On spreading the ball around

“The plays we call, there is a progression to each play but the credit goes to the receivers for running full-speed routes. When you run full-speed routes you’re going to have a chance to get open. I think because they know we spread the ball around, guys are expecting the ball and that makes a big difference in how they run their routes. I’m trying to get the ball to those guys, get it in their hands and give them a chance to make plays.”

On TE Jacob Tamme making the most of his opportunities

“He certainly has. His role has changed this year. He caught 61 passes last year; obviously [TE] Julius [Thomas] has played well this year and Tamme hasn’t had as much playing but he’s had a great attitude. And when his number has been called he’s come in there and been outstanding and has a chance to play more down the home stretch here and a real credit to him.”

On how difficult a Thursday game is

“Yeah, it’s a challenge for both teams and certainly we knew it was on the schedule and [it takes] real discipline by each player to get themselves physically ready to play. Get your rest; at the same time, trying to study your opponent getting ready to play them. But there’s no question it’s a challenge.”

On if he would rather not play a Thursday game

“Well, late in the season, I think certainly the disadvantage is that you have an injured player that may or may not have a chance to recover in time whereas he might possibly play Sunday as opposed to Thursday. I think that is a disadvantage, sure.”

On the greatest offense he’s ever seen is and how it compares to this team

“I haven’t had time—I can’t really think of one that jumps out at me. Certainly I always enjoyed watching quarterbacks no matter who was around them. I enjoyed watching certain quarterbacks and the way the competed. In the middle of the season, especially coming off a good win Sunday with a Thursday game it’s hard to think about anything else besides just trying to do your job each and every week.”

On approaching some offensive records

“Yeah, the one we’re concerned with is our win-loss record. It tells you how competitive our division is that you’re still having to take care of business each week to have a chance to possibly when the division and that’s where our focus is. Our job as an offense is to score points, score more than our opponent. We’re playing the Chargers this week. Their offense is hot. [QB] Philip [Rivers] is having a great year. We have to score points and however we do that—running the ball, throwing the ball, kicking field goals, kicking 64-yard field goals—whatever we have to do, that’s our job.”

On thinking about going for records

“That is not how I’ve ever approached it before. I remember my second year or whatever, we were playing Cleveland late in the season and we had a touchdown streak going—consecutive games. We got down there late and hadn’t thrown one and we had a pass play called. They were dropping eight guys, [se we] checked to a run and got the touchdown and the streak ended. You don’t think twice about it. You have to do your job to get your team into the end zone—whatever that is. That’s how I’ve always approached it.”

On how the Chargers have changed since the last matchup

“They are playing well. They’ve gotten a couple of guys back from some injuries. [LB Donald] Butler, that was his first game back, he’s playing very well. They got [LB Melvin] Ingram back who’s a great talent. There are definitely some changes.”

On what has been a pleasant surprise for him on offense this season

“It’s still a week-to-week thing. Certainly we’ve had some new players at new positions and guys have done a good job playing in new roles whether it’s [C] Manny Ramirez or [T] Chris Clark and Julius. We’ve talked about those guys all season. But we’re continuing to work hard each week to try to continue to develop and eliminate mistakes and improve on certain things the coaches want us to work on each week.”

On seeing that growth

“I think we’ve gotten better in some phases. There’s still some areas we need to improve on.”

On overcoming double-digit deficits as a positive thing going forward

“Certainly the more situations you can face early in the season to get you ready for games late in the season I think it’s an advantage. I think we’d like not to be down by double digits. Get off to a better start on both sides of the ball and special teams. That’s something that would be a good time to start this week.”

On comparing notes with his brother Eli on the Chargers

“Obviously it’s a lot to prepare for in such a short week. There is plenty to study just on film when you are watching tape.”

On telling doubters to ‘stick [the narrative] where the sun doesn’t shine’

“I don’t remember using a plural term. I don’t know. We have a game Thursday so that’s old news.”

On the importance of division games

“We put emphasis on the division games. That starts with Coach Fox. I think that’s how he’s always approached it when he was in Carolina. Division games count double and I think guys have done a good job preparing for division games. This is more of a challenge with the short week. There is familiarity with players and with schemes and it does make it tough to prepare but I think our guys have done a good job preparing for these division games. It doesn’t guarantee anything but it does give you a better chance.”

On K Matt Prater’s 64-yard field goal

Happy for him, unbelievable kick by him—an NFL record. I think just writing it in just a couple words doesn’t give it justice. That record has been around for a long time, [K] Tom Dempsey and the guys that have tied—so just a real credit to him and [P Britton] Colquitt and [LS Aaron] Brewer. That’s a really awesome something to be a part of.”


 Quotes provided by Denver Media Department



On having Coach Fox back

“Coach, he was here Monday so we had a team meeting and a weight lifting session on Monday. Obviously he can speak for himself. I think you can probably tell how happy he is to be back, but the players we were excited to see him last Thursday when he came out to practice and we knew he would be back in full swing today and players have been excited to see him.”


On what it meant emotionally to see Coach Fox

“I can’t really describe the emotions necessarily. I know he’s excited to be back. You can sense that—that passion and enthusiasm. The players are excited that he’s back as well.”


On if it seems normal

“There hasn’t been a lot normal about this season by any means I don’t think. I wouldn’t say that.”


On Tennessee being one of the teams he thought about signing with last season as a free agent

“Yeah. It was a difficult process. You try to narrow it down to a couple teams. It takes some visits [and is] kind of similar [to] when you are getting recruited in college. You can’t go everywhere. I really enjoyed the time that I had with the Titans organization [and] really enjoyed spending some time with [Head] Coach [Mike] Munchak. I knew him a little bit. We played them all those years when he was the offensive line coach [in Tennessee] but enjoyed getting to know him. My dad played with Munchak with the [Houston] Oilers and then [I] enjoyed getting to know some of the folks in the organization. Had a couple of nice conversations with [Owner] Mr. [Bud] Adams and got to know some of their offensive coaches. They were first class. I enjoyed the process. Similar to college, like I said, you kind of almost want to go to each team for a little bit. Go play here for a year, go play here for a little bit but you got to make one decision. They were first class in the process and I enjoyed the time and obviously I chose Denver and I’ve worked every day to try to make it a good choice. I don’t think there’s ever a perfect decision in those kinds of scenarios but I enjoyed the time with them.”


On if he embraces the snowy weather for this week’s game and potentially for the playoffs

“Yeah. It is what it is. We practice in it. We played in it a couple weeks ago. We played in it a couple times last year and get to practice in it. We’ll handle it just like another team has to.”


On if he believes he’s a different player in the cold weather

“I don’t.”


On if he plays different in colder weather

“That’s not how I feel.”


On if wearing a glove has been a game changer for him

“It’s just part of the adjustment I’ve kind of had to make. I’ve said that I’ve had to make a lot of changes in this point in my career. I’m kind of coming off an injury and different team. It’s just been part of the adjustment so I don’t know what game changer really means exactly, but it’s part of the adjustment that I’ve made and tried to adjust and still working through it kind of each time that I wear it.”


On if he has tried various types of gloves

“I’ve experimented with them throughout my career even when I was in Indy. I never just quite found a pair that I liked so I finally found a pair that I liked. [Equipment Manager Chris Valenti] ‘Flip’ and [Assistant Equipment Manager Mike Harrington] ‘Harry,’ the equipment guys kind of researched and gave me some options. Found a pair that I liked.”


On if he enjoyed his SportsCenter interview with Anchorman II character Ron Burgundy

“I did enjoy it. I did it during the bye week so it was after we played the Redskins, right before that I think. We had some ties. The only way it was going to work out [was] do it during the bye week so [it was] a good time to do it. I think it’s hard not to laugh when you’re getting interviewed by Ron Burgundy (laughing). It took about 20 minutes and I was basically trying not to laugh the whole time.”


