Transcripts Compliments of the Denver Broncos P.R. Staff
HEAD COACH JOSH McDANIELS
On the team’s injuries:
"We’ve got to continue to come out here and practice hard. We’re going to lighten up tonight – we planned on taking the pads off tonight and we’re going to do that. We have a walkthrough tomorrow morning and then the stadium practice on Saturday night. We should pull off of some of the banging around here but ultimately I think we’ve got to continue to push through some of this stuff. Obviously we’re not going to put players out here that we would risk injuring further and try to monitor and manage everybody the best we can so that we’re ready to go for September while we’re getting better every day out here."
On whether the amount of injuries suffered in training camp has changed through his years in the NFL:
"You know, it’s really been kind of, I think, an ebb-and-flow for me. I’ve been on teams where we’ve been decimated early and then we’ve been on teams, similar to last year where we really didn’t have many problems. We didn’t change our conditioning program from one year to the next, we didn’t change the way we get ready for practice, we didn’t change our stretching routines or anything like that. It’s just sometimes I think those are freak things that happen. I think our job is just to manage them the best we can and handle them and move forward and try to keep getting better."
On drills that weren’t run at full speed:
"We were not going to go full (speed) on the goal line today anyway. We put it in last night and it was our first opportunity to go out there and just put it on film so we can coach off of it and teach where we want our players to be and Saturday night htere might be a few fireworks on the goal line, so we’ll see how it goes."
On whether the team is going to run full-speed drills at INVESCO Field at Mile High for Saturday night’s practice:
"Yeah, it could be, yeah"
On OL D’Anthony Batiste:
"He’s physical – first of all, he’s a good person – physical and has played in this league before. You know, he had some flexibility between playing guard and tackle and we always talk to our players – the more that they can do, the better opportunity that they’re going to have to make our football team. He played a lot of guard in the spring and played some right tackle in the spring and now he’s playing some left tackle. I think versatility equals value in many degrees and really, he’s really competing hard there and he’s had his few days here at left tackle. (OL) Tyler (Polumbus) started at left tackle and that’s just the way that we’re going to run camp but he’s really shown well for himself."
On LB Jammie Kirlew:
"Yeah, he’s going through – you know, it’s interesting because Jammie is one of those players that when we play the 3-4, he can be out there as an outside linebacker and again, he’s going through some growing pains right now – I think that’s fair to say but then when we transfer and play the 4-3, we don’t really have to take him out of the game – he can just fit in as an end too. It was one of the things we liked about him coming out of (the University of) Indiana is that we felt like there was a versatility there that we could use. He’s got a great attitude, he’s a strong kid and he’s just continuing to try to get better every day."
On DL Jamal Williams:
"You should ask (OL) J.D. (Walton) that question (laughing). It’s hard to move him and I don’t know if I’ve seen a guy that’s played that position – which is not an easy position to play – he’s played it that long and then yesterday it was like a kid on Christmas morning. It’s great to have him out there and I think our team and our players notice that he’s out there and that’s not to say that we don’t have competitive players that are going to play behind him – because we do – but to have him in the middle and to really help take some pressure off of our inside linebackers at times – that’s going to be a big benefit to us."
On playing with four down linemen:
"We’ve got some weight in there (laughing) but that’s part of what we tried to do in terms of building the depth because we looked at it in the offseason and said, ‘You can either try to accumulate a bunch of outside linebackers to make sure that you don’t lose your depth there or you can use the defensive ends and the outside linebackers to kind of go hand-in-hand.’ They’re not the same positions, they’re not practicing in the same spots of the field but at the same time, they’re helping us solve some things and be flexible with our schemes. I think that’s hard – I know as an offensive coach, when I was coordinating on offense it was always difficult to follow, ‘OK, what’s in the game?’ I kept having to ask, ‘Is it 3-4, is it 4-3?’ Because, it changes some of the rules that you use with your blocking schemes and then you have to communicate that to the huddle. We’re just going to try to continue to improve in both areas and then whatever formula works for us then we’ll use it and try to win that way."
On whether QB Kyle Orton is flying under the radar:
"That’s for you guys to judge, I think, in terms of being under the radar. He’s not under the radar on our team, I know that. He’s really started off extremely well, I’d say that. He’s accurate, there’s nothing in our scheme and nothing in our system that he can’t operate, (or) he can’t execute. He gets us in the right play basically 99 out of 100 or 100 out of 100 (times) and the ball is going to the right place, he’s making big plays down the field, he’s operating and executing in the two-minute drill. I think this was the sixth time that we moved the ball down in nine attempts to get down there and either be in field goal range or score. Things are happening so much faster for Kyle right now than they were last year and that’s normal, I think. You’re in your second season in the system, you’re a smart, cerebral type of player that has those skills. I think they’re all going to benefit and all the players see it too."
LINEBACKER AKIN AYODELE
On LB Elvis Dumervil's injury:
"You've got to feel bad for the man. Knowing Elvis since I've been here and even through all the adversity he went through in the offseason, you definitely saw a guy that wanted to be here, came to everything and worked his butt off in the weight room. When we came to camp, even the days he was here he made plays every single play. Knowing how hard he worked and then to see that happen – then at the same time being in the league quite a while now, you have to understand that it's just part of the league. It's what happens. Guys get hurt and other guys have to step up. You can't replace the man, but you've got to step up and get in there and do the best job you can."
