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montrose
03-18-2009, 09:50 AM
Exclusive: Broncos WR Royal discusses Cutler’s future, new head coach McDaniels
By Dan Parr
March 15, 2009

Pro Football Weekly caught up with Broncos WR Eddie Royal on March 14 as trade rumors involving Pro Bowl QB Jay Cutler continued to circulate. The latest reports indicate Cutler will not attend a team meeting scheduled for Monday and that his relationship with new head coach Josh McDaniels has deteriorated further after a meeting over the weekend failed to reconcile their differences. Their relationship has soured since it became known that the Broncos were in talks to trade Cutler to the Buccaneers in a three-team deal that would have sent then-Patriots QB Matt Cassel to the Broncos. The trade fell through, and Cassel was dealt to the Chiefs, leaving Cutler disgruntled, although other reports said Cutler had asked to be traded well before the Cassel deal.

Royal, who had the second-most receptions (91) in a season by a rookie in NFL history in 2008, told PFW he has been in touch with Cutler since these stories broke and that he hopes a solution can be reached that keeps Cutler in Denver. Royal also spoke about his plans for the offseason, a potential suspension for WR Brandon Marshall and how difficult it is to put the team's collapse of late last season behind him.

PFW: You led all NFL rookies in receptions and receiving yards and you were seventh in the league in receptions in 2008. It usually takes receivers a year or two to get going. Why do you think you were successful so quickly?

Royal: The supporting cast I had. The people around me helped with my development. Professionals like (former Broncos receiver) Darrell Jackson. I had a great coach who took extra time to help me with the playbook, help me with coverages and just really study my opponents, so I knew before every game what I was going up against.

PFW: When you say 'great coach,' are you talking about Mike Shanahan?

Royal: Shanahan and Jedd Fisch, my (former) receivers coach, and (ex-offensive coordinator) Jeremy Bates. They all did a great job of getting us prepared for each week.

PFW: Do you miss those guys?

Royal: We developed a good relationship from the beginning. We were a close team. I'm starting to realize they're not going to be there. I don't think I'll ever get used to it, but it was good to develop those friendships. They were great coaches, and I wish them the best.

PFW: Is there anything in particular in these few months before the start of camp that you really would like to improve on?

Royal: Just the basics. Doing the little things the right way. I think that toward the later part of the season, traditionally, your body gets tired and you start to break down. I really want to try to make sure my fundamentals are right and that I do all the little things that help turn those small plays into the big plays.

PFW: What are some of those little things that you think are so important?

Royal: Being good at the line of scrimmage. Working different releases. In the AFC and especially in our division, you see a lot of press coverage, so you need to be good at that. Looking the ball all the way in. Catching and tucking right away. Getting in and out of your break. Keeping a low pad level. There are a lot of little things you need to do to be a successful receiver.

PFW: You got a little dinged up toward the end of the season, and some people thought it looked like you were worn down. Are endurance or stamina things you're working on?

Royal: I thought I got better toward the end of the year, but injuries are going to happen. You try to prevent them. You do yoga, you do weightlifting. But in the game that we play, injuries are going to happen. It's all about bouncing back from them. You have to play hurt sometimes in this league and you got to fight through the pain. Endurance is key because it is a long season. That's why we start training so early for it. You know, that's something we work on every offseason. You want to be in the best shape toward the end of the season, and that is one thing that I'm working on.

PFW: With Josh McDaniels coming in as head coach, you'll be working in a different offense from last season's. Has he talked to you at all about what your role will be? I know some people have been drawing comparisons to the role Wes Welker played with the Patriots when McDaniels was there as offensive coordinator.

Royal: We haven't really spoken about roles. I'm not sure exactly where I'm going to be playing. I know I've been compared to Wes Welker before, but I don't really know just what (McDaniels) has in store for us just yet. I'm trying to learn the formations and the plays now. All they really told me is learn every position. To be a good offense you need to be able to move around and be in different spots to kind of keep the defense off balance. If the defense knows where you're going to be every single play, it's easier for them to cover. I'm trying to learn the whole offense and be able to play anywhere.

