Posted Mon Nov 23rd by Monty
Clearly, though, (Chargers G Kris) Dielman thought the Broncos were extremely chatty for a team in the process of getting beaten by 29 points. “If their game is to run their mouth, they can, but we finished it off good,” Dielman said. “They kept talking, pretty thoroughly, throughout the entire game. That’s fine. That’s their game, not ours.”
From Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels’ pregame trash-talking to the San Diego Chargers’ linebackers, to a conspicuous sideline spat between wideout Brandon Marshall(notes) and rookie halfback Knowshon Moreno(notes), the home team displayed all the symptoms of collapse.
Things got so bad early in the fourth quarter of a 32-3 defeat to the Chargers that in the Broncos’ defensive huddle, veteran defensive end Vonnie Holliday(notes) felt compelled to call out the quitters in his midst.
“Listen,” Holliday said, “we’re gonna watch this film [Monday], and we’re gonna see who lay down and who stepped up. The eye in the sky doesn’t lie. And then we’ll know who we can go to war with to fight our way out of this.”
In Sunday’s loss to San Diego, the Broncos’ anger appeared on their own sideline, in the form of a brief shouting-and-shoving match that erupted between receiver Brandon Marshall and running back Knowshon Moreno. [...]
“We’ve got a lot of emotional players on our team; I’m an emotional person myself,” coach Josh McDaniels said. “I’m not saying it’s good, as long as people can work those things out. Obviously, you don’t want to make scenes, to make problems.”
“They talked to me first,” McDaniels said. “I’m not making a story about this. If I did, I’d be able to tell you some things that aren’t (fit) for papers.”
The linebackers did not deny one or more among them may have started the dishing, but they thought McDaniels’ behavior was beneath a man in his position.
“You gotta like his fire,” Stephen Cooper said. “As a head coach I don’t think you want to start jawing with players if you’re not putting the pads on.”
(In contrast to…)
“Just to be honest, I didn’t think we’d be in the position we’re in division-wise at this point,” said Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, in a burst of candor regarding San Diego’s ability to make up 4½ games on Denver in the five weeks since the Broncos humbled them 34-23 on Oct. 19 in Southern California. “We didn’t think we’d be tied [coming into] this game, but we were. And now we’re ahead. But it’s not Week 17 of the season. You can’t relax, and we won’t.” [...]
“There’s no question this is our most crucial point of the season,” Rivers said. “Obviously you don’t want to start slow, but we fought back and we’re playing our best ball right now. That’s something we’ve been able to do, play our best late in the season. The teams that do that usually have a chance in the postseason. We’re not there yet, but we’re headed in the right direction.
“This is an excited locker room, and it should be. But nobody’s caught up in the hoopla. We’ve won five in a row, but we’re very focused and very grounded in our approach, and I think that’s had a lot to do with our success.”
Anyone else notice a running theme here?