Head coach Gary Kubiak addressed the media Monday afternoon after the team's 26-20 loss to Tennessee during his weekly press conference.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on his feelings about the game) "About the same, I'm just very disappointed, not discouraged but very disappointed.
That was a hell of a football game as I told you guys yesterday. One play was
the difference there at the end and it could have been nice for us to make that
play with (QB) David (Carr). We would be feeling a lot better, but we didn't.
So you could give them credit, they made it."
(on DE Mario Williams not playing during the Titans' 88-yard, fourth quarter drive) "No, he was on the field. He did, in his rotation, miss a few plays there that were very important. You're right they do keep their rotation. We did talk about that today too because I think there's a time when you are on your rotation and there's a time when you're not. I would agree with you and that's something that we address as coaches that the rotation's over at that point, we've got to make sure that our best 11 are on the field. That's very, very important. You're right in what you saw, but he was on the field during the drive. He was not on the field those last three or four plays of the drive."
(on the mental mistakes) "You look back and our guys were really ready to go, they were very emotional going into the game. I don't know if that played a part on some of the things that happened. I know early in the game we wanted to use our cadence, that's something that we'd talked about a lot over a two-day period and to go out there and have some of your players such as (WR) Andre (Johnson) and (LT) Ephraim (Salaam) make mistakes right there it tells you they're either overloaded for the game or we're just not concentrating. And I think our concentration level was good from there on out, but it definitely was disturbing early. And I think it disturbed some of our players because it's something that we talked about so much and for them to see it happen it's confusing. We had some mistakes early on defense which, credit to whatever, being too ready to go or whatever, but t the bottom line there was too many mistakes and they catch up with you. It caused us a bunch of horrible third down situations early in the game."
(on not fielding the last punt at the end of regulation) "I told him not to field that ball. He should not have been fielding that ball. To me only something bad could happen right there at that point inside the ten yard line and I think that, if I had the first half and the second half right, they punted twice in that situation right there? They punted and then re-punted the ball? He was instructed not to field the ball the first time and the second time he should have been thinking the same thing, and he got confused but he did get out the way. But he should not have fielded the ball, you don't want to lose the ball game right there somebody grabbing the punt on an eight or nine yard line."
(on whether the officials made the right call when WR David Anderson knocked the kickoff out of bounds) "They made the right call according to the book. There's no possession involved, it's really their possession and do we do something about it? David did touch the ball before it went out of bounds, but there's no possession that occurred so they did make the right call."
* (on whether the ruling seems right)* "I guess they're really treated the same when you look at it, right? It doesn't
matter if you touch it or not because the receiving team is considered to be the
possessing team until somebody does something about it. If you knock it out of
bounds, I don't think that would change anything. I don't know if I'm answering
your question. We thought the same thing, but it goes just like an onside kick,
there's no possession change right there. We had an excellent opportunity there
if the ball's not going anywhere, it's actually stationary right there on the
sideline about a yard inbounds and when David tried to jump on it his force knocked
it out of bounds, but we could have had a big break in the game right there it
just didn't happen."
(on if they were trying to keep it away from Adam Jones) "Well that's the first time they put him back there in a game from a punt returner standpoint. (Special teams coordinator) Joe (Marciano) instructed K Kris (Brown) if he's back there when we kickoff, let's drop it to their fullback on the sidelines. It was a good kick; it was probably too good, too close to the sidelines. We want to make sure that that guy has to field the ball right there, could have really hurt us with the field position as far as them starting that last drive before the end of the game. Kris probably squeezed the sidelines a little bit too much with him. But we were trying to keep it out of (Adam) 'Pacman (Jones)'s hands, you're right."
(on reinvestigating shotgun with QB David Carr) "I really don't want to address that. There's a reason why we haven't been doing much shotgun and I've got to keep that in-house until we fix it. But when your quarterback is getting pressured you'd love to move him back there, you'd love to give him more time from that standpoint the minute you go back there you are throwing the ball. We've got some things we've got to work out and we have been working on them and if we can get them fixed you may see us do it some more. If we don't get it fixed then we're not going to do it. That's as far as I'll go with that."
(on what he tells Carr to keep confidence up) "He better stayed focus. He should feel good about some of the things he did yesterday. I could tell David was about as ready to play a football game yesterday as I've seen him emotionally in charge, into his players in the sideline and on the field. He did some good things, (he) needs to do one or two more like I said yesterday and that's everybody, not just him. He's got to come back this week and play a world championship team with a great defense on the road. He better let it go and get ready to play real quick."
(on Carr's ability to audible) "We don't check very much in our scheme we feel like the things we call adjust to what's going on. As far as him having a ton of freedom at the line of scrimmage, it doesn't operate that way. We will check out of bad plays, but just to go out there and say, 'Do whatever you want to do,' we're not at that point yet, but we'll get there someday. We don't do much of that. They still played us in a lot of two-deep and they played us in quarters, they gave us a little bit of man coverage, we had a chance to make a big play on the go-route to (WR) Andre (Johnson) versus man free. That play can be a difference in the game, we had a big play to make to (TE) Owen (Daniels) coming out of our own end zone (that) could have been an 85 yard big play and we don't make that play. So we had our chances to make about two or three big plays and those are usually difference makers and we didn't make them yesterday, they did."
