Broncos sound off about loss to Seattle

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DENVER – Broncos fans and armchair quarterbacks took to the Twittersphere, blogosphere, and seemingly every other social media outlet to air their opinions about the first preseason game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Saturday night. 

The Broncos lost 30-10 to the Seattle Seahawks, so fans and critics alike had plenty to say.

But if you want it straight from the horses…er, Broncos mouth….here’s what Coach John Fox, Peyton Manning and others had to say about the game.  

Denver Broncos Head Coach comments on Peyton Manning’s play:

  • “I was pretty pleased with the first half. Other than the 0-3 turnover margin, I thought we did pretty good to take the lead 10-9 before the half. You would have liked it to be better as far as the points because we dropped a couple points off with field position. Again, something to build on and something to get better from.”
  • “You never like to see your quarterback hit but we feel pretty confident where he is right now, health-wise and he’ll just continue to get better.”

QB Peyton Manning on his performance:

  • “It’s obviously disappointing that we turned the ball over three times—two interceptions on my part. No excuse for that. I thought we did move the ball well at times and took some long drives. [We’ve] just got to do a better job of finishing drives and have to eliminate the turnovers and keep our defense out of bad situations.”
  • “Every interception has its own story, [and] nobody really wants to hear it at the end of the day. A quarterback signs the check on every ball that he throws. There’s an old saying that the most important part of every play is to possess the ball at the end of that play. That’s the quarterback’s job. I have to do a better job of that. Two interceptions tonight—two in the red zone two weeks in a row … just can’t have it. Tipped balls … whatever it is … just can’t have it. I’ve got to find a way to protect the ball better and ensure we get some kind of points when we’re down there in the red zone.”
  • “We were down there—I don’t know, we were down to the 10, down to the 3 or the 2, you know, we had some options there. Seattle played some defenses where the run looks were there. We were in two-down territory. Coach [John] Fox said we he was going to go for it had we not made it. So, it was nice on that third down. The offensive line had good push, and Willis did a good job getting in the end zone.”
  • “Six seconds [left] is tough. You know, if there’s any kind of [play where] you have to scramble or move or whatever, you know, the clock runs a couple extra seconds. You’d hate to miss out on the points. It was our job to score a touchdown within the time that we had, and we didn’t do that. So, we had to set up for a field goal, which was good. It was a good two-minute drive, I thought. I keep talking about those different situations. It was good to get one of those. We were no-huddle the whole game, but that was a two-minute drive—a  little faster tempo—I thought that was good execution in that drive and good communication amongst the offense.”
  • “I thought the pass protection was excellent tonight. Twenty-three attempts in the first half is a lot of passes, against a good defensive front for Seattle. I thought the guys up front really battled hard, and the receivers made some good plays with the ball and some good runs after the catch—ran some good routes. So, there are some things we can build on but, obviously, some things we can improve on.
  • “I thought our execution of it, and our communication in that was pretty good. We just have to just finish the little things—finish plays and finish drives. It’s something you have to do.”
  • “Basically when you go no-huddle, you’re simply not huddling, but you’re still running the same plays you would run if you were to huddle. You’re trying to put some pressure on the defense and make them have to hurry up their communication and their calls. Obviously, it’s more pressure on the offense—there’s not time to huddle and sort of breathe—you’re staying on the run; you’re staying aggressive; trying to execute the plays that [offensive coordinator] Coach McCoy calls—short passes, long passes. For the most part Seattle sank back in some zone coverage, and the underneath stuff was kind of there most of the night.”
  • “I didn’t have a whole lot of expectations, because there was a lot of unknown—on kind of how I would feel. It’s nice to be back out there playing, and I think the more I play, hopefully the more comfortable I will get. It will be nice next week—I think I will play probably into the third quarter. I think the flow of the game tonight is why we played into the half, which I was happy about, I think the offense was happy about. You always want to score points every single time, but I think we can build on this, but I still think there are still some things that we have to improve on; some things that I need to improve on.”
  • “I’ve never heard a crowd cheer for an incompletion before. I think the next pass was to [WR Brandon] Stokley, right? [That’s] what I told you I was going to do.”

