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Published on 10/26/2009 at Mon Oct 26 17:56.
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Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels reacts during an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Josh McDaniels and the 6-0 Denver Broncos will prepare for a Week 8 battle with the 3-3 Baltimore Ravens. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

HEAD COACH JOSH McDANIELS

On when the coaches started their preparation for Baltimore

“We actually did a lot of work before we left (for the bye week). We got most of that stuff done by Thursday and came back and had a full day yesterday. We started on them with the players this morning.”

On avoiding illness

“The best thing we can do is just try to be smart (and) take care of our bodies the best we can. If we don’t feel well, get in there and try to get treated for something as quickly as we can. I think everybody here got flu shots. (We) just try to take care of your body, be smart about the weather—it is getting colder, obviously, now—and just try to prevent something from spreading more than anything else. We have got some guys with some colds and things like that now, but (we) just try to make sure that we handle those things as they come up each week.”

On the Baltimore Ravens offense

“(Baltimore) is a very talented team. (They are) tough, physical and in many ways similar to the style that we are trying to play with in terms of being physical. Offensively, (they) make a lot of big plays (and) make a lot of big plays in the passing game. They have a lot of good receivers for (Baltimore QB Joe) Flacco to throw to. Watching him last year, this year he has really done a nice job of developing into a guy that can read the field, understand coverages and attack the weaknesses of your defense many times. He has got a great back, (Baltimore RB Ray) Rice, that leads the league in yards from scrimmage, leads the league in yards after catch, leads their team in receptions, rushing yards and averages six yards a carry. (He is) very difficult to bring to the ground and tackle. Then, (Baltimore RB Willis) McGahee is kind of a nice one-two punch. (Baltimore FB Le’Ron) McClain was in the Pro Bowl last year. They are a very talented team offensively that makes a lot of big plays, takes care of the ball (and) wins the time of possession battle on a weekly basis.”

On the Baltimore Ravens’ defense

“Defensively, (they are) physical. I think everything starts with (Baltimore OLB Terrell) Suggs, (Baltimore S Ed) Reed (and Baltimore ILB Ray) Lewis. Those three guys are involved in a lot of negative plays, turnovers. They led the league in turnovers last year. Their offense converts them into points. (They) create a lot of negative plays in the running game, which makes for a long day if you are in third-and-long a lot, which they get people into those situations quite a bit. (They are) the best team we have played all year, maybe the best team we will play all year, in the red zone defensively. They just don’t give up many touchdowns. They bend but certainly don’t break. They didn’t do it last year, and they started this year the same way.”

On the Baltimore Ravens special teams

“(Baltimore Head Coach John) Harbaugh has always been involved in the kicking game. Their special-teams units (are) tough, disciplined, don’t give up a lot of big plays, not fancy, don’t try to trick you (and) just play real hard. They have got a lot of fast guys that run down on their coverage teams and have got two good kickers. This will be a big test for us on the road. I have played there before. It will be very loud. Usually, the weather is some type of a factor in a November game or later there. I wouldn’t doubt that that would come into play. A lot of tests for us, a lot of challenges, and we have got a lot of work ahead of us.”

On if he is surprised by the Ravens’ tendency to pass more than in the past

“Not after watching them. They have got a lot of people that are difficult to cover. They give the quarterback time, and he has got a great arm and is accurate. He can really stretch the field vertically, does a nice job of seeing when he is supposed to use the tight ends, knows when he is supposed to come down to the backs. They make a lot of yards in the screen game. It doesn’t surprise me because he has done a nice job of handling it. That is their decision, and they have obviously made the right decisions because he can do a lot of things with the ball and he has made a lot of big plays for them.”

On how a tough schedule can help the Broncos

“Every game is its own game. They are all tough. The challenges that we face this week are different than the challenges we faced in weeks previous. I am sure the challenges after Baltimore will be different than Baltimore. Each week is its own different set of challenges. You have just got to prepare for this team. We are not worried about what we have done or what we have got to do after this game. This will take every bit of our preparation, and we are going to need to play real well in three phases in order to have an opportunity to compete with this team for four quarters on the road in a tough place to play.”

