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Kubiak presser quotes

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Coach Gary Kubiak compared the receiving tandem of Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter to the Denver duo of Rod Smith and Ed McCaffery.

Head coach Gary Kubiak

(on what it would mean to beat Tennessee to get back to .500) "It's important that we keep playing well. Yeah, that would obviously be another move in the right direction for our football team, but I think the biggest thing we just want to continue to play well, to be competitive, have ourselves in each football game and give ourselves an opportunity to win. We've still got so many things we can get better at and we're going to have to play as well as we've played all year long to beat this football team because they've obviously had our number and played extremely well. (They) have been the best football team in the league this year. So, we've got a big challenge ahead of us."

(on why the Titans have had so much success against the Texans) "I'm not going to find any excuses for you here. They've just out coached us. They've out played us. They've done a heck of a job. They've got a fine football team. They're very consistent. They don't hurt themselves. They run the ball. They play great defense. Special teams wise, they're very difficult to prepare for. They do a lot of things. (Titans head coach) Jeff's (Fisher) one of the finest coaches in the game and just they do a lot of things well. So, you're going to have to be extremely good to beat them, and in my five opportunities, we haven't been good enough. So, hopefully, we get better this weekend."

{QUOTE}(on if he ever envisioned getting back to .500) "I don't think you ever sit there and think at 0-4 and say, 'OK, I envision us being 6-7 after 13 weeks.' I don't think you do that. I just think you're figuring out how do we get better the next game, how do we play better the next football game. That's what we stayed focused on. We played some good football at times and lost. You look at Jacksonville. You look at Indy, back at Indy again. We played good football in those games and got beat. We went to Cleveland and yesterday we did some things that could have gotten us beat in those games and found a way to win. I think you just make sure it's one week at a time. I know it's an old cliché, but if you get any further focused than that you're probably not going to play very well."

(on if the last drive yesterday can be a defining moment in franchise history) "I don't know if we know which moment is going to end up being a defining moment, but you've got to be able to do those types of things to be successful and have a chance to win in this league. I'll go back to Miami. We're sitting there 0-4 and find a way to go down the field to score to win that football game, to get going. Yesterday, you're on your own 2-yard line in Green Bay, as cold as it was and against a home crowd, to be able to come out of that hole and make the plays that we did and finish that football game after all we've been through, it just tells you that guys are fighting, good things are going on, we're moving in the right direction. But that has to be on a consistent basis to be successful in this league, so we've got to continue to do that more often."

(on where does the victory yesterday rank for him as a head coach) "I don't know how to put a number on it. I know it's just feeling our football team. We talked about coming off of our first Monday Night football game as an organization—that was an important step for the players and this group. We said Saturday night if we could turn around six days later and go to a place like Green Bay in a very difficult environment, tough conditions, and there was probably another level of respect out there for us as a football team and franchise, and that continues to hold true as we work into this weekend. So, it's just nice to get that win. It's a very difficult place to play. We have not been very good on the road. And to overcome the adversity that we overcame to win, it was a very good feeling in that locker room. It's a step in the right direction. We've just got to continue to work at it."

(on if he could in his wildest dreams imagine QB Matt Schaub coming back after the lay off have such a great game) "No, I don't know if I could imagine any quarterback going in there in that temperature and in that place and throwing for 414 yards, I think it was that he threw for. He showed a little rust early. Actually after the first touchdown pass, he missed a few throws. The good thing: it wasn't windy yesterday. That was a positive and he just kept playing. The thing I was impressed with was even when he missed some throws, he missed them in the right place. He had one play he'd like to have back but was very consistent throughout the day, very competitive, took some shots, made some great plays - had total command of the group and total command of the group under a lot of pressure there at the end of the football game. I know he was chomping at the bit to get back on the field, and it's a big step in the right direction for him."

(on how he would describe what's made the defense better) "I've been asked that the last three weeks. I would say we've definitely been more aggressive, but it doesn't mean that all of a sudden we've changed our defense and we're calling different defenses. I think probably from a zone-dog standpoint or a pressure standpoint have upped our level as far as how many times we may call those types of things in the last couple few weeks. That's obvious. We've been able to do that because we've had some success with them. If you're doing it and you're getting burned, so to speak, then you probably tuck them away and don't do it as much. But we've been very good on third down and if yesterday, we don't offensively put them in some really bad situations, I think they (defense) would have been even better. So, as I said, I think the biggest key is continuity in people that have been on the field. We've been fortunate to have the same guys on the field now going on a month and got some new helps from players like (LB Xavier) Adibi stepping in there, (LB Kevin) Bentley stepping in there, (DT) Amobi (Okoye) coming back. So, I think it's just consistency in what we're doing and then getting a little more confidence."

(on RB Steve Slaton and RB Chris Johnson) "A lot of light from a standpoint of speed. That's their (RB Chris Johnson and RB Steve Slaton) game. They give you the opportunity to make big plays. I think they've both surprised everybody in this league as far as how well they've held up in all phases of the game, pass protection, down in-down out backs. We knew they would be good third-down players, but they've both had a big impact on their football teams and they're two exciting young men that have got bright futures. We'll have our work cut out stopping not only him (RB Chris Johnson) but their running game. Tennessee is going to run the football every week and they run it pretty darn well every week. So, we've got our hands full with them."

(on how he explains his success in December since he's been here) "I don't know. You know, I think we've gotten some breaks here in the past few weeks. I think our effort has been excellent. You know, it just seems like I know we've freshened up a little bit from that standpoint. You know, players have responded to some of the practice issues we've had with taking some of the workload off of them. And that scares you as a coach sometimes, are you going to be ready physically, those types of things. But our players have really responded. They've obviously been fresher, been faster and have played better. So, maybe it's something we ought to look at earlier in the year."

