Coach's Corner - Mike Shanahan 12/3/07

Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan met with local media on Monday, discussing Sunday's dissapointing loss in Oakland and where the team stands for the rest of the season. Check out the full transcripts.

On what he expects from the Broncos in thei final four regular-season games
"Obviously we want to play well. Any time you have four turnovers like we did then you have another situation where you get a rushing the kicker call, which keeps the drive going, that's 31 points right there out of 34. You give up 31 points with four turnovers and a mistake on special teams, you have a hard time competing in a game. We will keep on working on things that we have done poorly and hopefully we'll get better."

On the team's run defense against Oakland
"It's a combination of things. One person being out of position and one person missing a tackle. That's what run defense is. We'll keep on working on it. Since the bye week, that was not one of our better games."

"Obviously we would like to play better than we are playing. We talked about the Raiders coming in. They were fifth in the National Football League rushing the ball—There's a reason for that. We did do some good things, but you need to be consistent. We give some credit to them, and their running backs fought hard. At the same time, we take on a lot of that responsibility ourselves. We just need to keep on working on those things, and hopefully we will get better quick."

On giving up a lot of points in recent weeks
"Any time you give up 4-for-5 in the red zone, an 80 percent touchdown ratio, that's not good. It's also not good to turn the ball over four times. We all know that's common sense football. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out."

On coming back from the consecutive losses in the last two weeks
"It's never fun to lose. We'll see what we're made of. You can go through some tough times and very tough moments, but we have the character to fight through it, and hopefully we can get it started this Sunday against Kansas City."

On needing players to step up
"Well if you have to have one of those pep talks, you've got the wrong guys to start with. We just are not playing as good as we are capable of playing. You can't turn the football over. Any time you turn it over for 31 points, on our side of the 50 (yard line), I don't care who you are, you have a hard time winning football games. We have to play better. The obvious is you give up 4.3 yards per rush. They (Raiders) had a couple of good runs in there. We didn't run the ball the way we are capable of running. Hopefully, we will get a little bit better in both of those areas. Our plan going in was not to play (RB) Travis (Henry) that much. I thought that it might come back to haunt us, and it did. Maybe we should have dressed out another back, but with a couple of guys being injured on special teams, I decided not to go in that direction. When (RB) Selvin (Young) went down, we gave him the ball too many times."

On seeing progress on defense
"Any time you are losing, you always want to make more progress. That's that way I look at it on offense, defense and special teams. On special teams, we lost some valuable field position on kickoff returns. Everybody looks at the offense and defense, and nobody looks at the special teams with that hidden yardage. That's what separates the teams."

On Assistant Head Coach/Defense Jim Bates
"You talk about as soon as there is a little adversity, it's going to go back to the coach. We are all disappointed. We're not scoring as many points and putting the ball in the end zone. I'm disappointed in myself. It's my job to get the job done. If we don't get it done, it comes back to me. Don't worry about Bates, the offensive line coaches or the other assistant coaches. Talk about my situation, and we'll be all right."

On playing younger players
"We are going to play to win. We will play who we think will give us the best chance to win."

On RB Travis Henry
"Take a look at what Travis has done. When he was healthy, he was leading the National Football League. Just because he's hurt doesn't mean he can't play. The game plan going in was to give him the ball about 10 times and maybe play him 15 or 16 plays. When (RB) Selvin (Young) went down, we had to play him. You could see that he wore down a little bit. Like I said, if I had to do it over again, we probably would have had another running back up."

On this being the toughest season as a head coach
"Yes, it is tough. Any time you lose it is really tough, especially when you are used to winning."

On WR Javon Walker
"He played a little bit better. It was an improvement over Chicago. He's not there yet but has made some strides. Hopefully this week he'll do a lot better in practice and be closer to full speed. He does look better."

On Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell
"It's hard to speak about JaMarcus Russell. He only played a handful of plays. If you are going to judge him by what he did in that game, it's a little premature. They did a good job of running the football, and they scored in the red zone. They got the job done, and we didn't."

On looking at the division's quarterbacks
"Well, you don't know what they're going to do until they do it. I feel really good about our guy, but I can't speak about the others. I feel really good about (San Diego QB Philip) Rivers, and the way he played last year. Even though he has gotten some criticism this year, I think he is a heck of a football player, and think he'll be one of the top guys in the league."

On believing the division can still be won
"Sure. We have to get a little bit of luck and need to play much better than we are playing. We are more worried about us playing a complete football game than the playoffs for obvious reasons."





Got something to say - Voice your opinion on any one of our
Broncos Update Community Forums









Mile High Huddle Top Stories