Q: How impressive does Jonathan Jones continue to be and how impressive was he yesterday? It seemed like no matter where he was on the field, he was making plays.
BB: Yeah, definitely. Jon was in on several pass breakups and also made some tackles around the line of scrimmage and did a good job in the run force – you know, played a combination of the safety and corner roles – but had a real productive game and he was tested multiple times and was really in good position, played the ball well. The interception he had was an outstanding play on the ball. He really tracked it well and made a heck of a catch. So, yeah, he had another good game for us. He's been a really solid player for us this year, really and every year. He also did a good job on special teams, so he's a very valuable guy.
Q: You've had two opportunities this year to score go-ahead touchdowns in the final minutes of the game but you haven't been able to do so. Do you think that will impact the confidence of your players in similar situations going forward?
BB: No, I don't think so.
Q: How concerning to you are the seven turnovers in the last two games? How correctable is that, and how much is that mental versus physical?
BB: Yeah, well, it's critical. We definitely need to eliminate those. So, we'll all work hard – staff, players, all the people that are involved are working hard to try to correct that. We need to take better care of the ball, no question.
Q: What are your thoughts on your secondary through the first five games? Also, what have you gotten from Adrian Phillips so far?
BB: Well, I think the secondary has competed hard, like they always do. It's an experienced group that works well together, spent a lot of time together and they have good levels of communication and anticipation and know how to handle things, especially things that might come up that are new in the game and maybe a team hasn't shown before. So, they continue to do a good job on that. Adrian's role has kind of expanded a little bit each week, both on defense and in the kicking game, but he's been very productive, he's got good instincts, he's a good tackler, he's a good football player. Glad we have him and his role has expanded. He's really been able to do a lot of good things for us this year. He's smart and he has a good level of anticipation and is a good decision maker on the field. We're fortunate that we have him. He's done a nice job for us.
Q: Is there a way that you want to bring players in, particularly veteran players like Phillips, where you want to give them kind of a base and then expand their role? Or is unique to each individual player?
BB: No, that's a good question. I think each player kind of follows a similar pattern at the beginning – you know, learn the basics of a system, whatever phase of the game we're talking about, and then as we get more comfortable with the player's skillset and he has a better understanding of the different tools that are available to him in the position or positions that he plays, then that can possibly expand. As you know, some of that is a function of the game plan and just how it turns out, so teams that present certain opportunities for us or dictate certain personnel groups, that can also play a factor into how we're set up and what the opportunities are. So, that could come at the beginning, come at the middle, come at the end. It could be more one week and less another week, so there's definitely an element of game planning and week-by-week determining on that as opposed to it necessarily being a progressive – a few more snaps each week, a few more snaps each week. That's not always something we have control over, so a combination of all those things.
Q: How did you see the Broncos defend the read-option plays with Cam Newton yesterday? Now that you guys have put some of that on tape, how have you seen defenses adjust to those types of plays?
BB: Well, I don't think we're running anything that hasn't been run before, but teams have a respect for our ability to run the ball in different situations and different types of running plays. Each week, I think we've seen a certain level of awareness that it looks like teams are putting on containing his run opportunities and some of the plays that we've run before. So, that also helps set up some of the other things. If they're watching for him, that lightens things somewhere else and so forth. So, for us, we just need to do a good job of taking advantage of those opportunities and having a way of balancing things so that if they're taking away one thing, then hopefully that helps us somewhere else.
Q: You obviously didn't have a lot of practice time in the last few weeks. Looking forward, do you have to take a step back and build a base before you continue to layer and evolve things, whether that be conditioning or evolving schematically?
BB: Yeah, I think that's something that would really help us, Bob [Socci], and the more we can get out there and practice and improve our timing, our execution, our anticipation, our awareness, our communication, the more I think those things will help us. We're going to do everything we can to maximize that and I think that will definitely help our individual performances and it will also help our unit performances the more we can do that. Hopefully, we'll get a full dose of it this week.
Q: From an offensive standpoint, would that be related to playing tempo if you wanted to go up tempo and change the pace of the game, so to speak?
BB: Yeah, it sure would. It would involve everything. Again, just the ability to go out there and practice what your game plan is, what you're going to try to do. It's always a little bit different in the game because your opponent doesn't necessarily do things exactly the way you plan them – they're game planning for you, too – but there's usually an element that carries over where there's some continuity from what they've shown in the past. They're not going to put in a whole new offense and defense every week. But, sure, the opportunity to go out there and practice individual techniques, individual skills, certain plays and plays that are specific to the team that we're playing that are really game-planned for, the way that our opponent does something – yeah, all those are opportunities that you'd like to have and we will benefit from having more opportunities to do that hopefully. I mean, that's our goal is to be out there and have a full week of practice and preparation, especially on the practice field. We need that.
Q: Ja'Whaun Bentley had a career high in tackles yesterday and a sack. How would you evaluate his performance yesterday and overall this season as he's stepped into a prominent role?
BB: Right, well, Bent's really had an opportunity to play a lot of football this year and to do a number of different things based on the team that we're playing and the game plan and how things match up and so forth. So, he's done a nice job of accepting those responsibilities and working on them and getting better at them. Some games it's been more zone, some games it's been more man, some games it's been a little more blitzing, and some games it's been a single linebacker, some games it's been more of a two-linebacker alignment, some on the edge, mostly inside, but some up in the line of scrimmage. So, he's done a number of different things and all those skills are a little bit different or they call for something a little bit different. But, he's done a nice job of really trying to put it all together, to get better at each of those things so when they do come up, he can go out there and execute them well, and also communication that he has with the guys that are working with him – which again, that can be a variety of players, too, depending on which down we're talking about, which group they have in the game, which group we have in the game. But, his communication skills and understanding of the overall team concept and what we're trying to do have been good and it's really helped our overall defense play better, the fact that we have somebody like Ja'Whaun out there that can sometimes organize things or get an adjustment straightened out.
Q: How challenging was the decision to decline the illegal hands to the face penalty at the end of the third quarter?
BB: Yeah, that's right on the edge there. It could have gone either way, but we went with what we went with and they made a good kick.
Q: There were a couple plays that were close and could have been challenged. Did you feel good with the internal process that you guys had that you were getting the information you needed to make the best decision you felt you needed to make on those type of plays?
BB: Yeah, I mean, I do. I feel it's nice to be able to sit up there and watch replay after replay and have unlimited challenges, but that's just not the way it is. So, we don't have unlimited challenges and we challenged the touchdown, the quarterback sneak on the touchdown, because we thought there was enough to overturn it. There's a lot of close plays out there. If you challenge all of them, then you run out of timeouts and run out of challenges and everything else. So, you have to pick out the ones that you think are the right ones. It's certainly an unscientific process, but I feel like we take the information and do the best we can. I'm sure it could be done better, I'm sure there's other people who could manage it better, but we'll just do the best that we can.
Q: We haven't seen Beau Allen practice at all, dating back to the summer. Do you anticipate that he will be available this season?
BB: Yeah, Beau's working hard and we'll just take it day by day. If and when he's ready, we'll put him out there. If he's not ready, then we won't put him out there until he's ready.