HEAD COACH JOSH McDANIELS
"I’ll start by publically congratulating the five players and then the one alternate that were selected to the Pro Bowl. All of them—(T) Ryan Clady, (WR) Brandon Marshall, (CB) Champ Bailey, (S) Brian Dawkins, (OLB) Elvis Dumervil and (ILB) D.J. Williams—are very deserving, earned that recognition and are certainly deserving of selection. We’re proud of all of those guys.
"We’re into our preparation for the Chiefs. There are some different things that we’re getting ready for than when we played a month ago. (WR) Dwayne Bowe is back, (which) certainly adds another element to their offense. He and (WR Chris) Chambers, that’s a pretty good duo to throw the football to. (RB) Jamaal Charles, in the last seven games, nobody has rushed for more yards than he has other than (Tennessee RB) Chris Johnson, which is saying a lot. He’s playing extremely well. The defense has turned the ball over 14 times in the last five or six games, and their kicking game is probably as good as anybody’s that we’ve played. We’ve got a great challenge ahead of us and expect a tough division game on Sunday."
On ILB D.J. Williams’ status as a Pro Bowl alternate
"He’s an alternate. I’m not talking about first, second or whatever it is. He’s an alternate. We’re proud of that."
On acquiring P Britton Colquitt
"(P Mitch) Berger is still punting... We never stop trying to improve the team or look, as we move forward here, any way we feel we can add depth to our football team going forward, that’s what we try to do. He was a guy that we’re familiar with, so we felt like it was a good time to do that with the roster spot open and didn’t really have another guy who we felt like, at this point in time, we were going to bring in and send to the game. We felt like we improved our team there."
On WR Brandon Marshall’s consecutive Pro Bowl selections
"Consistent production, to me, is the key. That’s really what he’s done for a number of years now. When you do that and you’re named by your peers and people who vote on that, (being selected) to that game numerous times, whether it be in a row or not, I think that they recognize your ability. (It is a) very well deserved honor for all those guys, and Brandon has certainly put himself in a category of really the top receivers in this conference and in the league."
On if he is surprised S Brian Dawkins was selected to the Pro Bowl
"No, not at all. I will say this: I think it’s a great tribute to him to come from the NFC and to go to the AFC and to earn that immediately. There are a lot of great safeties in football, and to go from one conference to the other and earn that right to go immediately says a lot about him, it says a lot about the respect that he has from his peers and it says a lot about how we feel about him, too."
On if receptions or yards per reception is a more telling statistic regarding a wide receiver’s production
"Obviously, there are pros to both. If you have a high yards per catch, then you’re making different plays down the field or you’re able to do things with the ball in your hands. If you have a high number of receptions, it shows that you’re able to get open maybe more underneath and try to do some things on third down or in the red zone. I don’t really put stock in one over the other. You’d love to have a guy who had a bunch of catches and a high yards per catch. That’s a perfect match, but I think anybody who has a lot of catches has obviously worked hard to get those, and anybody who has a high yards per catch does a lot to do that, too. I think the offense that you play in, obviously, affects that, no question about it. Some teams choose to throw the ball down the field a bunch; some teams don’t. That affects whether or not somebody has a high yards-per catch."
On if he is disappointed with the Broncos’ yards per reception average this season
"No, we have opportunities and we’ve got to take advantage of them. Other than that, you’re moving the ball one way or the other whether you take a lot of chances down the field and come up short with nothing to show for it or you’re more of a possession pass team. It works both ways. You can work either way depending on how you execute."
On his discussions with Chiefs QB Matt Cassel before and after the Kansas City game on Dec. 6
"I spoke with him before the game briefly and then after the game, also. He’s a really good friend. I’ve spent a long of time with him. I’ve gotten to know him and his wife. I’m just happy for his success and happy for his opportunity, and at the same time (we’re) very competitive. They obviously want to beat us; we want to beat them. We’ll look forward to competing against each other on Sunday."
On OLB/DE Elvis Dumervil’s first Pro Bowl selection after switching to outside linebacker this past offseason
"He really bought into what we were doing. (He is a) very unselfish player who obviously changed part of his role, like you mentioned. It’s not the entire thing, but he changed part of his role. He also worked really hard to adapt to a different style of rush in some ways. We ask him to do some different things, bull rush maybe a little bit more than just try to run around the corner, but he’s capable of doing both. He bought into our system. We always have said here that sacks are a product of good coverage and good rush, and interceptions and pass deflections are a product of good coverage and good rush, also. I don’t think it’s easy to make a transition like that. He certainly did, and he made it look easy at times. He’s still working at it really hard. He’s been a big part, obviously, of any success we’ve had on defense."
