Shanahan said he may approach Texans head coach Gary Kubiak before the game just to throw him off.
Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, long-time colleague and friend of Texans head coach Gary Kubiak and father of Texans quarterbacks coach Kyle Shanahan, and Broncos rookie running back and Houston native Selvin Young spoke to the Houston media via conference calls on Tuesday.
Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan
(on a coach here that is trash talking him that's not Gary Kubiak) "No, I can figure out who it is."
(on what he thinks about the things Kyle Shanahan has been saying) "Well, he hasn't called me, so he probably believes it."
(on Kyle Shanahan saying he won't call him) "Sometimes it's hard to trust your son."
(on what it's like to go against Gary Kubiak) "Well, to be honest with you, you go back to coaching him as an assistant coach, the relationship you have. Then, we were together in San Francisco, then coming here together, you just grow, not only as people but families being together, so you're always rooting for them. Every time you look at the scoreboard, you're always hoping that they find a way to win. For them to go through all the injuries they've had this year is just unbelievable. With all the guys they have on IR, to rally and beat a team like Tampa, who's been playing extremely well, just kind of shows you what type of staff and what type of leadership they have right now because a lot of guys would pack it in after losing as many guys as they have lost. You know there's a lot of character on the team. You know Gary (Kubiak) is a great leader and has gotten the guys to buy in to what he's doing and they're playing extremely hard and extremely well."
(on why he was so sure Gary Kubiak was going to be a successful coach) "Just what type of person he is. You know he's a natural leader. Both on and off the football field, he leads by example and he's a fierce competitor. He'll do everything that it takes to get the ship turned."
(on not talking to Gary Kubiak before the game) "Well, to be honest with you, I try not to talk to anybody before the game because my mindset is you're going in there to win a game. You're not going in there to talk about what you did Tuesday night or how's the family. You're going into war. I just never had the personality to go over and talk. After the game, I do that quite a bit. My mindset is players are going out there to compete, coaches are going out there to compete, and you kind of have your game face on and your concentration level. I've just always have been that way. People have come up to me and I've talked to them and I've been very cordial if they come up, but my mindset has never been that way. I don't think it's been Gary (Kubiak's) either. Gary's was the same way as an assistant coach as I was. He's getting ready to game and he wants to beat the game. He's not going to go over there and socialize and talk about things, little things that probably that you could talk about very easily after the game when everything is said and done."
(on will it be weird to stand so close to him and not say anything) "I think I'll go over there and talk to him because that will just maybe catch him off balance and he'll say, 'What in the heck is he doing?'"
(on how proud he is of Kyle Shanahan) "I just know he enjoys what he does and he enjoys working for Gary (Kubiak) and working for the organization. I think he's really thankful that he got an opportunity to show what he can do, and as he well knows it's a learning process. It's just something that I knew he would be ready for because he worked for it his whole life and he's been around it. I always said when he got in the NFL, I figured he was about eight years ahead of me, even though I was at the collegiate level for a long time, from an X's & O's standpoint, just knowing the game because he's been around it his whole life. I'll tell you, I think that was a big plus. Now, it's a growing curve. You're learning every day, things you like and don't like, and it's a great experience for him."
(on Kyle Shanahan taking over in Denver when he leaves) "Well, to be honest with you, I don't think of things like that. All the things I've told Kyle (Shanahan) is don't worry about what's going to happen a year, two years from now, just take care of the moment. You take care of the moment, don't ever look for a job, never think about a job. You just concentrate on the job you're doing, and good things will happen. I've never applied for a job. I've never called anybody for a job and I see people that do that all the time, kind of looking, 'Hey, when am I going to get my opportunity to be a coordinator or a head coach?' I think the guys actually working all the time, usually people will come to them. That's my kind of advice to him, don't worry about that. If you do a good job at the place you're at, people will recognize who you are, what you've done. Head coaches, owners and everything will take care of itself. He's got a goal to be a head coach someday, and I think he'll get there. I really do, just because he has so much passion and he's a student of a game."
