On practicing indoors
"At the end of the day, we could have gone outside, but I don't know that our focus would have been as good as it was in that dome today. That's why we decided to go there instead of outdoors."
On S Brian Dawkins
"He's way further along this week than he was last week, and we'll play it by ear. When he gets cleared medically, we'll have him out there."
On the wide receivers
"[WR] Eric [Decker] went out early in that game last week. We've been next-man-up all season regardless of position. That's no different for our preparation for New England."
On WR Matthew Willis
"He has excellent speed. He's made big plays in big spots all season long. He's a core special-teams guy, and he's very tough."
On WR D'Andre Goodwin
"He's got outstanding deep speed. He has good quickness in and out of breaks. We thought enough of him to bring him back [earlier this season], albeit on the practice squad. I don't like calling it the practice squad. It's more of a developmental squad. He has shown good development."
On the pass rush against New England
"When teams like to pass, a pass rush is probably the best pass defense there is, so it's something that we'll work on. It's probably something they'll work on too. Like all games, it's going to come down to who executes the best on game day."
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR DENNIS ALLEN
On Saturday's rematch with New England
"They're a heck of a football team. They've got one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. They've got two tight ends that are outstanding and troublesome. They're still able to run the ball effectively, and obviously, with [WR Wes] Welker in the slot, he's a guy that they do a lot of things [with]—run after the catch. It would be a lot of the same things that we had to deal with the last time we played them. Hopefully, we'll execute a little bit better and we'll have a chance."
On New England's tight ends
"I know that the tight end position has become a predominant position in the National Football League. Teams are using those guys in a lot of different ways. The thing about [TE
On what Denver needs to improve to have better success against New England
"I think those are the two primary things (missed tackles and missed assignments). When you go back and you look at the tape, we made a lot of mistakes defensively. What you have to do—which is no different than in any other week— you have to make teams beat you in the National Football League, and we didn't do that against New England. They're a very talented team. We made mistakes. They exposed those mistakes. Obviously, our tackling in space needs to be better. I think it was the third play of the game, they catch a 10 or 12-yard pass and it's a 48-yard gain because of missed tackles. Those are things you have to eliminate against that team. Obviously, we've got to get more pressure on [QB]
On interviewing for the Rams Head Coaching job
"I'm extremely flattered about it. It's obviously exciting, but really, at the end of the day, in my mind it's more of a tribute to those players that are in that locker room. It's a tribute to the assistant coaches that I work with every day. When you have success as a team, individual achievements come. Obviously, I'm thrilled about it, but really, at the end of the day my focus is to try to win a game against the New England Patriots, and that's the only thing that I'm concerned with right now.
"At the end of the day, we're focused on New England, and we're trying to win this game, and whatever happens after that, that's in somebody else's hands."
On defending TE's Aaron Hernandez and
"I think we've got to have a better plan of who our matchups are, where those matchups are and how we're going to defend them, and I think we've got a pretty good plan for how we're going to defend those guys."
On matching up against New England's offense
"A lot of it is going to be dictated by the personnel that they put in the game. If they put three wide receivers in the game, and Hernandez is the tight end, they've really got more or less four wide receivers on the field, so we're going to have to find a way to matchup and how we're going to deal with that. We've got a good plan for how we're going to handle it, and we'll see how it plays out on Saturday night."
On personnel matchups
"I think it puts a lot of pressure on all of us. I think they do a great job of using their personnel based off of formations, based off of personnel groupings that they put onto the field. They really make you work as far as how are you going to matchup with the different players. You can't take that for granted because you don't want to get in situation where you get mismatches because when you do they take advantage of it. We had a few of those in the game the last time, but a few of those happened because we made mistakes. That's part of the issue when you try to get the perfect matchup, sometimes the guys get out of position. They are not sure where exactly their supposed to be or who they are supposed to be covering. We have to clean a lot of that stuff up, and if we do, I think we'll have a chance in this game."
On S Rafael Bush
"We used him last week, obviously, for the first time really on defense, and I think what he gives you is he is a safety—he understands how to play the safety position—but he has a little more athleticism, probably a little more corner-type of skill from a coverage aspect. That's the way we used him last week. That's kind of some of the stuff that he brings to the table."
