OPENING REMARKS: “Alright men, how we doing? Hey it was a great day out today for December so I think that helped the attitude of the guys as we were out there practicing. We’re working and we’ve got this game Sunday and I think we are trying to get ready for it. We are going to play hard and they are going to do good and we’ll go from there.
“On the roster
Q: Do you sense this is a big game for
CRENNEL: “Personally yes. I’m sure Kyle would like to win the game. Human nature says that’s what you would like to do. So I’m sure he’d like to win it, yes.”
Q: Do guys think that way or is that kind of like a fan perpetuated myth?
CRENNEL: “No I think that’s human nature, you want it. Your former team let you go so you want to prove to them that maybe they didn’t make the right choice so if you can go beat them then you can say ‘hey look at me.’ But I think Kyle understands that it takes a team and he knows that his teammates have to help him so he can’t do it by himself. And the other thing that you get into, that human nature thing, guys will try and do it by themselves sometimes and will try too hard and then you isolate somebody else when you do that or you try to force balls in where they shouldn’t be forced. So basically that’s why at the beginning of the week I talked to him. I talked to the team about it. It’s not Kyle versus [Tim] Tebow, it’s not Kyle versus the Broncos. It’s the Chiefs versus the Broncos; it’s our team versus their team.”
Q: But ESPN tells us is Orton versus Tebow.
CRENNEL: “Well when you believe ESPN then that’s what you believe.” [laughter]
Q: Is there a common thread to your problems scoring in the Red Zone?
CRENNEL: “Well other than the fact that we haven’t scored, that’s the common thread. But, I was, let’s say somewhat encouraged last week because we had two opportunities to score that we hadn’t had in the past. We dropped a ball in the end zone and then we had another guy open and if we can just get the ball over the outstretched hand of the defender. Now we didn’t do it, we dropped it and we didn’t make the plays, but because we were down there and those plays were open that was somewhat encouraging. So now if we can get down there again hopefully we can correct those mistakes and then be able to get touchdowns.”
CRENNEL: “Well not having some of those guys has something to do with it. The other thing is we haven’t been operating as efficiently as we need to, to put points on the board. We went through a stretch where we were turning the ball over and when you turn the ball over you can’t put points on the board because you don’t have the ball. And so that’s what happens.”
Q: What have you seen in terms of growth from
CRENNEL: “I think that when you look at it, you would have to say there has been tremendous growth. Because here is a guy who had lost the starting job and was a second teamer and now we come in and we say you’re going to compete for the position and he does a tremendous job of competing and winning the job. Then we go into the season and he’s a productive player in the season and he stays on the field, every defensive play. Then he does it again this year so he’s made tremendous strides in my mind as a player. I wasn’t here with him before so I don’t know how he was then but all I can go by is what I’ve seen and what I’ve seen has been pretty good.”
Q: Have you ever seen guys be challenged like he was and go the opposite direction, they just go in the tank?
CRENNEL: “Oh sure. That happens also in this league. Guys do not accept the challenge or they don’t approach it the same way about losing their job. Sometimes guys when they lose their job they pout and they go into the tank and never come out. At least Derrick decided he was going to compete and get out of the tank and now he’s going to the Pro Bowl.”
Q: What have you seen him improve the most on in these two seasons?
CRENNEL: “In running our defense and knowing our defense. He becomes more knowledgeable in the system every day, every game and now I think he has the confidence about being able to make line calls and adjustments out there on the field that I know he didn’t have that confidence when we first started.”
Q: How long does it take someone to get comfortable in the defense?
CRENNEL: “One I think it depends on the individual and let’s say how smart that individual is and what kind of background he’s had in the defense. Because some guys who’ve have had a 34 background, they can pick things up a lot sooner than guys who have not had that background. So you have to look at what the background has been, how much the guy studies, does he put in extra time to get caught up and all of those things. Then also football sense, what kind of football sense does the guy have and all of those things will allow him to pick up things quicker.”
Q: Is what’s happening in Denver something other teams will copy or is that just a fad that is unique to their team?
CRENNEL: “I think it depends on the ability of the player that you have. Take for instance In Carolina they’ve got a guy whose got good ability and so they try to use his abilities. And so in Denver, [Tim] Tebow has a skill set and they’re trying to use his skill set so I think it just depends on the guy that you get. If you get a drop back passer then you’re going to be a drop back guy. If you get a guy that has good running ability then you’ll probably implement some plays that he can use his feet to try to help you win.”
Q: Do you think that the way they are playing with the quarterbacks can be affective over a long period of time?
CRENNEL: “If you can keep him healthy.”
Q: Can you put into perspective
CRENNEL: “That’s a lot of snaps, and consecutive snaps. That’s pretty good because you get banged every down and for his body to be able to take that many snaps and still be out here playing, that’s an accomplishment. I don’t know who else can say that but that’s an accomplishment.”
Q: Do you think that kind of player that’s out there every single game is sort of a bygone thing in this modern era of the NFL, and the turnover is quicker?
CRENNEL: “Well yes, you are right about that, turnover is quicker. But if you have a guy that is soid, who produces down in and down out then you keep that guy and I think that you can see guys, if they can stay healthy be able to do what he’s done. It’s just marvelous and unbelievable that he’s stayed healthy through all of those snaps playing the position he plays because sometimes you have those big nose tackles on your nose and they beat you up, they’re looking to beat you up basically and for him to be able to hang in there and get done what he has to do for that many snaps, that’s pretty good.”
Q: How long did it take to adjust from what you had in your mind having
CRENNEL: “I think that when you put your system in, you don’t build your system around one player. You have a set of plays that you have for that player and so when you lose that player you kind of lose that set of plays generally and so we did have a lot of plays that featured Eric. But then when we lost him we had to put those plays on the backburner because we didn’t have anyone else with that skill set so then what we had to do was we had to see what we had, how they could do, what they could do and then try to put them in the best position.”
Q: How long did it take for you to feel comfortable that the guys that filled his spot had plugged the hole?
CRENNEL: “Well it’s still a work in progress, that hole hasn’t been plugged. We might have to get Eric back to plug that hole.”
Q: How much of a factor, especially with the 3-4 and the linebackers being so key to it, how much of a factor is it that three of the four stay on the field the whole time?
CRENNEL: “It’s a lot. Because when you develop continuity and you can have continuity, not only in a defense but in a team, I think continuity helps and I think having those guys who can stay on the field all the time, they get to know their teammates, their teammates get to know them, they understand the system better so they can produce better.”
Q: Did you devise schemes around Lawrence Taylor?
CRENNEL: “Well Lawrence devised some of his own schemes and then we had to implement them.” [laughter]