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Questioning the Enemy: Denver Knows It Can't Be 1-Dimensional


*In anticipation of this weekend's game at M&T Bank Stadium, Denver Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniels and quarterback Kyle Orton participated in a conference call with Baltimore media.

Here are some highlights:
* Can an NFL team be successful being one-dimensional, considering your pass/run disparity? JM: "The Colts have certainly shown that you can, but we're certainly not trying to do that. We're not going to have great success long-term if we stay one-dimensional in terms of our effectiveness. We've run the ball 25, 26 times a game, but certainly nowhere near as effective as we needed to be. We're going to try to continue to work hard to fix those problems. It's a team thing, and we feel like our team is going to be a big part of the solution."

Does Haloti Ngata fit in the category of a standout player? JM: "Yeah, they have a lot of people that fit in that category. [Ray] Lewis certainly is a great player, as good of a linebacker as I'll ever coach against. [Terrell] Suggs is probably one of the top couple pass rushers in all of football, and has been for a long time. Ngata is – I think – playing as good as any defensive lineman in football. There's no question about it. We certainly have to be mindful of how we're trying to handle him, how we're trying to block him – not only in the running game, but in pass protection because he's shown to be very disruptive in both phases of his game. So, he's tremendously talented. Like I said, one of the best defensive linemen that we're going to play all season, if not the best."

What are your thoughts on the Ravens' top-ranked pass defense? JM: "This is a very sound, physical, fundamental defense. I don't think they try to trick you very much. They have good players basically everywhere. I know that people talk about the loss of Ed Reed certainly has a big impact in terms of his playmaking ability, but I think their secondary has played very well. I think their corners don't give up any big plays. They come up and they're good tacklers. There's not a lot of run-after-the-catch plays. The front seven certainly applies a lot of pressure without having to blitz. And then when they do choose to blitz, they're very effective in that mode, too.

"So, this is a team that certainly keeps you on your toes at every position and like I said, doesn't give up many opportunities to create a bunch of big chunk plays. That's something that we've been fortunate to be able to do in the first four weeks, and we're certainly going to have our work cut out for us against the Ravens."

How has Justin Bannan contributed, and why did you want to sign him? JM: "You always appreciate where players have been taught and where they're coming from. We have a great deal of respect for the Ravens and how they go about running their organization and the quality of people and players that they have, the way that their players are coached. We knew we'd be getting a really well-coached football player who was disciplined, who had fit into a scheme similar to ours, not exactly the same but a scheme very similar to ours.

"He's got great leadership traits, an extremely good work ethic, a guy that just totally fits what we're looking for in terms of a team player who is going to give everything that he has. [He] plays a lot of different roles for us.  He's been everything that we wanted him to be."

Do you anticipate Tim Tebow being active on Sunday? JM: "We always kind of go through the week of practice and look at that. He and Brady [Quinn] are both competing hard, and we feel very good about our two quarterbacks behind Kyle. We just kind of let that play out each week. Tim's been active for three of the four games, and Brady was active for one of them, so we're just going to let that competition play out. We'll make a choice at the end of the week."

**QB Kyle Orton

What are your thoughts on the Ravens' top-rated pass defense against your top-rated pass offense? KO: **"It's a good matchup. They play great pass defense, we play great overall defense. So we're going to try to stay on [the same] page and try to stay balanced. When we've got our chance to hit some throws, we've got to make the push."

Are you surprised about how well the season started? KO:"No. I thought we'd have a good pass offense. I really like my receivers. We've got a good group of guys that can do a lot of things. Every one of their numbers are going to go up. They've been making big plays for us."

What stands out to you regarding the Ravens' defense? KO:
"Really just a smart defense. They're never out of position, never in position to give up the big play. Certainly, they drop more people into coverage… Early on, I always thought Baltimore would be all blitz, blitz, blitz, but they actually drop more people into coverage than probably 95-percent of the teams around the league. They've got a great team, and they execute very well."

Do you need more from the run game to take pressure off you? KO:
"What it would do is take a lot of pressure off of everybody. We're working hard. Just because it hasn't happened the first four games of the season doesn't mean we're out of time. We can kind of create whatever identity we want on this offense. And hopefully we can get to that point."

Did your awareness of Ngata increase after the game against Pittsburgh? KO:
"Yeah. Certainly for the guys up front. He's playing about as good as anybody up front in the league. He's a force to handle, and we'll have to do our best with some double teams and get some help out there on him."

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