Mike Shanahan and Jay Cutler had their weekly meeting with the media this after noon and as expected much of the focus was on the special teams, the run defense(lack thereof) and status updates on several injuries. The details are below...
Mike Shanahan --
On Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson -- "I can't speak for them but we know what type of football team they have. You take a look at what they've done offensively and defensively last year and they've got the same football team coming back, they've played some excellent team and they've had some turnovers. When you have turnovers and when you don't win in that area, especially on the road, it's hard to win football games."
On getting desperate -- "It's a long season, sometimes teams start out very hot and they fade sometimes teams start out slow and they get better. It's a full 16-game season, it's week-by-week. You've got to fight and find ways to win games. Each game is another opportunity."
On importance of the game against San Diego -- "Any time you play a team in the AFC West, obviously it's a big game. We know how important they are, if you win your division, you're guaranteed a home playoff spot. That's obviously the first thing you talk about as a team. We understand how important these AFC West games are - especially in our backyard. It's a very important game."
On differences between Norv Turner and Marty Schottenheimer -- "It's still too early to tell, I can tell you better at the end of the season. Just like I talked about, you play some good teams, you turn the football over, it's how you respond. We're in the same situation they're in, every game is very important. Any time you're 2-2 or 1-3 each game becomes bigger. Their backs are against the wall, they better think that way and we better think that way. That's the mindset every football team has especially after the first quarter of the season, you look at where you're at and hopefully you can make some strides but you've got to do it on the weekend."
On WR Domenik Hixon being waived --
"We thought it was the best thing for out football team. I'll give somebody else an opportunity to return. We've got a few options right now. We just thought it was in the best interest for our football team at this point."
On DE John Engelberger -- "I don't know if he had an MRI or not but he should practice today so he should be alright."
On Henry MRI -- "The MRI was negative, he's just a little bit sore right now. He'll be day-by-day but he won't practice today."
On S John Lynch and WR Javon Walker -- "Anytime you get a hamstring or a groin you don't know for sure until somebody practices. Can you go full speed? How much can you work it? Obviously with the knee situation, it's the same thing."
On run defense and special teams -- "We talked about this before, it's our field position on special teams, kick off returns, worst in the NFL, and obviously we've got to improve. Run defense, same thing, we've got to improve in that area as well. We'll be working on those two areas and if we want to be the football team we want to be we've got to drastically improve in those areas and you better against a team like this. We know what LaDainian (Tomlinson) is capable of doing, he had well over a hundred yards against a very good Kansas City defense in the first half so we'd better be ready."
QB JAY CUTLER --
On facing the San Diego Chargers for the second time in his career -- "I don't think their record indicates what kind of football team they have. Defensively their doing good, probably giving up a few more points than they would like, but the front seven, obviously they create problems. You really don't know where they are going to bring pressure from. Their secondary is equally as good, so I expect them to play some good football in these next couple weeks. We'll probably get their best shot."
On the team having a need-to-win mindset going into the game with the Chargers -- "There's a lot of football left. Outside the lockerroom I think everybody's kind of freaking out a little bit, and getting excited, but we have a lot of games left. Obviously it's a divisional game and we want to win this one. We have a bye next week, so we want to get a win, and then take some time off. We have to execute, offensively, defensively and special teams; we have to put it all together. Every time the Broncos don't win, people freak out, so we're not that excited about it. We're still working hard and we think we have a good football team. It's not a lack of effort. The guys are flying around and we're making plays, just not enough of them."
On needing to win this game against the Chargers -- "We want to win every game. Every game is tough; it's a battle in the NFL. You never know in this league who is going to have a good team; it's just day-to-day. We want to win; there's no doubt about it and every game is important to us. It will be important to the fans to be coming back home, so we are going to do our best this week."
On being surprised that the Chargers are 1-3 so far this year -- "I think everyone is a bit surprised. They didn't lose a lot of guys and obviously some coaches left and made a few changes in that area, but you still have the players on the field and I'm sure they will come together here. They've got entirely too much talent and they know how to win, from last year, obviously. They are going to put it together soon enough."
On expecting San Diego to play desperate this week -- "I think those guys have been in the NFL long enough, and they understand that there is a lot of football left. Obviously, they want to get back into the conference race. They are going to come out and I'm sure they will give us everything they've got. It's going to be a hard game any time you play those guys."
On facing San Diego's defense last year -- "We did the best job that we could have over there. They got some pressure and they flew around. I think we went to the shotgun in the second and third quarters. They get back in a hurry, kind of like Indianapolis' front four; they don't waste any time. You've got to get rid of the ball. Teams have been dropping back and getting rid of the ball and just making some plays; that's what we're going to have to do."
On the Rockies' success and making the playoffs -- "I've been to some games and think they are a great, young team, with some older players mixed in. They are hot right now, and they just know how to win. They refuse to lose and I think you can see that in the whole team. I congratulate those guys and hope they go far."