On what it says about the team in dealing with adversity and still playing well this season

“I think it’s something that you have to do in the NFL dealing with injuries. Like I said, we’ve had probably more than just the injuries to deal with. Guys have shown good resilience and just been able to kind of roll with the punches if you will. I don’t know what it says exactly I just know we’ve been able to adjust. Whether it’s another player stepping up or [Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Jack] Del Rio stepping in, people have been flexible and adjusted and stepped up. Then when those situations occur everybody else has to kind of raise their level of play and I think we have done that. I think it’s a positive and obviously you’d love for things to be status quo and normal but that’s not always the case.”


On how rewarding it was to see RB Montee Ball play well last week

“You always like to see young players play well and Montee has been thrown into the fire as a rookie. Some rookie running backs don’t play all that much, but he has been right in there and he’s done some great things. He’s certainly made some mistakes like all rookies do, all players do. I’m still waiting for somebody to break my NFL record for interceptions as a rookie—got to be a 16-game starter to do it though. Montee, he played well. He put the previous game behind him—it wasn’t a great experience for him. He’s worked hard. I think his continue to get better. You always hear about rookies kind of hitting that rookie wall during this time. This is well past the college season at this point and I haven’t seen him hitting that by any means. I think he’s got a chance to even get better down this home stretch.”


On how it affects him to get good production from RBs Knowshon Moreno and Ball

“It helps the whole team but as an offense you’re always looking for balance and certainly if somebody is hot you’ll kind of ride that wave a little bit. Knowshon was kind of hot the week before in the running game and you saw him getting the majority of the carries and then Montee kind of had the hot hand against Kansas City. The best thing about those guys—those guys are unselfish guys. They’re kind of all for whatever is working and whoever has got the hot hand. [Offensive Coordinator] Adam [Gase] does a good job and [Running Backs] Coach [Eric Studesville] ‘Studes’ does a great job rotating those guys in.”


On if he is eyeing the single-season touchdown passing record of 50 set by QB Tom Brady in 2007

“No not with the game we have this week. We’ve played some what I would call familiar opponents these past three weeks and we’re playing an unfamiliar opponent that [we] got to work hard to get to know them in a short period of time. I don’t know much about their offense, but defensively they’re a stout bunch. Tough against the pass and just not giving up a lot of points. I think they lost five games by one score—one possession—so that’s where our focus is and certainly our job as an offense to try to score points and that’s running the ball throwing the ball whatever it is somehow someway we got to try to score points to help our team win. That’s where the focus is and it’s pretty easy just to focus on that.”



On if he sees Titans Senior Assistant/Defense Gregg Williams’ influence on their defense

“It’s hard to say. I’m really still getting to know them. At this point in the season there are certainly a lot of games to watch and so it takes some time to get to know them and really see kind of who you think they might be. That they have good players. Their front is very stout, disruptive. [They have] fast linebackers and a really good secondary. Top cover guys and [S Bernard] Pollard is a great physical presence. I see a good defense that’s what I see.”


On how the team avoids a letdown in the final quarter of the season

“I agree we do break it into quarters and this is the first game of the fourth quarter and he (Head Coach John Fox) talks about trying to get into some kind of flow and rhythm and maybe get some momentum here in December. You can’t do that if you can’t get off to a good start. We’re playing a good team. A team that’s still right in the middle of it. Every game that they’ve played they’ve been in. Tipped ball here or there. They had a dropped interception last week that probably could have made the game go another way. I think it’s easy to focus on this opponent. Hopefully we have a good week of practice and transfer that to the playing field.”


On why the offense has been more productive this season

“I think when you’re kind of right in the middle of the season it’s hard to compare too much to last year. We have some new players here this year that weren’t [here] last year and have a new offensive coordinator so we’ve certainly had quite a bit of change. I think guys have been flexible. Kind of like saying earlier, guys have been flexible to adjust and try to make the best out of the changes and try to adapt and we’ve tried to do that. Still some things that we need to improve on and we like to improve on like to get fixed and be better down this home stretch than we have been in the earlier games. It’s hard to pick what particular things, but guys some individual guys have played really well at times. [WR] Eric Decker’s game last week was nothing short of spectacular and [WR Demaryius Thomas] ‘DT’ has had some great games. Knowshon the week before was just outstanding. There are a lot of guys that are just in the trenches that are doing great work every single week too. It’s a team, group effort.”


On how tight the circle of people was who knew where he was going to sign last year

“I tried to find a city just to hang out in that didn’t have an NFL team. That was difficult. I tried to go down to Miami for a bit and the Dolphins are there—that’s hard. Indianapolis has a team. I found a little haven there in Tennessee, not in Nashville, that gave me a little time for some peace and a little time to think a little bit. Certainly Ashley (his wife) and I had a lot of talks about it. It was going to be a big impact on her and our family as well. You talk to your parents. Obviously Tom Condon (his agent)—keeping him kind of abreast. It wasn’t a huge network by any means. You got to be pretty careful who you share something with if you want it to truly remain [a secret]. I went through that process. I wish I probably had a little more time to do it. You felt a little bit squeezed by the teams. I really didn’t like having some teams kind of in limbo based on what I was doing. I did not enjoy that with the draft coming up and teams had made decisions. It was just so not private. It was very public and it was definitely kind of a load lifted off your shoulders once you could pick one place. I remember just when I got into the weight room here I really felt like I could go back to some normalcy and work. I think just the timing of it made it kind of a difficult time in a lot of ways.”


On how difficult it has been to establish a routine

“It’s just part of adjusting, I guess. This is kind of the second chapter of my career and so I don’t really make a lot of comparison or say, ‘Hey this is how I used to do it when I was in Indianapolis.’ I’ve kind of stopped doing that—I think that’s helped to be more flexible and take the recommendation of some people that have been in this situation before whether it’s ‘Greek’ (Steve Antonopulos), who was John [Elway’s] trainer during his later years. John has given me some advice on the physical aspect on certain things. I’ve just tried to adjust. I think your routines do change. My Mondays and Tuesdays are a little different than what they used to be and that’s just part of adjusting. You got to be able to call audibles in all aspects of life and I think I’ve been able to do that. I’d like to get back out there on some Wednesdays. I do feel that it has made a difference for me physically and feeling a little better. All parts of the body. Greek and I have talked about that and that was his recommendation again this week especially with the Thursday game coming up and the short time. I try to listen to these [suggestions]. I’ve spent a lot of time with doctors and trainers and these guys are smart people so I try to listen to them.”

Quotes from Broncos media department



On the three week stretch of games the team is in

“We’re still in the middle of it. This is the last game of the third quarter. That’s kind of how we break our seasons down, into quarters. It’s been—there’s no question—it’s been a challenging quarter. We knew it was going to be that way when the schedule came out. The key is kind of how you finish—how you finish a game, how you finish a play and certainly how you finish this fourth quarter. It doesn’t get much tougher going on the road, playing a division team and I’ve always said its one of the loudest places to play. A team that’s got their backs against the wall too after losing two in a row, they’ll be motivated and they have a lot of pride as well. That’s kind of the challenge. How do we respond coming off last week’s game going to play a tough team on the road?”

On how tough it is to play the same team twice in three weeks

“It’s certainly different and there’s film study, you certainly study the game that you played against them. You study last week’s game they played against [San Diego] but you know that they could easily have an entirely different game plan than what they showed the first time. You prepare for what you see on film but also there are definitely a lot of what ifs that could take place.”

On if the Chiefs defense is still fresh enough on his mind to make preparation easier

“I think you have to relearn them each week. I don’t think you can just say, ‘Well, it was just a couple weeks ago that we played them.’ I think you really have to study them just like you were studying for the first time. Watch some of the same games that you studied the first time, certainly the San Diego game is new, our game is new but I think you have to—like [Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Jack] Del Rio pointed out—you can’t just get comfortable saying, ‘Hey, I know these guys.’ You have study them just as hard as you did the first time around. So from that standpoint, it doesn’t get any easier to prepare because they are such a diverse team scheme wise and they have good players.”

On not practicing the last three Wednesdays

“I’d certainly like to be back out there. This was [Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos] ‘Greek’ and the coaches’ orders but I’d prefer to be back out there and hopefully by next week that may be so.”

