*Watch the live streaming video of coach Gary Kubiak's weekly press conference Monday at 3:30 p.m. CT.
After the Texans' 24-23 loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 16, coaches and players from both teams answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Houston Texans Head coach Gary KubiakLB Zac DilesCB Glover QuinK Neil RackersQB Matt Schaub
Denver BroncosInterim head coach Eric StudesvilleDL Justin BannanRB Correll Buckhlater WR Jabar GaffneyCB Andre GoodmanLB Mario HagganWR Brandon LloydQB Tim Tebow
Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
(opening comments) "We just kind of found another way to get beat today. We played pretty darn good in the first half. I think if you go back and look, I don't think we stopped them one time in the second half if I'm right. We had a chance to put the game away offensively and ended up having to kick two field goals which kind of hurt ourselves. Then we had that play at the end of the game that was going to win the game but that has been about the way it has been – the ball gets tipped, we have OD (TE Owen Daniels) exactly what we want, but that has been the way it has been. We don't deserve to win. If you can't stop someone in a half of football then you don't deserve to win."
(on the intercepted pass late in the game) ""OD (Owen Daniels) ran what we call a Texas route and he was wide open. We had exactly what we wanted. He was fixing to go for awhile – I don't know if he will score but he is going for awhile and the ball got tipped."
(on tipped balls) "A long, long time ago, George Seifert put me in a room for about two days and told me to study tipped passes. I still haven't come up with the answer, so they get tipped sometimes."
(on QB Tim Tebow) "He is impressive. He is a winner. He made a lot of plays off schedule. He is very composed in what he is doing. I thought he threw the ball exceptionally well – I think he threw for 300 yards on us. He is exactly what you thought coming out of college. He is a winner. He will find a way to make a play. He will find a way to move the chains. He found a way to win a game today and that is what this league is about."
(on his feelings after the close loss) "There have been a few of them like that, so unfortunately we kind of got used to it here over the course of the last nine weeks. This disappointment is not any tougher than any of the other ones. When you get beat in this league they are all tough and you have a 17-0 lead on the road – that is hard to do in this business, so you have to find a way to finish games and we didn't."
(on second-half performance) "I have to go look at it but I know we gave up a ton of yards and never stopped them one time, so it is very disappointing."
(on losing first-half lead) "It is inexcusable as a team to let go of a 17-0 lead on the road. Their part (defense) was that they didn't stop them in the second half but the offenses part was that we crossed midfield twice and ended up having to kick two long field goals and we shouldn't have. We had a chance to win the game at the end and didn't so everyone has their part. The fact that we could not stop them the whole second half after we had played good defense for a half is just inexcusable. I think they went 80 yards in four plays on the first four plays of the second half and the next two I think they went about another 60 yards.
(on Broncos downfield throws in the second half) "They tried to throw the ball downfield a little bit in the first half. Our pressure was pretty good – we got to him (Tebow) a few times in the first half and made some plays on the ball in the first half. We got killed on a screen – a big third-down screen that went for a touchdown is inexcusable. We were in man-under. We were in the best coverage you could be in to stop a screen but we didn't stop it."
(on Broncos progress) "I don't know about the Broncos. I know the Texans are really struggling right now. That was my first look at them – getting ready to play them this week. They were good enough to beat us so I am impressed with what they did."
(on low points throughout the season) "There have been a few of them. But this is today, so it is a very low point."
Houston Texans LB Zac Diles(on the loss) "They were making plays and we were coming up short, so kudos to them for coming up in the second half and playing strong. It was just boys not making plays. They made them and we didn't in the second half."
(on finishing the season) "We've still got one more game to go. We will come back, and we're going to keep fighting. No matter what happens, we're going to keep fighting. It's the last game, so you're going to see some effort out there, but it's not like we haven't been doing it all year. You're just going to see it come out next week."
Houston Texans CB Glover Quin(on the pass interference call at the end of the game) "I honestly don't know what he called. I was running with the dude [Eddie Royal] and I undercut him, they threw the ball out of bounds. I don't know. I have to see the play, because I really don't know what he saw."
(on the team's losses this season) "Same old story. We pretty much find a way to lose the game. It's very painful, being up 17-0 at halftime. The way we played in the second half was inexcusable."
"I've never seen anything like this or been involved in it. It's tough. Everything that could happen did happen this year. I don't really know."
(on QB Tim Tebow's second half performance) "He just did what he does. He scrambled around; he threw the ball here, there. He ran for the first down."
Houston Texans K Neil Rackers(on kicking at the high altitude) "The ball flies. It's a good place to kick. Ball contact-wise I haven't kicked in practice all week, so my leg felt fresh and I made good ball contact."