On Dumervil’s impact on defense when he is not sacking the quarterback
"You have to account for him. Like most really good pass rushers, there are times where you’re going to single him (with one offensive lineman) and then there are times where you’re going to try to make sure that there’s help. Any time you’re using the world ‘help’ on a pass rusher, it affects what you’re doing in the passing game. Somebody’s not getting out in the pattern, somebody else is singled up front (and) it opens up opportunities for other people. Whether you get sacks on your own or you help create sacks or disrupt their offensive rhythm some other way because they have to take two players to handle you, you’re being disruptive either case. He sees plenty of both. He knows he’s going to see plenty of both. I think that’s what—good pass rushers, they know that. Every week they’re going to see different schemes and things to try to minimize what they can do. It takes a great resolve to keep doing it play after play after play. You may play 70 plays in a game, and it may take you 65 of them to get a sack, but you’re doing other things to help your team out along the way, and I think that takes patience and resolve to keep doing it, and he’s done it all year."
On playoff teams’ decision to rest key players late in the season affecting the Broncos
"I don’t know what shot we’re going to get from those teams, I really don’t. I don’t think anybody does right now. It will affect us, but it’s not our business. They’ve earned the right to do whatever they want to with their football teams. Whatever they think is best for them going forward, they can do that. You earn that right over how you play over 16 games. We’re 8-7, and if we were 12-3, we might be in a different situation and we would be discussing that. I think that’s something that—you don’t want to wait until now and then start crying ‘foul’ because somebody else may rest some players for the playoffs. That’s your problem. You should’ve done more between now and the beginning of the season to put yourself in a better position. Whatever they choose to do, that’s their business. We know in some way, shape or form we’re going to be affected by it, but the number-one thing we have to do is we have to prepare and play well against the Chiefs and win our last game. If we can do that, we’ll see what happens, and we’ll do what the league tells us to do the next week."
On if the New York Jets-Cincinnati game’s evening kickoff will affect the Broncos’ mental approach to Sunday’s game
"I don’t know. I just hope we’re focused on (our) game. I know there are a lot of other factors that are at play, and there are so many different scenarios that if you’re sitting there trying to calculate all those you might miss the first quarter. I think we should just focus on the Chiefs, get ready to play and go out there and coach and play as hard as we can on Sunday, and then whatever happens, whatever they tell us to do on Monday morning, that’s what we’re going to do. We’ll see how it all unfolds."
On T Ryan Clady’s Pro Bowl selection being heavily reliant on the players’ vote
"To me, I think that’s really the thing to be proudest of as a player is that your peers really selected you to play in that game as the best of the best. That does say a lot because the guys who are voting for him, a lot of those guys are the guys rushing against him or trying to win the line of scrimmage against him in the running game. They know who he is. They know what he does. Like I said, I think it’s a great honor for all of those guys to be selected and be able to go play in that game because it says a lot about what you’ve earned, and they’ve earned the respect of their peers in the league."
On Clady’s reaction to his Pro Bowl selection
"I talked to him last night, and he was excited, as excited as he could be... I could tell he was smiling. It’s something to be proud of. All of those guys are, and we’re proud to have them here."
On developing the passing game in his first year running his offense in Denver
"There are some things in a passing game, I think, that take more than just design and/or a player here, a player there to make them go, and you’ve seen examples of that throughout the course of the season—(QB Kyle Orton) and Brandon (Marshall) in the red zone throwing the fade up and (Marshall) goes up and gets it because it’s in a good spot and he shields the defender. Those are plays—and they would tell you—they work on those on their own and try to get that chemistry between each other, and it affects that play and other plays as well. There are other routes and other players that work on other things with the quarterback because those are the four or five things that they really need to work on. Some of those things, there are some intricacies involved with them. I don’t think you can just put (a play) on the board and say, ‘We’re going to run that play and it’s going to be beautiful.’ Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes they have to spend extra time, which our guys have done, on some of those things because it does take a little bit of time and the quarterback says, ‘Where do you want the ball?’ and the receiver says, ‘Throw it here away from the defender and I’ll try to shield him.’ There are different things, and obviously, the further up the field you’re throwing it, the lower percentage of a play you’re dealing with. There are a lot of things that have to go right, which is why it takes a lot more work to get those things to work the way you want them to."
