ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- This week, the Broncos will practice twice. But there's no game waiting on the other end.
The Broncos' bye week has arrived, so the players will have Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. Until then, they'll work on some self-scouting.
“What happens is we gave the players the day off other than treatment with the medical people," Head Coach John Fox explained. "We’ll take and look at – the coaching staff right now, obviously, we’re cleaning up the game. We also had to clean up our Oakland game, which was on a short week when we played them. We hadn’t graded that. So we cleaned all of that up. The rest of the day, the coaching staff will go over self-scout things, areas to improve and we’ll do some film study."
As far as practice sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, they'll look a little different.
"We’ll go Broncos versus Broncos the next two days, so it won’t be scouting reps versus an opponent," Fox said. "So just work on some areas that we need to improve at. We’ll look at some younger guys, hold out some guys that are a little sore or somewhat injured. Typical bye week – that’s what we’ve done here in the past."
"Get recharged and get ready for the second half of the season.”
Below are highlights from Fox's weekly day-after-game press conference.
On evaluating the team at the halfway point in the season
“You know, it’s hard to measure halfway. I mean, we’re second place in our division. Obviously, we have one blemish on our record. It’s what we’re going to do with it moving forward. It doesn’t end today and we’re in good shape as far as where our record is at this point. The next eight will be very critical, especially when we’ve got a bunch of division games moving forward, as well as conference games. They’re all important. Like I said, we’re halfway. We’re pleased. Are we satisfied? No.”
On whether it was more adjustments or execution in the second half vs. Washington
“Probably a little of both. You’re always adjusting. Every series, we get together, whether it’s offense, defense or the kicking game. We made a couple errors – I mean, we turned the ball over four times. Fortunately, we were able to take it away five times. But that hurt, that 21-7 mark. You know, guys hung in there. The one thing I can say is we’ve fallen behind twice in the first eight games – one at Dallas and one yesterday here – guys just keep grinding. Nobody panics, nobody blinks. You just try to execute better.”
On whether he will hold QB
“I don’t want to say now. I might change my mind. We’ll definitely look at everybody that’s sore. He’s not going to get a whole lot of reps the next two days, I’ll tell you that.”
“I think if you’re referring to the screen pass, he set it up. It was well-executed. Our line did a terrific job, timed up well, he set the blocks pretty well. He’s done a good job with that all season, whether it’s been off a pass or a run. Anytime you get into a passing mode, you’re doing things to try to slow down their rush. Draws, screens, those types of plays – they’re something that helps as far as moving the football. I think Knowshon’s done a terrific job in the first half of the season.”
On if that was the defense’s best performance
“Without a doubt.”
On what was different in the defense
“Like we said, we’ve gotten more whole. I think for whatever reason we hadn’t executed as well up to that point. We have some real high-character guys in there and they decided they were going to get it right. That was as right as we’ve been up to this point.”
On the AFC West
“That’s why – the same way I’d probably answer at the beginning of the season, ‘What do you think of your schedule?’ You just never know. Divisions change, conferences change, teams change – most fans would probably say that what kind of looked like maybe one of the weaker divisions in the AFC, now looks like one of the more stronger divisions. But I think everybody in the division is playing well and that’s kind of what I think.”
On the division schedule ahead being motivational
“I think it’s a good thing and our guys are looking forward to those things. I don’t know about dangling carrots, I think they get it. Obviously, division games are very important and in some ways even more important as far as trying to win your division. We still have half of the race – we have five division games remaining but we have eight total games and we’ll see where it gets us.”