(on the pressure of kicking 54-yard and 57-yard field goals ) "You always like when your coach asks you if you can make it, and you go out and make it. That's a good thing. I didn't feel much better so I was able to kick well."
(on the team's losses this season) "It's rough and it takes its toll on guys. But like I said, nobody is going to quit. We keep going to work and keep working hard and it's unfortunate that we keep getting those unlucky bounces. We had another one today. We'll just keep working and see what we can do against Jacksonville next week."
(on watching the game-clinching interception) "It's a tough feeling. I want the opportunity to go and help my team win, but I didn't get that."
Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub(on the game-clinching interception) "We had a good call for the coverage and the blitz that they were bringing, and if I can get that in O.D.'s [TE Owen Daniels] hands, I think he might score on that. A guy in front got in front got his hand on it and tipped it up in the air."
"We had a good call on it with [TE] Owen [Daniels] over the middle against their coverage and their blitz. If I can get it in his hands, he might score on that play. A guy in front got his hand on the ball and tipped it up in the air."
(on losing another close game) "It's tough to find the words for it now."
(on whether this loss is more difficult than other losses this season) "It's the toughest because it's the most recent. It's hard to find the words right now to describe how we're feeling."
(on whether they expected WR Andre Johnson's injury to sideline him today) "Yeah, we knew all week that he wasn't going to play."
(on QB Tim Tebow's performance) "I don't know, I'm focused on the Houston Texans and our team. I don't really care what they've [Denver Broncos] got going on."
Denver Broncos interim head coach Eric Studesville(opening comments) "First of all, that is a great football game we had out there. (It was) exciting – the way it should be in the NFL. That is a good football team – the Houston Texans. We need to give them a lot of credit, because that is a good football team (RB) Arian Foster, (QB) Matt Schaub and (TE) Owen Daniels – those guys did a great job.
"I felt that our defense really rose to the challenge of playing against that football team. That was a huge challenge we issued to them, and they got it done. Our special teams covered kicks great all day today, gave us field position and backed them up and made them go a long way. Offensively, we tried to do more, we opened it up a little bit and had some success doing it. We had a lot of guys that contributed to this victory. I am happy for the men in this locker room. They prepared and performed and it is really a testament to the quality and the character of the men that we have on our football team and on our coaching staff. I am happy for them – they did a fantastic job getting this team ready to go, and the players did a great job today."
(on QB Tim Tebow's demeanor going into the final drive) "Tim's demeanor all day has been the same. He is intense, he is excited and he is ready to go. Every time he gets ready to touch the ball, he is into it. He is making the adjustments on the sidelines and he was ready to go all day today."
(on how it feels to win his first game as a NFL head coach) "It is an unbelievable feeling right now, but I am happy for the men in that locker room. Those guys deserved this victory. I told them before the game, they deserve this. Nobody is going to give it to us, but they deserved it, because of how they prepare. And then, they go out and perform like that. So, I am happy for them. The coaches that spend all of the hours doing this – they won this football game."
(on the difference between the first half and the second half) "Adjustments – we made some adjustments. We felt like there were some things that we needed to do differently. We came in, we got those things, and then we executed those adjustments. Our guys bought into what we were trying to do and what we needed to do – that was the biggest difference."
(on what adjustments the team made) "We wanted to get to some play-action things a little bit more, we wanted to take some more shots down the field and throw the ball and do some things. But, we adjusted our game plan and our guys executed."
(on whether the Broncos opened things up offensively in the second half) "I think that is probably fair to say."
(on why the Broncos decided to be more aggressive offensively) "We felt like the play-action pass gave us a chance, but all the (running) backs came in and contributed running the ball. It was tough sledding at times, but then we popped a couple runs here and there. It is a whole group (effort). Our offensive line gave us protection all day long on offense and then (WR) Brandon Lloyd went up and got a couple balls. He went up and got a couple balls and that is what we have asked guys to do."
(on the screen passes) "We carry a lot of screens every week – different ways, but what we are always trying to do is figure out how we can get the ball in space. We want to get the ball in our best athletes' hands in space and so we carry a lot of those different screens. Some of them were successful today and some of them were not."
(on whether he felt more comfortable allowing QB Tim Tebow to throw the ball downfield as the game went on) "As the game wore on, he was doing more and more over (middle of) the field, so we just kept going with it. Again, when we came in at halftime, we tried to make some adjustments. We felt like we needed to take some shots and we needed to push the ball down the field. That is a product of everything – we needed to keep trying to run the ball too, because those play actions do not work as well if you are not trying to run it. We just kept trying to go to work. Every series we were making corrections, making adjustments and trying to find something that would give us a little spark and we just kept going."
