Intensity builds for Broncos’ Monday night showdown in Atlanta

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The Denver Broncos feel they’re ready for the big challenge they face when they play the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night. The team leaves for Atlanta Saturday, and will have a walk-through at the Georgia Dome on Sunday.

The intensity is building, below is how the coaches and some of the players are saying just a few days before the game.


“Right now, he’s [Chris Harris] day-to-day. It’ll, I’m sure, be a game-time decision. Right now we’re at a day-to-day mindset.”

“Yeah, we’ve got good depth at the position. Rather than spell out what we might do, we feel good about who we’d have out there.”


“I think there are some good guys down there. [Atlanta Head Coach] Mike Smith’s done a good job since he’s been in Atlanta and I’ve actually worked with [Atlanta Defensive Coordinator Mike] Nolan in Baltimore. It’s got a good group of [coaches] and they’re doing a nice job with their team to start the year. Always good to see friends. Always nice to compete against them.”

“It looks a little better right now (laughing). He’s [offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter] got some tools to do it with. He’s always had, I think, great design. He’s always been a real organized, bright guy. Clearly, he’s feeling good about the people he’s working with down there in Atlanta. He’s doing a nice job with it.”

“Game planning wise, we do what we can to have our teams ready to go. That’s about it. They’ll do what they do and we’ll do what we do and try to do as well as we can and understand that each week there are issues, each week there are talented player and things that you’ve got to prepare for. That’s what we’ve been busy doing.”

“He’s [Matt Ryan] a good player. He came out a good player. Matt’s a bright guy, very accurate. He’s done a nice job since he started there Day 1, really. I remember talking to Mike [Smith] back when he first drafted him. He’s like, ‘Boy, it’s looking the like rookie’s really going to be a special player,’ and he was talking about the fact that he’s probably going to start him to open the year and if you do that because you want to, that means the guy’s pretty good.”

“Like anything, you want to try to take away some of the things that they like to do. Obviously, they’re good at a lot of different things. It’s always a tougher task that it’s easier to talk about it than to actually get it done. We’ll put together a plan and go down there. We’ve got some good people ourselves. We’ll match up against their good people and see what we do.”

“I think it’s not the first time this league has seen no-huddle. We certainly got enough looks at it during camp, during the OTAs and everything with our own offense. It’s something that teams that have smart, talented quarterbacks like to utilize. They have one and so do we.”

“It’s tougher for the guys that are out there. It presents us challenges but there are also some drawbacks. It’s only good when it’s effective and you’re moving the ball and scoring points. If not, you’re putting your defense out there an awful lot. It’s only good when you do it well, like anything. Obviously, both these teams going into this game Monday night have been proficient at the no-huddle. I’m sure we’ll see a dose of it from both teams.”


“I think No. 1, protection was better. We [Broncos Offense] started out early in the game we had a few protection breakdowns. When you go back and look at the film, we stopped ourselves early in the game. That’s any football game. Every play on a piece of paper looks like it’s going to work and there’s going to be some breakdowns from time to time but the good thing is we made a few adjustments on the sidelines, settled everybody down and the rest is history.”

“We {Peyton and I] just went day to day. Really, we didn’t set any guidelines, we just said, ‘Hey, we’re going to learn everything and put our system in together,’ and talk a little about what we’ve always done here, the things he wanted to possibly bring in from Indianapolis with him. But then like I said from Day 1 is, the first thing he said to us was, ‘I want to learn your system. You guys have a system in place that you had a lot of success with in Carolina. You’ve been here for a number of years now so let me learn what you guys do here because there’s a number of other players that also know this system.’ So we’ll change some things as we go but we never said, ‘Hey, this is the way one of us is going to act.’ We’re just going to be ourselves every day. Come in here and work together and try to have as much fun as we can and win football games.”

“One of the greatest players of all time. He speaks for himself. It makes everybody better around him. He challenges everyone in the building every day because the standard he sets for himself, no one can raise the bar any higher than that. He set it so high, the bar, and that’s what he demands of everybody else every day. It’s great for the organization, the younger players, and a lot of the veterans. They think they’ve worked extremely hard but then they see the way he is. He makes everyone better—coaches, players, the organization, everyone around him.”

“[Quarterbacks Coach] Adam Gase has done a phenomenal job. Adam works extremely hard. He always has, regardless what position he’s been coaching. But with Peyton, the two of them are perfect for one another. Adam works extremely hard. All the little projects that we do, everything that we do—individual periods, team work, all the footwork drills—Adam did a ton of research. Once we signed Peyton, things he liked, things he didn’t like, what we think he can improve on and Peyton wants him to get on him every day. Peyton’s not someone who’s going to walk in here and think he has all the answers. He wants Adam to [get on him] every day and make sure he’s doing it the right way. If there’s one little thing that’s wrong, [Manning] wants [Gase] to jump on him and say, ‘Hey listen, this is not the way we’re going to do it.’ And it’s that way on game day too. Peyton wants [Gase] to tell him, ‘Listen, stick to your progressions, don’t try to do your own thing, this and that.’ Adam’s done a great job with him and I think Peyton really appreciates the way Adam prepares and the way he’s worked with him on a day-to-day basis.”

