Head coach Gary Kubiak and players spoke to the media during open locker room and after practice on Wednesday.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on injuries) "Well, the biggest one is (DE) Anthony Weaver. We're going to put Anthony on
injured/reserve. He will not play this last game. He has a slight tear on, I think,
his rotator cuff. (Head athletic trainer) Kevin (Bastin) could probably tell you
more. The decision was made to go ahead and I think we're going to get it fixed
this week, as soon as possible and get him going on rehab. We'll bring up (DE)
Earl Cochran, and he will play this week. (TE) Owen Daniels will probably still
be a game-time decision this week. Probably will let you know more on Friday."
(on whether DE Anthony Weaver's injury is the same shoulder injury) "No, he actually did this one in the game. He's been playing beat up, and he's played almost twice the snaps this year that he played last year. Just battling through force and something happened the other day. And I think he could probably fight through it, but the safe thing to do, instead of him going out there this week and making it worse we'll go ahead and try and get if fixed this week."
(on what his message to the team is for this last week of the season) "Well, I just want to see them stay focused. We haven't put back-to-back consistent performances together. And I know it's the last game of the year and all that stuff, but it's about consistency. Everybody feels good about what happened the other day, but it's a new week and we've got to practice better than we practiced today. This football team will come in here and lick your tail if you're not ready to go. My challenge is to see them put two weeks back-to-back."
(on the importance of closing the season with a win) "Well, they're all important. Nothing could have been better than what happened last week. That was tremendous, but this is a week-to-week business. As good as you felt last week, it can go the other way if you don't play well. We have a long off-season ahead of us and a lot of work to do, and there's been some good progress. You know what happened the other day was a big, kind of topping on the cake, but we have got to come back this week and play well."
(on whether he feels like a 6-10 season is a good improvement over last season) "Well, all I know is what we had when we walked out here on May 16 th when we started (and) we've made a lot of progress. Now there have been some tremendously swings, tremendous highs and some tremendously low lows. The progress has been good with all that we have been through. With the injuries and stuff, we have had some young players so that makes their future that much brighter. But we're still after more. We'll have to sit down and evaluate all of that at the end of the year, but I want to finish well this week."
(on whether the defense's progress has impressed him) "Yeah, if you throw out the first three weeks of the season and you look at our defense from there on, I think they would be somewhere in the top 12, 13 defenses in football. So that would be tremendous. As we speak I think they are like 23 rd or 24 th. That's coming from the bottom last year, and changing schemes and playing young players. So I think there's been some good progress. I'd like to see them finish real well this week. I know who the two kids (LB DeMeco Ryans and DE Mario Williams) are we are building our defense around so we know where we're heading with that situation."
(on how you prepare for Browns QB Ken Dorsey) "I told the defense this morning, I like this kid a lot. I really liked him when he came out. It's not like he's a big, physical-type of guy; he's just a winner. When he got chances to play in San Francisco, he played good. He'll know what to do with the ball. He's a heck of a leader, but if they don't prepare to play him just like they prepared to play Peyton Manning, they're in trouble. So they'd better be ready to go."
(on whether he announced this week's captains today) "No, (K) Kris Brown was, I guess you all probably know that, was named Special Teams Player of the Week. So that (applause) was just to compliment him."
(on K Kris Brown being named Special Teams Player of the Week) "That's a tough kick. 48 yards and he just drilled it right down. He has kicked well the last month for us. You know, we have had that (Player of the Week honors) happen three times this season with (WR) Andre (Johnson), (LB) DeMeco (Ryans), and (K) Kris (Brown). That's special for players and team when they get recognized like that, and it just happened for Kris."
(on whether some players are playing for their jobs this Sunday) "That's coaching, playing, everything you do in this business. Everyday's an interview. Every practice, every game you play, we have to evaluate everybody. That's going to take place over a period of time. It's not like you walk in here on Monday and you say, 'Here's what we've got; now we're going this way'. It's going to take a long, drawn-out process. (General manager) Rick (Smith) and I have a lot of work to do along with the coaches. But it is very important to the players."
