Head Coach Mike Shanahan
On the status of rookie running back Maurice Clarett
"Everyone that is here should be concerned about making this football team and if you are not, then you are not a realist. If you are not practicing, that does not help your chances."
On Clarett's right groin injury
"To be honest, (Broncos Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos) said that he could not go. I did not ask the severity beyond that. If he can go, then he is on the field and we will work with him. If he can't go, then he can't go. That is the nature of this business. People get hurt and once they miss their reps, it not only hurts their chance of making the team but also getting playing time. Hopefully, he can get back soon. If he does, he will have a chance to compete because you can't compete if you aren't practicing."
On wide receiver Darius Watts' play during Wednesday morning's practice
"I did not study Darius (Watts), but I did see him make a couple big plays out there. It looked like his concentration level is pretty good. I didn't get to watch the one-on-one because I was over watching the nine-on-seven. I know he did not have any drops in team (practice), so that is a good sign."
Linebacker Al Wilson
On the Broncos' preseason preparation
"I think this is the best preparation that we have had since I have been here. The main difference is us being able to adjust to anything that the offense has been doing. This has definitely been an extremely productive training camp for us. "
On training camp nearing its conclusion
"I have just been keeping up with the days in my head. Just knowing that this day was eventually going to come and that camp was going to come to an end."
On what Denver took from its preseason opener against Houston
"We just want to eliminate a few of the mental mistakes that we had. We did make some mental mistakes, which is expected, because it is the first preseason game. We also want to tackle a little better and just go out there and play our game. We want to get our guys the football and if guys miss tackles, we want to make sure there are three or four guys right there behind them. Those are a few things that we do want to improve on."
On the improvement of linebacker Patrick Chukwurah
"As you get older and you play more games, you start to experience more and see more, so there is a better feel for what offenses are trying to do. That is what I see Pat doing right now. He is getting better at understanding our scheme and understanding what offenses are going to be trying to do to us. He sees how the offense will try to isolate certain players and what to do in those situations. As he continues to study and look at the playbook, he continues to get better. The sky is the limit for that guy."
On the development of second-year linebacker D.J. Williams
"It is almost like night and day. He is a good player, but now we have him communicating and talking. I think he understands the defense a lot better and that helps. That makes it much easier for all of the linebackers and the defensive line, just communicating. Even if we are all wrong, it is always good to be on the same page. His communication is probably the biggest change that I have seen in him."
Defensive End Trevor Pryce
On the Broncos' trip to Houston last week
"When we got down there, we were all riled up and by the time we got to the game, all of us were drained. I think mentally and physically from being down there in the heat and being away from home. There was a lot of sitting around, and the practices weren't that long, so it was almost like the beginning of training camp."
On the strength of his leg
"I feel the strength in my leg. I didn't really get to show it off because we didn't call any of those plays, but I felt fine. After the game, I wasn't tired. It was more about getting to see game speed. Playing against your own team isn't like playing a game in the AFC West."
On returning to the field after last season's back problem
"I have knocked most of the rust off but not all of it. I think I still need to polish the under-carriage a little bit, but I am getting there. I think by the time we get to the third preseason game, I should be in full swing. I haven't had a chance to pass rush in a game, and I also didn't really get to cut. I played about 20 plays and those were mostly run, so we didn't really get to cut it loose like we did last year against them. Then they would just drop back and deep ball it every play. Eventually, all of us will figure where we are."
On how many sacks to expect from him in 2005
"Give me at least one (joking). That is where you make the big bucks – You have to have at least one sack. Hold me to that. It does not mean two. You are not going to do that to me, I have been here too long."
On the improvements of the defense through the preseason
"I think we have so many guys that love to play the game. It is very important to them. Coming from the places that they have come from, they are here to get a fresh start. You can see that in them and how they get upset if something goes wrong. The way they have reacted and jelled with the rest of the guys is great. The most important part is how much does it mean to them, and you can see that it means a lost."
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