(on how important RB Steve Slaton is to the offense) "Well, he's been very important. You go back to the situation he got put in. His first start was against this team (Tennessee). To go to Tennessee and start that game, I don't think any of us at the time had an idea of exactly how he was going to hold up, how he was going to play. And now we go into 12 weeks in a row with him being the starter and holding up. So, it's just been a pleasant surprise and what he's brought to the team and the type of player he's become. And there's still a lot of football left to play. Three weeks and you look at where he's at as a player right now. What is he, third in the AFC and top ten in the NFL? I know our offensive line takes a lot of pride in that. You know, I don't see him stopping anytime soon. I think he's continuing to get better and that's very encouraging for out team."

(on if he would have believed someone if they would have told him that RB Steve Slaton would rush for 1,000 yards this season when they drafted him) "Well, that would have meant he was playing awful quick so you know, I don't know if I would have said, 'You're right.' But, we knew we were getting a good football player. We knew we were getting a smart player. A guy that we expected to be a third-down player right away for us and then all of a sudden through the injuries, you know, we went with him and he surprised everybody. But he's a fine young man."

(on if he ever thinks about December back in August) "I can't say that I ever look that far ahead. You know, you try to approach the season in quarters. We're in the last quarter of the season. You try to evaluate each quarter, 'Hey what do we need to do different this quarter?' You know, it's very difficult when things aren't going good to cut back. But it was something that we took a look at at the halfway mark. When I look at our team, the offensive line, those guys have played every snap this year. I think if we hadn't cut back a little bit, we were going to have some really worn out guys. Same thing with (RB Steve) Slaton. Same thing with (DE) Mario (Williams), he's played almost every snap this season, (LB) DeMeco (Ryans). So, being a young football team and having players that haven't been on that field a great deal, I think cutting back has helped them from a standpoint of playing better and fresher towards the end."

(on any injuries in the game) "You know, our biggest one I think is going to be (DE) Jesse Nading as we move forward. He sprained his knee. He'll be evaluated. He'll be day-to-day. But he would probably be the biggest one. Then whether (S) Nick (Ferguson) or (S) Will (Demps) will make it back next week, I think they are both day-to-day also."

(on the possibility of WR Kevin Walter getting to 1,000 yards receiving and what it would mean to have two thousand-yard receivers) "Yeah, I've only been a part of that one time. He's (WR Kevin Walter) a special player. He plays hard in the running game. He seems to make big plays for our team all the time, very unselfish player. For us to get him for a seventh round draft choice a couple of years ago has been just a tremendous steal. I'm really looking forward to his future. I don't think he's scratched the surface. I think he's going to be a fine, fine player for a long time. He takes care of himself. The game is very important to him. People can count on him."

(on the production he's getting from the defensive line other than DE Mario Williams) "Well, they are kind of starting to play as a group. You know, with (DE) Jesse (Nading) becoming a part of that, he's really helped the group from the standpoint that we've done some things with the spinner packages and stuff. He's a very smart player. They are moving him around. But (DE Tim Bulman) Timmy has just gotten better. He continues to get better, he's held up. When we've given him a chance to play in the past, his health has been an issue. He's had a hard time staying healthy week-to-week. I think he's finally settled down and got that under control. But they're obviously helping (DE) Mario (Williams). That was a huge sack (DE Tim Bulman's) in the game and then (LB) DeMeco's (Ryans) was even bigger when we got to the last drive. But Timmy's becoming a fine player."

(on if it was former Broncos WRs Rod Smith and Ed McCaffery who had the other two 1,000-yard receivers he was a part of) "Yes it was."

(on what it means to him to be ranked third in total offense in the NFL) "Well, I mean, we're moving the ball very well. There's a lot of yards out there—to have 550 yards in a football game, I don't think I've ever been a part of one like that. And to do it on the road in that temperature was really special. But really what it boils down to in this league, you have to score points. It doesn't matter if you have 280 yards. If you can find 30 points, then you have a chance to win. Yesterday, we had tremendous ball movement and those types of things, but yet we only found 24 (points). But it was enough. But we should have put a few more points on the board."

(on how much better QB Matt Schaub will have to play against Tennessee than he played in the last game against Tennessee) "Well, he's going to have to play, our whole football team is going to have to play extremely well. You know, we had our opportunities in that game. But anytime you play this football team and you get in a must-throw situation or they know you're going to have to throw the ball a bunch, you're going to have a hard time having success. You just go back, and that's what they do to people. It's hard to be patient against them because they're playing very well offensively. (Titans offensive coordinator Mike) Heimerdinger has done a great job. If you get down 10 to this team and you're in the second half of the football game, you're going to have a very difficult time. So, running the ball will be key for us, our defense keeping us in the football game, and staying out of tough third-down situations. But Matt will have to play extremely well, just like he did last week."

(on if he feels like the team is a totally different team than earlier in the year) "Well, there are some new faces adding to what we're doing right now. But whether our football team has changed that much or not, I don't think is important. I think it's the team that we're playing and what it will take to beat this football team, it's not going to change. They've been tremendous to be sitting where they're at right now, having a chance for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. It looks like the AFC is going through Tennessee if you want to win a championship. So, they've got so much to gain in this football game and we're excited to play. And like I've said, they've been very difficult on us. It's a big challenge for our football team and I know our guys are looking forward to it."

(on if it's a challenge for him too) "Oh, you bet. I mean, anytime we're sitting here as a team since I've been here, we've struggled against this group. We haven't beat them. And that sticks with you for awhile. But the good thing is we get another chance this weekend. So, I'm looking forward to preparing and I understand what it's going to take but we're going to put the work in and go take our shot."

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