**Courtesy of the Broncos P.R. Staff**
HEAD COACH JOSH McDANIELS
On changing his approach now that the Broncos have won four games
"We never played up the underdog role, anyways. We are just preparing the same way we have prepared for every game this year from the preseason through the first four and are going to continue to prepare that way this week. Nothing is really going to change. (We will) just get really into the opponent and talk about how we have to play to win."
On if his plan changes since New England prepares in a similar manner
"The number one thing is just trying to understand how they try to play to win. We may try to go about winning the same way, but I do not think we have the same team. We are not the same team they are. They are not the same team we are. We don't play the same defense they do. We do run the same offense in some way, shape or form. There are some things that we obviously are going to know about them, and we they know about us. I think that is the difference. The fact that we are going to have to execute extremely well against a very good football team in every phase, that is the number one thing. I know they are going to prepare hard. They are going to be very well prepared. Hopefully, we are going to be the same, and then ultimately, it will come down to whose players play better on Sunday with the information that we have given them all week long. It will be a great challenge for us. We are looking forward to it. It is a great football team coming in here on Sunday."
On handling the success of a 4-0 start
"You have got to handle adversity when you face that, and you handle prosperity the same way. You have got to deal with it and move on. The biggest game is the next one, and that is how we are approaching this. This is our fifth game of the year and we feel... We are happy to be 4-0 but are certainly far from satisfied."
On WR Brandon Marshall scoring the game-winning touchdown against Dallas
"I think it was rewarding for him because he has worked hard. He has done a lot of things here that people don't talk about. He practiced his butt off and to go out there and make a play like that in a big game for us early in the season to help determine the outcome, I think kind of everybody got emotional and energized by the entire play. It was exciting for me to have a guy like that that I know has plugged away and gone through some things himself to come back and make a great play. That is what he did. He made a great play. Once he had the ball in his hands, we had a lot of help, but it was a lot of Brandon Marshall. To make a play like that in this league against a lot of great defenders, it says a lot about him. I think our team really responded to it and embraced the whole fact that it was him that made the play."
On Marshall's struggles with the Broncos before the season
"He was always a part of our team. He certainly is a big part of our team now. That hasn't changed, and we are looking forward to him making more plays like that."
On if New England QB Tom Brady's success is a result of his ability or the Patriots' offensive system
"I think it is definitely a result-his work ethic is incredible. His understanding of the defense that he is playing against each week is incredible. He knows personnel because he has been getting versed in that over and over throughout his career in New England. He knows (CB) André Goodman's strengths and weaknesses. He knows (CB) Champ (Bailey). He knows (S) Brian (Dawkins). He knows (S) Renaldo (Hill). He knows (ILB) D.J. (Williams). His preparation matches his ability on the field. That is a unique combination to find in a quarterback who works extremely hard on Sunday night-I say that in all seriousness. Whenever they finish their game Sunday, I guarantee you he was watching game of us Sunday night, not taking 24 hours to enjoy the Baltimore win but getting ready for Denver and watching DVDs. He has seen every game we have played three times already. He can go out there and actually do things with that information because he has got great talent. He is one of a kind. It will be a great challenge for us this week. Hopefully, we can rise up to the occasion."
On his relationship with Brady
"Personally, we have a great relationship, still do and hopefully always will. Any time you have a good relationship with somebody like that, I think you miss that relationship. It is just like leaving a really good friend or leaving home from your parents or whatever it is, but we keep in contact. I don't think there will be much contact this week until Sunday. That will always be the same, I think. I will always have a great deal of respect for him."
On the difficulty of being the most prepared team against the Patriots on Sunday
"It will always be difficult when you are facing any coach in this league. I know how well prepared they are going to be. I think all we can concern ourselves with is can we get our team as prepared as we possibly can in the next five days. That is really what matters I don't know if we could figure out who is more prepared and all the rest of it. I hope you are going to see two well-prepared football games out there on Sunday. The preparation and the execution that you see from that on Sunday will determine the outcome of the game. I hope that both teams are going to be really well prepared. I know they will be, and I know we are going to work extremely hard to be the same."
