Broncos Quotes from Tuesday Minicamp

Denver Broncos mini camp kicked off Tuesday
Denver Broncos mini camp kicked off Tuesday

The Denver Broncos kicked off their final mini camp of the offseason on Tuesday. So, here are some quotes from the Broncos Tuesday mini camp that were released by the Broncos.

Broncos Head Coach John Fox

On being able to increase offensive tempo

“Tempo is important to everything, no matter what the sport. We’re just tinkering with some ideas and things to do to maybe increase the tempo. We’ll have to vary that depending on who we play and where we play them.”

On what the team is working on during mini camp

“It’s the same we’ve been doing really all camp. We’ve got situational things we’re working on; we’ve got personnel groups we’re working on. We’ve still got installation going on. This is the last week of the offseason until we take a little break and come back and start training camp.”

On players making an impression before the break between mini camp and training camp

“I think it’s really critical for the new players, whether it’s free agents or draft picks, because they’re operating against guys that have been doing it for some time. Even really for our football team, it’s kind of the second year in particular on offense that Peyton’s been with his teammates. I think we’re just growing from it every day.”

On QB Tim Tebow signing in New England

“I really can’t speak too much about who and where he is now, I can just speak to the experience we had with him. He did a tremendous job for the Broncos, for me as the head coach and our whole coaching staff and his teammates. I’ll just leave it at that.”

RUNNING BACK MONTEE BALL

On talking to RB Willis McGahee

“I talked to him briefly but we met each other. I wanted to meet him and like I said last week I’m excited that he’s here because I want to learn from him.”

On the running back situation

“Honestly, right now we all want to start and we all want to play. It’s a healthy competition for sure because off the field we’re all good buddies and friends but on the field it’s just, trying to fight for that the position.”

On a different atmosphere with McGahee back

“A little bit, but not in a bad way, in a great way. It’s more motivation for me to keep working to get the position and I think speaking for us all the same way.”

On progress he’s made

“A lot. I keep narrowing down my mistakes in practice.  Today I had no mistakes, just a bad position on a block. But other than that I did pretty good today and I can see that it’s all starting to come along.”

On playing with Manning

‘It’s fun, it’s a lot of fun. Growing up watching him, he’s a legend, a future Hall of Famer. So it’s a blessing to be on the same team as him.”

On pointers from Manning

“Oh yeah, all the time. He shoots me some text messages. He just tells me—the most important thing is don’t become complacent. A lot of players come in to the league and feel a sense of entitlement. For me he told me just to keep working. Really we had that long talk during that golf outing we had because I was on the same team as him.”

CORNERBACK CHAMP BAILEY

On whether mini camp feels different than OTAs

“Picking right back up where we left off. It’s not much different. Just the schedule might be slightly different, but we’re still playing football.”

On whether he cares if a teammate missed OTAs

“There’s some significance to it. I think you can definitely learn a lot about yourself, your teammates, especially if you’re changing a lot of things. It’s good to be here.”

On QB Tim Tebow signing with New England

“Good for him. One thing I know about being on the street is you hear guys saying you never know where you’re going to end up. There’s uncertainty. I’m just happy for him that he got on a team, and he can go out there and do what he can to make the team.”

On how the Patriots will use Tebow

“I don’t know. I’m worried about how we’re going to use the guys we’ve got. I’m not really concerned with how they’re going to use him.”

On Tebow as a teammate

“He’s a classy guy. He’s hard-working, and he’s going to do everything you ask him to do. That’s really all you can ask from a young player. He’s still learning how to play in this league. I’m sure they’ll figure out ways to get the most out of him.”

On whether the secondary has improved from 2012

“We’re getting there. We really won’t know until the bullets start flying for real. But right now we’re progressing. The good thing is we’ve got the same defense and we’re getting more comfortable with it. That’s the main thing on the back end—it’s the mental part of the game.”

On S David Bruton getting reps with the starters

“He looks like a different player. He’s motivated [and] he just looks more aware of what’s in front of him. Getting that opportunity to go with the ones, it’s big for him. It’s a good confidence boost. He’s always had the mind for it; it’s just going out there and doing it now.”

On Bruton’s play translating from the meeting room to the practice field

“Yeah. A lot. And it’s good to go against the best we have on offense every day, because then you can really see what you’ve got.”

On whether Bruton has earned this shot

“I definitely think he deserves a shot. He’s one of those guys, he’s always here, he’s one of our smarter players on defense and as a corner, you want smart safeties out there. So, I’m glad he’s getting a shot.”

