NEWARK, N.J. --Surrounded by thousands of members of the media, the Broncos players and coaches fielded questions for an hour Tuesday morning at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Here are some of the highlights.
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR ADAM GASE
On comparing Denver QB Peyton Manning and Seattle QB Russell Wilson"They both have different styles, but mentally it sounds like Russell's kind of heading in that direction of what Peyton's done with his career as far as being a very intelligent quarterback and using the tools of his game to his advantage."
On preparing for a game"You work all week to put a plan together; that's really probably one of the easier things you have to deal with compared to the preparation during the week. When you get into a game, you feel pretty comfortable with what you've got in the plan. You kind of have it scripted out to at least situationally what you want to do."
On how he got to where he is today"A little bit of luck. A little bit of meeting the right people at the right time. I was fortunate enough to go to Michigan State, and as a student assistant worked for Nick Saban. Then right when I graduated, he went to LSU (Louisiana State University), and I was able to follow him as a graduate assistant. Then just lucky enough to have a scout coming in from Detroit, asking me if I wanted to get back home. Going to intern for him for six months, and it turned to five years. Meeting a guy like Mike Martz, and him grabbing me from Detroit, and tagged along with him to San Francisco. Then lucky enough to meet Josh McDaniels when I was 21 years old, and he became a head coach nine years later."
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR JACK DEL RIO
On how practicing against QB Peyton Manning throughout the season has made the defense better"Obviously, in camp it's every period, but during the season we still maintain. Each day we have a competitive period where offense goes against defense. He's the ultimate competitor. The guy's very sharp so working on all the different things that we want to work on, you're getting a true test each and every day."
On having to shuffle players throughout the year because of injuries
"It's been fun really to work at it and to be able to achieve what we have as a group of men. We've had a lot of challenges, a lot of guys go down, and we talk all the time about 'next man up' philosophy, which a lot of people talk about it, but we've actually lived it and done it. I take pride in the fact that our staff, we're constantly working on guys, preparing our guys for the potential opportunity that may come, and then when it happens those guys don't blink. They go and they play well. We've had those types of things throughout the year. It's better when you don't have to deal with that, quite honestly. It's better when you're just dealing with a talented group and they stay together and they gel throughout the year, but we've been able to gel and grow as a group despite all those injuries. I'm pretty proud of that."
On if he learned a lot from his years as a head coach
"I had that four-week stretch this year where I was the interim guy and there's no question that the previous nine years that I spent as a head coach making decisions (helped). The wisdom that you gain when you're doing it – regardless of how well you think you're prepared as a young coordinator looking for an opportunity, when you actually go through the fire and go through the test of nine years of doing it, putting together the staff and all the different responsibilities you have as a head coach, there's no question that at this point in time I'm much more qualified to do that kind of job."
QUARTERBACK PEYTON MANNING
On his legacy
"I've been asked about my legacy since I was 25 years old, which I'm not sure you can have a legacy when you are 25 years old, or even 37. I thought you had to be 70 to have a legacy. I'm not 100 percent sure what the word even means. I'm down the homestretch of my career, but I'm still in it. It's not over yet. It's still playing out. This has been the second chapter of my career, and it is an exciting chapter. I'm certainly excited to be back in the Super Bowl on behalf of the Denver Broncos."
On Denver hearing from former Super Bowl participants
"I think coach (John) Fox did a good thing last week. He gave some of the players and coaches who have some Super Bowl experience, including himself and John Elway, a chance to address the team with what each guy thought might be important and share with the rest of the guys about how they prepared during the week, what to expect with the media days, etc. I thought it was a real productive meeting. Of course, John (Elway) being a part of five, had some great experiences. Coach Fox was part of one in 2003, Wes Welker has been a part of a couple and Jack Del Rio was in Baltimore. I thought that that was really a good thing that Coach Fox did. I, obviously, shared some thoughts that I had, and I think guys got a lot out of that meeting. I know I did, as well."
On making the transition from Indianapolis to Denver
"I was entrenched in one offensive system, under one culture for 14 years, so playing for a new head coach, playing for a new offensive coordinator in Adam Gase, playing with some new teammates, I'm learning new things about football. Football is a game, especially playing quarterback, if you ever stop learning, that's when you are in trouble. You are constantly learning. I've learned a lot these past two years that has helped me stay stimulated and stay excited about the game of football."