On if his evaluation of this season is solely dependent upon whether or not the Broncos make the playoffs
"I don’t know whether we’re going to make it or not. We’re going to play hard on Sunday, and we’ll see what happens at the end of the season. I think that’s ultimately what we want to do. We’re focused on winning this game, and we’re hopeful if we win we’ll have a chance to play longer. We’ll see what happens. We’re not going to put a label on this season today, not at all."
QB KYLE ORTON
On WR Brandon Marshall and T Ryan Clady being selected to play in the 2010 Pro Bowl
"It’s great. They’ve played great all year and certainly deserve it. All of our team is happy for everybody that made the Pro Bowl, and I think that every one of them was well deserved."
On Marshall’s Pro Bowl selection
"His play speaks for itself. We haven’t had any issues with him and everything has been good. He continues to play well and very hard."
On if Marshall’s performance at Indianapolis played a key part in his Pro Bowl selection
"Well, 21 catches helped, there is no question. That is a lot of work for one day for a receiver, but no, throughout the entire year, he has seen the other team’s best secondary players, he’s seen some double-coverage and we’ve asked him to do a lot of different things, and he’s handled all of it very well."
On what makes CB Champ Bailey and S Brian Dawkins elite players
"(They are) certainly different players. Champ, as a defensive back, he is probably the most patient defensive back that I’ve seen. He doesn’t really respond to early moves. He’s so patient. He has a great feel for the game and has a great feel for reading route combinations and just kind of knowing what they expect. He’s extremely patient back there and never gets himself out of position. He’s always right there when the ball is thrown to be in position to make a play. Brian (is elite because of his), obviously, experience, tenacity, just being a great football player and having a nose for the ball."
On if this season will be a success if the team doesn’t make the playoffs
"We won’t reach our goal (if we don’t make the playoffs). That was our goal. If you don’t reach that, then that’s certainly not very successful, but we feel if we win and take care of our business, we have a great chance and we’ll see how it plays out."
On the offense’s philosophy on deep passes
"We’ve kind of talked about it all year—the deep pass and making plays down the field. We’d love to do that, but sometimes you don’t get the right coverage; sometimes you get the coverage that you want, and you don’t get the time to throw it. (There are) just a lot of factors to get the ball down the field. We haven't been able to do that the last couple of weeks, but we’re certainly going to try and throw the ball to the right spot, to the right people. If that is for five yards or for 50 yards, that’s just what it is."
On if the game is different when playing an opponent for the second time in a season
"Yeah, you’re not going to get the same thing against these teams, probably, the second time around. There is always going to be little differences, and we saw that with Oakland, for sure, and we saw that with San Diego. We really expect the same thing this week, to be played just a little bit different than we were the first game, which means we’ve got to do a better job of preparing and knowing exactly what we think we’re going to get and if we don’t get that look to be able to talk about it early on the sideline and get it taken care of in the first couple series and not let it linger on until the second half or something."
On developing his relationship with Marshall
"The more games we’ve played together, the better we’ve gotten. He’s an instinct player. He’s been great, and for the most part, been exactly where we want him to be. We have gotten used to each other more where if he sees something and he wants to break it off or if he feels like he is going to get doubled and he needs to do something else to get open, we’ve done a pretty good job, especially the last four or five weeks, of me knowing what he is going to do and him getting to the right spot and still being able to get him the ball."
On if Marshall is shy about discussing route adjustments with him
"No, no he’s not, and I’m not shy about telling him. You don’t want to take away his instincts because he is such an instinctive player, but also, it can’t be something that he does on every single play to get out of position and know we are making mistakes, either. It’s a fine line, but he’s been able to walk it."
On if he has a positive give-and-take relationship with Marshall
"No question, it’s just talking and it’s just to try and get open and score points and help the team win.
On the current negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA affecting next year’s free agent market
"It’s a bad thing for the 275 players that are in that position with me. Free agency has always been something for the players. It’s always been a great thing. If you get one crack at free agency as a player, that’s what you dream of. How it stands right now, 270 guys aren’t going to be able to have that dream to be a free agent. That’s a shame for the players, I think."
On the potential to play 2010 without a salary cap
"It’s been talked about. I’m an assistant rep for the union, so I’ve followed the situation for the past year. Both sides have a lot to lose, so hopefully something gets done."