On preparing for the Patriots
"They are a great football team. They have got a great defense (and are) very physical, big up front. (They) rebuilt there secondary here in the last few years. They have got a lot of key additions there. They do a lot of different things. They force you to stay up pretty late at night to figure out how to attack them because there are not a lot of weaknesses. Offensively, (they have) a ton of Pro Bowl players and Pro Bowl-caliber players: Brady, (New England WR Randy) Moss, (New England WR Wes) Welker. They play four backs. All the backs are very capable of running, catching, blocking, doing everything you want them to do. (New England TE Benjamin) Watson has made a bunch of big plays already. They have got three Pro Bowl offensive line guys. Their kicker (Stephen Gostkowski) has been to the Pro Bowl. It is a great football team with a great staff. In terms of stress or excitement, I just think you are excited because it is a great challenge."
On how much sleep he is getting this week
"I don't know how much sleep I get anyway, but this week certainly won't be any different."
On if Brady is playing as well as he did before his injury last season
"He is playing very well. He is playing very well and has got a lot of different guys (to throw to). They are doing some different things. (New England Quarterbacks Coach) Billy O'Brien, who is now, I think, calling the offense there, has branched a little bit and is doing some different things and using their guys in different ways. Tom looks real comfortable making a lot of big plays. Certainly, whenever you have a high-powered passing game like they do, people try to do all kinds of different things to take it away. (Brady) sees everything under the sun each week, and they try to disrupt him and Moss, Welker and Watson and those guys. He handles it very well and gets the ball to the people who need it."
On if he would be an NFL head coach without his experience as a defensive personnel assistant
"I do not know that. I am not sure, but that was very valuable to me, extremely valuable. I got to see how-the evaluation process in this league is extremely important. You evaluate everything you do. You evaluate yourself, your game plan, your opponent, players' strengths and weaknesses in the draft and free agency. I got to see that and then spend time with Bill (Belichick) and (former New England Defensive Coordinator) Romeo (Crennel) and (former New England Defensive Coordinator and Cleveland Head Coach) Eric (Mangini) and (former New England Linebackers Coach and Cleveland Defensive Coordinator) Rob Ryan on the defensive side and learn the game that way and really see it through a defensive perspective. Then, to come over on the offensive side and work under (former New England Offensive Coordinator and Notre Dame Head Coach) Charlie Weiss and get to coach Tom in the offense. My whole background, all the things that (Belichick) allowed me to do I think, was invaluable to me in my experience. Hopefully, that is helping me every day that I am here."
On his personnel position with the Patriots
"I was with (former Patriots and Kansas City General Manager) Scott (Pioli) working in the pro personnel department doing different things with the waiver wire. I was a grunt. I wasn't making much money back then."
On the Broncos' throwback uniforms that will be worn against New England on Sunday
"I am not upset that I am not wearing the vertical socks. I think it is a neat thing for the league to wear the throwback uniforms. You might feel a little funny for half of pregame warm-ups, but I think that it is a great thing for this league. Our guys are kind of excited about it. We have all seen the uniforms. We know what we are wearing. I am trying to get (Assistant to the Head Coach) Mark (Thewes) to change what I am wearing on the sideline, but it is not really working."
On RB Knowshon Moreno's ability to recover from setbacks against Dallas
"The fourth-down stop didn't have a whole lot to do with Knowshon. We didn't really get much push there, but he is a tough kid. He is going to handle whatever adversity he goes through. He popped right up from the fumble and ran off the sideline and ran back in there when we got the ball the next time and ran hard and did a lot of good things to help us win the game. (He is) a very tough-minded kid. We have great confidence that he will handle any adversity that he faces and play well."
On the result of New England's changes on defense
"They are big. They have always been big, but they have got (LB) Adalius (Thomas) and (LB) Pierre (Woods) really spent a lot of time at the line of scrimmage along with the four big defensive linemen. They have got six guys that weigh 270 pounds or more standing up there on every snap, for the most part, and a great player behind the line of scrimmage, whether it is (LB Jerod) Mayo or (LB Gary) Guyton. Both of them are really good inside linebackers that make a lot of tackles and plays. They are aggressive. They are playing man-coverage a little bit more than maybe I remembered from the past, but they have got good corners. (S Brandon) Meriweather may be the one of the best safeties that we are going to see this entire year. This guy is really instinctive and aggressive. They have got a lot of very good players that play very well together and make very few mistakes. They are very disciplined. They force you to be patient. If you are not, you will make a mistake and they will capitalize on it, which they have already done this year."
QB KYLE ORTON
On RB Knowshon Moreno's touchdown reception against Dallas
"He has got good hands. I certainly thought that he was going to get a little bit more separation from No. 93 (Dallas LB Anthony Spencer). No. 93 played it really well and just kind of kept on riding with him. I thought there was going to be a bit more separation. It was a tight throw. Knowshon made a great catch."
