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Press Conference Transcript - Practice 10/7


Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg

On Denver's special teams: "They had a big week last week. They've put Eddie Royal back as the punt returner. Those of you that have seen Eddie Royal carry the ball, you know that he is a threat. As you may recall, a year ago at San Diego, he had a kickoff return for a touchdown and a punt return for a touchdown in the same game. He's fast, he's physical and he's fearless. He's a really good football player all around, and he brings that to the punt return game. Now, they've also made a change in their kickoff return. Demaryius Thomas is now returning kickoffs. He is a big man that can run. Those two guys in themselves are both guys that have certainly gotten our attention based on their performance a week ago. Their specialists are real solid. Matt Prater is hitting the ball real well, and overall it's a really solid group of special teams guys."

On whether he would like to see some more explosive punt returns from S Tom Zbikowski: "Well, we're always looking for that. Every week that is something you're looking for. We'd like to [see that]. It's all a part of the process in my view. In certain areas of the field, you're more apt to get it. With certain looks your opponents get, you're more apt to get it. The opportunities have presented themselves. I think we've gotten decent returns out of them, but we're always looking for more."

On whether it takes just one guy breaking down to allow for a big return: "When you analyze the big plays that happened every week – and we do that in our special teams – we watch all the big special teams plays that happened as a staff. You look through them, and typically there's more than one thing that happens. It's kind of a perfect storm situation. I think that's the appropriate description of what has happened to them because they have real good coverage guys, and there's been a couple situations where perhaps a guy got out of position, or this guy lost leverage. But as I mentioned, they've gotten our attention. They've got some fast guys on their kickoff coverage team and their punt coverage team, and the thing that makes them good is the kicker gets the ball so high and so deep it gives them a great opportunity to run downfield. Their punter is playing very well at this time as well."

Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron

On what QB Joe Flacco's final TD drive last Sunday means for him as a QB:
"I think it's just part of his growth and part of the process. You know, you kind of joke, and you're only as good as your next performance a little bit for all of us, but I think it's just part of the process with any young quarterback. And obviously, it took 11 guys to get all that done, as you guys know. And you guys talked a lot about the guys up front, the guys protecting, the guys running routes; we've got to take that and transfer it right into this game. That game already seems like a long time ago, and obviously, we've got to take what we learned from that game, take the positives, and make sure it transfers into Denver."

On what he's seen from Broncos' CB Champ Bailey, and whether he's still one of the top corners in the league despite getting a little older:"Yeah, the age thing, I've never seen that from him. He's just always played solid. He's always been good. Obviously, he's been in that division for a long time. I've gone against him a lot, [and I have] tremendous respect. He understands the game. They're very similar to Pittsburgh in the respect that they've got a lot of veteran players, and it's hard to get veteran players on scheme, because they've kind of seen pretty much everything people do. So, they've matched him to some games, they've played him to our right in some games, they've moved him down the slot some games. You've got to come out and figure out what their plan is with him, and I'm sure they'll mix it up against us. But he's playing extremely well."

On whether it is unusual for a team to have such few sacks (4.0), as Denver does, this deep into the season:"Again, after four games… A lot of times, the stats right now on either side of the ball are a lot about who you've played and how your games have unfolded. If you've played a lot of running teams, you're probably not going to get a lot of sacks. So, I think there's a little bit of that element. And I think you can get lulled to sleep to thinking these guys can't pressure the quarterback, and that's not true. They've got the people to pressure the quarterback. And they can always – if they chose – to bring one more than you can block. So, we're not looking at this team on paper. We're looking at this team on what we see on tape. And what I see, I see a good defense with some good athletes."

On whether they still have other guys that can rush the QB even with the absence of LB Elvis Dumervil:"Absolutely. And I think they pick and choose when they want to pressure. There was the Indianapolis game… They're not going to get a lot of sacks; they're rushing three people a lot of the time, which was smart. They chose to play off and double, and I thought they did an outstanding job. And I'm sure they've tweaked they're defensive game plan, like most people do every week. I'm sure they'll have something tweaked for us that we'll have to be ready for."

On how much Flacco calls an audible during the course of a game, and if that's something that has developed more as he progresses:"We really do… First of all, don't believe anything I'm getting ready to tell you. OK? So, don't believe anything I'm getting ready to say.* (laughter)* We're straight on that? OK? So, the bottom line is, we don't audible now near as much as we did when he was a rookie. Now that may be true. OK? So, and that may not be true, either. There's no chance I'm telling you that, right? There's just no chance."

On whether Flacco has more freedom to audible at the line now than he had as a rookie:"Audibling is overrated. It really is. I mean, it's good to talk about, and I could sit here and let you guys think we do all this audibling and how clever we are and how tricky we are and all that stuff. It depends on how teams are playing you. Or the way teams are playing us, we're better off calling a play, making sure everybody knows what that play is and executing that play. That's what's best for us right now. However, we have the potential to audible every play if we chose, because we've done that."

