KANSAS CITY, Mo. --Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio and quarterback Peyton Manning addressed the media after the Broncos' 35-28 win in Kansas City. Here is what they and other Broncos had to say.
INTERIM HEAD COACH/DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR JACK DEL RIO
On the second quarter and targeting Eric Decker"Yeah, that just shows you that Peyton (Manning) is going to find you if you're open, if he likes the matchup. Clearly, Eric had a great day today, four touchdowns, I believe that's the team record for us. And we needed all of them so it's great to see it. Peyton threw for five today, just a great job, a great team win. We had to have it and Deck came through and Peyton delivered. I thought Demaryius Thomas was tough – he deep route there – he had a big game."
On getting the game ball"It was special, you know, to have john Elway recognize the things I did. But I basically want to just say that that is just a representation of what we all did. I think it was about we, it wasn't about it. It was about the collective effort of all the players and coaches and trainers and equipment guys, everybody involved that had to pull together in Coach Fox's absence. So now we get to welcome him back and hand him over a team that took care of business and it is sitting on top of the division right now with a month to go."
On the defense stepping up after Omar Bolden's goal line special teams tackle"I think we fought through it. Andy has always had offenses that want to jump on you, they have some tempo things. If you're not on top of your game, they'll try to jump on you early and I thought we allowed them to do that a little bit and they did that. That's what they look to do. I thought we settled in and played much better. So those are the kinds of things we talk about and try to prepare for. Obviously we got a great example of what that can look like if you don't take care of all the little details of playing your position well."* *
QUARTERBACK PEYTON MANNING
On Eric Decker's game
"D.T. got hurt on the first play of the game. On that third down to him – that's a play he usually can go up and make and he couldn't even reach with his other hand. He goes up with one hand and it ends up tipped up and getting intercepted. I probably told him that he could have told me that earlier that, 'I only have one hand,' and I might not have thrown it to him (smiling). I knew he wasn't 100 percent. They double (Wes) Welker often in the two games that we've played. We knew that to double Wes would be a scenario so sometimes Eric was going to draw single coverage. He played well. He ran good routes and I thought Adam called some good plays. We were able to get down the field, protection held up and allowed us to get down the field and Eric was awesome. Really, hats off to him the way he played today."
On Manny Ramirez playing well
"No question. This is always one of the loudest places to play, and in a no-huddle offense, there is constant communication at the line of scrimmage with audibles. Manny – every time I'm making an audible or change, Manny is making his own audible or change. He does a good job getting those guys lined up and on the same page going in the right direction. That is no easy for any center, no matter how long you've been playing center, especially a guy in his first year playing center. Real credit to him for being able to handle that."
On how big the win was
"Big win because it was a division game. We played them two weeks ago in a close, tough game. We knew coming here would be tough as well. They were coming off a disappointing loss last week. We knew we'd get their best shot. They came out hot and made some plays early – had the kickoff return. We did a good job persevering, handling that and making some adjustments. (We were) able to take the lead there in the third quarter and were able to keep the lead."
LINEBACKER WESLEY WOODYARD
On his first quarter interception
"Well, they came out and they punched us in the mouth. They were aggressive that first series. I got injured and I'm on the sideline just thinking get back into the game. We've got a philosophy and a mentality that we want to keep as a defense – not letting anybody score when they get in the red zone. Somebody has to make a play and today was my time to make a play."
On the importance of this win
"Absolutely. We knew what was at stake when we came in here. The Chiefs are a tough team, a gritty team, and it was us today that controlled our destiny. It was a definite win that we wanted to get and it was a great team win today."
On whether he was taken aback a bit by how the Chiefs offense opened the game
"They came out and we know anytime you play a tough division game – especially versus these guys –they're going to come out swinging. They're not just going to come out here and just pussyfoot around. They're going to be the aggressor. They got us off-balance and as a team we just had to settle down."
On what it meant to rally back from 14 points down at Arrowhead Stadium
"Man, it says a lot about our team. To lose like we lost last week on the road, come back this week and definitely get that nasty taste out of our mouth – to be down at halftime – it shows the toughness of our team in continuing to fight."
RUNNING BACK MONTEE BALL
On the 45-yard run"First off, I know I'm not the fastest, let me say that. That's one of our quick-hitters. I broke a couple tackles – as a running back, you have to do that – and just took off from there."
On whether that play sparked the drive or was a statement for the run game"A little bit of both. Us running backs, we work extremely hard in practice just like everybody else. We came today prepared. That's how we approach the game – let the running backs bring the intensity so everybody else can feed off it."
On the O-line's blocking"First off, in practice they work. They're one of the hardest-working groups in practice. They carry it forward to the game, and us running backs, we don't want to let them down. As soon as we see a crease, we hit it, because it's only there for half-a-second."
On getting back to basics"I made a big emphasis on it in practice to go back to the basics, don't take anything for granted, a simple handoff or anything like that. I carried that forward to the game."
WIDE RECEIVER ERIC DECKER
On the win"It was huge. Coming in, this game was for control of our division. When you get to the end of the season, winning your division is huge. Setting yourself up, taking care of business. We've got four weeks left. A lot can happen. So we've got to make sure we focus on one week at a time. This was a fun victory for us, just because Kansas City is a tough home team."
On his one-catch game last week"To be honest, I had a tough month. It was kind of a struggle for me. It makes it a lot easier when we've got some of the best receivers as far as (Wes) Welker and DT (Demaryius Thomas) on your side. They cover a lot of ground. Today, I just had an opportunity to make some plays and I did."
On whether he's ever had a game with four TDs"High school, one time."
On whether he learned anything from the last KC matchup two weeks ago"In film study, yeah. I thought that San Diego passed the ball very well last week and it's a copycat league. You pick up some things other guys do and try to put them in your arsenal. Today, it just worked in our favor."
CORNERBACK CHRIS HARRIS JR.
On rallying back
"A lot of it is mental but offensive guys made a lot of big plays. It was a great team effort today and I tip my hat to the Chiefs. They gave us their best game. It was a huge win for us to bounce back from that loss last week – a game that we felt we let go away. So it was definitely huge."
WIDE RECEIVER DEMARYIUS THOMAS
On the mentality after falling behind 21-7
"Well, I was actually inside at the time. But we knew it was going to be a tough one – coming in here, I think it's the loudest crowd here, and a great team. We knew it was going to be a tough one, but we knew we would just play 60 minutes and see what happened. We came out and played great football, both defense and offense, and got the 'W.'"
On Decker's game
"A huge one. That might be one of the biggest (games) I've ever seen. I don't even know how many yards he had – but he had a big game. I take my hat off to Deck because he's been working hard. He felt like he hadn't been playing so well but I think he had. I take my hat off to him because he played his butt off today."
On someone new stepping up for the team each week
"I think that's the main thing with us, as a group. We know that everybody has the potential of going out and having a big game. But it doesn't always work like that. Sometimes it might be me, it might be Deck, Wes – Montee also had a good game. So we're just trying to get everybody to have a good one. We know it's going to be hard, but it's good for us."