What the Broncos Had to Say Following Joint Practices with 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their two joint practice sessions with the Denver Broncos on Saturday ahead of their second preseason contest on Monday. Here's a look at what members of the Broncos had to say about the 49ers at the conclusion of the sessions from the UCHealth Training Center:

President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway on what he saw in John Lynch that will make him successful:

“First of all, I think his temperament is very good and his football knowledge is very good. The way that he deals with people, works with people and his ability to evaluate and knowledge of football, I think he was a guy that was a great competitor and I thought that being a GM for him would be a really good fit. And I apologized a couple of times to him, I hope you still like it, because I don’t like it after two losing years (laughing).”

Elway on how much he is watching the 49ers for potentially adding someone from their roster:

“A lot. We look at a lot. That’s one of the advantages also of having a team in here is looking at their guys, maybe their bubble guys and guys that maybe they have that may not make their team that could help us. To see them up and close and personal like this is a big help.”

Elway on whether he would like to have joint practices with two different teams next year:

“Yeah, I would because I think it’s great. I think that we get better, we get good work, you get better concentration and you get better completion. I would like to do it as many times we can. We tried to find another team this year, couldn’t do it, so we’ll work on that. But if we can do it two times next year, I’m all for it. I’m glad to hear Vic (Fangio) would like to do it too.”

Head coach Vic Fangio on how he feels the defense has done in the joint practices with the 49ers:

“It was good. It was great work for us. They’re a very good offense. You can see that they’re in their third year there with it, albeit (Jimmy) Garoppolo’s two and a half years although he missed most of last year. They’re running it very efficiently. We run an offense fairly similar to that and hopefully we can get to there quickly.”

Take a look at the top images from Day 2 of the 49ers joint practices with the Denver Broncos.

Former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan on watching Kyle Shanahan on one side of the ball and watching his former team on the other:

“It’s great to be back, get a chance to be at the facility—I haven’t been here in 10 years—and see all the changes. A lot of people that you were here before working with, it’s great to see and be a part of (it)."

Shanahan on Kyle Shanahan’s offensive progress:

“To be honest with you, I don’t really get a good feel of it until I go back and watch it. You get a feel of a few good plays made out on both sides of the ball, but until you go back and study it, that’s all it is, (it’s) a feel. But after you’re done, after watching, you know how good these practices are to go against different people. You don’t know their strength, you don’t know their tendencies. When you go against somebody that’s totally new, you have to play honest. It’s nice to evaluate those players, especially the players you don’t know and who should be that second, third, fourth team. You really don’t know because when you’re going against the same player every day, you know their strengths and their weaknesses and you can kind of play off of it. I think it’s a great idea, both organizations practicing together.”

Shanahan on Jimmy Garoppolo:

“A lot of people don’t understand when a quarterback gets hurt in the second or third game, and then you have surgery, and then you have your coach coaching and the quarterback’s getting ready for the game. I had a chance to sit down with Jimmy and maybe just talk about defenses for a couple of weeks, talking about terminology of defenses, blitz schemes, zone schemes, and go through the daily installation so he can just sit back and relax and we can just talk football being part of that terminology system. Obviously knowing the installation schedule, it got a chance for him to relax and have some fun and at the same time, we could study football together.”

Shanahan on the level of detail he goes into with Garoppolo and how that compares to other quarterbacks he’s worked with:

“With Steve, probably the first month I spent with Steve Young, we just talked about defenses. Gap responsibilities and run responsibilities. Before we started talking about football and the the X’s and O’s, I wanted to have a chance to talk to all the players on the 49ers football team so I could learn the things they were doing before then. Steve Young is the type of guy that he is so bright that if you tell him something two weeks ago, he’ll remember, so you better not screw it up and tell him the wrong thing. He’ll have it in his notes. (He’s a) fun guy to coach. That’s what we look for as football coaches: those type of guys that are committed, that are very smart and want to be the best at what they do.”

Shanahan on if his conversations with Kyle Shanahan are as a fellow football coach or a dad:

“Kyle’s been in (professional) football as long as he has. Football is pretty easy to talk about. You talk about personnel, you talk about schemes. All of a sudden, you’re being a son and a dad too. You’ve got both sides of the equation, but when you’ve got a great relationship like we do, it’s fun just to be together.”