On an emotional boost knowing that Head Coach John Fox is returning to Colorado

“We’re glad to hear Coach Fox is headed back this way. Not sure we’ll get to see him this week but that’s certainly a positive sign for him and his recovery. I know it’s been a tough road for him physically as well as mentally being away from the team. We’ve missed him, he’s certainly been here in spirit but that was good news when Coach Del Rio told us that he’d be flying back this way today. The team was really excited about that.”



On his confidence in the younger running backs

“All of those guys are always ready to play each week. There’s no question that [RB] Knowshon [Moreno] has the most experience of that group and you just can’t rush experience when you have a first or second year running back. But whoever is called on to be in there, we’re calling the same plays. We expect them to go in there and do their jobs and we know they will if they have to. As you’ve seen, it’s still a running back by committee. Guys are playing at different times, there are some young guys in there in critical situations because that’s the way the game has flowed. So whoever is in there, we’re expecting them to do the job.”


On helping a younger back in a game

“I think certainly you try to help them out if you feel like they need it during the game. We try to treat practice like a game and maybe you try not to help them out as much in practice so you can find out maybe what they’re not as comfortable with so you can kind of know what you might need to help them with come game time. As I always remind guys, the test is kind of during the week in practice. Sunday, it’s not a test. I’m not going to not tell you something hoping that you get it right. Sometimes that’s a hard way to find out if you didn’t know it. But we try to treat practice like a game, with the crowd noise, with blitzes, going no-huddle. Coach Del Rio has done a good job of simulating game like situations—‘Hey, it’s third-and-5, offense needs a first down to win the game. Let’s go.’ And so it’s a game mentality from that standpoint. Certainly, when you are in the shot gun and you have a young running back, back there next to you, I encourage those guys to ask as well. If they don’t ask then I assume that they know. It’s been pretty healthy communication between me and the young running backs.”

On the difference in the Chiefs defense lately compared to earlier in the season

“It’s hard to say. They’ve battled through the injury bug like other teams have and certainly when you’re playing division games, there is more familiarity of players and San Diego played well. [QB] Philip Rivers played excellent—he was hot that entire game. He had to be hot because their offense was scoring a lot of points. Like I’ve always said, every game kind of takes on its own identity. You never know if it’s going to be a low scoring game or somewhat of a shootout. They’re an excellent defense, they have good players and they’re well coached.”

On Duke Head Coach David Cutcliffe’s accomplishments

“I’m real proud of Coach Cutcliffe and having been down there the past couple of offseasons it’s been fun to keep up with that team. Obviously I follow my Tennessee Vols every Saturday but I have a close relationship, its well documented, with Coach Cutcliffe and it’s been pretty awesome to see how they’ve played. I’m pulling hard for them to try to win this week and try to get in that conference championship game against Florida State. It’s been fun to watch. I’m real proud of him, the way he’s worked and really turned that program around.”

On how much he’s communicated with Coach Fox

“I’d say a healthy amount. A lot of text messages, a couple of phone conversions during the week—early in the week and then maybe later on in the week. Certainly, about his health, about how he’s doing but a lot about football as well. He has felt better where he’s had the energy to study the opponent and he can watch practice via the iPad system and so he’s giving me tips and reminders—things that he thinks I need to work and things that he thinks our offense needs to focus on. Those have always been very helpful.”

Quotes provided by Broncos media department 

Broncos: Peyton Manning Conference Call Transcript

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Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning addresses the New England media during his conference call on Wednesday, November 20, 2013.

Q: Can you talk about the relationship and rivalry you’ve had with Tom Brady over the years and how special it is to play against him? 

PM: That’s a pretty general and broad question, I guess. I’m sure you can check some old comments and old quotes. Hey, any time you’re getting ready to play the Patriots, you’re getting ready to play an excellent team. Certainly we’re focused on the defense and on the challenges they present. At the same time, you realize because of Tom being their quarterback, they’re capable of scoring a lot of points and a lot of points quickly. They put a lot of pressure on the defense, and so as an offense you feel like you better be on top of your game as well. 

Q: Does going against the Patriots feel the same way as it did when you were a Colt? This game, this week, all of it? 

PM: We’re just starting the week here. Played them last year, and this is just the beginning of the week, so I don’t know how I can really answer that. 

Q: What has Wes Welker brought to your football team this year? 

PM: Wes is just an excellent football player, and he provides good veteran leadership to our wide receiver position, and just a guy that loves football. Loves to practice, loves to work. He’s certainly brought great knowledge, experience to our offense. He’s provided good ideas, suggestions on different routes versus different coverages, just because of all of the experience he gained playing in a sophisticated offense being in New England and playing with Tom. He’s certainly gained great experience, and he’s shared a lot of that with us. 

Q: How unique a player is Wes Welker? When Welker was here, Tom Brady talked about the unique skills he brought to the slot position. What have you learned about Wes that you didn’t know before you played with him this year? 

PM: A lot of things are, I guess, I just probably assumed proven to be true. I always just – from playing against him and being on the other side, I always just kind of figured he was a gym rat. He loves football and just kind of loves everything about it, and that’s certainly proven to be true. I guess one thing that’s just been impressive to witness this year is his appreciation of the cerebral part of the game. He’s got great football knowledge, certainly just from all the different ways teams have tried to cover him, the different types of double coverages or whatnot. Just because of the experience going against that, he may know maybe the best way to possibly counter that, or a good a route to try to run against this particular defense, and so I’ve just had great respect for his knowledge of the game, and as a player who appreciates the cerebral part of the game, that’s been very impressive to witness. 

Q: You said a minute ago that Welker could help you guys with some insight into what the Patriots do. How can a player like that – 

PM: No, not really on that. All I was saying is just – because of the offense he’s played in, he’s got good football knowledge, and so he’s just kind of shared some of that football knowledge with us that he’s learned there, not necessarily insight into what they’re doing. 

Q: So that helps you grow your offense a bit, some of the stuff that he’s brought to the table? 

PM: Well, certainly Adam Gase as an offensive coordinator is trying to get – trying to call the best plays to suit our players, and so certainly Adam has talked to Wes and has studied what has worked for Wes in New England. Adam has definitely tried to make Wes make the transition to a new team as smooth as possible, and a lot of that is doing some of the things that he did in New England. 

Q: In regards to the success you’ve had on offense so far this season, is there anything drastically different about the unit this year as opposed to last year, or is it just the evolution of the system? 

PM: No, I think there’s a lot of things. Like I said, you mentioned Wes Welker, Adam Gase is the offensive coordinator, those are two major changes right there. Julius Thomas did not play last year, we have a new center, a new guard, new left tackle, the list kind of goes on and on, so I’d say there’s been pretty significant change. I mean, you have a new coordinator and new players, and that means new ideas, new plays, and so from that standpoint everybody’s really had to study and be on top of their game mentally. 

Q: Is it kind of impressive, then, that you’re on pace to score this many points with all those moving parts? 

PM: Guys have done a good job adapting. Like I said, Manny Ramirez played guard most of last year, he’s playing center. Chris Clark has stepped in; a real credit to him, he was kind of the starter during minicamps and OTAs [Organized Team Activities] and Ryan Clady had a contract issue and then was coming off an injury, so he wasn’t here, and I think that really served Chris [Clark] well once Clady got injured. Wes has adapted well, Julius Thomas, really for probably his tenth or twelfth maybe total as far as NFL experience, just hasn’t played much, and so it is a credit to those guys for kind of learning on the run and doing and executing the offense in, like you said, a relatively new system. 

Q: Has it been fun to play a career at the same time as a great player like Tom Brady and have some of the great games you’ve had against each other throughout your career? 

PM: Yeah, like I said, it’s just hard to think about too much in the past with kind of just what’s going on into now. It’s a new team for me, we’re in the middle of an extremely tough conference stretch coming off a physical game, going to play New England who’s just always been outstanding at home, and I just know that every game is just so critical in the conference right now, so it’s hard to think about anything else really besides that. 

Q: One of the things that the Patriots have done is put Aqib Talib on the other team’s top receiver. Do you have an offense that can negate that advantage, not only with Aqib but with any other team? 

PM: I don’t know, it’s hard to say. Every week, like I said, you’re seeing different defenses. But boy, he’s an excellent cover corner, and he did an excellent job on Julio Jones and, like I said, that shows you the confidence they have in him. He is just a top-notch cover corner; great speed and great size. 