On having the same defensive coordinator this season

“It means a lot. For a corner, specifically, it doesn’t change a whole lot for me personally. But I can see the difference in the guys around me. That makes a huge difference in what we can do up front and on the back end with the safeties.”

On CBs Omar Bolden and Kayvon Webster

“They’re scrapping. It’s one of those things—they know they’re fighting for their jobs just as well as everybody. They’re out there getting better. And one thing I like about them, they’re hungry and they don’t seem like they’re getting complacent whatsoever.”

On whether the second and third cornerback groups are the best since he’s been on the Broncos

“Yeah. We’re deep. We’ve got guys that could start a lot of places. I’m glad they’re on my team.”

On playing against an offense that can increase tempo at times

“It’s tough. We struggled against it some last year as a defense. To be able to get that down and even for us to work against it, it’s going to prepare us for what’s to come. We’re going to see some teams that do that this year.”

On what he learns during mini camps

“I never get to the point where I think I know it all. I’ve seen a lot, I do have a lot of experience, but I’m always trying to learn new things. Every day, it’s just like OTAs to me, it’s just another opportunity to go out there and get better.”

On how his style is different from CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s

“Well, we’re both good cover guys. I think we know when it’s all said and done, what we hung our hat on was covering everybody. I love having that on the opposite side of me. He prides himself on not getting beat. I just want to be able to work with him and help him as much as I can. He’s a guy—he knows what to do, but like I said, you don’t want to ever get complacent in this game.”

On what it takes to be a big-time cornerback

“You’ve got to have a short memory, first of all, and you do have to have a little swagger as a corner. It’s pretty much you and the guy in front of you, so most of the time when you’ve got that kind of competition in front of you; you’ve got to be confident that you can get the job done.”

On who has more swagger, him or Rodgers-Cromartie

“Well, I’ve got 14 years of it (laughing). Oh yeah, you can’t lose it. Once you lose it, you’re out of this game. I’m not going to ever lose it until they kick me out.”

On whether this is a Super Bowl-or-bust season

“I think every year you touch the field, you’ve got to think Super Bowl. You don’t want to just look at it and not understand what it takes to get there. It’s a daily grind. We know we’ve got to get better to get there. But in the end, we want to be holding up that trophy.”

On how expectations have changed from 2011, when the team was coming off a 4-12 campaign

“You can’t compare this team to two years ago. It’s like night and day. You have to have that attitude—I mean, why come out here? But we knew that we had a lot of work to do. We’ve still got work to do on this team, but it’s good to know the pieces that I have around me. It definitely builds up your confidence.”

On whether having Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio back means they can build on last season’s foundation

“That’s pretty much it. You can really build on what we’ve done well in the past. When you get a new defense, coaches are kind of afraid to put in too much, because it’s all new. But now we can expand on what we’ve done [well] and hopefully get even better.”

WIDE RECEIVER ERIC DECKER

On QB Tim Tebow signing with the Patriots

“He’s had a kind of some ups and downs over the years. It’s exciting I guess for him to get another opportunity. I’m happy for him; he’s an unbelievable competitor and a good teammate and I’m exciting to see what he can do in New England.”

On what the Patriots should expect from Tebow

“From my experience with him he was a good guy, a hard worker and just a good teammate. That’s all you can ask for in the locker room: a guy that will bust his butt on the field and in the weight room and is going to be respectful amongst everybody.”

On WR Wes Welker and other additions

“Wes brings, definitely a dynamic that’s huge for us. He’s a guy that’s had a lot of success over the course of his career. He catches a lot of balls and throws a lot of things inside that I think we can utilize and overall I think we have a good deep receiver corps and it’s been good overall having that competition, just getting better this offseason.”

On the difference from OTAs

“I don’t say there’s a big difference. I think we have more time to have on field activity, go through stuff we’re installing, maybe different things we’re trying out. I think it’s just good to be around the coaches and know where we can take off when training camp starts.”

On if the team has a Super Bowl-or-bust mentality

I think every year your expectations are to win the Super Bowl or it’s a bust—that’s why you play the game. But this year we feel confident about who we are as a team—the identity that we have, the guys that we have I think we’re a very deep team. It all comes down to staying healthy and getting on a run at the end of the year. I think our mentality as it always has been is one game at a time. We have a tough schedule and we have to make sure we show up week one versus Baltimore.”

