In their conference calls with Denver media, Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and head coach Dirk Koetter talked about the challenges they face with the Broncos' rushing and passing attacks, why Trevor Siemian has had early success and what about Denver's defense draws their eye*.
Siemian's start impresses Tampa Bay
What are your impressions of Trevor Siemian?**
Dirk Koetter: "Well, shoot, 3-0 — 3-0 as a starter. I would think arguably his best game as a quarterback, [four] touchdown passes in the NFL is hard to come by. I think Gary [Kubiak] has always done a great job with whoever's been at quarterback, and the Siemian thing is an awesome story. Very rarely does a guy go from third team on the depth chart to starting the next year. So it's quite a story and he's certainly living up to his part.
Does Trevor Siemian look like a guy who's only played three full games of his career?
Gerald McCoy: "No, he looks like a seasoned vet. [He's] very comfortable out there, makes really good decisions. He makes some mistakes to where you'll see a lack of experience but it's not any mistakes like, 'Oh, that was a dumb decision.' It's just something he probably hasn't been exposed to yet. But for the most part, he's been dominant and something we're really going to have to deal with. I mean, opening day, he shocked everybody. And he's just been rolling ever since. I'm happy for him. I've heard a little a bit about his story, so I'm happy for him, man, and we're going to have a tough one on our hands on Sunday."
Bucs know offensive threats across the board
What challenges does C.J. Anderson present to your defense?
McCoy: "Well, he fits the scheme very well. [He's a] very, very, very hard runner, tough guy to bring down, and always moving his feet. He'll nick you hear and there until one good time, he cuts you deep, and that'll be his big run for the day. He just stays the course and he has great vision, finds those holes and those seams when guys get undisciplined and get out of their gaps. So we have to do a great job to make sure we don't allow them to do that, because if we let him get on a roll, he can kill us, because he is a very, very good running back."
What did the Bengals do to stop the Broncos' rushing attack?**
McCoy: "They got a lot of penetration up front, and the linebackers sealed well. Everybody just basically was in their gaps. The Broncos do a great job to guess and get out of their gaps and guys go to try to make a play instead of doing their jobs. They just do a great job of capitalizing on that. But Cincinnati, they just were very gap-sound and very disciplined, and that helped them in the long run.
Koetter: "Well, the Bengals have always been a team that's strong up front and strong in their linebackers. … I would just say that's indicative of the way Cincinnati is week to week. I don't think they did anything necessarily different than other teams do."
What kind of challenges do Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas present as a duo?
Koetter: "A lot. A lot of challenges, because they can both hit a home run at any time. There's plenty of good receivers in this league, but there's very few teams that have both guys that are capable of going the distance on any play, either throwing it over your head because they're fast enough or their big enough or both, or in the quick game and the screen game being able to take a ball and make guys miss and outrun them. So as a tandem, boy, I can't imagine there's many better."
Broncos' defense draws admirers
What have you seen from the Broncos' defense?
Koetter: "Well, obviously we didn't play Denver last year, but it looks like a very impressive defense. They have the ability to rush the passer, have excellent cover guys. I mean, for the scheme they play, they've got really good personnel that fits their scheme."
A look at the Broncos' 29-17 win over the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. (Photos by Eric Bakke unless noted).
Have the Broncos hit that level where even defensive players around the league take notice?**
McCoy: "Yeah, they've been like that, man. They hit that elite status a while back. It's just a lot of great players, man. Chris Harris [Jr.], I've been knowing him for years. You know, he's an Oklahoma guy, and he went to Kansas, but he's from Oklahoma. So I had a chance to know him and kind of see how he's grown and the kind of player he's grown into, and I'm so happy for him, man, because I remember when he wasn't drafted, and now look at him. Now he's one of the best DBs in football.
Aqib Talib was here, so I know Aqib well, and he's always been a dominant corner, always been a shut-down guy. So, his success is nothing surprising to me. T.J. Ward, he's just an animal out there. And I love to watch them play. I love to see guys play that … it's almost like they have nothing else to do in life but play football. And that's T.J. Ward. Von Miller is Von Miller. I've been a fan of his since he was at [Texas] A&M. Derek Wolfe is a wolf out there. DeMarcus Ware, when he's healthy, it's DeMarcus Ware. He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Shane Ray, he's coming along. The performance he put on last week was very good. They've got a lot of pieces to that defense that makes them who they are, but the best thing about them is they're very disciplined and they play as one heartbeat. That's where we're working to get to."
Koetter recalls Broncos' 2011 coaching search
When you interviewed with the Broncos in 2011, what impressions did you have of Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway in that process?
Koetter: "I just came away overall impressed with the direction of the organization, starting with ownership on through the administrative side, and of course there have been a few changes there, headed up by John Elway. And yeah, I would say his success as a player and just the type of dynamic personality he has would lead one to logically believe that he was going to be successful in the role that he's in now."