Potent Quotables - It's Jags Week In Denver

Quotes Provided By Denver Broncos P.R. Staff

HEAD COACH JOSH McDANIELS

Opening Comments

"We are excited about the team that we've assembled; certainly the last few days have been filled with some tough decisions on the roster that we felt like was in the best interest of our football team and now we're excited to move forward with the football team that we do have. One of the tougher decisions that we had to make was to put (LB) Elvis Dumervil on the injured reserve. I don't think anybody really wanted to do that but we took all the medical advice and information from the people that are experts on those kinds of things, Elvis' career, what's best for Elvis and try to do really, what's best for both sides. I think the best thing at this point is to try to let Elvis heal and be ready to go next year. It was great to see him here today - he was in our squad meeting and (we) look forward to his having him around a bunch. Even though he can't play, we'll look forward to his leadership and his help with some of the younger players as we go through the season.

All our emphasis now is on Jacksonville - this will be our first day of practice. We introduced Jacksonville to the team this morning and we're looking forward to five good days of preparation before the opener. Jacksonville is a very physical, disciplined, young football team. (They're) very well coached, they do what they do and they do it very well. They don't change a whole lot depending on the opponent. It's a team that really stays with the strength of their team, which is running the football and defending the run. They've always been like that with (Head) Coach (Jack) Del Rio since he took over eight years ago and this team is no different. They have some great players on this team - (RB) Maurice Jones-Drew, (QB David) Garrard, (DE Aaron) Kampman - they've got a lot of Pro Bowl players. They've got some speed and talent on the offensive side of the ball. They've really addressed the front seven on defense - significantly, I would say, in the last two years - a lot of first-round draft picks, high draft choices. They brought in Kampman, (DE Derrick) Harvey is playing well on the right side, our right. They brought in (LB Kirk) Morrison, (LB Daryl) Smith has had 100 tackles five straight years, so this is a very talented football team. I'm sure excited to get this season started and it'll be a difficult preparation but I think our players are looking forward to it."

 

On WR Matthew Willis

"He's kind of the epitome of the good that can come from hard work and putting a player on a practice squad and developing him. He never got discouraged - all he did was work harder. He was in the top two vote getters in the offseason award program this year and this is a guy that really hardly played for our football team last year. That's the kind of respect that he earned from his teammates and I think the same is true for the coaching staff. Obviously he made a lot of plays in the preseason, he shows up in the kicking game (and) he'll play in a lot of situations on Sunday, I would imagine. I would expect him to play a good role overall for our team because he's got value on special teams and he can move and play multiple positions on offense. (He's) a great guy to have around, awesome attitude. I really like what we've seen out of him and (I'm) very happy for him too that he's made it, that he's created a role for himself on our team."

On how much OL Ryan Clady can play on Sunday at Jacksonville

"We'll see. I don't have the answer to that but we'll find out - hopefully a lot. I can't predict that, I don't really know."

On players who will play during the regular season that may not have gotten significant work in during the preseason

"I think it could be a concern but again, there's nothing we can do. We can't address that at this point. They are guys that we're going to count on and we're looking forward to playing with them on Sunday."

On players waived by the team during the construction of the 53-man roster

"I'm not going to go backwards and talk about each one of them individually. Certainly we made decisions that weren't easy to make - but at the same time, we're always going to do what's in the best interest of the team. We always tell every player that you create your own role by what you do. We're just trying to evaluate and put the best 53 guys on the team and really, in all situations, that's what we try to do and there's really nothing else to it."

On compiling a roster by considering production rather than salary

"I hope that's always how we do it. Obviously, our goal is always to have our players that are being paid a certain way be at the top of the list in terms of our best contributors and most valuable players and I think by and large, that's the case but every once in a while there's going to be a situation that comes up - whether it be an older player, younger player - it doesn't matter, that that's not the situation and that was the case with those players and we wish them the best and we're moving forward."

On TE Dan Gronkowski

"He's a guy that can play multiple positions, (he's) got some toughness to him, he's played in the kicking game and he can play on the line of scrimmage (or) he can play off the line of scrimmage. There's some value to him, certainly an area where we felt like we could upgrade ourselves and we did."