On whether he is lying:"I'll put it to you this way – I think this is fair: With Joe Flacco, we audibled a ton with him as a rookie – I mean, over half the time. We could, if we chose to, audible with him every down. But if it doesn't fit who you're playing, why do it? And we try to tactfully mix when we do it and when we don't do it, but we also like just calling a play, especially with new guys, just get up and call a play. Read the defense and let Joe do his thing."

On whether there is an art to juggling egos:"It's a good question. It's really not something that you just address all of a sudden. It's a plan. We have an offense that we believe in. Our philosophy is if you're out there, we want to do everything we can to get you involved. I don't think there's a coach in this league that's staying here until 1 or 2 in the morning to try to figure out ways not to get guys the ball. That's the reality of it. You don't do what we do. You're always trying to do everything you can to get everybody involved as much as you can. Is there an art to it? Maybe a little bit. But I think… Here's my focus, and this hasn't changed since I was in high school: You don't know which play in football is going to determine the outcome of the game. And you can't be worrying about three or four or five or six plays. You've got to worry about that play that's called. The ball may come to you, it may not, and you've got to be ready on each individual play. I think the pros in this league, which we've got a bunch of them, focus on that play. Trust Joe, trust what we're doing and, when your number is called, be ready. I go back to two weeks ago when T.J. [Houshmandzadeh] has to make the one critical play to put the game away, and he made it. We, as coaches, look at that differently. We look at that as like five or six catches. Well, that's one. I understand all that. The numbers, in my mind, aren't as important as the situation. The situation tells you the most about the play itself. So that's how we look at it – technique, keeping guys focused on the details. Usually, [if] you do a good job, focus on details, execute your technique, [and] the game's over, usually the ball has come your way enough."

On whether statistics are misleading in regards to rushing attack:"Go back to last year. After four weeks, everybody was all… And I just said, 'Be careful now; we don't know how good these defenses are that we've been playing.' And so, we're trying to win the game. I feel confident that the approach we've taken to win games has been sound. We'll see. Maybe these four defenses we've played are pretty good. Maybe they're pretty good run defenses. I don't know that right now. My guess is they all are."

On Broncos S Brian Dawkins:"I have tremendous respect. I went against him when he was in Philly for years. I think he's a great player. And he's one of those guys… Again, people look at their age on paper, but you really can't do that. There are guys that defy chronological age, and he's playing like he's in his 20s, just like Champ Bailey. These guys play like they're young, and that's the important thing."

On whether it's impossible to keep three receivers happy:"I don't think it's impossible. I think if you look at the way these guys practice and the way Todd Heap practices and all our backs practice, everyone should be involved. When guys start missing practice, that's when it becomes a little more challenging. If our guys are out here practicing, it shouldn't be. I've never even thought of it as being impossible. Never have."

On whether any players have asked him for more involvement:"No one's specifically said that because there's communication all the time – communication through the week, [constant] communication. Our receivers come in at night – [as well as] a lot of our players – looking for the game plan as soon as it comes across off [executive assistant to the coaching staff] Megan [McLaughlin]'s desk. And then they're asking… And then during games, [they have] a lot of input. I get a lot of great input from these guys during the game. And they know – don't give input, don't suggest it unless you know it's for real, because I'm probably going to call it. And right now, our guys on suggestions are batting 1.000."

On head coach John Harbaugh giving him the game ball after the Steelers game:"In my mind, I thought it should have gone to the defense, because if it weren't for our defense in that situation, we don't get that opportunity [to score]. It was nice. But to me, our offense did what they were supposed to do. But for the defense to do what they did and give us that much time left on the clock, that was the hard part. And I think the offense, we would all say, 'We just did our job.'"

Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison

On Cam Cameron saying that he deserved the game ball Sunday: "I don't know how many we have left, but I hope he gets one every game. Give them to the players."

On Denver being "only" a passing team: "Yeah, don't believe that. His mentality… He's a really good football coach, Josh [McDaniels] is. He's not going to go out there and throw it every time. I think a lot of that came from the injury to their running back. They had some line problems. We fully expect – like every game – we've got to stop the run first, and we've got to do a great job. The difference is that they have done a great job in their passing game, so we're going to get the full deal on this one. Our guys are up for it. We feel real excited about it, and it's going to be a real challenge. That's why you coach, and that's why they play."

On Denver WRs breaking tackles: "The great news that we have going for us here is we get some of the best passes thrown against us in practice anywhere in the NFL. [Marc] Bulger sometimes looks like an All-American, All-World guy. He just… Wow, he completes more passes than you would want. Our receivers that we go against in practice have done a great job. Their wide receivers have done a really, really good job. [Brandon] Lloyd has had a great year so far. [Eddie] Royal is very, very quick. He's explosive. Their tight end is a good football player. We haven't even seen [Demaryius] Thomas much. He looks like a tight end playing wide receiver. They have a great receiving corps that we're going to have to do a great job against."