On the second year with QB Peyton Manning

Yeah I would say we’re definitely a lot more comfortable and I think that translates to smoother route running, better timing, a lot of little detail stuff that we’re not ironing out, we’re just getting better at. And we’re focusing on things that maybe we couldn’t focus on last year because we were building that relationship.”

On where the offense speeds up

“I think with the up tempo, it should give us an advantage at home, just to be able to play fast and keep defenses on the field and not let them sub. I think it gives us another outlet, whether we go fast, slow or whatever it is, wherever we can have success that’s what we’re going to do. I think this allows us just to play a different game with defenses.”

On having players absent from OTAs back

“Well, it’s good just to have the veterans back, guys that have played a lot of years and can be role models and examples for these guys on the field. And [RB] Willis [McGahee], again, has had a very successful career and I think with our young running corps they can learn a lot from him whether it’s in the film study room or if it’s on the field. It’s always nice to have those guys back.”

On teammates missing OTAs

“Everybody has different obligations in the offseason. Willis, you can ask him that question. I don’t know what his plans were this offseason. But individually you come to work and that’s all you can focus on—yourself and to make sure that you get better and can help this team win.”

On fitting Welker into the offense

“I think obviously our game is going to vary every week. And I think with the receiving corps that we have and the attitude that we have it’s not about how many balls that we catch or how many touchdowns you score. It’s about winning games. I think he’s just a threat that allows us to expand our offense and to be able to play at a high tempo. If you ask him, I don’t think he cares about catching 100 balls, I don’t think anyone on this team cares about catching 100 balls. It’s about getting to that championship and having a ring on our finger.”

On the team’s expectations

“I think our focus right now is to make sure that when training camp comes, we’re running on all cylinders. We want to make sure that we don’t leave any stone unturned and we do have a lot of depth. We do feel confident about that and we do feel confident about our identity. I think that our focus is to go and compete versus anybody in this league and that we can play with anybody.”

On if this team is better than last year

“I think we feel a lot more comfortable and with comfort brings confidence. We’re flying around now in OTAs and into mini camp and I think we’re all getting a lot better. We’ve been staying healthy and we’ve gotten stronger and faster in the weight room. So all good things and like I said we do have confidence.”

QUARTERBACK PEYTON MANNING

On mini camp

“Minicamp is really an extension of the OTAs. We’re working on a lot of different scenarios, doing our individual drills. But we’ve had good work in the OTAs and certainly you’re allowed more time in the minicamp, we get some extra meeting time, we get that second practice this afternoon, which is different so coaches can work on more things. But I think it really is an extension of the foundation that we’ve set in the OTAs and hopefully we can finish out with a good week and it can lead us into training camp.”

On RB Willis McGahee’s presence at mini camp

“I think you’d like to have everybody for all these practices and I think today was a good start.”

On the level of expectations for the team

“I think our coaches have definitely challenged us. We have offensive goals, we have individual position goals, and the coaches are expecting us to go out and do our jobs and play at a high level. I still think you have to take it in phases. There are goals for this offseason and then we’ll have about a five-week break where it’s a good chance for some guys to recover. We have thrown a lot, we have run a lot during this time and hopefully guys can use that time to certainly stay in shape and come back fresh for training camp. I still think, you’re thinking week one, but we have goals that we want to accomplish in each phase before you get to that.”

On whether anything short of a Super Bowl championship would be a failure

“That’s certainly every team’s goal at this point. But there’s a long way before you get to that point in February. We have a second practice this afternoon and we have training camp, we’ve got week one. I know it’s a boring, old clichéd answer, but it’s about putting the work in to achieve that goal and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

On being excited about working with his receiving corps this year

“It’s always an exciting time because you kind of form the identity of your team and you’re working on form and chemistry. We have some new players that we’re adding. We have some young players that were here last year that are a year older, they’re more mature and they’re going to play a bigger role this season. You see a guy like [TE] Julius Thomas, who hardly got on the field at all last year, he’s getting some repetitions and doing some good things, so it’s always exciting to see just who might step up and answer the bell. You see some surprises during this time, which I think is a positive thing.”

On RB Willis McGahee

“The coaches make the decision on the starters. Obviously, I think you want to have depth at that position. It’s been a good opportunity for [RB] Ronnie [Hillman] to get some good work. [RB] Montee Ball has gotten a lot of reps in just the short amount of time that he’s been allowed to be here, so whoever’s in at running back, we expect them to perform. Whether it’s the starter or the third team, as you saw last year, we played a number of guys. To be a good football team, you’ve got to have depth.”

On McGahee’s absence during OTAs

“I think Willis can speak for Willis during this time.”

