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Potent Quotables - It's Chiefs Week Wednesday Gathering

**Compliments of the Denver Broncos P.R. Staff**


On T Ryan Harris' performance during Tuesday's practice

"He did fine."

On the chances that Harris will play at Kansas City on Sunday

"I would say (the chances are) good."

On Harris' rehabilitation

"I think we're past the regression part of that injury. There's obviously going to be a little bit of discomfort, but he's done a nice job with his rehab. Hopefully, we feel like he's at a point now where we can just kind of move forward with it. He's going to have to tolerate probably a little bit (of pain). Only he can know how painful that is. He did fine yesterday."

On how the nickel package changes if ILB Wesley Woodyard cannot play at Kansas City on Sunday

"We'll have some other people ready to go. I would expect Wesley to be out there, hopefully, today and hopefully ready to go (on Sunday). We have other players that have, obviously, taken reps there. (OLB/DE) Mario (Haggan) has been there and (S) Josh Barrett has been in there. We'll do whatever we have to do to make sure that we can play effectively in the nickel package if for some reason he wouldn't be able to go. We're hopeful that he will (play)."

On Kansas City QB Matt Cassel

"It's hard to anticipate what kind of year you're going to have coming into a new system, a new organization (with) a lot of new players, but you can tell that he's a leader on their team. He's taking care of the football. He's only got a handful of interceptions (and) only one interception in their three wins. He's done a decent job of taking care of the football, by and large, the whole season, which I think shows his level of experience. He gained a lot of experience last year, went through some of those growing pains and certainly is doing those kinds of things better. He's mobile (and) athletic. He's definitely extended some plays with his legs. He can be a problem on third down, red zone plays (and) things like that. If you let him out of the pocket, he can definitely throw on the run and make some plays that maybe weren't there originally. He's a good football player. He really is. He's going to be a good football player for a long time. He's in a new system (with) new players. Anybody who, I think, goes into that situation, you do the best you can, and he certainly has. They're getting better each week. (WR Chris) Chambers certainly has kind of given him a different kind of a go-to guy. You can tell that he really has good chemistry with Chris, and (it) hasn't taken him long to develop that. (There are) a lot of good things he is doing, a lot of things that we have to defend."

On Kansas City's defensive line

"(DL) Tyson Jackson and (DL Glenn) Dorsey both are playing well, penetrating at times. They play blocks well. I know something we liked about Jackson this year when we looked at him was he was able to hold a point in the running game, which he can do. Both of them have been disruptive at times in the backfield in the running game and added some things to the pass rush at times inside, also. (They are) two big bodies (who are) hard to move out. You've got to do a nice job of staying tight on any kind of double-team blocks or anything like that or else they can get into the backfield and create some problems for you and put you in long-yardage situations. The teams that have been in long yardage on third down a lot have not fared well against this team. It's one of the things that we're talking a lot about this week."

On selecting defensive linemen early in the NFL Draft

"I think every team is different. You've got to take a look at what you feel like you need or what you feel like you want to do at whatever position that may be. Then, you can look at what players are available. If you like a defensive lineman at that pick, it's certainly something that you can do and build your team, your defensive front, around that type of player or those types of players. If it's not a defensive lineman, it could be any other position. There are a lot of positions that you could draft that high because players are that good. It really depends on your situation, what you feel like you need to do with your team and then how good is the crop of players that you're choosing from at those positions. If it's a good fit, then you take them. That's kind of what we did. I don't want to speak for anybody else in terms of their philosophy, but I know (Jackson and Dorsey) are two good players."

On Denver's defensive line

"Obviously, we always say we can do better, and we can. I think the fact that we've used a lot of them in there-we have a pretty solid rotation of guys. We don't just leave three guys in there the whole game and make them fight the fight. They all kind of help one another and spell one another and stay fresh. Doing their job is really an important thing, and in our system, sometimes that's a position that doesn't get a lot of glory or glamour, but if they take on a double-team block and allow (ILB) D.J. (Williams) or (ILB) Andra (Davis) to run to the football and make tackles, or (S) Brian (Dawkins)-that's their job and they do it, and they do it very unselfishly. We're happy with the progress that we've made with that group and are looking forward to continuing to get better in December and hopefully, playing our best football out there in front of us."

