1 DENVER BRONCOS HEAD COACH JOSH MCDANIELS Opening Comments I ll start by giving credit to the Rams. (Head Coach) Steve (Spagnuolo) does a great job. He s doing a nice job with his football team. They made some adjustments as the game wore on that were very effective in many ways on both sides of the ball. We got off to a nice start, but didn t sustain it and the two turnovers (we) found ourselves in some third-and-longs as the game wore on and couldn t stay on the field offensively. (We) gave up too much production there, defensively, in the second and third quarters. I appreciate the fight of our team and (we) continued to play hard and had a shot there at the end to try to do something even with the punt rush. Give (the Rams) credit, they deserve it and they deserved to win. On the Broncos defense We have to play better defense, have to coach better and giving up 30-something points is tough to consistently try to match on offense. There s no doubt about that we re going to have to find a way to play better defense, create some turnovers and some negative plays to potentially give our offense some field position at times and play better in the red zone when they do move the football. On the Rams passing offense We knew they were going to (throw the ball). They protected a little bit more they weren t in naked bootlegs today. They were protecting the edge, and then throwing back across the field sometimes, trying to give (QB Sam) Bradford time. I thought he really played well did a nice job of moving out of the pocket and then trying to find some guys down the field. But, they had a good plan and again that s a good staff over there and they did a great job preparing their team. On the decision to kick onsides at the end of the fourth quarter We talked about it and if you kick it deep, you really have one chance to get the ball back; and if you onside kick it, there s one opportunity there and then you can still use your timeout and the two-minute warning and get the ball back and we knew we d rush the punt. We felt like, Why don t we just go ahead and max out the opportunities to get the football back. I thought we got it back in decent field position with the blocked punt. Those decisions come and go. On whether the videotaping controversy was a distraction to the team We talked about that all yesterday and I think the team handled it great and was ready to play and moved on. On starting strong but not turning it into a win We have to stay out of third-and-long. When we start to sputter offensively, it s because we have some negative plays or find ourselves in third-and- 12, third-and-15 or third-and-10 and those situations aren t good for any offense and certainly haven t been good for us this year either. So, we have to do a better job on first and second down trying to stay out of those situations. On whether opponents are targeting CB Perrish Cox That s going to happen we have (CB) Champ (Bailey) on one side and Perrish on the other and part of trying to apply pressure to the quarterback and set the edge and stop the running game is that you re going to have to play some post-safety defense and when that happens Perrish is battling out there and so is Champ. I think they threw both ways today and might have thrown more at Perrish that would, I imagine, be the norm. On the Rams tight ends They ve used their tight ends very well all season. They re kind of different players and they use some misdirection and do some different things with them in the play-action game. They definitely got free and made some plays. On how the videotape controversy has affected his relationship with his staff I have no idea. We addressed that whole situation yesterday and we ve moved forward. On how he would summarize this past week Got ready to play the St. Louis Rams and try to play a football game and put together our best effort. There are different types of things that come up each week in the season in every organization and we handled the things that came up this week and got ready to play. On a report regarding his comparison of this videotaping incident to that which occurred while he worked with New England I m not going to talk about any reports or anything like that. We addressed that all yesterday, I m done with that and I m done talking about that.
2 DENVER BRONCOS PLAYERS TE DANIEL GRAHAM Denver Broncos Post Game Quotes On the fourth quarter of today s game We have to play 60 minutes, we didn t play well at the beginning of the game and time ran out on us. On how hard the team played in the fourth quarter We have a lot to play for. We came in at halftime and said there are still 30 minutes left and we are going to fight. We fought until the end, but we just came up short. On playing well in the first and fourth quarters We have to play 60 minutes. We have been saying that all year. You have to play 60 minutes if you want to get a win, and we didn t do that today. On the final series of the game We just ran out of time and they made more plays than we did and got the win. QB KYLE ORTON On jumping out to a quick lead We scored on our first three drives, so we scored points in the first quarter and definitely hit a spell there in the second quarter and we didn t do much the whole second quarter. These are good defenses and they make good adjustments as well, so it took us a little while to get it figured out. We came back and hit the one to (WR) Brandon (Lloyd) in the third quarter and then we kind of got hot again the rest of the way. On whether today s game was a moral victory No it is not a moral victory. I mean, we lost by three points to a team that played better than us. We just have to focus on improving. We are not playing well enough right now on a consistent basis to win really on either side of the football. On the final drive of the game The attitude was great in the huddle, the confidence was great in the huddle, and they got to us on a sack and that really sets you back in those types of situations with no timeouts. But, the whole fourth quarter I thought the attitude was good, the confidence was good, and guys expected to go out and make plays and either tie it up or win the game. On why the team passed more in the latter stages of the game Because (Head Coach) Josh (McDaniels) thought the pass was the best way to go. That s how it is and we have certain plays where it is a run-pass combination and maybe want to run the ball and the run look isn t good, so I check to a pass. Those situations pop up throughout the game and I think the last drive was a two-minute situation. That is how it goes. We wanted to stay balanced. We like to. (RB) Knowshon (Moreno) ran hard, I thought the offensive line did a pretty good job run blocking and when you get in those situations it is tough. On the team being in third-and-long This is a good defense, this is a good third-down defense, and he is a good coordinator that has an array of blitzes. So, any time that you are in those situations you are kind of at their mercy at getting their best blitz and those are tough to convert. On how the offense keeps finding itself in third-and-long Noting good on first down, nothing good on second down, and we talked about it and it was up on the board win first down, win second down to stay out of terrible situations on third down and we weren t able to do it often enough. I think to start off the game we came out and did a great job on first and second down. I don t think we had a third down except to cause a field goal, so those drives that we were moving early in the game we were picking up the first downs on first and second down. On whether it is tough to be optimistic about the rest of the season That is your job. We have however many games we have to go and it is our job to go out and win and play the best we can. You always have something to play for in the NFL, there s no question about that.