(on CB Champ Bailey's health) "Champ is a little sore. We are going to check him out still – we do not know yet."
(on RB Knowshon Moreno's health) "Knowshon got banged up a little bit, so (RB) Lance (Ball) and (RB Correll Buckhalter) took all of the work in the second half. Again, we have guys on this football team that prepare themselves for any opportunity – and that is what it is – and they made the most of those opportunities."
(on RB Correll Buckhalter) "Correll Buckhalter – since I have gotten here – has been a great example of a professional football player in everything that he does – how he carries himself and how he prepares. And then whenever we have called on him, he has gone in and done whatever we have asked. This performance here, that is 'Buck.' That is 'Buck,' that is what he wants to do and that is what he will do every time he gets a chance. I am happy for him – he did a great job today."
(on the defense's performance in the fourth quarter) "We made more plays – we did our job. We did not try to do anything other than what our job description was. Everyone was in the right spots, we were trying to do the right things, we were making tackles when we needed to and we made some plays. We got some tipped ball and got our hands up. We finished today."
(on how this win affects his future) "I feel great about where we are standing today. But, tomorrow we have to come to work and get ready for the San Diego Chargers. And, every week, all I am trying to do is get to Sunday. That is my goal, to get to Sunday and then we will deal with whatever happens on Sunday. We are going to go back to work tomorrow. We are going to enjoy this, because this is hard to come by in the NFL. We are going to go back to work tomorrow, get ready for the San Diego Chargers next week here at home.
"The fans were fantastic – we are going to need that again, because they were up and ready to go at the end when we needed them. They were absolutely fantastic. We are going to need that next week again. We are going to need the same effort from our team and we believe we will get that. We will worry about everything else after the end of the year."
(on QB Tim Tebow) "I just want to see Tim Tebow play against San Diego next week and then we will worry about that as we go. I think he did a great job today. He deserves this win. He played well; he led this football team and did the things we asked him to do. We are excited to have him here – as excited as can be to have him here."
(on whether QB Tim Tebow will start vs. San Diego next week) "We are going to enjoy this one right now, but I will see (the media) tomorrow and we will talk about it a little bit more tomorrow."
Denver Broncos DL Justin Bannan(on last play of Houston's final drive) "It was good. It was good to come out and finish strong like that in the end and it was nice to have it on our shoulders and come out on top in the end. It has been pretty rare this year, so we will take what we can get and it is a great feeling."
(on the feeling he had when CB Syd'Quan Thompson intercepted the pass to win the game) "Oh man, it was a huge relief because it seems like a few times this year it has come down to the end, and the offense has come down, like when we played the Jets and they get some free play at the end to win the game. So, to do that today was great."
(on the energy that QB Tim Tebow brings to the game) "You know, I felt like our team has played hard all year and he came out and played his butt off today. Obviously, what he did today was very exciting. The kid works hard, so I think he did a great job. I feel like the team did a great job. Nobody threw in the towel. We kept fighting and it is good to play with guys like that who don't give up."
Denver Broncos RB Correll Buckhalter(on what Coach Studesville said at halftime) "Basically, (he said), 'What are you playing for?' We have people on this team that don't know how to quit and you saw in the second half. He asked us, 'What are you playing for?' That's all he had to say and guys went out there and kicked it up to another notch."
(on his individual performance ) "I just took advantage of my opportunities. The offensive line did a great job. Receivers did a great job. Tebow did a great job. It's a group thing, and when we win it's a group effort, not just one individual who had a good game."
(on winning) "It was much needed. It's much easier to come into work with a win. We're going to try to build on this."
(on his touchdown reception) "I just saw (Texans LB Brian) Cushing over-pursuing. I felt like I could get by him in space and the line did a great job blocking, receivers too. I was able to find a seam and hit it."
(on screen passes being in the game plan because QB Tim Tebow was starting) "Not really. We had a couple screens in, but we didn't have that many in that we called. The opportunity just presented itself for us to run the screens and we ran them effectively."
(on QB Tim Tebow making players around him better) "Absolutely. I think he's a born leader. He has a lot of energy out there on the field and we're going to rally behind him. As long as I'm here playing running back with him, I'm going to do everything I can to help put him in a position to win."
Denver Broncos WR Jabar Gaffney(on screen passes being in the game plan because QB Tim Tebow was starting) "We were just trying to get the ball out of his (QB Tim Tebow) hands, and get some positive plays. Most of them worked tonight."
(on QB Tim Tebow making players around him better) "He just brings that excitement out there. You see him making plays and doing what he can every single play, it makes you want to go out there and want to do the same."