On DE Robert Ayers
"Robert had one of his better games in this game. He was obviously very motivated to play the Steelers for several reasons. Not only because it was a playoff game, but it was his college roommate that he was going to be going up against, so I think he was extremely motivated. Robert, as the year has gone on, he's grown up. He's grown up as a man. He's grown up as a player, and he's really gotten better as we've gone on. I expect to see progress in Robert Ayers."
On 'throwing the kitchen sink' at the offense in last week's game
"Garbage disposal, whatever else we can come up with. We are going to do whatever else it takes to try to slow these guys down. There are not a lot of guys that have been able to slow them down a whole lot. They've gotten out to some rough starts in the last few games, but you look at Miami and they're down 17-0 and the next thing you know they've scored 27 points. You look at Buffalo and I think it might have been 49 points. It was 21-0 and they ended up scoring the next 49 points of the game, so this is an extremely explosive offense. They execute very well. The quarterback is really good. They've got weapons that they aren't afraid to use to distribute the ball around. We've got our hands full, and we're going to go out there and compete and see if we're good enough to win a game."
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR MIKE McCOY
On turnovers against New England
"That's something against a football team like this and against a quarterback like Tom Brady, you have to make sure you make the most of every possession as an offense. You have to sustain drives. You like to have those 8-10 play drives and keep them off the field to help our defense. It's going to be a team effort this week just like it is every week, but you can't turn the football over against a team like this."
On last week's success carrying over
"I think you have to reset it every week. You have to show up every Sunday—Saturday night obviously [this week]—and play your game. I think we had hit a point in a season, which happens from time to time—we got on a roll there for a while, and then we stubbed our toe during the New England game and the last couple games of the season. But that's all a part of it. You have to learn from it and get better. [Head] Coach [John] Fox did a great job of keeping everyone positive. We just kept plugging away trying to get better every day. We had a good week of practice last week, and then went into the Pittsburgh game and had a good team effort. You saw the results that we got, so now we have to build off of that. It's going to be the same philosophy as every week. Just continue to get better. The best team at the end wins it."
On the Pittsburgh game
"Good players make good coaches. That's the way it is. When they execute the way they did the other night, there are a number of guys—and I'm speaking offensively—that made good plays for us. [WR] Eddie Royal had the first touchdown catch, [and WR] Demaryius Thomas. We ran the ball efficiently again. [TE] Daniel Fells made the two big catches for us. It's a team effort. Defense did a nice job getting us good field position and doing certain things—the kicking game. As a team, we did a nice job. Unfortunately we spoiled a lead. We had an opportunity with a third down call on the first drive of the second half to really get a good thing going to start the second half, but unfortunately, we didn't block exactly the way we wanted to. We didn't execute the third down play to get some more points, so we punted."
On the Jacksonville head coaching job
"I didn't pull my name out. They hired Mike Mularkey yesterday. I was going to interview sometime this week, but like I told them some time on Saturday, I had a very strong belief that we were going to win the football game. So, I couldn't go as early as they wanted me to go. I talked to [Jacksonville General Manager] Gene Smith last night, and he wished me the best of luck in the future. He had to do what was best for the organization."
On being a head coach someday
"I'd love to be a head coach sometime, but I'm very happy with where I'm at. I work for a great organization with great people. I love coaching the guys that we coach here."
On WR Matthew Willis
"It's great to have players like Matt Willis on your football team because every game that we've asked him to do something or he's had an opportunity to do something, he's made a big play for us or just done what we've asked him to do. He's a role player. He knew he wasn't going to get a ton of snaps throughout the year. He was going to play X-number of snaps. He was the next guy in whenever anyone would go down, Matt would go in. The great thing as coaches, you never have to worry about it because you know he's going to do it exactly the way you asked him to do it. He's been in this system for a number of years now. [Quarterbacks Coach] Adam [Gase] coached him the last couple years, so he's just a guy that shows up every day. Matt Willis is a true professional. He does it exactly the way you ask him to do it, and it's full speed ahead. He'll play every spot."
