Anyone who follows the NFL has seen the highlights of Denver’s come-from-behind win over the Dolphins by now.
They’ve also probably seen Detroit Head Coach Jim Schwartz and San Francisco Head Coach Jim Harbaugh’s “handshake” in Week 6.
Schwartz addressed both topics earlier today in a conference call with the Denver media.
“I got back on track last week with (Atlanta Head Coach) Mike Smith,” Schwartz joked about his postgame handshake. “And I’ve had a lot of handshakes with (Head Coach) John Fox throughout the years.”
As the head coach of the Broncos’ next opponent, Schwartz has closely reviewed the Miami-Denver game film in preparation for Sunday’s matchup at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
The highlight-reel plays occurred in the final three minutes as Denver erased a 15-point deficit, but Schwartz – a former defensive coordinator – said he was particularly impressed with the Broncos’ defensive effort in the 57 minutes prior, despite the team’s struggles offensively.
“It’s not so much what happened the last three minutes and scoring 15 points and then winning in overtime,” Schwartz said. “The fact that they were able to keep it to within two scores — that said a lot.”
“It wasn’t going well for the Broncos, but nobody lost faith, and they didn’t let it snowball,” Schwartz continued. “If that game was three scores, you can’t come back from that. You can’t come back being down 17 points or whatever, 18 points, in three minutes. You can do it with two, and they kept pushing through and made a couple plays when it counted.”
Schwartz and his defense are now set to face quarterback Tim Tebow, who’s helped rally the Broncos back in his last two outings and is coming off his first win as a starter in 2011.
Schwartz has prepared his teams to face mobile, multi-dimensional quarterbacks before, but admitted Tebow presents unique challenges for a defense.
“Tebow is different,” Schwartz said. “He’s left handed. They don’t just use him as a scrambler or runner on pass plays, they call his number in the run game, in critical situations.”
“It spreads you thin because you have to account for an extra guy in the run game, and you have to guard against selling out too much against the run because he can make a play down the field like he did on that seam pass that set him up for the touchdown (against Miami).”
The Lions may be without their starting quarterback this week as Matthew Stafford works through an ankle injury suffered Sunday against the Falcons.
Schwartz said his quarterback situation against Denver is “to be determined” and expressed confidence in Shaun Hill – Stafford’s potential replacement.
“It really doesn’t change our objectives or our criteria,” Schwartz said. “If Matt can’t go we have a good backup in Shaun Hill that’ll be ready to play.”
Here is the Broncos Wednesday injury report:
Elvis Dumervil – Ankle (did not participate)
Willis McGahee – Hand (did not participate)
Julius Thomas – Ankle (full)
Below are some photos from today’s indoor practice session.