DENVER — The celebration was fun while it lasted, but the party is over. The focus now is on winning the Super Bowl. With just one more hurdle left on the road to the NFL championship, Denver Broncos coach John Fox and several players met with the media on Monday afternoon.
“There is a lot of of noise on the outside, you try to just stay focused on what we’re doing in preparation on the inside,” Fox said.
Wes Welker’s hit on Aqib Talib
Patriots coach Bill Belichick accused Broncos WR Wes Welker of deliberately injuring CB Aqib Talib with a hit in Sunday’s game. Talib came out with a knee injury and never returned.
Fox said he hadn’t heard Belichick’s comments, but said Welker is not a dirty player.
“I know Wes Welker is a great player, high integrity,” Fox said. “I can say that we were not doing anything with intent. That’s really the only comment I have.”
Denver WR Demaryius Thomas agreed.
“Things happen in football,” he said. “Sometimes people get hurt.”
Champ Bailey, Demaryius Thomas
“It’s been good to get (CB Champ Bailey) back,” Fox said. “He’s gotten back into the flow of playing and I thought yesterday was his best performance of the season.”
“(Demaryius Thomas) is a wealth of talent,” Fox said. “He’s big, physical, strong, fast — all the things you look for athletically and he worked extremely hard.”
Fox characterized RB Knowshon Moreno (ribs) as day-to-day. CB Tony Carter has a pinched nerve, rather than a concussion as initially feared, Fox said. Carter was expected to play in the Super Bowl.
Facing the Seahawks
The Broncos do have work to do this week before the media frenzy begins. Peyton Manning says it is important to get to know your opponent this week while you have a somewhat normal itinerary.
But this week started with players being covered in confetti. And a world championship is on the line.
“To know that you’re one of the last two teams left in the tournament — it’s a great feeling,” said Julius Thomas. “So we’re definitely excited.”
Fox had little to say about the Seahawks at this early stage.
“I know they’re a great football team,” Fox said. “Pete Carroll and staff has done a terrific job.
“I know they got after us pretty good when we were out there in the preseason. We haven’t dug into them too in-depth yet, but any time you reach a championship game — the world championship game — I think usually the opponent is pretty good.”
Fox said staying focused would be key for his players.
“It’s just staying focused on the job at hand, instead of the noise on the outside, focus on the preparation on the inside,” Fox said. “Anytime you get to play-off season, you want to be playing your best football. I think the last couple weeks we have.”