Head Coach Doug Marrone
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Q: Injuries?
A: Scott Berchtold: Did not participate: Jarius Wynn with a knee, Chris Gragg with a knee, Kyle Williams and Cordy Glenn because of illnesses. Limited participation: Dan Carpenter with a groin, Bacarri Rambo with a hamstring, Sammy Watkins with a hip, Marcell Dareus with a hip, Chris Hogan with a hamstring and Robert Woods with an ankle.

Q: How daunting is Peyton Manning?
A: He’s a Hall of Fame quarterback. I think that says enough right there. It’ll be a challenge for us.

Q: Does the diversity of weapons that they have cause problems?
A: Yeah. Absolutely. They have a lot of playmakers on the perimeter. The line is doing a very good job. There’s really not a weakness to anything that they’re doing. From a standpoint of personnel, you look across the board and they’re all solid players, if not elevated above that. It’ll be a challenge for our defense.

Q: How much of a challenge is it for you to prepare a scheme for Peyton Manning?
A: Not to compare the two, but we’ve played against a Hall of Fame quarterback. Twice a year we play against one. It’s the same thing. It’s challenging. You’ve just got to be able to make sure that you contain them. It’s difficult. You’ve got to switch things up. You can’t keep things the same. If they get hot, you can get yourself into trouble.

Q: The Broncos defense kind of goes unnoticed.
A: I think, maybe from the perspective of the media, but not from the perspective of coaches. If you look at the vast improvement, where they’ve been offensively and those numbers have been close to the same that they’ve been; a top-five offense. The vast improvement has been on the defensive side of the ball, where they’ve really elevated their game. People talk about the two outside rushers, but those inside guys are really, really good players. They’re the guys that are probably going more under the radar than anybody. From the defensive backfield, we know they’ve got a number one corner back there that’s probably going to return. The safety that they acquired from Cleveland is playing extremely well. They’ve got good players and they’re playing well on defense. You’re talking about a team, statistically, that’s in the top 10 in almost everything, offensively and defensively.

Q: How much does trying to play keep away factor in to your game plan?
A: I think it’s a challenge. I think that if you do try to limit it that way, you’re going to be limited yourself, in the possessions that you have. Our challenge is being able to score. We’ll look at things and see how the game is being played. We’ll talk about it. It’ll be part of a strategic plan for us about how we want to attack them, but I think that either way you go, you still have some problems. The one thing you want to do is gain possessions against them, which is difficult to do.

Q: Is it difficult going against a quarterback that does so much work at the line of scrimmage? Do you do things different defensively because of him?
A: I think it’s difficult. You study the film and you go by what they do personnel-wise. Not to take anything away from Peyton; obviously, he’s a Hall of Fame quarterback, but there’s other quarterbacks in the league and one we play twice a year that does the same thing. Now, is it easier going against a rookie quarterback that maybe hasn’t played before? Absolutely. Or someone who maybe does not have that experience, or maybe someone that doesn’t have a good offense line or good skill players around him? Make no mistake about it, he has a lot of good players around him and he’s good enough to get them all involved. It’s not just one person. That’s the difficult part about it when you play these types of quarterbacks. You go into a game and you want to take somebody away and, next thing you know, you’re getting your butt kicked by a guy that wasn’t as productive the week before or two weeks before. Then, you throw in the running game and now you have to stop that. That’s just another thing that you have to do. Again, they’re a heck of a football team and it’s going to be a challenge for us and we’re going to get our guys ready to go.

Q: How much can you enjoy this moment, being 7-5 heading into December.
A: I appreciate it. I appreciate it. I appreciate it. I appreciate it, but again, I’m the wrong guy. You’ve got to work harder. You’ve got to push harder. You’ve got to keep going. You’ve got to keep working through it. You’ve got to get the best plan. You’ve got to put the players in the best position. It’s always like that. You’ve got an opportunity to play a game and win a football game. Like I said before, when you lose games, it’s hard to get over. It takes a couple days. When you win them, they’re pretty much done right away.

Q: How much of what Peyton does at the line is dummy stuff?
A: Strategically, I’ve been part of doing those things. We do some of those things here, but not as long as they have. You get a lot of different reads on the defense. You get them tipping their hat, you get them moving up front, you get them on their heels a little bit. There are a lot of things that are involved strategically outside of trying to get to the best play against what the defense is. There are a lot of things going on when you see counts, when you see motion and when you see things like that.

