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That's What He Said: Rams Postgame

Head Coach John Fox

On Ronnie Hillman's fumble"I still have great confidence in him. We ran the ball pretty effectively. I think we had 30 carries for 140-plus yards, so about four-and-a-half yards per carry. I think it's very evident that we still turned the ball over four times. We were still able to win, that's the bright side. The not-so-bright side is that we got four turnovers and that's something we worked on very hard on last week, and we'll work on very hard again this week. When you have young players learning to play in this league for the first time it can happen and we have to eliminate that before the first game of the regular season."

On the offensive tempo"We'll get to find out when we get the regular season, I think it's something we've been working on – having different tempos whether it's the fastball or the changeup. All those different tempos can wear down a defense and it's something we'll continue to work at."

On how he thought Ryan Clady looked"I thought he did good. without looking at the tape – the offensive line is hard to see. There wasn't anything drastically bad. I think he might have gotten his hands up in the face of the defender a couple times. It's just a matter of timing and getting better at your kicksteps and those types of things – and he will. We have the utmost confidence in Ryan."

Quarterback Peyton Manning

On 34 pass attempts in the first half

"Every game is going to take on a new identity. We don't have a set number going into each game. I think that with what we are trying to establish from a run/pass standpoint, it just depends what the defense is doing, what they're taking away. Certainly had a lot of long drives and a lot of plays in each drive. St. Louis was staying back and they were keeping some stuff underneath which (means) you have to go short, which is going to make them go more plays in each drive, and that probably had a lot to do with that number."

On the preseason being over for him

"I don't think you can get every question answered in the preseason. We have some young players, we have some first-year starters, potentially at tight end, and we're going to have a young running back. (RB) Montee Ball is going to play a lot. We have a first-year center, and a first-year slot receiver with the Denver Broncos. So, there is a lot of newness to this team and that is why this preseason was important for us. I think, similar to last year, our goal is to improve throughout the season. By no means should we be a well-oiled machine going into our opener against Baltimore. Hopefully we can be hitting on enough cylinders where we can be effective. I still think we need to get better each week."

On how he has progressed individually the last year

"There have been some changes for me. All those new players affect me. Having a new center (Manny Ramirez), who has done a heck of a job in everything we have asked of him, but he and I just can't get enough repetitions together. I thought he did a great job tonight. And then having (RB) Ronnie Hillman and (RB) Montee Ball in the backfield, those are two young players. (TE) Julius Thomas is a new player. Change at other positions has had an effect on me as well. It will be important for me to be on the same page as those guys, and I think that will improve throughout the season. But, at the same time, we are trying to win games while we are improving."

Wide Receiver Demaryius Thomas

On defenders being frustrated by the Broncos' passing attack

"I think so. We're going fast, altitude, and you've got guys running open. You've got the quarterback, the clinic. I'm sure it's tough."

On the passing game coming together against the Rams

"It was great. We've been working on it. I think our main thing is that we've still got to take care of the ball. But to go out there, move the ball and score, it felt good."

On what he'll do between now and the regular season opener

"Of course we're going to watch the game and see some stuff that we could have done better. The mistakes, work on that. We're going to go look over the Cardinals because we play them next. Basically, still trying to get better, take care of the ball and try to make our offense better than it is."

Running Back Ronnie Hillman

On the fumble

"I had two hands on the ball so I really don't know. They just got it and obviously returned it for a touchdown. So I'm just trying to hold on tighter I guess."

On how hard it is to deal with fumbles two weeks in a row

"It's hard, I'm tough on myself more than anybody else so it's just I want to see what I did wrong and see exactly what's going on with me and fix it."

On his mindset going forward

"Just use it as a tool to get better, prevent this from happening again. Its preseason but there's no excuse for what I did and I just have to go to practice and improve."

Linebacker Shaun Phillips

On contributing on the defense with the pending absence of Von Miller

"I came here to play football. I came here to be an integral part of this team. I didn't come here to be a cheerleader. People say, 'Oh now that Von's (Miller) is going are you going to step up?' like 'Step up?' I've been playing a lot longer than Von. He's a special player but I'm one of the senior players on this team and I love playing football and I've been doing this my whole career. There isn't anything I love more."

On being the most established pass rusher on the team

"Exactly, I'm like 'Oh, what are you guys going to do about a pass rush,' I'm like. 'We've got other capable guys. It just so happen that Von is one of the best guys in the entire NFL but we have other guys that cab play football and contribute in many different ways.' We're excited. We're going to have fun. It's unfortunate the Von is going to have to miss a few and its hurting him more than it's hurting us because he loves football. He's one of those guys. He's a gym rat. So again, we support him, we're behind him. Whatever happens, happens and we're going to keep on pushing."

