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January 23, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Dispatch from Denver: head coach John Fox meets with the media on Thursday

Broncos head coach John Fox met with the media on Thursday after practice. Fox has always been a coach that won’t speak of certain specifics to the media, and that hasn’t changed. He was complimentary of the Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson, noting that the Broncos brought Wilson in before the 2012 draft for a workout.

“I’ve known Russell for a while — just because he was at N.C. State when I was back in that part of the country,” Fox said. “Very impressive young man who has got some great experiences, maybe even through other sports. I think he’s very mature for his age. We brought him out here for a special visit and it doesn’t surprise me at all he’s had the success and he’s where he is today.”

Fox was also complimentary of the Seahawks’ secondary.

“They’re No. 1 in the league,” he said. “They’ve got outstanding length as a unit. They’ve got outstanding speed. They’ve got great route awareness and you can tell they’re very well coached. That’s why they are where they’re at.”

Here’s some more quotes … 

On the injury report

“[DT] Mitch Unrein did not participate, knee. [RB] Knowshon Moreno was limited, ribs. [CB] Tony Carter was full, shoulder. [DT] Terrance Knighton was full, knee. [CB] Kayvon Webster was full, thumb. [TE] Joel Dreessen was full, knee. [QB] Peyton Manning was full, ankle. [G] Chris Kuper was full, ankle. [K] Matt Prater did not participate today, illness. [DT] Sione Fua was limited today, calf.”

On if today was a Broncos vs. Broncos day

“I’m not going to get into how our preparation went and what we worked on from a competitive standpoint. We had a good day’s work.”

On his initial reaction to a New York Super Bowl

“I spent five years there in the Giants organization as a defensive coordinator and I have a lot of close friends. New York is a great city and we are looking forward to the opportunity to be playing there.”

On how much advantage experience in Super Bowls helps

“This game, like any game, comes down to who plays the best. Advantages and disadvantages kind of go out the window and it’s about performance. We’re hopefully preparing hard enough to be that team.”

On encouraging players to give advice

“I think just relating the experiences—it’s a unique game, it’s a unique stage—just sharing those experiences for the younger players who may or may not have experienced that before.”

On LB Paris Lenon and his diverse background being from the XFL

“All of these guys have different backgrounds, I’m glad you brought that to my attention. I look at Paris Lenon for what his body of work is, what he’s done here and what he’s done for the Denver Broncos. Everybody has different paths and different experiences; we’ve just been pleased to have him. He’s been a productive player for us and a good teammate to the rest of the team.”

On what Lenon has added to the run defense

“The guy has a lot starts under his belt. He brought some experience. He was new to us this year so like all new players, it takes you a minute to figure out their strengths and weaknesses. We think he’s slid into a role that has helped us be productive on defense.”

On the performance of the offensive line last week

“I think they’ve been a key all season, actually. We’ve got one game left and I think their body of work is what it’s been—I think to be productive on offense, it starts up front. If you don’t block very well you can’t run it very well and you can throw it very well. They’ve been productive and have been an important cog in our offensive system.”

On the refs potentially looking at crossing routes in the Super Bowl because of the CB Aqib Talib injury

“I worry about everything the refs look at to be honest with you. Again, it’s part of the game. You overcome a lot of different things when you are out there competing. Obviously the opponent, and sometimes when calls go against you, you have to overcome that. We’ve done that all year, that’s been our motto and this will be no different.”

On crossing routes

“It’s a football. I’m not going to get into analyzing every football play we’ve run. It’s a play that we utilize and just about every offense in the National Football League utilizes.”

On TE Julius Thomas and his growth

“Tremendous. He came in here as a rookie. He had a really, really, good camp and turned a lot of heads in that camp. Unfortunately for him, in our second ball game of the season against the Bengals he had a pretty severe ankle injury. It was a high ankle sprain, required a little bit more rehab than we originally thought and the kid battled back. These guys that come off injuries, especially serious injuries, it’s a lot of hard work, a lot of weight room, training room, all that kind of work. And then, I’m just really excited for the guy that he got healthy and did all the hard work it takes. Then he came in and learned a pretty intricate system from a pretty demanding quarterback and has done an outstanding job. So he’s great.”

On DT Terrance Knighton

“He’s been tremendous. He’s a guy that we were familiar with coming out in the draft out of temple as well as [Defensive Coordinator] Jack Del Rio, our defensive coordinator, coached Terrance. Our strength staff had been with him in Jacksonville. So we had some pretty good insights on what kind of person and player he was. He’s been nothing but ‘A-plus’ for us since he’s been a Bronco.”

On whether he used the Broncos’ preseason game with the Seahawks as an example of Seattle’s talent

“I’m sure, as I mentioned on Monday—I’ll give you the same answer—I think both teams will look at it. There are certain things I’m not going to get into exactly, but there are things you take from it, no doubt.”

On what makes the Seahawks defense so good

“They’re well coached and they’ve got good length, outstanding speed. They are very aggressive. They’re fun to watch, for sure. They’re very talented.”

On whether he likes having an extra week to prepare for the game

“This will be my third one—the two previous ones were both two weeks. It’s really all I know. We adjust. That is what we get paid to do. I think it works out fine.”

On CB Champ Bailey

“When you look at a room and you can see two guys that you can pretty much say are going to be first-ballot Hall of Famers— and I’m referring both to Peyton Manning and Champ Bailey—the successes [Bailey] has had, to never have had the experience of trotting out on Super Bowl Sunday, there are a lot of guys in that room that it means a lot to them because it means a lot to him. From the very onset, he gave me great insight to the Broncos organization, to a lot of the players—and you need that as a newcomer, regardless of if you’re a head coach or not. You need that insight and he’s been a valuable part of the success we’ve had.”

On Manning’s ability

“This is my almost-second complete season with Peyton—I’m talking about every day as a coach, not as somebody watching him play—but I’ve seen tremendous growth in him physically, as well as mentally, even, in our system. But physically, from this time a year ago, he’s kind of started where he left off. Earlier, in that first season, he was adjusting to a lot. He hadn’t played the year before, rehabbing a pretty serious injury, just staying in shape as a veteran player. The guy might be the best time manager I’ve ever been around as a professional. He’s earned everything that he’s gotten and he’s worked very, very hard.”

On whether it requires unselfishness in order to have five players with 10 touchdowns each

“I think with this group, we speak of, ‘To be an outstanding team, you have to be selfless, not selfish.’ I think that speaks to the character of those guys in that room. They don’t get all pouty, or whatever you might want to put on it, about things like that. They just care about winning. I appreciate that attitude and I appreciate that mindset from those guys.”

 On his advice to players dealing with the media

“Really, being good to you guys—you’ve got jobs to do. But speak to the game; speak to themselves and not much else.”

On the importance of the final practices at home

“I call it the most important two hours of the day—anytime you have practice. Not that the other things aren’t important, but really, the time on the grass is the most important time. We take them all pretty serious.”

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