On if the game changes if RB Correll Buckhalter cannot play due to injury
"I don't think so. We would love to have Correll. He has played great for us. He has been very productive. It is one of our deeper on offense, and we have got a lot of guys ready to go."
On if Moreno is ready to have the majority of the Broncos' carries
On if the game against New England is more meaningful than other games to Head Coach Josh McDaniels
"He takes every game so seriously and expects us to do the same. There is really no difference in our preparation. He expects us to be the most prepared team on the field every Sunday. There is no difference this week."
On New England's 4-3 defense
"(It is) a little bit different scheme. (They have) different personnel than years past but are just as affective and just as good. They have a lot of talent on the field. They are a very smart defense. They are a very prepared defense, and they do a great job in the back half route reading and disguising and all that stuff. We will have to play one of our best games and certainly, be prepared.
On if New England's defense is less creative than when it was a 3-4
"No, I don't think so. They have got a game plan for each team they play, and they execute it pretty well."
On if he has mastered McDaniels' offense
"No, I certainly haven't mastered it. I am working extremely hard week to week to improve and not being happy with the last week. There is always a handful of plays that we come out and say, ‘Man, I wish we would have done this,' or ‘I wish I would have done that.' I certainly have a lot of room to improve along with everybody else on the team."
On if it will take three years to master McDaniels' offense
"I will let you know when I get there. I hope it is sooner than that."
On the significance of WR Brandon Marshall's contributions
"It is great. You can see what type of player he is. He is certainly a special player that can make types of plays that probably other people can't on the field. He has worked extremely hard the last couple weeks. His attitude has been great. I know all the players are happy for him and to see him producing like he is now. Hopefully, it will just get better with time."
On how Marshall affects a defense
"They certainly have to know where he is at every play. He is the type of guy that might get double-coverage. He is the type of guy that if they were going to single-coverage him, they have got to be worried about that. Any time they have got to prepare for an individual player, it makes it that much tougher on a defense."
On the emotional reaction to Marshall's game-winning touchdown against Dallas
"I think it was (emotional) for everybody on the field. It was a hard-fought game. Everybody had been battling for the whole 60 minutes. To finally go ahead like that with such a great individual effort was awesome to see."
On if he has played with any other receivers who could have made Marshall's game-winning play
"It was just such a great play. We have got a lot of good receivers on our team, but he made five or six guys miss on the way to the end zone, so it was quite the play."
On his rapport with WR Eddie Royal
"I think Eddie and I have probably the best rapport with all of our receivers. We have worked extremely hard, and Eddie is one of those guys that stays after practice every day to run routes and make sure he is doing everything that I want him to do. He has worked hard. We would love to get him the ball more. Maybe this will be the week."
On if he expects Royal to have a breakout game soon
"I think at some point he is going to break out and have a big game. We try to throw the ball to the open guy, and hopefully, it is Eddie this week and we can get him the ball."
On if Royal is getting extra attention from opposing defenses this season
"They have certainly been aware of him inside and out. They have done a great job of making sure they know where he is at and relating to him and trying to take him away, but Eddie is the type of guy that can beat double-coverage. He can beat single-coverage. Whatever they do, he should have an answer for him."
On if he senses Royal is frustrated
"He is a competitor. He wants to get the ball. He wants to help the team win. I don't feel any individual frustration. I just feel like he wants to catch the balls and make plays to help the team win, and that is the type of competitor he is."
On forcing the ball to Royal
"I try not to force anything. If a guy is covered or my read takes me somewhere else, that is where I try to go."
On if he will wear a glove on his throwing hand against New England on Sunday
"I hope it will be done this week. I have said that now the last few weeks, but it has kind of been close. I am not going to sit there and try to play through something when I have worn (the glove) and been halfway successful wearing it. I am not in any big rush to get out of it by any means."
On if inclement weather could determine whether or not he will wear a glove on his throwing hand
"We will see when it comes. I don't know."
On the Broncos' yellow-and brown, vertically striped socks that will be worn against New England on Sunday
"I have seen them. I think all of our guys have seen them. That will be a fun thing to do, but I don't think it will be an issue one way or the other."
On if the Broncos have prepared for the possibility of snow during the New England game on Sunday
"We have had a few practices early on in the year with a lot of rain and some nasty weather. I have played in it numerous times. I don't mind playing in bad-weather games. We will play in anything that comes."
S BRIAN DAWKINS
On if New England QB Tom Brady is playing differently than he did before his injury last season
"I don't see it. I see a guy that is very confident stepping up into the pocket when need be and delivering the ball downfield to his weapons. So far, what all of the experts are saying, I don't see that."