Wide Receiver Eric Decker on pre-season games:

  • “That’s the beauty of preseason. It’s a test trial for the season, I think. We’ve got a lot of stuff to work on. It’s a good time to work off those kinks. I think with how the game ended today, we found out a lot of stuff we do need to work on, some weaknesses, there are some strengths there too. You’ve got to build off those. I think overall, unfortunately, we don’t like the outcome of the score but you can always take from this experience and learn from it.”
  • “We enjoy the hype and the expectation level because we want to reach that. It’s a process. We’re trying to work out some kinks, we’re trying to get better in certain areas. Obviously you’ve got to execute overall as a team to be more successful, that’s an example today. We didn’t do things completely right, but again, that’s why we play these preseason games.”

Running Back Willis McGahee on his performance:

  • “I might’ve had a little mishap on the first series, on the third-and-one, but other than that, I was pleased with it, but I’ve still got to do better.”
  • “I’m ready to go but there’s no ‘I’ in ‘Team’. I’ve got to get involved more and just help out as far as my role and doing more a little bit, not too much more. I don’t want to put anybody in jeopardy or anything like that. It’s good to help the guys out regardless, as best I can, whether running the ball or pass blocking. I’m trying to get those receivers 1,000 yards this year. We’re trying to have a little fun.”
  • “It’s football, you’re not going to have a perfect game. We didn’t have a great game this game. You’ve got to give it up to Seattle, they played good. They make money just like we make money. They’re going to come out there and play harder. They won their battle. We’ve got a lot of things we need to work on, offense and defense.”
  • “Of course you’re going to be concerned about turnovers, regardless of if it’s running with the ball, fumbling or throwing an interception, you’re going to be concerned. Those are things you want to get back and work on come Monday morning. That’s what the coaches are here for—to bring us back down, to pull us back and say, ‘Alright, this is what you need to do.’ [They] humble us again.”
  • “You’re just showing the capabilities our offense has. We can run the ball, we can throw it in. We showed a glimpse of what we can do when it comes to the real, live bullets. I think we’re going to show up. We will show up, I don’t ‘think’ we will show up.”

WR BRANDON STOKLEY

On having to remind himself that it’s just preseason

  • “You always want to go out there and play great and do everything perfect. Tonight we did some good things and we did some bad things. We’re just fortunate that it is preseason and we can get those things corrected. Hopefully we’ll do that and play better next week.”

On the frustration from tonight’s loss

  • “I think [there’s some frustration] and that’s good. Our expectations are high for our offense. We didn’t go out there and play the way we’re capable of playing so it should be that way and that’s a good thing. You want people to feel like we should have played better and that’s the feeling I get also. You want to play good football, especially in front of your own fans. We didn’t play as good as we should have played and could have played. We’re fortunate that it is a preseason game.”

On if he takes solace in the fact that his offense was up after the first half

  • “Not really. I think we wanted to play better as a whole and we didn’t. For us, I think you look at the mistakes that you made and the points that you left out there on the field. We’re just fortunate it was a preseason game. It doesn’t count. We can get back to work and correct our mistakes and hopefully play better against San Francisco.”

On the backup quarterback

  • “Without watching the tape it’s a little bit premature to make those assessments but all along we knew that was going to be an evaluation that was going to take all four games.”

On the linebacker depth

  • “I’m concerned with all our depth, really at this point. We’ll reevaluate, get it graded. I think there’s some guys out there that can play better than they did tonight because they are young and need some of those reps. We’ll reevaluate and get back to work Monday.”

On WR Andre Caldwell’s injury

  • “He got up on his own, he walked off. I think it’s too early to predict.”

On the return game

  • “We’ll get a look at it. I know we had one little issue there at the one, but it’s something we’ll keep rolling guys through and eventually get it sorted out.”

On QB Brock Osweiler

  • “I think somebody kind of asked that question, and without seeing the tape it’s really hard for me to give a great evaluation at this point.”