On why Cassel's numbers are lower than last season

"Any time you change teams, I think it takes a little while to get used to different players, different system. He's got a different offensive philosophy, different play callers (and) different receivers. A lot of things change when you change organizations. I see that all the time here in my role, so I'm sure he's going through some of those same things himself. There are a number of reasons for that. People say why do... We've given up more sacks this year than we did last year. That's not just because of the offensive line. That's the tight ends, that's the quarterback, that's the passing game (and) that's the philosophy that you use. I think that there are a number of things that go into that. I think, sometimes, passer rating is extremely overrated in terms of trying to figure out how well somebody is doing in a system. Completion percentage is something that is valuable. The fact that he has not turned the ball over is something that's valuable. He gives his team an opportunity to score in the red zone because he doesn't turn the ball over down there. I can't speak on last year to this year. He's at a different team with a lot of changes around him. I think he's doing a nice job with the team, and they're continuing to get better. Like I said, the addition of Chambers has definitely changed some things for him. He's just continuing to progress."

On seeking advice about playing at Kansas City in December

"I know this: there aren't really any good sources to check with because in the last 18 years, they've only lost seven times in December at home. I think the biggest thing we are trying to focus on is ourselves and our preparation and what we can do to try to go in there and play our best game. If we start looking for answers outside of this building, I think we're going to run into a dead end pretty quick. There's no magic formula (where) you call somebody and they say, ‘Hey, do ‘this' or ‘Eat spaghetti on Saturday night' or whatever it may be. I don't think that's going to really change what happens on Sunday. I think we've got to have a good week of preparation and practice, have a good game plan and go out there and play our best football. If we're looking for another answer, we're probably going to run into a dead end. It's not an easy place to play. We know that going into it, but we're not going to spend too much time talking about that. I think the best thing that we can do is really focus our efforts on trying to play our best."

On ILB/FB Spencer Larsen's performance on offense

"(We are) very pleased with what he's done at fullback. Spencer is a very physical, tough kid (and is) unselfish, knows his role, accepts his role (and) splits his time. He's learning the defense. He's learning the offense at the same time. He's got a lot on his plate. He's a core special-teams player for our football team. He does an incredible amount of different things that really don't get spoken about too many times in the media and all those things. He did a great job lead blocking for us last week. Again, (he) plays a big role for us on the goal line, plays a big role for us in short-yardage situations and has really become a dependable lead blocker for our team. That's a critical thing. If you really want to try to run the ball better as the weather gets worse, you need that player to be a dependable guy and know who to block. We run different schemes each week, and he's got to know those things as he goes along. (We are) very pleased and encouraged with what he's done. The dependability and the toughness that he brings to our offense also is the same thing that he brings to our kicking game and then defense when he's out there."


On the challenge playing at Arrowhead Stadium

"Every time you play on the road against a divisional team, it's going to be a heightened atmosphere, intensity, everything. We'll have to play our best ball and face a team that's playing really hard and playing good football as of late."

On struggling after the bye week and not repeating those mistakes on Sunday

"We just came out and we didn't play very well. Hopefully, we'll come off the (Thanksgiving) break fresh and excited to play a divisional opponent and play our best ball."

On comparing Head Coach Josh McDaniels' and Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith's intensity

"They're two totally different coaches, for sure. I think both coaches get their players to play hard for them in different ways. Obviously, Josh, everybody knows how fiery he is and all of that, which guys respond to well. I know that when I was in Chicago, we responded well to Lovie's more laid-back approach and just kind of going about his business."

On comparing McDaniels and Smith as a quarterback

"I love playing for the offensive coach. Playing for Josh is great. Playing under a defensive head coach, they do different things, and we certainly go about it differently here."

On WR Brandon Marshall's physical play drawing pass interference calls

"Well I think more importantly, we'd love to get the receptions and everything. That's great to get the yards and the penalties and all that, but Brandon does a great job of knowing that when I do give him a chance to make a play, it's either him or nobody. We haven't had any negative plays come out of those situations, which is great. He does a great job of making sure that if he does have to turn into the defender, he gets the ball down."

On what has allowed him to be successful during his first year in a new offensive system

"I don't know. It is tough. It's obviously a lot of work, trying to get as familiar with the system as you can. It's tough for a lot of reasons: to get to know the personnel around you, to get to know the system around you, the coaches (and) the way you run practice. Everything's different, so it's a tough adjustment, and it usually doesn't come very quickly."

