I went to Sports Authority Field on Sunday night thinking I might see a shootout between two great quarterbacks in Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. Instead, what I got was a blowout. The Denver Broncos cruised by the New Orleans Saints 34-14 in a game that solidified the Broncos’ argument that they are among the best teams in the AFC.
Keith Brooking joined KKFN in Denver with Drew and Scott to discuss the Denver Broncos’ performance Sunday night, the play of Wesley Woodyard, veteran cornerback Champ Bailey, the loss of Joe Mays for the season, avoiding a letdown coming off a big game and Peyton Manning looking like his old self.
That was a pretty dominant defensive effort against the Saints. What did it look like from your perspective?:
“Yeah, I felt like it was a solid performance, a good performance. … There were some mistakes out there, that’s for sure. … The thing we’re concentrating on and focusing on right now is putting that game behind us and we’re looking at stacking up back-to-back-to-back performances like that, just being consistent. I know for a fact that’s a key ingredient in this league in being successful.”
Wesley Woodyard put up quite the individual effort with 13 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, an interception. How would you grade his play?:
“I think Wesley is getting his opportunity, something he hasn’t had. He was kind of labeled early in his career as a special teams guy and … he really didn’t have the opportunity to go out there and show what he could do consistently, week-in and week-out, on the defensive side of the ball. He’s finally gotten that opportunity and he’s grabbed it by the horns and taken off with it. I’m very proud of him and I know he’ll continue to play at that level.”
On veteran cornerback Champ Bailey and his tackling ability:
“There were a few tackles [Sunday] night, where we just watched the film, and you talk about getting there with bad intentions. There’s not a lot of cornerbacks that get to the ball with bad intentions and he displayed that. … I played against him in college and he broke our heart my senior year playing receiver. He broke a jailbreak screen for like 40 yards and set up a touchdown with a few seconds to go, the last game of my senior year. I’ve had so much respect for him and the player that he is.”
On Joe Mays going down for the season and the opportunity it brings to other guys on the roster:
“With our defense, the linebacker position, you’ve got to know all positions and I was kind of playing musical chairs there at the beginning of the year and moving around a little bit. I obviously took over the mike position the last two games. It’s really tough what happened to Joe. I talked to him [Sunday] night. … I just told him to keep his head up and keep fighting and use this as motivation. Some of the greatest times in my life have been when I’ve been down and out and fought my way back and made something positive out of some serious adversity. … Part of this league is injuries and guys going down. There’s a lot of Hall of Famers sitting in Canton right now that got their opportunities from guys going down and getting hurt. So we’ve all got to step up and do more.”
How do you make sure there’s not a letdown after a big win on a national scene?:
“We’re never as good as ya’ll say we are and we’re never as bad, so you just can’t believe the hype. Just turn on the film and watch that last series [Sunday] night, we’ve got work to do. … You’ve just got to be consistent with your approach every day; that’s so important. We have the guys that I know will do that.”
Peyton Manning says he’s not the same player he was, that he’s past his prime. What do you think?:
“I’m not calling him a liar, but he’s a liar. That’s the reason he’s a first-ballot Hall of Fame [guy]. You can go on and on. It’s obviously an ability, talent, extremely intelligent player, but it’s his mindset. This game is so mental — your mental approach, the way you approach the game and everything you do.”
Listen to Keith Brooking on 104.3 The Fan in Denver here (Interview begins at 2:15)