3 LB ROBERT AYERS Denver Broncos Post Game Quotes On how his foot feels It feels real good. I was excited to be out there and my foot held up great and didn t bother me the whole game. I felt good cardio-wise. I just wish we could have gotten the win. On Rams QB Sam Bradford Yeah, he did (well). He made some big plays in crunch time on third down, specifically. In the fourth quarter and third quarter, he made some big plays. We definitely knew we had to stop (Rams RB Steven) Jackson first, but (Bradford) is an NFL quarterback, so we need to do a better job of stopping him too and the receivers. On whether he thought the Broncos beat themselves today Yeah, we missed out on some opportunities to make plays, but you have to also give (the Rams) credit they made the plays when they needed to. We didn t make the plays, so it was kind of But, we do feel like we have to stop beating ourselves and putting ourselves in bad situations and it bit us in the butt again today. On the fans booing the team at halftime I don t pay any attention to getting booed or anything like that. We knew what we had to do and we knew we had to keep fighting and we did. We got to within three with a minute left. Unfortunately, we weren t able to pull out the win. The fans booing us doesn t make us feel one way or another. We re disappointed in how we played and tried to improve in the second half. Like I said, unfortunately we weren t able to get the win. On the team s ability to fight back in the second half This is the National Football League, so almost doesn t count. It s wins and losses that matter and right now, today, we didn t get the win and that s all that matters. We can sit here and say, We almost did this, we did this (well), we did that (well). But, at the end of the day, we didn t win. On the team s attitude going forward We have no other choice me personally, I m going to strap it on and come out every Sunday and give it my all. There are 50-something other guys that are going to do the same thing. Yes, we would like to be in a better position, but nobody in this locker room is ever going to give up. We re going to keep faith and we ve seen crazier things happen in the NFL, where people start out one way and end up another way. Like I said, we re going to keep pushing, we re going to keep fighting. We still have four more divisional games left, so we re going to give it our all. We have Kansas City next week and we re going to strap it on and see what we can do. WR EDDIE ROYAL On whether he s frustrated with the team s record I m not happy about it we put in so much work in every week, week in and week out, to come out and win the game. Everybody is putting forth their best effort and we re just not coming out winning games. It s not a lack of effort, or a lack of fight. Guys are out there fighting you could see today that we fought until the end and it just so happens that we re not finishing games and winning. On coming up short on the team s final drive I don t know, that s the game of football sometimes. You prepare to win every week and we had the momentum and things are going our way at the end and we just didn t finish the game. We had our opportunities and just didn t make the most of them. On starting fast and then slowing down I don t know I can t put my finger on it. We re out there playing as hard as we can, giving it everything that we have. We just have to find a way to play better. On whether he s bothered by the fans booing We re professionals we have to come out and play football, no matter what is going on outside of this locker room. You have to take care of what you have to do on the field. Distractions aren t an excuse. We re not going to use that as an excuse. We want to be winning games, so I can understand the fans frustration, because we haven t won as many games as we probably should have. We re going to keep fighting. We re not going to give up and next week we have to come out and get a win.
