Q: Do you feel the Broncos defense has changed at all from your last matchup now that DeMarcus Ware has returned to their lineup?
JM: Yeah, this is a great unit. They’re well coached obviously with Coach [Wade] Phillips and their staff. They do a great job of putting these guys in positions to make plays and they have great players, Pro Bowl players at every level of the defense. Ware being back, certainly he’s a great player, adds an element opposite of Von Miller but they have [Shaquil] Barrett and [Shane] Ray that have stepped in and done a great job as well, too. It’s just more depth in a position that’s already a deep position for them on the team. They’re aggressive. I think they’re in the top five in every category that you can discuss – yards, rushing yards, passing yards, points, third-down, first-down, turnovers, sacks. This is the best group we’ve played all year as you would expect in this game, and it’ll be a great challenge for us to prepare for them this week.
Q: What is it about Tom Brady that allows him to rise to the occasion in big games?
JM: I think his consistency. It’s a football game and he’s played in a lot of them and he has played well for a long, long time. I think when you get to these games during the course of the season and you’re fortunate to play in the postseason, consistency and doing the things that you’ve done to get yourself in this position are really important, and he has got a lot of experience obviously playing these types of games but his preparation maintains, his rest and treatment and getting his body ready and his mind right. He does a lot of the things every day to prepare for the next day. Even though these games have finality to them that some games in the regular season or preseason don’t have, he approaches it the same way. I think he’s a good example for our team and we have a lot of guys that follow that lead, a lot of guys on our team that do that as well, and this week’s going to be an important week for us to prepare hard, do the things that we do to get ourselves ready to play our best game on Sunday.
Q: What did you think of all the emotion he showed following his scramble to the goal line that ended up under review?
JM: He’s an emotional guy. We have a lot of guys on our team and even our staff that – look, we compete hard and prepare hard to go out there and do our best on Sunday, or Saturday in this case last week, and I think that’s OK on game day. He channels it the right way. He uses it to help him play better, to help our team play better. It’s a positive thing for our group. As a leader you want your leaders to be strong, emotional people and he does a good job of making sure that in the moment he channels that the right way so that it can help us.
Q: What are some of the ways that you can combat the way Wade Phillips likes to attack on defense?
JM: Wade’s got an aggressive style, there’s no question about that. His players play extremely hard. He has seen probably everything you can see from an offensive group, and they’ve got really good players that he puts in great positions to play aggressively. We’re going to have to do a good job of having our plan and going out there and playing offense the way that we play offense. [We’re] just trying to make plays and stay out of long yardage situations and do a good job of trying to get the ball to the places that we need to get it to. There’s no one formula that you can say has been very good against this group. They’ve shut most teams down and there’s a reason why they lead the league in defense. We’re going to have to do a good job of preparing hard for the best defense that we’ve played all season, but we’re going to have to play a complementary game with the defense and the special teams. I’m sure it’ll be a very hard-fought game. Both teams want to win and we’ll give it our best on Sunday.
Q: How do you think Julian Edelman performed against Kansas City and was he held back at all with some of the play calling?
JM: It was good to have Jules back certainly. He’s such a positive influence on our guys and on our team and Jules played hard and we left him out there most of the game. As normal, when the player is ready to play and come back in his role then we try to do the things that he does the best. I thought we tried to do that with him the other night. It was good for him to get back out there and be productive. There are always a few things that you kind of knock the rust off a little bit, but I thought he was very involved. I thought he played hard and I thought he made some big plays for us the other night.