Courtesy of Jerry McDonald, our Raiders beat writer, here is a transcript of a teleconference call today involving Broncos coach John Fox and former Cal running back C.J. Anderson in advance of Sunday’s NFL regular-season finale against the Raiders:
Broncos Coach John Fox
Q: What has C.J. Anderson brought to you guys since he has come in? Has he been a surprise to you at all?
Coach Fox: “When these guys sit in those seats in the first team meeting, they don’t get one of those seats without having some talent, and C.J. was no different. I think the fact that he came in as a college free agent, he has had to fight and earn everything he’s got. It says a lot about his football character, his personal character. He got the opportunity. He flashed a year ago and then this year, due to injuries, he got a better look and he’s taking full advantage of it.”
Broncos RB C.J. Anderson
Q: Were you a Raiders fan as a kid?
Anderson: “Yes, I was.”
Q: Who was your favorite player?
Anderson: “Tim Brown.”
Q: Did you want to be a receiver or were you always a running back growing up?
Anderson: “Tim Brown was who I really liked and if I had to choose a running back in their time that I got to see play, it would be Tyrone Wheatley and Charlie Garner. I thought that combination was really fun to watch when I was young.”
Q: With the Cal connection with Justin Forsett and Marshawn Lynch, do you guys talk a lot or compare notes at all?
Anderson: “No, not really. We talk. We give each other congratulations over the years and things of that nature. We just sit and chat, but we don’t share notes or exchange notes. We all are our style when it comes to our running style and we just all try to do the best we can when we’re out there.”
Q: How would you describe your style and their styles of running?
Anderson: “I think Marshawn is himself, ‘Beast Mode.’ He’s just hard to tackle and accelerates into contact and that’s what makes him break a lot of tackles. I thin Justin is very patient and is very quick. He is very fast. He is kind of small, so it’s kind of hard to see him behind them. He breaks a lot of tackles with his speed. I just think that I’m more in the slow, quick game. I’m not the fastest guy on the field, but I have some shiftiness to me and I just try to run nasty and just try to, I guess you can say, put two styles into one. Marshawn is super quick and he can get moving and he breaks a lot of tackles. Justin is fast and quick and that’s what helps him out and I think I have a combination of both.”
Q: Has this season been gratifying for you because you’ve made the most of an opportunity when you got it?
Anderson: “This season has been fun. Just having fun and sticking with the system and doing what my coaches are telling me to do. Having a role and trying to enhance that role every week.”
Q: That big touchdown against Oakland in Oakland, that had to be one of your season highlights…
Anderson: “It was just amazing, scoring in front of my family and friends and trying to make a play when I make plays. As an undrafted guy, you just have to prove yourself every day. I just wanted to show the Broncos and this organization why they kept me on the roster and they didn’t make a bad decision.”
Q: How many family and friends did you have here for that game?
Anderson: “I think together it was about 27 or 28.”
Q: Still some Raider fans in there or are they all Broncos fans now?
Anderson: “They want to see me be successful, but they’d rather die with their Raiders. You know Raider fans, they don’t go nowhere.”
Q: After you got to look at that 51-yard touchdown, was there a part of you that realized you made Charles Woodson miss a tackle?
Anderson: “No, not at all. I just feel like it comes with the territory. I grew up watching ‘C-Wood’ and just what he’s done and what a successful career he had young when he was with Oakland, and the successful career he had in Green Bay and now he’s back in Oakland. I never looked at it like, ‘Wow, I just made Charles Woodson miss.’ I looked at it as in, ‘Wow, I am on the same field as Charles Woodson.’ I got to see him play, and after the game he came and shook my hand. That’s just pretty cool and pretty amazing that someone I grew up watching acknowledged me and my game, and I just think that’s amazing.”
Q: Going back to the Cal thing, what do you think it says that you have three running backs all from the same school?
Anderson: “I just think it speaks tremendous on [former Cal coach] Coach [Jeff] Tedford and our running backs coach at the time, Ron Gould. Shane Vereen in New England, who is having fun and making plays, and of course Marshawn has been doing his thing since he got into the league. Justin, seven years waiting and finally got his opportunity and look what he can do. Just myself, I just think we are all just pushing and trying to be great. We all just talk about being accountable and just trying to take what we learned from our running backs coach Ron Gould, who probably all of us would probably say that he is one of the best running back coaches in our lifetime. I just feel like we are just taking what he is teaching and what he said and then combining that with the coaches that we are learning from now and we’re just making it work.”
Q: What was the biggest thing that coach Gould taught you guys?
Anderson: “Accountability. Be accountable and don’t be afraid to go out there and be great. Just going out there working. Every day is a work day. Whether it’s a walk-through, practice at your tempo at your pace and make sure you get the reps. When you get the reps, it’s the same reps you are going to get in the games, so practice like you play.”