(on his relationship with Kyle Shanahan outside of this week) "He's always been a guy that, you hate to brag on your son, but he's a little bit ahead of the curve. He knows how to relate to people and he has passion for what he does. The thing is, he's a perfectionist so much, he has to understand that you can't always be going fast. There's a lot to learn, and everybody has strengths. Look at everybody's strengths and try to take as much out of people as you possibly can. I think when you're young, you're going 100 miles per hour and you don't really know how much everybody brings to the table and I think working with the best, which he's doing right now, just helps him and his maturity, especially at such a young age."
(on Peggy Shanahan saying he couldn't afford to by Kyle Shanahan a Christmas present because of the $20,000 fine) "That's the truth. I said, 'Kyle and Kristen, they're not getting anything for Christmas,' but the bad thing is, Peggy didn't want to be included in that, just the kids. I said I'm going to have to get a loan for Christmas this year."
(on if he's excited about playing this team) "I always say that when you take a look at playing people that you respect, it's something that I think you prepare for a little bit more because you always want to show people that you know and that you've been with that you're prepared and ready to go, and I'm sure they're feeling the same way. It is special, but at the same time, if they do win, you say they did a heck of a job. I think if we won, they would say the same thing. You're dealing people you respect, and may the best man win."
(on why RB Selvin Young has been so successful) "Bobby Turner was a guy that really had him pinpointed right from the start. We didn't have any fifth, sixth, seventh round draft choices, so we started talking to (RB) Selvin (Young) very early hoping that he may be out there. Kyle (Shanahan) told me what a great kid he was at Texas and really enjoyed him from what type of guy he was. We were hoping that we were going to get him because we knew that he was banged up a little bit throughout his career. You could see his speed and his athletic ability, but I don't think anybody would know that the guy would come in here as a rookie and average 5.7 yard per carry. If you knew that, you would take him in the first round. Sometimes, you really don't know what a person's made of until you get him. From the inside, he's a very mature kid. He's like a five-year veteran. He does not miss assignments. He looks forward to the game. He can come up with the big play, so I feel very fortunate to have him on our team."
(on what he likes about Texans general manager Rick Smith) "Well, I knew Rick (Smith) from the first time he came here. He came here as a defensive assistant, the defensive backs assistant and just did a heck of a job in the coaching area. He told me he wanted to get in personnel, and I don't know if you can find a person with a better personality than Rick Smith. He knows how to get along with people. He's a great worker, and I knew it was going to be a short time before somebody scooped him up to be a general manager because I knew how good he was. I tried to keep him as long as I could, but when Houston came calling, I knew it would be a great situation for Houston and a great opportunity for Rick. He's as good as it gets."
(on how tough the short week is on the road team) "I don't think that's as big as some people say because with the ability with the airlines and the short flight and the accommodations that you have, now you don't have to worry about tickets or family getting to the game. I think sometimes that's overrated. Maybe if you have to go a five-hour flight or something like that, maybe there's a disadvantage, but I don't think that's as big as it used to be."
(on if he sees a difference in QB Jay Cutler over the past couple of weeks) "Well, he's getting better. We've moved the ball all year, but we haven't scored a whole lot of points. I think the first half of the season, we were averaging 5.8 yards per play which should put you in the top five every year and you should be averaging 30 points, but we weren't doing that. We had penalties, turnovers, some long drives that are stopped in the red zone. We've just become a little bit more consistent and our defense has made some plays, some turnovers in the last five games that have really helped."
(on the key to averaging three turnovers a week over the last five weeks) "Number one, it's a combination of everything to get turnovers. You have to be rushing the passer. People have to be making plays relative to stripping the ball or coming up with an interception. Offensively, you have to keep from turning the ball over. It's one of those things where some games we've played better than we had early and with our record, we need to."
(on what he thinks about QB Sage Rosenfels and how good he can be) "To be honest with you, Phil Simms said something to me a long time ago and it kind of got my attention. I started following (QB) Sage (Rosenfels), what a sharp kid he was, and we talked about his arm strength and his ability to focus in the pocket. Then I started watching him and Gary (Kubiak) had been watching him for a couple years as well. He's just a guy that we had a lot of respect for. When Gary was able to get him, I thought that was a good get at the time."
