Being away from the office is tough for Gary Kubiak.
The 52-year-old head coach, who has been home recovering from Sunday's mini-stroke, paid a visit to the team towards the end of Thursday's practice. Afterwards, Kubiak addressed the players who huddled around him.
"He talked to the players a little bit and everybody was excited to see him," interim head coach Wade Phillips said. "He looked pretty good so that was really the highlight. We had a good practice. I thought our guys were really into it."
Kubiak told players how much he missed them and that he felt good. Phillips said that he had been told that Kubiak might pay a visit during Thursday's practice at Houston Methodist Training Center and was glad to see him.
Since Sunday, Kubiak has been in touch with Phillips and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison by phone.
"I will say this, I've spoken with him," Dennison said Wednesday. "He's called me more than I've responded, but I did respond. He's more or less just making sure everything is OK around here. He has great concern for the team and the players and the coaches. We just tell him to rest and relax. He has not really brought up any football facts. He just wants to make sure everybody is operating and that everybody is staying positive and that we're up there grinding."
Known as a players' coach, Kubiak was mostly concerned about the mood of his team after Sunday's 27-24 loss to Indianapolis. Dennison said Kubiak was calling to make sure that the players remained positive. Despite their six-game losing streak, the coaches agree that the team can get back to winning.
"We have a very good football (team), we just have to make those one or two plays," Dennison said.
After what was diagnosed as a transient ischemic attack (TIA), Kubiak is expected to make a full recovery. His exact return date is unknown but Kubiak had been planning to stop by for a visit this week.
"You know he's thinking about football," J.J. Watt said. "Even as much as I'm sure the doctors are telling him not to and as sure as his family telling him not to, you know he's thinking about it. I've been able to text back and forth with him a couple of times. You know he wants to be here. You know that's just the type of guy that he is. He would get out of that bed to get over here as soon as he could. We just want him to get healthy and take as much time as he needs."
Phillips, who has an 82-61 all-time record as head coach, will assume Kubiak's responsibilities until he returns.