Coach's Corner - Josh McDaniels 10/9/10

"We want Champ Bailey to be here, we want him to finish his career here — there's no question about it. There are a lot of little things that go into these things. A lot of these things take time to get right, and sometimes the timing of it doesn't match with the player's desire or our desire but ultimately when they get worked out everybody is content and happy".

Opening comments
"A couple of things on the injury report that you'll be seeing later: (FB) Spencer (Larsen) is out and (RB) Knowshon (Moreno) is out for this week. Other than that, we hope to have everybody ready to roll. (CB André Goodman) had a good practice yesterday, (LB) Wesley (Woodyard) made it through yesterday and everybody else seems to be doing pretty WELL. Knowshon and Spencer just aren't ready to go and (I) don't think it's the right thing to do to try to force them to try to play before they're ready to go."

On the thought process behind signing S Brian Dawkins in 2009
"The very first thing we did was we evaluated all of the available potential free agents, and the very first thing we talked about was his play. It had nothing to do with the person, it had nothing to do with the leadership that he would provide, it had nothing to do with his career — we just looked at his production and the way that he ran around and the fact that he was an impactful player on third down and he made some plays on the ball in the secondary. He played multiple positions (in Philadelphia) and we thought he was the highest-ranked safety that we had in free agency. He and (S) Renaldo (Hill) both were those types of players (that) had played for a little while and we just felt like if we had an opportunity to add a player of his caliber — before we even talked about the leadership and the fact that he would be a great captain and demonstrate the way to go about doing his job and all those things — that was what kind of really piqued our attention. To have an opportunity to bring him here and then all the other things that he brings are incredible. You don't replace those, and it's hard to think that you're going to get that from a lot of players in your locker room because he's very unique."

On Ravens WR Anquan Boldin
"He's a very talented player. He's a different receiver than we play most every week because his size is such a factor in creating separation for him. He does a great job at the top of his routes using his body, but he's also a very good route runner. He's not a speed guy — I'd say he's got good speed, but certainly not as fast as other receivers in this league. But, that never prohibits him from finding a way to get open against small, fast corners, bigger, tall corners (and) some guys that have both combinations. He moves around a lot (and) he plays in a lot of spots. They use him outside (and) they use him in the slot a lot on third down, which is going to be a big play for us in this game — our ability to defend him and (TE Todd) Heap on third down. They do a great job of getting those guys the football and they're big targets for (QB Joe) Flacco."

On K Matt Prater
"I think that Prater is — first of all a very talented kicker. He's got a big leg, and I think when kickers kind of get into that rhythm and they feel that confidence, I think that just makes them better players. The one thing about Matt is that he's a big part of our team. He's not just a guy that goes off on another field and kicks. The guys interact with him, he interacts with them and I think our team has really embraced him and (P) Britton (Colquitt). Our kicker and punter both play a big role on our football team. We feel like we've got two good young ones and the thing that sometimes goes unspoken is how good of a kickoff man he is. Here in Denver, there are plenty of times we don't even have to cover a kickoff at home, because Matt kicks it through the uprights or out the back of the end zone and that's such a big factor here, in terms of making the (opponent) start at the 20 (yard line) and field position certainly has a big impact on our games when they're close. I think he feels good about where he's at. He's battled through a few little nicks and bruises here too, so a credit to him for that and he's starting again, to have a very good year."

On how K Matt Prater has been able to focus with the death of Kenny McKinley
"I think you're right on in that regard. I mean, Matt was close with Kenny. Again, none of us handle everything the same way in those instances, and Matt certainly persevered through this. (He's) been able to come out and have good days of practice, although I'm sure not every day has been a good day for him personally; but I think he has really shown a lot of perseverance here. He kicked well last week and practiced well again this week. I know there's a lot on his mind and we appreciate and respect his ability to be able to do his job, which does require a lot of concentration, focus, and a lot of little details (have) to go the right way for him to be accurate and do his job the right way. So, credit to him and we'll continue to be there to support him, too, as we are the rest of our players."

