Denver Conference Calls

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Transcripts of reporters' conference calls with the Broncos' Mike Shanahan and Jay Cutler on Wednesday afternoon:    

HEAD COACH MIKE SHANAHAN

On the Oakland Raiders…

They have skill at certain positions and if you turn the football over like the Jets did, or we did, you're in for a long day.

On why the Broncos' loss to the Raiders was lopsided…

You have to look at the game. We had 15 first downs and they had four at halftime and we were losing, 10-3. We missed a couple of field goals, turned the football over and they got a punt return for a touchdown. It doesn't take but a couple of big plays. They got the job done and we didn't.

On upsets in the NFL…

There may be a little bit more this year than most years, but it's always gone that way. In the NFL if you're not ready to play or you make a couple of mistakes the score can get out of hand real quickly.

On the Broncos secondary…

All those guys [Champ Bailey and Marlon McCree] were out there at practice today. I will get a chance to evaluate them this week and see where they are. They haven't played in three or four weeks, or four or five weeks, depending on which guy we're talking about. There will be a daily evaluation to see where they are.

On if it has been difficult on the defense not having Bailey on the field…

Anytime you have three different linebackers and three different secondary guys that have started, you have six out of seven positions, that's a little bit different. Our guys that have come in have played well in a backup role. It hasn't been perfect by any means. Dre Bly is the only one that has started since the preseason.

On QB Jay Cutler…

He is very talented. He has a great future. He has everything that you look for in a quarterback. He's just getting better every game.

On QB Brett Favre in the last four games…

It's hard for any quarterback to go into a new system regardless of how much experience you have. It's like learning a new language. There is terminology and it's a new system, even for a veteran like Brett. They've done a great job from a coaching staff, getting Brett on board with what they're doing. Brett has probably had to study more this year than he has studied the last 15 years, just getting in and out of the huddle and getting familiar with terms. Everybody has been doing a great job because they are very productive.

On if he can imagine acquiring a player like Favre four weeks before the start of the regular season…

That doesn't happen very often. You're always looking for that experienced quarterback. To find a guy like Brett is probably a dream come true for a lot of fans.

On how different the West Coast offense is from the Jets offense…

Football is football. There are different routes and different concepts. The hardest thing is terminology. It's like learning a new language. All of a sudden you have to think, you just can't react.

I've used both systems. I've used the digit system when I was with the Raiders and with the 49ers and I took that concept over. I can relate to how long it takes to be able to call a play or feel comfortable getting out of the huddle. It takes more than a few weeks. That's why I've been very impressed with Brett and how he's handled that situation as well as the coaching staff being able to put it in in such a short time.

On if it helps the Broncos playing the game at 4:15 EST…

It didn't seem to bother us in Atlanta — we played pretty good. You would always want to play at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. Denver time. It's easier on the body. Teams coming from the West Coast to the East Coast are 0-12. They kept throwing that stat at us, so when we were able to win in Atlanta we felt like we escaped, with as many poor games as those teams have played. It does help us playing a little bit later.

On if he has noticed that the Jets have gone to a short passing game…

They have great balance. They have a good running attack and passing attack. Brett's able to take what the defense gives him. He doesn't always have to go downfield, but he has the ability to do it. That's what great quarterbacks do and that's what the coaching staff is doing a great job of, moving the chains. That's why they have so many long drives and why they are controlling the tempo of the game.

On if he is surprised Favre has maintained playing at a high level for 18 seasons….

Not just a high level, but for him to stay healthy as long as he has is something I couldn't believe a guy could go through that many games without missing a game. That defies the laws of football. As big as these guys are, for him to stay healthy and play at the level that he's played at is a big compliment to him, the way that he takes care of himself and what a great competitor he is.

On DT Dwayne Robertson…

He's doing well for us. Anytime you go from one system to another, going from a three-man front to a four-man front, it takes a little time. He's picked it up well and he's doing a good job for us.

QB JAY CUTLER

On improving after the loss to the Raiders…

We had some turnovers and we had a lot of one-on-one situations where we didn't make the plays. In the past games when we've had one-on-ones, we made some big plays and had some big chunks. It didn't happen. They have a lot of talent on that defense. They have the best corner in the game right now and he kind of cuts the field in half. We just didn't make the plays when we had to.

On the disappointment of losing after a two-game winning streak…

We're young and we still have a lot of injuries we're battling with. It's kind of a roller-coaster ride right now. The NFL is funny — every week you have to be on your A-game or potentially you can lose. We have our hands full this week with the Jets. They're playing really well right now and are on a little bit of a roll.

On TE Tony Scheffler's health…

He's fighting through some stuff. Hopefully this week he's ready to go and he's 100 percent. We've needed him the last two or three games and he hasn't been full speed. Whenever he's in the lineup, he helps a lot. He's able to push the seams and kind of spread the field out for us a little bit.

On being compared to Brett Favre…

I have a long way to go. You're talking about Brett Favre, one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. He's accomplished a lot throughout his career. I'm just kind of getting started. We'll see. Hopefully I'm still a starter five to 10 years from now.

On his condition this time last year after being diagnosed with diabetes…

I was probably weighing 210 or 215 about this time last year. I had dropped probably 10 or 20 pounds by then. I was tired all the time. I didn't have a lot of energy. I feel really good. Our offensive line has played really well and haven't really allowed a lot of hits on me, or sacks. Anytime that happens, that's obviously going to be an advantage for me. I feel good right now.

On if he's working on his discipline in throwing…

Not really.

On critics saying he tries to force passes…

We're kind of having trouble running the ball. We've been having turnovers early in the game, getting down late, and having to make some plays through the air and put some balls in some tight spots. I'm just going to go out and play, and play my game.

On if he admires Favre…

I grew up a Bears fan, so I watched a lot of Brett Favre growing up. I still admire the way he plays and the things he's able to do on the field. He sees the field extremely well, better than most, and makes throws that a lot of guys probably wouldn't attempt. A lot of times he fits it in there. He's always been fun to watch.

On the Jets defense…

They're playing with a lot of confidence. Their run defense is doing really well. The DBs, they keep everything out in front of them. The safety is going to get over the top. They can contain the football, the way the offense is playing and the way they're running the ball and controlling the clock, while not having a lot of turnovers. Brett, I think he's 70 percent this year, which is really good. They're playing good team football.

On losing CB Champ Bailey to injury…

It hurts. Anytime you take a guy like Champ Bailey out of the lineup, you can't just put somebody in there to replace him. It's hard to do. I don't know if we're going to get him back this week or when that's going to happen. Obviously, it's having an effect, but the defense has been coming to play the past couple of weeks.

On if he thought he would be drafted by the Jets…

No, I didn't really think so. I met with them, they came and worked me out and we had meetings. I just didn't feel like I would get drafted by them.

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