(on what was said at halftime) "We've got to go out there and play. We've got 30 minutes, and we've got to go out there and play our game. We buckled down and went out there and made some plays and were able to pull it off."
Denver Broncos CB Andre Goodman(on ending the losing streak) "I think the group of guys actually forgot what it felt like to win a football game. It feels good, and to see a group of guys that despite the record, the smiles on these guys faces today says a lot."
(on the win) "(It was a) total team effort. That's what this team has always tried to be about. We've come up short a few times, but today we were able to get over the hump and it feels good."
(on winning for interim head coach Eric Studesville) "The way that coach goes about the week in terms of respecting the players and taking care of our bodies, you always want to get out on the field and give him everything you've got, so it feels good to get him his first win."
(on the fans) "I was very surprised, honestly, because I don't think we expected the fans to show up the way they did. It was great support that meant a lot towards this win, and again, Tebow showed us why he's such a good football player."
Denver Broncos LB Mario Haggan(on the defensive stand on the final possession of the game) "It was an opportunity for us to stand up and we knew that the game would come down to the defense stopping them. Guys did what we were taught – get your hands up and maybe get a tip ball. They threw it low and the rook (CB Syd'Quan Thompson) made a big play, so it was a good day for us."
(on the ability of QB Tim Tebow to rally the team) "Well, it goes back to what I always talk about – a team effort. We got started getting more stops on defense, didn't give up big plays, the offense started moving the ball down the field, and we pinned them a couple of times. (QB) Tim (Tebow) didn't turn the ball over when he was releasing it and throwing it. (WR) Brandon (Lloyd), (WR) Jabar (Gaffney), everybody made some big plays and that is how you win football games – not making mistakes and playing as a total team."
(on Tebow finding a way to win) "I mean some things are just meant to happen for some people and it seems like Tebow is one of those guys. No matter what he does, good things seem to happen and sometimes he creates stuff by the way he works and the way he prepares, and hopefully good things continue to happen for the kid. I am happy it happened for him today and happy for us today.""
(on whether Tebow creates a confidence for players on the field) "Absolutely, when he is out there you know he is not going to give up on a play. Once they started letting him go and letting him throw the ball down field, letting him do some things, he got more and more confident as (WR) Brandon (Lloyd) and (WR) Jabar (Gaffney) and (WR) Eddie (Royal) started making great catches and he started putting it where it needed to be. Fortunately, we came out on top."
Denver Broncos WR Brandon Lloyd
(on the crowd at today's game) "We definitely felt it before the game. The energy was definitely electric. It is always good to come into this stadium and see it packed out and us going out and performing and keeping them in the stands."
(on the excitement level that QB Tim Tebow brought to the stadium) "Exactly, and he definitely stepped up and gave the fans what they wanted. As a player, he gave us what we needed. We need him to be poised, we need him to be confident out there and giving the receivers a chance to make plays down field, using his feet, picking up first downs, and doing everything. We needed him to be that quarterback for us and he was."
(on how he helped Tebow today by some of the catches he made) "I feel confident that I can make plays out there, no matter where the ball is. As long as it is in bounds, I am going to go for it and do the best I can to come down with the ball."
Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow
(on winning his first game as an NFL starting quarterback) "It feels very good. It was a very exciting win. It was an opportunity to really show a lot of determination for this team. Things were not going well early, but we kept fighting and kept believing in each other and we were able to find a way in the end."
(on what changed in the second half) "I just think we kept fighting, we kept believing and I think we were just more aggressive and we just went after it. We had nothing to lose and we were just going to go out and play until the last second."
(on how much having one game of NFL starting experience under his belt helped him today) "I think that the start last week definitely helped me – just as far as managing a game and how I am going to communicate on the sidelines and what goes on and what (Offensive Coordinator Mike) McCoy is going to say into my helmet and what I just have to know and back-and-forth – the relationship with that. I think it definitely helped a lot."
(on how his scrambling energizes the team) "Well, when you get an opportunity to make a play with your feet – moving and then maybe hit a pass or maybe get a run – I think that definitely gets the crowd into it, it gets momentum going and it is another chunk play. I think that will provide a spark as well. It is something different, so I think it just brings more energy."
(on his fourth-quarter touchdown run) "That play was not necessarily called for that coverage – it was supposed to be something different and was what we anticipated. They gave us blitz-one instead of two-Tampa, which they had been playing the whole time earlier in the game. It was kind of like a fake quarterback run, pop-pass up the seam to (WR) Eddie (Royal). They were playing blitz-one and it just was not a good play for that. So, as I saw that, I was just like, 'I have to make a smart play, nothing stupid.' So, I was looking for a seam to kind of go up the middle, and then I kind of turned my back and I saw the backside end was crashing and (OL Ryan) Clady was on him. So, I figured I could get around there. And then, (CB) Jason Allen, the left corner, had his back turned and I was just able to get in there."