On playing physical teams like Baltimore

“We have played some tough, physical teams, I know that for sure. Baltimore is another one of them. Whether they are the toughest or the most physical, I don’t know, but I do know that that is the way that they play. That is their style in all three phases. If you are not ready for that style of play, you can get embarrassed by a team like this on the road. They are coming off of a bye. I am sure they will be rested and ready to go. We know it is going to be that type of game. Whether it is going to be more or less than another team, I don’t know.”

On opponents frequently passing against Baltimore’s goal-line defense

“I don’t think there is anything more special going on other than they play really good defense in those situations. They don’t get knocked off the line of scrimmage. It is tough to get a yard when they have got them all down in there. I think some teams choose to go ahead and throw the ball in those situations because they feel like it is their best chance to gain that yard or two yards that they need. Baltimore was one of the best teams in the league on the goal line last year. They have only allowed—people have been down there eight times and they have only scored four touchdowns, which is great for goal-line defense. It is tough to get it in. We are going to need our best game in the red zone, on the goal line, in short yardage, on third down, those situations that we talk a lot about. This team dominates those situations. I think there is nothing crazy or unique other than that they have got good players and good scheme. If you need a yard, they keep you from getting it. If you are down there close to the end zone, they keep you out of it. It is a really good defensive football team, and we are going to have our work cut out for us.”

On similarities between the Broncos’ and Ravens’ physical play

“Our group is new, and we are trying to play that way. I think they’ve played that way for awhile. This is a team that has had a lot of success (and) has a lot of great football players, great organization, great coaching staff. They have done it for a lot longer than we have in terms of us talking about it as much with the new group. In that regard, we are trying to be tough and play physical, play smart and not beat ourselves and force the opponent into some mistakes and then take advantage and capitalize on them. That is what they do a great job of. Very rarely are they out-toughed or out-physicaled on a weekly basis.”

On what he did during his time off during the bye week

“I went to the zoo. That was fun. I spent time with my kids and my wife. That is really what the couple days were full of. My son is riding his bike now without training wheels for the first time.”

On ILB/FB Spencer Larsen returning from injury

“Spencer is a valuable player on our team. He contributes in every phase on the team, which is unique. There are not many players that you could say that about. He contributes in all four phases of the kicking game. He was going to be an integral part of that unit the first six weeks and hopefully will be the last 10 games. He plays a role on our defense. (He) is a smart guy and can do that and flips it over and is a lead blocker on offense. He can catch the ball out of the backfield. A player like that that can add depth and versatility to your team, I think, is the kind of guy that you want to wait on (when injured). If you are waiting on a guy that can only do one thing, maybe the decision would be more difficult. It wasn’t an injury that we felt like would keep him out past the bye week. Hopefully, that will be the case this week as he returns to the field and we can see his progress. Hopefully, he will be able to make an impact on our team going down the stretch here.”

  • TheTroglodyte

    Under Shanahan the Bronco's were 2 – 6 in their last 8 games following a bye. Let's start the new era after the bye off right with a big win! Go Broncos!!!

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    This man pays attention to details

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  • horviltiki

    COME ON BRONCO 7 AND 0 MCDANELS GO TO ZOO THERE ZOO IN DENVER HOW CAN THIS BE ZDO THEY FREEZE

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  • anthony33

    I liked Kern, his overall distance was pretty good. But two problems.
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    - Not enough hang time on longer kicks (returnable)

  • MiamiMike

    This is the one spot I am worried about Denver. Not so much getting a win even. We play the Ravens as we know is a VERY physical team. Then we play the Steelers who have a bye week. This is where I worry. The Steelers have a week to game plan and (rest). Then we have to play another VERY physical team. I really care more about getting out of these 2 games healthy. I think having this team healthy and intact is more important than a win. these 2 teams are not in our division which will not hurt us in that regard. Yes it might hurt over all in the AFC playoff standings. Lets just head out of here healthy.

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