4 On the team s ability to fight back in the second half It tells you the character of this team that we have guys that are going to fight until the end, no matter what. That s how the season is going to go and that s how this game went. We re not going to give up as long as there is time on the clock, we re going to keep fighting. On whether he believes in a moral victory No, there s not. There are wins and losses and we need wins right now, and we re going to keep fighting. We have a big game next week a divisional game and we have to come out and try to get a win. LB MARIO HAGGAN On whether he s frustrated with the team s record I ll tell you what I have an old saying, You have to go through it to get to it, and for some reason, somehow, some way, and at some point, we re going to reap the benefits and the rewards of a couple dark clouds that have been hitting this team injuries and a bunch of things have been hitting us. But, we re going to keep fighting and that s that attitude we re going to take and eventually, we re going to win a few rounds. On the team s ability to fight back in the second half Almost doesn t count and that s just the way the league goes. WR BRANDON LLOYD On falling behind early in games It s real frustrating, but it s a player s issue. It s an issue that we have to take care of as players, and play better in the first half, play better with a lead, and maximize our opportunities early in games, so in the fourth quarter, we re not out of it, then in it, and scratching and clawing trying to get back into the game. On starting strong offensively early in games I think it s just the natural progression of the game. We have plays that we put in every week, and we can t run the same plays over and over, and expect the same result, so we have to continue to try different ways to attack the defense to get the desired result. On the negativity surrounding the fans perceptions of the team The negativity is fine and it s deserved. We made the bed. As players, that s how we re playing out there. We made the bed and we just have to lay in it. We have to do our best to win our games. We can t control what you guys say. We control what the organization does. We can t really control anything but how we play, how we prepare. That s how I approach it. On what the team has to play for We feel we have a lot to play for. Not only can we win the games, not only do we feel we should win the games, but we get paid a lot of money to do this. The pride in putting on this helmet and going out there, and being fortunate enough to be able to play this sport, there s a lot to play for. On why the team is struggling It s not a character issue. It s performance. Everybody plays hard, it s a performance issue. It s doing what we re coached to do every time we step out on the field. On starting a three-game road trip It s out of our control, so we just have to go into these games and play them out. On whether it will be good for the team to get away on the road trip I don t think so. What we need is to be in here, in our stadium, playing in front of our fans. That d be the best, ideal situation, playing three games with our fans right behind us, but it s not. We just have to go practice, and have to go into these games expecting to win, prepared, and play them. On his season so far It s tough to thoroughly enjoy it. When it comes down to it, as players, that is what we re measured by, how well we do as a team. It would be more satisfying to say that I m having this season and our record was reversed. It d be satisfying to say, Hey, I m one of the reasons the team is doing great. But that s not the case, so I have to just continue to keep preparing and continue to try to make big plays for the team. Hopefully we ll get the desired outcome.
5 LB JASON HUNTER On whether he heard the fans boo at halftime I know the fans are frustrated. We re frustrated too. We want it just as bad as they do. We just have to continue to work. We have another game on Sunday against Kansas City, so we just have to go out there, prepare, and try to get a win. On coming back late in the game We felt great. We started playing harder and had a big stop on third down and we blocked a punt. We had an opportunity; we just have to capitalize on opportunities. On missed opportunities Early in the game we did some things that hurt us. Towards the end, we have to seize the moment. When we have an opportunity to score, we have to score. It s the same things on defense. When we have an opportunity to stop them early in the game on third downs, we have to stop them. On the Rams performance They did some things well. They executed. We had our fair share of mistakes, but they definitely executed. He (QB Sam Bradford) made some tough throws in some tight places and their defense made some big stops when they needed to. They re professionals as well. They work hard. They play hard. They made some plays when they had the opportunity to. When we have the opportunity to make plays, we have to capitalize on them. WR ERIC DECKER On adjustments made to come back late in the game We came in at halftime and we knew that we made some mistakes, obviously we turned the ball over. They (St. Louis) are a team that capitalizes on turnovers. We knew we had to come out and execute offensively, get some stops on defense, and put some pressure on special teams wise. That allowed us to have a chance to win the game; we just didn t come out with it. On whether he heard the fans booing I could hear it. Obviously you try to block that stuff out. You have to play within yourself and know you have to execute your job. That s the biggest thing we re trying to right now, is take care of each other and do our job on the field. On coming back late in the game It was nice to see we had that in us, that we stick together and believe in each other, and that we could give ourselves a chance to win. Obviously we have to start a little faster, play well in the second quarter, and things should be different for us. On where the team goes from here We just come to work tomorrow and learn from our mistakes. Obviously we have some corrections. We need to have a good week of practice, and you have to keep looking forward. You can t dwell in the past. You can t make excuses and point the finger. You just have to come to work every day, and that s what I ve learned in this organization. ST. LOUIS RAMS HEAD COACH STEVE SPAGNUOLO Opening Comments It is very difficult to win in the NFL so I am happy about that. It s not the way you would have layed it out, but that happens and we did battle until the end. We have a happy bunch of football players in there. The bottom line is we got a win on the road. We won one in November and we talked all week long about two of the things we haven t done yet: win in November and win on the road. We checked those boxes off and we will move forward. Real quick on the injuries, TE Micheal Hoomanawanui had ribs and ankle, but the concern is the ankle. We will know more when we get an MRI. He obviously didn t go in after that. First we thought it was a fibula that he broke, but it wasn t bad. It may fall in that high ankle sprain area, which is not good, so we will see. RB Steven Jackson dinged his hand, you saw him come out there. He thinks he is ok, but that is certainly a little bit of a setback. When LB James Laurinaitis came out he got poked in the eye. It took him a little while to get his vision but then we he did, just like the warrior he is, he bounced right back in there.
