Opening comments: ML: "It's obviously great to kick off the season, and opening up here at home in front of our fans is really great. We're playing a team in the Broncos that is very, very talented. Obviously they are learning some new systems, but they have a lot of athletic and talented guys, and I think they are doing a good job of playing very fast. Defensively, they are not especially big, but they play fast and they are chasing the football well. They are executing and they aren't having a lot of breakdowns on defense. Obviously, with Kyle Orton at quarterback, they're dealing with his hand (injured finger), but no matter who plays (quarterback), they're going to run their offense and come out to play. And they have some very good returners. They're very athletic. It'll be a good football game.
"From our standpoint, we are obviously really excited to play. We should have everybody's services available on the 53-man squad, other than David Jones. We seem to be mending well, and we're ready to go."
Q: How do you prepare for a team that has a new head coach and two new QBs?ML: "They've had four preseason games on tape, and Josh (McDaniels) was the offensive coordinator for the Patriots. If you watch the insertion (of schemes) from New England into Denver this preseason, they are very similar. This is their offense, this is what they're going to do. The ball is going to come out of the quarterback's hand as quick as he can get it out. We're going to see a lot of screens, some wide receiver screens. Those kinds of things are part of their offense. (There will be) the trap plays out of the one-back stuff, and the two-back run, a lot of changing of personnel, some spread and some empties (empty backfield formations). They're going to do the things they like to do."
Q: Do you guys prepare differently if a left-handed guy (Chris Simms) starts at quarterback, compared to a right-handed guy (Kyle Orton)? ML:"It would be slightly different, yes, but the guys will be able to make that adjustment and flip that as we go through the game. It happens sometimes in the NFL when you go from a starting quarterback to the next quarterback. And some things are going to come out a little differently, and you've just got to understand that. You can see it on the tape when (Chris Simms) is in there playing, as opposed to the other two right-handers."
Q: Denver's defense struggled last year. Do they look different to you this year as you watch them on film?ML: "They are doing a lot of different things. Mike Nolan is in there (as coordinator), and they've installed the system he wants to play. They're doing a good job, and they're making an adjustment from a 4-3 (defense) to a 3-4. But they had a lot of 3-4 personnel on hand. They really only acquired one guy differently that they are playing with, and basically they're just moving guys around. (Elvis) Dumervil is a fine rusher, and they're doing a good job of being disruptive with their inside blitzes. They're really doing a good job, and they're coming together in the secondary. They have a great cover guy in Champ (Bailey), and added the safety in (Brian) Dawkins. They have some guys who can make plays on the ball."
Q: Does the fact you guys face a lot of 3-4 defenses in the AFC North help prepare you?ML: "We are playing eleven 3-4 teams this year, so that's been what our offseason has been all about, all the way through. It doesn't make it easier, it is what it is."
Q: Do you anticipate all four running backs on the roster to be on the 45-man active roster on Sunday? Will it be a week-to-week decision with the four running backs as far as how many, or who, will be on the 45-man active roster?ML: "That 45-man roster is our business, not something it's in our interest to share on Wednesday. So that's something we'll do on Sunday."
Q: Can you comment on Rey Maualuga's emergence?ML: "Rey has done very, very well. I thought Rashad (Jeanty) had a good training camp. (Jeanty) got slowed down by an injury in the latter part of the preseason. Rey was injured in the beginning of camp, but he has done a good job mentally and stayed right with it. He has a tendency to make plays. Both guys will have an opportunity to play quite a bit as we go forward. But we have been pleased with Rey's progress."