Denver Broncos Post Game 1/3/09

Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton, Brandon Stokley, Mario Haggan, Jabar Gaffney, Daniel Graham and Vonnie Holliday each share their thoughts on Sunday's 44-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Check out the full transcripts...

On the Broncos' mental state entering today's game against Kansas City
"We prepared hard, and we went out and fought hard and played as a team, lost as a team, and got beat by a football team that played better than us today."

On if the Broncos' offensive scheme was different due to missing players
"We threw it a lot. We were in four-wide (receiver sets) and got back into some empty (backfield sets). I thought the guys up front blocked well. I thought the receivers played really hard. I know they're tired at the end of the game. (They) played really hard, and I commend them for that. We had guys step up who haven't really seen a whole lot of time this year and did some decent things."

On Kansas City LB Derrick Johnson's two interceptions
"The first one I wish I had back. (It was) just one of my poor throws of the day. The second one, that's football. Sometimes you don't see guys. I think he was supposed to be blitzing, actually, and kind of just came across the line of scrimmage. I thought I had (TE) Daniel Graham wide open and there he showed up on me. That happens in this league. Obviously, I wouldn't have wanted it to happen tonight but (that's) just kind of how it goes."

On the Broncos' performance during the past two months
"We didn't play as well. We played so well the first six weeks complimentary wise like we've talked about all year (with) the kicking game helping both phases, the offense not turning (the ball) over to help the defense and the defense getting us in field position and us taking advantage of it. I just think that for whatever reason that kind of slipped down the stretch. We kind of seemed like one group would be playing well and then maybe not the other. We just couldn't get it on the same page in the same game. It's tough to win when you do that."

On what the offense needs to do to improve next season
"This will be our second year (running this offense), so we've got to work hard. This is a big offseason coming up. Everybody has had a year to kind of digest the system and get comfortable. I think (Head) Coach (Josh McDaniels) has had a chance to get comfortable with his players, as well. As frustrated as I am, I'm also excited. I'm looking forward to next season. I'm looking forward to playing with these guys. We've got a bunch of good pros in this locker room, and I appreciate every one of them."

On if the Broncos have expressed an interest in re-signing him for next season
"Time will tell. It'll be an interesting offseason for a lot of people. I've been very patient, and I know the organization has been patient as well with me. I think something is going to get worked out. I certainly want to be back with these guys. I want to be back with these coaches. This is the best organization that I've ever played for, so I want to keep on doing it."

On the potential changes to the Broncos' roster
"I've never been on a team that the rosters look the same (the next season). That's really the tough part about the last game of the season. This is the last time you're ever going to play with this group of guys, and it's going to be a different team next year, no question about it."

On missing key players on offense in today's game
"We had the guys that wanted to play in the huddle. I appreciate Coach (McDaniels) for his decision. We're trying to win games and we're trying to build something special, and sometimes you've got to make tough decisions. I stand behind him, and I know the other guys do, as well. I just appreciate him for having the direction for this football team."

On the Broncos' current outlook for next season
"I don't know. The offseason tells a lot. It's going to be (dependent on) how hard we want to work (and) what type of effort do we want to put in in the offseason. It's easy to show up when you're supposed to and work and do all that, but the great teams, they show up and they're ready to roll even when you don't have to. I think that's the group of guys that we have, and we're ready to go."

On not making the playoffs after starting the season 6-0
"It's tough to swallow, no question. It's at tough way to end the season, for sure."

On the disappointing end to the season
"Yeah, it's disappointing. You never want to finish the season off this way. Hats off to the Chiefs, they came in here, played a good game and played better than us. But it is a little disappointing."

On the Chiefs controlling the game from the third quarter on
"Yeah, they did a good job in the second half of taking it to us. They played well across the board on offense and defense. We were right there, we just couldn't make a play down the stretch."

On finishing 2-8 after starting 6-0
"We just played good football early and we just didn't play good enough late in the season. That's really the bottom line, there's no secret to it. If you don't go out there and play good football, you're just not going to win in this league. And that's what happened in the second half of the season. We just got outplayed."

On if the Broncos were beaten before they took the field
"No, I don't think we were beaten before we took the field. But once we took the field we were definently beaten in all phases of the game. Although we were in a position to have an opportunity to go to the playoffs, we certainly didn't play like we deserved it based on some of the things we did. Myself included."

On Kansas City's success running the football
"Just not sound defense. On the whole, we didn't do it and they were coming from everywhere. We had a lot of good calls and we just had to make plays and we didn't make those plays. [Chiefs RB] Jamaal Charles had a heck of a year and he continued that today. "

On if the deactivation of WR Brandon Marshall and TE Tony Scheffler affected the team's psyche
"That had nothing to do with the way we played today. Regardless of who we've got out there, we've got to go to work with what we've got. Obviously we didn't make enough plays today but that was a decision made by the coaches and the organization,. So it's out of my reach and I just have to go out there and do my job."

On a disappointing end to the season
"Well we started the season 6-0. After that somewhere along the way we lost that winning edge. We couldn't pull games out in the fourth quarter and getting behind too much early on. It was a combination giving us an end result of going home."

On if the Broncos are the same team now as when they started 6-0
"I think we're better than 8-8. This team has so much talent and so much potential. But we just didn't show that consistently enough. In this game you've got to be consistent, or else you'll be at home in the beginning of January."

On pinpointing the team's struggles at the end of the season
"Well, we started good and we finished bad when you look back on the season. Next season we'll have to start fast and end good as well, and then we'll have a chance."

On today's loss
"It was very disappointing. It was a disappointing season for us. We didn't want this, no one does. We expected to get to the playoffs. We have a lot of work to do next year."

On why the season ended worse than it started
"[By] Not playing sixty minutes…not executing. The coaches did a good job of putting us in the right game plan. We have to execute better. We have to play better."

On the season overall
"It's a very disappointing season for us. We all play this game with one goal and we didn't reach that this year. It's a disappointing season for us, and we have to play better."

On lessons from today's loss
"We just have to play better. Coach [Josh McDaniels] has done a good job with the game plans for us. We as players have to come out here and play better. We have to want it more and we have to give it our all."

On whether today's active roster affected the team morale
"No, it didn't affect anything. Coach made a decision and we expected everyone else to step up and they did. Guys stepped up and made plays."

On Josh McDaniels' first season as head coach
"He took a team that no one gave a chance to do anything and we finished up eight-and-eight . [There is a] New scheme, offensive and defensively. For a lot of people, they probably would feel like they made a good run at it, but when you work as hard as we do, that's not what you play for – to be eight-and-eight and an average team. You play, and you work that hard to go out and compete and get to the playoffs and that's why we play the game. That's what makes it exciting. That's why we go out there every day and put your body on the line, because you want to go out and win games. Unfortunately, we didn't win enough. We showed some sparks this year, some flashes of brilliance and greatness, good things. It was just sparks and flashes, and we never really got the fire burning. It's a lot of little things. We're still an immature team. It's a lot of little things that we're going to have to fix as a team from top to bottom."

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