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What We Learned From the Coordinators on Thursday

Co-Offensive Coordinator Matt Nagy, Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton and Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub met with the media on Thursday

Co-Offensive Coordinator Matt Nagy



Q:What makes Travis Kelce such a mismatch for defenses? NAGY:"He's a great route-runner. Whether you put a nickel DB, a dime DB or a linebacker where you can beat them with speed, he has those matchups."

Q:What's the key to carrying the production from a first-half offense into the second half? 

NAGY:"For us, the biggest thing is to continue to stay aggressive, which we all know. We came out last week and we put up 14 points right away and we all know the second half wasn't what we wanted. We're well aware of that -- coaches and players. It's a mentality of finishing. If we keep our foot on the pedal and have that finish mentality on every single play. Not just one play in the second half, or five plays, but every single play we need to have that mentality to finish. That's going to be important."

Q:What's the player's reactions to film and working at the issues on offense that need to be addressed?  

NAGY:"It's been really good. The players have been great. They understand what's at stake here. They realize that offensively, defensively and special teams-wise, we're in this for one reason. We came out here in the second half last week and didn't score any points -- the last three games in the second half really. We're obviously trying to be better in that aspect. The players have full trust in us and we have full trust in them. It's just a matter of putting it all together, not letting something like this get us down, staying together, staying positive and knowing that this season is a roller coaster. If we can get through the ebb and flow of that, in the long run, when it matters most, we're going to come together."

Q:How do you balance handling Von Miller without basing the entire game plan around him? 

NAGY:"You certainly need to compromise for him and [DeMarcus] Ware. They're both very, very good defensive ends/outside linebackers. They get after the quarterback. You know your clock is limited when you're back there in that pocket. Alex [Smith] has to be aware of that. And they know, that we know, that we need to have attention for those guys. We've seen them now several years in a row and he's had some good games and he's going to have good plays. The thing is, how do you limit those plays? When you do go ahead and 'max protect' and give more attention to them, you need to be able to take some of those shots downfield."

Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton

Q: How did Justin March-Lillard look yesterday at practice yesterday?

SUTTON: "He did okay. I think Justin [March-Lillard] is a lot like the other guys that have come back being out for a while. They have to acclimate it again, and get used to it, and all that stuff. I think it's just going to be a process the next couple of days, week or whatever it is and see where he's at. If he's going to able to contribute and how fast can he contribute."

Q: Is it reasonable to think that he could play on Sunday?

SUTTON: "I think you'd have to wait and see these last two practices to really say that. I don't know Andy's [Reid] thought on that yet. This is just started, so we have to wait, and kind of see and then balance it like we have with everybody. Those are always hard decisions because it's not just the linebacker position that it obviously effects, it is everybody on the roster to a degree, you know, how you're going to allocate your positions or roles or people coming up for the game."

Q: Is there anything you expect to see from Trevor Siemian that you learned from the first game that you didn't know the first time?

SUTTON: "Well, I don't think we didn't know. We thought he was really an interesting guy and a very good football player. I think one of the things that impressed us about him – not only in our game, but going in – he's a real focused guy, in my opinion. He doesn't let the ups and downs change how he plays the game. I think it was reflected in our game, kind of in the Tennessee game. You look up there in the end of the game and say, 'Hey, that first half wasn't very good, but at the end of the game you have 300-yards-some passing.' He's a much more gifted player than people realize. One, I think he has a really good arm. There's not many throws that he can't make. He's a pretty quick decision maker, I think. I think he also really understands what they want to do, and how they're trying to win as a team. So, I just think the guy's going to get better and better. You know, we found out, first hand, that he's a dangerous guy. He had some really big plays on us, and just did a really good job."

Q: Were you surprised at all to see the success that Terrance Mitchell has had?

SUTTON: "Well, obviously, we didn't know Terrance Mitchell till not too long ago – when the season started. One thing that I think impressed us was the way he practiced, you know? He was on the look team for all those weeks. The one thing he always did was he always kind of made some plays. He was always close. The way it's setup, you can't really take the ball from the offense. That's not your job, but watching his quickness, he enjoys playing, he's competitive and that's what really drove the train to say, 'Hey, let's take a look at this guy and see what he can do for us.' To his credit, he's grabbed on to that thing and hasn't let go. He's been a really competitive player on the field.

Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub

Q: Give us a breakdown of Denver's special teams

TOUB: "I expect a hard playing team just like they did the last time. They have a real good kicker, punter, great returner, great coach, they play hard, physical, fast – it's going to be a battle. We've talked about it all week long and we'll continue to talk about it. It's going to be tough."

Q: When you have success against a team in the return game, especially the punt return for Tyreek Hill and you see them again that year, do you anticipate they'll do something different or can you kind of tell what they're going to do?

TOUB: "We anticipate them trying to do something different. They might try to move the ball a little bit more, they might try and run a fake. We've been thinking about that stuff and working on it and we're going to be on our toes. You never know what you're going to get. I've been through the same thing with Devin [Hester] in Chicago, it was very similar. He was a dynamic guy and teams would try to do different stuff. We've been there before. We have to expect the unexpected."

Q: D.J. Alexander was a defensive starter but you guys couldn't totally take him off special teams?

TOUB: "I didn't totally take him off, I kept him on a couple of phases. You had it all figured out on paper."

Q: What went into that decision, with the ones that he was on, could they just not go without him?

TOUB: "Yeah, but also because on kick return you come off the field, you wouldn't want to keep him on a phase where he's running down the field on kickoff and then going to play defense. That all kind of coincides with that, but punt is something where you want to keep a guy because the punt team is like an o-line, if you take one of those guys out you might have some issues with your punt protection. It's really why we kept him on punt. We may have the same issues this week."

Q: Is it your philosophy that when you're kicking team is on the field, placekicking team, the other team wants to ice them to go through with the kick, is that standard procedure?

TOUB: "It's a standard procedure. I thought we called the timeout early. They took their time getting back out there - that was my opinion, we tried to get that thing called. That was really what we wanted to do. At the end of the day we were trying to ice the holder and the snapper, it wasn't so much icing [Ryan] Succop because it was actually icy out, it was cold. We knew those guys would stay on the field, the cold could effect it because there's three people in that operation. That was our thinking on that. They got the ball snapped, it worked in their favor because he got feedback from that and he just cranked that last one and was able to get it. We did think it was out of his range though."

Q: On special teams is there anybody else that you think should get some kind of recognition that didn't make the Pro Bowl nomination?

TOUB: "Daniel Sorensen, we had one guy, obviously, D.J. [Alexander], he's gotten some recognition as well, but Dan Sorensen is a guy that is really having a great season. He's a guy that is playing at a Pro Bowl level in my opinion as well. Then one of our rookies, Eric Murray, he's probably our most consistent player right now, he's our point production leader and for a rookie to be able to play at that consistent level is special."

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