Coach's Corner - Mike Shanahan

Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan addressed the media on Wednesday. Read a transcript of his comments.


On San Francisco's improvement from last season

"You can see if you take a look at their offense, any time that you run the football as well as they are running it… (RB) Frank Gore is getting well over five yards a carry, and they are a very physical football team. They have been doing that on offense, defense and special teams. They are much improved from over a year ago. They have kind of dominated the game with Seattle, so we know what they are capable of doing."

On 49ers RB Frank Gore

"He is a great running back. He has got great illusiveness, speed and he is everything you look for in a running back. Very talented."

On San Francisco Head Coach Mike Nolan, a former Denver assistant (1987-92)

"Mike (Nolan) and I go back a long time as assistant coaches here. We used to run together and work out together, and obviously he has been in the league for awhile and he does a great job. He has been a great coach, coordinator and assistant coach, and I know he will do a great job at San Francisco just like he is doing."

On the competitiveness that Nolan mentioned he shared with Shanahan

"He is a guy that is in great shape and he stays in great shape. We have always been pretty competitive, and he is younger which means he is really hard to keep up with. He is a guy that takes care of himself."

On if he feels that the Broncos are enjoying the game more since snapping a four-game losing streak

"I think that any time that you have a setback like we, did you have got to step up as a team and do it. Every man has to do it. I think that is what we have done. We had some tough losses in there, and we knew our backs were against the wall so we stepped up the last couple of games and we all know it is for nothing if we don't take care of business this weekend."

On if he considers benching his starters against San Francisco if Kansas City loses Sunday

"No. If I didn't do it last year (in regular-season finale at San Diego), do you think I would do it this year?"

On if LB Al Wilson practiced Wednesday

"No he didn't practice. He has a little soreness in his lower back, and he will be all right. We just have to kind of wait and see."

On what he think makes RB Mike Bell so effective at the goal line

"I think he has great leaping ability, and he has excellent power. He is one of those guys that if we are at the two, three, or four yard line, he can catapult and get in the end zone two or three yards deep so he has some great explosiveness. You can see that the first time he took the field and he has a nose for the goal line any time he is inside the five."

On if he feels that last season when he moved CB Champ Bailey to the back of the bump-and-run that he was taking a risk

"No, not at all in fact. Just the opposite. Champ was used to playing a lot of bump coverage and any time you can isolate a great defensive back on anybody, you feel like you can take a guy out of the game. But to get to the next level, a guy like Champ has to be able to play off where he can read the quarterback, read the steps of the wide receiver and use his intelligence to go along with his ability and that is one of the reasons he has been able to get the interceptions that he has been able to get. If you isolate him one-on-one with a wide receiver, he can take that wide receiver out probably 98 percent of the time, but he wouldn't be able to make plays on the ball. You evolve as a defensive back just like Champ has done. He has done a great job at picking it up and at least been keeping an open mind to try something a little bit different."

On if he thought it was possible for CB Champ Bailey to have an even better season this year than last year

"Well it all depends on how much people want to throw his way. Sooner or later, they will quit throwing his direction. I think he has had eight balls thrown his direction this season, and he has eight picks (nine), so I wouldn't advise throwing over there. It is really amazing when you take a look at the percentage of balls that have been thrown his direction and how many balls he has come up with. It is a credit to his preparation and obviously the type of athlete he is."

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