Broncos getting intense heading into 3rd preseason game

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Denver Broncos practice Aug. 20, 2012

Denver Broncos practice Aug. 20, 2012

HEAD COACH JOHN FOX comments on players who have been injured:

“We’ll evaluate [Kevin Vickerson] and see the flow of the game. We still got some time before that. We’ll talk, I’m sure, as a staff—the medical people as well as the position coaches and coordinators—and make a decision from there.”

“It was his [Jim Leonhard] first padded practice. I thought he moved around well and we’ll take that slow just like we are with all of our injured players. When they’re deemed ready to play, we’ll play them.”

How difficult is it to evaluate LB Keith Brookings

“I think it’s obviously a little easier to do that when a guy has got a lot of snaps in the league, a lot of evidence on tape of his playing ability. It’s not always a ‘never’. Each individual’s situation is different.”

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR JACK DEL RIO on the defense:

“It’s going [well]. Guys are working hard. We’re establishing things that we want to be for the year. There are certain traits we’re looking for and habits we’re looking to build. We’re still in a camp mode in terms of pushing in those things. The guys have been great, though. They’re working hard. They want it bad. I like the way we’re rounding into shape, and we’ll get a good test Sunday afternoon.”

“I’m pulling hard for the defense (laughing). But I understand as a former head coach that you have to do what’s best for the football team. And ultimately that’s what Coach Fox and John Elway will do. But from our standpoint we’re going to stack them how we like them and give them that information and they go from there.”

“Last week was [Ty Warren’s] best week. So this will be a great challenge because they’re a very physical front. So this will be a good barometer of how far he has come. But he was certainly better last week, probably more so than he was the week before. You’re kind of looking at a guy who’s played at a high level in the past. And he’s had to knock off some rust and he’s been working at it and doing that. So we look forward to seeing him continue.”

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR MIKE MCCOY and the running game:

“Knowshon’s done a nice job. He’s worked extremely hard. That’s tough, coming off an injury like that, but the great thing is, I think, he’s got a great example ahead of him with [RB] Willis [McGahee]. Willis had a bad injury a long time ago and he came back, and look where he’s at now. I think that’s helped Knowshon a little bit through the whole process of everything, and he’s grinding it out. Early in camp, he was a certain way, and then everyday he got a little more comfortable. We tried to get him more and more opportunity as time went along, and just cut him loose, and really just monitoring him on a day-to-day basis, see how he’s feeling and not do too much with him but give him the best opportunity to go out there and show us what he can do and how he feels. We’ve got to be open about it with the doctors and everybody [in] communication of where we think he’s at.”

“I think we’ve got a lot of talent there, and that’s a good problem to have. When you’ve got depth, that’s what we’re looking for at every position. So it’s one of those deals where we’re going to come down to the final roster. We have the 53 [players], and as an organization, we’ll figure out ‘These are the best guys,’ and regardless of how many guys we take, there’s not a set number on that now, because we’ve got a couple weeks left of preseason, and everything always works itself out. We’ve got two more opportunities to prove us and what we can do, and we’re going to have a tough decision to make.”

“Each week, you go in with a game plan. Last week, we went in early in the game thinking we were going to go no-huddle, throw a little more, so it’s the flow of the game. We have a plan going in of what we want to do, so sometimes we keep guys in a little longer, or we take them out sooner. We’ll just see how the flow of the game’s going, and [Running Backs Coach] Eric [Studesville] will rotate those guys in, and we’ll kind of monitor that as we go, to say, ‘Hey, listen, we want to get so many guys four or five touches, and then roll the next guy.’ If a guy’s rolling, maybe [we’ll] keep him in a little bit longer. It’s one of those preseason games where you kind of just let it go and see what happens. But it’s hard to put a number and say, ‘Hey, this and that, because it changes every game.’”

“We’re going to go in the game and play the starters for however long we decide to play them and take them out. So some of that may be determined on how long we play the ones. Eric [Studesville] and the rest of the staff will rotate their guys accordingly. But we’re going to call the game the way we see it, depending on what they’re doing defensively. We’re not going to put a number on anyone, like this guy gets seven touches, this and that.”

“Yeah, I believe [Caleb Hanie] will play.”

“There’s pressure on everybody to perform. It’s not just one guy. We have, I think, 89 guys right now so we’re getting down to 53. Everybody has to step their game up and do the best they can because we’re going to pick the best 53 and hey, it’s not always fair, but this is not a fair business.”

On injuries

“[DE] Jason Hunter, triceps, [G] Chris Kuper, forearm, [LB] Keith Brooking, hamstring, [MLB] Mike Mohamed, hamstring, [DT] Kevin Vickerson was cleared today for practice and play.”