Coach's Corner - Mike Shanahan 8/3/06

Mike Shanahan discusses the progress of recently signed OL Adam Meadows, cornerback Karl Paymah's improvement and the status of WR Rod Smith's hamstring injury. Check out the full transcripts from today's media session.

Morning Session

On any precautions taken Thursday morning because of the rainy weather
"It is not too bad today because there is pretty good footing. The only thing to worry about is that lighting. That is why right at the end, we brought those guys (video department) down from the towers."

On WR Rashaun Woods
"He is going to go through a physical. He has had a hamstring (injury), so we are going to see how that is, and if he is all right, he will be out here practicing and competing."

On what impressed him the most about Woods
"I really don't know. We had him evaluated fairly high coming out of college, and we know what he has accomplished. We know what he has done. We would like to bring him in here and get a look at him."

Ed note: Woods later failed his physical and is no longer with the team. On the status of WR Rod Smith's hamstring injury
"(Broncos Head Athletic Trainer) Steve (Antonopulos) said he tweaked it and it is not too serious. There is a little precaution there, but we are not very concerned about it."

On CB Karl Paymah's improvement since his rookie year in 2005
"He is getting used to being a pro player. He is used to the off-season conditioning program, the weight-lifting program, and he is a lot more comfortable with our system because he came from a system that was more man-to-man. To make that transition of playing a lot of zone is very tough, and he never dealt with it in college even though he was a four-year player who played a lot of bump-coverage. It is just a learning curve there, but he has made some strides."

On how Paymah's work-ethic last season
"Well, he didn't have any work-ethic—that was the problem. So he made a lot of strides, he has learned how to be a pro and he was really playing off of his ability. Now, he has learned how to work and he has a chance to become an excellent player if he keeps on working at the level that he has been working."

On which wide receivers have stood out to him during training camp
"It is really hard here. We have a number of guys catching balls, punts and kickoff returns. Within the next few days, we will see who will get reps during the game."

On how T Adam Meadows is performing at practice
"Any time you have a veteran lineman, they learn a lot quicker than obviously a young player because they have played the position. But it is still terminology. He has to get used to our system, but what I have seen I've liked."

On how many wide receivers will be on the active roster
"We really do not know. We try to keep the best 53 (players). Talk about offensive linemen, quarterbacks, defensive linemen. We will evaluate everybody and sometimes we may go heavy at a position just because you have so much depth and you feel that it is so hard to get. Other times, we will go a little less at a position because we feel the worth is a little bit more than other positions so it changes year to year."

On WR Javon Walker not dressing at practice this morning
"Javon (Walker) is fine. I just thought here is a guy who has been practicing six days in a row; We have been working the heck out of him. I start thinking about Rod (Smith) tweaking a hamstring yesterday and him (Walker) coming off of an ACL and it doesn't make sense to just keep on pushing it. He was more surprised than anybody because he is feeling good. We just gave him a day of rest so he can go the next few days and then we have Sunday off three days before we get our game plan ready, which is only one day for Detroit. So I feel pretty good where he is at right now."

On when he will get a day off
"Hopefully not for a while."



Afternoon Session

On what happened with the acquisition of WR Rashaun Woods
"He did not pass his physical, he's got a hamstring pull and he can't practice at this time. Until a player is ready to practice full speed, they don't pass the physical. Right now we are not really sure on how long he is going to be out. He's got a bad hamstring pull, he doesn't feel comfortable with it and we had an MRI on it so the chances are, unless we lost somebody, that he will not come back."

On whether this is the point in camp when things start to drag and players' concentration is not as sharp
"Well you are always trying to prevent that and sometimes it does happen, especially after a week with no time off. But our guys have been working pretty hard…the concentration level has been there and that's a credit to the veterans trying to keep guys in tune to what's going on and trying to call guys out when practice slows a little bit."

On if he ever talks to the referees when he has them here at practice (referring to the referees attending Broncos training camp talking to the team about rule changes and points of emphasis)
"I tried but it hasn't worked yet so I probably should quit."

On his thoughts on the new NFL rules changes
"Well, the celebrations in the end-zone, that's not a big thing. Different players can't be over the center for punt and field goals for protection of the center which I think is good, onside kicks…you can't overload a side I think that's a positive because I think eventually someone is really going to get hurt with the type of game plans kicking teams are coming up with. But other than that, just go over the rules and the basic rules again."

On whether the new rules pertaining to onside kicks make coaches less inclined to try an onside kick
"Well, what it does is it makes it fair. When you overload a side and you have about six or seven guys just going down trying to take someone out and two guys staying back…was just afraid somebody's going to break their neck. I thought it was good by the competition committee to say you have to have four guys on one side for the safety factor."

On the new NFL ‘down by contact' rule
"I think it's good because I personally think its common sense even though someone blows a whistle, usually it's an official making a mistake. We've been talking about this for at least five or six years and it's never been passed. Going back over the last five or six years and taking a look at all of the different situations that happened, finally it's passed and I think people will see in the end it will be a good rule."

On the competition at the fullback position
"Well, with Cecil (Sapp) and Kyle (Johnson), it's been a fierce competition, last year as well. They are good special teams players, they're fullbacks, both of them are excellent receivers...it really comes down to who blocks the best because our fullbacks won't carry the ball a lot, but he will carry it and we'll see that in the preseason games. Brandon Miree has been doing a good job and Rashon (Powers-Neal) has been doing a good job. We have a lot of competition at that position."

On the two recent acquisitions WR Rashaun Woods and RB Damien Nash
"We brought both of them in right away, we have contacted both of them and the only one that made the news was (Rashaun) Woods. Obviously, we had (Damien) Nash coming in at the same time and we just had to release one person instead of two."

On whether he has spoken to Tennessee Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher about the acquisition of RB Damien Nash
"No I haven't."



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