Quotes Provided By The Denver Broncos P.R. Staff
HEAD COACH JOSH McDANIELS
On whether the heat and humidity in Jacksonville will affect the team's substitution patterns
"We're going to take 45 guys and use them all - hopefully, you know, try to make sure that we're fresh - but I think we do that most of the time anyway. I think everybody is just going to be ready to play and ready to go and we're not going to go in and have some kind of abnormal substitution pattern implemented early in the game. If we have somebody who's been in there for a while and needs a (rest), then we'll put the next guy in and try to keep the guys fresh as we go through the game that way. Remember, everybody that is substituting for somebody on offense or defense is probably playing in the kicking game too, so it's not like they're sitting over there just drinking water all day. Both teams have the same problem, you know? If it's hot, it's hot, if it's humid, it's humid, if it's not, it's not, so we're just going to go in and play the game."
On whether Tim Tebow or Brady Quinn will be listed as the No. 2 quarterback
"Whatever is best for the team. Like I said before, I don't have any plans to activate three (quarterbacks). I think that mostly would take away from the kicking game - a player that could come and contribute in the kicking game. Just planning on probably making a decision here shortly towards the end of the week here and then playing the game."
On whether OL Ryan Clady and OL Ryan Harris will play on Sunday
"Clady will play. Ryan (Harris) is getting better every day - didn't practice yesterday, don't think he's going to be out there today, so we're going to see. We're going to give it all week and see what happens but Clady will definitely play - no question."
On whether Clady is fully healthy
"Yeah, he's not even on the injury report, he's ready to go."
On whether Clady's fitness is back to 100 percent
"We're working on it all the time - he's working on it all the time. He was here on the few days off running and doing different things to try to improve that. I don't think you can simulate game conditioning unless you're in games. That's why we played him in Minnesota, that's why we practiced hard the last couple of days in pads and he's been in there a ton and we're trying to catch him up as quickly as we can. If there's a situation where we need to rest him at some point in the game, then we'll try to be smart about that too so that he can play to his level of play and try to do it for as long as he can. We're certainly going to be mindful of that with a few players that haven't been out there as much. Our backs are kind of in a similar situation, our tight ends didn't have a whole lot of opportunity to play in the preseason games and there are a few linemen. Again, nothing we could have controlled during the course of the preseason. The best we can do is to get everybody ready and if we need to substitute somebody then we'll do it."
On Jacksonville WR Mike Sims-Walker
"I don't know if he reminds me of anybody in particular but he's big, he's very deceptively fast, he's got a long stride and he gets on top of you pretty quickly. (He has) good hands - they did a good job of moving him around a little bit last year - I think he's been in more of one spot this year than he was last year in the season. This guy is a down-the-field-threat. He's a guy that runs with the ball well after he catches it - he's hard to tackle because of his size. He's going to be a tough matchup for anybody. That's the truth and we'll try to do the best we can, change up how we cover him and try to make sure we limit his effectiveness after he has the ball in his hands but it's hard to stop him from getting the ball because they use him a bunch of different ways - underneath, down the field, outside, inside. He's going to touch the ball, there's no question about it - we've just got to get him on the ground when he does."
On holding plays back in preseason
"I think you've got to value your practice time. Our practice time is obviously extremely valuable to us and what we do out there against our own defense or our own offense or in the kicking game is important. It's critical and we've got to evaluate what we think of a scheme that we're using in practice. Now there are some things I think you need to go through the process of running them against somebody else so you get a look that might be foreign to your players so that they understand how to go ahead and adjust. The adjustments on the scheme are more important when you start showing them to somebody else and you haven't really done that before so we try to simulate that as much as we can during the course of training camp but I think if you feel really good about something and you have a pretty good idea that it's going to be a solid scheme for you and you don't feel like you have to show it - I think those are the ones that you don't go into the preseason and let everyone see it. I think there are a lot of new things that we did on offense and defense this year in the preseason that we did show and I think that's the same for every team. There are some new things they want to test out and I think that anything that is a big part, I mean like the core of what you do - you just do it, you know? You just do it and even if it's a change, if you're going to run it 50 percent of the time during the course of the season anyway, you're not going to hide it for long anyways so you might as well show it (in the preseason)."
On the confidence of RB Knowshon Moreno and WR Demaryius Thomas as they recover from injuries
"I think that again, with both players, I think it's just going to get better every day. Again, if you haven't been out there, it's hard to say that you feel normal, like you've practiced 30 days in a row. I think you just go out there and you push through it - and they are - and they're getting better every day and hopefully more confident in what they can do with their things that they're coming off of. Again, there's no timetable for that - when they're going to be totally ready, totally confident, feel 100 percent. Once the season starts, that's rare anyways so hopefully both players will feel good enough to be able to go and give us the production they can give us."