On how the team has stepped up to the challenge of not having (LB) Elvis Dumervil:
"We have. You know, we’ve got to shift some things around, but I think guys understand the situation. It’s something that (Coach) Josh (McDaniels) has always talked about through the OTAs and mini camps. I think now, it’s a reality. It happened a lot earlier than we expected, so you know it’s good and bad just because of the guy, but you know it’s good the fact that it is earlier in camp and guys can get reps."
On what changes the team will have to make without Dumervil:
"More than likely, there will be some shifting around. You have to talk to Josh (McDaniels) or ‘Wink’ (Defensive Coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale) about that, but I’m pretty sure some guys will get some reps, you know, where they haven’t before."
On the first week of training camp:
"You know, camp is camp. I’ve been in a lot of them. You just have to understand the grind. You’ve got to understand what you are working on. It’s all about fundamentals – all about your technique and all about working on the scheme itself. So, you know, it’s something we have been doing through the whole offseason, and more important especially now putting on pads and everybody working on their own game."
On getting adjusted to the altitude in Denver:
"You’ve got the altitude you have to get used to, so you know I have been getting used to that, but you know now you’ve got enough reps in. You are trying to get your legs back and try to work on your hips and all your fundamentals and just get in the game."
On how he has been able to have such a lengthy NFL career:
"You know, it’s partly my offseason regimen and also my workouts going into camp have helped me out. I have learned from a lot of vets. When I got drafted at Jacksonville, it was a veteran team, so it had guys like Tony Brackens, Donovan Darius and Jimmy Smith – guys that I watched and they kind of took me under their wings and showed me just some of the things you do to keep that longevity and being in the league and staying on the field. The thing is you can’t make plays if you are in the training room or on the sidelines, so you’ve got to get out there and stay on the field."
LINEBACKER JAMMIE KIRLEW
On if anything was different at practice without (LB) Elvis Dumervil:
"There may be a more situations where I might come in a little more now just to help out the guys while they’re away, but I mean coaches treat me the same way. They want me to come out here and compete every day no matter what the situation is. And they want me to know what I am doing and be ready no matter where I am at, so that’s just my goal."
On how the first week of camp has been for him:
"I think it is a great week. The weather cooperated pretty well. It was a little sunny but it was good to get a little sun out here. Man, we have been going hard at it all week. You know, I like being out here. We’ve got a very competitive team, and it has been a great week."
On if he has been surprised by anything this week:
"Just the speed and the physicality – these guys are pros and they practice like it and they play like it every time we are out here. I shouldn’t be surprised by it because I kind of was prepared for it, but you can never be fully prepared for it. You just have to work hard, and you got to get to that same level."
On the pressure of playing in the NFL:
"I don’t like to worry too much. I mean, I like playing football, you know; so every time I’m in there it is fun. I want to do my assignment. I want to make plays. That is exciting to me every time I come out here."
On if he ever thinks about the competition at linebacker:
"I don’t do that, because when you do that then you are worrying about other people. The only thing you can worry about is yourself and making sure you are doing your thing the right way and you are competing. Coaches will just evaluate from there."
On the transition from defensive lineman to linebacker:
"It’s fun. Just being down in the stance was always fun, you know you could rush the passer and be physical up front, but being able to do different elements dropping into coverage and kind of sometimes I have more freedom to make plays. Who doesn’t like making a play and helping out your team? I prefer either or. Sometimes I’m still down in the three-point stance, you know, rushing and coming up the field and there’s sometimes I am standing up and I enjoy it."
On if he is accustomed to dropping back into pass coverage:
"Not much. There was one year (at the University of Indiana) where we went to a 3-4 for about half a season, so I got a little practice at it, but, not a whole lot. Coach is doing a great job of coaching us up and getting the proper techniques right, and I just have to keep working and improve on them."
On if he prefers outside linebacker to defensive end:
"I mean I guess if it’s third and long I wouldn’t mind being a defensive end just rushing to the quarterback, but besides that it really doesn’t matter to me. Whatever the team needs, I will be more than happy to do."
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN JAMAL WILLIAMS
On whether there was a difference between his first and second day of training camp:
"Yeah, a little jitters – that was all first day. Today, back to normal, back to form."
On coming to the Broncos from a divisional rival in San Diego:
"The hard thing for me was when I first walked into the locker room, to see if the guys would accept me and they did, so it’s football now. This is the easy stuff."
On whether he feels more like a part of the team since he’s practicing:
"No question about it. We had the whole offseason to build the camaraderie and we’ve got a bunch of new guys – I’m one of them and we just built a good camaraderie around here, just to formulate a good team."
On whether he’s under more pressure with a new team:
"No, playing against the Broncos for many years, I got used to playing against this offensive line so they know me. They just told me to come out here and just play some good football."
On his leadership role:
"It’s not that hard, I just try to lead by example – that’s the only thing you can do. I’m new here so I’m just trying to get acclimated around here. Just going out there and playing some ball."
On getting back on the field after missing most of the 2009 season:
"This is what I do. It’s a physical game in the middle and that’s what I do so it was easy."
On whether missing time last season makes him appreciate the game more:
"Yeah, no question about it. I love this game – that’s why I still play it."