***Transcript provided by the fine folks with the Denver Broncos P.R. Staff***
"Like every rookie mini camp there is a lot for these guys to learn, a lot for them to do better. They got their feet wet, they got an opportunity out there to get some things we wanted them to do. We saw some improvement from yesterday morning to this afternoon and hopefully we can carry that into May when they come back with the veterans."
On the first two days of mini camp
"It's orientation - that's what we really call it. We want them to get familiar with the way we do things, our program here, all the people in the building here. Now they know our cafeteria, our training room and our equipment managers. Right now they're getting their first workout in with our strength and conditioning people. It's really more trying to get their feet wet so when they come back it's not a hundred things different. Hopefully they leave here and kind of know all those things and have that under their belt so when they come back we can be solely focused on football."
On his concern about the injury to Broncos T Ryan Clady
"I'm not going to talk about injuries, but any player who has had an offseason procedure... We'll be hopeful that they can come back as soon as they possibly can. We don't know exactly when, we don't have a timetable for that. We have a lot of people here who play those spots and more than one player who has had an offseason procedure and we'll make do."
On Broncos T Zane Beadles
"Zane is a valuable person for us - and we have a lot of players who fit in that mold where they can move inside, move outside. (Broncos tackle)Tyler Polumbus is a guy who we trained last year at right tackle and left tackle. Beadles will take snaps at tackle but will also be able to play inside at times too for us. It's a good fit for him because he's a versatile person and a versatile player. He's a smart guy and his toughness and what he brings to our football team hopefully will allow him to compete. You create your role on this football team so if he deserves to be the starter somewhere then that's great for our team. If he's the sixth lineman or a swing tackle or something like that, that can also be very valuable to us. He's got a great attitude and we spent a lot of time with him before the draft and he didn't disappoint us this weekend with what he was able to do. We tried to put a lot on him in two days and he reacted really well as did the rest of our linemen that we had in this weekend."
On whether he sees Beadles as a guard or tackle
"He's played a lot of tackle and we see him being able to compete there and play there. Is everything perfect in that regard? Maybe not, but there's not a lot of guys who are. We think that he has swing versatility and can play inside or outside. Time will tell as we get into training camp and pads and the physicality of it with the movement and handling speed rushers and all of that versus playing inside where he's going to line up with people right on top of him all the time - or at least plenty of the time - which he hasn't done that much of. He's got a lot to learn and we'll have a lot of evaluation to go through with him in training camp and we'll see where he is then."
On If it is important for a quarterback and coach to look at the game the same way
"I think it's very important. Obviously whoever plays that position has a great impact on the team. The coach hopefully has a significant impact on the team, as well. You hope you share the same philosophy, the same beliefs, the same values. As much as you can, you hope your leadership styles are similar. I think that would be a benefit for every player in our locker room. We think we've got a competitive situation in that room. The leader of our football team defensively is (safety) Brian Dawkins and it will certainly be the quarterback on the offensive side and last year that was Kyle Orton. That's a situation where we wanted to try and increase the competition and hopefully we've done it."
On If he wants a quarterback that has a strong opinion and will voice what he likes
"If that's the way they lead, that's the way they lead. I think that I've had the opportunity to experience more than one way of doing it. I don't think there is a specific way you have to do it as long as it's effective and your teammates listen to you and they believe in you and they are going to do everything to help you win and to help you be successful than that's really what you are looking for. It doesn't necessarily mean they are looking for one style, I'm certainly not. I just looking for a guy that can affect his teammates and make them better and our quarterback did that last year and hopefully we'll have more than one that can do it this year too."
On if a first-round quarterback skews the competition at that position
"I don't believe so. I know the quarterback position is seen a little differently. (OLB/DE) Robert Ayers is a first-round draft pick and we put him in the mix and he competed. He and Mario (Haggan) and Elvis (Dumervil) worked strongly through training camp, in a rotation and it ended up being Mario and Elvis that played more than Robert did on first and second down. That's just the way that it goes. We told our team that the best players are going to be on the field. We don't care if they were a college free agent, a first-round draft choice or where they came from. We're just trying to get a view of the best team that can help us win. I think the same would go for that position."
On If ILB Akin Ayodele will be direct competition for Mario Haggan
"Mario will certainly be comfortable in his role as our middle linebacker. I think the one thing that you never can discount is the versatility of any player on your team, or your defense. If something happens to somebody along the way and we needed Mario to swing outside and if our next best player happened to be an inside linebacker then maybe we would put the inside linebacker in there and move Mario to ‘Sam' linebacker or what have you. And still continue to try to get your 11 best on the field. Maybe it's at a different spot but we feel good about Mario making that transition and he'll certainly start there in the spring and hopefully roll with it."
