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Quotes: OC Pat Shurmur

Posted Sep 25, 2013

COACH SHURMUR: I know our guys are happy to be back training. Looking forward to the challenge of playing Denver. They're obviously an outstanding football team. We have to play our best ball to go out and beat them. I'll be happy to answer your questions.

What have you seen from the O line so far? Last week a couple of breakdowns.

COACH SHURMUR: I think the guys are battling hard. I think last week we faced an outstanding front. They challenge you quite well on the edges because of who they are on defense.
I think our whole team battled. Certainly we need to play better at all positions. But I think as a unit they're playing well together.

What about T Jason Peters specifically?

COACH SHURMUR: Again, he battled. He was trying to block one of the outstanding rushers in this league. There's some good plays and then every once in a while you have a bad play. He was dealing with a little nick on his hand. He's doing fine.

What do you see as the greatest strengths of the Bronco's defense?

COACH SHURMUR: First of all, I think they've got outstanding personnel. Certainly they're missing a dynamic player. On the edges they're doing an outstanding job.

I think [DE Derek] Wolfe, [LB Shaun] Phillips and [DE Robert] Ayers are doing an outstanding job on the edges whether it be stopping the run or pressuring the quarterback. They do a good job of playing man to man coverage. They have good defensive backs. Inside I think [LB Wesley] Woodyard is one of the best middle linebackers you're going to see in the league.

They're youthful in a lot of spots. They run to the ball. They play hard. They fit defensively what they do on offense. I think that makes them a challenge.

Are you preparing as if everyone in the secondary will be playing?

COACH SHURMUR: Yeah, they've got to juggle around their secondary. They had some injuries the other night. Yeah, I mean, we're going to play against whoever shows up. But they're going to have maybe a little different crew out there than what they have had the last couple weeks.

Any different with Von Miller not being there?

COACH SHURMUR: No. I think last year -- Von and [Elvis] Dumervil are not in this year. Again, they went out and got [Shaun] Phillips. Then Ayers is an outstanding player. They list him as a backup but he could be a starter for a lot of teams.

Have you got your tight ends involved in the offense as much as you'd like?

COACH SHURMUR: Yeah, I think so. I think you want to see the ball spread around. I prefer that. The way we play offense, that happens quite a bit. We feel they're getting their production.

Looked like Kansas City was real determined to take DeSean Jackson out of the game. What that happens, what do the other guys need to do?

COACH SHURMUR: Well, I think certainly it's important for teams to try to stop the run. That's first and foremost. With DeSean, I don't see it that way. They were playing man free coverage. We got the ball to him. It's hard. If we can maintain a balance on offense running the football, we can stay efficient and explosive throwing the ball. Guys just have to play.

Would you like to get Damaris Johnson more work with the offense?

COACH SHURMUR: You can talk about all of our backup or role players in the same way: Who do you take off the field? Same thing could be said for the tight ends. But Damaris, when he's gotten in there, has done a nice job. We feel like the frontline guys that are playing right now are doing a good job as well.

DeSean was talking about Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie being matched up. What does DRC do well?

COACH SHURMUR: I anticipate they'll play against each other, at least a portion of the game. He's one of the outstanding talents in this league. He runs extremely well. He can get in your hip and run well you. He's got outstanding ball skills. All the same things that he had before he went to Denver, you can still see on tape.

Does time of possession become a factor in a game like this?

COACH SHURMUR: We've just got to play. We've got to play. On offense we've got to move the ball and score points. A lot has been made about how many plays [are run]. We don't worry about how many plays we've got to run. We've got to score more points than the opponent. However we can get that done, we have to do that.

What have you seen from Riley Cooper in particular?

COACH SHURMUR: Riley is one of our toughest guys. When we throw him the ball, he catches it. He's an outstanding blocker. He brings great emotion and energy to the game just because he loves to play the game.

If we're going to be a good football team, the receivers have to block. He does a very nice job of that. I think he kind of sets the standard with Jason Avant. We saw even DeSean get tangled up with other guys the other night.

Ton of mistakes, turnovers and sacks against Kansas City. Is that something that's more on the line or more on Mike Vick to do a better job?

COACH SHURMUR: 'Ton of mistakes', those are your words, right? We had some mistakes, things we have to clean up. I think every player and all the position groups had things this he could do better.

Your overall third down percentage has been pretty good. Third and five, I think you're 2 21. Is there a reason why you're having trouble converting?