(on whether he wishes he had QB Vince Young) "No, I'm happy with my football team. I think we've had one of the best drafts since I've been around in professional football. Do we have a long way to go? You bet we do and we're going to keep working until we get there, but I like our players. I like the direction we're headed, I'm just disappointed in yesterday."
(on Vince Young's ability) "He has tremendous amount of ability and he should only get better. Being able to make those plays on schedule like he made yesterday, that last play, I'm sure you all saw the TV copy, but you watch the film and the way he was able to come out of that blitz that we had on was just a tremendous play on his part. He's got a ton of tools and he should only get better."
(on Young's ability to pass in addition to run) "No doubt, there's not doubt he makes plays with his arm. He made some great throws in that game, the corner one he threw on their bench at some point I want to say in the third quarter was one hell of a throw to (WR Drew) Bennett. Moving around, stepping up in the pocked, and made some great throws. He beat us with both his arms and his legs, the kid played a good football game, he can do both."
(on the team regrouping to face QBs Tom Brady and Peyton Manning) "That's what we do, you have to do that. That's part of this league and you play good football teams every week. We're getting some really good quarterback right in a row and as I told you before, if you're doing things good in this league you better be humble enough to let it go and play the next week. if things aren't good you better be tough enough to let it go and regroup, that's part of the NFL and this should be a good stretch for us."* *
(on whether he thinks the last play was the right situation for a blitz) "Well, where was the ball? The ball was on, I think, it was the 40 yard line, the 39 yard line. This kid (Titans K Rob Bironas) made a 60-yarder last week. If you sit there and you play zone and you let (Titans QB) Vince (Young) dump the ball for a six yard gain, and then they kick a 49-yarder, then you don't feel like you're giving yourself, your team, an aggressive chance to win. I like the call. We had a guy free. (LB) DeMeco (Ryans) was free. They did a good job of cutting (LB) Morlon (Greenwood), to back-cut Morlon. DeMeco was free on Vince, hugging up, and he found a crack between Morlon laying on the ground and DeMeco hugging up, and made a great play. But right there the call that we made was fixing to make it a negative play for them, and then I think they do have to punt. So I like the aggressiveness of what we did; we just didn't get it done."
(on how the team regroups after this loss) "Well, it's a concern from an emotional standpoint because I know how much they left. One thing, I'll say this, when we sat in the locker room yesterday after the game, there wasn't a player in our locker room who didn't leave everything on the field. That was as spent as I have seen them as a group. They could feel the energy in our building yesterday, and they gave every dang thing that they had. So today we have to correct mistakes and we have to get our guys fresh again. We have some guys barely walking around after yesterday, and we're pretty thin as it is, with our injuries and stuff. We, as coaches, are going to have to get these guys mentally ready to play and somehow freshen them up before we go down there because it is as tough a task as we're going to face this week with this guy (Tom Brady) and next week (Peyton Manning)."
(on whether he relies on veteran leadership to get the team through tough times like this) "They have to teach those guys how to let those things go and go on to the next one. As disappointing as this loss was, imagine what it would be like to go into a place like that and to beat a team that has got a very legitimate chance to be a world champion this year. So you have to look at the opportunity you have ahead of you, and that's what we have to focus on."
(on what can improve the pass protection) "Well, that's a good question. We're struggling there, there's no secret there, a little bit with continuity and a little bit with some guys (being) worn out. (T) Ephraim (Salaam) has been playing now for 13 weeks and has had a knee issue. He's given us everything he's got; he's beat up. We start the new center (Drew Hodgdon); we have the young right tackle (Eric Winston). They are playing hard. They did some really good stuff yesterday. They knocked them off the ball in the run game; did some good stuff. We're just not real clean and working together in our pass pro. Some of the things we're doing we have got to get much better at. As coaches, sure you can keep more guys in and try to max protect, and try to chip for tackles. There's a lot of things you can do to try and help those guys. But if you start doing too much of that, then you're never stretching a defense (and) you can't threaten a defense. It's a double edged sword. You try and do a little bit of both and then hopefully get better at what you're doing. But, like I said, we had a couple of chances the other day. We caught them in the coverages we wanted in a man-standpoint; had a chance to make a couple big plays, and we just didn't make them."
(on whether he would like to stretch the field more) "Yeah, you know you definitely want to come out in the game and stretch the field more in what you're doing. As I told y'all after the game, I know for a fact that it is not a strength of ours right now. If we go out there and take a seven-step drop 20-25 times in the game and think we're going to (WR) Andre (Johnson) 30 yards down the field and (WR) Eric (Moulds) 30 yards down the field, and that's the way we're going to play the game. I don't think that's fair to our team right now. It's not a strength of our team right now. If we can keep our third downs manageable and keep (QB) David (Carr) in three and five-step drops, I think we have a chance to be effective. And we were yesterday whenever we were able to do that, but the minute we got a penalty and we were second-and-20 or third-and-12, we weren't very good. So that is something that we as coaches address and try to keep them out of that situation. As we get better as a football team hopefully we're able to handle those situations better, but right now that is not something good for us. If we have penalties in a game, then we're usually in trouble because now we're having some long distance yardage. It is something that we have to get better at, and the only way you're going to get better is to just keep going back. For us right now it's just best for us to stay out of those situations."