On Signing ILB Akin Ayodele
"It's depth. I think it gives up some versatility and he's been a very productive player in his career. He's played in this style of a defense where he's been uncovered, where the guard has been uncovered. He's had to do a lot of those things that we ask our players to do inside. I don't think it will be unfamiliar to him when he gets here and really gets going through the system."
On if Ayodele's signing was a reaction to not addressing that area in the draft
"It's not a reaction. I think there are always two things going on at the same time. Free agency doesn't stop just because the draft starts. We have a number of options and I think some of those options you say ‘If we don't address this, we will address it with other alternatives.' There are other alternatives, there are a lot of people that are still out there and available. It's just a matter of whether or not you think they fit your team. He was a guy that we evaluated and certainly because we didn't do much in the Draft in that area. It made sense for us to go ahead and do it."
On bringing Air Force DL Ben Garland in as a college free agent given his military obligations going forward
"It's a unique situation but he's a kid that is excited to be here and will work his tail off to try and create a roll for himself here. I think he cares about this game and being from this area I think he's fond of this place. His work ethic showed tremendously out here, on the field. There were times when he made other people look like they weren't going as hard because he was going that much harder but you admire somebody like that for what he's done and what he could continue to do. We will see what his role is when our team develops. It will be exciting.
"Like I said, if we don't bring him here now then it's a situation where you might not be able to have the opportunity to be as familiar with him. Now we know him, we know about him, we know what he's about, we know what we like about him, we know where there are things that he can work on and all the rest of that stuff. All the rest of that, going forward, I don't think we would have had the opportunity to have that knowledge of him had we not done it. He's similar in that regard to all the rookies. You bring him here and you try to find out as much about him as you can in a few days. It's kind of a whirlwind for all of them, but he did fine and we're glad we have him.
"I think if he didn't want to take the opportunity, he wouldn't be here, either. So I think it's a two-way street in that regard. I think we're really looking to be familiar with him, and as this whole thing plays out, we'll make decisions and he'll make decisions, and obviously obligations and all that stuff factor into it. He's a kid that we think fits kind of what we're looking for. He's smart, he's tough, he's the kind of person we're looking for and we think that he has got some versatility, also. It makes sense for us to bring him in and take a look and see what happens. If this is a down-the-road thing, then it's a down-the-road thing. But I would hate to miss the opportunity to get to know him and get the opportunity to evaluate him as a player up close and personal when we have the opportunity like we do right now."
On Denver's offense changing with Tebow's skill set
"I think I've called plays as a coordinator since ‘05 and every year we've been different. That's what the offense is. It's not one thing' it's not (New England) '07, which everybody seems to reference all the time. The offense is ‘Do whatever your players allow you to do because it's versatile enough and your players are intelligent enough and you team is capable of morphing into what it needs to be to be successful.' That is what our offense it. It's not ‘The spread.' It's not ‘This' or ‘That' or ‘The other.' It's not just being in the pocket. We had pocket passers, certainly (in New England), and guys that maybe functioned better from the pocket. (Tebow) will function from the pocket. That's where he will play. Now, if we choose to move him out of the pocket, which we did last year also with Kyle (Orton) on naked bootlegs and those kinds of things, then that's something that we feel like will help our offense. We are going to try to use the talents and abilities of the players we have to make sure that they are always doing something that they can be successful with. If he can do something out of the pocket and he deserves to be on the field - that's the biggest thing - then maybe that would warrant us doing some other things. But he is going to get trained the exact same way the other guys are being trained."
On using some of the University of Florida's playbook in the past
"The stuff that we did take - we didn't take a lot - but we took some things from Florida for sure. In Coach (Urban) Meyer's system and Coach (Dan) Mullen, we took some of the stuff that they did in their empty packages and some of their three- and four-receiver stuff that we kind of liked. That was back, I think, before the '06 season. They had some good concepts. They really made sense and fit in with what we did. We always try to steal good stuff every offseason whether it be from college or the pro level. It just so happened we took some of their stuff and we were running it today. They are just good things that can allow your players to be successful, and more of that stuff is from the spread-out formations or empty backfields."