(on how much Houston mirrors what Denver does offensively and defensively) "I think Gary (Kubiak) has the flexibility to do whatever he wants, so we've done a lot. A lot has to do with personnel. A lot has to do with your offensive line, your running backs, receivers. He has the type of system where he knows how to win. He can control the clock, control the tempo of the game, which he has done a great job of with a bunch of injuries. Then, he comes up with a big play to keep a defense honest, because if you start dropping back and doing all those things all the time and you have some injuries, it's hard to not turn the football over. I guess what I'm trying to say is he knows how to win and the better personnel he has, the better there he's going to be."
(on if both teams look similar on tape) "Yes, a lot of similarities in the running game and the passing game. They run a little bit more power then we do. We don't run as much a power running game as they do, but they still run the zone blocking scheme and they have a few more variations than probably we do right now."
(on what he thinks of LB DeMeco Ryans and DE Mario Williams) "(LB) DeMeco Ryans, just to give you a little story, Joe Kinds is the defensive coordinator at Alabama and he told me he was the best football player he's ever been around, and Joe has been around some great football players being at Florida, Florida State, Auburn, Alabama. He told me not only is he a great player, but he's a great kid. When he was Rookie of the Year, that really didn't surprise me, just by some of the accolades that the defensive coordinator gave out. He doesn't give very many compliments out because he's been around a lot of great ones. And (DE Mario) Williams, you just see him getting better and better. Those defensive linemen, it takes some time. People think it happens overnight; it doesn't. He's a presence, and you can see he just enjoys the game and I think he'll be an excellent defensive end for years to come."
Denver Broncos RB Selvin Young
(on how much he looks forward to returning to Houston) "I'm looking forward to going home, getting away from some of this snow, going back to seeing some good dry grass more than anything."
(on if he has a lot of family and friends here) "Yes, I have a lot. My whole entire family is from Houston. I've got a bunch of little brothers; I'm more so excited about letting them get the chance to see me play at home, and I just can't wait to come back."
(on if he will have his own cheering section at the game) "Oh, yeah. They're going to be deep, for sure. Hopefully we can turn some of their fans on our side."
(on playing outside of Texas for the first time) "Mainly, I've just been trying to just stay focused. It could be a lot to all that, trying to move and get adjusted to the new climate and all that type of stuff, but I've just been trying to enjoy getting up in the morning and going to work and just doing what I love to do in playing football and trying to get as good and learn from everything I can from it. So it's kind of made everything else a little easier as I look back now. Time has flown. The season's almost passed us by, and I feel like I've handled it pretty well, but I feel like that attitude of just trying to go to work and staying hungry has helped me a lot."
(on his 156-yard game last week and how comfortable he feels out there) "The game, I feel like it's come to me a lot faster than I was expecting. I was expecting for it to be extremely rough, just expecting the worst, but understanding in my head that whatever it is I was going to fight through it regardless. But just that fight and being ready for whatever and expecting the worst has kind of brought the best out of me and I'm understanding the defenses, I'm understanding what we're trying to accomplish on each and every running play. Studying film and watching it, just learning and trying to be a pupil of the game, has helped me a lot, but just the little small success or whatever that I've been having, the offensive line has been doing a great job, and I've got a great coach over here coaching running backs."
(on having such a big game the week before a nationally televised game in his hometown) "Well, you know, in this league, it's not about what you've done last time, it's what you're doing now, what are you doing for me lately. And once Thursday comes, that's going to be lately and that's going to be about then and there, so it's being consistent, trying to do what I can do and standing and playing to the ability that I can play it. And that's my main focus is to try to do every little thing that I can right and learn from the things that I did wrong last week and try to get better."
(on if his family has been calling him nonstop since his last game) "They've been calling me all year, all summer, just (for) the fact they knew how excited I was just to get the opportunity even to put on the uniform and to be on the practice field and to be out there. Ever since camp started, I've been excited about each and every step and as it goes forward, I'm still excited; I'm still a little giddy like a little kid and having fun. My family's living it with me, and it's a great feeling."
(on his draft-day experience) "It was a little difficult for me on draft day. I had my little brothers, I had my family. Well, I didn't have too much family – I just had my little brothers. We're real close, I've got five of them, and I had them over there with me and I was looking forward to it being one of the great moments of my life and they could see it with me. And I know they're trying to follow in my shoes, so when I didn't get the call it was getting to the point where, hey, that's basically what's it's been like your whole life – a lot of people, they know you're there, they understand you're there, but they don't understand what they're going to get from you from whatever reason, maybe being the injuries or what in the past. But I never did once lose belief in myself. I always knew that if I got the opportunity, the chance to be healthy, it didn't matter what team I was on. Eventually I was going to get a chance to be able to play and hopefully lead that team into the history books is my goal."
