Javon Walker talks about his future

The Denver Broncos acquired wide receiver Javon Walker on the first day of the NFL Draft by trading their number two pick to the Green Bay Packers. Read what Walker had to say to the media during his first press conference as a Bronco.

On why the Broncos are a better fit for him than the Packers:

Obviously, some of the players (in Denver) I've known for a while. I know what type of guys they are from working out and hanging out. Coach (Mike) Shanahan is a great coach. Seeing what he does with the program, obviously their team is about winning.

On what Shanahan's message to him was when the two met several weeks ago:

Actually, I think he found out more about me before me getting here just from different coaches, obviously my previous coach Mike Sherman, and another one of my coaches, Ray Sherman, who is now with Tennessee. When I was getting ready to take my visit here, everything was already out of the way. I think it was more to meet me personally. We went out, had some lunch and conversed about a few things not even football. We were just waiting to see what was going to happen on draft day.

On what he thinks playing with wide receiver Rod Smith will do to his game:

Oh, wow. Just by me being here learning, learning from him. Even when playing in Green Bay, asking different guys, DBs, who was the receiver that they've always had a tough time with, and they always said Rod Smith. Now that I have a chance to be a part of that, I'm just going to come in and learn and learn from him. Hopefully, we can work together as a tag team in this league and take this offense to new heights.

On what he can learn from Rod Smith:

I think learning more about the game. He's been a long-time veteran in the league. Just getting a lot of the tricks that he does. Obviously, I've been off for a year in football, so I'm going to come back, and what better way to come back than learning from Rod Smith? Learning what Jake (Plummer) likes to do. Learning what Shanahan wants out of his players. What better way to get it from a receiver like him (Smith)?

On the matchup problems for defenses that he and Smith with create:

Because Rod just had another Pro-Bowl year, so he's going to be another receiver that you have to account for. Going and playing teams, with what he did last year, is going to be hard to try to double-team a lot. When you've got two people like that on the field, it's going to make our offense go. And besides, with the running game we have, it should give us a lot of one-on-one competition and matchups each and every week we go into an NFL game.

On what Shanahan told him regarding how Denver's run game will affect its passing game:

A team can't crowd the box, so obviously it's going to help out the receiving game. The first thing he (Shanahan) told me¦ In Green Bay, we were a run team first, which also helped our passing game. When you've got Jake (Plummer), Rod (Smith) and myself, along with a lot of the younger guys coming up, time will tell just to see what happens. We've got a guy in Rod who has been putting up numbers for the last 12, 10 years. I]m just looking forward to being a part of it and hopefully getting out there and showing what I can do.

On the recovery of his knee injury suffered in the 2005 season opener:

I feel good. We're still just taking our time with it (knee). (The) scheduled date is training camp, be ready to go. There's no need to even rush anything right now, but I'm still working out hard.

On if he has noticed whether he is close to regaining his speed:

I haven't done anything to find out if I'm a step slower. When I get to full-speed ahead then I'll realize where I'm at. I don't think that's going to be even a factor. I think I'm going to come back faster than I was before.

On competing against cornerback Champ Bailey in practice:

The last time I went against him was at the Pro Bowl in 2005. The minute I lined up across from him, I knew it was going to be a battle just from the jump because he's been a great corner in this league for a long time. I'm going to look at practices, going against him, who is considered one of the best corners in the NFL, is just going to help me each and every week that we go play another team. Because if I have to go against him in practice, it's going to make all the other DBs really look easy. Not saying that they are going to be easy, but I'm going against the best already.

On if working out with Broncos wide receiver Ashley Lelie in Arizona was awkward:

It wasn't too much of a concern because I really didn't know his situation here. He knew my situation more than I knew of his. I think after I signed with Denver¦ There is a difference for everybody. He wasn't saying anything bad about Denver, and I wasn't saying bad about Green Bay. At the time, we thought we thought that we were just going to swap out. But if it had to happen that way, I'd tell any receiver that, ˜Green Bay might be the place for you." He was telling me, ˜Denver might be the place for me," which it worked out that way. I'm not sure what's going on right now, but I wish him the best.

On the situation with him in Green Bay:

After the past year, there was just a lot going on. A lot was happening with me and certain situations to where I just didn't feel comfortable there anymore, so I just had to part ways. Not saying that they had to get rid of anybody, I would just rather exclude myself from the equation.