On the team's punters
"The ball is traveling a long way out there between the two of them (Britton Colquitt and A.J. Trapasso). Both of them have strong legs. I think consistency and their ability to perform in situations where there is pressure I think is really going to be the determining factor in terms of how that all shakes out. We are very excited about how the way both of them are working. They are both very capable players at that position and that is why they are both here, so we think that the competition is making them both better. I think they are both kind of eager to win a job, but that probably won't be determined for a while. We are excited about both of them. They both really have a lot of ability and a lot of talent. Now it's about molding some of that into consistency and being able to do the things under pressure that we are going to ask them to do."
On filming Tebow at practice
"Really, every player, it doesn't matter what drill you're looking at, when you're out there, it's getting filmed. It's just the quarterback drills are better to see from the actual ground point of view. But everybody is getting filmed up there. We've got multiple cameras. I think it's just a way for us to look at his mechanics and fundamentals. We do that with every quarterback. When May starts, it will be every quarterback getting that look. It won't just be one. It allows you to really talk about the exact things that you're trying to tweak or fix, and every quarterback that I've ever had an opportunity to coach, you've had to change some things with them in May, June, August, and then even continuing to try to do that throughout the season. It's like a golf swing - if it's not right, it's not right, and if it is right, it's really good. We're trying to make it right. We don't try to make it the same, we try to make it consistent, which is the most important thing, I think, for a quarterback - that it's the same motion and the fundamentals are the same. When you watch the tape from that ground level, you could sit there and look at the film and say, 'That one was different than the last one,' or you see 15 or 20 in a row that look identical. Then you're starting to get to where you want to be."
On Tebow's throwing motion
"He works extremely hard, and he's a guy that can make some progress quickly because he works that hard."
On if Tebow is what he thought he was after seeing him in practice
"He's what we thought he was. First of all, he's a rookie, and he's made his share of mistakes out here, which everybody does. His work ethic is what we thought it was. Curfew is like a bad word for him, and it's not because he wants to be in a tavern somewhere. He's going to work himself into situations where he can be successful. That's really how he has done what he has done his whole career. He's shown us no different in the first few days of having him here and being able to work with him. There's certainly plenty to work on, and that's what we're hard at work with him on. He's responded well to it, and we've got a long way to go, but we think that if you put a guy with great work ethic together with some people that - hopefully we know what we're talking about - maybe we can make something pretty productive out of it."
On Tebow's offensive approach being different than some other NFL quarterbacks
"He had a lot of games where he threw for a lot of yards in college, I'll tell you that. He's not used to 200-yard games and one touchdown, he's used to a lot better than that. (Chargers QB Philip) Rivers doesn't do it the way that (Saints QB Drew) Brees does. (Colts QB Peyton) Manning doesn't do it the way that (Patriots QB Tom) Brady does. (Redskins QB Donovan) McNabb doesn't do it the way that any of those guys do it. (Steelers QB Ben) Roethlisberger is different than those five. To me, there's not a carbon copy that's being sold around the NFL and saying, 'OK, that's our guy, he's the same guy,' in 10 other cities in the National Football League. Just look at the quarterbacks that everybody was talking about in the draft. (Sam) Bradford is totally different than Colt McCoy, who is totally different than Jimmy Clausen, and all three of them are totally different than Tim Tebow. So quarterback is a position where you want a guy that is tough and smart, a great leader, has those football intangibles that you're looking for and will work hard to fix some things that maybe he doesn't do perfectly. If you get a really good passer who is accurate and can do those kind of things and he has all those intangibles, you've got some semblance of those players you just referenced. I don't think we're looking to try to make anybody, anybody else. Honestly that's not what we're trying to do. We're just trying to get good football players that can help our team, and if he rushes for two touchdowns on a Sunday at some point in his career, great. But that's just like if you've got a back that can catch passes out of the backfield and somebody else has a back that can't catch passes out of the backfield, they're not going to do the same thing."
On Tebow's arm strength
"He's got good arm strength. He threw well out here in the two days that we've had him out here. There' s been a little bit of wind out here the last few days and he threw against it and with it and it didn't seem to bother him. I think that's something that he did pretty well. We didn't throw it a lot because we didn't have a lot of legs so we didn't want to take too many chances and pull hamstrings and that kind of stuff."
On WR Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas' injury statuses
"We're not going to rush anything. They're pretty much going out and if not, we're not going to be worried about that...We'd rather that they be fully healthy and ready to compete than mostly healthy and thrown out there."
On his concern with players risking injuries playing other sports during the offseason
"We all have a responsibility and look, everybody plays basketball - I don't know if every football player does but there are a lot of people that do. You just hope that something like that doesn't happen and you hope that they don't do that and end up injured. It does happen and it will be handled internally and I don't think I'm going to put out a letter to the team saying they aren't allowed to play hoops during the offseason."