Q: What makes this Patriots defense different than the ones you’ve prepared for in recent years? 

PM: Well, certainly there’s different players. It’s a credit to them, they’ve had some injuries, yet just kind of the next man up philosophy that you hear a lot of teams use, I’m not sure anybody does it better than them. Somebody else pops in there, and everybody else seems to kind of raise their level of play. They’re doing a great job keeping teams out of the end zone. They’re stingy down in the red zone and they’re just not giving up points, very few penalties, they create turnovers, so it’s a disciplined unit. Those are the things that you seem to see every year out of their defense.

Quotes from patriots media department



On if he’s anxious to get out and practice on Wednesdays

“You always like to be out there. I’m just kind of following [Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos] ‘Greek’ and the doctors’ orders. There haven’t been that many [Wednesdays missed].”

On if he feels like he has to step his game up when facing an elite QB like Tom Brady

“Our offense knows what kind of challenge our defense is facing going against Tom and that offense. We’re studying film all week of their defense and the multiple looks they give you. It’s been impressive. They’ve had a number of major injuries yet they really apply that ‘next man up’ philosophy and they’ve had some different guys step in and do a great job. But we know we’re going to have to be on our game offensively, because their offense is capable of scoring points, scoring points quickly, and certainly if you had a lead how quickly they’re able to come back because of Tom and that offense. So we feel like we do have to be on our game offensively in order to compete.”

On the philosophy behind aiming to be a quarterback that gets rid of the ball quickly

“It’s hard to say. I’ve always believed that quarterbacks have to be fast thinkers, be able to make quick decisions; kind of ‘fast-twitched’ was a term I was taught at a young age at quarterback, being a ‘fast-twitched’ thinker and decision maker. So it’s just trying to get the ball to the open guy. They talk about kind of lag time on a throw. In other words, if a DB is breaking on the ball, the sooner I can get that to that receiver, that gives him a chance to catch it, secure it, and possibly make a move on that defensive back. I’ve always worked on that—getting it to [WR Demaryius Thomas] ‘D.T.’ and all the guys as soon as possible. Getting it out of your hand I think it does help your offensive line. It’s not a case or a play where you want to hold it for 4-5 seconds. Usually anything over three seconds is probably a bonus in pro football today, so you have to make a good, quick decision post snap and use any kind of knowledge you can gain pre snap in order to get the ball out of your hands.”

On having faced Brady a number of times and people constantly comparing the two quarterbacks and their success

“We’ve played against each other a number of times. Of course we were playing them twice a year because we were playing them in the playoffs and they were in our division at one point back in Indy, back in 2001. We both finished first place in the division a lot. It seems like I sure do go there a lot—out there to Foxborough. I don’t know how that always works, I guess it’s always random they say, but it’s been strange how that works out (laughing). Like I said, I think it’s pretty well documented my respect for Tom as a quarterback, the way he prepares, just the way he is better each season than the one before, which tells you how he obviously approached the offseason, takes care of his body, challenges himself every single year. Those are a couple of the many things that are impressive about him as a quarterback.”

On how last year’s loss to the Patriots fueled the 2012 Denver Broncos

“It’s hard to say what it was. I think we realized if we weren’t going to stop making some mistakes, stop turning the ball over, having mental errors, that it wasn’t going to be tough to win, especially against good teams. I don’t know the statistics, but I do remember we had a chance early in the game to possibly get the lead and we had a turnover. I know we had some communication issues on both sides of the ball, and you just can’t have those things. But that was early in the season for kind of a new team—certainly a new offense. I feel like we did improve from that point on. But when you’re playing those guys up there, it’s just a tough place to play and you have to be on top of your game from an execution standpoint.”

On how colder weather affects offenses

“It’s hard to say. Certain games will provide different situations—from a defensive standpoint, from a weather standpoint. I do think that we do want to emphasize running the football from this point on. A: when you get into possibly a weather situation when it’s not ideal to throw it all over the field. And B: I think it helps our team. It provides some balance for our offensive line—a team whose not just pinning their ears back rushing the passer every single play, they have to honor the run. I think it helps the receivers, maybe that safety is not just focused on the double team and on D.T. [and he] has to honor the run a little bit more. I think those things can help our offense, it runs a little more time on the clock possibly and maybe doesn’t allow you to score as many points but if it allows you to possess the football and win the football game then that’s what we have to do.”

On facing PatriotsHead Coach Bill Belichick so many times

“I’ve played against Coach Belichick when he was a defensive coordinator a number of times—not a number of times but four times when he was there. Even though he hasn’t been the defensive coordinator, as a head coach it’s definitely his defense that they’re playing. You certainly feel like he has a great influence on the different defensive coordinators they’ve had when I’ve been there, whether it’s [Romeo] Crennel or [Eric] Mangini, and all the different ones and then [Defensive Coordinator Matt] Patricia now. They’re always well-coached, they’re always well disciplined. I think they’re fourth in penalties this year, which seems pretty consistent theme for their team. They don’t make a lot of mistakes or give you an easy 15-yarder, a 15-yard penalty. So I’d say well-coached, disciplined, and those are a couple of things that jump out about their teams.”

On if he’s adapted his game plan over the years when facing Belichick

“These are questions for him. Good luck getting a good answer from him on that (laughing). I’m not the one to speak on the theme. Like I said, every time you play their football team I would say you’re playing a well-coached, disciplined team and in my opinion, that starts with the head coach.” 

On if after facing Belichick 17 times he feels like he understands what’s going on in his head

“No, I don’t (laughing). I would not, I could not, say that.”

On WR Wes Welker’s impact on the Broncos this season

“Wes has a great work ethic and he’s provided good leadership to our offense. He was voted captain, which is a real credit to him in his first year. And he’s provided real leadership to that wide receiver position with some young players there. He loves football. He’s a tough guy. He plays through injuries. Those are things you appreciate about a football player, especially one playing in that slot position when he’s taking a lot of hits and playing a physical game every single Sunday. He always wants to be in there and is ready to go on the next play. So those are a couple of things I appreciate about Welker.” 

On if Welker has spoken to him about playing this week against his former team

“I think Wes wants to be out there every single week. I can’t speak for him in this particular week, returning to his old team. But I think Wes wants to be out there for the fourth preseason game if the team would let him play. It’s just kind of how he’s played his career out. He’s kind of a guy that just is going to be in there, doesn’t take anything for granted. I think that’s a pretty consistent theme of Welker.”


On what extra work a quarterback must do when playing in a new offense with new players

“I feel like the offseason work is important when you know you’re going to have a number of new guys that you’re playing with. At the same time, you just can’t simulate in the offseason what it’s going to be like in the regular season—different scenarios, a two-minute drill, a different third-down defense you’re going to see. You just have to go through all those things and you’re so much better the second time around. That second two-minute drill—I can’t speak for them but I know I know they had that successful two-minute drill against the Saints to win it and I’ve got to believe that was a result of something that came up earlier. All I know is when I’ve played with new receivers, every single practice, every single walkthrough, it’s just so important and trying to get on the same page, but yet experience is still your best teach. What you like to do is try to get as many different situations and experiences in early in the season and use those to your benefit in the second half of the season.”

 Quotes from Broncos Media Department



On if he was able get involved at all with practice today

“Yeah, I was able to do the walkthrough. I’ll go through some of the different looks and then was able to use the rest of the time to try to get ahead with treatment, just try to get a day ahead. I was able to be in all the meetings, and got a good start on these guys, mentally, which is important. They’re a new defense, as far as having a new scheme, so last year’s film doesn’t carry a lot of weight. So you’ve got to study based on what you’ve seen this season—some of their new players and new defensive coordinator. They’re playing really well on defense, no question about that.”


On if the Chiefs’ 15 takeaways this season jumps out at him about their defense

“There are a lot of things that jump out at you. Statistically, they’re No. 1 in all the major categories, but yeah their ability to create points themselves as a defense, and certainly not giving up points—those are certainly two that jump out at you. There is quite a list of others that is impressive.”