GUARD ZANE BEADLES
On the differences of how QB Peyton Manning runs his offensive compared to other quarterbacks and offenses
"I think the first thing is you can't be a dumb guy. You have to know you stuff. You have to know your rules and what we are trying to accomplish. There is a lot going on along the line of scrimmage. You need to be on the playbook. You have to know everything in and out because something could change like that and then the ball is snapped and you have to be ready to go."
On Denver being the favorite to win the game
"The Broncos are definitely my favorite, so I am going to have to agree with you on that. We are definitely excited for the opportunity to be here. We are excited to go out there and put together a game we will be proud of on Sunday and come away with a win."
On living a childhood dream of playing in the Super Bowl
"It's an incredible experience. I don't think it has fully hit me yet and I don't think it will for maybe a few months or even after my career of what this all means, but I am very excited to be here and I am very excited to play on the biggest stage in football."
TIGHT END JULIUS THOMAS
On if he thought he would have this opportunity after college
"No man, I was hoping that when I got done playing basketball that I would have a chance to be a part of the NFL. It was something that I always dreamed of doing and to be right here is an unbelievable feeling. It's not something that I anticipated back when I was playing basketball before."
On Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway
"Everything that we do comes from the top down. He sets some winning expectations. We know that we have to prepare and go about our day a certain way and that comes from John. He's always in the building, I always say he's up above the clouds I don't know what they're doing, but he's pretty laid back. He kind of lets the coaches handle it. He's definitely good about that, but most importantly he just sets the tone and it trickles down."
On what the Seattle defense does to take away the other team's tight ends
"They play fast. I've been saying it all week they're a bunch of guys that enjoy playing football and they enjoy playing with each other. You put the tape on and you see guys flying around making plays, encouraging each other, and I think they feed off each other. it helps them play with a tremendous amount of energy."
SAFETY MIKE ADAMS
On how the idea of walking to Paterson, NJ from the Super Bowl came about
"Excitement after beating the Patriots. I was just thinking, if I go to the Super Bowl, I'm walking home. I'm keeping my equipment on and I'm walking home. That's how it started. It seems like I have to prove you guys right, huh?"
On if a lot of friends/family are coming to the Super Bowl
"Oh yeah. I'm from here. I live here. This is me. This is my domain. I have a lot of people that will be rooting for me. I have a lot of people rooting for me at Giants' Stadium, so it will be fun."
On what makes a good team
"Everybody collectively coming together, building chemistry, being on the same page, understanding where each other are, understanding defenses and understanding different personalities and understanding the competitiveness."
DEFENSIVE END MALIK JACKSON
On how he has prepared for the Super Bowl "We were working for this (since) after we lost to the Ravens last year. It was one of those things where we had a chip on our shoulder. It kind of sucked to feel that way and nobody was happy. We made sure we came back and made Coach Del Rio, Mr. Elway and Coach Fox happy."
On if playing in the SEC helped prepare him for the NFL
"I think so. Going to SC (Southern California) you hear about the SEC and you're like 'Forget about that SEC ball,' but then once you go in there and play it, week in and week out, it makes you really appreciate SEC football. You learn to play the run and the pass. You're going against NFL pro-style guys. It really helped me a lot to get me where I'm at now."
On what he thinks the key for Denver is "We've got these coaches here – they're probably at the office right now going through some film. We've got coaches here that just kill it. They know their job and they do their job damn well. It's one of those things where we just go in and sit down, they give us a playbook with a few plays in it and we learn them and go out there and run around. We've got the easy part. Those guys who are behind the scenes have got the hard part. We kind of just go off of them."
KICKER MATT PRATER
On how the weather will affect the kicking game
"You know me, I'm not a huge thinker about too much. It's just one of those things where I think no matter what if you hit the ball well it's going to go straight and it's going to go far. I'm not worried about it too much. I don't think it's going to be too windy, if anything the winds affects it more than the cold. As long as it's not too windy, I think we'll be fine to get the touchbacks, hopefully limit their return game and I know Britt (punter Britton Colquitt) is going to hang it up there well."
On if he's been enjoying this experience
"I'm definitely enjoying everything and trying to take as much in as I can. I've got my family coming out on Thursday. It should be a lot of fun with them out here. It's definitely been a great experience, a lot of pictures and a lot of everything else."
On how supportive the city of Denver has been this season
"Our fans are the best. The city of Denver, it's definitely a football city and of course when we have success the city is happy, and it seems like everyone is in a better mood. We're happy to be here and hopefully we'll get a win for them. They're going to be celebrating more than we are."