Coaches Corner - Day 2

Mike Shanahan spoke to the media after wrapping up Day 2 at Dove Valley. Check out the full transcripts.

Day 2 - Morning Session

On impressions from this morning's practice
"We had a good practice, good work. It was nice to get the shoulder pads on again for the second practice. We had everybody practice this morning except for Nate Webster. I think we got a lot done."

On the return of CB Willie Middlebrooks, who spent last season with San Francisco
"It's good to have Willie back. When we lost a DB in the offseason and Willie was available, we thought it would be a good acquisition for us. Obviously, Willie is very familiar with our system and our coaches. He's come back here and had a good offseason, and he's competing very well."

On RB Tatum Bell's toughness
"The running backs, you really never know until gameday. They're going to get their opportunities in nine-on-seven (drills). We don't tackle live except for one period, and that's just a little goal line period. We've got a lot of guys competing against each other. What Tatum accomplished last year, averaging over five yards a carry, was pretty impressive in itself. He's had a good offseason and good OTA days. Hopefully he just gets better and better."

On WR Darius Watts
"Darius has played exceptionally well. I think he feels a lot more comfortable with the system (and) a lot more comfortable with himself being around the NFL. You can see he's playing with a lot more confidence."

On why LB Nate Webster sat out the morning practice
"Last year, he had the knee. We just practice him one time a day. He doesn't have any problems with it. It's more preventative than anything. We're doing (that) with some of our veteran players who are either coming off injury or may be in a position where we want to give a younger guy reps and don't feel that (veteran) player needs to be on the field that long."

On WR Rod Smith
"There are very few guys like Rod Smith. I've been fortunate to be around a guy like Jerry Rice for a few years who had Rod Smith's dedication in the offseason. There's only one way you play the way Rod has played throughout his career, and that's to make a commitment in the offseason. It's been 12 years in a row where he hasn't missed a workout. When you do that, you have talent, you're very intelligent and you're a team player, you usually stay around for awhile."

On what he's seen from rookie QB Jay Cutler
"He's a Hall-of-Fame player (laughing). He's pretty good. Obviously, he has the tools. It's a big growing curve. We're just hoping on gameday he can play along with his talents."

On why Denver could be a good fit for RB Ron Dayne
"The proof is in the pudding, obviously, but he ran that style offense when he was at Wisconsin and was a Heisman Trophy winner because of it. They ran pretty close to 100 percent zone-blocking scheme, very similar to what we're running. A zone-blocking scheme, for a running back, is a one-cut back where you don't have to dance. It's not a lot of counters. It's taking the ball downfield and making plays. At his weight and his size, he does have some power. We think he fits our system pretty good."

On the limited number of hits Dayne has taken as a reserve for most of his NFL career
"I think it's always a benefit for a running back that he hasn't been beaten on for four or five years and all the injuries that come with it. He's a healthy guy even though he's been in the league for awhile. He's got the experience without the wear and tear."

On players losing their helmets during drills
"Some of the guys don't double buckle their helmets. I think from now on, we'll double buckle it. We had a couple helmets coming off today."


Afternoon Session

On how the afternoon practice went
"We had a good practice, a good start of practice, a good tempo. (We had) a little heat today, which is always welcome, and there are a lot of people gone I can see. On a Saturday evening, people have better things to do. What are you guys doing here?"

On the high temperatures at camp today
"It is not too bad really. We have not been out there that long. This is really good weather, it is not very humid, 95 degrees, really perfect right now."

On if he prefers the heat during camp
"Well it is good. We will be playing in it. The first game of the season we will have it, a few times during preseason, so you always like to practice in the condition you are going to play in."

On his assessment of the competition between the running backs
"With the running backs, you really can't tell until you put the players in live situations or try to get them a lot of reps, everybody is getting some work. A young kid I saw you guys recognizing (was) Bell (Mike) out there. He looked pretty impressive today for a young kid coming in. He made a few cuts that impressed some of the veterans, and you always like to see that."

On the seriousness of S Sam Brandon and G Cooper Carlisle's injuries today
"I don't think so. I just think he (Sam Brandon) got a little tired and wanted an afternoon off. Cooper (Carlisle) is pretty tough so for him to not come to practice is always a concern, but talking to Greek (Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos) he didn't say that it was anything serious."

On the blocking aspect of rookie TE Tony Scheffler's game
"You really don't know until you get the pads on. We are just getting started now, and we will get a chance to evaluate that in the next couple weeks."

On if he liked rookie TE Tony Scheffler's blocking when he was drafted
"We really didn't see him block a lot. We saw him block a little bit, but they (Western Michigan) used him more as a catching tight end and they threw the ball quite a bit so he really didn't get a chance to block very much. He is a big kid, strong, and I think he will (have) a big upside as he learns to block at this level."



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