On how much he really needs to be out at practice

“You always like to be out there. You like to be out there with your teammates; you’re always working on timing with your own guys, certainly seeing all the different looks. Mentally, be on top of things through the films and through the walkthroughs I believe. But you certainly want to be out there, in my opinion, to keep your timing sharp with all your receivers.”


On if he thinks he could be prepared for a game without practicing at all during the week

“I’ve never done that before so it’s hard to do the hypothetical. Yeah, I probably feel like I could do it but it kind of goes against what I believe in. I believe in practice, I believe there is a reason for it. So it’s certainly my preference to be out there, but at the same time I’m trying to do what’s best for the team and in order for me to get healthy.”


On what treatment he is going through

“Oh, I don’t know how specific we can get into that. We’ve got to protect the privacy act and all those things (laughing). I’m doing various treatments in order to try to get healthy.”


On if they’ve talked about adjustments he can make to speed his recovery and avoid further injury

“We certainly talked about it on Monday, and what the plan was. It happens with a lot of guys—[CB] Champ [Bailey] and [WR] Wes [Welker]. I don’t know if it’s an age bracket thing or what, but I’ve made a lot of adjustments in these past two years. It just a point and time in my career and this is just another one of them. I think it makes sense and I think I’ll be better for it.”


On what jumps out about the Chiefs

“They have good players. I think that’s always one thing that jumps out. They’ve got speed guys, they’ve got strong guys that are athletic, a lot of them can drop in coverage as well, which tells you about their athleticism. You could go on and on. They’re doing a good job, I’ll tell you that.”


On if there is concern about having to make adjustments to not get hit

“It’s football. It’s part of football. Every week you go out and you never know what type of identity a game is going to take on. Everybody is fighting every single play to do their job and that’s all they have to do. We’ll have our hands full this week against these guys; they’ve got good guys in the secondary that cover well. They’ve got good linebackers—[Derrick] Johnson who is an instinctive, active linebacker, and we’ve talked about the guys up front. So you can’t go on and on enough about the accolades their defense deserves, it’s our job to get ready to play a good defense.”


On why WR Demaryius Thomas has been so effective with the bubble screen passes

“He’s got great speed and he gets the ball in his hands and he’s got a good feel for reading those blocks, which I think is a gift there. It’s not going to be the same every single time, so he’s got a good feel for reading runs. It probably goes back to all the runs he had to practice at Georgia Tech—they threw it like one time every three games (laughing). So he probably had to learn a lot about reading blocks for the running backs. But boy, he gets it in his hands and he’s got great speed and power and it’s fun to watch once he gets it in his hands, I’ll say that.”


On if the magnitude of this game affects him

“It’s a big game because it’s a division game. I know there are a lot of other things that go into it, but it’s an AFC West game. It’s our first time playing the Chiefs and we play them two out of three weeks, which is kind of unique from a scheduling standpoint. It’s kind of different only playing our third division game this late in the season. That’s why it’s important, and that’s why all of our players, including myself, are working as hard as we can to be ready to go.”


On if he’s confident that he will definitely play this Sunday

“I am, yes.”


On if he’d be able to play if the game was today

“Yes. They’re not going to Wednesday games already, are they (laughing)?”


On if he’s noticed the Chiefs have blitzed less recently than earlier in the season

“Yeah, it’s hard to say. I think it certainly depends on who they are playing; you never know what their game plan is to take away certain things. They’re coming off a bye week, they’ll be fresh. I’m sure there are certain things, defensively, they haven’t shown yet, even in this first half of the season. So you’re still preparing for some ‘what ifs.’ So that makes it even more of a challenge.”


On if there is anything more he could be doing to protect himself in games

“I’m all for some suggestions if you’ve got any. I think I’ll be OK.”

On several prominent quarterbacks getting injured rcently

“Yeah, I don’t like talking about all that. I don’t know what the trends are of other places; I never like to see quarterback get injured, I will say that. I think quarterbacks are kind of a unique fraternity and you kind of pull for one another—maybe not when you’re playing against them that day. [Chicago QB Jay] Cutler’s been injured, I know [Packers QB Aaron] Rodgers is out. As a quarterback, you don’t like to see those guys get injured; you hope they get back out there as soon as they can.”


On how important RB Knowshon Moreno has been in the passing game this season

“Extremely important. We’ve been talking about Knowshon in the running game, but in the passing game he’s been critical. He’s catching those short passes and he’s getting north. He’s making that first guy miss sometimes and a lot of times just taking it to first-and-10 and keeping it at a first-and-10. I think he’s got a good feel for where the defenders are around him, kind of before he catches it, which I think is a special gift, not just catching it and turning right into a defender. Knowing where to turn away. I think he’s got a special feel on those option routes to find the best hole or zone in the coverage. He’s been critical in the passing game, I will say that.”

Quotes provided by Broncos media department



On the differences with Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio filling in for Head Coach John Fox

“I think Jack has been excellent these past two days. We’ve had two team meetings—Monday and today—and we’ve had two practices. It’s very easy to see why he’s been a head coach for 10-plus years. He’s got great leadership, good command of the room and Jack’s a good leader. I think guys will answer the bell and follow him. He’s pointed out some things that he wanted us to improve on—offensively and defensively—[and] added a couple of situations to practice that he thinks we need to focus on and emphasize. I think guys will answer the bell and rally around him. Coach Fox is in our thoughts and prayers. It is probably impossible to replace Coach Fox’s high energy, charisma [and] personality. So that cannot be replaced by one guy and Coach Del Rio mentioned that. All of the players, everybody has to try to step that up in that department to fill that void we have from Coach Fox. But our thoughts and prayers are with him to get better. He wanted me to make it known that after he got light-headed and sort of semi-fainted he did chip it to two feet and made par on that hole. He wanted that to be known (laughing). So that tells you Coach Fox’s attitude and personality and obviously he’s in our thoughts and prayers like [Executive Vice President of Football Operations] John Elway said, it’s his health and his long-term health—that’s the number one thing of importance right now.”


On taking it upon himself to motivate more

“I think everybody has got to do that role. Like I said, Coach Fox, that’s one of his great strengths. Everybody has to do that at the same time, when it’s time to work out there, guys are working and we’re following Coach Del Rio’s lead. But I think that has to be a team thing as far as replacing that.”


On how much more he talks to Del Rio

“It certainly has increased more. Jack and I have always had communication. I’ve always asked him questions about how a defense may react to a certain play or what they may do. But I think it’s increased even more. Certainly he’s talked about certain things situationally that he thinks we need to be ready for and so it’s been good communication. I’ve enjoyed learning from him and I look forward to following him like the rest of the players during this time.”

On having a few days with the bye to process losing Coach Fox for a while

“Yeah, it’s possible. I don’t think you’re ever ready for your head coach not to be here, to be going in for major, major surgery. So I don’t think there is ever a good time for that. It was a scary Saturday of the bye week and any player, any coach that’s going through something like that and just realizing how serious and severe the surgery that he was going to have to go through—it’s been a tough time for our time. But we are glad to hear that it sounds like he’s come through it OK. We know he’s got still a long fight ahead of him.”


On how much he will keep in touch with Fox

“I talked to Robin, his wife, yesterday. It is hard for Coach Fox to give up his cell phone but I think he has to do it right now during this time. I’m not sure that’s part of the rehab process. So I haven’t spoken to him since the surgery so I’m not sure how much communication he’s had with anyone since the surgery. I talked to him Saturday and Sunday before the surgery and I spoke with Robin on Tuesday. So, yeah, we’ll certainly—everybody will stay in touch with him. He called all the captains on Saturday and Sunday to kind of tell them what’s going on. I know he and Jack will have great communication as he will with John as well, I’m sure.”

On San Diego Chargers Head Coach and former Broncos Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy

“Mike was great for me. I just can’t tell you how indebted and grateful I am for the support Mike gave me. He and I spent a lot of time together. We kind of put together a hybrid offense last year—a combination of some of the Colts stuff, some of Mike’s stuff, some of, I guess, [Patriots Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach] Josh McDaniels’ New England stuff. It was really a hybrid last year. It was pretty rare for the offensive success we had in that short period of time when you are putting an offense together and have new quarterback and a coordinator working together for the first time, it doesn’t work that well, that often. So it’s a real credit to Mike for making it work and being the leader of our offense last year. He was great for me on Sundays, talking in my ear, great for me talking situations out here on the practice field, on the sidelines during games. I’m very, very indebted to him and certainly happy—not surprised—that he’s a head coach. He deserves the opportunity.”

