Open locker room quotes

Following are comments made by head coach Gary Kubiak, offensive coordinator Troy Calhoun and players after practice on Wednesday Aug. 23.**

Head Coach Gary Kubiak

**(opening) "We had a good day off yesterday. We pretty much had everybody back on the field, so that is a positive."

**(on whether facing the

for the last three years has probably been as good as anybody in football. So it's a great challenge for our team. That's the type of people we're going to be playing opening week, so it'll be good work for us."

(on whether he will hold anyone out of the game) "No. Only guys you would expect. (RB) Dominick (Davis) will be out, but (G Steve)

is back, (CB) Lewis (Sanders) is back, (LB) Barrett (Green) is back."

**(on whether he would like to see a lot from G Steve McKinney in the

** "We'd love to have him play a bunch, but we have to be smart. He's not 100%. He's probably about 85%, and he worked today. He took about half the number of reps he would normally take. So we're going to progress and hopefully we'll get some good work out of him Saturday."

(on whether the starters will play about three quarters) "Yeah, that's the plan. Three quarters. We needed to get three quarters work out of about half last week and it depends on how many snaps we get through."

(on whether he has the running back rotation yet) "I don't know yet. Without a doubt (RB Vernand) Morency and (RB Wali) Lundy will play. Who will be the third guy; we'll wait and see whether it will be (RB Antowain) Smith or whether we will take a look at (RB Chris)

this week."

(on whether he feels like he already knows about RB Antowain Smith) "Yeah, I do. I feel like I know, already, what Antowain can do. Good job for us, a great guy. I need to take a hard look those young back because we have some hard cuts coming up, and you can't make a decision without looking at those guys. Everybody knows what Antowain has done before."

(on whether this Sunday's game will have a large impact on the roster cuts) "Well, yeah. Everything we have done this far will factor into that. Sunday night we need to take a hard look at some of these young guys because we have a group of cuts to make on Monday, or actually Tuesday, and then we have the majority that come in the next week. So there is a lot of activity in this league over the next week and a half."

(on how TE Bennie Joppru has been looking at the fullback position) "He doesn't take a whole lot there. He operates like he could play that position. He's in meetings all the time under that circumstance, but (FB) Jameel (Cook) is doing a good job. I think that (FB) Nick (Luchey) has gotten better as camp has gone on. But Bennie has not had a lot of reps there."

(on whether he feels like the tight end cuts might come down to the last preseason game)"Well, yeah. I have been on team where we kept three. I have been on teams where we kept four. I have seen five guys kept before if one of them was a snapper. There are tough decisions to make there. We have five right now because Patrick Hape, that is where he is working, at tight end. You just keep going because those things seem to work themselves out. It's not time to make those decisions and lock yourself in now. What happens if something happens this weekend, someone gets nicked? I hope we have that problem in two weeks."

(on how he felt about the special teams return game last week) "Well, I was very encouraged at the punt returns, and that is still coming back because he is a big time returner. Our kickoff returns were not where they needed to be, and we're looking for a kickoff returner until (WR) Jerome (Mathis) gets back. That is something that still has to be answered. I thought that (RB) Damien (

) struggled. I thought (CB) Chris Taylor was a little bit better, but we'll just keep going and see. We could see (CB) Phillip (Buchanon) back there doing some kicks, too."

(on what WR Eric Moulds means to the team) "Well, he means a great deal. He is giving (WR) Andre (Johnson) someone next to him on a day-to-day basis who is a successful player. He brings credibility to the football players out here because of what he has done in his past. I'm just really looking forward to getting him involved and a part of what we are doing. He's been as hard of a worker as we have had. So it's been very positive."

(on whether he helps younger guys a lot) "I think it does because when they see a guy that has been playing that long going harder than they are going, that is pretty powerful stuff. So it's a very good influence."

(on whether Moulds helps QB David Carr) "Well, I think he does (though) his presence on the field. The more weapons you have as a quarterback, the more comfortable you are. I can't speak for David on that, but it has to be a positive influence."

**(on whether he expects the players to rise to the occasion and make him look good in

** "I'm not worried about that. I just want them to play and get better. It's preseason, the camps are long. It has been a good camp for this football team. It's going to wind down here real quick. There is going to be a lot of activity on this football team and around this league as teams set their rosters. I'm just really proud of how this group has worked and it's going to be hard to let some of these players go. I just want to go out and play hard like we have been playing."

(on whether he thinks the third game is the most important preseason game) "I think they're all important. I just think you play your guys longer in that game. I don't know if it's a coincidence or not, but it's a great measuring stick for our guys."

(on what he expects from DE Mario Williams) "He's adhering to everything I expected him to do. He works. He doesn't say a whole lot. He busts his tail. He's made people around him better because people pay a lot of attention to him. He gets a lot of attention from the media and all of those things, so there are a lot of demands on him. He's handled that well. I just want him to do what's right, just be a pro, and he's going to play good football because he's a tremendous talent. I just want him to stay even keeled like he is and give me a good first year, then the sky is the limit."

(on whether he has already seen Mario Williams making a difference) "Oh, no doubt. The other night (DE) Antwan (Peek) had a couple sacks because of some of the things he was doing inside, really tying some people up and pushing the pocket. So he's definitely having an effect."

**(on whether he would be ready to make off of his cuts after

** "I think we'll have a pretty good idea after Sunday, but I still think there are going to be two or three spots where we're going to go into the Tampa game and say, 'You two guys are going to split the time and we're going see.' That could very well happen, but whether it does, I won't know until then."

