Coach's Corner - Mike Shanahan 11/29/06

Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan discusses the recent change at quarterback, the matchup this Sunday with Seattle and the team's poor rushing attack. Check out the full transcripts.

Mike Shanahan

On if there is anything special that he does to protect a rookie quarterback from the blitz
"You have a normal game plan, and I think the difference you have with each quarterback is that they have plays that they like and plays that they dislike. So you try to get a feel by the end of the week with what your guy feels comfortable with and you kind of lean in that direction."

On how well he feels rookie QB Jay Cutler's strengths fit into the Bronco offense
"Good, that's why he is our starting quarterback."

On if he feels that QB Cutler will be as mobile as QB Jake Plummer was
"Going to Indy (NFL combine), he had some good speed and I thought I saw in preseason a guy that can make some plays when the pocket broke down. I think to separate yourself from the rest of the pack, you have to make plays when that pocket does break down and I think that Jay (Cutler) does have that ability."

On if T Adam Meadows will play on Sunday
"His hamstring is sore, and he will not practice today. Our game plan is to try to get him ready by Friday but if we were playing a game today, he would not play."

On if having QB Cutler in the lineup changes how he prepares as a coach
"No. We go in with our normal game plan, and I like I said with whomever your starting quarterback is you lean in his direction on what plays he enjoys and his superiorities. We get a lot of different directions that we can go with the game plan but you want to make sure that the quarterback feels comfortable with what you are doing."

On how to prepare a rookie quarterback for his first start
"You know what you got to do is you just have to prepare. You take it one day at a time, one meeting at a time, one play at a time and just focus on things you have been doing throughout your career. Go back to high school, go back to college and the reason why he has been good is that he has been able to handle the pressure in difficult situations, and this is no different. He will work where at the end of the week he will feel very prepared, very confident in himself and the process takes care of itself. You make a mistake you have got to forget about it and go in and go again."

On what his expectations are for Cutler
"Well our expectations are to win and that is each and every week and you are hoping that he can lead us to a victory."

On Denver's offensive scheme in comparison to Seattle's
"We really went in a different direction completely with our running game and different in our passing game as well. I think you adjust your offense to your personnel, to your philosophy. When we first came here, I think we felt the running game, at least with the west coast offense, wasn't something that we felt would give us the best chance to win consistently so we got away from that. The passing game we used bits and pieces. John (Elway) was a guy that really enjoyed the shotgun- The west coast offense at that time never used the shotgun. John really enjoyed seven-step drops out of the pocket, and the west coast offense was taking five-step drops consistently. Everything was timing, so you kind of adjust your personnel see what they can do and go from there."

On if Seattle's offense has maintained a similar look over the years
"Yeah it really has. You can look at most of it and call plays that were there 10-15 years ago but obviously you adjust with a guy like (Matt) Hasselbeck who you can tell enjoys the shotgun. They do have more seven-step drops involved or at least five steps from the shotgun so like all offenses they have some variations."

On how Seattle RB Shaun Alexander played on Monday night against Green Bay
"Well very impressive. Any time that you are the MVP of the league, you know you have to be pretty good. A couple thousand yards the year before says it all. Very talented, plays behind an excellent offensive line, very patient, he can break tackles and he is just a complete player. That's one of the reasons why he did what he did last year. It was a setback to have both Shaun (Alexander) and Matt (Hasselbeck) hurt, but obviously they both have come back very strong."

On if CB Champ Bailey's season compares to Deion Sander's season in 1994 with San Francisco
"You are giving me too much credit to think back to 1994 when Deion played, but Deion was a difference maker going to the 49ers in the last year... He was in from free agency and he played extremely well. We went from in the pack in defense to one of the top five, so Deion was one of those guys who was a difference maker and one of the reasons we won the Super Bowl that year. Champ, at least in my opinion, should at least be considered the defensive player of the NFL. He is having that type of a year."

On what improvements need to be made to Denver's run defense
"We just have to play better in that second half. We have done some good things consistently in some of the games that we have lost but we just have to be a better second-half team and that kind of goes back to practice, conditioning, finishing plays and just doing some of the little things right. That is something that we are emphasizing this week."



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