You helped game plan against Peyton Manning the end of last season when you were with Cleveland. How does he look now compared to then?
COACH DAVIS: You're looking at a second year in a system where Peyton is running it. The players around him are understanding it thoroughly and you're watching a system right now offensively that's hitting on all cylinders.
They're efficient, executing their offense at a high rate right now. The running game is going. Peyton is distributing the ball all over the place to the open receiver whatever coverage you're presenting.
You're seeing year two of guys settling into a system and really working together.
The teams that do relatively well against him, what do they do?
COACH DAVIS: I've studied a lot of different defensive coordinators, how they tried to stop Peyton. This offense is carried over from Indianapolis.
I think the biggest thing about playing well against Peyton Manning, it's a simple thing, the executing of your techniques within your call. He has seen every coverage you can throw at him. He sees disguises, people holding onto their two shell. Everybody has always has something.
The teams that beat them execute their defensive techniques and they get turnovers. Turnovers are the part, if you're going to have a success against a Peyton Manning offense, or slow it down at least, turnovers are a huge part of that. He hasn't turned the ball over. They're really operating at a high efficiency.
There are a handful of guys who were part of the team in 2010 that did pretty well. Anything to gain by that film? Obviously a lot has changed.
COACH DAVIS: We talked a lot about that last year in Cleveland with Dick Jauron, who was part of that staff. We put a plan together largely off of what they did in Philadelphia with Sean McDermott. I've studied that plan thoroughly, implemented parts of it.
Really you go back and look at all the teams that have had success against Peyton, you try to see what they do. They're all running the same coverages. There's really nothing new. You're not inventing coverages out here. It's really about how you're putting some pressure on him. You have to get around him, not let him get in rhythm like most offenses. Then the way you play your coverages, have to be on point, be where you're supposed to be, right technique in order to have success.
Does he make more changes at the line of scrimmage than any other quarterback?
COACH DAVIS: Absolutely. He's a coach on the field that is saying, Here is your look, I'm going to put our offense in the best position, best play. Even within that play, if it's a pass play he chooses, he knows the coverage, he knows the weakness of that coverage. Every coverage you call is designed to take something away but you give something else up. Sometimes you take away the run, but you weaken yourself in the passing game.
Peyton has a great understanding of what that defense is strong at, weak at. He puts the ball where you're letting him put it. He takes what you're giving him down after down. They do a great job of running after the catch. Our tackling is a big part of the success of this game as well as playing our techniques.
When you talk about the way he's executing the offense, they have four premiere pass catchers, three receivers, and a tight end. What kind of problems does that present for a defense?
COACH DAVIS: Usually you have a main guy as part of the offense, a star that you can load up and take him away. Peyton makes you defend the field. He has all his guys there. There's a bunch of high quality skill positions. He distributes it equally. There's not one person he favors. He takes what the defense allows him to take, and those guys do a great job of catching the ball and making plays after the catch. We have to defend the field.
How does Wes Welker look?
COACH DAVIS: He's got great quickness. He's got a great understanding of defense. Great football IHe reads the zones and knows the soft spot in the zone. He's quick and shifty. If you're in man coverage, he's turning you around and attacking the leverage you're playing with. In the zones, he knows where the soft spots are. That comes with eight or nine years of playing with [Tom] Brady and Peyton in that slot spot.
How do you get your guys not to be in awe of a guy like Peyton?
COACH DAVIS: Well, great things about coaching or playing in the NFL are these challenges. A week like this where you're playing against the best quarterback on the planet right now, the high efficiency they're playing at. The players and coaches both, they have solid egos as well. We're not going to back down from any challenge. Our players in the locker room are very anxious to accept the challenge, let's see what we can do against a great offense.
They've earned all the respect and accolades they're receiving. They're doing a good job. We get an opportunity to go and stop that progress they're making.
Did you have a scheme as a coordinator or assistant that seemed to work against him?
COACH DAVIS: In Arizona we held him to seven points in the first half. We felt good about what we were doing. He figured us out, it ended up being 31 13 at the end of the game. We lost.
There are moments. I guess you can never relax against Peyton because you have four quarters to play against him no matter what the score. He is constantly grinding on, figuring out what you're doing. People try to change the target, change up what you're doing.
At the end of the day, whatever it is you're doing, the execution of that coverage overrides you moving it around to where he can't figure it out. He has seen it all. He's played so long, there's only so many ways you can deploy your coverage. When he figures it out...
What were you thinking about trying to do going in? What didn't work?
COACH DAVIS: I don't want to go too much into detail on that. I've looked at it hard, people that have had success, taking away things I did learn. I don't want to give away any part of our plan. But I learned a lot of lessons two times. [When I was in] San Francisco, played him well, too.
There were different elements we took from that. Basically at the end I looked at all the notes from after the game. It basically came down when we executed our coverages the way they're supposed to be executed, we succeeded. When we didn't, he finds your mistakes. I think that's his greatest attribute, finding where you go wrong.
Do people get too caught up sometimes in trying to do different things they wouldn't normally do against Peyton?
