Q & A with Mike Shanahan

Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan addressed the media about such topics as the chop-blocking debate, Quentin Griffith's injury and how to stop Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.

On if the short week of practice after a Monday Night game forces the team to speed up the normal preparation schedule -
"You've got to do that. You take a look at the film and assess the good things and the bad things. We've got about a day and a half less preparation time, or I should say recovery time, for the players. So they're usually a little bit sore today as compared to the normal. But other than that, you're ready to go."

On if the short week is tougher on the players or coaches -
"I think it's tough on both. What most coaches do is they'll spend Monday reviewing next week's opponent just like they do during the season. So, it's a little bit different when you're getting ready for a Monday night game and still you're preparing for next week's opponent. So that's a little bit different, but you get used to it over time."

On the injury status of defensive end Trevor Pryce, who is recovering from back surgery to relieve a herniated disc -
"He won't be ready for this game. He's definitely out. There's a chance that he'll be practicing next week. I would guess that after the bye week would be realistic. He thinks there's a chance that he'll be able to go against Houston, so we'll wait and see."

On how the team prepares to face a quarterback like Michael Vick -
"It's really hard because you can't find anybody with that speed or that type of quickness. So, you just do the next best thing and try to get somebody that will run the quarterback keeps and those type of things. But, you can never simulate that type of speed, so you just do the best you can."

On who will play Michael Vick on the scout team -
"I don't know. That's a good question. I don't know think we have a guy that can fill that role, but we can try. (Quarterbacks) Bradlee (Van Pelt) and Matt (Mauck) will do it."

On how long it takes a quarterback to get adjusted to the "West Coast offense" -
"Well, first of all, if you could explain to me what the "West Coast offense" is, then I could answer their question. I really don't know what the "West Coast offense" is. I was with it for a few years myself. But any offense it takes some time. I think they're running an offense that utilizes (Vick's) talents. They have a good running game with Alex Gibbs and the play action passes off of it, very similar to some of the things we do. Mike (Vick) is a freak of nature with his ability to throw the ball deep, and his quickness and his speed, and maybe that's why people love to watch him."

On what he thought Kansas City did differently to stop Atlanta -
"Any time you get a team down and they've got to play catch-up, you get them out of their game plan. Atlanta had been doing a great job all season. In fact, they're giving up 3.6 yards per rushing attempt. So they've been playing great run defense and all of a sudden Kansas City got things going their way, had great field position and made it a game. So we know that we're going to get their best shot. They'll be ready to play just like we are. They were embarrassed Sunday, we were embarrassed Monday. So, you've got two football teams with the same record and trying to get back on track."

On if the game plan he will have for Michael Vick is similar to any other game plan in his career -
"It doesn't matter who the quarterback is, you still have game plans for people who run the quarterback keep, very similar to what we do. So our defense has been working against a lot of things they do offensively, obviously not against a guy like Michael Vick. So, both defenses have been preparing for this type of attack all the way through training camp. Very similar styles of running game on both teams, and the defenses get a little bit of advantage working against that all the way through preseason and regular season thus far."

On if he has decided who is in the No. 2 running back slot with the loss of Quentin Griffin -
"We'll have Cecil Sapp who is activated, and he'll be on our team both in the fullback and the tailback position. Obviously, we've got Garrison Hearst. Tatum Bell still has a hamstring. He's listed for doubtful for the game. So, that's our three people that will be ready to go."

On if he cringes when he sees a team like Atlanta get "embarrassed" the week before Denver plays it -
"I'll answer that after you ask that same question to Atlanta."

On if he could comment on the "chop blocking incident" -
"What would you like me to comment about? I've been talking about it for 10 years."

On if it is something he is sensitive about with the media attention it has gotten in the last few days -
"I haven't seen that, but it's one of those situations where I guess the average football fan, or I should say, the average reporter, they really don't understand that. All teams do that. All teams do it. In the game, Cincinnati had a number of them. I was a little offended with (Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach) Bill Cowher's statement (in Wednesday's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) because they do it. So those type things do occur. So you just have to deal with it."

On if people pinpoint the Broncos for "chop-blocking" because of their past reputation for it -
"I don't think that's true. I think the reason why people bring it up is because of our success in running the football. There's got to be a reason for it, and people bring up the cut block that's been going on since the Super Bowl years. Then all of a sudden when they put in the ‘Denver Bronco rule' after the second Super Bowl, people said we wouldn't have any success with the new rule that was implemented and we've had fairly good success running the ball. So, that's something we're going to have to work through, and that's part of it."

On if he is tempted to pick up the phone to call people like Bill Cowher and explain the situation -
"That's a good question, and what I do is just make up film cut-ups. I take a look at every game. I take a look at a game and particularly when people do block the backside you think along those lines. I handle it a certain way. Obviously, I'll keep that to myself."

