Coach's Corner - Aug. 1, 2007

Denver Broncos Head Coach Mike Shanahan breaks down Day Four of Training Camp 2007

Mike Shanahan

On the Broncos' offense
"Offensively, I think we are on schedule. We have a number of new players that are performing extremely well this early. We have thrown a lot at them, but I am pleased with the effort overall."

On whether S John Lynch is slowing down
"Not really, to be honest with you, because you can see it in the offseason program. When you have a guy that has been in the league for 15 years, you know his offseason work habits are unbelievable. You can see if a guy is slowing down. At that age you can tell if a guy is slowing down because it gets hard to be disciplined in the offseason. The kind of years John has had over the last couple of seasons doesn't surprise me because of his work habit."

On WR Rod Smith being Denver's emergency QB
"Rod has nothing to do with the emergency quarterback situation. I have never been in a situation where we have had to go to our third quarterback in the game, and hopefully it stays that way. If that scenario does come up, I will give it a little bit more thought. Right now, we still have the capability to have three quarterbacks, so that is a bonus."

On DE John Engelberger
"John played a lot last year and he played extremely well. One of the reasons he is a starter is because of the way he played last year. He does have a little bit of competition there, but he is a very consistent player and he is very disciplined."

On RB Mike Bell playing better this year than as a rookie in 2006
"Mike is running better than he was a year ago. He is a making better decisions, and he is a little bit more under control. He is using his instincts. Sometimes, Mike gets a little bit too excited and slips while trying to make a cut. Things like that usually come with confidence."

On WR Domenik Hixon's recovery from a shoulder separation
"When guys get hurt, it really hurts their chances of making the team. For a guy like Domenik to come in after a first-degree shoulder separation is pretty impressive. He worked through it, and that is what you are hoping a guy is going to do."

On evaluating rookies during training camp
"It is still a little bit too early. I give it about a week until they get a chance to digest the system and it becomes something they do on a day-to-day basis. I think giving an assessment after each practice would be a little bit silly. Our guys are out here working hard, and nobody is eliminating themselves. They are getting a good feel for the system, but today was an average practice for us because it is the fourth day and guys are tired both mentally and physically. Hopefully we can improve tomorrow."

On the Broncos' linebackers
"Any time you lose a guy like Al Wilson, things are going to be different. We have been doing this for quite a few months and we have some players here. We have guys who are going to step up and play extremely well. I think D.J. (Williams) feels comfortable inside and obviously Ian Gold as well. I am not sure who that SAM linebacker is going to be, but we have a lot of competition so it will be interesting. It is going to take some time but hopefully we can get it done in the preseason."

On WR Rod Smith
"With a guy like Rod Smith, what he has played and what he has done, it is an easy decision. Rod is going to do everything he can to get back. Physically, he is not able to go. One of the reasons he didn't play up to his ability last year was because he was injured. Rod didn't want to let the team down. When the doctor looked at his hip, they told him he shouldn't have played. Rod is so tough mentally that he wanted to play even though he was injured. I think Rod knows that for him to be able to play at the level he can play at, he has to be healthy. It may take all though preseason or even into the middle of the regular season. I told Rod that he doesn't have a target date, he is on this football team and I told him to get well."

On WR Brandon Marshall
"He did pretty well on the treadmill the other day. I told Brandon that we can't waste repetition on a guy that keeps getting hurt. He is not out there and we need guys that can stay healthy. He has a lot of ability and he has a great upside. We will have to wait until he is healthy to see what he can do and if he can stay healthy."



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