Q: Do you think you can get pressure with four down lineman or do you feel you need to bring more?
A: That has to continue. If you can do that, it will be. He gets rid of the ball quick, so we’ve got to get there quick.

Q: How did C.J. Spiller look today?
A: He’s not eligible to come back until we play Oakland, so just to get him out here and having him start to run around a little bit is a great sign.

Q: Do you worry about Sammy being effective in the game with the hip injury?
A: We’re working on it. He looked good today. Again, I think it’s one of those things where we’ve got to progress and be smart during the week with how much we give him. This way he’s well-rested and ready to play. It’s going to be important for him to go out there and play well.

Q: Is C.J. Spiller on-track to play?
A: I can’t really say that right now because he just came out here today, but he’s eligible for Oakland.

Q: What goes into your evaluation for C.J.?
A: We’re way ahead of schedule on that one. We’re two weeks away for him to even have a chance to play. He’s just out there, which is a good sign. We’ll just take it as we go.

Q: Do you need more from Sammy against Denver?
A: Yeah, but it’s a combination of a lot of things. It’s a combination of what some people are doing, it’s a combination of we’ve got to get him open, it’s a combination of we’ve got to be able to protect when he is open, so we can get him the ball. We’ve got to get him the ball when he’s the first read and he’s open. There are many things that going into play with that, but we’ve got to get better.

Q: Has he hit a rookie wall?
A: I hope not.

Q: Is there anything different you’re doing training-wise to prepare for the altitude?
A: No. We’ve just got to make sure that we hydrate well. We’ll be ready to go. It’s not really that big of a difference if you’re healthy and things like that. There’s people that may have some medical conditions that you just have to watch out for a little bit more, which our trainers and doctors are on top of. Like I said, we’re leaving Friday so we get there a little bit earlier and get our bodies acclimated.

Q: Is there anyone that can’t travel because of it?
A: No. Right now, there’s no one that can’t travel because of it. I know some teams have had that before..

Q: When are you leaving?
A: We’re leaving Friday night.

Q: Have you seen a four-game stretch as tough as this one?
A: Yeah, I have in other places I’ve been.

Q: Can you talk about the challenge that this quarter brings?
A: Take it one day at a time, one play at a time. I think there’s no use at looking ahead and worrying about what the challenges are in the future. You’ve got to accept the challenges of today.

Q: Your team controls it’s destiny heading into December. What has that done for your team?
A: That’s probably a better question for them. Like I said before, I’m concentrating on this game. What happens is, when you start looking at that, you’re going to look back and there’s really no time right now to look back. That comes when the season is over. Just push ahead and keep trying to try every game that you play. You can’t look ahead further than the next game. That’s what we try to do. Make no mistake, if you ask the players, I try to focus them on what we can do today to better prepare ourselves and what we can do on the game. We discuss quarters very briefly when we’re finished, but we’re more focused in on what we can do today and we have to do for Sunday.

Q: Did Chris Hogan hurt his hamstring today?
A: No. It was one of those things where he didn’t feel anything during the game and he came in and was a little sore. We just put it down in there and reported it when we found out about it.

QB Kyle Orton
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Q: You’re fourth quarter passer rating is one of the best in the NFL. Is there anything to that? When the fourth quarter comes around…I don’t know if it’s anything you think about but what do you make of that?
A: I don’t know. I guess I just didn’t know that. We played better in the second half last week. I think over the course of the season, we’ve done a good job of starting the game fast from the first drive and getting some points and for whatever reason we lulled a little bit in the second and third quarters so we have to fix that and obviously this week we’ll have to play a whole game.

Q: Is that maybe a matter of making adjustments at halftime or as the game goes on seeing things…what they’re trying to do defensively?
A: Yeah, I’m sure. Certainly by the fourth quarter, you’re usually in pretty good rhythm and have a pretty good idea of how teams are going to play you so hopefully you can make those adjustments a little bit quicker and have a little bit more success.

Q: What’s different in a game prep week when you know you’re going to face Peyton Manning on Sunday or a Hall of Fame quarterback. This week it’s Manning. You know you’re going to have to score points. What’s different in game prep?
A: Hopefully nothing. Hopefully you put that effort in every week and go out and try to score as many points as you can and try to play smart football, so I don’t think we feel any more pressure this week because of the quarterback the defense is facing. We try to go out and like we faced the last few weeks, we’re playing against a good defense. They give us enough problems to worry about on that side of the ball and we’ll have to play our best game to execute against this defense.

