Coaches Corner 10/19/05

Mike Shanahan discusses playing on the road, Champ Bailey's hamstring injury and the effectiveness of Jake Plummer. Read all aout it in today's Coaches Corner.

Mike Shanahan

On whether CB Champ Bailey and S Nick Ferguson will be able to play against the Giants
"Yes. They look pretty good. They were out there in walk-through today and unless there is a setback, they should be ready to go."

On the way QB Jake Plummer has been playing
"You always want your quarterback to manage a game. That's for sure, and he's been doing a good job. He's done a good job in his decision making and he's played quite well."

On whether he has studied Giants QB Eli Manning as much as he has studied Colts QB Peyton Manning
"To be honest with you, I haven't studied their offense (Giants) as much as I've studied Peyton Manning's obviously over the last few years, and it hasn't been a pleasant memory either looking back at those films. Obviously, he's a young quarterback, very talented. (Manning has) 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. He's been managing the game very well, and their offense is leading the league in point production. They are also doing a fantastic job in turnover ratio. Their defense has gotten 18 turnovers in five games. That is over three and a half (per game), which is unheard of. They've done a great job on fumble recoveries, great job on interceptions and they play extremely well in their backyard. We have a big test this weekend. "

On the playoffs and home field advantage
"Actually, what you are trying to do is give yourself an opportunity to win your division. You like home field advantage. You like all those things, but once you get to the playoffs, you have to do something once you get there. That's our goal. We've been there as a wild card when we had three games on the road and won a Super Bowl. There's a lot of different ways to do it. The main thing is you have to get to the dance. You always want home field advantage and (to be) thinking about that long term. I think our team is smart enough to know that this is a week-by-week business. The only thing we are guaranteed is five wins. Our team is smart enough to look back in history and see teams that were 5-1 can wind up being 6-10. In this business, you can become very average very quickly."

On the Broncos' fast start this season
"We've been on the other side, too. You talk about the things you need to do to concentrate on this game and not get caught up, especially with having young players. College seasons are a lot different than pro seasons, so you talk about it and let them know about the teams that didn't make the playoffs and were 5-1. This is journey. We are a mature football team with mature players with the mindset of thinking about today. Don't think about this weekend. Just think about today and doing the little things that give you a chance to have success on Sundays."

On the Broncos' upcoming schedule
"I don't really think about it. I know who we play and the sequence. You start thinking about four out of six games on the road then you're not thinking about today. The teams that I have been with and have been successful have the veteran leadership to make the young players understand this is a day-to-day business. I think our team is mature enough. We've had some young kids step up. The veterans have let them know that you can't take breaks."

On playing on the road
"Any time you play on the road, you have to be at your best. Because you're dealing with crowd noise, their offense has a big advantage and from other standpoints you can't utilize your snap counts and audibles. To play well and find a way to win you have to really be together as a team."

On the Giants' special-teams play
"They've got it all…. Punt return for touchdowns, kickoff returns for touchdowns. If you look at what they did last year on kickoff coverage and punt coverage, they win that area very frequently and probably one of the reasons why they are playing so well. They are well balanced, and that's why you have to play your best when you go out there."

On the Broncos' depth "We are one of the deeper teams we have had, I believe, and we'll see at the end if we can keep it going. The only game where we lost a lot of players was Jacksonville, where we had seven or eight that couldn't dress for that game. Even when we have had an individual go out like (CB) Champ (Bailey), we have had guys step up and play extremely well. The key is we haven't lost a lot of key players for the season and that's what you hope for. The nature of this business is you are going to lose some players. It happens to every football team, and guys have to step up."

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