On what makes Brady a great quarterback
"(His strengths are,) first of all, his ability to read defenses before the snap to get the offensive line in the right protections, his ability to manipulate, if you will, the coverage with his eyes and his shoulders and then from there, he is a very, very accurate quarterback. (He is) very precise. His precision is up with the best, if not the best, in the league. It is important for us to be where we need to be at tight coverage to be able to get the receivers down as soon as they get the ball."
On if Brady can read defenses better than most quarterbacks
"Probably most, yes. Obviously, he has been doing this for a while. He has been having success at the highest level as far as going to the Super Bowl and winning it. His ability to recognize things is up there with the best of them, and that allows the offense to flow."
On how to bother Brady
"I don't know if you can bother him. Our approach every week is the same, no matter the quarterback. It is to disguise as much as possible, get pressure on the quarterback and hopefully force him to throw some errant passes if that can happen, so that won't change this week."
On if he is surprised opposing quarterbacks have challenged CB Champ Bailey
"I don't know. Week to week, I guess different people have different courage to challenge him. If that is the case, we welcome that. Champ welcomes that. His potential to make plays only goes up when you challenge him. I know I will welcome that challenge for him, and when he needs me to be over top to help him out, I will be there for him."
On what makes Bailey a great cornerback
"Champ is so smooth in his movements. He does a technique that if you look-when coaches teach technique, they will probably put up Champ's technique as what not to do, the way he plays his coverage with his hips open and really doesn't get into a back pedal too much. Not too many corners can do that and have success the way he has had it. When I got here, (I noticed) the smoothness of his movements, his playmaking potential-once the ball touches his hands it is pretty much a catch, and you saw that last catch he had- and then his confidence. He is very, very smart. That is another thing that I noticed right away in our conversations when I first got here. His understanding of offenses and how they are going to attack us is up there with the best of them."
On the meaning of situational football
"What that means to me is just being prepared for the situations that are going to come, whether it be the third-and-short, fourth down. Whatever they like to do, just understanding the situation to not be surprised and being ready for them to be able to stand up to the task of what teams like to do in those situations. That is very important, especially in this game because we are pretty much hearing the same things in meetings. They are going to be up for situational football, and hopefully, we will be where we need to be in those situations so that we will come out on top of them."
On if it is as difficult to handle success as it is to handle adversity
"I think the thing that you have to do with success is you have to remain humble. You have to realize that you only got that success by hard work, by attention to detail, by playing sometimes with a chip on your shoulder. When those elements go away, then you are not that same person anymore, so you have to remain in that position of humbleness to be able to go out and produce that product of success on the football field. That is one thing that as a defense and as a team that we are going to make sure that that humble state of mind stays there, that hunger stays there. You can be humble but stay hungry. There is such thing as that. That is one thing that we are going to make sure that we are staying on top of. On top of all that, we are playing the Patriots this week. How can you have any type of a letdown when you are playing the Patriots? That would be mind blowing for me."
On if New England WR Randy Moss is the best wide receiver he has played against
"He is one of the best. I wouldn't absolutely say the best because each receiver brings different things to the table. Randy, he is a downfield threat absolutely. (New England) Wes (Welker) in the slot, he works that slot like no other. When you are talking about the best, he is one of the best absolutely, but you have to look out for different things from him than you would Wes, than you would (Buffalo WR Terrell Owens) or (former Indianapolis WR) Marvin (Harrison) when he was in his heyday. All of these guys bring different things to the table. The thing that we just have to do is recognize where he is, what he likes to do and not allow that long stride to get going."
On the Patriots running the ball more than in the past
"You can see that. I think that if you allow them to just sit and throw the ball all day, why wouldn't you do it? Why wouldn't you put 40 points on the board if a team is going to let you dink and dunk or give them big plays. You don't have to run the ball, but if the opportunity presents itself to run the ball, they are going to do that, also. It is going to be a 60-minute game. We know that. We know it is going to be a tough, grind-out game. It is going to be whose will kind of prevails at the end, to tell you the truth. It is going to be a huge test for us."
On the Broncos throwback uniforms
"It is what it is, whether you like them or not. It is what it is. We are going to go out and hopefully put a great product on the field. That is what we are shooting for, anyway. It matters not what the uniform we wear. I know it is a kidding question, but for us, there is too much wrapped up in this game to be wrapped up in the ugliness or the beauty of a jersey