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Broncos: Jack Del Rio Conference Call Transcript
Q: What are your thoughts on what Wes Welker has brought to the Broncos this year?
JD: Great competitor, quickness, play-making ability. He’s been a great addition.
Q: Do you anticipate Welker will play on Sunday?
JD: I hope so. It really comes down to him getting the clearance. My hoping a lot is not going to be a factor. It’s going to be the doctors giving him the green light. He’s got to follow the protocol, and we are hopeful but till he gets that green light we’re just getting prepared with the guys that are going right now.
Q: How would Welker’s absence affect your offensive approach?
JD: There would need to be some adjustments, but that’s what staffs do.
Q: As a football guy do you have an appreciation for kind of the legacy that Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have established?
JD: Two tremendous quarterbacks. Gifted, been a part of some great matchups. Both have won the big game, played in several against each other with the opportunity to go [to the Super Bowl] and all that. It’s one where TV obviously wants to have it on. It’s a primetime matchup, and it’s great for the theater and all that, but it really comes down to two football teams. Whichever football team executes the best is going to win.
Q: What kind of influence do you think Brady and Manning have had on the game?
JD: They have both impacted their respective organizations, where they’ve been, in an incredible way. So I think that kind of speaks for itself. They have played at the highest level and they have had some great matchups.
Q: How much credit does Peyton Manning deserve for the way that the guys around him have developed?
JD: Well I think great players help people around them be better. I think Tom has done the same thing there in New England. Both of these quarterbacks are super players, they are great competitors. They have that drive not only to excel individually but to ensure that their team and their teammates around them, that they are all doing their part. That’s what makes them special.
Q: How often do you talk to John Fox and how have you tried to maintain consistency with what John did as the head coach?
JD: We speak daily, sometimes a couple times a day. He is doing great. His spirits are up, he is healing. His blueprint here has been established. I have worked with him before once in Carolina before this and then the last year-and-a-half here. We understand that we’ve got a good blueprint, [we’ve] got a good staff and good players. I’m just basically – I’m his lieutenant, I’m his defensive coordinator. I’ve got a few additional duties while he is healing, but he will be back shortly.
Q: What is the biggest challenge of your situation, knowing that it is temporary and you’re holding the baton for the time being?
JD: I just approach it each day trying to do my best to fulfill my responsibilities. I don’t really worry too much about whether it’s easy, hard, long, short, or anything like that. Just get the job done.
Q: What have you learned from Peyton Manning day-to-day, specifically in regards to his toughness and ability to play through injury?
JD: I’m just grateful that we’ve got a guy like that leading us. He is, like I’ve said, very competitive, extremely well prepared, and takes this position and these opportunities very seriously. So the work ethic and the competitive nature and the toughness and those things, that’s just part of who he is.
Q: Is it fair to say he is playing at a higher level this season than last season?
JD: I guess I just don’t really look at it like that. There have been some amazing numbers and we’ve won more at this point in the year, but for me it’s kind of like just get ready for the next one. I’m just really focused on how can we slow down New England, how can we do enough offensively to score enough points and score more than them. On special teams how do we make sure we flip field position and do those kinds of things? So, we’re just working hard to prepare right now to play this ballgame.
Q: What do you see from the Patriots both offensively and defensively?
JD: They’ve obviously got a great quarterback. They’re getting some of their weapons healthy around the quarterback. Gronk [Rob Gronkowski] is back and he’s a big guy to deal with. [Shane] Vereen is back and I know that they like him. [Stevan] Ridley is a very good football player, and they’ve got a great offensive line. [They’re] very well coached. They’ve got some younger receivers that are developing and [Danny] Amendola looks like he is healthy again. So, this is a good football team. And then defensively they are stout. I know they’ve had a few injuries, but this is a stout group that is playing well. I think they’ve held [opponents] to score less than 20 [points] a game, which is outstanding, and then field position. They are winning the field position battle on special teams. So, this is a good football team.
Q: How has Von Miller impacted the defense with his return, but conversely what do you have to overcome in the absence of Rahim Moore?
JD: Like Coach Fox always talks about, it’s next man up mentality. It’s unfortunate for Rahim. He is a good young man who is having a good year for us, but he is going to be down. We’re fortunate to have a little veteran depth there that will step up and step in and hopefully continue to play well. And Von, having him back and kind of rounding into shape has been good for us. He’s impacted us. I think he can even be more impactful. We hope that as we continue to go here he continues to find his groove.
Q: You played Kansas City last week and then again next week. Typically the middle game is known as the trap game. Does this feel like a trap game for you?
JD: I don’t think this qualifies as that. This is a series of very difficult games. I think they are difficult every week. Last week is in the past. We’re focused 100 percent on the New England Patriots and traveling up there, [it’s] a very tough place [to play]. They’re 5-0 this year. Their record over the past decade has to be the best in the league or right at the top, so this is a big challenge and we are just trying to get ourselves prepared to represent ourselves and give ourselves a chance.
Q: Have you had any days 20 degrees or colder in Denver yet, because that is what is being predicted for Sunday’s game?
JD: Sounds like good football weather.