PFW: It sounds like you've just had some casual conversations with McDaniels so far.

Royal: I spoke with him. It was just general football talk. I'm excited about it. He's a real smart coach. You can tell that he knows football from just the little bit of time that I spent talking to him. He's excited about the season, and it seems like he knows how to win. He came from a winning team, and that's important. Just from talking to him, I could tell that we were going to find a way to win.

PFW: A major topic when he was hired was his youth, being just 32. What are your thoughts on that? Does it make him at all easier to relate to, being a young player yourself, or does it not really make much of a difference?

Royal: You know it's all in how you carry yourself and all in how you conduct yourself. From talking to him, his age doesn't pop out. He knows football way beyond his years. It doesn't really bother me at all. As long as he can point us in the right direction, I don't think age will be a factor. None of us are looking at it as being a factor. I'm excited about this upcoming season.

PFW: Have you noticed any differences between Shanahan and McDaniels in the way they approach their jobs?

Royal: Not really differences. I see a lot of similarities. Both are hard workers. The game's important to them. They spend a lot of time preparing. I can already see that. It's really hard to say right now. … I see the same positive qualities that I saw in coach Shanahan.

PFW: Many people want to know about Jay Cutler and whether he'll be throwing to you next season. Have you talked to him at all?

Royal: I've spoken to Jay a little bit about it. I try to give him his space to let him think about things because I know he's got a lot going on in his mind right now. I wanted to reach out to him to let him know how important he is to our team and how much we need him. He's a great teammate, and we all love playing with him. I just want to remind him that we're all supporting him and we want him to be with us next season.

PFW: How did he respond to that?

Royal: I just wrote it in a text message to let him know. He's still got a lot going on. Hopefully it works out for the best, and we can put this behind us and start looking forward to the season.

PFW: Did he text you back?

Royal: It was a 'Thanks, man, I know.' It wasn't much, but he did text back.

PFW: Do you think he's going to be a member of the Broncos next season?

Royal: Jay's my quarterback. He's the only quarterback I know. I enjoy playing with him. He's a great leader for us. I hope so. He's got a great arm for a young quarterback. I hope it all works out. … I think it will all work out for us next season with Jay there.

PFW: Are you upset about what's happened between Jay and the team?

Royal: It's been tough looking at it because Jay is my quarterback and it's hard to see your quarterback and your friend go through something like that. It's a business. I've just been trying to be there for Jay and supporting him through this and letting him know we're all behind him.

PFW: So there's no question you want him to be the Broncos' quarterback next season?

Royal: Oh yeah, no question. I definitely want Jay back.

PFW: The Broncos signed another quarterback, Chris Simms, to be a backup. Have you met with him at all yet?

Royal: No, I haven't had a chance to meet with him. I can't find his number to congratulate him and welcome him to the team, but I'm sure I'll see him on Monday (at the team meeting) and I'll go up and introduce myself.

PFW: Do you like the free-agent moves McDaniels and GM Brian Xanders have made thus far?

Royal: I love what we've done this offseason. We've brought in veteran guys with good leadership. It's good. We're moving in the right direction. I'm excited about the guys we're bringing in. We have guys that are coming in from winning programs. They know how to win and that's important. You've got to know how to practice and you got to know how to conduct yourself on and off the field the right way. The guys we're bringing in now know how to do that.

PFW: Last season you guys collapsed, dropping your final three games, and missed the playoffs. It was the first time since the NFL implemented divisions in 1967 that a team blew a three-game division lead with three games to play. Has everybody moved on from that? How much does that linger with you still?

Royal: You try to move on, but the truth is, it still sticks with you. We had such a good opportunity. You use it as motivation and as a learning tool to never let that happen again. Finish the right way. Finish strong. … It was tough to go through, but it was a good learning experience for our team. We had a young team. We're going to learn from it and bounce back from it.

