Coaches Corner - Mike Shanahan 8/9/06

Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan discusses the arrest of former Bronco Maurice Clarett, the preparation for Friday's game in Detroit and the possibility of Jay Cutler seeing some action. Check out the full transcripts in today's "Coaches Corner".

Mike Shanahan

On RB Maurice Clarett
"He's got some heavy issues. It's just a shame that this has happened to a guy that had so much promise and so much ability. I'm not sure what happened to him, but it's a real shame."

On whether the organization would try to reach out to Clarett
"We tried to reach him quite a bit when he was here. What he did have here was a lot of support from our veterans. Our players tried to really take care of this guy, and he wanted no part of it. That was one of the reasons he didn't make our football team. I don't think I've ever been around a bunch of guys reaching out to a guy more than Maurice, trying to help him, and the guy not wanting that help. That's a shame because as we all know, everybody's got issues. He was one of the few players we've had who didn't want to be helped."

On players being ready to get into a game situation on Friday at Detroit
"Yeah, it's nice. This is the first time we've paid any attention to Detroit, going against their offensive schemes and defensive schemes. It's not really a game plan, but some of the wrinkles that they've probably shown through the years, looking at their coordinators and things along those lines. I think everybody's looking forward to getting into a game-type atmosphere. The first unit will be out there 10 (to) 12 plays. Obviously, we've talked about the people that won't play. You get a chance to evaluate your second, third and fourth-teamers in a game situation against a team that—with a lot of new coaches—wants to play well."

On CB Dominique Foxworth wrestling away an interception from WR Todd Devoe
"Foxworth is a competitor. Todd Devoe made a bunch of big plays down in the red zone, and it's really a credit to Foxworth that he was able to come up with that interception."

On whether he's looking forward to seeing rookie QB Jay Cutler in game action
"Well, you know what happens with a quarterback. It's a learning curve, but for him to get some playing time is always a plus. The good thing for Jay is that he's been able to go against the first-team defense the last few days. That's probably more valuable than anything, to be going through practice with the second unit and actually going against the first defense. You can't make the same throws, and you've got to anticipate the throws more and more against the first defense than the third defense."

On RB Cecil Sapp's status
"Right now, he's supposed to practice this afternoon. His groin's still a little bit sore. Hopefully in the next 24 or 48 hours he feels good enough to play. If not, then we'll rest him this week and play him the next week, but right now we're hoping for some playing time."

On WR Rod Smith's status
"If we had a regular season game this season, Rod would be playing. I think it's still a little sore, so we don't want to overdo it. He's still keeping in shape and getting his lifting in. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to those hamstrings."

On what he's seen out of CB Roc Alexander
"You get a chance to see what he can do in game situations. We've got a lot of competition at the corner position, and it's nice to see how guys react not only to their teammates, but against the opposition in a game-type situation."

On the defensive line's depth with DT Gerard Warren and DE Courtney Brown missing time due to injury
"Both guys are supposed to be back, so we'll find out. Obviously, if you're losing two or three starters at any position, you're always concerned about your depth. Since we haven't played the first game and it's quite a bit away, let's wait and see."

On whether coaches get excited for preseason games
"Yeah, we do. We get a chance to evaluate some of these guys and see how they act in game-type situations, and you never know. Guys could practice good, and all of a sudden a game is too big for a player. But most of the time when they practice at a certain level, they play at a certain level. But you never know for sure."





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