COACH DAVIS: I think that's the mystique that goes with Peyton. You try to get too cute, you get away from technique football, advantage to him. You have to have a confidence about your scheme and ability, really a single minded focus on getting your technique done one play at a time and just play as well as you can play one single play at a time and don't get outside of ourselves and I think we'll be fine.
Eddie Royal and Donnie Avery have been able to beat you on some underneath routes. What's been the problem there?
COACH DAVIS: Two third and longs. You love to be third and 17, third and 19. They ran a wide receiver screen underneath, blocked all the receivers. They ran it twice. We talked about it after the first one.
Denver also runs that very same wide receiver screen. It's an underneath screen, a lot like a running back screen. When you have numbers back, it's just about getting off blocks and making the tackle before they get the 16, the 17. They call it on long yards. We didn't get off the field on those plays. They out executed us. It's not a schematic problem. Those two plays they were better than us.
What do you need to do better in the secondary?
COACH DAVIS: Same thing about what we have to do against Denver. We have to play our individual techniques better.
If you look at the first three games defensively, there are times we played third down very well, there were times we played it awful. Times we've been in the red zone and we've been great. Responded to adversity last week, off the charts. Proud of the way the guys handled the adversity, turned it into a positive. There are times we don't.
We are too inconsistent in every little phase right now. We're in the growth process, we have to play the techniques of every coverage better than we're playing them. The better word would be 'more consistent'. When we hit the consistency mode, we're going to be right where we want to be.
They have some good running backs and seem to want to establish that so people can't just drop everyone back. How important is it to take that dimension out when you're devoting so many resources to Peyton?
COACH DAVIS: Again, Peyton right now at the line of scrimmage is checking in and out of run games and pass games on what you present to him. He runs the ball when you give the best chance for his run to work. That's when you move in and out of. Like I said, they are very efficient. He is putting them in those plays.
When you have the light box, he's running the ball. When you have the heavy box, he's throwing the ball. Sometimes he's throwing you off. You can have a heavy box, he can still run it. He's calling the plays at the line in a great fashion. We have to stop that run equally well as a pass.
You said there's nothing new. Is there anything different you need to do in terms of disguises?
COACH DAVIS: Every week Peyton faces guys that give him different disguises. A couple years ago Coach [Dick] LeBeau, nine seconds left on the play clock, you show your hand from there. Peyton has seen it all. As you watch them, the more you disguise, the more the quick ball comes out to the guy that is faking high like he's in a cover two or a quarter. It's a five, six, seven, eight yard gain because it's caught.
You have to be careful how much you disguise and don't disguise. It can't be all disguise, it can't be no disguise. The challenge we have is to mix up our looks, disguises, our pressure, non pressure, try to keep him off balance. That's a heck of a challenge.
How did Vinny Curry do against the Chiefs?
COACH DAVIS: Vinny had a good day. He's a good pass rusher. He is getting better at the two gap stuff. We're excited about Vinny. Each week different things go into it. He had a nice game.
Will he be active this week?
COACH DAVIS: Active, inactives, is really right at the end of the week. He's got a good chance.
The safeties have been playing fairly deep in your first three games. Will that continue?
COACH DAVIS: The depth of the safeties varies with call. Sometimes we're playing two deep. I'm trying to tighten that down a little bit.
The call will vary. What we're getting, again, what is presented to us. If we're getting a lot of deep overs, we'll deep 10 those guys up in order to make the plays on the deeper balls. If we're getting the shorter, quicker stuff, that varies by plan, by call.
There have been a lot of injuries on the Broncos offensive line. Why have teams been unable to take advantage of that?
COACH DAVIS: It's Peyton. The ball is out so quick. He sets the protection. He knows where he's protected and where he's not. You have to win those one on ones is really the key.
Peyton slides his protection where he wants it, he manipulates it off the look. He gets it off quick. That's why he's so efficient against the pressure. You can have an unblocked man on Peyton, he's still going to get it off. He's got the height, the vision. He's the total package right now.
What do you remember about coaching Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in Arizona?
COACH DAVIS: He was a young player, a rookie. Very quiet when we had him. Trying to find his way in the NFL. Very quick, explosive. Probably the best burst of any corner I've been around.
Dominique as a young player was fun to coach and fun to be around.
Anything you can share with us that you picked up from other defenses that have stopped Peyton on tape?
COACH DAVIS: Again, they executed well. Within their scheme, I think they presented Peyton some looks that he wasn't familiar with. I think it slowed him down a little bit. I believe they had a couple turnovers that helped.
If Peyton will turn the ball over, and he hasn't yet, it levels the playing field. Like most anybody, it's not just Peyton, it's anybody. Really, when somebody is this efficient, the turnovers and getting them to punt, getting our offense the ball is the key.
Will Patrick Chung be able to play?
COACH DAVIS: I don't know. It's up in the air. He took a big jump from yesterday to today. Hopefully every day is a jump. With the injuries he's dealing with... He's a tough man. If he can go, he will go. It's a tricky injury. Right now I'm not sure.