It was personal.
At least that’s what players told Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro on The Afternoon Drive after the game.
And when players take it personally, they also take it to another level.
“I had all the faith in the guys in this locker room. We prepped our tails off all week,” said Ronald Leary. “We knew this was a big game. The Cowboys are contenders. We took it personal them coming into our house. We wanted to show em we’re contenders also.”
No way the Cowboys don’t agree with that sentiment after the 42-17 spanking they received at Mile High.
And that was exactly what the Broncos were hoping to accomplish, Chris Harris Jr. told Shapiro and Goodman.
“We took the whole game personally. I think everybody was ready for a fistfight to show the world who we are on defense,” Harris Jr. said. “Nobody picked us. We didn’t get one pick. We wanted to show we’re the real deal on the secondary ...Just wanted to show them.”
But if the Sunday game showcased a much-improved defensive line and a much-improving offensive line, it also showed some serious gamesmanship and coaching up from the offensive and defensive coaches and their assistants.
Harris Jr. was thrilled to sing the praises of offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. Because the cornerback knows that if his offense is scoring points, then he and Aqib Talib are going to be busy as teams will be forced to go through the air to catch up.
And any team needing to air it out to beat the Broncos is going to have a really hard time getting clearance in the No Fly Zone.
“It’s great to have these guys being able to put up points, man. Mike McCoy is one of the best offensive coordinators I’ve been around,” Harris Jr. said. “Once we learn not to have costly turnovers at crucial times, man - at crucial times - and finish the game and step on people’s throats…once we do that, we’re going to be tough to beat.”
And that “tough to beat” component has really impressed Les Shapiro and Eric Goodman the most.
“That offensive cooridinator has milked all the talent out of the players on the offensive side of the ball,” Goodman said, adding kudos to Joe Woods and Brock Olivo too. “So credit to John Elway in hiring great coaches to maximize the talent on the roster. All really good hires.”
Shapiro - who had been skeptical of whether the Broncos defense could remain elite this year, even if mostly sure that it could - became a believer on Sunday.
“What turned my head was Joe Woods’ game plan on defense. It was great.,” Shapiro said, adding it bothered him immensely last season when Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison would run the same offense, play in and play out. “But here we saw Joe Woods – a guy with a great defense – still taking advantage, attacking. ...Joe Woods attacks. It’s kind of fun to watch.”
To hear the conversation with Chris Harris Jr.:
And to hear what Ron Leary had to say, give a listen to this segment:
Tough one - which coordinator came up with the better game plan?
This poll is closed
OC Mike McCoy
DC Joe Woods