The curtain of snow that fell on Dove Valley on Friday could not dampen Interim Head Coach Eric Studesville’s smile.
Winter weather influenced Studesville to move the day’s practice indoors, but that was just another curve ball he’s dealt with since he took over the team less than a month ago.
In a press conference before the last Friday practice of the 2010 regular season, Studesville stood at the podium fielding questions with an ear-to-ear grin on his face. He took the opportunity to reflect on a whirlwind December in which President and CEO Pat Bowlen tabbed him to lead the team.
“There are so many things that I have learned and so many experiences that I have had in the last four weeks,” Studesville said.
“Professionally, I just continue to try to get better each and every day — try to become a better football coach, relating to the players, understanding things, (being) a better technician of the game and I feel like I have improved in all of those areas in the time I have been here.”
Studesville said in addition to experiencing professional growth, he has appreciated the community support offered to his family since the day he became the running backs coach 11 months ago.
With one game left on the schedule, the coach said he has no time to get teary-eyed about the ups and downs of the season. After a comeback win against the Houston Texans last week, the team is 1-2 with Studesville at the healm.
His focus holds fast to ringing in the new year with a professional football game, and trying to post a .500 record in his short tenure.
“The opportunity to be involved in another game makes Sundays the best day of the week for me,” Studesville said. “So, when you play that last one, you know it is going to be a little bit before you get another one. But, all of a sudden, it starts going again here and our schedule is such that it gets going again pretty quickly. We will be back on the field at some point in time.”
The coach said he has kept longer hours since his promotion, and he “needs to recharge my batteries a little bit,” but only after Sunday.
There will be plenty of time to discuss his future with the club after the team takes on the San Diego Chargers at INVESCO Field at Mile High this weekend. Studesville said he and the team will schedule a time for him to interview for next year’s head coaching position next week.
“From Day One, I wanted to concentrate and focus on each game at hand,” he said. “I will worry about (interviewing) after Sunday.”
TEBOW WINS TWO TIMES
After throwing and running for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Texans last week, Tim Tebow has earned the most votes on NFL.com to win the Week 16 awards for the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week and Pepsi Rookie of the Week.
Tebow is the only player to win both awards this season and joins Sam Bradford as one of only two players to win Pepsi Rookie of the Week twice this season. He also won the award in Week 10 after rushing and passing for a touchdown in a win against the Kansas City Chiefs.
After sitting out of practice all week, Champ Bailey (ankle) is questionable for Sunday’s season finale against San Diego. David Bruton (ribs), Brian Dawkins (knee), Mario Haggan (quadricep), Darcel McBath (quadricep), Knowhson Moreno (ribs), Eddie Royal (groin) and Kyle Orton (ribs) were all limited in practice on Friday and area lso questionable for Sunday.
Eric Decker (ankle), Tim Tebow (ankle) and Demaryius Thomas (ankle) fully participated in practice all week and are probable.
For the Charges, LB Stephen Cooper (knee) and RB Mike Tolbert (neck/shouler) were placed on injured reserve. G Scott Mruzkowski (ankle) did not practice on Friday and is questionable. WR Patrick Crayton (wrist), LB Larry English (foot) and FB Jacob Hester (knee) did not practice and are doubtful.
LB Antwan Applewhite (ankle) was limited in practice and is probable, while WR Malcom Floyd (hamstring) and LB Brandon Siler (ribs) fully participated in practice and are probable.
Burgers and sides from Broncos partner Red Robin awaited the players at Dove Valley as they came back from practice at an indoor bubble down the road.
The players get to choose their lunch every Friday throughout the season, and they decided to bite into some hamburgers on their last Friday practice of the year.
For Red Robin locations, please visit www.redrobin.com
-Gabe Hiatt, DenverBroncos.com
Below are photos from Friday’s practice: