Coaches Corner

Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan addresses the media as the team prepares to face the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football.

Mike Shanahan

On the Broncos' current injury situation
"(Running back) Tatum Bell's ankle is sprained. I'm not sure exactly where it is at right now. (Broncos Head Athletic Trainer) Steve (Antonopulos) thinks there is a chance or a good chance that he should be able to go by Thursday."

On how RB Mike Anderson played against San Diego after missing a couple of days of practice last week
"Good. I think it's always tough when a guy misses a couple days of practice. Wednesday he was a little sore and he practiced with the scout team. On Thursday, he had the funeral. On Friday, he came back, and I think he was worn down a little bit just like most players do after missing a couple days. But I think he did a good job."

On RB Ron Dayne's performance against San Diego
"Ron Dayne did a good job. He came in, in the fourth quarter with Tatum (Bell) out. Ron came in and played well."

On what Dayne brings to Denver's offense
"Coming out of college, he was a zone-running back. That was his style, and we run a system very similar to the one he ran at Wisconsin. I think he fits our system a little bit better than the other system."

On his feelings on the Broncos' offense
"Well, we haven't been very consistent on offense. We have to get back on track like we did in the preseason. We did some good things in the preseason. We have to get back to not making mistakes and stopping ourselves. If we can do that, good things will happen."

On whether RB Ron Dayne has done enough to earn more playing time
"Everyone is going to get a chance to play. I can't tell you exactly what our plan is. We haven't decided ourselves."

On whether Denver will use a similar game plan against Kansas City to the one it used against San Diego
"Well, I don't know about a similar game plan, but we're playing a football team that was number one in the National Football League last year in scoring. San Diego was third. They play potential in the passing game. They are very consistent in scoring points. The running game has obviously been very consistent through the years. You really have to play well. If you don't play well, they are going to score a lot of points. If you do play well, chances are they are going to get their share."

On any concerns about the running game
"Well I think people forget that San Diego is a pretty good football team. They do a great job with rushing defense. I think last year they gave up three and a half yards per attempt. There aren't a lot of teams that are going to move the football running it on San Diego. What you can't do against a team like San Diego is turn the football over. You can't put yourself in long-yardage situations, or you're going to be in for a long day. I think people will see that throughout the year."

On the decision to use RB Dayne in the fourth quarter instead of Anderson
"Well, I thought Mike was a little tired, and I wanted to give Ron a chance. Our game plan wasn't to play Mike the whole game; it was to substitute him. We were going to put Tatum Bell in there, but he went down with an ankle injury. We were going to play both guys a little bit. When Tatum went down, Ron got the rest of the carries."

On using multiple running backs throughout the game
"Yeah, I like the concept of getting different guys in there. I like the change up. You like to keep your guys fresh, especially if one gets tired. Tatum Bell is a different type back. If he gets a hole, he has the chance to go the distance every play. It's good to have a few guys that can get the job done."

On the performance of the defense against San Diego
"In the first half, they (San Diego) did a great job on third downs. I thought Drew Brees made a couple of throws in there that most quarterbacks don't make. One pass he had to (Antonio) Gates was unbelievable. I don't know how he got it in there with the way (Safety) Sam (Brandon) was covering him. It was just great execution. In the second half, we stepped up our game a little bit. Obviously, I think they had about 40 yards of total offense. They can't play much better than that against an excellent offensive football team."

On whether the San Diego game was the best of CB Champ Bailey's career
"He's had some good games. We had a little talk about the game. There was a zone blitz on the interception play. Drew (Brees) thought he had to get the ball out of there, and Champ did a great job reading the throw. He does that all the time. He's very consistent. I'm more impressed with him than I was during practice. If you practice that hard, it usually shows up on game day. To come back with that dislocated shoulder and play the way he did was pretty impressive."

On whether he was expecting Bailey to play against San Diego with a dislocated shoulder
"He told me right away that he was going to play. But the doctors say that guys don't come back that quickly. I was a little apprehensive, but he did it."

On whether Bailey's interception returned for a touchdown was a gamble
"I don't know if it was a gamble. When he has an open third of the field and he sees the quarterback throwing and he tries to make a break on it, especially on the far hash. But that wasn't even a gamble. He saw it coming all the way."

More on Bailey's interception against San Diego
"Well, that's what football players do. That's why you pay guys that type of money. He has those instincts. There is a chance the quarterback might throw it a little bitter quicker than he normally does, and that's exactly what happened. That's what good players do."

On the progress of DE Courtney Brown
"It's been pretty good. He had a nice sack. He had a fumble recovery. When he played, he played extremely well."

On whether he will continue to use three running backs during the season
"Well, a lot depends on the game plan. Sometimes you are in more of a two-back set or a one-back set. Other times, you use three, four, or five wide receivers. Sometimes you are going to make people think by activating four backs. You can have a tight end that can play both fullback and tight end. There are a lot of different directions you can go, which you have to do. Nowadays, you have to have guys playing multiple positions. If you lose a guy so quickly, you have to able to go in another direction."

On Denver RB Tatum Bell
"He gives a little bit different look. Any time you have a guy that has that type of speed and he catches the ball, people get tired. He can go the distance any time. I liked having the combination of all three of those running backs."

On his frustrations with the offensive production to this point in the season
"Yeah, it is frustrating. But there is some good with it. When you move the ball 80 yards on your first drive, and all of a sudden you're on the 1-yard line, and all of a sudden you lose your momentum like we did. When you go against a good defense and you're in long yardage situations, you're going to be in for a long day, so you can't stop yourself. We're going to play a lot of good defensive football teams this year, so we'd better pick it up. If we don't, then we're going to be inconsistent like we have been the past two weeks."

On DE Courtney Brown
"The problem with Courtney is that he hasn't been healthy. When he's played, he's played extremely well. For people that have ever looked at Courtney on film and watched him play know that he has played extremely well. The problem is that he's had injuries. Right now, he feels good and made a couple big plays in the game."

On having to choose a 45-man roster on game days
"Well, it's a little bit tougher when you have a snapper, then all of a sudden you have a punter, and then you take a field goal kicker, and you have a kick-off guy. You have to take away from somewhere. Forty-five guys is not a lot of guys. The people that are doing that better be pretty good. If your guy is kicking off and that's all he's doing, then he better be kicking out of the end zone. If the two guys are close, then obviously you want the guy on offense, defense or special teams. It all depends on how good they are."



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