(General manager Charley Casserly’s opening statement) “Normally, I usually talk about the strategy of what we’re doing and Gary talks about the player. Because I did four hours of interviews last night, you probably already know what I’m going to say on this. If you want to ask any questions, that’s fine, but I’m going to say a couple of things, and then Gary will talk about how Mario fits into the football team. Obviously, if you have any questions, then you can go ahead. As you know, we selected Mario Williams as our first overall pick in the 2006 draft. There are two points I would like to address. One is: we do have a signed contract with Mario, just to give you a little review on the negotiations … We negotiated with both players at the beginning of the week. Danny Ferens is our contract negotiator. We made progress with both sides.
“The contract decision to sign Mario Williams had nothing to do with our ability or inability to sign Reggie Bush. It was strictly a football decision based on the best player. We thought it was in our best interest to start negotiations, and then try to conclude them before the draft to eliminate distractions before we went to training camp. When it came to around Thursday, we felt we needed to make a decision at that point to give us enough time to get the contract done. We focused solely on Mario Williams at that point, and told him that he’s our guy and we were close enough on the contract to finish it. Again, this was a decision on taking the best player for our team. It had nothing to do with signability, because we were confident we could sign both players. That’s number one.
“Number two, I’ve been asked quite a bit regarding Reggie Bush in off-the-field activities. The decision was based upon players’ ability. We were confident in both players; we decided to take the player that was best for us. Nothing regarding any allegations--and none of them have been proven yet--against Reggie Bush entered into the decision. For the record, I did talk to Reggie Bush on Wednesday afternoon; I did talk to his attorney on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon. In all of this conversation, they assured me that Reggie Bush was innocent of all allegations and had not done anything wrong. I asked very pointed questions; Reggie gave me very pointed answers, and said that he was innocent of all charges. Just for the record, we did have that conversation, but this was a total football decision. This had nothing to do with contracts or off-the-field allegations. Those have been the most-asked questions that I’ve gotten in the last 12 hours.”
(Head coach Gary Kubiak’s opening statement) “I’d be glad to answer your questions. I want to open by letting you know how excited I am about this young man. It’s been a very tough process. We’re talking about two impact players and what they do on opposite sides of the football. This young man is special, and what he brings to the game; he can change a game by the way he rushes the passer and the problems he presents for an offensive football team. I know how important that is as I go against great defensive teams as an offensive coordinator.
“We’re very excited about him. We’re very excited about his family getting here and this kid becoming a part this football team. He’s ready to go. All of this contract stuff, as we know, is out of the way, and our football team can continue to go forward. He’s another piece of the puzzle as we put this thing together. We still have to build a great team around him, but we are very excited about his presence and what he will bring to our team. We’re really looking forward to it.”
(on the decision to draft Mario Williams) “It’s a tough decision. You have to do hard things sometimes. But when you know it’s the right, thing you’re OK with it. Both of these young men were very worthy of the first pick, but let’s be honest, we went with Mario, so he was first on our board. We think he’s the best guy for our team. No indecision there; no doubt there amongst our staff, and we move forward. We feel good about it, and we know we’re doing the right thing, so it’s easy to move on.”
(on where Williams will play) “I think he can play anywhere he wants to play. He can play inside or out. This kid can play all four spots. We felt that by adding this young man to our team, we got better at five different positions on defense without going through that scenario. This guy can play wherever he wants to play. Yes, I know it’s a tough decision. I understand the reaction, and I appreciate that, I really do. There is a tremendous passion in this city for this football team and this guy here has got a tremendous passion, too. There is not a day that we don’t come in here and go to work to try to make us better and build this football team. I know the key to being successful in this league is to put together a great team; a good team that can go out and compete every week and be sound across the board. We made the decision that this young man is one of the pieces, along with all the other pieces we tried to add throughout free agency. We have to build a solid football team.”
(on who Mario Williams remind him of) “I hate to throw a particular player on him. The thing that I will say to you is, as an offensive coordinator for the last 11 years in Denver, there are certain teams that you play; and if they have that type of force that can come and get the quarterback, that can change your game plan. I went against Dwight Freeney many times, and the way he would come and get the quarterback changed the game. I will say this: we’re going to ask Mario to do his job, and we’re going to all have to do a good job around him. Mario will play extremely well, but why put all that pressure on him? That is not fair. We just want him to come in here and do his job, and he will do that very well.”
(on what he likes about Mario) “I like everything about him. I can sit here and go through his physical talents that we all know. I love the fact that this young man is very young. I think he still has tremendous upside, and I think he’s going to grow some more. I think he’s going to grow some more and learn a lot from coach [Bob] Karm[elowicz] and Tracy [Simien]. He is only going to get better. I like the way he carries himself; I like what he stands for. He has a quiet confidence about him; as a person, and as a player. I think he fits in very, very well.”
(on how soon Williams' impact will hit) “I think that big impact comes throughout our whole defense being better. It’s just like offense. Had we taken a back, you can’t ask him to carry the whole load; that is not the way this thing works. In this league, if you don’t have 11 guys going in the right direction, on offense or defense, it really doesn’t matter. I know if we get 11 going in the right direction, with this young man coming off the edge and doing the things he can do, he can have a tremendous impact on the game. As I said, we’re going to ask him to do his job; come in here, go to work and do his job. It’s our job as coaches to get him in a position to be successful.”