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Monday Presser - 10/23 - Mike Shanahan

Head Coach Mike Shanahan was in a somber mood as he talked a little about the win over the Browns, and alot about Matt Lepsis and the status of Jake Plummer as the starting QB.

*Shanahan confirmed the reports circulating about the injury sustained by Matt Lepsis.  Lepsis tore his ACL and would undergo season ending knee surgery in about 10 days, with recovery time lasting anywhere from 5 - 7 months.  Coach was visibly somber about the news, knowing that Lepsis has been a stalwart on the line for nearly a decade.  As for Matt's replacement, Shanahan did say that Erik Pears did play well when called upon yesterday and is hopeful that he can step up and meet the challenge

*In other injury news, Gerrard Warren suffered a sprained Big Toe on his right foot, including some minor ligament damage.  Shanny described it as a "Pain threshold" type of injury, and stated that he hoped the tow could heal in the next few days to allow Warren to practice later in the week

*When asked about Adam Meadows, Shanahan stated that he too underwent an MRI on his balky shoulder, which came up negative, but admitted that Meadows has been practicing with some pain, but hopes it will get better.

*When talking about the offense, Shanny felt the offense made some plays while going with the wind on Sunday.  The wind was blowing at 21mph, gusting up to 32mph, when heading to the East endzone, and both team struggled heading that direction.  The Broncos were able to compile 250 or so yards and both TD's heading to the west.  He did admit, however, that they will need to be better prepared when they come across that type of weather again.

*The game plan to throw alot when going with the wind(2nd and 3rd quarters).  He was very happy with 3rd down conversion(9/20) which allowed the offense to run 80 plays and control time of possession.

*The next exchange was quite entertaining, where Shanny was asked about Chris Mortenson's report, which is conveniently buried on ESPN's website, which talked about the possibility of Jay Cutler taking over the team sooner rather than later, and where in the organization that story could have come from.  The first time, Shanny simply said he didn't know where Mort got his information, and that reporters should ask Mort because he reported the story.  When pressed about it, Shanny said the story hasn't changed form Day 1, he is going to start the best players every Sunday.  The reporter again queried Shanahan about where a story like this could get legs, and Shanny again reiterated to call Mort and ask him.  He went on to say --

Just becuase it is in the paper, or on a certain TV station doesn't mean I said it, or someone in the organization said it.  We are winning games, so why not support the Quarterback who is winning those games.  AS I have said, I am going to start the best players who give us a chance to win.  It isn't my job to tell you when or if I am going to make a change at QB, or any position, whether it be O-Line, or receiver.  I can tell you this, Jake Plummer will be our Starting Quarterback against Indy.
It was clearly the best part of the questioning, and the comments would have to be seen as a vote of confidence, for this week at least.  Shanahan knows this is a huge game for his team, at home against one of the top teams in the AFC, and needs to quelch all the B.S. right now.

*Shanny liked the running game yesterday, calling it "a good running day".

*As for the game against the Colts, Coach admitted the to beat a team like Indy you have to be consistent in all 3 areas of the game.  They are going to need to get better offensively and on Special Teams, and on defense are going to have to play at "another level" in order to beat the Colts.

*Getting pressure on Manning will be key, because if you let him sit back there "he will pick you apart".

*Shanahan has been impressed with the plpay of rookie Elvis Dumervil, who has 5 sacks after recording 3 yesterday, but admitted that it is going to get tough when teams start to double him.  Shanny used the length of Dumervil's arms(33" or so) to explain his effectiveness. Arms that long are usually found on someone much taller than the 5'11" Dumervil

An interesting Presser to say the least.  There is no doubt we are going to find out alot about this defense and how good it really is this Sunday, but for now, let's bask in the glory of another 5-1 start.