(on whether RB Ron Dayne has earned a start at New England) "He's definitely played good, hasn't he? Boy, he was a load yesterday. He basically ran the same way yesterday as he did at Oakland. Our team has a lot of confidence with him when he's in the game. It was interesting when he had his little run there and ran the ball well, (RB) Wali (Lundy) did come back and have his three or four best runs. So we'll decide what's best. I do want to take a look at (RB) Chris (Taylor) here at some point. He did some good things on special teams. But (RB) Ronnie (Dayne) has definitely earned the right to go out there and carry that ball more for us, and he's done a good job."
(on whether RB Chris Taylor was open on the play he lined up at fullback) "No, he wasn't. We were trying to get him down the middle of the field. They were in three-deep, so he was not the primary, so the ball ended up going outside to (WR) Andre (Johnson) on the sideline. But we had a couple of plays that we were trying to get him involved in what we were doing. The good thing is he stepped up for (special teams coach) Joe (Marciano) and made a couple of tackles. So hopefully that'll improve."
(on the injuries) "Yeah, let me go through. We have a few. (FS) C.C. Brown, turf toe, probably will be tough and go this week. (FB) Jameel Cook, what we're going to do with Jameel is we're going to monitor him the rest of this week and then we'll probably make a decision on Jameel's status for the rest of the year, probably about Friday. His knee is a concern, it needs some work done. He could probably muster it up and play for us, but I like what (FB) Vonta (Leach) has done, and I want to make my decision in the best interest of Jameel. You'll probably hear from me on that one later in the week. (TE) Owen Daniels got his shoulder bruised; he should be okay. (RB) Ronnie Dayne, thigh bruise, he should be okay. (CB Demarcus) Faggins, a concussion; I think he'll be okay. I think he'll be alright, he got kicked in the head. (WR) Jerome (Mathis) has a strained groin, so we'll see. (T) Ephraim is (Salaam) Ephraim; we'll monitor him and hopefully he'll keep getting through for us. The two biggest for us are (DE Anthony) Weaver and (DE) Mario (Williams). Both of them (are) really beat up, and we'll continue to monitor them like we have. I think they'll both play. We did get some good news on Mario today. They did a new MRI on him today and it did look better than the last one."
(on whether the MRI was of DE Mario Williams' foot injury) "Yeah, so it did ook better. And (LB) Kailee Wong has a heel (injury). So we may have to alter some things we're doing this week to make sure we've got these guys all in once piece and ready to go on Sunday. We laid it on the line yesterday; left it on the field, and there are some guys really beat up."
(on whether the team is facing Tom Brady and the Patriots at the worst time with these injuries) "Well, I think, you say it is a bad time for us to get him after that? Well, usually those guys don't go through that two weeks in a row, if that is what you're asking me. You know in that division they have always had some great games, Miami and New England, regardless of what is going on. Miami plays great defense. I think we all know that. They have done that through the years and continue to do that. But when you're playing (New England QB) Tom Brady you're going to get his best shot. They're going to spread that field out and they're going to challenge you. So it's a good challenge for our defense."
(on whether it bothers him when he hears Texans owner Bob McNair getting criticized) "Yeah, we all share that burden, I mean, all the players, the coaches, everybody. We can say what we want to say. We understand how important that game was to him and everybody in the city, but everybody's proud of the effort that took place. And I think Bob (McNair) probably is too. Like I said, we came up a play short. And we all think the world of Bob. That's who we all work for. That's why we go out there and battle every week, for him and this city, and our fans in the city. And that won't change. And we want him to be proud of our efforts, so, yeah, in that regard, yeah, it's tough."
(on LB Charlie Anderson playing more vs. Tennessee) "Yeah, that's a good observation. He played good. He had a very few reps. I want to say he had 12 or 15 plays and a lot of production. So you're going to see him on the field. He got an opportunity to play yesterday and he took advantage of it, did a good job."
(on what gave LB Charlie Anderson the opportunity) "Really just the flow of the game. And I know that (linebackers coach) Johnny (Holland) and (defensive coordinator) Richard (Smith) wanted to get him more involved, and they just had a feel for it during the game, 'Let's give him a chance; let's give him some reps,' and he got in there and made some plays and made some plays for (special teams coach) Joe (Marciano) on special teams. (He) just looked very comfortable playing, and that's a good sign, that's a real good sign. So as I said, you give some of those guys an opportunity and they take it and run with it, kind of like (FB Vonta) Leach has done the last couple weeks. That was very positive to see (LB) Charlie (Anderson) play well."