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Notebook: Whatever it Takes

Posted Nov 14, 2011

Head Coach John Fox says he'll do whatever it takes to put his team in a put his team in a position to win; The defense shines; Von Miller talks about drawing more double-teams.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In an increasingly passer-friendly league, the Broncos turned back the clock Sunday with an offensive attack that has rarely been seen in recent years.
Denver had 63 offensive plays -- 55 of them were running plays while just eight of them were passes. Those 55 rushes in one game marks the third-highest total in team history in non-overtime games.
"As long as you're moving the ball, possessing the ball, giving your defense some rest, it's all good," Head Coach John Fox said Monday. "As long as you're moving the ball is the key and scoring enough points to win."
That was Fox's message Monday during his weekly post-gameday meeting with the press: the main thing that counts is that the Broncos come out of games with a win. It doesn't matter how it's done, Fox just wants to see a jubilant team in the locker room after the game.
"We're trying to do whatever is going to help us to win. In my opinion, that's all part of coaching is putting your players in position to utilize their abilities," Fox said. "I'd rather see smiles in that locker room when we come in after a game, and that usually only happens when you win."
Even though the Broncos have vaulted to No. 2 in the NFL in rushing yards per game with their performances the past few weeks, Fox acknowledged that the team needs to improve in the passing game. He would like to see a more balanced offense in the games to come but also said that it takes time and that the players are improving.
As the passing game keeps progressing, the coaches will keep putting their team in a position to succeed.
"Whatever it takes," Fox said. "At the end of the day, everybody in that locker room, myself included, is trying to do what it takes to win. This games only fun when you win, and we put in too much time -- I know sometimes it doesn't look like it, but we do long hours, game planning, practicing, and a lot goes into it by those players and by all our coaches -- so it feels a lot better when you win."
While the running game was a big story in Sunday's game, the Broncos defense showed up in full force.
For the first time all season, the Broncos shut out an opponent in the first half, extending their NFL-best record to 29-1 in that situation since 1994.
"I've seen improvement," Fox said. "I think we've probably been a little more consistent tackling as of late. I think some of the things we're doing offensively give them more rest. I think that's always important, but other than that, we just kind of take it one week at a time."
Linebacker Von Miller has been a key part in the defense's success. He has eight sacks on the season, including 1.5 Sunday against the Chiefs. He believes the unit has built cohesion as the season has progressed and as they've gotten to know Defense Coordinator Dennis Allen.
"I feel like we have jelled a lot more since the beginning of the season," Miller said. "I feel like we know each other a lot better. We're still trying to cut down on the technical errors a little bit, which will be a good thing. I think the results from our success will come with time. We had a lot of time with this defense and we're starting to know each other. I think you're starting to see the results of that."
Miller's strong rookie campaign, in which he leads all rookies in sacks, isn't going unnoticed by teams or media personnel.
Sports Illustrated's midseason defensive rookie of the year says he is seeing a lot more double teams than he did at the beginning of the year.
But that doesn't seem to deter the speedy pass-rusher as he has two sacks in his last two games.
"It's just part of the game," Miller said. "I can get (to the quarterback) on double-teams if that's what I need to do. It's just fanatical effort to the ball -- relentless pursuit. I don't know if I'm going to be able to get there, but I'm going to certainly try."
When teams double-team Miller, it usually means defensive end Elvis Dumervil is left one-on-one. That's a matchup Miller said the Broncos will take any day, as Dumervil also has two sacks in the Broncos previous two games.
"If you leave a guy like Elvis unblocked, he's going to get to the quarterback, so you have to make sure you double him," Miller said.
While the duo have combined for four sacks in the last two weeks, their presence has been felt on more than four plays. They are constantly putting pressure on the quarterback, as was evidenced Sunday when Cassel hurried multiple throws.
"Just getting pressure on them makes them think," Miller said. "It makes them make faster decisions, and when you make faster decisions, you have a higher percentage of messing up. We just wanted to turn up the pressure and put the pressure on. Hopefully he was able to throw some bad passes. We had a good secondary back there too, so if you get a pass that's just a little bit off, it will be alright."


Here is the Broncos injury report for Monday. Since the team did not practice, the "practice participation" is an estimate.

Running back Knowshon Moreno (knee) -- OUT. Tackles Ryan Clady (knee) and Chris Clark (knee), safety Brian Dawkins (ankle), running back Willis McGahee (hamstring), cornerback Cassius Vaughn (hamstring), and linebacker Wesley Woodyard (knee) are all listed as LIMITED. Tight end Julius Thomas (ankle) is listed as a FULL participant.

For the Jets, who did have practice Monday:

Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (knee), tight end Shawn Nelson (illness), defensive back Brodney Pool (knee), running back LaDainian Tomlinson (knee), and wide receiver Patrick Turner (kidney) DID NOT PARTICIPATE. Wide receiver Plaxico Burress (low back), defensive lineman Marcus Dixon (shoulder), linebacker David Harris (ankle), and wide receiver Santonio Holmes (foot) were all LIMITED. Defensive linemen Mike DeVito (knee) and Kenrick Ellis (ankle), offensive linemen Nick Mangold (ankle) and Matt Slauson (ankle), linebackers Josh Mauga (low back) and Calvin Pace (groin), running back Joe McKnight (toe), and defensive back Isaiah Trufant (hamstring) were all FULL participants.