(on the status of RB Ron Dayne's ankle) "We're just resting him today. He'll be fine. I told him to be ready to carry it another 30 times. He'll be alright."
(on QB David Carr's play over the last three games) "Well, it's kind of been up and down. You had a very disappointing time a couple weeks ago, a very exciting time this past week where he handled the game very well and was very consistent with what he was doing. I want to see him continue to do that. I just want to see him play with consistency. We have to play well around him for him to do his job. You all have seen that, but I want to see this week be very important to him, and I didn't like the way we practiced today. And I want to see us practice better tomorrow and Friday and see us play well this week."
(on what was wrong with today's practice and was it an attitude issue) "No, no, no. That's has never been a problem. Our attitude is great, and our hustle is great. (It's) just attention to detail. In this business, as a player, if you relax, if something good happened to you on Sunday and then you relax, then the next week's not as important to you and you relax, then you're not going to be a consistent player; and same way as a coach and eventually as a team. So my message to them was don't relax; let me see you come back and see you play as well as you did this last week."
(on who will start for DE Anthony Weaver) "You know, I don't know how we'll do that yet. We'll see. We'll rotate those guys. We'll see."
QB David Carr
(on whether he will put more emphasis on this game) "I'm just going to do what I did last week, what I do every week. Just try and go out and play my best and if the rest of the guys go out with the same attitude that we went out with last week, we're going to do it as a team and we won't have a problem. If we don't do that, if were lackadaisical, if some guys are already or vacation or something, then we're going to have a problem. And I don't plan on having a problem so from my point of view I'm going to do everything I can to go out and get a win."
(on his fourth quarter pass to WR Andre Johnson)"It's top five all-time of passes that I have thrown. And that's not just college or the NFL, that's everything. It meant a lot to get that. We got across the 50 into their territory enough where we could let (K) Kris (Brown) get a foot on it. It felt really good to get that win."
RB Ron Dayne
(how much it means to end the season with a win) "Well, it's definitely big anytime you can end the season with a win it's big. We just want to go out and play like we did last week and stay hungry."
(on whether the good feeling from a final win can carry over) "It should. You know, you have six month to soak it up, end on a winning streak."
WR Andre Johnson
(on how the team can win more big games) "Well, the biggest thing is about being consistent. That's the biggest thing. You don't want to go out and have a big win and then come back and have a let down. Sometimes those things happen, but I think you don't want them to happen. You just want to go out and try everything we can make sure that it doesn't happen on Sunday."
(on becoming more consistent) "I think it can happen more often. You know, you just have to be more focused on your job. Last Friday, that's good. Practice is going to get you ready for the game; that's the final preparation for the game. You know when we went out there on Friday it was mistake free. So the way we practiced showed in the game."
(on how big QB David Carr's fourth quarter pass was) "I think it was real big. Looking at it on film, he dropped back and he threw it, had a lot of confidence in it. When I turned around it was right there and hit me in the chest. You know, the game was on the line and he stepped up and gave me a great ball to catch and I was able to make a play on it."
(on how important it is for him to finish the season without going on IR) "With what I have been dealing with, it's basically one of the worse things you can have as far as not breaking something or fully tearing something. Basically you just have to suck it up and play. But the good thing is I can say I am the only one (of the original defensive line starters) who is still playing. I just keep chipping wood, just keep going at it."
(on winning the final game of the season) "That would be very important. Obviously, a win is a win, so that's the most important thing. And on top of that to be 6-10 as opposed to how we started off (when) people were thinking we weren't going to win any games. You know finishing with two wins would help out the start of next year. Obviously being 6-10 won't be the best thing in the world, but we won't have a sour taste in our mouth."
(on whether he expected more from this season) "No, this season is definitely where it needs to be for me or for the team. We look to rebound and come out stronger next year."