PFW: Brandon Marshall was charged with disorderly conduct in Atlanta a few weeks ago, but the charges were dropped. There have been reports, though, that commissioner (Roger) Goodell is investigating the matter and could suspend him for as much as eight games for repeatedly violating the personal-conduct policy. Are you concerned at all about a potential suspension for him? Have you been in contact with him?

Royal: I haven't talked to him since all that happened. I spoke to him before. I still don't know the details of what happened. I'm not really in the loop on that situation. As a teammate, Brandon is great. He's a competitor. Of course I want him out there playing alongside of me.

PFW: I've heard people familiar with Marshall say he really doesn't seem like a bad person, but he keeps on getting into trouble. Cutler was critical of his behavior last offseason. What's the problem with Marshall?

Royal: I really don't know, to tell you the truth. Brandon was one of the first guys to welcome me in. We've had a great relationship. He's a well-rounded kid. He shows people respect. I really don't know what it is. I hope it all works out for him. He's a good friend of mine. It's just a tough situation. I think he'll come out of it strong and as a better person.

http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW/NFL/AFC/AFC+West/Denver/Features/2009/royal031509.htm

PRBronco
03-18-2009, 09:52 AM
Man I like that kid.

Kaylore
03-18-2009, 10:00 AM
He's so awesome. He's so professional. His details focus alone will make him one of the premiere players in the league at his position for years. He's exactly what you want in a football player.

He seems excited about the McDaniels too. I like that they're making him learn all the positions.

HEAV
03-18-2009, 10:01 AM
Royal: I just wrote it in a text message to let him know. He's still got a lot going on. Hopefully it works out for the best, and we can put this behind us and start looking forward to the season.

PFW: Did he text you back?

Royal: It was a 'Thanks, man, I know.' It wasn't much, but he did text back.

Wow Jay...that's deep.

gyldenlove
03-18-2009, 10:02 AM
Royal is a pros pro.

I am pretty sure next Bronco jersey is going to be a Royal.

LonghornBronco
03-18-2009, 10:06 AM
Kids got a great attitude, refreshing in a sense.

McDman
03-18-2009, 10:15 AM
Royal is my favorite Bronco already.

frerottenextelway
03-18-2009, 10:17 AM
Good interview. Quality kid, and of course, it's good to see he has Jay's back.

Kaylore
03-18-2009, 10:19 AM
Royal is my favorite Bronco already.
http://assets.sbnation.com/imported_assets/65584/clady5.jpg


:)

telluride
03-18-2009, 10:21 AM
Let's draft more Eddie Royals. WR Royals. DL Royals. RB Royals. And especially QB Royals.

barryr
03-18-2009, 10:21 AM
Royal wants to play and helps he apparently doesn't have an agent making him out to look stupid either.

broncofan2438
03-18-2009, 10:24 AM
I need to get a Royal jersey

jonny1
03-18-2009, 10:26 AM
But, but, Jay is a lousy leader and nobody likes him . . . I thought

Kaylore
03-18-2009, 10:30 AM
But, but, Jay is a lousy leader and nobody likes him . . . I thought

Royal isn't going to say anything bad about anybody. I would say from his descriptions of the locker room and the coach that things aren't as horrible as people think. I also think Cutler's terse response is pretty lame.

lostknight
03-18-2009, 10:32 AM
Good for Royal having Jay's back but....

Could you imagine what would happen if Eddie Royal had Brandon Marshall's talent?

Holy cow.

skpac1001
03-18-2009, 10:35 AM
Anyone else notice the secret message?

Royal: I just wrote it in a text message to let him know. He's still got a lot going on. Hopefully it works out for the best, and we can put this behind us and [,] start looking forward to the season.

Its a clear shot at Jay.

:thanku:

toad
03-18-2009, 10:37 AM
Pretty much in agreeance we need more Royals....great kid - seems to have his head on straight and realizes he's in a fortunate position.

Here's to Eddie Royal being the next Rod Smith.

UberBroncoMan
03-18-2009, 10:45 AM
I wonder what would happen on the forums if we tried to trade Royal lol.

It should be noted that this article is before the Monday meeting where Royal referred to Jay completely in past tense.