 

On LB Jason Hunter

"He will be out there today as the starter and we're going to continue that competition. (LB Jarvis) Moss is going to continue to - we're going to rotate them in. Usually when you play this system on defense, you're going to take seven linebackers to the game so I'd say you're going to see multiple guys in there on Sunday - One, because it's going to be hot and humid, Two because we feel like there's more than one player that can help us and really thirdly, I don't really feel like Hunter's been around long enough to say, ‘I'm never coming out of the game.' You know, I think Jarvis has earned the right to play, but again, if those guys split snaps at the ‘Will' spot on the weakside - I wouldn't be surprised if that's how the game goes and maybe even the early part of the season because if you have three outside linebackers, it wouldn't be a bad thing for all of them to play at this point in time because of the heat and humidity that we're going to deal with early in the year."

On the competition for the backup quarterback position

"That's a good question - we're not going to name one right now. We've got guys we like - we've said that. We've got three that we like and we're going to continue to compete. (QBs Brady Quinn and Tim Tebow) are going to continue to compete and we'll try to make the decision we feel like is best on gameday for our team based on how we're going to play the game. I think that there are a lot of factors that will go into that and how they practice and how things look during the week will probably play a large role in determining who we name as the No. 2 and who we put as the No. 3."

On DL Kevin Vickerson

"He's a big, talented guy that has played in a couple different places, was playing well in the preseason. I wasn't expecting (him to be released) - I don't think (General Manager) Brian (Xanders) was either but our personnel department had really done their work and I really feel good about the (other) players we claimed also - (OL Chris) Clark and (RB Andre) Brown, the practice squad people that we assembled on our team - (I) feel good about those guys and he's no different. (We) just felt like he could really give us some flexibility - he's played over the nose and he's also played on the end. He gives you some pass rush and he's still a relatively younger player - four-year guy that has some upside to him, he's a big guy, 6-5, 335 (lbs.). (We) feel like he can give us some plays at (defensive) end and the also sub inside at nose (tackle) and hopefully we'll be ready to go with him on Sunday."

On OL Stanley Daniels

"Stanley Daniels, he's really done some good things for us and he's earned the right to be in a situation where he has a chance to start and play at left guard, there's no question about it. He did a decent job in the last game and he's played pretty well all preseason. He's a stout guy, doesn't get pushed back, he's a bigger player, he's got good ability inside in terms of his movement skills. We'll see how it goes; this is a great opportunity for him. That's what I'll say about Stanley."

On the offensive line

"Our offensive line situation in general - there's nothing we can do about the fact that there's been guys that have missed time. Like I said, nobody is going to put the season on hold for us until we get ready to go. We'll try to practice as much as we can with the group that's going to play on Sunday, and as we get guys into spots and we feel totally firm about where they're going to be and how much they can play and hopefully get a group of five out there that's going to stay together and play together for a long time, then we'll get better every day and that's what our goal is going to be right now."

On OL Ryan Harris

"Ryan Harris, we're going to see how much progress he can make. That's really the answer, there's no definitive on Ryan at this point, we're just going to kind of see how it goes, how his progress goes in terms of his healing and then make our decision later on in the week in terms of what we feel like we've got to do for the game but the injury report will come out tomorrow."

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN STANLEY DANIELS

 

On whether he'll start on Sunday at Jacksonville

"If that's what Coach decides to do, then that's what we'll do. (We'll) adapt to it and play the best we can."

On whether it's been difficult with all the rotation on the offensive line

"The thing about being an offensive lineman in the league - and I've had the experience of being on a lot of teams and unfortunately, a lot of practice squads - you have to be ready to switch sides and everybody has to be on the same page at any point in time. That's kind of what being on the offensive line is about. That's just the nature of our business and the nature of our position on the offensive line."

On his expectations going into training camp

"When I first came into camp, (Head Coach Josh McDaniels) told me that I'd be able to write my own role and that's all you can ask for as a player - to have the best opportunity and the best possible chance to make the team."

On the path he's taken through the NFL

"It's unbelievable. Like I said, all you can ask for is an opportunity and my journey has been long - I've gone through a lot to get here and get an opportunity to play and get on the team and that's all you can ask for so it's a dream come true."

On who he's talked to for advice with the Broncos

"I talk to (OL) Russ (Hochstein) a lot, I've talked to (OL Chris Kuper) a lot - those are our older guys on the team that are on the O-Line that have been here for awhile, been in the game for awhile. Russ has two Super Bowl rings and he's been playing for a long time so I lean on them a lot and talk to them a lot. Their experience has helped me a lot."