On Jacksonville LB Kirk Morrison
"I've had an opportunity to play against him a number of times, whether it be here or (in New England). He's a steady player - he's effective both in the passing game and in the running game, which there's a lot of inside linebackers that may be run stoppers that come out on passing downs or vice-versa - there are good nickel linebackers that don't play a lot on early downs. He's a guy that plays really every situation and he's very competitive in all of them. He's a good tackler - he's always been a good tackler. When he blitzes, or when they blitz him, he's effective doing that. He's a football player - he's a good football player that would stabilize anybody's defense if he was playing in that system and he's gone down there and I expect nothing different from him. He's a hard-nosed guy that plays tough and our defensive coordinator (Don "Wink" Martindale) is familiar with him from being in Oakland and had nothing but great things to say about him - and he is - he's a very good player, somebody that I'm assuming will help them out significantly this year."
On whether there are any benefits to opening the season on the road
"You'd love to open at home, but I think the fact that we've got a little extra time hopefully makes the end of the week less hurried. On a normal week, you're squeezing things in still on Saturday morning even though you're going to get ready to travel. This week, by the time tomorrow is finished, I think we'll feel pretty good about where we're at and what we have to do on Saturday, which is probably just going to be to review a few things and get on the bus. I think Opening Day in general is a great day. Everybody is nervous, anxious, excited and just to be playing on opening day is great. You'd love to be in front of our home fans but we'll see them next week."
On whether the team's practices on Friday and Saturdays will be shorter this year
"I haven't had any yet (laughing) - I haven't had a Friday or Saturday yet. I think you do what you feel like you need to do to have your team the best prepared that they can be to play the game and if that's to have a short practice on Friday, have a walkthrough on Saturday, if that's have a walkthrough on Friday and another one on Saturday, if that's skip the walkthrough all together, if you think that that is what's best to get your team ready to play as well as they can play, then you make that decision. Certainly, we'll monitor what we're trying to do, but we're only going to do what we think we have to do to help us play our best football."
CORNERBACK CHAMP BAILEY
On whether he's used to the Jacksonville weather, having grown up in Georgia
"Yeah, that's what I grew up in and I'm looking forward to it."
On whether the heat and humidity bother him at all
"No, I actually like the heat better. I could do without the humidity but the heat - it makes me a little looser and you don't really pull muscles as much in the heat."
On Jacksonville's passing game
"Well, obviously they've got a good quarterback because he's in the Pro Bowl it seems like every other year - that's one thing we've got to be aware of. He's multiple threats - he can run it (or) throw it and they've got good receivers so the passing game can be just as strong as their run game."
On how the Broncos' defense will make up for injured LB Elvis Dumervil's production
"Well, it's a new year and you never know where they're going to come from. Guys have stepped up well in the preseason in the absence of Elvis but we know what type of person he was and what type of player he was and we just need guys to fill in. I wish we could have gotten him back but it is what it is and we've just got to move on and keep playing football."
On the challenges of opening the season on the road
"I'll tell you what, it's going to be a true test for us because for one, they can run the ball very well and we need to be good in that area to be great, so I think if we can go out there and prove that we can stop their run game then we're moving in the right direction."
WIDE RECEIVER BRANDON LLOYD
On opening weekend in the NFL
"Opening day is a big deal - just kicking off the new season, having a fresh start. Emotions are high, just the emotions that are going through you. Starting the season and wanting to get it off on the right foot, so it is a big deal."
On how he keeps his emotions in check on game day
"Just remember to breathe (laughing), that's the key. Breathe, breathe. It's magical - the kickoff weekend and the flyover and just everything - the pageantry of opening week in the NFL is special."
On whether the game is more intense during the regular season than in preseason games
"It definitely picks up. Maybe that's the added adrenaline and the game in opening week but yeah, it definitely picks up but it lasts through the entire regular season - it's not something that's just on opening week but things definitely pick up, guys are a little bit fresher, not as sluggish from camp and then having to go compete in preseason games."
On Jacksonville CB Rashean Mathis
"He's physical, he's a Pro Bowler. They have a great rush, which allows him to take chances on balls and he's got great ball skills. He's able to take advantage of the opportunities if you do throw a ball up to him so you definitely have to be on your game with him."