ALSO ON SAME LINK - TODAY'S SEPARATE PRESS CONFERENCES WITH EDDIE ROYAL AND PEYTON HILLIS
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- On Friday, Head Coach Josh McDaniels said that part of the reason the team is holding this early mini-camp is so the coaching staff can get to know the players a little better.
On Saturday, it became clear that the players are using it for the same reason. Many are getting to see their new teammates for the first time on the field, and the bonding process has already begun.
"I will say this -- we are a tight group in that backfield," LaMont Jordan said. "You wouldn't know that we're all fighting for a starting job because we're that tight. When it's all said in done, the bottom line is winning."
And the players and coaching staff alike believe that one of the keys to winning is the installation of the team's new offensive system.
Eddie Royal said it's a bit like starting all the way over, because there's completely new terminology. But that's not all that's new -- the second-year player said at times the receiving corps is still figuring out exactly where to line up. Regardless of the learning process, Royal said he's already a believer
"You get to do everything -- we move around a lot," he said. "It's hard to classify you as one position because we do so much, and I like that part about it."
Jordan, who played both on the Patriots and against them twice a season with the New York Jets, said that versatility the system brings to every offensive position is what makes it so dangerous.
The ninth-year running back cited McDaniels' success as offensive coordinator the past few seasons with the Patriots as one of the reasons he followed the new head coach to Denver.
"If I'm not mistaken he was the offensive coordinator when the Patriots lost the Super Bowl and they broke all those records, put up all those touchdowns and this, that and the third," he said. "Hey, I'm excited. We have that now in Denver. The quicker we as players buy into this system and buy into what it takes to be successful and get to the top, the better off we'll be."
And the buying-in process has already begun. Champ Bailey and Elvis Dumervil talked about the palpable excitement in yesterday's practice, and Royal, Jordan and Peyton Hillis echoed those sentiments today.
The bottom line is winning, and the players are ready to go out and do their jobs to make sure it happens.
"Coach McDaniels keeps telling us we're going to use different things each week to win games," Hillis said. "Whatever that is, whether it's running the ball, passing, it doesn't matter -- whatever it takes to win the game. I'm just going to play where they put me and be happy."
The team is back on the practice field at 11:05 a.m. MDT Sunday. Stick with DenverBroncos.com for updates.
For now, here are a few more quick hits from Saturday's media session:
* Hillis, who said he is at about 95 percent and should be 100 percent by the team's next mini-camp on May 1, said he's not concerned about reaggravating the hamstring injury he suffered last season.
"You know, I'm pretty confident about a few things," he said. "One's my faith and the other is football. If I know anything about me, I'm going to be fine. (The injury) is not going to cross my mind as far as playing ball. I said this last year when they put me in the tailback role -- I'm always going to get better, and you're going to see good things out of me."
* Royal said he'll be paying attention to the NFL Draft next weekend, mostly to see who his new teammates will be, but partly because he considers himself a bit of a draft guru.
"Yeah I guess you could say I've kind of got a little Mel Kiper in me, I've been doing my research," he said with a laugh before adding that he doesn't plan to share his ideas with the front office. "Nah, I'll leave that up to them."
* Jordan said he can't tell fans exactly what the team's identity will be this season -- they can find out when September rolls around. But he did have two messages for any fans worried about the 2009 campaign. First, he touched on the role of quarterbacks in McDaniels' scheme.
"I know one thing about this system and I've said it before -- at the quarterback spot, if you just come in and you pay attention and you listen to coaching, you'll be successful," he said. "All you have to do is go out there and execute ... As long as you do those things then you'll do fine. We have Kyle (Orton) and we have (Chris) Simms here, those are the guys we're going to go with and I have the utmost confidence that they can lead us to where we want to go."
Then he closed by stressing that fans should just sit back and enjoy the ride.
"If you're a fan of this team, then be a fan of this team," he said. "When it's all said and done, winning heals all."