On the Broncos allowing a lot of sacks and the Ravens getting a lot of pressure: "Yeah, when you look at each game, I think we've left three sacks each game on the field. There were two times last game where if the guy would have stayed high like he was supposed to – he just got a little anxious – there was going to be a free hit on the quarterback. We've missed a couple of them, so we've left a couple on the field. They've just got to keep going like they're going. We just have to execute our blitzes a little bit better and our pressures. When a guy is one-on-one, we've got to make sure we beat them. We have mixed in a lot of three-man rush also, again, to give our secondary and our coverage part of it. I never get much involved in stats. The only thing I ever look at stats for is to see if it's negative, if it's something we've got to address, just like you just said. The biggest stat that I look at is: Did we do the whole thing good enough to win? That's what we're looking for."

On whether the pressures the Ravens have been getting are the reason for being the NFL's No. 1 pass defense: "Again, like I said, ask me that question at the end of the year. I really don't even look at that. We get a big stack of stats, and a lot of people look at them and highlight them. Honestly, I wouldn't even have known that if you wouldn't have said that. If we're really low or down in an area and somebody says that, then we're going to address that. But, we expect to be up there. I just look at each week, that each phase we've got to be up to the top, or you're not playing Raven defense."

On not getting many interceptions thus far: "Again, you look at that as: How many opportunities did you have to get interceptions and how many of them did you get? I firmly believe – I mentioned this before – they're going to come as long as we just keep playing like we're playing. There was a situation where the ball was tipped in the last game where Fabian [Washington] has a decision to make – to go lay out and get it and run head-long into Haloti Ngata or miss it. And I would have done the same thing he did – believe me – when I saw that guy coming at me. I'm not worried about that. Our guys are going to get that done."

On whether to expect DT Haloti Ngata to continue lining up mostly on the edge: "No. Haloti Ngata is a special football player. [It's] probably once in a lifetime that you have a defensive lineman that you can move around to where you need him. A lot of guys aren't quick enough to do that. A lot of guys aren't intelligent enough to do that. He has all of it. So, Haloti allows us to be able to place him in positions where we think we need help right there or makes us stronger. He'll go anywhere from the end to the 3-technique to the nose, just like he's done all along."

On the DE spot without Paul Kruger and Trevor Pryce: "We'll be rotating guys. We'll be rotating guys, but I wouldn't say that Haloti would be playing that end position all the time."

LB Terrell Suggs

On whether the Broncos' offense is one-dimensional:
"NFL game plans tend to change throughout the week, and it's whatever you think you'll be successful in opposing that team. So, I don't think they're one-dimensional. They have two great backs. We're just going to play each play with whatever they throw at us and just try to execute."

On whether he thinks QB Kyle Orton will drop back 50 times, much as he did last weekend at Tennessee:"That'll be a fun day. Anytime you've got a quarterback that's going to give you that many opportunities to make a play on the ball, you're attention to detail tends to go up a little bit. But like I said, I think the offensive coordinator's game plan tends to change from team to team. So, we've just got to wait and see what they do Sunday."

On whether Denver is a little different than this year's other opponents in that it has the wide receivers that can spread out the field a little more:"I think the only team that's different in that aspect is Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is the only one that's really going to try to line up and really knock you out, but I think a lot of NFL teams are finesse and they want to score a lot of touchdowns, and the best way to do that is to air that thing out. So, we take all of that into consideration, and like I said, we're just going to approach it and see what they're trying to do on Sunday."

On whether this is the kind of matchup you're looking forward to as a pass rusher:"I mean, I don't like to be labeled as just a pass rusher; I'm a defensive player. I just like to play football. Of course, I do like to get after the quarterback, but I also just like tackling."

On what has to happen for the number of sacks to increase:"There's really no genius answer to that question. We've just got to get there faster, got to get there more. And we definitely have got to get more turnovers, make more plays on the ball [and] make more picks. We've just got to keep going. There [isn't] a need to panic. We've only had four games; we've got 12 left. It's not where you start, it's where you finish."

On whether pressure can be as important as a sack:"Yeah, it can. Definitely, it's hard for a quarterback to finish a throw when there's people in his face. Naturally, pressure can change. And, like I said, we're all going to get better."

On whether the Broncos might run the ball more against the Ravens:"Definitely. They know we're professionals, and we see that they threw the ball 50 times. I think they definitely might try to switch it up and run the ball. But like I said, game plans tend to change team by team, and we're a totally different team than Tennessee. So, they might want to approach us a little different."

On what he has seen from Broncos T Ryan Clady:"He's solid. I think he's a better left tackle than what people give him credit [for]. Going against Clady, he's very strong as a point, very strong hands. So, I think he's a solid left tackle. I think he started since he's been there. Definitely, we've got our hands full." 

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