On his chemistry with the receivers compared to the start of OTAs

“I sure hope we’ve made some improvements. We’re still working on some different things. You work on putting some guys in some different spots. I think one thing that [Offensive Coordinator Adam] Gase is doing is trying to push guys’ limits a little bit and trying to get guys out of their comfort zones and seeing what they can do to see what might give him more flexibility in his offense. But you’re always working to improve on your timing. I don’t think you can ever plateau in that aspect of the passing game. You can always get better.”

On the six weeks between the end of OTAs and the start of training camp

“I can’t really speak for what hasn’t occurred yet, but I have thrown a lot this mini camp. I’ll get a little rest, although you still continue to throw. It’s still hard training though. Luke Richesson, our strength coach, gives every player an individual workout program. Even though you’re not here, you still do it wherever you are, wherever you’re working out. It’s important to stay in shape. It’s really not that much of a break anymore, July 24 will be here before we know it. It’s a good time to get some rest, so you recharge, but at the same time it’s still heavy training because all the work you’ve put in to get to this point, you don’t want that to fall off before training camp gets here.”

On how he feels physically compared to this time last year

“I feel better. I’ve certainly made strides when you talk about in comparison to this time in 2012. I feel better, I’ve made some improvements. I still have some improvements that I want to make. I think every player would probably tell you that and they have things that they want to improve on. I think this is the time that you certainly try to keep your strengths strong, but you work on your weaknesses as well and then try to improve those. There’s no question, because of the comfort in the offense, the more familiarity with the receivers. I just feel like after a year of the strength training with Luke and the work with [Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos], I certainly do feel better. It’s a better feeling than it was last year.”

On WR Wes Welker

“That’s the key, you’ve got to be able to take it to the field, that’s when it really counts. But he’s got an excellent work ethic, which as a quarterback, I certainly have appreciation for that. Guys that are talented like he is…you can see, in a short period of time, why he’s been so successful in his career. His ability to get open, his knowledge of coverages. You can see that he and [QB] Tom Brady were really on the same page because of Wes’s knowledge of defenses. He really has an ability to read coverages and I think he takes it as seriously as a quarterback does. That really has worked well for him, and as a quarterback, you sort of appreciate that. But hopefully we can still keep going. There’s some things that we need to improve on, which repetitions are the best way to improve that. Like you said, the key is getting ready for the real games in the regular season.”

On whether Tom Brady had given him any tips on how to use Welker

“No, he wasn’t nice enough to do that (laughing).”

On whether Welker shared any of his New England experiences

“No, he hasn’t shared any inside knowledge of that. But I’d be lying if I told you we have not studied what worked well for Wes in New England. That’s the strength of any coach, adapting to what a player does well. Because Adam Gase has some familiarity with that offense, he’s going to try to play to Wes’s strengths and at the same time we’re going to ask him some to do things that maybe he hasn’t done before, and he’s had a great attitude about it. But there’s certain pass patterns and certain things that he’s done so well for so long, you’d be crazy not to copy some of those and bring those to your offense. So we’re doing that, but we’ve gotten that more from film study and some of the things that Wes has told us.”

On being able to speed up the offense

“I haven’t talked about it as much as some other people have. It’s still coming down to the execution of the offense. You’ve still got to do your assignment. We talk a lot about fundamentals and techniques, that’s still the key to making a play go. Run play, pass play, whatever the scenario is—that’s really what we’re working on during this time.”

On RB Montee Ball

“It’s really hard to given an answer, it’s been such a short period of time. I think he really has a good work ethic in a short period of time. I think he really wants to be a good player. Those are real positives, but it’s been such a short period of time. We haven’t put shoulder pads on, so I can’t give you a great answer. All you can ask of these young players right now is the guys that are hungry, the guys that are listening. You can tell that if he makes a mistake, he really works hard at correcting it and not trying to make that mistake twice, so those are all things that you like to see out of young player. It’s still early.”

On T Ryan Clady

“I think he will be here. We certainly hope that he’ll be here. I know there’s the business side of it. I’ve certainly kept in touch with Ryan [and know] that he wants to be here. I think that he wants to get that business part of it taken care of and there’s a process there that we’ll let occur, but there’s no question that we want Ryan to be here.”

RUNNING BACK WILLIS McGAHEE

On how it feels to be back

“It feels good being around my teammates. Everybody is happy to see me and I’m happy to see them. I can’t complain.”

On his health and whether that limited his reps

“I’m good. I was actually just seeing what was going on, seeing how things were operating there. I got a couple plays in but this afternoon I’m going to do a whole lot more.”

