ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Set to take part in the coin toss before this Monday night’s game against the Oakland Raiders, Broncos Ring of Famer Terrell Davis spoke with DenverBroncos.com about his expectations for this year’s team, his thoughts on the Pro Football Hall of Fame and his new job coaching high school football.
Did you jump at the opportunity to be a part of the coin toss at the season-opener?
“For me its always an easy ‘yes’ when it involves coming back and being involved in anything that deals with Denver – especially on a Raiders weekend.”
Can you think of a better way for the Broncos to open the season than Monday Night Football at home against the Raiders?
“No. I really think if you want to get a team out of the gates fast, then you put a rival team in front of them – and there is no other team that Denver prepares for and gets up for more than the Raiders. I think it’s a great test – especially coming out the gates. With the improvement that we’ve made through the draft and coaching staff and executives, I think people are excited to see how we come out this year and we need to start fast.”
What do you think of this year’s team?
“I think we are optimistic with where we are – we will definitely be better than a 4-12 team. That’s a fact. But I think there is going to be a process that the team is going to have to go through. I don’t think people should try to put pressure to think that they are going to come out and run the table. The possibility of making the playoffs is there but you know how football is man – things might look good on the surface but until you get into game form and start to play games it’s kind of hard to gauge where we are.
“I am excited about
“There are some question marks on defense. The last couple years haven’t been great. But I think (Head Coach) John Fox is coming in and bringing back the 4-3 and using Miller and (Elvis) Dumervil to put pressure on that quarterback and I think they’ll be able to do it.”
Have you talked with Moreno?
“We’ve spoken on a number of occasions. I told him last time we spoke that I was going to be in his ear and kind of watch him and give him some of advice and tell him what I see. But he has coaches there and they do that for him, so I don’t necessarily have to do that. But I will be watching him a lot closer this year than I probably ever have. But this is it. He was a highly-drafted running back and this is the third year, man, so this has got to be the breakout year. This is the one.”
Did you make it to Canton, Ohio for Shannon Sharpe’s enshrinement speech?
“I went to Canton and I actually toured the Hall for the first time, which was interesting. The history there dates back for a long time. To see the evolution of the game and all the busts and stuff – it was a great experience for me to see that.”
What did you think of Sharpe’s speech?
“Shannon – obviously he deserved it. There was no question whether he was going to get in, it was just when, and it happened – some people think a little later than it should’ve. His speech was phenomenal. We knew it was going to be a touching speech. He said some things about his grandmother that I didn’t know. I didn’t really know what his driving force was while I was playing with him and he clearly painted a picture for everybody to let them know what was special about his grandmother – and his brother Sterling – and how that drove him. He put on a show. It was touching.”
Do you pay attention when your name is brought up as a semi-finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
“I don’t to be honest with you. The only time I hear about it is through second or third parties. Of course yeah, you pay attention to it when it’s the semifinals. In the back of your mind, you’re like, ‘What if?’ But realistically you know it’s not going to happen. I’m a realist about it. I don’t get too jazzed up about it or too low if things don’t work out.”
Why do you say realistically you won’t get in?
“I think it would be tough. Especially just walking through the Hall and looking at the different players who have been inducted – most players don’t think of themselves as Hall-of-Famers. I guess it might stem from growing up, and you think about Hall-of-Famers and you think about history. I just don’t see myself in that light but I will say this – there are compelling arguments about why I should be in there and there are compelling arguments about why I shouldn’t be in there. If it happens, I think it will happen at a later date.”
How are you enjoying being a volunteer coach at Rancho Christian High School in San Diego?
“It’s actually fun. I knew I wanted to do some coaching I just wasn’t sure at what level. Last year I went out to Washington and tried an internship there for about a week and half and wasn’t sure if pro coaching was really what I was looking for. I always wanted to do high school and the opportunity came where there was a school that wanted to get a football program – a small school that was very flexible and it just kind of fit what I was looking for. I’ve enjoyed it so far. I’ve enjoyed working with the young men, trying to help them develop their football skills and personal skills and life skills. It’s been great so far and it’s only going to get better. We have our first game Friday so I’m excited to see how we do.”