Coaches Corner - Post Game 11/5/06

Mike Shanahan had plenty to say following the Broncos' 31-20 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Check out the full transcripts.



Mike Shanahan

Anytime you play a football team that plays at the level that Pittsburgh plays at, you feel very fortunate to come out with a win. We had a lot of great team speed, team pride and to come in here and find a way to win was very special for our football team.

Did you make adjustments in your front four this week to put extra pressure on Ben Roethlisberger?
I thought they had a great effort. I'm not sure how much pressure we actually put on him. I thought he moved the ball quite well but we came up with turnovers when we had to. Anytime you keep on playing like that, you feel pretty good.

Did you go after Ike Taylor by design?
Well he flip-flopped over with Javon (Walker) and our game-plan was to go to Javon. We weren't really picking on anybody. When we did go one-on-one we wanted to give Javon a chance.

Were you trying to blitz more against Pittsburgh?
I don't think we did blitz a lot, to be honest with you. I thought they put some pressure on us. They blitzed on us, but we made some plays and they have some talent. They made plays when they had to but we came up with the big turnovers when we had to. That's a sign of a football team playing for 60-minutes. That's what you have to do here.

Was your offensive game-plan to use two tight ends?
They are very talented with their outside linebackers and to put them on the back one-on-one would create a miss-match that wouldn't be very successful going against their linebackers. We knew we had to go to two tight ends to at least slow those linebackers down. They did a great job switching it up, we weren't always getting three deep. But when we did, we capitalized with big plays.

What did you see when you ran the reverse?
Really it's a credit to Javon (Walker). They had the reverse stopped but he made a guy miss. When you make a guy miss, that doesn't happen very often. The corner took it inside and he did the rest. I'm not sure if it was the call, as much as it was a great individual effort.

When you signed Javon Walker in the off-season did you dream about days like today?
I knew that right from the start. That's why we signed him.

What is the injury status from today's game?
We're as banged up as I watched. Many guys came out during the game. I'm just not sure (of their injury) at this time. Unfortunately, I think Sam Brandon has an ACL (injury). Usually when they tell you that right away, it's not a good sign. Other than that, we just have some bruises but the extent of the injuries, I'm not sure at this time.

After the concussion, did Nick Ferguson say he was okay to go back in the game?
It's not up to him to say he's okay. The doctors look at him and once they look at him they decide. He has nothing to do with it. We have some specialists that are very good in that area and if they say he's ready to go, he's ready to go. That's one of the reasons Al Wilson and John Lynch were not in there for a few plays.

Because it's tough to run against Pittsburgh, did you rely on Jake Plummer more?
There's a reason why the team is number one in the AFC in yards given up on rushing. They are the best. They are second in the NFL, so it didn't surprise us. Part of our game plan was to get it in the end zone and stop their outside linebackers with the pass rush and get Jake some time.

Talk about Jake Plummer's progression over the season?
From the first week, he had three turnovers in that game. You have to protect the ball and I thought Jake did an excellent job today against a defense that is very talented. He went from turnovers to not turning the ball over. He's very special. As far as great defenses, New England is probably is as good as you can play and you have to come up with some big plays against a defense like that. He did. Hopefully we play our best football in the second half of the season and this is a good start.

Is there any extra satisfaction beating Pittsburgh today after their playoff victory against the Broncos?
It's always nice to beat a good football team and a great organization. To say satisfaction after the win today and they won the Super Bowl, I don't think you can even compare that. They did it when they had to do it and the pressure was on. Obviously I commend them for not only what they were able to accomplish not only against us, but being on the road and doing it the way they did it. That's over with. This year we needed a win after a tough loss against Indy and we wanted to go into the midway point at 6-2. We knew it was going to be a tough game to get through.

Were you sure you'd win the challenge?
Yes.

Did you see it?
Yes, I saw it. Upstairs told me they were sure it was a fumble and there was no question about it.

Was Javon Walker's performance today one of the best?
He had a great game. That reverse, the ability to make someone miss and go the distance. He had a couple of really big catches during the game. He had a great effort. He's a guy that loves the ball. We got it to him when we could and there were a couple times he was double teamed where we couldn't get it to him. Sometimes it's not as easy as it looks to get the playmaker the ball.



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