More on his situation with the Packers:

If I had to do it all over again, I probably would have repeated the same thing. Obviously, it worked out for the best, and I'm happy it did.

On the comments directed toward him made by Packers quarterback Brett Favre:

The first year, it just kind of settled in. Knowing that I wasn't going to say anything, and I probably wouldn't have, but then after being injured, I took a lot of things into consideration. I'm the one that's rehabbing, I'm the one that's going through what I'm going through trying to be able to play football again. If I was going to do that, why not play football being happy? Why go back out there and take all those hits again and really not want to take those hits.

On if he wanted to leave Green Bay because of his relationship with Favre:

Not necessarily, no. It was not just that. It was a lot of other things.

On what Green Bay did regarding the contracts of several of its veterans:

It was something to look at. Obviously with what transpired before that, it was something to look at because those guys (former Green Bay players) have been great players for that team and organization for a long time, so I was kind of looking at myself saying, ˜What would make me different," along with other things that were going on. That did play a part of it, but it wasn't the biggest part of it.

On what advice he would give Broncos wide receiver Ashley Lelie:

I can't really explain what type of advice I'd give him. I think his decision will be based upon what he feels. My situation in Green Bay, when guys would comment on me, they weren't necessarily coming against me. They were saying, ˜Javon was getting this, so we should get it to." So I used to look at that as well, ˜stand up and say what you want if you want it." With Ashley, I'm not sure of the situation here, so I can't really comment on that, but I just wish him the best whatever might happen here on out.

On Brett Favre's comments directed toward him:

I didn't take them personally, but I also said that I respect what he had to say. But just respect what I have to say, too, when I come back and respond. I think that's the part that a lot of people did not realize. Obviously, coming from him, everybody is going to automatically take one side. But I think in this case, that wasn't the case. I had more people who agreed with me more than what he said. I never came out and said anything negative because I wasn't going to do that. But when I do respond, look at it realistically.

On his relationship with Brett Favre:

Yes. The thing I like about him was that he gave you the chance to make plays. Anybody who figures that they are a great athlete, a wide receiver who can make plays, that's the opportunity he gave me.

On if there were more reasons than Brett Favre as to why he was unhappy in Green Bay:

Yes, it was a lot of things.

On if contract disputes can affect a team's chemistry:

I figure, we're all grown men here. If this was like a college team, yes, it can mess up camaraderie. But players come and go in the NFL, so everybody who is grown man has to look at the situation as it being business. Everybody understands business.

On what he brings to the Broncos:

The way I play, my style of play, I work hard. I think I bring an explosive receiver to this offense. Yards after the catch, big plays, I'm excited about doing it. Jake (Plummer), who I've obviously worked out with before, being here now, I'm excited to see where this team can go in the '06 season."

On whether he thinks he is the missing piece to the Broncos reaching the Super Bowl:

I'm part of it, along with the other draft picks and offseason moves they've made. They were close before I got there, so I'm sure they would be again, but I'm happy to be along for the ride.

On whether he will be or might be faster after his knee surgery:

Will be.

On why he thinks he will be faster after knee surgery:

Because I already know how it works. I've had injuries before where I wasn't supposed to be as strong, I wasn't supposed to be as quick, I wasn't supposed to be as fast. I've proven time and time again, that I will be.

On whether he thinks it will be a full year before he returns to full strength:

If that's what it takes with the injury. When I do get to that point, then I will be a step faster than before.

On whether he thinks he will return this season:

Most definitely.

On whether he will think about his knee injury after he returns:

I don't think it is going to be an issue. I think once I get out there and start running around, getting back to the point of doing what I used to do, it won't be a problem.

On what he is doing for rehabilitation:

I'm just strengthening. That's the thing with an ACL. You have to get the muscles firing again. I'm just strengthening. It's up to the trainers, when everybody is comfortable that it's at the point where it's really, really strong, that's when we take it another step with running routes, cutting, getting back into football activity, football movements.

On his progress running straight lines:

That's been going real well. I was doing it before I got here. Now, we've taken it in a different direction, doing more strengthening, but I'll probably pick it up again.

On whether his new contract extension (beginning next year) is better than retirement:

Oh yeah. When I said retirement, I didn't say retirement from football. I just said retirement from Green Bay. Why would I go back and take all those hits in a place where I'm not happy? I'm happy to be in Denver.

On whether the Packers could have made leaving Green Bay harder:

They definitely could have. I was prepared for that (holding out). I was looking at the rehab, which is hard enough. I looked at the situation long and hard and came to the conclusion that that's what I was willing and ready to do.

