What they are saying at Broncos Camp after this morning's workouts -
Head Coach Mike Shanahan --
"We've got some great competition. We've got a lot of guys that have a lot of ability, and a lot of these younger guys that haven't been with us are getting some practice time. So in this short time, we'll see who steps up."
On players competing for time on the field --
"They get an opportunity to show what they can do. That's what these guys are looking for. They have a lot of talent or else they wouldn't be here, and some guys are building a really good standing in the National Football League. I'm not sure they can do it on game time, and I'm not sure they can do it consistently in practice. There's a concentration level that's stemming from the meetings and obviously the practice field, and we'll find out in the next few days if they're able to do that. But they are getting some reps that they normally wouldn't get with a few guys being out."
On LB Nate Webster --
"Nate has some great football instincts. That's one of the reasons he was a top player coming out. He's a very physical player, and we'll give him a chance to see how he adapts to the system and how he plays consistently. We know he can make plays he's a natural, but can he be at the right place at the right time?--That's what we have camp for."
On LB Ian Gold --
"Ian is out with a lower back spasm. We kept him out today. He should be back tomorrow. (WR) Domenik Hixon had a slight first-degree shoulder separation, at least that was Steve's (Broncos Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos) first thought. We're going to do an MRI on him to make sure, but we don't think it's too serious but we're going to let you know soon after the MRI."
On the status of those who didn't participate in the morning --
"(WR Brandon) Stokley will practice this afternoon. (T) Adam Meadows will be practice this afternoon. The only guys that were out are one-a-day guys that we have out."
On his impressions of TE Daniel Graham --
"I can't say I'm more impressed, but one of the reasons we signed him to the contract we did was because we liked the way he played and we like the way he handled himself. You just don't know for sure until the guy comes into camp and see how he works and how he attacks the meeting rooms and how he attacks the football field. You can say he's a pro's pro. He comes here to work every day and has a lot of discipline and he's practice quite well."
On T Erik Pears --
"We've got some competition there. We've got a number of guys that can play the tackle position. We've got a lot of competition. Erik got a lot of playing time last year which obviously helped him out at the left tackle position. But it's very competitive. It'll be very interesting to see what happens over the next few weeks."
On WR David Kircus --
"David shows flashes. He's a little inconsistent. He drops the ball a few too many times, but he does come up with the big play. That consistency dictates whether or not you get a chance to play come game time. But David does show flashes and hopefully that consistency will improve and if it does improve he will have a chance to be on the football team."
On T Matt Lepsis practicing once per day while still recovering from a 2006 knee injury --
"There is no down side, which is a positive. He's been working extremely hard. It's more preventative than anything that we have him on one-a-days. We don't want to over work his knee, but right now he looks quite well. Hopefully he gets more confidence in it and day-by-day, I think he's going to do well."
On who has `hit the wall' during camp --
"Everybody hits the wall. That's why you have training camp, but you try to push through it just like you do on game day. One of the reasons why we have preseason games is so guys can get back in football shape. It's so important to have the offseason program that we have so you can come into camp in halfway decent shape so if you do get hurt, you have a chance to recover quicker. If you're out of shape and you do get hurt, chances are you're out throughout the preseason and the first chance you get is game day and with the regular season, you know that's not very good for the football team if that happens."
Linbacker D.J. Williams --
"I've got huge shoes to fill. Al (Wilson) played the position last year. He was all-pro and a great linebacker. They expect me to be that caliber of player."
On being a "mean" linebacker --
"I don't know about that. I'm not really a mean type of guy. On the field and on the line you're a different person. How I act on the field is completely different."
On being a leader --
"You've got to keep all the guys up. You can never be down because the defense needs a lot of energy. This year I'm a lot more vocal. Last year, I may give one or two calls or checks. This year I'm speaking in the huddle every down and when the huddle breaks, I'm lining up guys and giving off checks. "
On making adjustments --
"I've got to be the vocal leader. There may be days that I may be down, but I can't show it. I can't act like that because the guys feed off that. Every day I have to be up and keep every guy up because I have to be the tone setter."
Defensive End Tim Crowder --
"It always feels good to get plays because they make it hard on the rookies. I feel good. I keep getting better every day, and that's what I'm trying to do--continue to get better. "
If he was surprised by the speed of the NFL --
"Not really. The tempo is fast ,and it's football. Football is physical. It was football, so I expected what I expected."
On bonding with other rookies --
"It's all friendship. We all have got to bond together and all we have right now is each other, and we're competing against veterans. We continue to get better and better. If everybody goes into this and puts their coins in the pot, we're going to continue to get better."
On veterans hassling rookies --
"Everybody has their days. (DE) Kenard Lang is one of the main guys. He's always talking, so he's basically the main guy. He's funny. He's so country too, that's the thing about him. He's always talking."