(on if he has felt like an underdog his whole life) "Yes, my whole life. I played baseball back in the day and I was MVP of everything. My dad didn't take me to go get my trophy, and they gave it to somebody else. Then I was playing Little League football and we won the Super Bowl and they gave the trophy to somebody else, but my father always told me, 'It don't matter who they're giving it to or who they're praising in the end, just as long as that you know you was up there and you done everything that you could do to help the team get to where they was.' And I always took that to heart. You don't have to give me the glory, you don't have to give me the cameras in my face and stuff like that, but I feel good when I go and I see my teammates and they know that, 'When I look at this dude, dude is going to come to play, he's going to be ready to ball.' So I take more pride in that than anything."
(on what his little brothers have learned from him after now) "You know, I feel like they learned a lot. My deal is always to try to lead by example instead of being one of those guys that say, 'Hey, don't do what I do, do what I say.' I had that in my lifetime, so I just want to be one of those that they'll be like, 'Hey, I'm doing it.' So I'm not going to say you have to do it, but it's possible to do so. You put your mind to something and no matter what it is in life, you don't have to play football, you don't have to do what I do, you can just, period, whenever you decide to do something, just give it your all and stick to it. But for them to get to watch me to go through the growing pains and from college and coming out and graduating and being injured and the little draft thing, whatever, from what they understand, it's a big deal to not get drafted and the big deal turned into something, 'Well, maybe he didn't reach that goal.' But to see it almost close and then me fight back and turn it back around, hopefully it's big in drawing a picture in their minds of from our generation, it's going to be different from now on."
(on what appealed to him to pick Denver as a free agent) "Well, you know, I already understood that, that they had a running back tradition here. That was obvious. But the number on thing that got me was probably the coach, Bobby Turner. We met at the combine. I was there and I made myself available to speak to every single person that was in that big ol' room, and I made that purposely to do, and it was three days' worth of me just walking up to people and talking to them. And I was being honest and telling them my life story, and some of them looked at me crazy and some of them didn't. They didn't really believe, they were like, 'Maybe this kid is trying to sell himself.' But I was humble and I've always been this way. And I was talking to Bobby T and he was looking at me in my eyes, and right before I started to talk to him I was talking to a guy from another team, I won't say, but dude looked at me in my eyes for like five seconds and then turned his head and would not look me in my eyes the whole time and I was like, 'Man, everything I'm saying to him, it's like he's not even going to give me a shot or a chance.' But when I was talking to Bobby Turner, he was looking me in my eyes and he was really trying to feel and understand what I was trying to say and what I was trying to get him to see about me as a person and he took that and he believed that once I got to camp, and it was true. He got a person that's going to come ready to play and take pride in what I do. He's the same type of coach; he coaches hard every day and every moment he gets a chance to. So it's kind of match made."
(on how the game has changed since college) "Just learning. The preparation has been to another level from college. In college, you're going to class all day and then you go and you've got like about two or three hours to try to get yourself fit every day, but you come here, it's like a nine-to-five and you prepare and you're getting to know the opponent a lot and you're watching a lot more film. But me myself, I start to look at little things that have been helping me, little pre-snap reads, understanding the way we're running the football in the zone scheme or the wide zone scheme, understanding, 'The safety's coming down, they've got the defensive end a little wide. I'm probably not going to get out there, so if I press it to him and hopefully one of those lanes is going to open up on the inside or maybe even cut it back if the back side is flowing over the top.' But stuff like that, just for me to even say that, I wouldn't have been able to even say it in college and now that I'm seeing it happen as it happens and seeing it happen before it happens and know what's going to happen, it's helping me a lot. I'm starting to get real comfortable."
(on the Texans' defense) "Well, you know, from the start of their franchise for me personally, I've always looked at and seen their defense as the strongest point on their team, so I understand that. And those guys, from film, they're flying around and making plays. They're physical. DeMeco Ryans is a heck of an athlete, so it's always going to be a challenge. You just come out and accept the challenge and you'll just be ready to go."