In Head Coach Josh McDaniels’ first season at the helm of the Broncos, he has instilled a simple, yet focused motto upon his team: “Do your job.”
In every phase of the game, McDaniels asks players to handle their specific assignments to the best of their ability — and let their teammates take care of their respective roles, too.
Come this Sunday, the Broncos plan on bringing that same “do-your-job” attitude to their Week 17 matchup with AFC West rival Kansas City. There are 10 different scenarios that could play out on Sunday that would propel the Broncos into the playoffs. But the team fully realizes it needs to take care of business against its opponent at INVESCO Field at Mile High, the Chiefs, instead of worrying about how the six other teams fighting for an AFC Wild Card berth are performing on Sunday.
“I just hope we’re focused on (our) game,” McDaniels said. “I know there are a lot of other factors that are at play, and there are so many different scenarios that if you’re sitting there trying to calculate all those you might miss the first quarter. I think we should just focus on the Chiefs, get ready to play and go out there and coach and play as hard as we can on Sunday, and then whatever happens, whatever they tell us to do on Monday morning, that’s what we’re going to do. We’ll see how it all unfolds.”
As he prepares for Denver’s regular-season rematch with the Chiefs, Champ Bailey isn’t paying much attention to the surrounding circumstances. He hears what people tell him, but he sure isn’t asking any questions about postseason scenarios. He is much more concerned with a Kansas City receiving corps that will have Dwayne Bowe opposite Chris Chambers this time around.
“We’ve just got to prepare to win and everything will take care of itself,” Bailey said. “We’ve just got to make sure we go out and take care what is in front of us and not look past that.”
Offensive players, such as Kyle Orton and Brandon Marshall, echoed those sentiments.
“We’ve got to win,” Orton said. “Everything else doesn’t matter. Nothing else matters but winning.”
Marshall said he won’t watch the earlier games or pay attention to the scores around the league. While he is dedicated to playing his part on Sunday, he admitted he will be rooting for a handful of teams, including the Bengals.
“Deep down — yes I am,” Marshall said. “I am a fan of a lot of teams this week.”
And rightfully so. If the Broncos can qualify for the playoffs, they don’t have to look to far back to find a team that made a successful postseason run after being counted out entering Week 17. Just last season, the Arizona Cardinals were 8-7 entering the final week of the regular season after losing four of five games, and they advanced to Super Bowl XLIII.
“In this business, the key is to get in,” said Chiefs head coach Todd Haley, who was Arizona’s offensive coordinator last season. “It’s not how you get in or how you look getting in, but to get in. Anytime you have a chance to get in, you need to do everything possible to execute — whatever game it is that gets you in — so you can be playing when most everybody else is sitting at home.”
– Zach Eisendrath, DenverBroncos.com
There were six changes to the Broncos’ Week 17 Injury Report on Thursday. After sitting out Wednesday’s practice session, Daniel Graham (knee) and Eddie Royal (head/neck) were limited participants on Thursday. Limited participants on Wednesday, Spencer Larsen (hamstring), Ty Law (hamstring) and Darrell Reid (knee), were all full participants on Thursday. Brandon Marshall (hamstring) did not participate in Thursday’s practice session after being a limited participant on Wednesday.
There were two changes to the Chiefs’ Week 17 Injury Report on Thursday. A limited participant in Wednesday’s practice session, C/G Andy Alleman (back) did not practice on Thursday. CB Brandon Flowers (shoulder) practiced in full one day after being listed as a limited participant.
Below are a few pictures from the start of the team’s final practice of 2009. Happy New Year!
– Zach Eisendrath, DenverBroncos.com