Q: What do you make of the defense?
A: Another good front that we have to play, two great edge rushers, big size in the middle who do a great job of pushing the inside of the pocket and getting their hands up, they bat a lot of balls on the inside of the pocket and another aggressive secondary. 21 and 25 are playing very good football and we’ll have our work cut out for us.

Q: You’re one of just a handful of guys in this locker room who have played real meaningful December games in your career. This locker room’s full of guys who haven’t done that over the years. What can you tell those guys or how can you lead them and show them what December meaningful games are all about?
A: This is when it’s fun. This is what you play for. I think it’s…hopefully just the preparation’s there. Obviously the excitements going to be there for the game and stuff but to amp up your preparation and be the most prepared team on the field is usually what wins and loses games in December.

Q: Is this one a little bit more significant for you going back to a place you’ve played and had some success?
A: To be honest with you, not really. I’m excited to be playing December football games that count and it’s been a while for me since I’ve done that and I’m very excited for the opportunity and expect to bring my best game.

Q: Since you’ve played there before, is there anything that goes into getting ready for the altitude there for the guys that maybe haven’t played a game there yet?
A: No. I think you know it exists and there’s not much you can do about it. Hopefully on offense we can do a good job of controlling the ball and helping our defense out a little bit staying off the field. Hopefully we can go on long drives and chew up the clock and give those guys plenty of time to rest.

Q: Coach Marrone in particular, talks a lot about breaking the season into four quarters and now you approach the fourth of the four quarters. Has he talked much about that? You haven’t had a losing quarter yet of the first three anyway. Is that a way to look at this final four game stretch?
A: That’s how we’ve approached the whole season and it was obviously big for us to win the last two to get back to splitting that third quarter. We have to win this fourth quarter. We know that and it’ll take our best football to do that.

Q: Third downs last week, obviously would be an area that you need to improve. That would seem to be a focus this week?
A: No doubt. It was frustrating. I thought we were getting better at third down throughout the weeks and had done a pretty good job at that but I give they had a good scheme for us. They played us tough. Covered well, I missed some throws and I think it was a good learning experience for us in the passing game; facing some unique coverages and techniques so hopefully we learn from it and go out and play better.

Q: Staying on the field this week against Peyton…never a bad idea to keep it out of his hands. Do you make third down even more important this week?
A: No question. These types of games, third down in the red zone’s a four point play and third down’s to stay on the field is even bigger so we’ll have to play good field position. There hasn’t been many people going against our defense on a long field so I certainly don’t expect them to go up and down the field on our defense. Our defense is very good. They’ve played great the whole year and we just have to take care of our part.

Q: How important is it to get Sammy going again?
A: I think it’s important to get everybody going. We’ve had opportunities and for whatever reason, we haven’t hit him but we’re working hard and go out there with a bunch of confidence and when we get the coverages, expect to hit him.

Q: I know it was just one game and it was just two play-fake passes that happened to work but MarQueis Gray looked like a guy who could come in and add something to the offense. What have you seen in the ten days he’s been here?
A: Yeah, he did good. Big body. Physical guy and can obviously run with the football so hopefully we can build off that and give him the ball.

Q: He looked like a pretty good athlete…as a quarterback…
A: Yeah, it looks like it. He did a good job blocking in the back field and obviously did a good job with the ball in his hands so like I said hopefully he can step up and be another part of this offense.

Q: You’ve got a lot of young talented wide-outs but the job that Robert Woods has done in particular the last couple of weeks. Mention that you guys…
A: Yeah, he’s done a great job. He’s made some big contested catches and that’s what you need. We’ve been playing against good secondaries, good cover guys…you’re not going to be running wide open up and down the field so you have to be able to make the tight throws and you’ve got to be able to make the tight catches.

Q: Any unpleasant memories for you going back?
A: It was a long time ago. Not a lot of guys that I was around there are still there so I don’t really have many feelings about it one way or another.

LB Nigel Bradham
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Q: How important is that when you’re facing (Peyton) Manning and he tries to move things around at the line of scrimmage that you just stay true to what you do and like you said, have your own plan to try and stop him?
A: Yeah. Everybody has their way of attacking him and at the end of the day, we still have to be our defense and play our game. We just have to be on point with everything that we do. No room for error and execute very well.