Shanahan on watching the 49ers practice over the past three years:

“I was only there for each year for about a week, first week or maybe the first 8-10 days when you could actually watch people practice and see the talent level. When you’ve got three head coaches in three years, there’s a reason for it. So you have to start out from base zero and figure out what kind of culture you want to set, what type of offense or defense you’re running and go get your players that fit that type of system. That’s what you try to do and build it the right way. There are no shortcuts.”

Shanahan on Kyle’s current situation with the 49ers:

“I think he’s in a great situation. You have a chance to get a guy like John Lynch to be the general manager, being around the support staff that I’ve had a chance to talk to besides Mr. York. Then you get a chance to make decisions on who you want as your coaching staff, who you want as players, bring in the right improvement through free agency. All you want to have is the opportunity to have success and Kyle is given that opportunity and I think people would say this team will get better.”

Offensive Coordinator Rich Scangarello on the Broncos offense during the first joint session:

“I thought it was very choppy and it felt like (the 49ers defense) got after us up front a little it.”

Scangarello on addressing the 49ers intensity with the offense:

“My message to the offense is we have to meet their intensity obviously. Part of it is they’re playing a different style than they’ve played in the past and they’re doing a good job of it and it’s different for us, so you’re not game-planning necessarily for the practice. We have to adapt and adjust.”

Scangarello on defensive lineman DeForest Buckner:

“He’s one of probably the three or four best interior players in this league, so yeah, he’s always going to be tough to block and if you’re not planning around him, he’s going to cause problems.”

Scangarello on how he felt tackle Garett Bolles did going against Arik Armstead:

“Tough to tell from here until I see the film. It’s tough to tell. I just know it’s a mix of stuff, it’s situational football and they play a completely different style of defense than we play, so it’s our job to adapt to the speed and the style of play overnight and come out here and give it a better effort tomorrow.”

Scangarello on what the Broncos offense needs to fix against the 49ers defense:

“I just hope that the speed of how they play up front. It’s entirely different than they see every day in practice. And that’s how it is week-to-week in the NFL, and when you’re playing with three groups of offensive lines, a couple of those guys haven’t gotten as many reps lately as well, too. It’s different. You have to adapt and adjust and that’s the league and that’s how it is week-to-week, so for us to adapt and feel comfortable and match that speed and intensity, we’ll be just fine.”

Scangarello on whether he was concerned about the joint practices because the 49ers are familiar with his offense:

“They practice against the similar style every day and the truth of it is that I'd heard they've made changes up front and all that. They're playing a new style of defense and they have a new D-line coach, who I’ve heard has done a great job. They've got really good players. It's just a different style of scheme for us and yeah, we have to adapt to all that stuff. But I don’t—maybe, a little bit they are familiar with. There were plenty of good plays too and until you see the film it's just one of those things. But yeah, it is the Jim Schwartz model of defense, so it's good stuff.”

Scangarello on the differences between his offense and 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan:

“Again, we are all the same. Honestly, we come from the same background and the same roots. The personnel you have will kind of steer you in a direction for how your offense evolves. The roots will always be very similar. We'll parallel each other in a lot of ways, but in the end it's what kind of players you have and do you adapt to that. Do you have good tight ends, running backs or better receivers, what's your quarterback like? That always steers our offense into evolution. He’s in one place and I'm in another, so it's hard to say.”

Scangarello on how he evaluates guys during joint practices and how it compares to an actual game:

“The joint practices are great just because it's a good on good, there is no—they show some blitz we haven't seen. There are no repercussions for the quarterback, the play can still go on, we can evaluate guys down the field and they can evaluate their coverage guys. It's probably the same on this field, if (OLB) Von Miller comes free they can still run the plays. You go play in a game, it doesn't happen that way. A guy comes free to sack. Here, it's part of the process that you want to see where you are as an offense, but you also know that you're evaluating the big picture too and that is the fun part of the crossover practices.”