On it being fun playing in Denver for the first time as a Bronco

"Honestly – telling the honest truth – it's been my favorite stadium to play in all time. For one, I've always had career games here. For two, the Denver fan base and the fields always perfect, the fans are always loud. The stadium is amazing and it looks good because it's downtown and across the theme park. Everything looks the same so it's an amazing place to play so I'm happy to be here. But I keep telling everybody it's not official until I get a sack and I do the Mile High Salute. Then I can really feel like I'm part of the team and the city."

Wide Receiver Eric Decker

On what he liked from the offense

"I thought we executed at most times a high-tempo offense and made plays, moved the chain, scored in the red area. One opportunity we didn't score. But overall I think we made improvements, made strides from last week. That's all you can ask for."

On the turnovers

"The couple fumbles we had are things that we need to correct. Interceptions are going to happen. That's part of the game when you throw the ball 40 times a game. But when you've got the ball in your hands, we work on securing it and make sure you come up with it. That's something that's easily correctable. You've just got to hammer it and make sure that it doesn't become an issue during the season."

On roster cutdowns looming

"It's always tough. I'm going into my fourth year. You build a relationship with everybody in this locker room. To see a guy go, whether it's moving to a different team or getting cut in general, it's always tough. You always feel for him."

Running Back Montee Ball

On seeing the holes better on the field

"It's slowing down a lot for me and I knew better late than never but its most definitely slowing down for me but there's still some room for improvement that I'm looking forward to."

On how he did in pass protection

"Tonight, I only had one opportunity and I did my job on it. Always can get better at that, I'm still going to look at it and find a way to improve on that."

On his touchdown being special

"It's very special just because it's something that we love to do as players – obviously score, score touchdowns – but it's good that we finally got one in the end zone.'

Defensive Tackle Mitch Unrein

On getting a quarterback sack

"Too bad it doesn't count – preseason doesn't really count towards your statistics and things like that, but hopefully this carries over to the regular season. It's a good confidence builder."

On the defense's performance against the Rams

"I feel like we did well. What (Head Coach) John Fox always says is true, next man up. I think we really embrace that and that's something that we're going to have to always do, throughout the whole season. There's always injuries and there's always things that happen and guys have to sit out. As long as we can pull that extra slack and make up for that like we did tonight, I feel like we'll be doing fine."

On whether the defense is ready for the regular season

"Yeah, man. I've been ready since the start of training camp for that first regular season game. This is good practice for us. I feel like we have a lot to work on still, but at least we have time to clean some things up and get better and be ready for Thursday (Sept. 5) against the Ravens."

Defensive Tackle Kevin Vickerson

On the defense's performance

"We made some corrections, we played fast, we made a couple of plays. But we could force some more turnovers. That's the whole thing right now, just creating turnovers for the offense and putting the offense in a better position. Getting off the field on third down, making the plays on first and second down to put them in third and long. We're just trying to force our will on the offense."

On playing against Sam Bradford

"He's more of a conditional quarterback like Flacco, (Bradford is) an in-the-pocket passer. Same kind of guys. The offensive line is a little good. At the same time, St. Louis is a good football team and I think we came out and played well tonight."

 On whether he thought the defense got more pressure on Bradford as the game went on

"I did. Once you get a feel for the game, you can always cut it loose afterwards. Our thing around here is starting fast and playing fast. That's what we tried to do today and I think, for the most part, it worked. They had some long drives, they made plays, too. We've just got to get off the field on a couple of those third downs and everything like that."

Safety Duke Ihenacho

On his performance

"I made some mistakes today, so I've got to take those mistakes and learn from them, watch the film and get better. The biggest thing from tonight was that we got the 'W.' We played with a lot more effort and intensity, so that was a good thing."

On whether the defense played more physically tonight than against Seattle

"Yeah, obviously we were a little more intense and a little more urgent. We took that loss very seriously and we went back to work, worked our butts off and came out and got the 'W' today."

On whether the defense is Super Bowl caliber

"Well, I haven't been to a Super Bowl, so I don't know. That's the goal. Every day, we try to build on what we've done. We're going to continue to do that and we've got to take it one game at a time. Next thing we've got to worry about is Arizona, then Baltimore and then we'll go from there."

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