CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – Injuries to key players? Check. Three consecutive road games? Yep. Shakeups to the offensive line? Sure.
Excuses? No way.
“There are no excuses,” Denver Broncos safety Rahim Moore said on Thursday Night Football Blitz.
“At the end of the day you have to get the job done,” he said. “There is nothing you can say. We fell short on two road games, but the good thing about it is we’re home in front of our home crowd and we’re ready to play.”
That’s against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, a game that perhaps a few weeks ago didn’t look too intimidating. But after the Broncos dropped two of three, including a 22-7 stumble against the St. Louis Rams on the road, Miami’s tough defense suddenly looks like a problem.
“They got a great defense, from the front to the linebackers to the back end. It will be a tough week. We expect four quarters,” Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas said.
The Dolphins are second in team defense, giving up only 303 yards per game total, and second in passing yards. They’ve allowed just 180 points through 10 games, fourth-best in the NFL.
But Moore said those apoplectic about the Broncos’ recent woes need perspective.
“Let’s understand we’re not invincible, but at the same time we are 7-3,” he said. “We are a team that is very capable with a lot of talent, lot of potential. So we’re definitely going to change things. We’re not perfect, but at the same time, from all our losses we’ve had this year, we can learn from them.”
One of the team’s more public struggles has been the play of the offensive line. Behind them, Broncos running backs have rushed 38 times for zero gain or negative yards this season. The line has also been flagged 31 times.
The line spoke publicly on Thursday about the criticism levied at them, something they rarely do.
“At the end of the day, we stand behind our O-line,” Moore said. “They’ve done a fantastic job.”
And it’s not just the guards, centers and tackles that have stumbled, he said.
“We’re all not perfect. We’ve had problems on the back end. Our receivers have had problems. Our quarterback has had problems. That’s part of the game. You live and you learn. They’re professionals and they’re here for a reason. Just because something bad happened, doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.
“We will fix it. I guarantee you that,” Moore said.
Thomas said every player knows he’s accountable to the guy next to him.
“As a team, everybody should go out and do their job. I don’t care what play you’re in. If everybody goes out does their job and is accountable, we’ll be fine,” he said.
Respect For A Champ
Thomas and Moore praised longtime Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, who retired this week after 15 years in the NFL and 10 with Denver.
Thomas said he recalls when he was drafted thinking immediately that he was going to face Bailey in practice each day.
“I still remember getting drafted and saying, ‘Man, I got to practice against Champ Bailey every day.’ I was nervous from Day 1,” Thomas said.
He said he’d get jammed up against Bailey while trying to run his routes. Even practice was much more difficult in the pros, he learned.
“I started thinking, ‘Is football really for me?’ ” Thomas joked.
Moore, who said he gained an enormous amount from Bailey, not only mimicked Bailey’s play on the field but his outfit, too.
“When I first came in as a rookie, I didn’t know how to dress,” he said.
He spotted Bailey and said, “I am going to copy him right there. He’s wearing blue shorts, no socks, white shirt, blue sleeves, blue gloves.”
“I copied him head to toe,” Moore said.
– Written by Tim Skillern for CBSDenver.com
Watch more video with Demaryius Thomas and Rahim Moore in the Thursday Night Football Blitz section.
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