Broncos notebook: Denver focusing on football

Staff writerJanuary 29, 2014 

— With the media day circus behind them, the Denver Broncos are shifting deeper into preparations for their Super Bowl date with the Seattle Seahawks.

Two symbols of the renewed focus: a player curfew instituted Tuesday and a practice in pads on Wednesday.

“We’re on a business trip,” coach John Fox said. “There’s kind of a big event coming Sunday, and that’s what we’re here for. We’ve let them enjoy themselves some. Now we’re dialing back in and getting back to our preparation.”

Defensive end Shaun Phillips said he wasn’t surprised about the practice in pads.

“That is how it usually works for most teams, he said. “Wednesday is your big physical day. Thursday is physical but a little less physical. Friday is more speed. Saturday is more mental, and you get ready for the game Sunday.”

The Broncos had morning media obligations again Wednesday and will again Thursday. However, they said most of the flourishes specific to the Super Bowl are behind them as they slide into a more normal game-week routine.

“You’re focused the whole time,” Phillips said. “But you have to dig into your game plan even more as the week goes on.”

The Broncos also seemed to accept the curfew – which began Tuesday – without a public peep.

“I think it was 12 o’clock or 1 o’clock, I’m not sure – I was in bed already,” offensive lineman Chris Clark said. “I was in my room by 10 something. I wasn’t trying to be out late. I’m trying to keep it as normal of a week as possible.”


With 37-year-old Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning still near the top of his game, Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase was asked what signs of decline tend to show up first on an aging quarterback.

“That would be hard for me to say,” he replied. “The only guy that I have been around that was an older quarterback was Jon Kitna, and when I left him in ’07 (with the Detroit Lions), he had just come off of a 4,200 yard season and he looked pretty good to me. He was picked up by Dallas before the (2013) playoffs, and talking to (Cowboys’ offensive coordinator) Bill Callaghan, he’s like, ‘This guy can still throw it.”

Kitna, 41, was coaching football at Lincoln High School in Tacoma when he was lured back into the NFL, where he had played for 15 seasons before retiring in 2012. The Tacoma native had played at Central Washington and with the Seahawks and other NFL teams.


Hall of Fame receiver and ESPN commentator Cris Carter says Denver cornerback Champ Bailey isn’t as dominant as he used to be.

“He has been a great one,” Carter said. “Right now he is on his last leg, just watch the film.”

When a reporter asked about Bailey’s career as one of the all-time greats, Carter said that experience might not be as helpful as some might think.

“What’s more important is how he is today,” Carter said. “You can’t take your video out there on Sunday. Right now I would say he’s just an above average corner.”

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808

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