Josh McDaniels on the death of Kenny McKinley

Head Coach Josh McDaniels discusses the tragic death of Broncos WR Kenny McKinley

Opening Comments
"We are stunned and extremely saddened to hear about the news of Kenny McKinley's death yesterday. We'd like to offer our condolences, publicly, to his family and friends. Most of all, his parents Ken and Karen and to his son Keon. We'd ask that you join all of us in keeping them in your thoughts and prayers. (I'd) also like to thank everybody in the community and around the National Football League for all of their support during this difficult time. Our team is a close-knit group and it was good to have them here together today to try to share in the grieving process. I know it won't be easy to do this. When you spend this much time together, you're like an extended family and I think that our group has a lot of strength and they'll support each other. Most importantly, we'll all be there to support Kenny's family, Kenny's friends and his son. I know maybe not all of you got to know Kenny McKinley, but he was a special person. (He) had a great smile, a great personality, always in a good mood — certainly very well liked by everybody who knew him. (He) had a great offseason and we were looking forward to Kenny making an impact on our football team this year. I've had an opportunity to have two draft classes here in two years and…I'm not sure that any one of those kids enjoyed the phone call as much as Kenny did — and that was him. He was excited about (being drafted) and he was looking forward to the opportunity and that's what he brought every day. We're certainly going to miss him being around here. I know our players will, I know our coaches will, and again, we'll get through this together and like I said, most importantly, we'll be there to support his family during this most difficult time. Out of respect for his family and Kenny, I'm not going to speak about circumstances or details surrounding the situation but I will take a few questions."

On the team's plans to honor McKinley for the game vs. Indianapolis on Sunday
"There will be a moment of silence. We'll certainly wear a decal with his number (11) on it and we're going to leave his locker up this year — the team decided to do that. We're going to leave the locker in the locker room. As far as a memorial or anything like that, we're still trying to be respectful of his parents and his family and their desires in terms of what we want to go forward and do here, but certainly we're going to do something."

On the impact of his death on the team
"I think there has to be. This makes the game seem kind of small at times. We've provided — there are going to be counselors here as long as we need them to be here with our players and staff and I think they've talked to us (and told us) that if you feel a certain way, you should go ahead and feel that. You shouldn't want to suppress that during that time. Hopefully our players will do what they need to do. We're certainly not going to all grieve the same way, but I think we'll support each other and the emotions that people feel — they're OK, they're OK."

On whether there were any indications that this could happen
"No. We've all seen him recently and he's been the same person every time we've seen him. He liked junk food and chips and things like that. He was in the cafeteria or in the training room when we're seeing him the last so many weeks here — nothing that would alarm us to anything like this."

On the team meeting today
"We met with the team this morning at 10 a.m."

On the decision to place McKinley on Injured Reserve
"He knew — it was really a decision we made together because he knew the extent of his injury and it was really a choice that he was very involved in. There are situations where you can try to do something else and fight through it, or (the player) can try to have the operation and then go ahead and be ready to go for the next year and that's what we chose together. He was very much a part of that decision and he was working hard with his rehab so I don't think there were any feelings otherwise."

On whether or not he has spoken with McKinley's family
"We're kind of in the process of that. We're very respectful, certainly, of their time at this point in terms of (their) transitioning here or traveling here — the organization has been in contact and we're going to continue to stay in contact with them."

On the last time he saw McKinley
"I saw him a couple of — maybe not even a couple of weeks ago in the cafeteria. He was the same kid — happy smile, you could see all his teeth. Certainly, I don't have any memories negative about Kenny because of the spirit that he had."

On the team meeting
"(It was) quiet. I think there are certain groups that may have been closer to Kenny than others, but everyone was very respectful of one another and very eager to be involved in the support of his family. The captains were adamant about that and wanted to make sure that we are doing everything we can to help his son — which we are — and help support his family."

On how he approaches the game on Sunday with this tragedy
"You know, it's not going to be a normal week. We are not going to try and pretend that it's a normal week. We are going to do our work and get ready to go and like I said, I think really respect everybody's ability to go through this differently. We are not going to ask everybody to be the same, and we are not all going to be the same. I think the players will understand that the week is going to go forward and we are going to have to handle that as well as get ready for the Colts and be ready to play on Sunday. It will be different, but I think our group will continue to so what they have done, which is prepare hard and get ready to play."

On whether he is leaning on anybody inside the organization for advice
"I was actually involved in (dealing with a player's death) in New England with (DE) Marquise Hill and I know there's a lot of people here that experienced (the) Darrent (Williams) and Damien (Nash) situations. I think everybody is kind of leaning on each other. There are some people here certainly that have professional experience in dealing with these kind of things. They spoke to the team this morning, and they'll be here as long as we need them. I think our team, like I said, it's like a family and hopefully together we'll push through."

On the pressures of playing in the NFL
"Each player is different, each person is different. Whether you are in the National Football League or not, there are things you are going through each day that all of us have on our minds. I think at this point to respect the fact that just because you are in the NFL in some capacity doesn't mean that there aren't other things that are concerning to you or other people. So, we all have issues that we are going to have to deal with personally that have nothing to do with our profession, and I don't think the players or coaches or anybody else for that matter are out of the question in that regard. I think just, again, asking people outside of our building to respect his family and support them and understand that there are things that — certainly all of us aren't perfect and there are issues we all have to deal with."

On whether any players spoke at the meeting
"No, I mean, we prayed for his family and him, but other than that, I spoke to (the team) and tried to inform them on a lot of the details of what we're going to do going forward and some of those things and then the counselors spoke as well in the team meeting along with our security people and just tried to encourage our players to take advantage of the counselors that are here and whatever support that they may need to go ahead and access here. That was pretty much it. I know, like I said, it was a great turnout for short notice. A lot of the guys were here — most of them, if not all of them were here and all of them (are) pretty much feeling the same thing."



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