On if the league did the Broncos a favor by moving the Jets game to primetime
"I didn’t know that happened. We play at 2:15 (p.m. MST). That’s the only thing I’m looking forward to."
S BRIAN DAWKINS
On being selected to his eighth Pro Bowl
"This is something I never take for granted. It’s an absolute blessing to be able to do what I do for my football teammates. To be able to come to the AFC and be given the respect of the coaches and players from this conference also is a big thing. I don’t take this for granted. This is definitely a blessing."
On switching to strong safety this season after playing free safety in Philadelphia
"The thing about it is people label them ‘strong safety’ and ‘free safety’, but in Philly, I did everything. There was nothing that I was not asked to do on that football team, whether it be (play) closer to the line of scrimmage to play the run or cover receivers and tight ends. I kind of labeled it the ‘freelance safety’ because I did everything. This is no different here. I’m asked to do a lot of things. I’m asked to be in the box, I’m asked to cover different people and take deep responsibility of the middle of the field sometimes. It’s really no different."
On his adjustments playing in the AFC after 13 years in the NFC
"Football is football. It is just being familiar with the teams. I was not, obviously, because of not playing against them. With the help of my teammates and the coaches preparing me every week as far as giving me keys—some keys and film study—I was able to become comfortable with the teams I was playing against. At the end of the day, it’s about recognizing things, making tackles and making plays when opportunities present themselves."
On if playing with CB Champ Bailey has helped his transition to the AFC
"It depends on the coverage. It depends on the call. I’ve been blessed over my career to play with a lot of great corners. That is obviously a luxury that a lot of safeties can’t say (they have) that I have to be able to do those things. When you have veteran guys back there to do different things, it lessens your responsibility as far as certain communications go."
On if he has a special appreciation for his Pro Bowl selection considering his age
"My whole thing is about my teammates. If I can do what I need to do to make Pro Bowls, that means I’m playing a certain brand of ball for my teammates. If that then proves people wrong, if you want to call it that, then so be it. My first responsibility and my first thought is ‘What can I do for my teammates?’ They’re comfortable with me playing a certain way, at a certain level, every week that they can count on. That’s what matters."
On if he has had to allow his body to recover more than in previous Pro Bowl seasons
"Seasons are different. Some seasons I go through it not nicked up at all. Some, like this year, I’ve had to fight through some things. Believe me, I don’t take it likely the fact that I’m blessed to play at this age the way that I play. People want to label that as being a—because of my age, people say my injuries—all of that stuff is foolishness when you’re playing football. It’s about being able to tough through some things that we all go through."
On if it is more difficult to beat an opponent when facing them for the second time in a season
"No, I think it’s tougher the first time, too, especially when you don’t really know the team like we didn’t really know Kansas City as far as what they really like to do because there wasn’t a lot of tape filed up on them because they were still learning their offense. (I don’t agree with that philosophy) in this case."
On his advice to teammates approaching free agency
"Are you serious? We’re trying to win a football game. That stuff will take care of itself. You’re trying to win a football game. When you do what you’re supposed to do for your teammates, for your team, all that stuff will take care of itself."
On playing with OLB/DE Elvis Dumervil
"Same thing, I’ve been blessed—(former Philadelphia DE) Hugh Douglas and (Philadelphia DE) Trent Cole—to have that type of person that’s on the edge who they have to pay attention to the shift or whatever, and that sometimes forces balls out faster. That allows you as a player, as a safety, to be able to make plays on the ball quicker. When you have that (chance) at any given time for him to be able to beat his guy that quickly, it allows you to be able to sit on some things. That’s obviously a weapon that we’re lucky to have here."
On the Broncos’ mentality entering Sunday’s game against Kansas City
"We’ve got to win. Everything else doesn’t matter. Nothing else matters but winning. You have to win, and all the other stuff will take care of itself. You have to concentrate on what we have to concentrate on, and that’s winning."
On how many more Pro Bowls selections he has left in his career
"I don’t know. Every year that’s a goal of mine, to make the Pro Bowl. If I’m on the football field, I’m trying to make plays. That is a goal of mine, like I said, and like I said earlier, if I’m making those plays to make the Pro Bowl, that means I’m blessing my teammates with plays on the football field and helping my team, hopefully, win games. Lord’s will if I’m here, to play next year, period—nothing is ever guaranteed—that will be another goal of mine next year to make another Pro Bowl."