 

TIGHT END DAN GRONKOWSKI

 

On being traded to the Broncos

"My brother, Chris, made the Dallas team and then I got the call here, so it was really exciting. I had to fly out right away Saturday and I have just been grinding since then trying to get this playbook down. It's been (moving) really fast right now and (I'm) just trying to get my feet under me."

On all the Gronkowski's in the NFL

"Well, I wouldn't say famous yet, but there are three of us now in the NFL, which is absolutely amazing. We all talk to each other, we're all best friends and everything so we get a long and I've got two other brothers also, so it's a lot of fun."

On adjusting to a new team

"Yeah, I was doing really well in Detroit, had everything down there and got the call. There's a lot more opportunity here for me. There were a lot of tight ends there, the tight end position was deep - probably the deepest on the team so they traded me away and now I'm here so there's a lot of opportunity."

On whether he's more of a blocking or receiving tight end

"I like to think that I'm a little bit of both. I've really developed my receiving skills but before that I was more of a blocking tight end."

 

LINEBACKER MARIO HAGGAN

 

On the challenge of playing in the warm climate of Jacksonville

"Nobody said the job would be easy. We just signed up to do the job, so whatever the situation is we have to go in and play under, whether it is early or humid, we've got a job to do and that's what we have to do on Sunday."

On Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew

"Yeah, he is one of the best in the league. (If) he continues to play the way he plays, he will be talked about for a long time, as he is now. We just have to get mentally prepared and tackle this guy. He's been a great runner. They get the ball to him a lot and he's a guy that we definitely have to know where he is on every play."

On the plan to stop Jones-Drew

"I think the thing about him is he has an attitude for football. He has heart. He's the guy that knows his skills, knows how to use them and you definitely have to - you know there will be some times where somebody may get some solo tackles but you definitely want to gang tackle this guy and hope that he will give up and the odds of that is not likely."

On how the physicality of Jacksonville helps his team prepare for the rest of the season

"Coach (Jack) Del Rio - they follow the mindset of the coaches so to speak. He preaches being physical. If you look at film, they like to run the ball and everybody knows in this league if you can run the ball and stop teams from running the ball you have a high chance of being successful. That's what it looks likes on film. They can run the ball and they do well at stopping teams running the ball."

On the excitement of the first game

"Can you see the smile on my face? I mean it's very exciting. We went through four preseason games. We did a lot of hitting our teammates, so now we actually get to an opposite color jersey that really counts on our record and I think everybody here is excited and all the leaders on this team are getting this team ready to go out there and give ourselves a chance to beat Jacksonville."

LINEBACKER JASON HUNTER

 

On his role

"(I) just want to take full advantage of the opportunity because I'm sure that if I could learn the scheme, with the guys that I have around me, it could be a lot of fun."

On being reunited with TE Dan Gronkowski after they were teammates in Detroit

"We practiced hard together in 2009. He's a great competitor, great player, great tight end so I'm glad he's here with the team because he's going to help make this team better. It's a familiar face so it's definitely comfortable to see somebody that you know that you played with for a year so I'm sure he's excited to see me as well - make him kind of feel more comfortable so that's definitely good."

On his scouting report on Gronkowski

"Gronkowski is a hard worker, physical guy, big body, great hands for a big man, can catch the ball well in space. He's definitely an asset to the team."

 

FULLBACK SPENCER LARSEN

 

On making a statement in Week 1

"I think every team in the NFL right now is trying to make a statement and everyone wants to get out to a great start and if we can just go out and execute and do the things that we want to do - it always comes down to (the fact that) every team just wants to execute what they plan on doing. We need a great week of practice and just try to focus on doing our job. Game One in the NFL is always so exciting for everybody and you just want to be able to execute under all the excitement."

On whether it's tough to play against a rookie that doesn't have any NFL film to watch

"In the NFL you want to know as much about everybody as you can and just (from) what we've seen, (Jaguars DT Tyson Alualu) is a tough, strong player that's hard to move and that's what you want up front."

On what the locker room is like now that the roster is at 53 players

"There's a little more elbow room in the locker room and this is a hard time for everybody because in training camp you forge relationships and it's hard to see some guys go. You just get used to the guys you are around and as the season goes, you just kind of gel."

On what advice he would give the younger players about how the regular season differs from the preseason

"Well, they've just got to understand that the preseason is over and especially veterans and guys like that - the intensity, everybody understands when the regular season hits, it's so much more intense. There never were playoffs in the preseason - it's just guys that have been around tend to play a little differently when the regular season is around. It definitely gets intense, very physical; it's a fun atmosphere to play in."

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