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Monday Potent Quotables - Broncos 12 - Bengals 7 - Josh McDaniels

**Courtesy of the Denver Broncos PR Department

Opening statement

"As I said yesterday after the game, I am proud of the way our guys played and stayed with it for 60 minutes. We certainly didn't do everything that we wanted to do the way we wanted to do it, but we did do enough things well enough for us to be in it late in the game and give ourselves an opportunity to make a play there at the end, which you don't want to do many times. I am proud of the way the guys fought. We have got a lot of room to improve and a lot of things to improve on. That is what we will be hard at work at starting today."

On if he had a moment of reflection after winning his first game

"I didn't do that when I got home, but I think that everybody felt good about it because we put in so much hard work. Every team does in the offseason, in training camp and in preseason and so many hours in terms of preparation. Then you go to that first week, and all you want to do is win the first game. It wasn't perfect, but I think everybody felt, obviously, much better about winning. Myself, I was very pleased that we were able to make a big play at the end of the game to win. It always makes Monday mornings a lot better when you have more points on the board than the other team did on Sunday."

On how many times he watched WR Brandon Stokley's game-winning touchdown

"I just watched it a couple times on the plane and again once this morning. (There are) some very interesting things to see and learn from on that play on both sides of the ball and hopefully talk to our team about it. If you are on the defensive side, make sure that if there is a mistake in any way, shape or form on that play, you want to make sure that you coach your guys how not to do that. Offensively, there are some coaching points that we could learn from, too."

On what can be learned offensively from Stokley's game-winning touchdown

"Starting with the celebration in a situation like that, we were very careful not to have anybody from the sideline run out there onto the field. You kick the ball off from the 15 there (if you get penalized). Then they have the ball at the 50, and you are talking about a whole different ending to the game. (Cincinnati QB Carson) Palmer is probably throwing the ball in the end zone then. That and the time management in terms of what Brandon did before he went into the end zone, I thought, was an incredibly smart play for a player to make at that point in time in the game. (It was) very heads up on his part. Just a reminder to all our players if that ever does happen that they need to understand how much time was left before that play started (and) if we had a timeout because he was thinking, ‘Do I need to run out of bounds?' He didn't need to because we did have one left. Just the little things offensively like that you can certainly learn from in that situation. Defensively, in any case like that in an end-of-the-game situation, we want to have somebody deeper than their deepest guy. We were fortunate that they had three guys converge on (WR Brandon Marshall) and there was really nobody behind Brandon (Stokley) when he caught the ball."

On what he recognized watching replays of the touchdown that he didn't notice live

"(Cincinnati CB Leon) Hall tips the ball up in the air. I think one of the worst things-in any kind of a Hail Mary situation, we always teach our guys you want to bat it to the ground. If you tip it up, you never know what could happen. He kind of gave life to the play by hitting it (up). At that point on the sidelines, I didn't even remember if Hall got his hand on it or if there was a big collision. Everything just happened so fast. Leon Hall actually got it up into the air which actually gave us more life on the play and Brandon an opportunity to go ahead and circle underneath it and then go. It is just something to learn from."

On what stood out about the defense's performance

"We talked about not allowing a bunch of big pass plays. We didn't really give up a bunch of things down the field. They had some catch-and-run plays where we have got to tackle better. (Cincinnati WR) Chad (Ochocinco) made some people miss in the open field. We had the fullback on the sideline one time and he made a guy miss and made some extra yards. They had more yards in run after catch than we wanted them to have, but we did not give up any big pass plays, which they tried a number of. We were deeper than them and kind of discouraged them from throwing it. We forced a turnover there when we needed it. They were driving the ball. It was a key third-down play. (CB) Champ (Bailey) had good coverage and (ILB) Wesley (Woodyard) made a nice catch on that interception. Other than we had a couple of issues in the running game or on the edge. I thought (DL Ronald) Fields, (DL) Kenny Peterson, (ILB) Andra (Davis) and (ILB) D.J. (Williams) played really well inside. We didn't give up many creases on the inside running game, and that was a positive, another area that we really talked a lot about. They were a physical running team and really wanted to try to pound the ball downhill at us. We stood up to those challenges yesterday and forced them into doing some things that I am sure that they don't really want to do a bunch. They threw about 10 or 12 balls to the backs or tight ends, and that is not really a huge strength, but that is what we wanted them to do."

