On how he views Denver and why they have been having ups and downs this season: "It's tough to explain why they've had ups and downs. I guess with a new coach and a new system you can have a little inconsistency there. As far as I can tell on offense, they're playing really good ball. They run the ball well, they're really balanced. I think (QB Kyle) Orton, he's doing a great job at quarterback down there. I think we have our work cut out for us."
On whether he would be here right now if it was not for the guidance of Broncos FS Brian Dawkins: "I like to think, yeah. Obviously I learned a lot from him over the years, but I have a lot of confidence in my abilities and I feel that I just needed time to grow into the role that I have right now."
On how much he has been looking forward to Sunday's game against the Broncos: "It's one of those games that you look for as soon as you get the schedule before the season starts. You circle that kind of game. I've been looking forward to it all year. I know it's going to be crazy out there, but I'm excited. It'll be a chance for him to see what I've been able to do and what he's helped build here with me."
On whether this is a chance to show what he can do without Dawkins beside him: "It's almost like when your big brother goes away to college and he comes back. All those years when you were losing to him in basketball, you kind of show him 'Look what I can do.' It's an opportunity to show what I've been able to learn from him and show that I can hold it down a little bit."
On whether it will be tough to block out the fact that Broncos RB Correll Buckhalter and Dawkins are on the opposing team: "Heck no, man. Once we get on the field, all that goes out the window. The bottom line is whoever is across from you, they're going to try to kick your butt and I'm going to try to kick their butt. I'm not really worried about all of that stuff once we start going."
On whose responsibility it is now to set the tone on defense without Dawkins: "I think we, as a group, especially the secondary collectively took to that. Obviously, it's been well documented; his pregame speeches and all that stuff. That's the kind of stuff you miss, but you have to overcome it. I think what we've learned about ourselves over this season is that everybody has their own way of motivating themselves. By now, we've all figured that out. So now, when we get to the pregame huddle, we're all amped up. It's just a different way of doing it. It works for us and we're doing a good job of that."
On needing MLB Jeremiah Trotter to help replace Dawkins: "(Defensive coordinator Sean) McDermott and I talked and one of the things, as a defense, you need two guys. You need a middle linebacker, somebody in the middle, and you need a leader in the secondary; that's always been the case. Even when Trot was here before, it was Trot and Dawk; it has always been that way. Obviously with (MLB) Stewart (Bradley) going down, we brought in Trot to fill that void and he's done a great job."
On whether the team is where they want to be right now: "I don't think so. We can always get better. Even last week I feel like we played a pretty good game, but there is a lot of room for improvement. We're doing well getting the turnovers, but we've got some stuff to work on. Hopefully we can continue getting the turnovers but we'll fix the little issues that we're having here and there."
On whether his role has changed at all from last season in terms of his responsibilities: "They've been expanded. I've been looked at to be more vocal and to control things. Also, when we're in games, my role has changed a lot. Before last year, Dawk would do a lot or I would do a lot. We would work together. Now we're having different safeties every couple of weeks. It's been a little bit of an adjustment, but I think we have actually done well with it so far so hopefully it continues.
On whether the team is as good at free safety this year compared to a year ago with Dawkins: "That's an interesting question. I guess if you sit down and look at the stats, you can go that route. The way I look at it is, you can't look at it like that; he's not here. He's in Denver and he's going to be ready to play on Sunday. If you look at the stats, everybody can draw their own conclusions on how they want to look at it. In my opinion, Dawk, it's tough to replace a guy like that. I really miss having him here, but he's not here so we have to look at it like that. We have to go out there and play ball."
On why the team has been so good at forcing turnovers: "I think it's really just us working on it in practice. We are constantly talking about it. It obviously helps when you have (CB) Asante Samuel and (CB) Sheldon Brown who have both been playing great. It's also getting a lot of guys on the football, getting those fumbles. It's guys practicing catching; it's all that kind of stuff. Actually two of the interceptions we had against San Francisco were caused by (DE) Juqua Parker and a lot of people didn't know that. He made some key adjustments and created pressure that created those."