Q: ** What do you see from Case Keenum?
MP:Obviously, you know a quarterback for them that has great mobility, very athletic. He has good arm strength, can get the ball vertical and downfield. It looks like he is doing a good job of running their offense and managing the system they have there.[He is] just a guy that's trying to [and] can make plays and extend plays past the normal design and scheme, which obviously is a challenge for us defensively in order to handle those situations. [He is] certainly a guy that we have to give some respect to and a guy that has done a great job to produce in that offense. Someone with mobility like that that can move around, we've got to make sure we are very fundamentally sound.
Q: On the Dane Fletcher forced fumble from Sunday night, when you looked at the tape did you give Fletcher forced fumble? I saw that Rob Ninkovich had his hand in there as well.
MP:When we go through the film, obviously Dane and Rob both made a great play, and Dane made a great hit on the play. We just really saw the ball get knocked off the player and that's what we're really just trying to look for. I guess you could argue a whole bunch of ways there, but to me it looked like Dane made a really good play and a real solid hit. It was really good.
Q: Does it look like the Houston Texans have been trying to drive the football down the field more with Case Keenum playing quarterback?
MP:I think that is built into their offensive system, the ability to do that. Whatever the situation may be or the game plan may call for, obviously they are going to design plays where they think they can take advantage of the defense. Certainly, you can see with Keenum in there his ability to really stretch the field and get the ball downfield. It's certainly something we have to be ready for and the surrounding core of skill players allow them to do that. Obviously Andre Johnson, a great player, just so dynamic and so explosive and so dangerous, is really an excellent, excellent target for him. And you know [DeAndre] Hopkins is doing a great job and [Devier] Posey out there on the field. [Garrett] Graham, too, at the tight end position, really can also push the ball vertically through the middle of the field, which can certainly stress the defense.
Q: Do you think that Denver's success running the football in Sunday night's game is cause for concern going forward?
MP:I think we take a look at every game and critique it the same way. So, we are first and foremost number one obviously trying to continually fix any areas that were a concern from previous weeks or the previous game. Certainly the run game has to be better. We have to do a better job, starting with myself, to make sure we have that handled and taken care of obviously in a more stout fashion. Certainly the areas we will look at, the run game, third down the red area, those are all areas we will try to improve on and get better each week. I think from a coach's perspective, you are going to analyze it all and take a look at it and want it all better, I don't think there's one area where you will say, 'Hey this is OK if they were able to do this against us.' I don't think that's the way we look at it and I don't think that's the way our players look at it, which is great. Like I said and I always say, our guys work extremely hard to get better and improve in those areas that we have identified that weren't executed to the full intention of the game plan.
Q: Can you talk about Dane Fletcher's involvement and growth this year coming off his injury from last year?
MP:Dane obviously is an extremely hard worker and a guy that, I would say, really started his work right after his injury took place. [He is] someone who is totally dedicated to improving himself as a player. He had an opportunity to go out on the field and do some good things for us this past weekend. But, like every week that he is out there, he prepares extremely hard and really tries to execute whatever role we ask him to do, which is a lot. [He does] a lot of different things, and he does a great job at that. He's kind of in the category with the rest of us where he is working to improve every week and hopefully we can build on everything that was done last weekend.
Q: Systematically, is there a running game you have faced this season that reminds you of the Texans?
MP:Certainly, we will retrace a lot of the stuff to the two games we played against them last year, and then just identifying the history with [Head] Coach [Gary] Kubiak and the background from the Denver program and their type of system that they used to run there in their offensive zone blocking system. So, we kind of categorize it in that manner. It's a very similar system to what we have seen in the past and we have seen from them obviously the two times we played them last year, but going back through into the old Denver days when he was there, it is very similar. They have really done a great job of, I would say, building their offense and offensive line to really kind of be that and handle that system. Those guys are big, they handle that system very well, they're very athletic and they do a good job of getting out and getting on the blockers to swallow them up or engulf them and try to move them and use your movement to get you going. Then, the backs do a great job obviously with vision of being able to stretch it, cut it, and finding those open spaces that they can take advantage of. I think Coach Kubiak and [Rick] Dennison, the offensive coordinator, have done a great job to implement that system. I think it is really about the system there where those running backs have had great success being able to step in and run the system there and be very, very productive. So, certainly it is a huge challenge for us to be able to attack those guys and defend the run and stop the run.