On WR D'Andre Goodwin
"He'll do a nice job. He's been around long enough, and with being in camp with us and the things that he's done with [Wide Receivers Coach] Tyke [Tolbert]. Tyke has spent some extra time with him. It's our job as coaches, when he goes in there, just to make sure before that I let him know what's going on, what we're calling and let him go with the flow of the game. The other guys will help him. He'll be fine."
On play calling
"We're doing whatever we think gives our team the best opportunity to win. We're going to put a game plan in each week, and my job is to call the plays that I think or as a staff, that we think is the best thing for our football team to win. We might have called a little more aggressively last week as we thought the way the game was going. That's going to change from week to week. How are you running the football? What is the defense doing against you? Are they trying to take certain things away? The players made some big-time plays last week. We've run the same plays other times where they haven't worked, so it's just one of those deals. How is [QB] Tim [Tebow] doing? How is the offensive line protecting? What is the flow of the game? How is our defense playing? There are a number of things that come into play when you call a game."
On WR Demaryius Thomas
"Demaryius is an outstanding football player. I think he had some opportunities to make some big plays. The first big catch he had on a scramble. That was a big-time play he had. The way he reacted once he saw Tim boot out of the pocket, and the way he wheeled down the sideline, the play that he made at the end. We all know who Demaryius Thomas is as a football player, but then again, it's the same thing I said about Tim earlier, is that he's a young player. Demaryius is only going to get better. He's had some injuries, and you try to get guys like that into the flow of the game. The great thing about him is we haven't given him the opportunity—[given] the receivers a ton of opportunities—to make those big plays throughout the year. This game was one of those deals where we did it more often than not. It was more of a downfield-type shot that we were taking because of what the defense was doing."
On attention surrounding Thomas
"You're going to grab some attention, definitely, when you see a guy make plays like that and average what he did the last game, but the other thing they have to be careful with is they have to try and defend the entire field. If they want to try and take him away, we have plenty of other guys that we can go to, and that's Tim's job to go through the progression. But when you make plays the way he's been making, he's going to get some attention."
On reacting to defenses
"You're going to have certain weeks where you're going to struggle as a football team. It's a long season. I would say the Kansas City game if you look back at it, we struggled on offense at really just executing what we wanted to get done. There are a number of different things. I'm not going to just say it was just one thing. But we played poorly. I called a poor game, and I'll take all the responsibility for that because it starts with me as the coordinator. We could have done some things differently as a staff. We could have thrown the ball better in some different situations, but that's all part of it. When we execute the game like we know we know how to do it, we've been fine. In the second half, look at the Minnesota game. You can't play any worse as a football team in the first half, and then we made one or two adjustments in the second half and we light up the scoreboard. It's the same thing. We played the best defense in football last week and really as an offense, played one of our better games of the year. It's a matter of execution as a staff putting the best plan together helping your players and then executing it."
On the stress of the job
"We love the job that we have, and we know that. Being a football coach, you live with it."
On game planning
"That's part of the game. I'd love to have a crystal ball and know what the defense is going to do every snap, but that's the game. With our style of offense that we're running right now, we have to make a lot of adjustments, like the touchdown pass to Demaryius. We drew that up at halftime. It was one of those deals where we were waiting for the right opportunity to call it, so with Tim playing quarterback, they have to defend more than just your traditional offense. There are a lot of things that we're going to do, so going into each week's game plan, what you see on film the three to four weeks previously is probably not going to be what you see for the most part the entire game."
On the overtime play
"It's a feel for the game when you call every other play in certain situations. I was talking to Demaryius before the series. I said, ‘If we win the toss, this is what we're going to go to. If they play the right coverage we could end in a hurry, or if they play a different defense, we still have a good play.' It's a very good play. We had great run action up front, great protection up front, and we were very fortunate that the safety came down from the backside. Demaryius, like we talked about on the sideline, if they play a certain coverage it could be one-and-done. Fortunately that's the way it happened."