On McCoy’s familiarity with the Broncos’ offense

“That’s just something that is common in football all the time. When you have players that you played with and you have good assistant coaches that you’ve played for it’s just a matter of time. Tom Telesco was an assistant executive general manager for us (Indianapolis) and now he’s the head GM (in San Diego). So I’m happy for those guys and that’s just part of football.”

On G John Moffitt

“Yeah, we’re sorry—we’re going to miss John. John was a good guy. Obviously, he’s doing what he feels is best for him.”

Quotes provided by Broncos media department



On if it was hard not practicing

“It was. It was [Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos] ‘Greek’s’ call. I can assure you I didn’t go down without a fight but hopefully use the day to get a little better, feel a little better tomorrow and look forward to hopefully being out there tomorrow.”

On Wednesday being his first missed practice in Denver

“Since being here in Denver? I believe so, I believe it is.”

On his ankle

“I know the government is shut down right now but I still firmly believe in HIPPA (laughing) and so I will refer all questions to the injury report. You can talk to ‘Greek’ and good luck getting that interview.”

On waiting to break out that line

“I’ve used it before (laughing). Like I said, I believe in it and I practice it.”

On his biggest concern after watching the tape from Indianapolis

“We just have to be more consistent. We did some good things at certain time but just weren’t as consistent as we needed to be and that’s what you have to do in order to win football games, especially on the road. I thought the mistakes that we made on offense were correctable, which is a good thing. But we have to do it. We talk about it in meetings and try to correct in practice but you have to correct it on the playing field on Sunday and hopefully we can get that done.”

On if a loss can cause you to re-focus

“I’m not sure about that. There are some positives from the game that we can build and certainly guys were disappointed but I think everybody has been able to hit the reset button and focus on the next opponent. The Redskins don’t care what happened to us on Sunday. It’s about having a good week of practice this week and playing against a team that’s got a stingy defense on third down—they’ve created a lot of turnovers. They have excellent pass rushers; they have a middle linebacker (LB London Fletcher) that’s seen everything in the book and their offense—sounds like they’re getting hot right now as well.”

On his status for Sunday

“I plan on being out there tomorrow so I’m going to start there.”


On the biggest correction to make in the protection

“Against these guys, I think it’s important to be able to identify their different defenses. They’re a versatile defense, they have outside pass rushers, they can drop in coverage, they can cover and also rush. I think identifying their different defenses and the different looks they can give you and being on the same page in the mental aspect allows you to play fast and to have more confidence in what you’re doing in the physical aspect. Like any other team, we’re dealing with the injury bug. We have some different guys playing different positions. Everybody has to deal with that and I think when that’s the case, everybody else has to raise their level of play to help some of those new guys. That’s something we need to do this week.”

On playing at home helping the offensive line

“I can’t speak for that, you have to ask those guys those questions. I think playing at home, playing on the road, either way you still have to identify different defense and everybody—playing quarterback, receiver—you still have to do your job from the physical aspect. I don’t think it really should matter home or away.”

On his relationship with Redskins Executive Vice President/Head CoachMike Shanahan

“I’ve known Coach Shanahan for number of years. I played in a Pro Bowl for him and really enjoyed that week. I know it’s just one week and it’s an All-Star game but you can see why he’s been such an outstanding coach. His football knowledge—I enjoyed talking some football with him. You just see how detailed and organized he is in that short week. I’ve always enjoyed the chances I’ve gotten to be around him whether it’s some type of offseason banquet or, like I said, that Pro Bowl. I’ve had the chance to shake his hand after the times I’ve played him and I’ve just always had a great respect for him.”

On how to remain being Peyton Manning when his body isn’t 100 percent

“I’m not sure. I’ve never used the third person so I don’t know how to answer that question (laughing). I don’t know what that is, that’s  just being normal I guess. It’s a physical game out there and I don’t know who in their 16th year feels 100 percent at any point. But I’ve been hit a lot, I’ve taken big hits. That’s part of playing football—getting up, getting back in the game. There’s an opportunity right there in front of you on that next series to get back in and go play. That’s what I’ve always tried to do.”

On if he used Shanahan’s advice in choosing Denver

“I talked to Mike and [Washington Offensive Coordinator] Kyle [Shanahan] when I came out here to visit Denver. That was very early in the process. I was just sort of getting a feel. I know I’ve said it before I came out here to Denver—because I knew [Executive Vice President of Football Operations] John Elway and [Head] Coach [John] Fox—but I feel comfortable talking to them in [what was] a very new and different situation for me. Mike Shanahan very much fit into that same category. He’s a guy that I knew and respected and had a football relationship with and I enjoyed sitting down with him and Kyle. [We] talked a lot of football. I enjoyed picking Kyle’s brain and was impressed with him. Right around that time was when they made that trade and so things changed real fast. They were kind of in a different position after the meeting than maybe before when we scheduled the meeting. It was because of Mike Shanahan being there that I even set that meeting and had a consideration for the Redskins.”

On if he’s glad it’s someone else’s homecoming this week

“I played against Mike Shanahan when he was the head coach at Denver and I know what a great coach he was here. I can’t speak for anyone else on those types of situations. I think it’s very much a personal thing. I know he’s going to have his team ready to play is what I know.”

On LB London Fletcher who entered the NFL in 1998 with Manning

“Two-hundred and forty-five consecutive games as a starter—that really tells you all you need to know about London Fletcher. Playing middle linebacker, always answering the bell every Sunday tells you two things: how tough he is, there’s no question he’s dealt with injuries during his career but he always answers the bell. But also what a professional he is [in] taking care of himself. Being a pro, being there for his teammates every Sunday. It’s extremely impressive. There are only a few of us left in that 1998 draft/free agent class. London has seen everything in the book. I’ve played against him a number of times and he’s a great veteran. He’s smart—gets those defenses lined up. I’ve played against him in St. Louis, Buffalo and Washington so this is the first time I’m in Denver and he’s in Washington. So it seems like it’s a different matchup every time we play but have great respect for him.”


On the top characteristics he looks for in a backup quarterback

“Obviously that’s a coaches and personnel decision but certainly in the meeting room and on the practice field I’m always talking to quarterbacks and [QB] Brock [Osweiler] and I communicate a lot during the game Sunday. There are certain things that he sees out there during the game from the sideline that he’ll communicate to me. During meetings we’re talking a lot—asking each other questions. He’ll do some studying of maybe a game that’s from last year or the preseason and he’ll kind of discuss what he saw from that film that might be able to help us. He and I are helping each other out here on the practice field— different drills and working with each other. That’s what all quarterbacks I think are always trying to helpeach other but brock he’s been great and he’s been a real pro.”

On if he values the backup more now than when he was younger

“The backups then were older than me. I had Mark Rypien, Kelly Holcomb, Bill Musgrave, there’s a name from the past. All these guys are coaches now which is kind of scary. Obviously I’m older than them. Any questions they have for me I’ve always been glad to answer as far as helping them but I’m always counting on those guys to help me as well. You never stop learning and so I think it works both ways.”

On Redskins QB Robert Griffin III

“I haven’t seen a lot of their offensive film this year so I can’t give you a great answer there but it sounds like their offense has heated up. They scored 40-something points against a good Chicago Bears defense. He’s a great player and will be a great challenge I guarantee you that.”


Quotes provided by Broncos Media Department



On if he thinks Colts Owner Jim Irsay’s comments to USA TODAY were fair

“I don’t have any answer for you on that or any comment on any of that.”