COACH SHURMUR: Typically when you go back, we've all done it, you evaluate third downs, it's really never one thing. The throw may be off. You may drop the football. The quarterback may have gotten pressure.
But the key is for us to stay on the field. By the way the numbers work out, you want to have shorter third downs than longer ones because as the distance goes up, they're tougher to make.

Michael Vick has a lot of passion and motivation. Do you think when he plays against a guy like Peyton Manning, who is considered by the best who ever played the game, it has an intangible effect of pushing him to a greater level?

COACH SHURMUR: I don't think Mike's wired that way. I think Mike just wants to go out and compete and do what he does well.

I think he's more interested -- that would be a better question for him. When I watch Mike, now that I've been around him for six months or more, I just see a guy that wants to compete and do a good job. We'll let you folks do the comparison afterwards.

Jason Avant and Brent Celek, what have they done to evolve?

COACH SHURMUR: They're two of our most dependable, trusted players. They've taken everything that we've done. They've embraced the behind the scenes sports science of getting their bodies right. I kind of go to them typically throughout the week and see how they're feeling. Their leadership behind the scenes has been outstanding. They've been doing a good job on the field as well. They're steady, veteran players that we can all count on.

What does Lane [Johnson] need to do better?

COACH SHURMUR: I think Lane is really playing pretty well for a rookie. It's not easy to play that position. He got beat a couple times the other night, which happens.

The good thing about Lane is he's tough, he works hard, he has the skill and ability to play the position he's playing. He just needs to keep grinding. That doesn't sell many books when I tell you that we've just got to keep working at it. That's what it comes down to. Guys that are young players doing this for the first time in this league, you're going to miss a couple times. The key is how you respond to it.
It's like turnovers. They're going to happen sometimes. How do we respond when they happen? That's what we look for in Lane. As he becomes a veteran player, how does he handle those misses. He's done a good job to this point.

It seems like Kansas City was delaying their rush, hesitating, then coming at Lane.

COACH SHURMUR: Who said that?

Lane. If that's the case, what does he need to do?

COACH SHURMUR: Well, I think you get matched up in a game. For most of the plays you're kind of matched up with the same guy. So then they start to change up their moves. They'll bull rush you, then they'll try to speed rush you, then they'll try to delay to get you to lean or jump.

Typically young players become a little bit more aggressive once in a while [and guys] get you to lean, that beats you quick. It's just that game that everybody plays. As you get used to the matchup, the guy you're playing throughout the game, you've got to counter the moves that he gives you.

LeSean McCoy in the second half seemed like he hurt his ankle and then came out and making the runs he did.

COACH SHURMUR: I think he's done a great job. He's producing extremely well. He's securing the football in a way that we like to see. He's a really fine player. We just hope that it continues, that he's able to get the same kind of production that we're getting out of him.

Vick talked about the one interception, he knew the direction he should have gone with the well.

COACH SHURMUR: The first or second one?

The first one.

COACH SHURMUR: As you go through life, we all develop our list of things we'll never do again. You guys are laughing. You've got that same list. I got that list. You need to trust your training. You need to trust your instincts. The quarterback, we focus on his decision making on every single play. Every once in a while you may have a decision making error. There were a lot of other things going on with that play. Mike did a good job of explaining it. But there's other things that other players could have done better that might have not had that have been a pick six.

What is the instant replay process like?

COACH SHURMUR: Well, I'm up there with a bunch of other coaches. I don't always have the greatest view of it. We kind of put our minds together up there. In a situation where it warrants a challenge, we say, 'Hey, coach, you ought to think about doing this.' We give him that information.

What is your philosophy on that? Do you think you should challenge if there's a chance? Or, only if you think this is a slam dunk?

COACH SHURMUR: If we see visible evidence to support the fact that we may win on the challenge, then we want to do it. Unfortunately there's a lot of times in the game where you're thinking about it. For whatever reason, you don't see it. It happens mostly when you're on the road. I say that tongue in cheek. If you don't have the evidence to support it, then you just can't do it. Then I don't want to leave Coach Kelly off the bridge by giving him bad information. There are times when you can't. There's times on the sideline when he can see it better than I can because it's right in front of him. There's other times that we get more information up top. Each situation is different. Generally speaking, we want to be aggressive here in everything that we do. If we see something we think can get overturned, we'll try to challenge it.

Do you get any feed that's different than what we're getting?

COACH SHURMUR: I don't know what you're getting.

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