Q: With the way that they are running the ball the last two weeks, it almost shifts the focus a little bit. Everybody thinks, “You have to stop Manning! You have to stop Manning!” but when C.J. Anderson’s ripping off a 160 a week, does that almost open your eyes when you’re watching the tape a little bit?
A: Most definitely. He’s a patient runner. Great, shifty back and you have great speed and size and then they have a great offensive line, so you’re going against an offense like that who’s balanced where they can do either or you have to make them one dimensional, so that’s what we have to try to do.

Q: Were you surprised last week, Manning only connects on about half of his passes and he’s career 60-65% completion guy and he’s missing on some open throws. I know nobody’s going to doubt his ability but it’s almost shocking to see that, but it’s almost like, “What’s going on there?” You almost don’t expect that to happen.
A: Yeah, well if it happens but I know one thing we have to be tight on our coverage and make his completion rate even a little lower. We know we have to be tight on our coverage because he tries to get the ball out quick so try to let him hold the ball, let our front four do some work.

TE Scott Chandler
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Q: From that Toronto series, what are the memories you take away from the experience of going up there every year?
A: Yeah, well the Washington game up there a couple years ago was fun but other than that it wasn’t the greatest. I think that it will be good for our home fans to get a game at the Ralph.

Q: It was the right thing to do, right? I know you want to be politically correct but other teammates have said that it’s not a true home game and they’ve been upset with it.
A: I don’t get to be somebody that makes those decisions, but I think as a team we’re pretty happy.

Q: Is there any added pressure on the offense this week after a couple of mediocre performances and now your going up against a pretty good offense on the other side of the ball?
A: Yeah, I think we feel like we need to score points. That’s what we need to be efficient, run the ball and score touchdowns. That’s the way we feel every week though.

DT Marcell Dareus
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Q: Doing all the stuff he does at the line of scrimmage, how does that impact what you guys do?
A: Honestly, I don’t know what he’s saying; I don’t know what he’s doing. We’re going to be prepared for whatever he’s going to throw at us.

Q: Is that something coaches can get you up to speed with in terms of their study and their breakdown?
A: Of course, they give us tips and they try to give us things to look out for but at the same time, he’s a future Hall of Famer and we’re going to have to be prepared for him and he has a good offensive line, a lot of weapons so we’re just going to have to be ready for him.

Q: How does his quick release kind of limit what you guys can do on the defensive line?
A: Everybody tries to have a quick release against us for the most part, but like I was saying he’s a Hall of Fame quarterback and he can speed it up, he can slow it down, he can remix it, he can flip it around, he can do whatever he wants with the offense so we’re just going to have to sit back and be prepared for the guy.

Q: Is facing a guy like this something that you relish and look forward to?
A: Oh yeah, oh yeah, yes. I love playing against guys like him because I feel like he will not only elevate my game, but elevate everybody around us.

CB Stephon Gilmore
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Q: What is your take on Peyton?
A: With me, I’m going to approach it the same way. I’m going to study him, who he likes to get the ball to and just play my game. I’m going to study him like I study any other team.

Q: What do you see from that?
A: He’s one of the best quarterbacks that have ever played the game so we have to be ready. You got to be ready for the things that you gave up in previous games and you can’t line up and do the same thing every time. You just have to be prepared and know formations and know what you’re going to get.

Q: How talented are his receivers too at the same time?
A: He has talented receivers. (Emmanuel) Sanders and (Demaryius) Thomas and the other (Julius) Thomas at tight end. We just have to play physical and play our game and I think Coach is putting together a good game plan but we have to perform in the end.

RB Fred Jackson
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Q: So is there anybody on this team that you’ve been talking trash that you could go after?
A: Peyton. (Laughter) No, not this week and that’s the type of team that they are. They’ll just come out and handle business and do what they have to do.

Q: Offensively: they’re so good. You know they’re going to score points. Even as good as your defense is, they’re going to score. As an offense yourself, is that an added burden knowing that you have to outscore them this week?
A: Yeah.That’s what this league is about…is putting up points and we’re going against an offense that can do that so it’s definitely on us to go out there and get the job done. We have to put up some points. Our defense is playing great, but we have to go out there and take some pressure off them and put up some points as well.

Q: What about playing keep away too?
A: That’s just as important. If we can keep Peyton on the sideline, that works to our advantage. We have to go out there…we’ve shown all year long that we can sustain eighty and ninety yard drives and we have to do that this weekend. We need to keep them sitting on the bench and that gives us an opportunity to win the game.

