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Broncos vs. Lions: Notebook

Posted Oct 30, 2011

Brian Dawkins on the loss; the team talks where to go from here; teammates and opponents respect Tim Tebow; success via the ground game.


DENVER -- After a win or a loss, Brian Dawkins is one of the voices in the locker room that will tell it exactly how it is.

And after Sunday's 45-10 loss, he had plenty to say, starting with what the team needs to fix going forward to get back in the win column.

“Probably a little bit of everything," he said. "If I had to pinpoint one thing, to say, ‘This is the one thing we need to do,’ we’d have done it already. That’s something that we as everybody -- coaches, players, everybody --need to look at to see what it is we need to fix specifically. I don’t think it is just one thing."

When asked whether the team will watch the film or try to forget the game even happened, Dawkins was clear.

“It’s not about forgetting about things," he said. "It’s about fixing what you need to fix, looking at film and being honest with one another and being honest with yourself and then playing football that next week. The season is a long one and it can be a very long one if you continue to harbor on small things every week. We need to fix what we need to fix, be serious about what we need to be serious enough and come out next week and see if we can get a win. You can’t just dive on the negative and stay on the negative and be a negative-minded, no-fun-having team. That’s a miserable existence and that’s something we’re not going to let happen.”

The team captain described the loss as "very frustrating," and said the team took a step back as far as allowing big plays down the field, but it won't let one loss snowball.

“We’ll look at the film, we’ll be honest with one another and then when Wednesday comes around, we’ll go out and handle our business as professionals," he said. "This is what we do for a living. We need to be professionals at this time, and we’ll do that.”


Dawkins' defensive teammates agreed with him -- the locker room is filled with professionals that won't quit fighting.

"We’re 2-5 and our goal at the end of the season is to be 11-5," said Robert Ayers, who had a sack in the game. "My goals aren’t going to change. They never will. I expect us to win every game after this. We’re going to keep fighting and that’s what we’re going to do. This one is in the past. We’re going to learn from it and keep it moving.”

So where will the team go from here?

Von Miller admitted the team got beat, "plain and simple." But all the club can do is go back to work tomorrow and strive to get better.

"When adversity presents itself, how are you going to respond?" he said. "I feel like we have great character in our locker room and I feel like we can keep taking steps towards being the team we want to be. I feel like we can just keep on building."

Champ Bailey said that while he feels the Broncos are a better football team than the final score dictated, the club isn't performing like it.

“It’s frustrating because I know how hard we work," he said. "The only way we’re going to get out of this slump is guys just keep grinding and keep believing. It can turn around, but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”


After helping put together a thrilling comeback win last week in Miami, Sunday's game wasn't as successful for Tim Tebow.

The second-year quarterback finished the game 18-of-39 for 172 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He was sacked seven times, but picked up 63 yards on the ground.

“Sometimes it’s not always going to go your way, but that’s life, and you’ve got to deal with it," Tebow said. "You’ve got to out there and not get down on yourself, not get down on the people around you. You’ve got to go out there and get better. If you want it to be different, then make it different. We’re going to go and get better and improve.”

The locker room made it clear the team is still behind everyone that steps on the field.

"We’re not losing confidence in any of our players," Joe Mays said. "We’re just tired of losing."

Even the Lions credited Tebow after a tough game.

"I think he’s a phenomenal player and he just has some work to do," Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch said. "I told him, ‘It just takes time. You’ll get over it and you’re a good player and a good person -- just keep working hard.’"

"Obviously he’s a young player and has a lot of learning to do, but I’m taking nothing from him, he’s a great player," Tulloch continued. "He just has to find his niche as an NFL quarterback and I think he’ll be able to do so in due time.”


Along with Tebow's 63 rushing yards, Lance Ball gained 63 and Knowshon Moreno picked up 69 as the Broncos outgained the Lions by 82 rushing yards.

Ball said he was proud of the way the team stepped up in the absence of leading rusher Willis McGahee, who was inactive for the game with a hand injury.

“I think we made some plays out there," said Ball, who had one of the team's two lost fumbles. "Obviously we've got to hold on to the ball. I think as a running back unit, I think we pushed the pile pretty well.”