Quotes Provided By Denver Broncos P.R. Staff
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN RYAN HARRIS
On the dynamic between the offensive linemen
"I still think there's a dynamic of looking up and just seeing what the vets do and how we approach practice and how we approach games, but I think these last preseason games have been critical for us to both come together as a unit and also for younger guys to see what preparations are necessary and also what to pay attention to when we're in our meetings because a lot of things coach talks about with situational football come up and are the reasons why we win games. That's something that maybe wasn't focused on as much when I was younger because we had more established veterans but it's something that we've been able to experience and go through these last preseason games."
On how it feels to be healthy
"Yeah, it's a blessing. Every time I go out on the field, I'm happy to be there. Considering, you know, when you're crutching upstairs and you look on the field and you're like, ‘Man, I've got to block so and so,' and thinking about getting there from where you were is kind of difficult but to be back here - I take advantage of every opportunity every day. I'm so lucky to be back and going through training camp and stuff like that, so I'm happy, for sure."
On how close to 100 percent OL Ryan Clady is and what it means to have him back on the field
"I think he'll answer that in his time but I think his desire is definitely there. That's one thing we can see and it's just good to have him on the field again because that presence is vital (and) has been key to our success, so it's good to see him out there."
On QB Kyle Orton's presence compared to last year
"I just think he's far more competitive. He's got an edge to him, you know, and I think that helps us as an offense because the stronger our quarterback and the more confident our quarterback is, the more confidence we feel we have in each other. That's been one of the things through all the change and everything that's been going on. (It) has been a great thing for us offensively to make sure that one of our key components, our quarterback, is improving and he's doing a great job."
On how much he expects to play in the fourth preseason game at Minnesota on Thursday
"Hey, I'm expecting to play four quarters, but that's a coaching decision and it'll be good for me, just to go back - I'm from Minnesota so going back to the place where I watched football - I'll take every snap I can get."
On playing at home
"It's expensive (buying tickets for his family and friends to come to the game), but like I said, I grew up watching (former Vikings) John Randle, Randall Cunningham, Cris Carter, Randy Moss and all those guys. To go back to the same field, you know, 15 years later - usually there's turnover in venues but I think I'm catching the last couple years of the Metrodome so it's going to be cool just to be back there and be back home."
On whether he's ever played in the Metrodome
"Yeah, for two state playoff games in high school and also as a pee-wee, they had the big game there when we were in the eighth grade."
On working with rotating personnel on the offensive line
"Yeah, it was definitely different but I think it's one of the good things - we always talk about training camp being physical and mental (challenges) but it's also learning how to work with new people and that's definitely something that the O-line has had to do - both new people on the line and new people coaching. I think we've come out a great unit that knows how to work together, knows how to listen to each other and knows how to defer when that needs to happen, so training camp was good for us - it was really good for us."
On whether the offensive line is still in a transition phase
"Oh, I think we're there. I think we've made a transition and now it's just about improving on the techniques that that are needed to execute what (Offensive Line Coach Clancy Barone) wants us to do. That was kind of worked through during training camp and we're on the other side and I think last night we took a step in the right direction in the run game in doing those things."
On LB Robert Ayers
"He was drafted first round - he's a talented player. I think a lot of guys on defense are looking at this year as an opportunity with some of the things that have happened. He's definitely worked hard and it's good for me to go against somebody who's driven like that in practice because he just keeps things fresh and keeps things competitive. He was very competitive through camp and I think it shows in the way he's been playing."
FULLBACK SPENCER LARSEN
On the Broncos' run game
"Well, I just think that we're constantly trying to improve and assignment wise - just getting everybody on the same page and moving in the right direction and week in and week out, just trying to focus on being a physical team up front."
On if the team will be using more two-back sets this season
"I think that all depends on who we're playing. It depends on what we want to try to do against the opponent and if it's two-back, if it's one-back, if it's no-back... it just kind of depends on what's in for that week."
On the offensive line scheme compared to last year
"We did most of the same stuff at points here and there last year. It's just kind of, like I said, putting things together for that specific opponent and so the scheme up front now will change depending on (the opponent) - like Detroit, they're 4-3, running up the field and Pittsburgh is 3-4, two-gapping everybody. That changes drastically from week in to week out."
On how the injuries to the running backs have affected his timing as a fullback
"Right now, the holes are going to be there for whoever it is back there. We just hope that whoever it is can hit them. The timing and all that stuff will come - it always does."
On the importance of the fourth preseason game to players fighting for roster spots
"I was just talking to my wife about this actually - this is the most exciting and scary time for a lot of guys and my rookie year, definitely, it was just do or die in that game. Luckily I had a ball bounce into my arms for an interception and then special teams-wise - and that's been my message to the rookies is, just try to do everything you can to stand out on a special team. I had a guy grab me my rookie year and told me the story of Terrell Davis and I think they were out in London or Japan or somewhere playing and he ran down on a kickoff and knocked some guy out and that's how he kind of grabbed the coaches' attention. So, that's the kind of message I give to the young guys is just try to do anything you can to stand out on special teams."
On the Broncos' special teams
"I think we've got a lot of guys who like to do it and a lot of guys that kind of are trying to move into their spot through special teams and that's why you have guys like (LB) Wesley Woodyard and you know, (LB) Mario (Haggan) - his whole career was based on special teams, so he's a very vocal part of that - just making sure we understand the importance of special teams and not just focus on your offensive or defensive role but this is a crucial role that can help us and that's kind of what we're taking into it."
On only playing one position this year
"It's been different, since I've been (a full-time fullback) but it's been great to focus and try to improve drastically at what I'm trying to do."
On if he ever thought he'd be an NFL fullback
"I didn't foresee this, no - but I did foresee me trying to carve out a role, whatever it is in trying to stick around on a team in the NFL and so if it's fullback, it's linebacker or it's special teams, that's what I want to do because I want to play and I've really enjoyed it so far - it's been great."
On whether it's easier to just focus on one position
"Yeah, what's easiest about it is just the social part - being in a group, being with my running backs and developing relationships there and trust with guys - I think that's been the biggest difference."
On P Britton Colquitt
"(He's) exciting. He's stepped up and he's taking the challenge and done well with it. I'm really proud of him."