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Next Day Notebook: at Seahawks

Posted Aug 18, 2013

After the Broncos 40-10 loss to Seattle, both sides of the ball are looking to make it a learning experience.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – While the scoreboard wasn’t as favorable in Seattle as it was at the conclusion of the first preseason game in San Francisco, the game provided the same opportunity that every preseason game offers – the opportunity to learn.

Turnovers, especially turnovers in the red zone, and giving up quick scores on kick returns can be particularly cringe-worthy.

“They are hard to overcome,” quarterback Peyton Manning said. “We’ll learn from it.”

The Broncos still have two more preseason games to iron out the wrinkles that were made visible by the Seahawks.

Head Coach John Fox admitted on the field Saturday night that there was a lot of work to do this week but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t some positive takeaways.

“I think there were some positives,” Fox said. “We had some multi-play drives that ate up clock and yardage. Unfortunately we didn’t get the results as far as scores but that was I think positive from a week ago.

“We’ve got that to look (turnover differential), ball security being something that we’ll continue to work.”

Miller Focuses on Football          

With all of the off-the-field news going on around linebacker Von Miller, Saturday night was a chance to leave all that and get back to playing football.

It also gave him another chance to be around his teammates who said have been supportive.

“I got a locker room filled with great teammates,” Miller said. “Great guys who have had my back throughout all this stuff.  Wesley Woodyard, Champ Bailey, all those guys have been great.  That's just two of them.  Every guy in the locker room, Peyton, all those guys have been great.  It's easy to come to work, to come to practice and be yourself.”

But he had to watch one of his teammates get carted off the field in an ambulance, something he described as “extremely difficult.” While he is hoping for the best for Wolfe, he said that he has confidence in his defensive teammates.

Saturday night though, the Seahawks got the best of the Broncos defensive unit, and preseason or not, that doesn’t sit well with Miller.

"It doesn't matter if it's a preseason game, scrimmage, I don't like to lose,” he said. “Losing is always tough, but it's better to lose now then to get down the road and lose when it really has an effect on your emotions, really have an effect on your teammates.  I never like to lose, but losing now gives us a baseline on where we should go from here.” 

Thomas Buckles Down

Tight end Julius Thomas, who has seen a lot of reps in training camp due to injuries to Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen, carried that momentum from the practice field with him to Seattle.

He was the most efficient Broncos receiver in terms of yardage as he caught all four passes thrown his way and turned them into 70 yards.  He also hauled in the Broncos longest catch of the day, a 31-yarder from Peyton Manning down the right sideline.

After a catch early in the first quarter, Thomas was hit from behind and coughed up the football for the first of four Broncos turnovers on the day. But Manning showed his faith in him by going right back to him in the next drive.

“That’s how it has to be’’ Thomas said.” You’ve got to turn the page. You’ve got to look forward to continue to help your team. You can’t go crawl into a hole and throw in the towel just because you made a mistake.”

Despite the team-high in catches and receiving yards, Thomas was motivated by the game to learn from the mistakes that he made.

“I’ve got to look at it on film and see what happened and correct that,” He said. “Every time, it’s about improvement. Learning from mistakes is part of improvement, and that’s the mindset that I’ll take in the next week of practice. I wouldn’t say that I’m there all the way. I’ve still got a way to go.

Hillman Learning from Mistakes

After having just three touches in San Francisco last week, running back Ronnie Hillman led the team in carries Saturday night – some good and some not so good.

He had 13 carries from 34 yards, with a long of seven and he nearly had a touchdown. In the second quarter, the Broncos turned to Hillman in the red zone. He ran the ball six times inside the 20 yard line and on the sixth carry – on second and goal – he tried to leap over the line and into the end zone.

But Heath Farwell’s helmet knocked the ball free and it squirted into the end zone where Brandon Browner scooped it up and ran it 106 yards for a Seattle touchdown. The fumble essentially created a 14-point swing in a matter of seconds.

Hillman noted after the game that he didn’t “have to make the extra effort for the goal line because it’s not fourth down” but he also said that he thought he had already crossed the goal line when the ball came loose.

Manning echoed the sentiment that the fourth down is the time to make that extra effort but the quarterback didn’t want that mistake to discredit the work Hillman is doing

“Ronnie did some good things getting down there, made some good runs,” Manning said. “He is competing, trying to get in the end zone. He’ll learn from it.”

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