DENVER BRONCOS PLAYERS

QB Peyton Manning

On his overall thoughts on the game

  • “It’s obviously disappointing that we turned the ball over three times—two interceptions on my part. No excuse for that. I thought we did move the ball well at times and took some long drives. [We’ve] just got to do a better job of finishing drives and have to eliminate the turnovers and keep our defense out of bad situations.”

On his interceptions

  • “Every interception has its own story, [and] nobody really wants to hear it at the end of the day. A quarterback signs the check on every ball that he throws. There’s an old saying that the most important part of every play is to possess the ball at the end of that play. That’s the quarterback’s job. I have to do a better job of that. Two interceptions tonight—two in the red zone two weeks in a row … just can’t have it. Tipped balls … whatever it is … just can’t have it. I’ve got to find a way to protect the ball better and ensure we get some kind of points when we’re down there in the red zone.”

On TE Jacob Tamme’s dropped pass late in the second quarter

  • “It’s hard to say—I didn’t see the film. It was an incomplete pass. We got the field goal there. I thought we had good field position. The penalty put us in a tough spot—first-and-21 from the 21 [yard line] wasn’t ideal. [We] got back into decent field position and had a shot at it. Obviously it would have been nice to have a little more time there—have a couple more downs. Jacob Tamme is going to play a huge role for this team this year, and it’s not a factor in my mind.”

On his reaction to Tamme’s drop

  • “I think it some ways you don’t know what to expect when you get out there, and you get down, and you’re driving the ball, and you get down there in some good field position on some drives, you just want to finish. It’s frustrating not to be able to finish. You’ve just got to be able to protect the ball better. I don’t make any excuses.”

On RB Willis McGahee’s touchdown at the end of the first quarter

  • “We were down there—I don’t know, we were down to the 10, down to the 3 or the 2, you know, we had some options there. Seattle played some defenses where the run looks were there. We were in two-down territory. Coach [John] Fox said we he was going to go for it had we not made it. So, it was nice on that third down. The offensive line had good push, and Willis did a good job getting in the end zone.”

On not going for a touchdown with six seconds to play before halftime

  • “Six seconds [left] is tough. You know, if there’s any kind of [play where] you have to scramble or move or whatever, you know, the clock runs a couple extra seconds. You’d hate to miss out on the points. It was our job to score a touchdown within the time that we had, and we didn’t do that. So, we had to set up for a field goal, which was good. It was a good two-minute drive, I thought. I keep talking about those different situations. It was good to get one of those. We were no-huddle the whole game, but that was a two-minute drive—a  little faster tempo—I thought that was good execution in that drive and good communication amongst the offense.”

On the Broncos’ offense

  • “I thought the pass protection was excellent tonight. Twenty-three attempts in the first half is a lot of passes, against a good defensive front for Seattle. I thought the guys up front really battled hard, and the receivers made some good plays with the ball and some good runs after the catch—ran some good routes. So, there are some things we can build on but, obviously, some things we can improve on.
  • “I thought our execution of it, and our communication in that was pretty good. We just have to just finish the little things—finish plays and finish drives. It’s something you have to do.”

On the benefits of running a no-huddle offense

  • “Basically when you go no-huddle, you’re simply not huddling, but you’re still running the same plays you would run if you were to huddle. You’re trying to put some pressure on the defense and make them have to hurry up their communication and their calls. Obviously, it’s more pressure on the offense—there’s not time to huddle and sort of breathe—you’re staying on the run; you’re staying aggressive; trying to execute the plays that [offensive coordinator] Coach McCoy calls—short passes, long passes. For the most part Seattle sank back in some zone coverage, and the underneath stuff was kind of there most of the night.”

On his expectations going into his first home game in Denver

  • “I didn’t have a whole lot of expectations, because there was a lot of unknown—on kind of how I would feel. It’s nice to be back out there playing, and I think the more I play, hopefully the more comfortable I will get. It will be nice next week—I think I will play probably into the third quarter. I think the flow of the game tonight is why we played into the half, which I was happy about, I think the offense was happy about. You always want to score points every single time, but I think we can build on this, but I still think there are still some things that we have to improve on; some things that I need to improve on.”