(on whether the could be players on the final roster who are not yet here) "There is a chance of that in this league. Especially for us since we have first rights to players that are let go. We're going to have to really do our homework, myself and (General Manager) Rick (Smith) and all the coaches, when all those cut days come about because there are always good football players out there that are let go. There are some teams that have an excess of players at some positions. We're going to have to really be ready to do our homework next week. Actually we will probably do our cuts a day prior to the rest of the league just so we can prepare for that next day. I see us doing this cut on Monday. It really doesn't have to be done until Tuesday, and I see us cutting on Friday (September 1), and it really doesn't have to be done until Saturday, because we need that day to prepare for what is going on around the league."

(on whether they might cut under the 53 man limit)  "We probably won't cut under because when you make a move you can."

** Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks coach Troy Calhoun

**(on returning to

"I think everyone has great memories of the city, the organization, the coaches and the players. It's a great place; just everything about Denver and the Broncos is just class."

(on this game meaning a little more) "I think it's certainly something that you look forward to. First of all you get to play against a talented football team that's well coached and I think we will learn a lot from going up there and playing. It will be a great challenge for our team."

(on any specific memories) "There's not just one, just a great group of tremendous people, great coaches and players, and more than anything else the tremendous sense of unity that was there. That's one thing that Mike (Shanahan) does so well. He does a great job of preparing the team offensively and defensively, but they just have a great group of people so you always had commodore and you always had competitive teams."

**(on his experience in

** "I like the strides we've made and I think everybody is realistic enough to realize that we still have a long way to go. You see enough glimpses here and there that tell you that we certainly have some potential, but we still have a lot of work to do. Just having the opportunity to practice, for a team like us, is a very valuable one. I think our players have done a good job of taking advantage of that."

**(on how many tight ends he think will be on the 53-man roster) "That is one thing that I never try to figure out. I have been on teams where we kept two and I've been on teams where we kept four, sometimes five. As a player you can't worry about those things. As a player you have to go out there and do your job and make it tough on the coaches (to decide) who they are going to keep."

**QB David Carr

**(on how exciting it is for him to be playing for Coach Kubiak against

"Well, we want to be effective, obviously. With Coach Kubiak coaching for the first time back in Denver since he's been gone, it's going to be important for us to go out there and play well for him."

(on how much he likes knowing that he will play three quarters) "I like that a lot. Especially since I have only had a couple quarters of game experience in this offense. It's nice to get another run out there, so I'm excited about it."

(on what he thinks has kept the offense from starting quickly) "Well, the first game we did alright. Just the first couple series (at) the last game wasn't how we play ball. We haven't been like that in a while, in the spring or in training camp. It was just a bad start. We're going to start faster this week."

(on whether he would like WR Eric Molds to be more involved than last week)"Well, it's kind of funny. The first game he caught three balls and this week (WR) Andre (Johnson) caught all the balls. There are going to be weeks where one guy catches more balls then the other guy. It's just a matter of having both of them out there is what is going to help us though out the season. You're not going to be able to double team both of those guys."

**(on returning to

"It's good to go back to a place where you were for a while, see some of the old friends. I'm sure he (Kubiak) wants to beat (Mike) Shanahan because they are still great friends and talk, but in the end, it's still just a football game."

**(on memories from

** "I loved the team. The players were great and we had a good time together. We enjoyed playing for each other and the weather was great. A lot cooler than it is here, it's nice, sunshine 300-plus days a year."

(on the offense) "I think it's a great scheme. It gets everyone involved. It's great to play for people like Kubiak and Shanahan because they make practice and learning their style fun."

**WR Eric Moulds

**(on what he thinks about sharing catches with WR Andre Johnson) "It's going to be like that sometimes. Sometimes during the season I have a good game, and vise versa. At the same time we're creating mismatches for other players on our team. Sometimes maybe the tight ends will have a big day. It's just going to be different guys who catch a lot of passes and make this offensive explosive."

**DE [Antwan Peek

]() **(on whether it is more difficult blitzing or playing in position) "No, it's not difficult. It's actually more comfortable because you don't have to worry about everything else surrounding you like wide receiver motion or anything like that. You have one goal and that is getting the quarterback. It kind of puts you in a calmer state of mind."

(on whether the Rams did anything that made getting sacks easier) "No, it was just taking advantage of the opportunities, knowing that it was a passing down, then just getting off the ball and getting after the quarterback."

**(on returning to

"I'm looking forward to going back. I was there for four years and I'm excited to go back and see them. That's probably the main thing, just seeing the guys and it's going to be different to not be over there and cheering with them. I'm happy to go back; it's going to be a fun game."

(on Kubiak possibly running to the wrong sideline) "It would be pretty funny. He was there a long time. The fans there love him so I know he'll get a great ovation and I'm excited for him to get that response."

(on similarities between Shanahan and Kubiak) "Same offense. He does things that Shanahan does because it's a winning formula."

(on whether this game means more to Coach Kubiak) "We're trying to teach around here. You can't do that. You can't get up for one game and down for another even a preseason game. You have to stay even keel the whole season."

**(on memories from

** "I met my wife while I was in Denver . That was pretty good."

**(on how his ankle is feeling) "It's a lot better. I have been resting it a lot, and doing a lot of treatment for it. So the ankle's not an issue for me."

(on having two preseason wins to start the year) "Even though it's preseason, it's two wins for us. A lot of people are just saying, 'Well, it's preseason,' but it's still big for us. We come in with the mindset that we are trying to win every game, and even if they don't count we want to go out here and play hard."

**(on winning the first two preseason games) "Just getting that winning feeling around here is good. Hopefully we can build on that."

(on DE Mario Williams performance) "Mario (Williams) is doing great. He's one of those kinds of guys that have that 'want to' attitude. He's going to go out there and get better everyday. A guy with his athletic ability, with his work ethic, he's going to be a special player for a long time."

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