On what makes Ben Roethlisberger so effective in his second year
"No. 1, he's a good athlete. No. 2, it looks like he's got a great feel for the game. He looks like a natural leader, and the defense he's playing with is pretty good as well. When you get a good defense with a quarterback that has a lot of talent and can manage the game, usually you're pretty good."
On practicing outside Thursday despite the snow
"We had a good practice. It was a good tempo. The weather cooperated. It was a little tougher this morning with the snow, but it lightened up a little bit. The weather was pretty good. "
On why the chances the Broncos take on players seem to work well
"We have some good players. You've got to have good players to win. A lot of our players that we got this year have stepped up and played extremely well. Fortunately, most of them have stayed healthy, and so (it is) a combination of those things."
On whether he asked Defensive Coordinator Larry Coyer before the season to make any significant changes to the defense
"No, we talked just like most head coaches and coordinators talk, different things that you look at through the years, trends of offenses and defenses. We usually look at the top five or the top 10 offenses and defenses in the NFL. We talk about what they're doing, but more general, nothing specific."
On if Coyer is completely responsible for putting the defensive plan together
"He's completely in charge of putting it together each week long with his defensive coaches."
On whether Shanahan makes defensive calls at times
"No, Larry calls all of the defenses. Every once in a while I'll give a suggestion. When I do, it's usually wrong, so then they won't pay attention to me for a while. "
On what he remembers about Steelers RB Willy Parker prior to the 2004 draft and why he slid by the Broncos
"We liked him. We liked him. I don't know if he slid by. Very talented. Obviously, you can see why a lot of people liked him. Unfortunately through the draft, you don't always get the guy you want. But he was very well thought of from our scouts and from our coaches."
On why Parker did not play more in college
"I forgot exactly what his story was, but you could see how talented he was by the number of plays he did make."
On Trevor Pryce's 2005 season after recovering from a back injury in 2004
"No. 1, it's nice for him to stay healthy. You're counting on a guy, and he gets hurt going through the first game of the season a year ago, obviously never recovered and went through the offseason program. So as a guy gets older and he has a back injury, you're never sure if he's going to be able to make it through the season. But Trevor has done everything we asked him to do in the offseason. He worked extremely hard during the summer, and he's had a good season. "
On the impact John Lynch has had on the younger defensive players
"Well, John's a natural leader. He's a student of the game. He's always been a guy that knows how to prepare, knows how to study the game. Being a former quarterback, I think he understands offenses very well. He's extremely bright. You take that with the experience, and he's been a big plus for us and a big influence on our young players."
On what he does to keep the week as normal as possible
"We do our normal routine. That's how you keep it normal -- you just do the things you've been doing all year round. If you don't do the same things you've been doing, then maybe you haven't been doing the other things right. We don't really change a whole lot. We try to keep the same type of schedule. Obviously there's a few more distractions. We talk about that, but the game is still the same game. You've got to do the little things the right way, and hopefully we will. "
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