6 Some of the things that were good: we did not hurt ourselves with penalties, we had a couple but they were certainly not an issue. We did find a way to get some turnovers, and we protected the football which is really big when you play on the road. On his thoughts during the game s final series I ve got the other series in my head to be honest with you. I just know this, going forward here, if you are going to win consistently in this league, your defense has to find a way to close out football games, especially when you are up by two scores. You have to find a way to do that and we mixed it up a lot. (Defensive coordinator) Ken (Flajole) and I were on the phones and we didn t lay back-we were pressuring them a lot, we were not pressuring them a lot, we were playing man, we were playing zone-so we mixed it up. I will give them credit and Josh (McDaniels) has always been able to do this. They have a good quarterback, they have some good receivers, and they found ways. We had some pretty good pressure on them at moments, we had their quarterback out of sync, but we have to find a way up front to finish a sack off like we did in the last series, or in the secondary in the back end, and to catch a football to end it. But we didn t. On (DE) Chris Long batting the ball on the final play of the game Well at that point we knew we won the game, so there is a lot of relief. There is no relief until it says mathematically with the clock that they can t end up scoring, as long as we don t fumble the victory formation. There was a little relief but I am different. The elation and happiness of winning the game, the other things bother me. I am happy we won. I am very proud of this football team: the way that they fought, in a hostile environment. We had a feeling that they were going to make a surge, kind of like basketball. You know somewhere in there they are going to make a surge; they made it and yet we held up and when it was all said and done, we won a football game. On the positives of the game You want to finish the game when the score was I would be happy with that score, but that s just me. I am very happy with the win, but I think we need to find ways to do that, to close out games. I think we have all forgotten a little bit that we got behind in this game and battled our way back. That is not easy to do when you are away, playing in this particular environment. I take away that our team fought back to go from being behind, to getting to two scores ahead. The only thing we want to do when we get to that point is to stay there and somehow close it out, whether it is driving the football and chewing the clock, or putting another field goal or touchdown on there, or somehow finish it on defense with a turnover. On handling the pressure of close road games You mean my gray hair and my blood pressure? Yeah, I can. I tell you what, I love doing it, as long as we end up this way I m ok. On Denver shutting down RB Steven Jackson People are going to find ways to do that to you. Steven is a premier player in the league, and if we can t punch one through there, or bust them out somewhere, we have to try to loosen it up, and that is where the quarterback and wide-outs come into play. We had a couple good plays in that area, so that helped. On WR Danario Alexander He made four catches or something, right? That is good, that is a spark. On TE Billy Bajema He is tough nut, Billy. I love having him on the team, the guys love him. He does a lot of different things for us, and I am sure he feels bad about the drop, but it was nice to see him bounce back. On QB Sam Bradford s time in the pocket I would like to think that is a credit to our offensive line and the way that we constructed our protections. We had some backs in there, we had some tight ends in there, it was well conceived by the offensive coaches. The other thing is wide receivers getting open, and Sam (Bradford) being able to get the ball out on time. It all kind of comes together. On QB Sam Bradford s success against Denver s defense I look at it as the guys who are supposed to do things on a pass play, the protectors, the guys running the routes, and the quarterback throwing it, they all did their job. On Sam Bradford s adjustments during the game I think that Sam like s that in some regards; he is a very competitive guy and understand football completely. When he looks out there and says, this is how they are going to approach it defensively; it is time for me to do my part. I think he likes that.
