A Broncos win usually means a longer presser on Monday. Yesterday was no exception, especially heading into a short work week.....
Mike Shanahan --
"That's why we took him as a free agent. We contacted him as we talked about from day one. We talked to him in the fifth round, and we thought he'd get drafted. We kept communication going hoping that if he was a free agent we'd have a chance to get him, and luckily we did. "
On Young contributing as a rookie --
"You never know what guys are going to do. You give them an opportunity to show what they can do, and I think we were seeing what Selvin could do in the preseason. I said it in the preseason--it wouldn't surprise me if he was a starter in the National Football League and be over a 1,000-yard back. I said the same thing about Andre Hall when he got his opportunity. When guys go down, other guys get opportunities and sometimes guys take advantage of it sometimes they don't."
On RB Andre Hall carrying the ball 20-25 times a game --
"You never know. Andre's been nicked up. He got nicked up in a game with his thumb. He's been nicked up in the preseason. So you always hope a guy can stay healthy. Selvin, the reason why he didn't play at Texas as much as he would have liked to is he got banged up quite a bit. He's been able to stay healthy for the most part, Hopefully, he can keep that going."
On the durability of running backs --
"That's the case in the National Football League. That's why you need depth--guys go down. For a back to stay healthy is a little bit unusual. We've been lucky for a couple years and unlucky other years. That's why you need depth on your football team, and that's why when a guy does go down you're hoping a guy comes up and shows you that he's a football player. You never know for sure."
On it being more difficult to find depth at running back --
"I'm not sure. Since we've been here, we've gone through a lot of backs. You've got to be lucky to stay healthy at any position, especially at the running back position. The size of these guys that get after your running backs--linebackers, defensive lineman, the secondary, guys giving them little shots in the open field--it's hard to carry the ball 25 times and stay healthy unless you're a bigger guy and some of those guys can't stay healthy."
On if Young needs to gain weight --
"I don't think he needs to put on a lot of weight. The guy's tough as nails, he blocks, pass protection, he blocks in the open field. We've got him in the nickel and he takes on linebackers. He gets the job done. I kind of like him where he's at averaging 5.7 yards per carry, that's pretty good for a young kid."
On Young having the potential to start for the Broncos --
"I've said that from day one he could be our starter. Andre Hall could be our starter. We've got some depth there. Everybody's kind of throwing Travis Henry under the bus. He led the National Football League after four games averaging five yards per carry. He had a rib injury and obviously he had an MCL where he missed three or four games. You just don't come back in football shape right away. It takes time. Travis Henry is still the same back he was after the first four games. He was going through a tough time with the rib injury and obviously with the MCL he's got to get back in football shape. We put him in a tough situation in that game putting him in at the tail end of the game when they knew we were going to run the football, but I thought he needed it for this coming week."
On having two different kinds of running backs --
"You can never have too may backs. Raider game, we didn't have any backs. Cecil Sapp, Mike Bell wasn't dressed... I wish Mike would have been dressed so we could not play Travis as much as we did. I didn't envision that happening, but it did happen. Selvin went down early and I had to play Travis more than I wanted to for the reason we just talked about. That happens, and you only have 45 guys that you dress out. You've got three specialists and normally 21-22 guys on defense. You don't have a lot of depth at a lot of different positions. Kansas City yesterday dressed out 19 guys. If they lose one of their tight ends during the game, it changed their game plan completely. That the nature of the NFL."
On RB Mike Bell being inactive --
"There's competition at every position. Mike was not one of our top three running backs with the guys we just talked about, and Paul Smith has played better on special teams than Mike has, so that's why Mike hasn't been dressed. If something happens to Paul, which it did a week ago, Mike came up and played in the Chicago game. Every game you have a chance to show people what you can do. If a guy goes down, you're hoping that you take advantage of that opportunity when it comes."
On speaking with his son, Kyle, who is the Texans' quarterbacks coach --
"To be honest, you're so busy during the week, the time you talk is right before the game and you don't really have time to chit chat. It'll probably be like we normally do. We'll talk right before the game and wish him some bad luck and go on."
On looking forward to the Texans game --
"I'm always rooting for Houston because our relationship with Gary [Kubiak] when we're not playing them and obviously you want to see your son do well, and I've got a lot of other coaches that I know on that staff. You're always rooting people that you're familiar with and that you respect. "
On seeing Kyle Shanahan on a path to becoming an NFL head coach --
"You've got to earn your spurs. He's got a long way to go. I'll tell you one thing. He's a lot further along than I was when I got into the NFL at 31. Just being around the game as a kid, studying at the collegiate level, the pro level from an X's and O's standpoint, it's not even close."
On who his wife is rooting for --
"You'll have to ask her. If [Kyle Shanahan] was a head coach, it'd be no question, it'd be him. Assistant coach, I think she's pulling for us."
On maybe not looking forward to the Texans game --
"You don't get into that. You look at the schedule and you know the guys that you're familiar with, the guys that you aren't. You've always got relationships in the NFL, sometimes assistant coaches, sometimes head coaches. I think you always want to beat people that you respect and you've been around. You want to find a way to win those games."
On preparing for the Texans on a short week --
"Like a normal preparation week you work extra Friday, Saturday and Sunday knowing that you've got a few more days off after the game. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a mini bye week I guess you could say (after the Thursday game), so you do a load on the front side."