On RB Willis McGahee
"Obviously, he's our workhorse in the backfield. We're going to give Willis the ball 20-something times a game as what we've been doing give or take a few snaps here and there. So, obviously when you lose your workhorse in the backfield, things change, but we have a system in place. [RB] Lance Ball has done a phenomenal job all year long of when Willis comes out, we just let him roll. [RB] Jeremiah [Johnson] has done a nice job coming in from time to time in his limited roll that he's had. You always want to have your stud back there whenever you can, but we're not going to skip a beat. We're not going to change what we're doing if Lance Ball or Jeremiah are in the game. As a play caller, you may call a few things differently because that's something they do better, but we have a system in place with Tim playing quarterback that all three backs can execute fine."
RUNNING BACK WILLIS McGAHEE
On the opportunity to play Patriots in the divisional round
"It's a big game, and we're all looking forward to it, but I'm just going to treat it like a regular game."
On the regular-season meeting with New England
"I got hurt, and I didn't finish the game. That's one thing that sticks with me, but other than that, that [game] is in the past."
On playing the Patriots
"I've been taking the same approach that I've been taking for any regular season game. It's really nothing different. If you win, you go on to the next level, if you lose you go home. I've been treating it the same since I've been doing it."
On running the ball against New England
"It's real important just to help out [QB] Tim [Tebow] and those guys, so we can open up some passing lanes, but I think we're going to run the ball, regardless, the way we've been running it all year."
On the Patriots' defense
"They are a good defense, and they find a way to win. That's all that counts. Regardless of how many yards you give up throughout the game, they still find a way to win, and I think [Head] Coach [Bill] Belichick coaches those guys up pretty good."
On how he expects New England's defense to approach the run game
"I think they are going to try to stop us running the ball, because we are going to run the ball regardless of the situation. That's what we need to expect, and they're going to do everything in their power. I'm sure they watched some of the Pittsburgh film, and they are going to try to do some of those things."
On if Denver's recent success in passing game will help the rushing attack
"I'm hoping it will. It's the NFL, and [Head Coach Bill] Belichick is going to have those guys coached up."
WIDE RECEIVER DEMARYIUS THOMAS
On the game-winning touchdown against Pittsburgh
"We went in a halftime and saw some things that we were doing in the game just from running the ball and how the safeties were coming down. We drew it up and said we might come to this play at the end of the game or during the game if we need it. How he [Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy] drew it, that's exactly how it happened."
On drawing up the play
"We talked about it before we even ran it in overtime. We came to the sideline and talked about it. We actually drew it up at halftime on the board and drew the safeties and corners in their spots.
On playing the Patriots
"I just feel like we are going to have to put points on the board. They're a scoring team; they probably average 30-plus points per game, and I feel like we're going to have to put a lot of points on the board."
On if heard from a lot of people this week
"I have a little, but it's just one game in the playoffs, we're just trying to go deeper and deeper."
On if this season has been satisfying for him
"Yeah, it's very satisfying. I had three major injuries, and I've been in the league just two years. Coming off a game like this, I have high hopes."
On if he ever felt football might not be for him
"Oh yeah. When I broke my pinkie and had to get surgery and sit out six weeks. [I thought] football might not be meant for me."
On talking to his family since the game
"I talked to my grandmother last night."
On the conversation
"It was a big moment. I get to talk to them before every game. I'm used to it. They were very excited all the time."
On if playing in an option offense at Georgia Tech offense has helped him play in this offense
"I think so. We ran the ball a lot in college. We're running it here a lot. I don't think we did as many scramble drills in college. It was either throw it away or just throw. I think it's helped me just being patient and waiting."
On looking forward to Saturday
"I'm looking forward to get another chance to go play them at their house."
On if the first meeting holds any bearing on the matchup
"No that's old. It doesn't matter anymore. It's about now. Hopefully we go out and do a better job than we did last game."
On QB Tim Tebow's improvement
"I think it's him being more comfortable with us now since he's been playing with us for a while. He's just throwing the ball on time and getting a chance to make plays. I feel like every ball I caught in the game was on point. It was in my stride. I feel like he's getting more comfortable and not worrying about who's in what spot and where people are supposed to be."
On playing for Head Coach John Fox
"Coach Fox is a great coach. It's amazing, because he's a players' coach, and he's excited at all times and always talking about work and having fun. Go out and have fun, and you don't have to worry about anything. Just do your job. I can't say there's much difference since last year because I didn't really play much, since I was hurt; but it's fun playing, as long as you know your job is to go out and have fun."