ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --On Monday, Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio addressed the media after watching the coaches film from Denver's 27-17 win vs. Kansas City.
See below for some of the subjects he covered in the press conference:
On the defense
"I feel like we still have a ways to go, but very, very salty early – especially I thought the first quarter and the third quarter was outstanding. It was what we're looking for. We had a drive or two where we broke down, made mistakes, didn't hunt the ball like we need to, things like that. So it was good, it was certainly good enough to win. It was hard, it was tough, it was rugged, all those things – but I think there is still room for improvement and that is what we're pushing for."
On having the secondary depth
"We have depth. We haven't had any sulking, as you said. Mike started all of last year. Proven player, veteran player, poised – went in and did a nice job for us. We've got some depth – I mean, guys like (cornerback) Quentin Jammer, (who) played another 20 or 25 snaps last night, played well for us. Mike stepped in, played over 50 snaps and played well for us. (Safety) David Bruton is in the flanks and playing in some packages for us. So no, it's great to have depth and it's great to have some veteran depth and guys that you can count on to step up, step in and play well for you."
On the production from defensive end Shaun Phillips
"We'll take everything. But no, it was kind of a situation where (we) really felt like he still had some juice, some ability to affect the quarterback left in him. (We) thought the combination of he and Ayers – getting an opportunity there – that we'd be able to fill in and overcome that loss. From some of the things that we determine in evaluating the tape and then working with him and getting him here, he's been a pleasant surprise. I mean, he's been a little better than we'd hoped in terms of his impact and his leadership. Smart, tough guy. He's a great communicator. He comes over and gives us good insight. He's a good finisher around the quarterback. And he's played the run better than he did on tape. When we watched the tape, that was a concern, but we worked with him, he's worked with it, developed and done well. Yeah, very happy with him."
On the effectiveness of the short passes against Kansas City
"Yeah, we took a couple of deep shots, we just didn't hit on all of them. We had a near miss down the right sideline with DT. Getting the ball out, I think we had a good plan going in. We wanted to execute, we wanted to run it, we wanted to get the ball out. We did some things to move him around a little bit – despite the fact that nobody thinks he can move. I thought he did a good job of moving around, sliding in the pocket, buying some time and getting the ball out. So it was a combination of a good plan, execution, the line, the tight ends, the backs – everybody contributes – the receivers running the right route, how big is that? They run the wrong route, now there's confusion. The quarterback, 'what the heck is going on here,' can lead to problems. I think everybody got on the same page and operated efficiently and that lead to a good night."
On Demaryius Thomas' versatility
"Well he's a tremendous football player. It's just rare when guys are that big, that fast with great hands and great awareness, understanding how to set people up running routes. I think that's biggest area where DT has really taken a step forward – the work that he's put in with Peyton (Manning), getting on the same page, how to run routes and double moves and the nuances of getting open and the ball being there on time, and creating that separation. He's pretty special."
On Peyton Manning's tackle
"I'll just say I'm glad he got him down."
On the favorable matchups Julius Thomas can create
"Those are the matchup issues that you are dealing with in today's NFL. More and more you're getting tight ends and backs in space as well. You've got to be able to operate in space and Julius is certainly that kind of player. He's a dynamic player. A lot of times those bigger tight ends – we'll go against one this week – but they're too fast for a linebacker and too big for a DB to cover type of matchup concern and Julius is that type of guy." On the performance of the offensive line against Kansas City
"I feel very much like I did last week when I was defending them the whole time. And I'm not going to heap a bunch of praise on them now, I'm going to say about the same. We've got a good plan. We've got good players. We work hard at it, it's important to us. Last week at this time they were getting ripped for not getting it done and this week they're probably going to get praise I think what they need to do is just keep working and understand that every week (protection is) a priority, there's talent coming at you every week. [QB Peyton Manning] is very important to us and we've got to protect him. We want to run it better, so it was good because we couldn't win that game without being good in the trenches – on both sides – but it's not like we can stop now and pat ourselves on the back. We've got a lot of work left to do and the priority remains protecting our guy and opening up running lanes and those things."
On Von Miller
"I don't know if I could answer that directly. I still think his best football is in front of him. I think it's important that young players continue to work to give themselves a chance to develop and so he just needs to work and continue to work his way back. I think he's been OK, but he hasn't quite been as impactful as he's capable of being and we need him to be impactful. That's one of the reasons why I really believe as we continue through this second half of the year that we should get a surge from him returning to top form. Certainly we would welcome that." On LB Steven Johnson
"That was great stuff. You know Stevie is always, he's the guy that if anything happens he's so into the game he's like 'Now Coach, I'm ready!' So yeah, [Linebackers Coach] Richard [Smith] looked over and Stevie goes in. [LB] Danny [Trevathan] got shook up on that one tackle on the sideline, Stevie goes in and makes a heckuva play."
On CB Quentin Jammer's role
"I think that's another great example of a guy, when you talk about a proud veteran that has played at a high level for a number of years in the league and for him to remain a positive teammate – I think that's why you saw that kind of tribute start that he got (against San Diego) because the group recognizes this is a guy that has a lot of skins on the wall and this guy has played a lot of good football. He came here with the idea that we would transition him into a safety, which would take some time. At the end of the day he really was just best playing his old spot at corner, but we have a lot of depth there. So he's just played his role. For a guy – a veteran guy with all his experience, all his accomplishments – he's accepted his role and been a great teammate. It's such a positive thing to have for your football team when you have guys that are acting in an unselfish way and doing what they can for their teammates."