Q: How much is that easier said than done though against a defense that’s shown that it’s pretty stacked?
A: Yeah, it’s easy to sit here and say it is than almost to go out and do it. It’s going to be a good test for us, but one we’re going to have to be ready for.

RB CJ Spiller
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Q: Was today a milestone for you? I know you’ve been working on the side and doing more and more, but what was today?
A: Just getting back into football type stuff. Get back into some individuals, get used to hearing some play calling again. It was an exciting day for me and obviously for my personal trainer Jon (Hernandez), we’ve been working tremendously hard for this day and today was successful so we’ll see how it goes, how I feel in the morning and just continue to build from there.

Q: With that kind of injury is there soreness associated with it?
A: There’s some fatigue in there but that’s just all about getting the strength back into it and getting it moving back around like normal. For me, it’s nothing that’s concerning or any setbacks that we have right now so it feels good.

Q: CJ from what you know are you on track to be back for Oakland?
A: From what I know, I’m just taking it one day at a time. I’m not looking ahead, obviously that’s the game that we pinpointed but right now we just have to take it one day at a time and not rush it and see how it goes up until then.

Q: CJ, what made today successful for you?
A: Just cutting, I haven’t done that in about a month and a half so just cutting, going out with the backs, holding the football again, putting the helmet back on, so it was like a little kid in a candy store today for me. So, I thought today was a successful day for me.

WR Sammy Watkins
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Q: How’s the hip?
A: It’s doing pretty good, I had a good day today and I’m fine, I’ll be ready for the game. I just have to prepare the right way and take care of my body.

Q: When did that first start bothering you?
A: I just got tackled and I landed the wrong way and I guess it’s a bruise or something like that but injuries happen in the game and it’s something that you have to play through.

Q: Last Sunday?
A: Yeah

Q: Do you feel like it’s been forever since you went out there and played football and felt 100 percent?
A: It’s the NFL, so you’re not going to be feeling great or perfect. You’re going to have nicks and bruises and that’s something that you have to deal with and play with and that’s something I’ve been battling with and I have to get better with playing and get over those things.

Q: You’ve had a couple of quiet game has it just been sort of learning how defenses are adjusting you now and then you making adjustments to?
A: It’s an adjustment. The defenses have been playing me pretty good. I’ve been going up against great guys, veteran cornerbacks who are doing they’re jobs. It’ reversed, Woods has been playing great and catching the balls and that’s what we’re looking for, other guys have to make plays and I’ve got to make plays also but we’ve been winning and it’s been helping us out.

S Aaron Williams
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Q: Eric Wood talked about how it’s easier to come and get to work, would you agree with that?
A: Maybe in some people’s eyes. My eyes it’s just another day of work, a big test for us, and you have to be more prepared. I’m not saying there were other games in the past where we weren’t more prepared, but with December games coming up these games are really crucial so to me every game is a playoff game from here on out.

Q: Aaron, Peyton Manning that’s not just another day of work going up against that guy?
A: Not at all. Hall of Famer for sure and he can pick defenses apart left and right. It’s one of those things where you try to pick his brain, but it’s hard because you never know what he’s thinking. You have to watch as much film as you can and try to see what kind of tendencies if there is any at one point.

Q: Is it possible to do that to give him something he hasn’t seen after the hundred years of playing and all the success he’s had?
A: Nobody in this league is perfect no matter how great you are. Somebody has a flaw somewhere in their game and for us it’s just we have to go out there and really pick and understand and really look at what he does in other games and even previous games and try to see what he kind of does tendency wise.

C Eric Wood
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Q: What’s the feeling, you know you’ve reached December, you’re in it, what’s the mood here right now?
A: We’re fired up. We’re all excited. It’s easy to come to work when you’re playing for something in December, so like I said we’re excited.

Q: Why do you feel the team has been successful in putting yourselves in this position now?
A: We’re probably a better team. This is the best team I’ve been on since I’ve been here and that’s probably why we’re still in it.

Q: You think it’s just pure talent?
A: When I say team I don’t necessarily just mean talent. As an offense, our schemes, how well we’re playing defensively and how we’re executing on special teams, that all contributes and I don’t know that its solely talent but I would guess that this is the most talented team I’ve been on too.

Q: Their defense kind of gets overlooked, everybody talks about Manning but they might be one of the best defenses in the league…
A: Yeah, they’re excellent defensively. They’ve got a great front, their secondary makes a lot of plays and they’re a great defense.

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