Talk in the Broncos locker room on Monday was centered on the team’s 33-19 loss to the Chiefs. Head Coach Mike Shanahan reiterated that no matter how talented a football team is, if it doesn’t execute the game plan and mistakes pile up it is going to be hard to come away victorious in the National Football league.
“I just want to work on the things we did poorly,” Shanahan said. “We talked about red zone being 1-for-4 and turnovers being 4-to-1. We talked about missed tackles and gap responsibilities and we still have to improve on our third downs. All the things we did poorly in the game, you try and work on and eliminate those mistakes.”
The discussion among many of the Broncos during the team’s first three wins was the chemistry and the cohesiveness of the players in the Denver locker room. Marquand Manuel said that same camaraderie is still being felt in the locker room after the team’s first loss of 2008, and it is that team character that will help to define this team for the remainder of the season.
“I think just looking at the guys and understanding that guys care about each other here — you go in a hostile environment and do the things we did, you’re going to get your butt whooped,” Manuel said. “We knew coming into the game how hard it was going to be, now we have to understand that we have 12 more weeks to play.”
The Broncos can take a lot of different things away from Sunday’s loss, but Tony Scheffler said the team is focusing on taking away the positives.
“You can look at it a lot of different ways,” Scheffler said. “We are young. We still have a lot of talent on this team, and we’re still trying to iron things out a little bit. I don’t think we’re as perfect as a lot of people thought we were. At the same time, I still think we’re pretty darn good. We’ve got to bounce back, and we’ll see how much character guys have got this week.”
The Broncos may have shown a lack of execution, losing the turnover battle and not being able to convert touchdowns in the redzone, but one thing they didn’t lose was their determination. Despite the team’s miscues they still were in the game late and Eddie Royal said that says a lot about this team’s drive.
“It’s the same team, same effort,” Royal said. “If you look at the film, we had great effort. Some of the execution was off, a little bit of the technique, but that’s nothing we can’t fix. We know what we’ve got in this locker room, and that’s all that matters. The only thing that really matters is each other. We’ve got a lot of faith in each other”
The Broncos will take this week just as the team had the previous three and focus on improving.
“We don’t care if it’s a win or a loss,” Shanahan said “You just have to go over the mistakes and try to get better every day. We are going to do that all year round. Are we ready to hang it up for the season and quit because we are 3-1? No, we will keep on working. The first quarter (of the season) is over with and now we get a chance to start the second quarter with Tampa Bay in our backyard.”
-Jake Grilley, DenverBroncos.com