On how long it took him to adopt the Broncos' offensive system

"I'm still trying to feel as comfortable as I can with our offense and with our guys around me and everything. It will be a continual process."

On the Broncos' struggles in Kansas City in December

"They've had some good football teams, and it's a tough place to play. We feel like we're a good football team and that if we go out, play our best football and execute and don't turn the ball over, we'll have a great chance to win."

On Marshall's ability down field

"He's the first guy that I've had like this. It's been a change for me in my way of thinking, being able to trust him and give him those chances. He's a phenomenal player, and I don't see too many people when the ball is in the air going out and out-jumping him or being more physical than he is going for the ball. You certainly want to put it in a good spot to give him the best chance go up and make a play."

On if he's ever played in Kansas City

"No, this will be my first time."

On comparing Arrowhead Stadium to other NFL venues

"It's loud. I've played in loud places before. We played up in the Metrodome a number of years up in Minnesota, and there are not too many places louder than that. We'll have to handle the operation, try to limit our penalties and do a good job on offense."


On if the mood the Broncos locker room has improved after Thursday's win

"Absolutely, it's better. It's always going to be better after a win, but I think we understand what we need to do going forward in order to keep this feeling."

On Kansas City WR Chris Chambers

"I think first of all, they're going to him and making a conscious effort to make sure they get him the ball. Any time that you have a receiver as talented as he is that has the respect and the trust of the team's offensive coordinator to get you the ball, obviously, you're going to go out there and make sure you put your best foot forward. He's doing that, big time.

On Kansas City QB Matt Cassel

"I think one of the first things that stands out to me is that he's a very, very mobile guy. He's able to keep plays alive if you allow him to. When he does that, he's able to get the ball up field and make plays that way and with his legs (he is) able to break tackles, even. It's going to be a huge task for us as a defense to make sure we don't allow him to keep plays alive and extend plays and throw the ball up the field. He's very accurate with the ball. To do some short throws, he's putting the ball where it needs to be for his receivers. This is a challenge for us."

On if Head Coach Josh McDaniels' experience with Cassel helps the defense

"At the end of the day, it's about playing football. Coaches can only tell you so much and give you so many things to prepare for, even if they don't know a quarterback as far as being in the locker room with him. It's up to the players then to take that knowledge, if you will, to the football field and make it work. We're going to have to make sure that we do what we're coached to do. Those things that he may have given us, we have to go out and execute them."

On if he is affected by the Broncos' struggles at Kansas City in December

"Honestly, no because I wasn't here for those times. To be honest with you, my thought processes are on what I can do to help this team this year. I'm not concerning myself with what happened in the past because there was nothing I could do about it then, and there's nothing I can do about that now, besides what's going on today. That's practicing and making sure we're ready going into a hostile environment and hopefully, coming out with a win."

On Kansas City RB Jamaal Charles

"It's another huge challenge for us. Each week presents different challenges. Obviously, last week, we knew who they were bringing in with (Giants RB Brandon) Jacobs, a bruising back. We knew we had to get to the hole for a different reason because you didn't want that weight to gain momentum coming forward. This week is different, (but it's the) same thing. We have to get to him early before we allow that track speed to get going. We have to swarm to the ball and not put one person in a pressure position to make tackle after tackle on this guy. We have to swarm him. It's going to be key for everybody to do the same thing that we did last week: play with emotion, play technique sound and get to the football with an attitude."

On having three division games left in the season

"Honestly, my focus is on Kansas City. I'm not worried about anything after that. Once we play them, then we can get into the next opponent, and then we'll talk about them next week. As of right now, my focus is on Kansas City and what we have to do this week to beat this team. If you look past it, if we start looking past all that stuff, those things are traps, emotional traps, that you put energy into different things that has nothing to do with the team that you're playing. We can't allow ourselves to do that."

On Allen Iverson signing with the 76ers and what he means to Philadelphia

"He was definitely an icon. I don't know if he was definitely an icon everywhere, but in Philadelphia, he was an icon. The guy went out on the basketball court and gave that city everything that he had game in and game out. I definitely respected him for that. For them to open their arms wide open again to him, to invite him into that atmosphere to bring some energy and juice to that team, I think it's going to be a good thing. I'm pretty sure-he's one of those guys that is in that city because it's such a tough place. I think he welcomes that challenge. I think he'll step up to it."