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Quotes: Monday practice

Posted Dec 3, 2012

Head coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media following Monday's practice.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the team’s injuries) “Let me go through yesterday first. We came out of the game yesterday, late after the game it was discovered that (CB) Brice (McCain) had a fracture in his foot. The decision was made on the way home to go ahead and fix that today. We did it early this morning, had a screw inserted. We’re going to put Brice on the injured reserve/designated to return, but obviously that’s what, an eight-week period of time. It would be very, very late in the playoffs if Brice is able to make it back, but we’ll do it, give him an opportunity and see what happens because if not, it ends up in our pocket. That’s what we’ll do. (TE) Garrett (Graham) has taken step one already today. He’s doing much better. He was doing much better on the plane ride home. He has a four-, five-step phase as far as making it back from the concussion protocol. He’s through step one today and doing much better. (LT) Duane (Brown) is fine. Duane just came out of the game with a bruised knee. He’s feeling fine today. All tests came out okay so we’re moving forward and very lucky with Duane. The other guys, want me to go through the other guys? Let me see if I can remember them all. They’re all making progress. I guess the best thing to say is that the one that is still going to take an amount of time is (OLB) Brooks (Reed) and I think I’ve told you all that all along. But the other group of guys, it’s going to be a day-to-day process. We’ve got an extra day this week. We’re going to start our routine on Thursday, so when you talk about (CB Johnathan Joseph) J-Joe and he’s doing well. He ran today. (T Derek) Newton, (ILB) Bradie James, who am I missing here? (G Antoine) Caldwell and (CB) Alan Ball, I think they’re all going to be a day to day process right now and then probably end-of-the-week decisions for us as a football team, but Brooks is still the one that has a ways to go.”

(on if CB Brice McCain were healthy would he cover WR Wes Welker in the slot) “(CB) Brice (McCain) can play both. I think where we’re at right now if (CB Johnathan Joseph) J-Joe is missing time, Brice would probably have stayed outside and right now we’re going with (CB) Brandon (Harris) inside. Brandon did some good things in the game, played a lot of football so that’s kind of where we would be. Obviously now with Brice being out, Brandon will be the guy that plays inside for us in nickel. This team can force you to play a couple guys inside so you could be in dime. You never know how you’re going to get played, but we’ve got a couple young players who are going to have to step up and play well and that’s our rock. They did yesterday. You could tell they made some progress with their short period of time being out there.”

(on the CB position right now) “You get thin and you get thinned out. Linebacker, we held up yesterday so we got through that game clean from that standpoint playing seven guys. That was a positive. We get thinned out in the secondary because of (CB) Brice’s (McCain) injury and where (CB Johnathan Joseph) J-Joe is. Also the guy that’s a factor right now is (CB) Alan (Ball). We decided Sunday morning after watching him do some things that it was not time for him to go, that he wasn’t going to be ready. We got a couple things going on right there. Obviously, as a football team it’s something we’re addressing today and taking a real hard look at because we’ve got a lot of football left to play. We’ve got to make sure that we’re in position to give ourselves the best chance to be successful so that’s something we’re looking at real hard at today.”

(on the penalties) “Yeah, what is it 11 for 90-something yards? That really disturbed me a bunch, especially offensively. Special teams-wise I think we have two or three again. It has been an issue. It has been young players, some guys that we’re playing. When I see that the good news is I think we can fix that real quickly. Offensively, the thing that bothered me is the second half we have an excellent chance to really put the game away early. I think out of our first five plays offensively we’ve got two holding calls or three holding calls. We’re just going backwards hurting ourselves, couldn’t get out of our own way. That’s something coming out of the game that hurt us. We didn’t turn the ball over. That’s a big positive, but penalties I think kept them in the game and kept us from closing the game, too.”

(on how encouraging it was to see ILB Darryl Sharpton step up on Sunday) “It’s very encouraging and I think the biggest thing there is a couple things that took place defensively in the game, getting (NT) Shaun (Cody) back, as I’ve said all along. Cody gave us some versatility inside and took some snaps off some players. We got our pass rush back. We got it from a lot of places. (ILB Darryl) Sharpton took a whole week of practice. He had every rep in practice running our defense. You could see the difference in Sharpton and how he played. (ILB Tim) Dobbins came in and helped and played extremely well in the game. I think a couple things going on right there helped us get back to playing our type of football defensively. I think Sharpton is more comfortable. This is three games he now has under his belt and he’s going to have to be because he’s going to be big going down the stretch here.”

(on how good was it to see WR Lestar Jean get his first TD catch and how he has progressed) “He needs to be on the field more. That’s how he’s progressed and makes a big play yesterday. We’re going to find some ways to get him out there more. He also played some special teams so the deeper we go into this thing I think all these young players become very valuable in what’s going on. We talked about (CB) Brandon (Harris). We talked about (CB) Roc (Carmichael). (WR) Keshawn (Martin) is playing. What Keshawn is doing return-wise right now, if we don’t take away some of his positive yardage it would be excellent. These guys are going to be a big factor going down the stretch.”

(on how scary is it to go up against QB Tom Brady with inexperienced defensive backs) “Well it’s Monday and it’s scary so I’m sure it’s going to be real scary getting toward the end of the week. That’s where we’re at. We know we’re going to play a great player and one of the top passing games in the business for a long, long time. It’s a challenge. Our season is going to be really about some of these young guys really stepping up and what they’ve become here as we continue to move forward. I’m excited for them. I liked what I saw from (CB) Brandon (Harris) and (CB) Roc (Carmichael) yesterday. I think Brandon is very competitive, has a lot of confidence. We’ve got to get some of penalty issues settled down with him, but he doesn’t lack any confidence and that’s what you’re looking for. They’re just going to have to rise to the occasion and we can sure help them if we can rush the passer like we did yesterday.”

