The Denver Broncos head coach and players have a lot to say about Patriots quarterback and future-Hall of Fame inductee Tom Brady.
Gary Kubiak, Broncos head coach. on the 17th meeting between Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and Brady:
"First off, it’s a credit to both of them because you don’t have the rivalry that they’ve had if you don’t last as long as both of them have lasted. They’ve both been so successful. They’re two Hall of Fame football players, two Hall of Fame people. They’re leaders on their football team wherever they’ve been—Peyton has been a couple of places. It’s pretty special. For me, it’s always been kind of outside looking in. I’ve played against them many, many times, but this is my first time to be a part of them going against each other. They’re special people. They’re two good football teams."
Peyton Manning, Broncos quarterback:
"I’ve always kind of given the boring answer, ‘Hey, it’s the Colts versus the Patriots and now it’s the Broncos versus the Patriots.’ All I can say about Tom Brady is he plays the position the way it’s supposed to be played. He’s extremely talented. He’s a very hard worker, very competitive guy and he just plays the position the right way. When you do that, there’s a reason you play for a long time and play well for a long time. There have been a lot of different players that have played in 16 of those games but as the quarterback, it’s always been a great honor and privilege to have competed against him that many times over the course of the past 16, 17 years he and I have been in the league together.”
Von Miller, outside linebacker:
"The challenge with Brady is he’s one of the best quarterbacks playing in the National Football League. Sometimes he doesn’t even need an offensive line. It’s just that connection with [TE Rob] Gronkowski, the connection with [Patriots WR Julian] Edelman and with [Patriots WR Danny] Amendola and all of the receivers that he has is just instantaneous. It’s just, ‘Hut,’ and boom, [pass] right now. Half of the time, he doesn’t even need a pass [protection]. He’s doing most of it himself. We’re going to have to be tight in the secondary, which I expect us to be. We will have to get a pass rush every down because you never know what opportunity is going to present itself for you to go and make a big play."
Demaryius Thomas, wide receiver, on the Manning-Brady matchup:
“It’s a great matchup. I can say [QB] Tom [Brady] probably has gotten the best of us, but it’s a different one this time. We’re looking forward to it. It’s going to be a good game. It’s two guys that have been going for a long time and doing great jobs at it. We’re looking forward to Sunday and to see what happens.”
Demarcus Ware, outside linebacker, on what makes Manning and Brady both great:
“When you talk about Brady and you talk about Peyton and what makes them such great players, I think the consistency of knowing not how to stop. If you’re down 21 at halftime, they go in and corral the guys. They know how to motivate the guys and say, ‘This is what we need to do to win the game.’ They don’t give up to the point to where, if you hit them, they’ll look at you and say, ‘Good hit.’ It pisses you off a little bit because you want go back and hit them again, but those are the type of guys and type of quarterbacks that are out there that have that defensive mentality, but can make those offensive plays. That’s what makes them great.”
Shaquil Barrett, outside linebacker, on playing Brady & the Patriots once already this season:
“I think it’s huge for us, just to see like from Brady to the O-line, how they like to block and if he steps up in the pocket or rolls out. I think that’s huge that we played them already, saw some of his tendencies and plays he likes to throw the ball to you in certain spots and stuff like that.”
Bradley Roby, cornerback, on the challenge of facing Brady:
“He’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league. It’s always a challenge. How many Super Bowls has he won? He’s a Hall-of-Famer and he’s a competitor. You’ve got to be on your ‘A’ game when you go against Tom.”
The Broncos take on the Patriots at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday at 1 p.m. MT.