On having most of the game plan finished --
"Tomorrow the whole game plan is in. We'll review the whole game plan, and Wednesday we'll review before we take off."
On talking with Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak --
"I talked to Gary a couple weeks ago. We talk every now and then. He enjoys it. He enjoys being a head coach. He enjoys the organization as we all do. He doesn't enjoy being 6-7, but they're trying to turn it around and do the things that it takes to be a franchise that's in the playoffs and hopefully winning games in the playoffs."
On the biggest adjustment from being an assistant to being a head coach --
"You're not just dealing with the offense. When you're the offensive coordinator, you've got your tunnel vision. You get your game plan together. As a head coach, you're wearing a lot of different hats--offense, defense, special teams. You're talking about free agency, the draft, the organizational schedule, so there's a few more things you've got to do."
On how much Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak took with him from the playbook --
"He's got everything. If I would have tried to limit him, he's smart enough to already have it in his house anyhow."
On P Todd Sauerbrun's legal situation --
"Let's let due process take care of itself, and if he's guilty he's going to have to pay the price."
On Sauerbrun's future with the Broncos --
"Let's not talk about the if's. Let's let the due process take care of itself, and we'll talk about it then."
On addressing player discipline issues with the team --
"You address all those types of things within the organization. Like I said, let's let it take care of itself. We've already been through one before. You had the guys hung upon a wall, so let's wait first."
On the offensive production --
"When you're averaging 5.8-6 yards per play, the points are going to come. It just happens. When you have penalties, you have turnovers. You've got red zone... There are a lot of things that keep you from scoring points. The defense obviously was not playing the rush as we'd like. A combination of those things. You're going to get the ball back more and you eliminate some of those little mistakes and the points come. We've talked about that for the first 5-6 games and that's inevitable. That's going to come when you're averaging that many yards per carry. Any time you're in the top five in rushing yards (and) passing yards, the points have got to come, but it's guys playing together eliminating mistakes, eliminating turnovers and feeling more comfortable with each other. Hopefully we can keep on doing that, and if we do we'll be one of the top offenses."
On QB Jay Cutler --
"I thought he played very well. He made some plays when he was kind of getting out of the pocket looking down field. He did a great job using his eyes a few times in coverages knowing where he was going to go but not looking there, knowing if you look there it'll be covered. That comes with experience. (He made) a couple big-time plays in that game that a lot of young quarterbacks don't make because they want to stare at the area they know they want to throw to. Pretty impressive."
On WR Brandon Marshall --
"He's starting to really grow up. He's starting to learn how to be a pro with the way he practices and the way he prepares. He's playing a complete game. Not only is he catching the ball, but he's blocking as well. He's got some great veteran leadership around him teaching him how to be a pro and it seems like he's having fun doing it. He's made tremendous strides from a year ago. He's made tremendous strides from the summer camp, playing through injuries, kind of getting out there playing with a little pain. I'm impressed."
On Marshall's productivity being what he envisioned -- "We knew the type of ability that he had, but a lot of people have ability that can't carry over to game day and you're always hoping a guy's going to step forward and make the plays that he made, but you don't know for sure. But yeah, he has stepped up and made a number of plays this season and it's really a credit to his maturity."
On Marshall making moves in the open field -- "He's definitely good running with the ball after the catch. He's strong. Any time a guy is 6-5, 230 and can run a 4.5-40 and has got agility and he's not afraid to hit people, that's a good sign. He'd going to get better, too. He's going to learn after that one cut, how to turn up field, when to turn up field, and he's a young guys that's going to get better and better."
On WR Javon Walker's healthy --
"Any time you're gone after surgery as long as he's been, six weeks, and try to come back, it's tough. You want to go full speed. We had him in Chicago. Maybe it had a lot to do with the weather, it was cold and rainy, but he could never get it loose. Then I was really guarded after the Chicago game and this game. He looked better during Friday's practice but still wasn't full speed. With Brandon Stokley being a game-time decision, I wasn't really sure if Brandon was going to be able to play. So when Brandon was able to play, I though we had to have at least two healthy guys out there because if Javon went down right away and Brandon couldn't play the second half, we'd be in a situation similar to what happened in Oakland with the running back situation, and I didn't want to put Brandon [Marshall] out there when he was hurt when Stokley went down. It turned out pretty good for us because Glenn [Martinez] stayed healthy and Taylor (Jacobs) came in and played well."
On WR Brandon Stokley's production after his season-ending injury in 2006 --
"You never know how a guy relates to your team or how good he is until he comes and is a part of your organization. This guy's a winner. You could see it from day one. He loves to play the game. He loves to compete. I didn't want to play him as much as we've played him this year. I really wanted him in that third down roll if Javon would have stayed healthy. Obviously with Javon being down, we had no other choice than to play Brandon as much as he's played and he's really stepped up and done everything you could possibly as a guy to do especially coming off an ACL. He was hurting in this last game and still played into the third quarter, which gives you an idea of how tough he is mentally. Hopefully he can recover quick enough where he can play against Houston."
On S Hamza Abdullah being healthy --
"I believe so. He had a little double vision out there, and that's the reason why he couldn't go back in. According to Greek [Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos], he'll be fine."
On not having a long injury list going into a short week --
"We'll wait and see. It's still early."