Coaches Corner 11/21/05

Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan discusses the short week and facing the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Check out the full transcripts in today's Coaches Corner.

On RB Tatum Bell's injury
"His chest is a little bit sore, he's getting treatment and we'll get a better idea tomorrow."

On whether RB Tatum Bell will participate in special-teams practice Monday
"He's got another conflict today that he is addressing, a family matter. But he would be on special teams, or at least we think he would if he didn't have that conflict."

On K Jason Elam's calf
"He did a good job. Any time you pull a calf muscle and you are able to still perform…I thought that was pretty gutsy. It did affect the decision making…whenever someone has a pulled calf or a sore calf, you are not going to make them kick a 50-yarder or 55-yarder. "

On if the defense is well rested after staying off the field for the majority of the game against the Jets
"Well, I think it makes the offense a little bit more tired and the defense a little fresher. It was a good group effort and they did a great job of getting turnovers and getting them off the field. Their bodies should feel a little bit better."

On whether the players or coaches have a shorter week
"I think it's a combination. For the coaches, it's a different schedule, and for the players it's a different schedule. You get a chance to reap the rewards after the game. You get a little more recovery time, the chance to have 10 days before you play your next opponent."

On what the last few days were like preparing for the Jets and Cowboys
"Well, after our Friday practice, we started getting ready for Dallas. Friday afternoon, usually go home and kind of relax a little bit more and get your gameplan preparation for the Cowboys, and Saturday after the meeting you spend your whole day getting ready for the Cowboys. It's a little bit different preparing for the upcoming opponent when we haven't finished obviously the game against the Jets. It's a little bit different, but we have been through it before and it's something you have to do."

On whether he reintroduces more plays in a short week
"You don't have the time to probably have a normal gameplan, but you still put in a few wrinkles."

On playing on national television for Thanksgiving
"I think we play enough games on national television. It's not odd being on national television, but I think you look forward to this game because the Dallas Cowboys are playing extremely well. It's a great test for our football team to play there in front of a big crowd on a holiday when people are relaxing watching the organization perform. You want to play well. I been through it a number of times since I've been in the league and once you been through it a couple of times, you feel a lot more comfortable with it."

On Dallas QB Drew Bledsoe
"He's playing extremely well, very efficient. He's not making mistakes. If you take a look at his passing efficiency, he's right at the top of the league and he just a veteran player and knows how to win. He's playing with an excellent defense, a good running game and he's managing the game extremely well. They have a good running game which takes some pressure off, so a combination of those things I think helps any quarterback. It's always tough when you are behind or maybe someone's hurt or you don't have a good running game, so for him being effective I think it's a combination of him playing extremely well, his supporting cast and the philosophy of their team."

On getting the team prepared for a short week
"I think our football team knows that when you have a game in a couple of days, you better be focused. If you're not focused you're not going to win, especially when you go on the road against a team that's playing extremely well. We have a veteran team that understands the demands that a short week has, and both teams are in the same predicament and the one who handles the elements the best usually wins."

On whether he was tempted to put QB Bradlee Van Pelt in the game against the Jets
"The game wasn't really out of reach until that last touchdown was scored. I've watched too many games where teams can come back with a turnover or an interception return. Sometimes when you change quarterbacks before you put a game away, your team believes the game is over with. I think I have enough experience in that to know you can't do that too early."

On QB Bradlee Van Pelt's progress
"We evaluated him in preseason, and I thought he played extremely well. He's practicing well. One of the advantages of only having two quarterbacks is he gets a lot of reps. He's looked quite impressive running scout team. He still gets a few reps with the first team just in case someone goes down. He's performed well and I have a lot of confidence in him. If the game ever out of reach and we felt like we could put a quarterback in and not tell the rest of the team that the games over, we will do that but we haven't had the opportunity to do that this year. He'll get his plays in time and when he's called on hopefully he can get the job done."

On activating DE Marco Coleman and TE Wesley Duke against the Jets
"Courtney Brown was a little banged up and so was Ebenezer Ekuban. Marco played their positions, and John Engleberger played the other position, so we needed depth at their positions more than we did the rest. I'm just glad Marco is on our football team. He's a great leader, a great person and I think he brings so much to this team besides his play. Its the way he conducts himself as a pro. The way he has played, he has played extremely well. He played well in Jacksonville and he played well yesterday. He's a strong influence in the locker room and so supportive of the rest of his teammates, which is why he has been in this league so long. With the three tight end rotation, Wesley has been playing good a practice we thought we would give him a shot, he didn't get a lot of reps but we wanted to take a look at him in case someone went down."

On TE Wesley Duke being a legitimate football player
"If he's dressed for our game, we don't think of him as a basketball player. We just don't do that as a token."

On whether he knows Dallas Head Coach Bill Parcells well
"I know him pretty good. Through the years we have had time to talk and probably more when he was a GM working through trades I had a chance to communicate with him quite often. I know him a little bit."

On whether he was asked if he wanted the Thanksgiving game
"They asked me before the season started if we would entertain that thought because a lot of teams don't want to play on Thanksgiving. We played a few years back, and I told them we would like to. I think it's good. I think it changes up the routine a little bit. I think playing in front of a national televised audience is always nice. I think we have a mature football team that looks forward to the challenge. We have to play them at home sometime, so why not do it then?"

On if RB Ron Dayne will be activated if RB Tatum Bell can not play
"If you are asking me if Tatum is hurt and can't go will Ron be up, of course he will. Chances are with Tatum having a sore chest, he'll be up anyway."



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