Sunday morning practice quotes - 7/29

Check out what Mike Shanahan and some of the players had to say following today's morning session of Training Camp 2007


On the first practice of training camp
"It was a good first day. It is always a little bit easier when you have 15 practices in the offseason program where you are actually doing most of the things you have already done in OTAs."

On how the rookies looked after the first practice
"We have been watching these guys for about 15 days and also for about four months during the offseason. These players have been around for a while. It is always tough when a guy comes in the last few days and you don't have a chance to watch him on film. You have a tendency to look over at him and see how he is doing. These guys have been around for awhile."

On DT Marcus Thomas' pre-practice backflip
"I actually saw it in college once and when he did his workouts for the pro scouts. A lot of his coaches were there. During that time, he started his workouts doing that so I had kind of anticipated it. Most of our players never see that, so they are a little bit surprised. He did a round off and a back flip, not many guys can do that at 325 pounds."

On bringing back DE Kenny Peterson and DE Carlos Hall not reporting to training camp
"I had talked to Kenny and told him that we would have to evaluate all the players that were going to be on our squad, and if we lose anybody that I want to bring him back. I like Kenny, but we have a lot of defensive lineman out there. When Carlos said he was not going to play football, we called up Kenny. We have some guts at that defensive line position so we will be all right."

On the energy Assistant Head Coach/Defense Jim Bates brings
"He is very enthusiastic and he does a good job with all of these players."


On if the Broncos' morning practice gave any indication on the club's chances to win the Super Bowl
"It's too early to say. You get out there the first day, it's pretty much review at this point. We want to be as efficient as we can and I think today we got a good start."

On Assistant Head Coach/Defense Jim Bates
"I love it. He's loud and rowdy and he just wants perfection on every play and I love that. I demand perfection on myself and my teammates and the guys around me."

On getting to know the new players
"I'm still learning. Obviously I know Dre (Bly) and Travis (Henry) from playing against those guys, but it will be interesting for them being on the same team. On the field, I'm not satisfied with everything I have done. There's a lot of plays out on the field that I could make that would make a difference in the game."

On getting more balls this year
"Definitely. I have to get more than last year. I can't really get less. With Dre (Bly) on the other side, we're going to make plays. Last year, I picked about a third of the balls. Some quarterbacks don't care. There are a lot of young quarterbacks that think they can do it, so I'm all for it. I'm not going to say anything during the week about them not throwing it over there."

On thinking of Darrent Williams
"He is always on our mind since everything has happened. Everything we do, we break it down and honor him in every way. We continue to think of him as being a part of this team, always. He is a big part of us and always will be."


On having something to prove
"I feel that I should because I've never played here. I have to prove it to myself, my teammates and the fans. Every day, I want to get better. Up here, they emphasize to finish and that will help us out in the long run. They mean business up here. Here you have to pick up the ball and run with it. Everyone has to run 50 yards up here."

On the expectation of having the best year of career
"I feel like I am in the best shape of my career. I'm healthy, and I feel like this team is special. We are here now just getting better and trying to gel together. OTAs have helped me out a lot. It's just going back over everything. Right now, everything is going really well for me. I just have to get used to my players. Once we put the pads on and I get a feel of what these guys can do, it will all be first hand. Getting used to the individual players and knowing how they block will help me get better."


On training camp
"This is a necessary thing you have to come in here and go to the grind. It's different from when I first came in. We went through two-a-days for six weeks. Right now, we are further along than where we have been because we have done so much in the offseason. More than anything, it's to fine tune things and get ready. There will be times during the season where you get hurt—sore groin, hamstrings and shoulders—but you have to just play and focus through that. This year, we have two weeks here and a few days in Dallas, so this year's camp is probably the best. I know when you go through camp, the intensity goes up. It would be nice to run into someone else once the games start. It gets tiring when you keep hitting your own guys. This will really be three weeks of spirited practice."

On giving advice to rookies
"I think you are always talking about the guys who have been around a while. More than anything, you show up. There is no better tool than just to show people what you can do. There's no better way to teach the young guys than to run and play football. When you go out and do it every single day, if they have the talent, they can be special and make something happen."

On being an NFL veteran
"I think one of the great things… In year 11, I had my neck issue, but ever since I have been healthy. Now when you step out and say you are 15, I mean, who would have thought that? I never really thought that it would last this long, but knowing that is has, it is a real blessing and something I am proud of."

On Denver's depth at safety
"I have always thought the depth at the safety position was really good. I think Sam (Brandon) did a lot of things for us, covering a lot of great tight ends in our division. We have players like Hamza Abdullah, who I am really excited about, and Curome Cox, who is a special person. We have two guys who came in and made a splash on special teams last year in Steve Cargile and Quentin Harris, so I think there is experience back there with good players who you can count on. I don't think it will be an issue; it will be a strength. Those guys are fighting for roster spots, so it will be a battle at that position."

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