Broncos players, coaches tell us the status of the team

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Peyton Manning throws at last public practice. Aug. 16, 2012

Peyton Manning throws at last public practice. Aug. 16, 2012

Head Coach John Fox on Friday’s last day of training camp:

“We’re still in camp mode, although we won’t be on the camp schedule. We’ll have the players locked up in the hotel over at the Ramada. Some of the guys will be able to go home; some will still be staying at the Ramada. I think we’ve gotten good work done. We’ve got a walkthrough tomorrow in preparation for Seattle. I like the way we’ve gone about our business, and we’ve got another test Saturday night.”

Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio comments on rookie defensive end Derek Wolfe:

“He’s doing a nice job. Things I talked about when he first got here [include] strong work ethic, good motor. He’s got some pass-rush inside, which we talked about. It showed up a little bit in the first preseason game right away. I just like his demeanor. There’s not a lot outside of being a good football player that you see. Nothing is on his mind more than coming in here and helping his team win. I really like the way he’s approached the beginning to his career, coming in here with the right approach. So many young guys will come in and be distracted by a lot of other things. He’s just not been that kind of kid.”

“He picks up things quickly. They did a lot with him in college, so he’s been exposed to a lot. He played all along the front, from nose [tackle] to defensive end out wide. He’s done a lot of those different things, so it was really a matter of him learning the terminology. He is an intelligent young man, and he’s done a nice job of picking things up. He still makes his share of mistakes, and we still have a way’s to go. He’s not a finished product. He’s got a lot of work to do, but I like the way he’s started.”

Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy on his quarterbacks:

“We try to put them in different situations. Every time we do the two-minute drill, we’ll give them something different. They’ve done a nice job. Unfortunately, today we had a couple protection errors toward the end there, and that kind of shut everything down, so the quarterbacks didn’t have an opportunity to do too much at the end there.”

“Really for the entire team, [the goal] is to improve from last week. That’s what we want to stress every day here, is to get better every day, and that’s the way it’s going to be during the season, is to get better each week. Go out there and improve on something. Each individual player’s going to have something to do that they’re coaches are talking to them about. As an offense, we’ve got to make sure we finish in the red area. The first two times we had the ball last week, we got stopped in there. We turned the ball over one time, and [the Bears] got a field goal. We’ve just got to make sure we finish all those drives.”

“Well, I think the more time he spends with those guys, the quicker things are going to come out. When he comes to a new team like this, it takes some time to get used to everybody, with all the calls we make up front. It’s just a matter of getting comfortable with the whole entire offense, and each day we’re trying to get better.”

“[He’s] one of the best of all-time. His play speaks for itself, really.”

Quarterback Peyton Manning on preseason games:

“I can’t really speak to comparisons. This is a whole new situation for me, for our team and I’m kind of learning [Head] Coach [John] Fox’s philosophy in the preseason so we haven’t talked about how we’re going to play. He may have shared with you. I think it’ll be a little bit more than we did last week. It was nice to win the game last week. I thought a lot of guys went in there and did some good things. [QBs] Caleb [Hanie], Adam [Weber], and Brock [Osweiler] all went in there and made some plays and that’s what it’s about. Everybody gets a chance to play. Guys are competing for jobs. All I know is when we’re in there we want to do our job and try to move the ball down the field and hopefully get some points but the goal still is to win the game.”

“All of us are [looking forward to it]. I know the veteran guys are but I know the rookies and the new free agents are. I was talking to [TE] Jacob Tamme. It’ll be exciting to play in front of the home crowd. [WR Brandon] Stokley, I guess it’s Round 2 for him but he’s still excited. Having 41,000 for a scrimmage and we were just playing the Broncos that day—so hopefully against Seattle I’d imagine it would be an even bigger crowd and having played here as an opponent I know how loud and emotional and passionate the crowd is here in Denver so it’ll be nice to be on the home side of it. I know Coach Fox has talked about it all year that we’ve got to play well at home. You’ve got to try to have that home field advantage and I know it’s important for the players to play well so the fans can be excited and make it tough on opponents.”

“It’s whatever Fox and [Offensive Coordinator] Coach [Mike] McCoy want to do. Those guys are watching practice every day, they’re watching the film, they’re making evaluations as far as how much each guy needs to play so I really leave that up to them. When I’m in there it’s important to try to do my job and get our offense down the field.

“I don’t know if it will be a half but it’s not a whole game. I still think it is a little bit more pressure that you’re only in there for a certain amount of plays and you want them all to go well and it may be two series, two and a half to three series depending on how long the drives are and the flow of the game. You still have that feeling a little bit that you’re in there and you’ve got to have a sense of urgency. You want to do your job well and hopefully we can get a few more situations against Seattle and it’ll be a good test going against their defense.”

“I’m still going through the adjustment. It’s a process. I think it’ll be all season long. It’s definitely a lot of change.”
“I had a lady the other day who said, ‘Everybody just can’t wait to see you get hit.’ Thank you. Off the air she told me she didn’t mean it, and I told her, ‘I’m sure you didn’t’. Like I said, I have played football for a long time, and when it happens, I plan on getting up and hopefully completing a pass on the next play and moving the chains. At some point, hopefully you all can stop asking me that question.”