On if Cowher gets a copy of that film -
"Well, he might."

On if there is any remorse on his part for what George Foster did on Monday night -
"First of all, anytime someone gets hurt, you feel bad. Especially when a guy breaks his ankle. I tell you what I'll do. I've put a little tape together of different things that happen in the National Football League that's not talked about. I'll just take a few plays from our game against Cincinnati, a few plays of another team, and I'll show you guys what happens during the game. It's part of the game and I don't blame anybody, it's just what happens."

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Mile High Huddle Top Stories

\r\n\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"
\"You've got to do that. You take a look at the film and assess the good things and the bad things. We've got about a day and a half less preparation time, or I should say recovery time, for the players. So they're usually a little bit sore today as compared to the normal. But other than that, you're ready to go.\"


\"I think it's tough on both. What most coaches do is they'll spend Monday reviewing next week's opponent just like they do during the season. So, it's a little bit different when you're getting ready for a Monday night game and still you're preparing for next week's opponent. So that's a little bit different, but you get used to it over time.\"


\"He won't be ready for this game. He's definitely out. There's a chance that he'll be practicing next week. I would guess that after the bye week would be realistic. He thinks there's a chance that he'll be able to go against Houston, so we'll wait and see.\"


\"It's really hard because you can't find anybody with that speed or that type of quickness. So, you just do the next best thing and try to get somebody that will run the quarterback keeps and those type of things. But, you can never simulate that type of speed, so you just do the best you can.\"


\"I don't know. That's a good question. I don't know think we have a guy that can fill that role, but we can try. (Quarterbacks) Bradlee (Van Pelt) and Matt (Mauck) will do it.\"


\"Well, first of all, if you could explain to me what the \"West Coast offense\" is, then I could answer their question. I really don't know what the \"West Coast offense\" is. I was with it for a few years myself. But any offense it takes some time. I think they're running an offense that utilizes (Vick's) talents. They have a good running game with Alex Gibbs and the play action passes off of it, very similar to some of the things we do. Mike (Vick) is a freak of nature with his ability to throw the ball deep, and his quickness and his speed, and maybe that's why people love to watch him.\"


\"Any time you get a team down and they've got to play catch-up, you get them out of their game plan. Atlanta had been doing a great job all season. In fact, they're giving up 3.6 yards per rushing attempt. So they've been playing great run defense and all of a sudden Kansas City got things going their way, had great field position and made it a game. So we know that we're going to get their best shot. They'll be ready to play just like we are. They were embarrassed Sunday, we were embarrassed Monday. So, you've got two football teams with the same record and trying to get back on track.\"


\"It doesn't matter who the quarterback is, you still have game plans for people who run the quarterback keep, very similar to what we do. So our defense has been working against a lot of things they do offensively, obviously not against a guy like Michael Vick. So, both defenses have been preparing for this type of attack all the way through training camp. Very similar styles of running game on both teams, and the defenses get a little bit of advantage working against that all the way through preseason and regular season thus far.\"


\"We'll have Cecil Sapp who is activated, and he'll be on our team both in the fullback and the tailback position. Obviously, we've got Garrison Hearst. Tatum Bell still has a hamstring. He's listed for doubtful for the game. So, that's our three people that will be ready to go.\"


\"I'll answer that after you ask that same question to Atlanta.\"


\"What would you like me to comment about? I've been talking about it for 10 years.\"


\"I haven't seen that, but it's one of those situations where I guess the average football fan, or I should say, the average reporter, they really don't understand that. All teams do that. All teams do it. In the game, Cincinnati had a number of them. I was a little offended with (Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach) Bill Cowher's statement (in Wednesday's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) because they do it. So those type things do occur. So you just have to deal with it.\"


\"I don't think that's true. I think the reason why people bring it up is because of our success in running the football. There's got to be a reason for it, and people bring up the cut block that's been going on since the Super Bowl years. Then all of a sudden when they put in the ‘Denver Bronco rule' after the second Super Bowl, people said we wouldn't have any success with the new rule that was implemented and we've had fairly good success running the ball. So, that's something we're going to have to work through, and that's part of it.\"


\"That's a good question, and what I do is just make up film cut-ups. I take a look at every game. I take a look at a game and particularly when people do block the backside you think along those lines. I handle it a certain way. Obviously, I'll keep that to myself.\"


\"Well, he might.\"


\"First of all, anytime someone gets hurt, you feel bad. Especially when a guy breaks his ankle. I tell you what I'll do. I've put a little tape together of different things that happen in the National Football League that's not talked about. I'll just take a few plays from our game against Cincinnati, a few plays of another team, and I'll show you guys what happens during the game. It's part of the game and I don't blame anybody, it's just what happens.\"

Voice your opinion on our Hardcore Message Board
Exclusively at Broncos Update.com

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