2006 PRESEASON: LIONS VS. DENVER POSTGAME QUOTES

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LIONS HEAD COACH MARINELLI
Opening statement: "We said our goal going into this thing was to win every snap, just try to work at that concept. We were really vanilla on defense; we wanted to stay that way for a purpose - I wanted to get the fundamentals in and I wanted to see who could execute. Offensively, we had a lot of shifting, moving, motion - I was really very pleased with how we ran the football in a physical mode. I think we ran it with some authority; that's something we want to be able to do.

"What I wasn't pleased with was penalties - it's not good football. So that's something we have to address next week - we have to be smart. The two penalties hurt us bad - one led to a score. I think both led to a score, so we just have to be smart in that area. What I was pleased with is how we finished the game. That's important to me. I don't care who's in there, when you put on a Lions jersey everybody is accountable. It's all part of just playing one snap at a time, trying to finish and that's something we've been working on everyday and trying to get that part of our game going.

"I was pleased with all three of the quarterbacks. All three came in and they did some good things. They were all efficient - that part was good. Obviously, there are a lot of things to clean up.

"I think we had one (injury), Casey (FitzSimmons) had a wrist injury. We just have to wait and have x-rays and all those things and see how that thing works out.

"Other than that, I think we came out pretty clean. The guys that came in on the defensive line did a nice job. Some of those back up guys came in, and that's a heck of a running football team (Denver). If you understand blocking, if you really understand it - it's hard to defend. It's very, very physical and you have to be physical to do it. They (drove) on us a few times, but you just keep playing your gaps and keep playing hard. You can get turnovers and you'll have a shot to get the offense stopped."

On being excited about the defensive stand at the end: "Me? Yeah- I mean I like it, I do. I was energized in that part of it. You couldn't have a better way to finish in pressure. I like pressure. Just keep applying pressure to the other guy, apply pressure to the other guy, get in it and perform. We have to execute under duress. Through practice that's all I do, practice and keep doing those things. It becomes the habit you want. So that part was good, and we were fortunate that it came up."

On the final decision to have Orvlosky come in second: "We just talked about it last night and there was really nothing other than that it shifted a little bit. That was about it really. We said we were going to give him that opportunity; he's had a good week. We made the decision to take a look at him early. Yes (wanting to see him with starters) - all four of those guys did a solid job."

On how he felt about the defense's performance: "I just believe that if you do your job on defense, when you add talent to it, it really becomes special. But in this defense, if you will just do your job - what you're supposed to do and create effort and tackle and cancel your gaps - you can be ok; you'll bend. You add some special guys that will go - you need a couple or three of them - they'll make that big play for you. We had a couple of big plays from a couple of our down guys - that was big. I'm not going to throw them a bouquet of flowers - that's what you're supposed to do; that's defense; that's what I'm used to and that's what we're going to do and we just have to do it better. We have to go out and work next week and improve."

On how important it is to win in preseason: "Like I was saying - I love winning. If we're going to go play marbles, I'm going to get you - that's my goal. I cleared the goal up early for the team that it's winning every snap. Meaning, I want every guy to execute to the best of his ability every snap. So really, if it's a preseason game, it doesn't matter. It's that moment, that step and all of those things that we're trying to get done. I love to win - yeah, I want to do that, but not at the expense of 'we want to go into this game without a lot of zone pressures and things like that'. We could have easily tried to get them in there in the end, but we didn't want to do that. I wanted to see these guys work on one-on-one rushers. I wanted to play base defense. I wanted to get our base defense right, the foundation, and that's going to be our foundation. We do all of that in practice, but I wanted to let these guys get in and see who could play and who was going to be fundamentally sound."

LIONS QUARTER BACK JON KITNA
Opening statement:
"Tonight was a reflection of what coach (Marinelli) has been preaching since the first day he stood before us. That is: we're going to be a tough physical football team and no matter what happens on the previous snap, we're going to come back on the next snap. You begin to become resilient and that's what we were tonight. Hopefully throughout the season that's what will happen."

On whether he thought he would play more: "I knew if we got a good drive going, if we got a couple of first downs - then that was going to be it. They were very clear with that."

On the shifting and no real procedure being confusing: "Oh yeah - for your first preseason game that's a great thing. We didn't have a lot of 'beat yourself poundings' as I like to call them - but that's coach (Martz's) offense. We're going to shift and move and guys understand that it's all to help us. It's not to window dress or something - it's all to try to put us in a better situation and be successful. (Martz) started with that way back in April. He hasn't backed off it and guys that have done a good job of studying the game-plans week in and week out, and the formations - we were able to run that pretty smoothly tonight."
LIONS QB DAN ORLOVSKY
On if he knew that he'd be the first quarterback in after QB Jon Kitna:
"I knew that it was going to be either me or Josh (McCown), and Coach Marinelli said: 'you're in.' I wasn't really surprised. I just threw some throws on the sideline and was focused on going in and doing a good job and trying to move the offense play-by-play. I wasn't really nervous or surprised - just going out to do my job."

On how he'd rate his performance: "Probably a 'C.' I think with the one throw - the interception on the first play (of his second series) - I got kind of (excited) for a touchdown. It was after a (Denver) turnover in single 'I' (formation) and I had 19 (Shaun) Bodiford out there who I know could run. I know I could have checked down two or three yards and could have moved onto the next play but that's something that's bittersweet that it happened because it's obviously a turnover. It's one of those plays that I'll always remember and it won't happen again because I'll know what to do when I'm put in that situation again."

LIONS WR COREY BRADFORD
On Mike Martz's offense:
"I love the offense. I've always dreamed of being in an offense like this. I think it's built for the type of receiver I am - going down the field deep and doing speed cut routes."