“I think it’s been a productive training camp. We still have work to do. I think the effort has been really good. Guys have worked hard and I just appreciate that. It’s been a physical camp. We’ve been in pads every day, which I think you have to now with the new rules and the regular season. It’s important to continue to work even though guys are home now and out of the hotel. It’s important to keep working and continue to try to improve.”

Nose Tackle Justin Bannan reacts to the end of training camp:

“It’s always a tricky deal. They say training camp’s over. But to me it’s not over until it’s the week of that first game, and all the final cuts are made and everything. I know when I was a younger player, it was always training camp. The only difference is maybe you get to stay at your home or you don’t have those meetings at night. It’s still the same deal.”

“I feel good. The calf’s feeling better. It’s still a little tender, but I felt pretty good today. I felt like I could go at a faster practice that what I had been doing the past few days. It’s coming along. They keep telling me to be real patient with it. I just don’t want any setbacks at this point in time. I’ve had to learn a little bit of that [patience]. I tried to come back too early in the beginning and had a couple setbacks, and I had to learn the hard way. So right now, everything is feeling pretty good, so I just want to keep on the right track.”

“It’s hard to gauge. Even when you play in the preseason games, it’s hard to gauge. If I just look at last season, when I was with the St. Louis Rams, I thought we were going to be great. We won all four preseason games. Everyone was on Cloud 9 and we thought we had this great team. And we won two games. So it’s hard to gauge. I think what you can do is come out every day and try to get better at your craft, focus on what you need to do and try and improve from there.”

“I think it could be tough. But a guy like [DT] Ty (Warren), I’m not worried about. A guy like ‘Vick’ (DT Kevin Vickerson), they’re all vets. We know when we’re in there what needs to be done, what job we have to do. We just miss time working together, but we can make up for that.”

Wide Receiver Eric Decker talks about the offense:

“We just have to be consistent. That’s something that I think, every day we get better at. It’s a process. You’re never satisfied. You always want to get better. You always want to work on something. There always is something to work on. I think, where we’re at, we’re excited. We definitely know that to be the best you have to have to keep working like the best. We’ll take it one day at a time.”


“Try to build off last week and see if we can put some consistent drives together. That’s what it’s all about is going out there and getting first downs, running the ball, and complimenting that with the passing game and try to score points in the red zone. Technique-wise, we need to handle our own business. I think the defense is going to do a great job, too. Making sure we do things right, technique-wise, the stuff we’re really working on. There will be players on both sides of the ball but we just need to stay focused on what we’ve been taught here in training camp.”

Tight End Joel Dreessen on the end of training camp:

“At least we’re not going to be here till 10:00 clock at night at meetings anymore. You get to a little bit of a normal schedule. There’s a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. August is almost [over]. Like you said, we still got a lot of work to do as far as preseason games and mastering our preparation for how it’s going to go during the regular season. “

“Three weeks ago, when we were just a couple practices into it…you definitely feel better about it at this point as far as knowing your teammates, being out here, and believing and grinding here together. Game day is when you really bond you see your teammates making plays and you out there making plays. That’s when you really bond and feel good about things. It’s more games and wins that makes you feel good, so we’re looking forward to that.”

“It’s very important. We want to clone the drive we had against the Bears minus the holding penalty and minus the turnover in the red zone. We want to do that in a couple more games, it’s very important”

Guard Manny Ramirez on filling in for injured guard Chris Kuper:

“It’s sad what happened to [Kuper] and all. Of course we’ll keep him in our prayers for a quick recovery. Like [the coaches] have been saying, it’s a next-man-up [philosophy]. I’ve been doing my best out there. I’m ready to step in, I’ve been having a good camp so far. I’ve been making sure that I have a good relationship with the offensive line, making sure that we’re on the same page, and that we don’t miss a step.“

“We had a lot of time in OTAs and all. It’s also helped me out playing center as well, making sure you know all the points and all the calls. That just reaffirms the calls when we get to the line. If [C] J.D. [Walton] makes a call, I can reconfirm it, if anything. I think we have a good relationship and it’s going pretty well.”

“It’s sad the way it is [with Kuper’s injury], but it is an opportunity and you going to take advantage of it. My main goal is to get in there and make sure that they can count on me and not miss a step.”

“[I’m] a lot more mature. Knowing what to expect and look for certain things.”

On injuries and current player updates

[DE] Jason Hunter, triceps; [G] Chris Kuper, forearm; [S] Jimmy Leonhard, knee; [SS] Quinton Carter, hamstring and knee; [CB] Tracy Porter, illness, he’s coming along, but not quite ready yet; [LB] Keith Brooking, hamstring; [WLB] Danny Trevathan, ankle; [RB] Ronnie Hillman, hamstring; [LB] D.J. Williams, personal matter. Left practice today: [DT] Kevin Vickerson, concussion and [CB] Joshua Moore, hamstring.

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