Scangarello on if he'd like to see more intensity or execution from the Broncos offense:

“I think it's like it is any day. It's a practice like we're practicing against our guys. It's just against a different team. It's the same feel out here. Every day you step on the field, you should bring the same intensity. That's what a great pro and great teams do in this league. They know they're focused, they walk out with a mindset and they're never the one that doesn't match the other team's intensity in all areas. Whether it was there or not, it's debatable. We'll have to see the film and all that, but yeah, I'd like us to just come out on this field with the professional mindset and get after it and just see where things end up. At the end of the day, it's practice and we're learning.”

Quarterback Joe Flacco on how he feels about the joint practice with the 49ers:

“It’s a good day because I think we have a young team and it's good to come out against a new team. I think they brought a lot of energy. So, I think it was good for our team to kind of go up against that. I think we can definitely do a better job than we did today. But that's what this is all about. It's about getting good work against some high intensity guys and some different looks that we haven't seen in a while and things like that.”

Flacco on the importance of the offense starting with energy:

“Listen, a lot of it starts up front. You have to get those guys going and make sure that we set the tone early—usually that's the way it goes. The defense always comes out with a little more energy. And even in games, that's how it is. What good offenses do is they put a good first drive together and they get everything set to their pace and their tone. That carries them for the rest of the game. I think we just have to learn how to do that a little bit.”

Flacco on if practice with the 49ers was normal as far as joint practices go:

“Yeah it probably is. I don't really know, it's tough to tell. There are different ways that you can approach these practices depending on what your coaches are used to doing. And as players, you just have to go out there and adapt and be ready to go. I think they are good learning experiences. It's not a game, but it is practice. You are trying to work on things and stuff like that. Even against our defense early in camp, those guys usually have a little bit of an advantage.”

Flacco on if the defenses were more prepared because the 49ers run a similar offensive scheme:

“Yeah, I'm sure. We obviously run a similar scheme, same terminology and a lot of the same stuff. I think our defense and their defense obviously gets to see this stuff every day and are used to doing it. I think San Fran —you know they were playing a lot of man. And their defensive line, their guys, they look like they're some guys that get after a little bit. It was good to see.”

Flacco on Scangarello saying the Broncos offense was 'choppy' on Friday:

“Yeah, it was like I said, I think we let them kind of set the tone. And we weren't really able to kind of get it back and settle down to our style and things like that. Obviously in a practice tempo, when you're not going and driving the ball and getting first downs and things like that—it's not quite the same as a game—you can't weather the storm quite the same. But that's all part of it.”

Flacco on whether there is a competitive side of the joint practices:

“Of course. That's why I say I think you have to get guys that probably haven't had a ton of these under their belt. On our side of the ball at least, and probably on theirs too, and just see how we respond.”

Flacco on what grade he would give the Broncos offense during Friday’s session:

“I don't know if I can pick out grades very well, but we did below average for sure. That's part of it. Part of being a good football team is responding to tough days. Listen, this is a 16-game season. There are very few teams that can go 16 games and hold their head up and say they had an 'A+' day every single day. You're going to have to learn how to deal with tough times and some adversity. Get hit in the face and stand up to it. I think that this is all part of the process of building a team that can respond to those kinds of things.”

Quarterback Drew Lock on whether the Broncos offense improved in the second joint practice:

“It was. We came out firing today—a lot of positive plays. We got the juices flowing early, so whenever that happens you know it's going to be a good day.”

Lock on the different looks he saw from the 49ers defense that he hadn’t seen before :

“Our defense is mainly a 3-down (linemen) defense, 3-4—they were a lot of 4-down (linemen). The rules change. A lot of different things. A lot more two-high instead of single-high stuff, but then they mixed it in. Just really kind of the exact opposite of what we normally see in practice where that might've been a little bit of what was going on yesterday. Don't know what the '9ers' are going to play, but on our normal plays where we can kind of go back up there and hash things up and kind of come out here with a good play.”

Linebacker Von Miller on the team’s performance in the joint practices:

“I felt like we did good. We’ve been practicing against the same team for three or four weeks now, so to practice against the 49ers and to go against some of the techniques and some of the stuff that they do great is good work for us. It was a great day of work, yesterday and today.”

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