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Notebook: Broncos Enter Bye Week

Posted Oct 10, 2011

Broncos will use the bye week to heal; Carter steps in; Putting players in a position to succeed; Injury update.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- It seems as if the season has just started, but the Broncos have already hit their bye week.
The Broncos will not play this weekend as they rest up for the second half of their season.
Head Coach John Fox said that the team will practice Tuesday and Wednesday, but then, as per the new collective bargaining agreement, have Thursday through Sunday off.
Fox said the practices before the long weekend break will be more like training camp, in that the team will be more focused on themselves than preparing for the next opponent.
"We'll spend a large part of today self-scouting ourselves in all three phases -- looking at where we are and what we need to work on," Fox said. "We're still very young in our defense, for instance. We need to hone in and execute better in areas, so it will be more like Broncos-on-Broncos training camp."
While Fox said he prefers the bye week to fall right in the middle of the season -- "like halftime of a game" -- the head coach said the time off is a benefit regardless of when it falls on the schedule.
"It's a chance to rest players, to heal players, take a break from the rigorousness of an NFL season," Fox said.
For the first time in his career, rookie Quinton Carter took an extended amount of snaps at the safety position Sunday.
Carter, who has seen most of his playing time on special teams, came in toward the end of the first quarter when Brian Dawkins injured his neck, and played the rest of the game.
"I felt good," Carter said after the game. "It felt good to get my feet wet, especially in a big game like this. Of course I'm disappointed with the outcome, but it feels good to be out there and playing and trying to make a difference on defense."
Even though Rahim Moore and Dawkins have gotten the majority of snaps at the safety positions, Carter said he prepares every day as if he's going to be the starter.
"To me, it's nothing different," the fourth-round pick said. "I go out and practice and treat it like a game. It took a couple series for me to really settle down and get really flowing and moving in the game but I felt really comfortable after that."
Moore, Carter's rookie teammate in the secondary, said he was happy to see Carter out there making plays and feels like they are both growing up together.
"It was good to see him because we were, in a good way, competing against each other cross country through college," Moore said. "Now, we've brung each other together in how we're communicating, having fun and learning. It's a good thing."
Fox said that there were some good parts to Carter's performance and some aspects that need improvement, but he got real game experience, which can't be simulated.
"With the case of Quinton, he had an opportunity when Dawk went out," Fox said. "There is no real substitute for that. There's no other way to get ready for that other than doing it. I thought there were some bright spots for him."
When Tim Tebow enters a game, he immediately brings a running threat to the quarterback position.

The San Diego defense faced that challenge yesterday, with Tebow rushing six times for 38 yards and a score.
But Fox said Tebow's ability to tuck the ball and run will not solely define the second-year pro as he continues to progress.

"He's the most mobile of our quarterbacks, but that doesn't really define him as a quarterback or his skill set and the different things he does," Fox said. "But he does bring that dimension, and that's kind of obvious."
Fox was asked if the offensive game plan must undergo an adjustment if Tebow enters the game, and the head coach said it's a matter of putting his players in positions to succeed.   
"Part of coaching is putting any player in situations to have success, so whether it's quarterback, running back, corners -- whether they're zone-type corners, man-corners -- a lot if it's kind of what you have and putting them in the best positions," Fox said. "As I've said all along, Tim's a very good, young quarterback, so we'll evaluate that; we'll look at what he does if he starts getting some reps, and we have been doing that all season."
Safety Brian Dawkins left Sunday's game due to a neck strain and Fox said medical tests are still being taken to determine the extent of the injury.
Fox also revealed that defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson sprained his ankle against San Diego.

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