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What they're saying: Denver Broncos

Posted Nov 21, 2013

Denver Broncos Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio and several Broncos players discussed their upcoming game against the Patriots. Here are the highlights of what they had to say.

On the game...
"You're talking about two of the premier quarterbacks in the league and it's going to be shown in primetime and all that. For us, it's an opportunity to go on the road and face a team that's really been on top of the AFC for a number of years. It'll be a great challenge and a great opportunity to go in there and play a good football team and find a way to scratch out a win."
- Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio

On how colder weather affects offenses...
"It's hard to say. Certain games will provide different situations—from a defensive standpoint, from a weather standpoint. I do think that we do want to emphasize running the football from this point on. A: when you get into possibly a weather situation when it's not ideal to throw it all over the field. And B: I think it helps our team. It provides some balance for our offensive line—a team whose not just pinning their ears back rushing the passer every single play, they have to honor the run. I think it helps the receivers, maybe that safety is not just focused on the double team and on D.T. [and he] has to honor the run a little bit more. I think those things can help our offense, it runs a little more time on the clock possibly and maybe doesn't allow you to score as many points but if it allows you to possess the football and win the football game then that's what we have to do."
- Quarterback Peyton Manning

On the Patriots offense and defense...
"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. "
- Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio

On what makes this Patriots defense different than the ones you’ve prepared for in recent years...
"Well, certainly there’s different players. It’s a credit to them, they’ve had some injuries, yet just kind of the next man up philosophy that you hear a lot of teams use, I’m not sure anybody does it better than them. Somebody else pops in there, and everybody else seems to kind of raise their level of play. They’re doing a great job keeping teams out of the end zone. They’re stingy down in the red zone and they’re just not giving up points, very few penalties, they create turnovers, so it’s a disciplined unit. Those are the things that you seem to see every year out of their defense."
- Quarterback Peyton Manning

On if he feels like he has to step his game up when facing an elite QB like Tom Brady...
"Our offense knows what kind of challenge our defense is facing going against Tom and that offense. We're studying film all week of their defense and the multiple looks they give you. It's been impressive. They've had a number of major injuries yet they really apply that ‘next man up' philosophy and they've had some different guys step in and do a great job. But we know we're going to have to be on our game offensively, because their offense is capable of scoring points, scoring points quickly, and certainly if you had a lead how quickly they're able to come back because of Tom and that offense. So we feel like we do have to be on our game offensively in order to compete."
- Quarterback Peyton Manning

On extra motivation because the Patriots have beaten them recently...
"It's always motivation. I don't think we need any motivation going into this game. We know it's a big game. Going into the Patriots' stadium—it's a great place to play. They got great fans. It's going to be a tough one; I'm looking forward to it. That's why you play the game every week."
- Linebacker Von Miller

On facing Bill Belichick so many times...
"I've played against Coach Belichick when he was a defensive coordinator a number of times—not a number of times but four times when he was there. Even though he hasn't been the defensive coordinator, as a head coach it's definitely his defense that they're playing. You certainly feel like he has a great influence on the different defensive coordinators they've had when I've been there, whether it's [Romeo] Crennel or [Eric] Mangini, and all the different ones and then [Defensive Coordinator Matt] Patricia now. They're always well-coached, they're always well disciplined. I think they're fourth in penalties this year, which seems pretty consistent theme for their team. They don't make a lot of mistakes or give you an easy 15-yarder, a 15-yard penalty. So I'd say well-coached, disciplined, and those are a couple of things that jump out about their teams."
- Quarterback Peyton Manning

On whether he expects a physical game like the one Talib had against Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith...
"I don't think so. I feel like some guys go into that, but I just go out there and I don't say anything to anybody. I just play ball. I just go out there and try not to say anything to him. Similar to [Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall]—I didn't say anything to him. I feel like I'll be fine. Just go in and play."
- Wide Receiver Demaryius Thomas

On the New England Patriots...
"Oh yeah, it's definitely a huge game. Since I've been here, we haven't been able to beat them so it's definitely a tough challenge going into this week."
- Cornerback Chris Harris Jr.

On the Patriots offense being similar to the Broncos offense...
"They definitely have weapons, with [WR Danny] Amendola in the slot—they're kind of using him like [Broncos WR Wes] Welker. [TE Rob] Gronkowski is definitely a big play maker for them that [QB] Tom Brady loves to throw to and last year they beat us on the run. I think they rushed for over 200 yards on us last year and that's something that we'll have to be ready for this week."
- Cornerback Chris Harris Jr.

On stopping the Patriots rushing attack...
"It's always an emphasis on stopping whatever they do well. They definitely run the ball very well and Tom Brady, he definitely throws it very well. It's kind of a tough situation but I figure if we can play our scheme and take it one play at a time, we'll be alright."
- Linebacker Von Miller