On the start of the regular season
"You always want to start the season off on a positive note and as we say with the players and coaches, ‘this is with live bullets.' You go through a preseason where you are experimenting with your system and players while trying to find out the top 53 and get a good feel for what you are doing. The bottom line is that this is what counts, and hopefully we play accordingly."
On the Broncos facing Miami in Nick Saban's first game as an NFL head coach
"He has had a season before. He has coached at LSU, he had a lot of success there (and at) Michigan State. He has been in a national championship. He has been in the National Football League as a coordinator and as an assistant coach, so he understands the game and he understands pro football. Obviously he has had a lot of success at the collegiate level as a head coach and he is well respected amongst his peers. He is (coaching) for the organization that has the best record over the past 35 years. They have a very high standard in how they do things and they expect to win championships and they expect to play well. They have an owner who believes in that and the commitment by the owner, so that says a lot there. W e have a lot to play for too, we are 0-6 at there stadium (vs. Miami in the regular season). We have not won a game there, so it is a great challenge for our football team."
On preparation for the game
"I watch a lot of college film, not only looking at what different colleges do from an offense and defensive standpoint, but also evaluating players, so we do that quite a bit during the off-season. Especially a team like LSU, who has a number of players year-in-year-out."
On what he expects from the Dolphins
"We hired a person that was an assistant head coach (Broncos Linebackers Coach Kirk Doll) there that coached with LSU for a few years, so we have an idea, just like he has an idea about us."
On the Broncos' 0-6 record in road games against the Dolphins
"When you are 0-6 and you haven't won a game out there, so it is a great challenge for our football team. It is not with the same team, but it never is. You still have to go out there and get it done, especially in early September, when it is hot and humid and were not exactly practicing in those conditions, so you just have to find a way to go out there and get it done."
On Denver's solid play in the preseason
"I think it is better to play well than to play poorly. It always helps from a confidence standpoint. I think we are going to go against one of the toughest schedules that we have had, going against the defensive teams from a year before, so the competition is going to pick up, but drastically from the teams that we have played throughout preseason in comparison to the year before. So we understand what is ahead of us. We are going to play some great defensive teams and we better play well in the preseason because the teams that we played throughout the preseason are not as good as the teams that we are going to be playing during the season consistently."
On Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer's play during the preseason
"Jake's played very consistently. Number one, you want to take care of the ball, you don't want to turn the football over. You want to manage the game well. You want to go through your reads and you have to improve from the year before. I think he has made an improvement each year, and hopefully this year there will be no difference."
On the Dolphins' players
"I think you have to go back to what type of team Miami's been. They had a few injuries, they've been one of the best defenses consistently in the National Football League. They didn't have one their better seasons last year, but they lost a lot of their players. They have been one of the most consistent organizations as we just talked about. They might be underestimated by the outside world, but when you take a look at their receiving corps and their skilled athletes on offense, are you going to better? They got the second pick of the draft, a running back (Ronnie Brown), then your talking about (Dolphins running back) Ricky (Williams) when he does come back. If you take a look their skilled positions in wide receivers, defensively they have (linebacker) Zach (Thomas) and (defensive end) Jason Taylor, and the supporting cast that they have had throughout the years. You have a team that is very capable and a very sound team throughout the preseason that played very well."
On if he was surprised with the Dolphins' decision to start quarterback Gus Frerotte on Sunday
"No, I am not surprised."
On Frerotte being the starter
"Not really because we were going to get him here. If he didn't go to Miami and the offensive coordinator from Minnesota didn't take the job, he would have come back here. He built a house here, so a little upset when the offensive coordinator got the job over there, so he went there. I like Gus. When he was here, he did a good job for us, a great job. I have a lot of respect for him. He has a great arm and now he is on the other side of the street."
On Frerotte's biggest strength
"Great arm strength, really likes to throw the ball down field, very consistent throwing the ball down field and that can be a great challenge for our team, especially with the skills they have at the tight end and wide receiver."
On how the Broncos' preseason success will transfer to the regular season
"The preseason doesn't count, but it helps one thing. You get out there to test new players in new positions, if we have any, to get into a rhythm and to gain confidence. I think we accomplished that as an offense, both running the ball and throwing the ball. There is no reason we shouldn't carry that over to the season. Obviously, what I did in the preseason equated to about one full game. If you take those stats, it was decent. It's week to week now. You get a game each week. You've got to be ready to strap it on. I know the guys around me will be ready to play. I just need to guide the ship and keep doing what I'm doing."
On how comfortable he has looked throughout the preseason
"Yeah, you guys keep asking me how comfortable I look. So I figure I must look comfortable. I feel good out there. I'm comfortable going into my third year. I know what's coming from the press box from (Offensive Coordinator Gary) Kubiak. I'm ready to go out there and do whatever they call."
On the new look the Miami Dolphins will have under first-year Head Coach Nick Saban
"I don't know. We'll see after the game. He's been putting in some new systems. With the defense that they had, I have a hard time seeing them reinvent the wheel over there because they play so well doing what they've done for many years. They're going to throw a lot of stuff at us, I'm sure. With a team like that, I don't know quite what to expect. They're going to want to come out and make a statement and win the first one for their coach in his first game in the NFL. They're going to want to come out and win and be extra motivated. We'll be down there in their place. With all of the elements and everything, we still have to go down there and play ball and come away with a win."
On how the Miami defense will affect the play of the Broncos' offense
"If you watch the preseason, their starters – they didn't play the whole game. You've got to see what they're doing on defense. They're probably practicing everything they're doing to do defensively in four or five preseason games. We've got to be ready to see anything. From the history of their defense and how well they've played, they've manned you up and came after you and said, ‘Beat us. If you're good enough to beat us, then you beat us.' It's hard to see them change some things and do a bunch of stuff they've never done. If they do, we're going to be prepared for it."
On getting a good start in the first regular-season game
"You want to start fast. Obviously, in the league, it's what you do in the end of the season. Obviously, you need to put yourself in position to make a run late. To do that, you've got to get a win early. So the first game, we want to go down there and get a win no matter what."
On how he feels heading into his ninth year in the NFL
"I feel good. I mean after nine years, I don't feel as good as I did in year four. There aren't many guys who have played as many snaps as I have that would say that. It's something that I don't think about, that I don't want to think about. I'm going to go out and play and make it a non-issue. If it starts to bother me, then I'll go get treatment. (Broncos Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos) Greek is good at making me feel better, so I'll go and do that if there is a chance that comes up. Otherwise, I'm just going to go play ball. You can't think about that stuff."
On the weather they will face in Miami
"It will be good… nice and warm. It will be easy to get warmed up."
On how ready the Broncos are for their season opener
"I just think with the veterans we've added and obviously, the guys that we've brought in that are now in their second year. I remember how much of a difference it was for me going into my second year – how much better I felt. You've got guys on defense that are ready to go out there and make a statement. The guys we had, we had a great nucleus. We're working hard. We put even more work in this offseason than we had in the past. You know, all things point to that. A lot of things factor in during the whole season. We have a lot of good depth. So if we lose somebody, I don't think we'll take a step back. We've got guys that can come in and play at that same level."
On the Broncos' wide receivers
"I like the guys that we have right now. I'm looking forward to throwing to Rod (Smith), Ashley (Lelie), Charlie (Adams), Darius (Watts) and Todd (Devoe)."
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