On how he found out he was traded to the Broncos:

I was in the airport. I was moving around so fast on the two days before the draft, even on the last day. I remember getting ready to go to the airport to go to New England three different times, three different occasions, I got a call from a friend who said, ˜You've just been traded." I said, ˜Are you serious? You're lying!" He said, ˜No, you just did." So, I tried to find a TV in the airport, but I missed it and that's when my agent, Kennard McGuire, called me and told I'm a Bronco. I was here the day before chilling at Coach Shanahan's house.

On whether he thinks Denver was the best fit for him:

Yes, I do. Some of the other teams are in the rebuilding phase, every year you never can tell. I think I'm coming to a team that is already solid, put in place. We're ready to win games, pick up where we left off in 2005.

On how the Denver winters compares to Green Bay winters:

I can't tell. I haven't been here. I know I'm used to it if it does get cold.

On whether he missed a final exam at Florida State University:

I did miss a final and I was prepared, too. I had one final done on Wednesday, got a call from Coach Shanahan on Wednesday night and he said that there was a possibility of me flying out on Thursday. I talked to my agent and told him about my final. I actually called the academic department at Florida State and they were so nice. They put it on hold for now.

On what class he missed the final exam in:

It was Intro to Political Government.

On whether Coach Shanahan was really "chilling" when Walker visited:

Yeah, he was chilling. Basically, I got lost, so I couldn't find it, so I was chilling by myself. He was chilling that day, unless he was putting on a show. He was cool that day.

On what he thinks of the Broncos' offense with potentially three established receivers:

If that was to happen (Ashley Lelie joining the team), we would be one of the best in the NFL. A lot of teams would have to account for Rod (Smith), Ashley (Lelie) and myself. Looking at the offense and the running game, it's kind of like Green Bay all over. You have to account for Ahman Green. You had to account for myself, Brett (Favre) and Donald (Driver). That's the same way this offense is. When you have that many weapons on the field, it's hard to game plan around one. I'm used to being one of the guys who strives to make plays. That's what I'm looking forward to. With the creative mind of Coach Shanahan and the staff, I'm sure they'll come up with a great game plan to allow us to do that.

On his feelings toward Brett Favre:

I have no problem with Brett. Being the huge star that he is, when you're catching one of his balls, you're a part of history because he's always breaking records. I was happy to be a part of that. With him giving me the opportunity to make plays, showed my athletic ability. A lot of quarterbacks couldn't do the things that he's doing. I got to show my ability to make plays and all of the catches I could make. Green Bay and Brett got my career off to the great start. Being in Denver now, I hope it ends great too.

On whether being in Denver makes it easier to participate in Carmelo Anthony's community events:

I haven't talked to him. This is my second time, besides that one, being back in Denver. I'm excited to meeting some of the professional teams that are out here, some of the athletes. I didn't really get a chance to do that in Green Bay. If he invites me again, I'd love to play in it.

On whether he is a good basketball player:

Of course I am. I might pursue basketball after this, or go back to baseball (smiling).

On whether he will ask for number 84:

I'm not sure right now. I was told that there is a young man who is in NFL Europe who is holding that number. Maybe sooner or later, I'll give him a call and see if I can bribe him out of that number.

On what his second choice of jersey number is:

I was thinking about number 19. I heard 19 was available.

On whether he is aware Jerry Rice wore that number in Denver:

That's what I heard. Who wouldn't want to follow Jerry Rice?

On whether there is pressure to perform in number 84 after Shannon Sharpe wore it:

Obviously what he's done here. I played under his brother (Sterling) in Green Bay. I've played under both Sharpes. I hope I can do the same in his brother's number as I did in Green Bay.

On how he rates himself as a downfield blocker:

I would say out of a 10, I'd give myself a seven.

On whether he likes blocking downfield:

I wouldn't mind doing it. I became accustomed to it being in Green Bay. It's part of the game. They pass block for Jake (Plummer) to throw, the way to get those long runs is we have to block down field.

On whether he will test his knee before training camp:

I'm sure there are some things I'll be doing in July to get it ready for training camp. I haven't discussed it with the doctors, but I'm sure there are going to be a lot of things I'll do prior to going into training camp instead just starting it off in training camp.

On whether the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim still own his rights:

Yes, they do. I'm sure somewhere in the archives under a stack of papers, they have something.



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