Quote sheet: Mike Shanahan and Jay Cutler
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
Here is a sampling of Broncos' coach Mike Shanahan and quarterback Jay Cutler's press conference Wednesday. Highlights include talk of Denver's three-game home losing streak and Denver's inconsistent ways.
On Kansas City
"Our football team realizes that if you are not ready to play or if you don't play at your best then you are going to be beat in the National Football League. When you take a look at Kansas City and their game against the Jets, the Jets had to drive down the length of the field and score with a minute left. When you take a look at (their game against) Tampa Bay, not only do they (Buccaneers) score with 19 seconds left, (but) they were able to convert on a two-point conversion to take the game into overtime. I think we all saw what they did in San Diego. They (Chiefs) went for two and could have tied it up and gone into to overtime and could have won the football game. So, that's the nature of the National Football League. Any given Sunday if you are not playing at your best you are going to get beat; it doesn't matter if it's home or away."
More on Kansas City
"Kansas City is playing better. They are a much better football right now than they were when we played them. If we don't bring our 'A' game, the same thing (loss) will happen."
On LBs D.J. Williams and Nate Webster possibly returning from injuries
"I think any time that you have a little winning streak going or you go 3-1 in what we call the third quarter (games 8-12), that guys want to get back. They have been practicing here for about the last 10 days, so it's not like they are just coming back today. We will get a chance to evaluate them over the next couple of practices and see how they are doing."
On Chiefs RB Larry Johnson
"He's pretty good. He's not just doing it to use-He's doing it to a lot of teams. He did have a great day against us (Week 4) and I take my hat off to him because anytime you average around seven yards a carry and over 200 yards (28-198, 7.1 avg.) we have a lot of work to do. Hopefully we play better this weekend."
On the Broncos having a 3-3 home record
"The season is not over yet; Let's see where we end up. We very well could end up 5-3 (at home). That's not horrible. Obviously you would like to be undefeated at home, but we can't do anything now except concentrate on this game and try to take care of business."
On TE Tony Scheffler being healthy
"Obviously any time you get a guy like Tony, he has the skills to beat anybody 1-on-1. He's 6-5, 250 (pounds) and runs in the 4.5 range. He has great hands and obviously he is a weapon."
On rookie WR Eddie Royal and T Ryan Clady
"They both have performed at a level you don't really expect a rookie to perform at, especially be thrown in there since game one. We have put a lot of pressure on both of them. The first game, Eddie was pretty much our game plan and if he couldn't get open then we probably was not going to win. Ryan has gone up against some pretty good pass rushers all year, and he has been up to every challenge. They are both playing amazingly well right now."
On if he is surprised being three games ahead in the division with only four games remaining in the regular season
"I talked after the Jets game about how funny the NFL is. This season you can't really tell what is going on from week to week. Each week, you look at a game and you know almost certainly what team is going to win and the other team does. It is a crazy league, and I am sure there will be more twists and turns before this thing is over with."
On the team's inconsistencies throughout the year
"We had a good day today. We will see what happens. I think we have learned our lesson on taking teams lightly, and I don't think that it will happen this week. If we go out and turn the ball over giving them some momentum, anything can happen. Some days we go out and have good practices, some days we go out and have bad practices. There is no real rhyme or reason to what happens. This is the time of year that you want to play your best football. I think we are getting there. We are going to get some guys back this week hopefully which will help. As much as we have put different guys in from week to week, it makes it difficult, especially defensively... It is interesting. It is a great business."
On if having a young team is a factor in the Broncos' inconsistencies
"Absolutely. A lot of guys haven't been through an NFL season or a playoff race. We have traveled a lot more to the East Coast more this year than in the past two years that I have been here. It definitely plays a factor. "
On how much better he feels this year as compared to last year at this time when he was showing symptoms of diabetes
"I feel great. You have to credit the offensive line because I haven't taken a lot of hits at all. They have kept me upright for most of the year. I am in pretty good health right now."
On being compared to Chiefs QB Tyler Thigpen
"I haven't really watched the kid, but he is playing well. I haven't talked to (Chiefs injured QB) Brodie (Croyle) to see how things are going, but I know the last six games he has been putting up good numbers and not really turned over the ball. They have been throwing it more and more with him."
On the importance of getting Denver's tight ends involved in the offense
"I think whenever we were struggling, Tony (Scheffler) wasn't in the lineup and they were doubling outside a lot. Whenever we have Tony in, we get him and DG (TE Daniel Graham) involved more and it takes them out of that two-deep. It gives us more single coverage and opens up more stuff outside."
On what it takes to be elite at the quarterback position
"I think in any position, to be successful, to be the top in your field it is about consistency. It is about people going out there each and every game and doing what you are supposed to do and doing it effectively. There have been times this year where I haven't played my best games and coincidently it has been against some opponents that we feel like we should have handled pretty easily."