On how he thinks he will feel during the game in Indianapolis

“It’s hard to predict how I will feel, emotionally. Football certainly is an emotional game, but to predict how you will feel? I just don’t know. All I know is this week, as far as Wednesday, today, what I’m doing to prepare—that’s all I can do. To be to 52 other guys that are counting on you, coaches that are counting on you—to be prepared to play a good football team, a good defense, a team that—it may sound strange—that is unfamiliar. It’s an unfamiliar opponent, a lot of guys that I’ve never played against and certainly a new scheme. How I’ll feel walking into the stadium? I can’t tell you that right now. I’ll probably know after the game [but] I probably may not tell you that after the game either (laughing). It’s just too hard to predict.”


On the Colts honoring him before the game

“I don’t know what that really is going to be. I don’t think that’s going to change kind of the pregame preparation for what you have to do to get ready to play.”


On what it’s like preparing for his old team

“Well, it’s no question it’s unique. As far as when you’re in the meeting rooms, and you’re watching film, you’re certainly familiar with some of the guys, but not many of them. There are a lot of guys on that team that could care less about my time in Indianapolis. There are a lot of guys on this team that could care less about my time somewhere else. But when you see a [LB] Robert Mathis, or an [S] Antoine Bethea—guys that you’re close to, guys that you played in some huge games with—there really is a bond there. But when you’re getting ready to play them, on film it’s a challenge. Somebody asked me earlier, ‘Is this kind of like playing against [New York Giants QB] Eli [Manning]?’ And I said, ‘I know Robert Mathis hits harder than Eli (laughing). I guarantee you that.’ So it’s different from that standpoint; and trying to keep the ball away from Bethea and we’re beat up in the offensive line and playing against a premiere pass-rush team. So that’s all I know to do—prepare from that standpoint. But yeah, to say it’s unique, that’s absolutely a true statement.”


On some of the Colts wanting to get a chance to sack him

“That’s something, if I could avoid, I’d be in favor of it, but it would be a challenge. Like I said, we finished the game against Jacksonville with our right guard (Louis Vasquez) playing tackle. Our starting left tackle (Ryan Clady) has been out for the season and we’re playing in one of the loudest places to play, if not the loudest, against a great pass-rush team. We’ve got a great challenge from that standpoint.”




On what message he has for the Indianapolis Colts fans

“Well, to tell you the truth I don’t really feel like I have to take this Wednesday press conference platform to give a message to those fans, because the truth is I’ve never stopped communicating with them. I still get back to Indianapolis. I still communicate with a lot of fans that I see at Broncos games wearing Colts jerseys. I still get a lot of mail from folks in Indiana that I correspond with. I call a child, maybe in the hospital. I still obviously have a very strong association with the children’s hospital there and have that fundraiser there every year for 1,000-something people. So I really feel that I’ve never stopped. And I don’t play there anymore but I’ve always continued to communicate and have enjoyed those times when I see somebody from Indiana in a hotel, or an 18 Colts jersey out here at practice. There’s always a connection there. So I think to have to deliver a message means that I’ve been gone—and I really don’t think that I have—but I guess if you need one catch phrase for your news tonight I would just echo what I said back in March 2012 that boy I sure did enjoy being their quarterback for 14 years.”


On Colts QB Andrew Luck

“There is not much that I need to add that hasn’t been said. He’s an extremely talented player that played as a rookie, which is not easy, but he certainly used that year—not only did he play well his rookie year but he used it to his advantage to be even better this year. He’s off to a hot start. Our defense is in for a tough challenge. From an offensive standpoint, you’re dealing with their defense, which I think is plenty. I think [Defensive Coordinator Greg] Manusky does a great job. They’ve got different schemes, active linebackers and a secondary, a great pass rush. But you know you’re going to have to find some ways to score some points because their offense is capable of scoring a lot of points as well.”


On if he thinks this will be a game where he takes a few moments to reflect and soak it in

“Yeah, I mean, possibly. It’s just too hard to predict. If all I had to do was to walk in here and waive, and sign some autographs, and kiss a few babies and smile it would be easy. But I’ve got to figure out how to stay away from Mathis and complete some passes on [CB Vontae] Davis and [CB Greg] Toler and [CB Darius] Butler who are I think really good cover corners. So from that standpoint I think you’ve got to—football is an emotional game, there is no doubt about it. I can’t tell you what emotions I’ll feel, sitting here on Wednesday. But all I know to do is to get as prepared as I possibly can because I owe that to a lot of guys who are counting on me.”


On if he’s happy how everything turned out since being released by the Colts

“Well, I’ve worked hard in this new chapter of my football career. I’ve put a lot of time in and it’s been extremely difficult. I’ve put a lot of time in. As I’ve said over and over again, I’ve had a lot of people help me in this second chapter and I’ll never ever cease to be grateful for that help. So I put a lot of time into it. I’ve learned that in life, you need to be at peace with other people’s decisions that affect you, that you have no control over. I think that’s been good advice that I’ve had over the years, and it’s certainly served me well in this particular scenario. But like I said, I’ve put a lot of time in. I’ve enjoyed, as I’ve said, getting back on the playing field. Last year was a gratifying feeling to get back and play. You miss not being in the huddle. And this year there has been enough change with the new offensive coordinator (Adam Gase) and a new slot receiver (Wes Welker) and a different tight end (Julius Thomas) to keep you kind of energized and on your toes with all the different changes. So I’m certainly enjoying playing football again. And when you’re out of a job, you’ve got to go find another job, and Denver offered me one and I took it and they sure have helped me in my new job.”


On if he is happy to see the Colts franchise having success

“Well, I guess my focus is on the Broncos trying to be successful. And I’m trying to do my job to help them.”


On the Colts being a competitive AFC team after the changes they went through

“I agree. So, does that help your story if I concur?”


On if it’s satisfying to go back to Indianapolis at a time when the Broncos are undefeated and playing so well

“Well, I don’t know about all the ‘so well.’ We still have things we need to correct. I think we’re playing an excellent defense. I can’t speak as much to their offense, you know [CB] Champ [Bailey] and those guys could. But we have things we’re trying to correct every week and we’re playing a tough team, on the road, maybe, possibly undermanned. So that’s all I know kind of with this current scenario. What’s happened in past games we have played—I’m not sure how much significance that carries. It’s about getting a good week of practiced this week and hopefully taking that to the playing field.”



On if he’s playing his best football ever at this point

“I can’t—I just don’t compare to other years. The only thing I compare to probably is maybe somewhat of last year, because that’s more of my current baseline. But people make comparisons to other receivers in other years in other teams and that’s just too hard when you’re in a different place in a different organization with a different culture. So I feel better than last year. I still have some things that are different post-injury. But I’ve made some improvements from last year. I’ve put a lot of time in. I think any time you’re in a second year of a new chapter you have more familiarity with the culture, you know [WR Eric] Decker and [WR Demaryius] Thomas are two receivers [I’m more familiar with]. But like I’ve said over and over again to you and the folks from Indianapolis—it takes years to develop timing with receivers—really good timing. And [Wes] Welker and I are trying to figure it out on the run. [Julius] Thomas and I are trying to figure it out on the run. I’d love to have more time to work with those guys, but [NFLPA Executive Committee member/former Colts C] Jeff Saturday took care of that for us with the union negotiations. You know, he gave us very little time with the quarterbacks and receivers (laughing). So it’s a challenge that you don’t have as much time as you used to in the offseason to work with those receivers. So we’re still figuring that out. We’ve done some things well early, but I still think there’s a lot—we’re far from being a well-oiled machine by any means. We’re still working out a number of kinks in my opinion.”


On there being talk of the Colts bringing back some of his former teammates for the pregame tribute Saturday

“I love seeing those guys. I still communicate with those guys and always have. I saw [former Colts safety] Bob Sanders at a training camp practice. I saw [former Colts WR/current New England WR] Austin Collie out in San Francisco. [Former Colts backup QB/current New York Giants QB] Curtis Painter out in New York. [TE] Dallas [Clark] and [WR Brandon] Stokley in Baltimore. There is always a bond with your old teammates and the guys that are still playing and the guys that aren’t playing. So hey, I think [I’ve had] a number of times on the record saying how I feel about [former Colts WR] Marvin Harrison, [former Colts RB] Edgerrin James, and Jeff Saturday. I think the world of those guys and we’ll always have a bond and I’ll be indebted to them for help they’ve given me. I’ve never been to Canton but I’d like to maybe be able to miss a few days of practice next training camp to attend Marvin Harrison’s [Hall of Fame] ceremony and Edgerrin’s someday as well. If I get a chance to see those guys it’d be awesome because you miss those guys. You don’t get to see them very much, but I still keep in touch with them.”