On the contract talks with CB Champ Bailey
"We are not going to talk about the contract and all that stuff in general, but we want Champ Bailey to be here, we want him to finish his career here — there's no question about it. There are a lot of little things that go into these things. A lot of these things take time to get right, and sometimes the timing of it doesn't match with the player's desire or our desire but ultimately when they get worked out everybody is content and happy. Certainly, if there's something that can happen sooner rather than later, then that's what we'll want to do. I know I love the guy. He has been great for me professionally (and) personally, he's been great for our locker room, and nobody here wants him to leave. There are a lot of things that go on into these things and factor into timing. (General Manager) Brian (Xanders) has handled these things great throughout the course of the offseason, and I expect that to be the case with this — it just may take a little while."

On asking a player to play a new position
"I think that it starts with the big picture, and the big picture is we have 53 guys on the roster that are active and we know that during the course of a season there are going to be any different number of issues that we run into with health of our players. I think that's why we have stressed versatility so many times in the last 18 to 19 months, so that if we get into a situation like we are in now, where we choose to keep one fullback on the roster for a number of reasons you have to have somebody ready to go as a backup. (TE) Dan (Gronkowski) kind of fits that bill for us, has fit it very well the last week or two here. We ask our defensive players sometimes to know multiple positions like (CB) Nate Jones knowing (the) safety (position), and (CB) Syd'Quan Thompson is also ready to go at safety — he's never played safety in his life. (WR) Demaryius Thomas is a kickoff returner now. I think that the ability to do more than one thing is very important to your team — maybe not the very first day of training camp, but you are going to need all of that as you go through the season. I think the more of those types of players that you have on your team the more you are capable you are of withstanding some of those problems as you go through 10 games, 11 games — now you are into the later part of the season and you've got injury situations that come up that force you to do other things, and our guys have done a great job of being receptive of that and learning multiple roles."

On projecting WR Demaryius Thomas as a kickoff returner coming out of college (he didn't return kicks in college)
"We didn't pinpoint him as, ‘You know, this guy is going to be a great kickoff returner,' and I don't think anybody could have. He is a little taller than most (returners), he's probably a little thicker than most, but in our mind, he's harder to tackle than most and he's probably just as fast as anybody else. The more we did it, the more he did it, the more he wants to do it and I think he's really embraced that. I think his attitude is, ‘Any way I can touch the ball and help our team win, that's what I'm going to do.' He's also going to play on the ‘Vice,' on the punt return team, he's on the kickoff team and that's just his attitude and it's a tribute to him and a number of other players in our locker room that are very unselfish and will play any role that we ask them to do."

On the evolution of the tight end position
"Not only are people moving the tight ends around, maybe more than I've ever seen, to create issues with matchups, but there are also more types of tight ends now. I remember when I came into the league — and it wasn't like it was 30 years ago, but 10 or 11 years ago — there was the blocking tight end and then down to the H-back kind of guy that moved and played some fullback. Now there are guys like (San Diego TE Antonio) Gates and the young kid in New England, (TE Aaron) Hernandez, who I got to see briefly on Monday night— he's like a receiver, but he's a tight end. The problems those guys are creating defensively are not only, ‘Where are they at and how do you matchup with them?' But, it's, ‘Who do you even put in the game?' Because you have to play nickel against a two-tight end set now more than you ever had because if you don't, you're going to end up with a big linebacker on a guy that basically runs and catches like a receiver. We don't really have that (type of) player here, but it's an issue that you have to contend with a number of times during your season. (Ravens TE Todd) Heap is like that. Next week, (Jets TE Dustin) Keller is like that, Gates is like that. There are a lot of players in this league that are forcing you to do different things defensively than maybe you would like to do, but that's the evolution of the position and they're all over the field and you've got to matchup with them, no matter where they're at."


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