7 On if Sam Bradford lost his poise in the fourth quarter I wouldn t say that. From my standpoint, as I talk to him and interact with him throughout the game, he is poised all the time. On Sam Bradford s trouble with his helmet headset. There were a couple quick ones, and sometimes the buzzer doesn t work. Maybe it was the noise, for the most part we were ok, but there were a few. On the St. Louis penalty following the onside kick You can t bat it (the ball) forward, you have to either bat it sideways or behind, and it won t be a penalty. In the official s estimation, it was batted forward, and that is why there was another kick. That second kick hung up there for about 17 minutes. I didn t think it was going to come down. On Kicker Josh Brown s missed kicks Can we talk about the two that Josh made? I mean Josh would certainly like to have that kick back. We have a lot of confidence in him. He had the wind. I forgot where it was in the third-quarter but we were not going to have the wind soon enough, so I thought it was the right thing to do. I don t know if he pushed it right, I think it went to the right. But Josh normally makes those. ST. LOUIS PLAYERS LB JAMES LAURINAITIS On defending Denver s offense It s very frustrating, but the thing is, the big plays that they had, and the plays that led to scores, were because we couldn t get a lot of pressure. We ll see it on film. On Denver s final drive It seems like a big blur, but as long as we have that tally in the W column, I don t really care how it happened. I m glad to put a W in the column. On this being a must win game Either way, if it came down to the defense having to make a stand at the end, it s a great step knowing that you have that feeling to go out there and make a stand. On winning in the manner they did I think it s huge, because you have to fight and claw and do whatever you have to to get the W, especially on the road. We had two check marks that we wanted to do. We wanted to win on the road, and we wanted to win in November. We got those accomplished. With the way I am, I ll enjoy it on the flight back, but once we get to tomorrow, I m already on the next game. DE CHRIS LONG On early defensive struggle We said that to each other, We can t let this happen. That s on us. (QB) Sam (Bradford) went out and played an awesome game, and we had to do our part up through the end. On getting a win on the road It feels really good to check that off. We did it against a tough team. They ve got some real skilled players out there. We had to come in at the end and fight and play tough. It s tough when they re moving the ball up and down the field the whole game, but we centered down and played well. We d like to make this a trend and not a onetime thing. On the dramatic finish It s not easy to win in this league, but you ve got to find a way to win. There are a lot of good teams out there, and it s not always pretty. We just had to find a way to win.
8 On the fourth quarter Whenever they re moving the ball up and down the field on you like that, it s not a good atmosphere on the sidelines. We had to take out the anger that we were getting from them driving up and down the field and unleash it on that last series. On his sack on the final drive It was (QB Kyle) Orton and me. He s a tough guy, but in the end, we had to make up for the two-minute drive that we allowed. WR DANARIO ALEXANDER On the win It feels great to be able to go out there after my surgery. It s been a month since I ve been able to play football, and it feels great to get out there and play. On chemistry between he and QB Sam Bradford We ve got a good game plan, and (QB) Sam (Bradford) put the ball in the right place all the time, and that s why I was able to make the plays that I had. On lining up against CB Perrish Cox Me and him have history. We actually have history from high school. He played at Waco (University High School), so I had a couple of years with him down there. He played at Oklahoma State, and now we re playing in the NFL together. There was a little trash talking, but nothing serious. We re actually pretty good friends. On being called down at the one yard line in the first half I thought I was in the endzone, but they said my shin was down. I don t know how that happens, but they called the play for me and I tried to get in as best I could. On fighting through injuries I m just out there at every practice and out there at every game. I just keep getting treatment in the training room every day. I never take a day off. On his performance today I just saw the game plan and came out after I saw the film, and I knew that their secondary kind of struggled a little bit. I knew they played man-toman, so I knew it could be a good game. QB SAM BRADFORD On WR Denario Alexander Obviously, when he steps in the lineup, he adds a little more size than our usual receiving corps. He s got some speed, and that allows us to do some extra things. We felt like he looked good all week in practice, and there were a couple of times where I came back from a play and looked at (QB) A.J. (Feeley), and we were both like, He was moving right there. We knew that his knee was back, and that he has his speed back, so we knew that he had the opportunity to have the game that he had today. On whether today s was his best first-half performance I don t know, that s hard to say. I m sure statistically, most people would probably look at it and say, Yeah. Until I see the film, it s going to be pretty hard to judge. On Denver s defense shutting down RB Steven Jackson It seemed like all the day the box was loaded, and they were trying to take Jack (RB Steven Jackson) away. When they do that, they give a lot of one-on-one matchups on the outside, and I thought our wide receivers did a great job of creating space and getting open. On his performance today Yeah, that s huge. Any time you can get a win on the road in this league, it s big. It s tough to do that, especially for us. We ve had our struggles this year on the road. For us to clear that hump and get the victory today was a great feeling. Today, it just seemed like their defense presented us with some stuff downfield that we were able to take advantage of. Fortunately, we hit some big plays.