“When I talked to Coach Fox and once we decided we were going to stay with Coach Fox, we talked about the staff and certain things. There’s a reason why the guys who stayed, stayed. They’re good football coaches and we didn’t want to lose them.”

“I look at it as it’s an opportunity for a big play. That’s the way we’ve always been from the very first day in back in Carolina. When teams come at you, when you have a good quarterback, he can get you in a good situation, or if it’s not an audible, he knows where the hots and sights are to get rid of the ball and make a good decision because like you saw in the game the other night, one little mistake on the defense, or something that we put him in a bad situation with, you can make a big play with it.”

“He’s played a lot of football and he’s one of the best of all time so he’s pretty good at it.”

“Well, the players deserve a lot of credit for the way they practiced from Day 1. Since we got together back in the offseason, they’ve worked extremely hard together. We’ve been grinding it out. All training camp long, they worked extremely hard to try to get on the same page. We look to improve every week. That’s been our approach every day we come into the building [and say], ‘Hey, listen, let’s get better every day and let’s eliminate all the little mistakes.’ If you do the little things right, big things happen and that’s our approach.”

“That’s the great thing is that there’s a common language you develop. We change a few things. Obviously, we’d be kind of foolish if we were going to do some things that he’s done or change a few names of plays, but that’s any system you’re in. Our job is to make sure we make it simple for the players so when they get on the line of scrimmage on Sundays, they can fly off the ball and play fast so we made a couple changes, he made a couple changes, he’s bought into the things we were selling before in the past here so all the players as a whole deserve a lot of credit for buying in to what we’re going to do, the changes we’re going to make and just moving forward with it every day.”

“Well, No. 1, going on the road, playing in a dome, it’s going to be extremely loud. That’s the No. 1 thing we’ve got to focus on. We’ve practiced with the crowd noise here, so we understand going in there, you’ve got to be on the same page. Understand if you got to communicate, No. 1, if you can’t hear certain thing, make sure you’re vocal enough to get inside. If you’re the outside receiver, communicate and really it comes down to communication and just focus. Noise has got to make you calm on the road.”


“I’ve got a lot of family that are going to be at the game, so it’s a little special to me.”

“Oh yeah. Lots. This might be my last time I’m going to play in my home state, so I took full advantage of making sure everybody that I cared about was there.”

“I don’t know. I’ll see when I get there. When I see all the fans and people that I know—there are people that I’ve had in my family that will be there, so there’s a lot of reasons to put something special on this one.”

“[They’re] {Atlanta’s receivers] as good as they come. We’re going to see a lot of great tandems, but [Roddy White and Julio Jones] are emerging to be one of the best. All I see is growth from Julio Jones from last year. He’s like night and day.”

“He’s a guy [Matt Ryan] coming into his own because when you hear about the elite quarterbacks, you hear about Peyton [Manning] and [Tom] Brady, but he can be up there as well. I just think people want to see him to it year after year, which he has, but he’s definitely one of those elite quarterbacks that’s coming up.”

“He’s (CB Tracy Porter] definitely one of the best, and I played with some corners, even in my days is Washington, a few different ones. And this guy, his playmaking ability, his knack for being around the ball, he has the best talent when it comes to that compared to anybody I’ve played with.”

 “That’s what creates problems for us, because they’ve got so many weapons. You can’t account for everybody on every play as far as double-teaming or whatever, so you’ve kind of got to say, ‘You’ve got your guy, you better take care of it.’ That’s the way you’ve got to approach this thing. We know we’ve got to win some one-on-ones.”

 “There are so many good quarterbacks. Every team pretty much has a good quarterback. That wasn’t the case a few years ago. These quarterbacks are coming in more mature. Who would say a rookie (Washington QB Robert Griffin III) would put up 40 points and win against a team that’s pretty stacked? And their quarterback’s better than he is. I think it just goes to show how much talent has come into this league.”


“Yeah, I’m excited, very excited. [returning to Georgia] This will be my second time playing in the [Georgia] Dome. First time, we played in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl [with Georgia Tech] and it didn’t go very well.”

“Oh yeah, man. I think I’ve got about 40 so far. I still got people asking. Mostly my family, though. A couple friends but not anybody that I really don’t know.”

“It’s important. A lot of people can’t get to come out here and watch me play. Most of the time it’s on TV. To be able to play in front of them and them seeing it live it’s very important they finally get to see me.”

“Every time I get the ball, I try to get extra yards and the screen play broke open and it was one of the biggest plays in the game. You never know who’s going to be the No. 1 target because [QB Peyton Manning] spreads the ball out so much so I feel like I got a big play and caught it at the right time.”


“Update on the injury report: [G] Chris Kuper did not participate, forearm. [CB] Chris Harris did not participate, ankle. [WR] Demaryius Thomas was full [participation] with [his] shoulder. [G] Manny Ramirez was full [participation], elbow.”

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