On why he didn’t attend OTAs

“I didn’t choose not to. I had a reason: family reasons.”

On competition at the running back position

“It is always going to be a heated competition because every year they are going to bring in a running back whether it’s a high draft [pick] or a low draft [pick]. Any given day, anybody can make plays at running back and you always have to stay on your toes.”

On whether the competition is any different as a veteran

“No. Nothing different. All I can do is be Willis McGahee. I can’t control what is going to happen. All I can do is try to go out there and do my job.”

On whether the Broncos have told him what his role will be this year

“No. Come in and play football.”

On how much better he feels now versus in January when he rejoined the team for practices

“Oh a whole lot better. I probably would have still had a limp in January, but I’d have been able to play. It’s all about your heart and your mind. If I tell myself I can do it, I’m going to go out and do it.”

On whether he thinks he would have gotten more practice reps if he was here for OTAs

“Probably. But we have seven other running backs.”

On whether he regrets missing OTAs

“For family reasons? No.”

On whether he regrets missing OTAs for football reasons

“Football, you know I love football. It’s something that I wanted to do and that I chose to do. In my mind, my ability—I know what I can do.”

On where this running back competition ranks among the ones he’s been involved in

“It’s going to always rank high to me because the guys are younger. I’m always on the bubble. Not too much you can do. It’s a business. If something happens, it happens.”

On how many times he’s been written off in the NFL

“About the last seven years I’ve been written off. Getting too old. I love it though.”

On being motivated by people saying he’s too old to play running back

“You’re absolutely right. I think if I didn’t have that motivation I probably would be done by now. But there are people out there that have their doubts. My job is to prove them wrong.”

On whether missing OTAs puts him behind at all

“No. I’d probably have been behind the eight-ball anyways.”

On why he would have been behind anyways

“Younger group. I’d probably have been behind anyway. At the end of the day, I’m going to go out there and be Willis McGahee. I can’t worry about what other guys are doing. Those guys are talented. I like them. I work with [RB] Ronnie [Hillman]. I want Ronnie to succeed because I’m not going to be here forever. Regardless of whether it is this year, next year—somebody is going to have to be able to step up.”

On how much football he has left

“I have a lot. With the new [way] we do practice and stuff, it’s totally different than when I first came in. We [used to] hit every day, two times a day. It has taken a toll.”

On whether earning a higher salary can work against a veteran making a team

“At the end of the day, I say, I have a lot more so I know I can still make plays. As long as you make plays, you are going to get paid, regardless of where you are at. I know I can make plays.”

On whether he has any physical restrictions

“I’m healthy, I’m cleared. Everything is good. No problems. I can run. I’ve been working out when I was in Miami. I’ve dropped down (weight). No complaints.”

On the deaths of Running Backs Coach Eric Studesville’s parents

“I can’t imagine losing both parents. I couldn’t even elaborate on what he’s going for. He’s a very strong man because he’s out here today. He could be home with his wife and kids going through that difficult time, but he chose to come out here. That shows a lot of character and what type of guy he is. I’ve been with him a long time. It’s rough on him right now.”

On what the players can do to support Studesville

“Just be there. Just talk to him and give him words of encouragement. That’s all we can do. We can’t replace his parents. We can’t replace what happened. Just show your support.”

DEFENSIVE TACKLE KEVIN VICKERSON

On the difference between mini camp and OTAs

“Nothing. More media. Like I said, the same thing as we’ve had going on and working the same way the last three weeks and it’s been good. Phase Three right now before we get to the final phase in training camp and stuff like that. I think it’s real good. We just have to finish up these last two days and we should be alright.”

On intensity difference from OTA

“Intensity definitely picks up. Everybody wants to snap to the ball and get their keys and read their keys faster and play faster. Everything goes up right now. OTAs was really like a feel-out and now it’s sort of like real deal training camp without the pads. Until we get the pads on—that’s when we can really see the full go of everybody and how we can play and up front and the guys in the back end coming up and tackling with the linebackers and everybody playing together. So we should be good.”

On the current hunger level

“Expectations are high and that’s just it. We know what we’ve got to do. We had a bad taste to our season ending last year. We’re trying to get that out and go forward and go further than we did last year.”

On mini camp

“Really just playing a faster, everything goes up a little faster—simulation of a training camp, really, without the pads. The same thing as we’ve been doing the past three weeks, it’s pretty much the same. It’s just like I said we’re trying to get playing faster together.”

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