ENGLEWOOD, COLO. — The Denver Broncos haven’t yet begun detailed preparations for their Super Bowl opponent, the Seattle Seahawks.
But they spoke respectfully Monday about qualities they don’t need much film study to understand.
“I know they’re a great football team,” coach John Fox said. “I know that Pete Carroll and his staff do a terrific job. I think they’ve kind of been the 1-seed all through the NFC, at least through the last six, eight weeks. I know they got after us pretty good when we got out there in the preseason. So we haven’t dug into them too in-depth yet, but any time you reach the world championship game, I think usually the opponent’s pretty good.”
The Broncos and Seahawks met in an exhibition game Aug. 17 at CenturyLink Field. Seattle won, 40-10. The stakes will be considerably higher Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., when the teams meet in Super Bowl XLVIII.
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Still, Fox said some things can be taken from the earlier meeting.
“I think you take something away from every experience,” he said. “It will be something we look at, I’m sure they look at. We’ve got plenty of time to look at a lot of tape.”
Asked what he knows about the Seahawks, Denver linebacker Danny Trevathan instantly named running back Marshawn Lynch.
“I played running back a little bit, so I grew up watching him a little bit,” Trevathan. “(Their offense is) athletic all around the board. If they get the running game going, they can really get going. And they play within their scheme; they play with the people that they have, they use them to their strengths. They can get going anytime. We’ve got to be prepared for anything. It’s going to be a good Super Bowl.”
Tight end Julius Thomas was asked about finding space in the Seahawks secondary.
“It’s the Super Bowl, so it’s going to be tough,” he said. “Nothing’s going to come easy. I’m pretty sure you’re going to see two teams playing as physical as possible.”
The Broncos will play in their seventh Super Bowl after a 26-16 win Sunday over the New England Patriots.
Among the things Fox liked about his team that day was how it quickly transitioned its thoughts to the one game remaining in its season. .
“I think we were pretty good, even in the locker room after the game,” he said. “This group has been pretty focused. They’ve responded well, and I don’t expect that to change moving forward.”
Fox chose to steer mostly clear of the controversy that arose Monday when New England coach Bill Belichick called receiver Wes Welker’s crossing-route collision with Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib “one of the worst plays I’ve seen.”
“It was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib,” Belichick said of Welker, who played for Belichick and the Patriots from 2007-12. “No attempt to get open. I’ll let the league handle the discipline on that play, whatever they decide.”
Hours after Belichick gave his remarks, Fox said he hadn’t heard them and wouldn’t comment. However, he added, “I know Wes Welker is a great player, high integrity. I can say we were not doing anything with intent.”
With further questioning, Fox added “I think that most pass routes that we run, there’s an attempt to get open,” and he added that it would be an unlikely job for Welker considering he suffered a pair of concussions this season.
Welker said postgame Sunday that he had no intention of taking out Talib.
“It was one of those plays where it’s kind of a rough play and I was trying to get him to go over the top, and I think he was thinking the same thing and wanted to come underneath and we just kind of collided,” Welker said Sunday. He was not made available to media Monday. “It wasn’t a deal where I was trying to hit him or anything like that.”
Teammates also came to Welker’s defense.
“I’ve known Wes for quite a while now, and he’s definitely not that kind of guy,” Thomas said.
Coaches who have led two franchises to the Super Bowl:
DolphinsVI, VII*, VIII*, XVII, XIX
Dan ReevesBroncosXXI, XXII, XXIV
Bill ParcellsGiantsXXI*, XXV*
Mike HolmgrenPackersXXXI *, XXXII
* = Super Bowl winner