On the crowd’s reaction after taking his first big hit

  • “I’ve never heard a crowd cheer for an incompletion before. I think the next pass was to [WR Brandon] Stokley, right? [That’s] what I told you I was going to do.”

WR ERIC DECKER on what he takes away from this game, good or bad

  • “I think in the first half we had too many turnovers. I thought we moved the ball well. The defense kept us in the game. It was 10-9 at half. Credit to them, we could have had a touchdown at the end of the game—a couple dropped passes from us, myself, like I said, turnovers again. Stuff to learn from. That’s what preseason Is all about. You can take the good and the bad, you learn from it and just try to get better and try to get it out of your system before the season starts.”

On the importance of the preseason

  • “That’s true. That’s the beauty of preseason. It’s a test trial for the season, I think. We’ve got a lot of stuff to work on. It’s a good time to work off those kinks. I think with how the game ended today, we found out a lot of stuff we do need to work on, some weaknesses, there are some strengths there too. You’ve got to build off those. I think overall, unfortunately, we don’t like the outcome of the score but you can always take from this experience and learn from it.”

On how often they have to remind themselves it’s just the preseason

  • “We enjoy the hype and the expectation level because we want to reach that. It’s a process. We’re trying to work out some kinks, we’re trying to get better in certain areas. Obviously you’ve got to execute overall as a team to be more successful, that’s an example today. We didn’t do things completely right, but again, that’s why we play these preseason games.”

On how comfortable he was in the no-huddle

  • “Very comfortable. I think that’s something that we’re trying to expand and use to our advantage- just to be able to get to the line, call a play and play fast. We want to get up and play fast, that’s our goal. We’ve got to establish ourselves in the running game and just do everything fast.”

RB WILLIS MCGAHEE

On how he performed

  • “I might’ve had a little mishap on the first series, on the third-and-one, but other than that, I was pleased with it, but I’ve still got to do better.”

On him playing well compared to the rest of the team

  • “I’m ready to go but there’s no ‘I’ in ‘Team’. I’ve got to get involved more and just help out as far as my role and doing more a little bit, not too much more. I don’t want to put anybody in jeopardy or anything like that. It’s good to help the guys out regardless, as best I can, whether running the ball or pass blocking. I’m trying to get those receivers 1,000 yards this year. We’re trying to have a little fun.”

On if a game like this could help the team

  • “It’s football, you’re not going to have a perfect game. We didn’t have a great game this game. You’ve got to give it up to Seattle, they played good. They make money just like we make money. They’re going to come out there and play harder. They won their battle. We’ve got a lot of things we need to work on, offense and defense.”

On the turnovers in the first half

  • “Of course you’re going to be concerned about turnovers, regardless of if it’s running with the ball, fumbling or throwing an interception, you’re going to be concerned. Those are things you want to get back and work on come Monday morning. That’s what the coaches are here for—to bring us back down, to pull us back and say, ‘Alright, this is what you need to do.’ [They] humble us again.”

On the first unit finally punching it in

  • “You’re just showing the capabilities our offense has. We can run the ball, we can throw it in. We showed a glimpse of what we can do when it comes to the real, live bullets. I think we’re going to show up. We will show up, I don’t ‘think’ we will show up.”

Wide Receiver Brandon Stokley thought’s on the game:

  • “You always want to go out there and play great and do everything perfect. Tonight we did some good things and we did some bad things. We’re just fortunate that it is preseason and we can get those things corrected. Hopefully we’ll do that and play better next week.”
  • “I think [there’s some frustration] and that’s good. Our expectations are high for our offense. We didn’t go out there and play the way we’re capable of playing so it should be that way and that’s a good thing. You want people to feel like we should have played better and that’s the feeling I get also. You want to play good football, especially in front of your own fans. We didn’t play as good as we should have played and could have played. We’re fortunate that it is a preseason game.”
  • “Not really. I think we wanted to play better as a whole and we didn’t. For us, I think you look at the mistakes that you made and the points that you left out there on the field. We’re just fortunate it was a preseason game. It doesn’t count. We can get back to work and correct our mistakes and hopefully play better against San Francisco.”