I think it's pretty clear that McDaniels said Jay is gone and he is going to "Take care" of the QB situation.

epicSocialism4tw
03-18-2009, 10:48 AM
I also think Cutler's terse response is pretty lame.

Ha!

You cant discern anything from a text like that.

BroncoDoug
03-18-2009, 12:08 PM
Can we just give Royal the Nobel peace prize or something...He gets IT!!

chaz
03-18-2009, 12:26 PM
I also think Cutler's terse response is pretty lame.

terse is kinda what text messages go for... "thanks man, i know" isn't lame at all, he thanks eddie for the support...what more do you want from a text?

lostknight
03-18-2009, 12:29 PM
terse is kinda what text messages go for... "thanks man, i know" isn't lame at all, he thanks eddie for the support...what more do you want from a text?

A message exalting McDaniels as master of all that is pure and good in football might satisfy some.

Garcia Bronco
03-18-2009, 12:33 PM
Good for Royal having Jay's back but....

Could you imagine what would happen if Eddie Royal had Brandon Marshall's talent?

Holy cow.

He already does and in several ways he's much better than MArshall.

BroncoDoug
03-18-2009, 12:34 PM
A message exalting McDaniels as master of all that is pure and good in football might satisfy some.

this

Kaylore
03-18-2009, 12:36 PM
A message exalting McDaniels as master of all that is pure and good in football might satisfy some.

Eddie Royal: "I love what we've done this offseason."

:wave:

frerottenextelway
03-18-2009, 12:40 PM
terse is kinda what text messages go for... "thanks man, i know" isn't lame at all, he thanks eddie for the support...what more do you want from a text?

He's part of the Contrarian Cult that can find an insult in a thank you message. It's a quite impressive level of delusion.

Broncomutt
03-18-2009, 12:51 PM
Looks like somebody took my advice and cloned Rod Smith after all.

:giggle:

BroncoMan4ever
03-18-2009, 01:16 PM
Royal isn't going to say anything bad about anybody. I would say from his descriptions of the locker room and the coach that things aren't as horrible as people think. I also think Cutler's terse response is pretty lame.

i agree he won't say anything bad about anyone and that is why it seems as though everything is good in the locker room. he can't publicly insult his new coach or he will be tossed aside in favor of some scrub Patriots castoff, and he can't talk **** about Jay on the off chance that next season jay is still here and he doesn't want Jay holding a grudge against him and not getting him the ball as a result of that.


but i do love Royal's attitude and the way he carries himself. when we drafted him i was like who the hell is Eddie Royal, now i can't imagine this team without the guy. this is the guy who in 12 years when he is an old veteran that is going to be the new version of Rod Smith that everyone loves and is dreading the moment when he hangs up his cleats.

Garcia Bronco
03-18-2009, 01:59 PM
i agree he won't say anything bad about anyone and that is why it seems as though everything is good in the locker room. he can't publicly insult his new coach or he will be tossed aside in favor of some scrub Patriots castoff, and he can't talk **** about Jay on the off chance that next season jay is still here and he doesn't want Jay holding a grudge against him and not getting him the ball as a result of that.


but i do love Royal's attitude and the way he carries himself. when we drafted him i was like who the hell is Eddie Royal, now i can't imagine this team without the guy. this is the guy who in 12 years when he is an old veteran that is going to be the new version of Rod Smith that everyone loves and is dreading the moment when he hangs up his cleats.

He's a Hokie. What more do you need to know?

Rock Chalk
03-18-2009, 02:06 PM
Cutler likely has one of those fancy phones where texting is easy so that sort of short response is questionable. But it could also be he was busy and thats about all he had time to respond with.

It would seem to me however, if Jay was really "playing for his teammates" as he claims, he would have already had a detailed discussion with his WRs. Gotten some input and advice from friends. From the looks of things, the only person he is getting advice from is Bus Cook.

I dont care whose side of the fence you are on, you cant like that.

McDman
03-18-2009, 02:35 PM
I texted Jay and all he said to me was "Who are you? Why won't you leave me alone?" Kind of an a-hole answer IMO.