Importance of establishing the running game: "We'll hit different teams with different varieties, but we're going to pound the rock. Until someone stops us from running, we're going to keep pounding the ball."

Does it matter who's playing quarterback: "Martz teaches the quarterbacks that if one goes down the next one steps in. So whoever is in, the receivers can't worry about it - no step back. We don't really worry about the starters. When you get in you just have to produce and you can't skip a beat. You gotta keep pounding."

On whether the philosophy is to just throw the ball and let the receiver make a play: "I love that, a lot of times in the red zone it's you and the DB one-on-one. Martz teaches them to just throw it to us and let us make the play and I love that man. Let the reciever make the play; the quarterback has to put the ball in a certain spot but then it's the receiver's job to make a play."

On how big of a win this is for the team: "I think it was a big win. Starting off training camp with Marinelli, a lot of guys (who were here) last year didn't know how it was going start. Everybody was trying to get a feel for each other but we stuck together and now it's like a whole new franchise. We're basically starting from ground zero."

LIONS DE BILL SWANCUTT
On being a part of the defense that stopped the Broncos late in the fourth quarter: "I was just going out there, flying around the ball, which was what the whole defense was doing. They started marching on us (at the end of the fourth quarter), and we knew that they had to score on us to win. We had to keep them out of the endzone and we did it."

On how it felt when the sideline erupted after he sacked Bradley Van Pelt: "It makes you feel good that your teammates are real supportive. It's nice to have that type of support from everybody."

On how important it was to win the preseason opener: "It was real big. We've been working hard, and it's that type of thing where we want to turn this thing around. Even though it's the preseason, it's still one step towards turning this team around."

On what he expects from the coaches after a performance like this: "We did a lot of good things, but we also did a lot of bad things and we can learn from them. We just have to learn from our mistakes and get ready for next week."

BRONCOS HEAD COACH MIKE SHANAHAN
Opening statement:
"We got a chance to look at a lot of people today. I thought we had some great effort out there. You always go back and take a look at the things you did well and the things you did poorly. Anytime you're 0-for-4 in the redzone and you have three turnovers to one (forced), it's hard to win the game. But on the bright side, I thought some of our younger guys stood out, especially in their first game. Obviously, we've got a lot of work to do."

On QB Jay Cutler's performance: "He played well. He executed the offense. I think both teams were very vanilla in their approach to it - offensively and defensively. So you don't get too excited. But a guy's got to go out there and perform. I thought he showed a lot of poise and did an excellent job."

On who will start at running back for his team: "Well, we got a chance to play a lot of them and evaluate them. I can't tell you for sure right now, but I know there's some good effort. Obviously, with Mike (Bell) having that fumble, that didn't help his debut. But that's typical for a lot of young guys. This is the National Football League, and these guys trip; these guys are very aggressive to the ball very similar to what Clinton Portis went through, especially early in those preseason games. So a lot of reasons why you want to play these young guys early is to get them ready for what's going to happen in the season."

On the turnovers tonight: "It doesn't matter what the effort is if you fumble the ball. You can't fumble the ball and play. We had 16 turnovers last year and today we had three. That's not very good."

On if WR Brandon Marshall's injury was serious: "I don't think so. You never know for sure until they get an MRI on it. Just a little bit sore; it didn't feel like there was any looseness in the knee, which is a positive."

On WR David Kircus' play on offense and special teams: "I think he ran a good route on the touchdown catch. I thought he did a good job on a little 'hook and go' and had a little patience there. Jay (Cutler) had some patience too in letting the play develop. That was a nice play. I think he did make a couple of plays out there that everybody saw."

On if he had a second chance, would he still go for it on fourth down at the end: "Oh yeah. We weren't going to tie that game, I can guarantee that."

BRONCOS WR DAVID KIRCUS
On how he wanted that last touchdown: "Anytime you have a chance to win the ballgame you have got to want it bad. A lot of people see it as just preseason but for me it's the Super Bowl. I'm a pretty competitive guy and anytime a ball touches your hands in the endzone and it's the last play of the game it's heartbreaking when you don't bring it in."

On all of the other catches he made: "The only one I can remember is the last one - that's the only one that counts. We had a chance to make plays, but we also had a lot of turnovers. Its hard to win when you turn the ball over; but we had a chance at the end of the game and we just didn't pull it off."

On how he feels right now: "If we won it, I would have felt a lot better. But it's nice to come back home and play against the team I started out with and have a couple catches and get a touchdown. But all in all, I would have traded all the other ones in to get that last one."

On whether it was uncomfortable for him to come back here: "Not at all. I actually felt really comfortable. I went into the other locker room and said hi to some of the guys. The trainer, the equipment guys, - I've been here the last three years and I feel real comfortable going into that locker room and talking to the guys. I didn't accidentally go to the wrong locker room."

On how it felt to make some plays against his old team: "It felt good. I didn't get as many chances here in Detroit to play in a game like that or to get into as many plays or get special team plays and get the ball thrown to me that many times. You know I never really got that in Detroit. So it was nice to be able to come back and do it on the field where I started out and show these people here that I can play football.

"It's nice when you make some big plays, I didn't have a perfect game at all but hopefully it's a step closer to making the final roster."

BRONCOS QB CUTLER
On how he felt in his first NFL game:
"I felt relaxed, things went well for me. Obviously you'd like to win the game but I played well and didn't make any mistakes and I'm pretty happy so far."

On the preparation for this game: "The game plan was simple coming in. We didn't see anything complex in their defense today."

BRONCOS RB MIKE BELL
On playing in his first NFL game: "It was exciting. I've always dreamed to play in the NFL and unfortunately I had to fumble in my first game but that's never going to happen again. It's unacceptable but its part of the game and I'm going to keep working hard. I've pictured myself playing football my whole life."

 

Courtesy of the Lions