ I haven't read much about what the other players have said. But I just know that's my standpoint. It's not so much the extra game checks. It's not that big of a deal. The shortened preseason, so the veterans are going to be playing more in the preseason, and then there's two more games on top of that — it doesn't really add up to me."
On whether a longer preseason increases chances of injury
"I don’t think it's really a factor, you know guys go down in training camp and guys go down during the season. I don't think it really — (it) probably statistically it increases odds, but things happen."
On whether he's excited about more playing time with the first-team offense
"It's good to get out there with everybody and just see what we can do, especially going up against the Steelers. They bring it every game regardless of if it’s a regular season or a preseason game. This will be a good test for us and it will definitely show us where we are as a unit and where we are as a team."
If the third preseason game is similar to a regular season game
"The intensity is definitely regular-season like, because it is important. The third game is important, and like I said, for me, I like it just from the momentum standpoint, and getting the win with the first unit playing the majority of the game, it does a lot for me and my confidence going into the regular season."
On if the media places too much importance on the preseason
"I think it's important to me and it's important to the coaches. Obviously as players we like to downplay a lot of things, and downplaying the third preseason game is just like players downplaying the whole entire preseason. From my personal standpoint, I like it and I think it's important."
On the cohesion of the wide receiver group
"I think that just the second year in this offense makes it more cohesive. Guys are more comfortable, we know what we're doing, and we’re putting a little bit more on our plate. We're able to make adjustments and calls at the line of scrimmage, so we're comfortable and it pretty much starts with (QB Kyle) Orton and his confidence and what he's learning, and he kind of shares it with us. As far as the receiving group, I think we're just a lot more comfortable, just like Orton is, being that it's our second year."
On helping the younger receivers
"I just look at it like — when I was young I couldn't wait to be the veteran to share my knowledge with other players. And that's all, that's how I feel about it. Those guys ask me questions all the time, and even when they don't ask me questions I'm coaching them on top of what (Wide Receivers) Coach (Adam) Gase is giving them if we're coaching. I have knowledge, I have years in the game. I have knowledge in my head and I feel like it's my obligation to share it."