On his legacy in Indianapolis

“I don’t know what legacy means when you’re a current player. I really never have known how to answer that. I guess you’d have to probably take a poll (laughing). I don’t know how I could answer that. It’s hard to answer right in the middle [of a season]. No question, I’m in the homestretch of my football career. But midseason of your 16th year when you’re playing a really good team, I think, on the road, it’s hard to get too reflective on a question like this.”

Quotes provided by Broncos media

Peyton  meets the Indy  Media

Are you looking forward to coming back to Indianapolis or is it just a business trip?

“Well, I feel like it has to be a business trip. It’s a tough team we’re playing. It’s a very good defense that we’re trying to get ready for. It may sound strange, but it’s an unfamiliar opponent. A lot of guys on defense that I’ve never played against and even a lot of our players haven’t played against. Certainly didn’t play them last year, so, it’s not like a division game or a team you played in the playoffs that you’re a little more familiar with. Still getting to know them early in the week and that’s the only way I know how to approach it. I can’t tell you how I’ll feel walking into the stadium and those type of questions because I just can’t tell you. I can’t predict and I’ve never been through anything quite like it. All I know right now is what I have to do to prepare and that’s what I’m working on right now as of Wednesday.”

Do you know what the plans are to honor you on Sunday?

“I really don’t know. I haven’t been given any type of instructions or anything. As far as I’m concerned, I have to go out there and get ready to play the game as far as after introductions and those type of things.”

Do you expect to be nervous? Excited? Emotional? How do you prepare for that?

“Once again, I really can’t tell you. It’s just too hard to predict. I think I’d be wrong to try to predict or guess. It’s certainly a unique game. I played against, somebody asked me earlier, is it the same as playing against Eli (Manning), and I said I guarantee Robert Mathis hits a heck of a lot harder than Eli does. From that standpoint, it’s definitely different. I can’t give you a good answer there. All I know is kind of what I have to do right now is great ready for a good defense. Boy, they’re impressive to watch on film. Mathis, Robert is having a great year. It’s really a factor. Offensive line has dealt with some injuries and so there’s no question that’s a challenge. They’ve got active linebackers and an active secondary.”

What did you think about when you saw the schedule and saw this game?

“Certainly I knew we were playing them based on the division rotation. When the schedule comes out, heck, the first thing I look at is who we’re playing in the opener. Certainly a unique situation there having to play the Thursday night game at home with Baltimore’s scheduling conflict. That’s the first thing that I think you kind of key on. I knew certainly this game was going to take place because of the schedule rotation. But I didn’t necessarily have any specific reaction once the schedule came out in April.”

What is your response to what Jim Irsay said and Coach Fox’s defense of you? Any reaction at all?

“No, I don’t have anything to say about either one of those.”

What have you admired from a distance about the way Andrew Luck has played?

“He’s a heck of a quarterback. He played early as a rookie, which is always a challenge, but something I’ve always believed made a big impact on me and playing as a rookie. I know Eli (Manning) said the same thing. He sure did have a great first season and certainly used that first season to his advantage and he’s off to a heck of a start this year.”

Did you talk to Andrew Luck when he got drafted by the Colts? Did you give him any advice?

“I did not. I did not. He didn’t seek any, didn’t ask any questions looking into that specific topic. As far as playing in Indianapolis for those fans, I can promise you he’s a lucky guy, no pun intended.”

Does the body and the arm feel as good as it has since before the surgery?

“I guess I keep those things between me and my body. I will tell you that to compare to last year, dealing with a lot of change and still learning a lot about my body and then learning new teammates and a new system and a new culture, all those things combined can certainly cause for some discomfort and hesitation, whatever the word is. I certainly feel more comfortable this year knowing certain receivers, know the culture better, however I have to say, we still have a number of changes, playing with (Wes) Welker, (Julius) Thomas is a new starter, (Montee) Ball is a new running back and our offense has changed with a new offensive coordinator. In a lot of ways, there’s still a lot of change that I’m still adapting to. But I have made some progress since last year from a physical standpoint. I will admit that.”

Do you think the game is going to be strange? Also, do you still come in early, get taped and read the program like you used to here?

“I guess it just depends on the program. They don’t have the connections section in the Broncos manual. I’ve changed my pregame routine. I don’t go out there. I stopped about the beginning of last season, stopped going out there real early. I guess I got a little piece of advice that at 37 years old, I probably didn’t need to be throwing about 200 balls before every game before the kickoff even occurred. I’ve cut down on my pregame throwing. I don’t go out there early like I used to for so many years. That’s just part of being 37 I guess and adjusting. I get there when the first bus goes. I’ll go in. I still get my ankles taped if that’s what you were asking. I still do that.”

Do you think it will be strange to be in a different locker room?

“Once again, for me to predict, I just can’t give you an answer. I guess I’ll know a little more after the game. Not 100 percent positive I will share all that after the game, how I feel and whatnot. I certainly just can’t tell you before the game.”

What has your relationship been like with Jim Irsay since you left? Can you get into that at all?

“No, I can’t and I won’t.”

Will you seek out Reggie Wayne and some of the guys from the old teams?

“Certainly. My thoughts on Reggie are pretty well documented. Are you giving me credit for writing that article on 1,000 catches or are you going to take credit yourself on what you’re about to write (laughs)? I think you can tell from those comments how I feel about Reggie. I still certainly stay in contact with different guys, old players. I saw Bob Sanders out here at a training camp, talked to Edgerrin (James) and Marvin (Harrison) not too long ago. I keep in touch with Austin Collie. A lot of the old players. Like I said, I don’t go out there very early anymore, so kind of once I go out there, I kind of have my helmet on and we’re kind of doing a pretty stretch type routine. Just not sure whether the time permits all that. But certainly if I have a chance to, yeah, it’s always fun to see somebody like Reggie Wayne.”

Have you ever played in a more dangerous or loaded offense than you are now?

“Well, I don’t compare to any other year because it’s just different. I guess I can compare it to last year, but this is kind of the second chapter of my football career and all I can do is kind of go off of last year. Some things are better, some things we’re still working on. We still have a lot of things we can improve on. We got a lot of guys that are playing for the first time. We got a first-year center. Last week we finished the game with the right guard playing right tackle, so there’s a lot on my plate from that standpoint and a lot on our team’s plate that we still need to improve on and we’re still working toward that. And like I said, you got Julius Thomas who hasn’t played a lot of football, so you work every week to try to get on the same page with him. And Welker and I, yeah maybe we’ve thrown some touchdowns early, but we still are learning about each other. It’s not like the timing that he and (Tom) Brady had playing all those years together. It takes an incredible amount of time, in my opinion, to get on the same page with a receiver completely. He and I started early, we had a little offseason minicamp down at Duke in the month of April, so we’ve used the time that the NFL has allowed us. But you’re still behind from that standpoint, so you’re trying to cram and get on the same page as much as possible.”

You’ve been in the league 16 years so I’m sure there’s not much new that you see, but is this situation something that will be new and unique for you?

“Yeah, I mean certainly I think you could definitely say it’s unique. I know other players have had to do it, and a lot of coaches have certainly had to do it. Like I said, I just can’t give you a prediction. All I know is sitting here on Wednesday that all I know to do to be fair to my teammates, I got 52 other players and a number of coaches counting on me to be prepared and to be focused because we’re playing such a good team and a tough defense in a loud, loud place to play. If this was a scenario where all I had to do maybe was come back and wave and smile and kiss a few babies and sign a few autographs, it’d be different. But somehow I got to figure out a way to stay away from Mathis and try to complete a few passes on (Vontae) Davis and (Antoine) Bethea and that’s going to be tough because I think it’s a tough defense. That’s all I know to do from a preparation standpoint right now and all the prediction, the future questions, it’s just too hard to answer.”