The Coach and the Quarterback each took their turns discussing this Sunday's game at Indy. Here is what they had to say....
Mike Shanahan --
"He has a great feel for defenses; great feel for his personnel. He has great technique and a great touch, so I'm not sure if you can play much better than he's playing."
On how much better the Colts look this year than last year --
"They have been pretty consistent the last four years on offense, if you look at where they rank and where they have scored. Defensively, they have had some injuries in the past but have always seemed to bounce back. They have done a good job of turnovers the last four or five years, so they present a lot of problems."
On S John Lynch --
"We will find out during the week where he is at. Right now, same thing we've talked about earlier, he's sore, and we'll see how the week goes."
On using the Colorado Rockies' positive energy on his own team --
"There's no question about it. If you've been in sports for a long time, you understand that you can have some adversity, but it's how you react to that adversity. I think the Rockies are living proof. No one had them going far, but they are fighting back. It's good to see that, good to see their character. The bottom line is you have to go get it done. We know we are playing a great team this weekend, and all you can do is go in and prepare each day. We have a lot of confidence in this football team, and we look forward to it."
On getting T Ryan Harris back --
"It adds a lot to our depth. We only had six offensive linemen who were active, so to have Ryan back, obviously takes a lot of pressure off of us as an offensive unit."
On the running game going into the Indianapolis game --
"Well we better have a running game or else you're going to have a long day. Last time we beat Indy in Indy (2003), we carried the ball for 45 minutes. That's a good way to beat them--to keep them off the field. It's easier said than done. We were great on third downs that day, close to 75 percent, and what you have to do is control the tempo of the game. You get behind with that type of pass rush, it's a long game."
On executing offensively this week --
"When we play a good team, we concentrate more knowing we need to score more points. You play every series like you are going to score a touchdown. We know how good they are. They're going to get some points and some yards, and our bottom line is score more than they score."
On the confidence of QB Jay Cutler --
"I'm confident that he'll be on the field. He's a little sore right now, so unless there is a setback, he should be playing. We're confident going in and hopefully we can back it up with the way we play."
On Indianapolis RB Joseph Addai --
"He was pretty good from day one. You can see that he enjoys the game and understands check offs and he understands his responsibilities. They have a very extensive offseason program, and he was there the whole time. So you can see that he enjoys what he does, and he is an excellent back."
On TE Tony Scheffler --
He is making strides. He played a little bit last week. Depending on what personnel groupings we use, he's ready to go."
On using the tight end position in the passing game --
"It all depends on what you're doing. You really don't know what the defense is going to do."
On the Broncos' secondary --
"It's just not the secondary; You're playing football as a team. We have to get great field position with special teams. We have to win in that area. You can't turn the football over or have bad field position. You have to make plays there on offense and defense, surely not just the secondary. Hopefully we will play well as a unit, and that's what we anticipate of doing as a unit."
QB Jay Cutler --
"It feels all right. It's a little tender. We'll take it day by day and by the end of the week we'll get a little better gauge of what I can do and what I can't."
On being limited due to his ankle --
"If we had to play today, yeah, but luckily we don't. There is still a lot of time left, a lot of rehab, but I'm confident that I'll be ready."
On practicing today --
"We're planning on it, yeah. We'll see how it goes though."
On looking forward to going back to Indiana --
"We've got some ticket requests this week, and it'll be fun. I haven't played back in Indiana in a while, so I'll get to see some old friends and some family members and when we play against the Colts it's always fun."
On going back to the RCA Dome --
"I played there once before (2000) and we won the state championship. It was a fun time. Obviously a lot has changed since then, but going back home brings back good memories."
On the play that won the state championship --
"It was a throwback to me. I think we split four guys out to the right we faked a quick screen and he threw it all the way back to me for the score. It was in overtime, so it was fun."
On the Colts being a better team this year than last year --
"I think they're a lot better. I think they're a lot better defensively. They've improved in almost every category defensively, especially stopping the run, they're doing a lot better job stopping the run. They're just an experienced team, a lot of those guys have been there for a long time, they know the system and they play with confidence. Any time you have that offense on the other side of the ball you know you might not have to completely stop people, but you get a few stops here and there and Peyton [Manning] will do the rest for you."
On Colts' offense putting pressure on the Broncos' offense --
"Our defense is playing well right now. They're stopping people, so if we limit our turnovers and pick up some third downs, I think we should stay in the ballgame."
On crowd noise in Indianapolis --
"Any time you go on the road, the crowd's a problem. That's why we work so hard in the offseason and the mini-camps and the OTA's so we can get everyone on the same page and know the audibles, know my count, know what I'm saying out there without really hearing me. We handled it OK in Buffalo. It was loud there, but obviously getting into a dome it gets a little bit louder, but I don't see it presenting too many problems for us."
On the Broncos' offense needing to put up more points to beat the Colts --
"You never know. Their offense could have a bad day, our defense is going to play well for us again. We want to put up more points than 17, and we can put up more points than 17. We just need to execute. We need to take this game plan and execute on third downs, no turnovers, get our ground game going, get Travis [Henry] more touches and we'll see what happens."
On Colts QB Peyton Manning --
"He's good at everything. You just watch the guy and he's always in control. He always has the defense guessing and he always knows what the defense is doing. They do a great job. He gets the plays in early and that gives him a chance to look defenses over. They have so many audibles and checks, it seem he can check to almost anything in the playbook at any time. The two guys outside are exceptional [WRs Marivn Harrison and Reggie Wayne], and they've got a good ground game now. I could sit up here for an hour and talk about Peyton Manning. There's just so much he's done well. He's been in the league a long time he's got a lot of experience and he's been though some ups and downs. Now he's just on a level by himself. It's fun to watch."
On WR Brandon Stokley, a former Colt, helping Denver prepare --
"I'm sure he's taking to the defensive guys a little bit, giving them some heads up, but the Colts aren't stupid. They know that Brandon's going to tip them off and I'm sure they've got some tricks up their sleeve, so I'm not sure how much insight Stoke can really give us."