On if S Brian Dawkins can still be a three-down safety

"He is the way that that guy runs around the field. He saved a bunch of yards yesterday with open field tackles. His energy and leadership on the sideline is as good as any player I have ever seen. When I am calling plays on offense, there is not one time where I do not hear him behind me talking to the defense, talking to the punt team. It doesn't matter who it is, I can hear him. I am calling the play on one side and hearing information in the other, but yet I am hearing him behind me. It is all positive. It is all the right things, and it is not phony. It is real leadership. (There is) tremendous value in it and the things he says. He is such a smart football player that as the game goes along he makes adjustments when we make them, and he makes like that."

On if Dawkins is physically capable of being a three-down safety at 35

"He doesn't look like it. When you watch him on the tape, when you watch him on the field, he is playing as fast or faster than everybody else. That is what he is doing. That is one of the things that we saw on film last year, too. This guy, he is playing at a high level."

On why the Broncos struggled on offense

"We talked a lot about getting off to a good start on each drive, and we had too many bad plays to start series that led to three-and-outs. You do not want to be in second-and-10 or second-and-12. We had too many of those situations. We dropped some balls. We had some miscommunications. We had some bad throws. We kind of took turns offensively being the reason why we couldn't get into a good rhythm. In such a field-position game that was played yesterday, we need to do a heck of a lot better job of getting it out of our end, and then at least if we have to punt it, punt it back so that they are backed up. For the most part, we were in our end a bunch yesterday. We started seven or eight drives inside our own 20 and a few times had enough going there to get it out but didn't do it on a consistent basis. A lot of little things to clean up, certainly, and our players are going to see a number of things in areas where we can improve."

On if the status of QB Kyle Orton's finger affected his performance

"I don't think so. He didn't talk about it. He didn't act like it did. I didn't think he threw the ball any differently than he did in practice during the course of the week."

On Orton's performance

"He managed some situations very well for us. That two-minute drive before the half, we always talk about not wanting to give the other team an opportunity to get the ball back. Certainly with Cincinnati being such an explosive offense, we didn't want to do that. He did a nice job yesterday of moving the ball down the field and taking the time off and then scoring on the last play. There are some throws that we would like to have back (and) I am sure he would have liked to have back. He made some good plays. He took a sack at a bad time late in the game. That whole series was bad football. It started with a false-start penalty. Then, we have a holding on a screen play where we converted for a first down. Then, we take a sack on the next play, so we had three plays in a row (and) we go backwards 20 yards. We had an opportunity to make it a two-score game and really handled that situation poorly. We can all do better."

On ILB/FB Spencer Larsen's status

"Spencer Larsen will be out for at least a few weeks with a shoulder."

On how Larsen was injured

"It was a freak situation. It was an accident in the locker room in terms of falling. He put his arm down wrong. I do not want to go into too much. Slick surface, slip and hit the ground. That is it."

On the Broncos' Monday schedule

"Treatment, lift, film, (be) critical at all of the things that we need to get better at and then they will make sure that they get their work in with (Strength and Conditioning) Coach (Rich) Tuten. They are lifting and running to try to get some of the soreness out. It is a good day for us to see all of the areas that we need to improve on. I think the players enjoy coming in and seeing-whenever you get to watch an entire game like this, you see so many areas where if we had just done that this much it would have changed that whole entire series. Film, treatment, lift and run, that whole thing."


On if fatigued played a role in Cincinnati's 91-yard touchdown drive

"(It) could have been for sure. We weren't on the field enough offensively to prevent that. We have got to have the ball for more than 26 minutes offensively if we want our defense to hold up as the game goes on. We have got to play better complimentary football on both sides."