Coach's Corner - Mike Shanahan 8/2/06

Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan shares his impressions of camp so far as well as giving us the latest on Rod Smith's injury, Tony Scheffler and Brandon Marshall. Check out the full transcripts in today's Coach's Corner.

Mike Shanahan

On the progress of CB Darrent Williams, who is in his second NFL season
"It is always nice to get guys like Darrent, (cornerback) Domonique (Foxworth) and (cornerback) Karl Paymah. They are in their second year and are feeling more comfortable in the system. They feel more comfortable with their abilities. They'll take chances just like Darrent did today. We are lucky to have some young corners that have a lot of ability and are playing with a lot of confidence."

On rookie TE Tony Scheffler's progression
"He's been exceptional. He's got great hands, runs routes extremely well and in the running game it looks like he just keeps on making strides so hopefully he can keep it going. He's a pretty good blocker, and that's where you have to keep on making strides—in that area. The effort is there, and the technique will come in time."

On whether Scheffler has the ability to become a deep threat for Denver and whether there any similarities between he and former Broncos TE Jeb Putzier.
"He's very much a deep threat. He runs as fast as wide receivers. Jeb could run and had good speed. Tony's going to be faster. Coming out of college, he was about a tenth of a second faster. Tony is in the 4.5 range (40-yard sprint), and there are not too many tight ends in the National Football League that can run a 4.5. Jeb was in that 4.65 range, which is fast, and Jeb made a lot of big plays for us. Tony has that type of speed."

On whether he thought that Scheffler was a Jeb Putzier type of player leading up to the draft
"If I thought we had a Jeb type of player, Jeb would still be on our football team. We took him in the second round because we thought he was unique with his speed. There are not too many tight ends that run at that level with that speed, and we thought that maybe he could bring another dimension to our running game because he's a little bit bigger guy. That's not done yet. We'll see that once we put the pads on and play in game situations. He does have a big upside."

On the health of DE Courtney Brown
"He's was a little inflamed yesterday (knee) and we just kept him out. He's the type of guy that doesn't like to stay out, so hopefully he'll be ready to go tomorrow."

On whether it's hard to keep WR Rod Smith off the field for precautionary reasons when he is hurt
"Rod is smart to know that with a hamstring, there is nothing you can do about it except rest it, and we might have to get him an extra day. Instead of being two days up, it might have to be three or one might have to be two. I really don't know how bad it is. Greek (Broncos Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos) said it was just a tweak, but it could be a little more serious than that. I don't think it will be too long knowing Rod."

On if he is surprised with the play of rookie WR Brandon Marshall
"A little bit. He's got great hands, and he's got good size. Like all rookies, you have to go through a learning curve, but he has excellent hands. It's very seldom to have a guy come in at that size and that speed with soft hands. He doesn't really even think about it, he just kind of gulfs the ball. Saying that, he has still dropped a number of passes because his concentration level has got to be there all the time. He just has to keep on working because he does have a big upside."

On whether he has a pretty good feel on the shape of the roster so far
"I feel very good about the roster. We were very competitive in a number of different positions, so I'm not really sure how that's really going to pan out until we get into game type situations. We've got good character, guys competing and that's what you're hoping for in camp"

On if there is a leader shaping up for the No. 3 receiver spot
"We've got a lot of depth there, and there are a lot of people that have an opportunity to fight for three, four, five and possibly six (receiver spots). I'm not sure who they are right now, but we have more depth than we've had in a long time."



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