(on seeing a lot of talent in CB Brandon Harris and if he’s pleased with where he’s at) “Yeah, I think so. I think we’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to bring him and (CB) Roc (Carmichael) along kind of slowly. They weren’t forced into some tough situations as young pros. I told you all I think last week, (CB) Brandon (Harris) has been chomping at the bit. He’s been close to getting on the field for a while and has just been kind of the odd man out. Now it’s time. You go from playing zero to playing 59 yesterday so it tells you what’s fixing to happen with this young career of his. We’re excited for his opportunity.”

(on P Donnie Jones this season) “He was big-time yesterday. We obviously struggled huge in the second half offensively; (P) Donnie (Jones) has 10 punts. We kept them pinned all day. Our special teams, the job that (Special Teams Coordinator) Joe (Marciano) has done with the injuries and the young players having to step in. Yesterday, we had some situations where we barely had enough guys to get on the field and those types of things. I think we made tremendous progress as a special teams unit in the second half of the season. Yesterday was big for us and Donnie led that.”

(on relying more on his big three on offense) “There is no about that. We’ve got to play a hell of a lot better than we played in the second half offensively. Like I said, we hurt ourselves with penalties. I think there was more there than we got at times from a standpoint regardless of who was running the ball. I think we’ve got to beat man coverage better. This old boy’s got to call some better plays in the second half. It wasn’t what we needed to do yesterday to close the game. My disappointment starts with myself. It’s my job to get those guys in position to make plays and then it’s their job to go make those plays too. I look at myself hard and I’m sure they will do the same.”

(on why he thinks the team has been so successful on the road this season) “I think the biggest thing in this league is it’s a growth process. It’s a confidence thing. I’ve been with young teams that they go on the road. Here comes the noise, all of a sudden boy you panic and you just don’t look like yourself. This group, it doesn’t matter. They’ll go play anywhere. They know. I’ve preached to them for a period of time. It’s about how you play. It’s not where you play. They figured that out so it doesn’t matter where they play. We handled the noise pretty good and I think it makes you pull from each other a little bit more. It’s really kind of your 53 against 80,000 when you show up. I think they take that as a challenge and they take it personal and they know if they protect the football our team is going to have a good chance to win. To win six games on the road so far this season has been pretty darn good and it’ll take everything we’ve got to win number seven, I know that.”

(on how important was it to see K Shayne Graham kick a 50-yard field goal on Sunday) “I think it’s big for his confidence. I’ll watch him practice. He’s been banging the ball really good from 55. He’s been handling that. He kicked off better yesterday, mishit one of them, but for the most part, he should gain a lot of confidence coming out of this game. We have confidence in him. He’s kicked in big games. He’s made big kicks. He’s going to probably be in some of those situations here down the stretch. I think yesterday was a big step in the right direction.”

(on what it would mean to QB Matt Schaub to go into New England and beat QB Tom Brady) “Well I don’t think that’s the most important thing. It’s not those two guys playing. It’s our teams playing. I think our quarterback has played well and his performance speaks for itself. I know number 12’s; his has spoken for himself for a long, long time. We know what type of team we’re facing and the great player that we’re facing there, but it’ll be about our team. We’ll have to play good across the board as a football team. You look at the game they played yesterday, special teams, Miami struggled special teams-wise. We’ve got to stay focused on our whole team and (QB) Matt’s (Schaub) just got his job to do. He’s got his part to do.”

(on how confident he is in QB Matt Schaub to go head to head against anyone in a shootout) “I know our guy can throw the ball around. I don’t know how this game is going to go. You never know when you show up on Sunday. It’s like yesterday. We get in a game. We’ve got some defensive players out. You think it may be different and look we play probably as good a defense as we’ve played all year from a turnover standpoint and those things. I don’t know what it’s going to take this next weekend or what type of game we’re going to be in. I know we’ll have to play with a lot of poise and not hurt ourselves if we’re going to have a chance to win.”

(on the Patriot Way) “Well they’re consistent. That’s the biggest thing. You’ve got one of the all-time great leaders in football from a coaching standpoint and a quarterback standpoint. That has been consistent in I don’t know how many years it’s been. I think you kind of know what you’re going to get from them. You know you’re going to have to raise your level of play and play as good as you can possibly play. That’s why we do what we do. It is a big challenge, but I know our football team will be looking forward to it and need to go down there and play clean.”

(on his thoughts regarding the fumble recovery by DE Antonio Smith) “It was an inadvertent whistle and it wasn’t by the head official. It was by the guy on the sideline. It’s disappointing. (DE) Antonio (Smith) promises me he would’ve scored, at least that’s what he said on the bus. To be honest with you, we’re probably lucky we got the ball back because usually when there is an inadvertent whistle you may not even get that ball back. We overcame it, but we found a way to do it six times yesterday. It was really impressive.”

(on playing meaningful games in December and January) “I think it’s continued to build the way we’ve played this year and they’re going to all be big. We’re in a tough division race along the way right here. We’ve got ourselves involved yesterday, which was important. Now every time we step to the plate we could probably gain something else, so we’ve just got to stay focused on that. You look at our last month. It’s going to be very difficult, but when it’s difficult that’s what gives you the best chance to prepare to be a dang good football team in January. We’ll just stay focused one week at a time.”

(on the players of the game) “Defensively we had a couple guys, (DE) Antonio (Smith) and (ILB) Tim (Dobbins). We had two guys. Offensively, it was (RB) Justin Forsett, who continues to play well for us. Special teams, it’ll be (P) Donnie Jones.”

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