(on whether he was supposed to score on that play) "We were hoping to score on that play (laughing)."
(on whether he could feel the crowd's energy on the final scoring drive) "Oh yeah, definitely. It is not something that I am thinking about or trying to think about – it is just something that happens. The momentum is behind you, we were believing in each other. We knew we had an opportunity to go down and give us a great shot to win the game and we wanted to take advantage of it."
(on what he gave a young fan in the stands after the game) "I gave him my towel."
(on whether giving the towel to the young fan says anything) "No, that does not say anything."
(on what he proved in today's game) "I do not know, necessarily what I showed, except that I am someone that is going to play until the end and I love this game and I am going to play it with all my heart. Any time I get the opportunity, I am going to play every second that I get, as hard as I possibly can."
(on throwing the ball down the field in the second half) "I think that was really good – I think we were able to soften them up a little bit when we started taking some chunks and throwing it back there and the receivers just kept making plays and going up and getting the ball. I think we were able to keep (Houston's defense) a little bit more off-balanced in the second half."
(on whether he was happy to be able to throw the ball down the field) "Well, I think we all thought that it was the right time to really be aggressive and throw it down the field. Yes, I really enjoyed it. I enjoy taking shots, keeping them off-balanced and if they start bailing, then we just hit our checkdowns – like we were able to in that last drive when (RB Correll Buckhalter) caught the third-down (pass), got the first down and we were able to hit a few more – (WR Jabar Gaffney) on the crossing route – and I think that really helped."
(on the offense's improved performance on third down today) "We were just able to execute. I thought our plan was really good on third down and for the most part, there were still opportunities in the first half when we were in third-and-longer and it is always hard to convert when you are in third-and-longer. But, when you are able to give yourself a third-and-medium or third-and-short, that is when you can put yourself in a position to make plays and get the first down."
(on whether this is how he envisioned playing in the NFL) "I think that when I think about playing football, period, this is what I envisioned."
(on the win eliminating the possibility of picking first in the 2011 NFL Draft) "I have not really thought about it."
(on whether he is expecting to start next Sunday vs. San Diego) "I am not sure. I think that is whatever the coaches want to do, I will just try to go and practice as hard as I can and be ready if I am given the opportunity."
(on whether he thinks he has earned the opportunity) "I do not know. That is not necessarily up to me and I try to only worry about what I can control – and that is my attitude, effort and focus. That is how I will try to prepare for this week."
(on how this win compares to some of the important games he played at the University of Florida) "Well, I think the adrenaline high and the crowd and the come-from-behind (win) – it was a lot of fun. I was blessed in college to have a lot of very fun wins and unique experiences, but this is definitely pretty special as well. (It was) my first time to be able to play here at (INVESCO Field at) Mile High and the way the fans were supporting us and behind us the whole game and to be able to come from – I think we were down 17-0 – and win the game was pretty cool."
(on whether he saved a football from today's game) "I will probably hold on to that one. That is definitely one that I am going to keep."
(on his mindset after throwing the first-quarter interception) "Did something go through my mind? Yes, terrible decision – that was the first thing that went through my mind. We had a good first drive going, we had the momentum and then I made a bad throw, a bad decision, and then we just did not have momentum. I think that if I were able to execute better at the end of that drive and not make that throw, then I think we might have had a better result in the first half."
(on the catch that Brandon Lloyd made in the fourth quarter) "I do not really know, I did not see it. As I was throwing, I kind of got tackled. That was me, just honestly, trusting him and (us) talking all week long, 'If you have a shot, you have better legs and you are going to go get it pretty much over anybody that you go against.' I was just trusting him and he made a great play."
(on why he decided to give a young fan his towel as he ran off the field) "I do not know. I think you will just notice a kid who maybe reminds (me) of (myself), just so excited and loves it and something that he will cherish. I think that is probably what I am looking for."
(on why he would do that) "Well, if it is an opportunity running off the field to give a kid something that is not necessarily that expensive or anything nice to me, but if it can help a kid and make a kid feel special and feel thankful. I remember, if I had been sitting in the front row and (former University of Florida QB) Danny Wuerffel would have went by and done that to me, that would have been special. So, if I could make some kid's Christmas a little bit better and think about what is the true reason of Christmas and why we are here – that is definitely even more important than winning that game – for me at least."
(on whether the hat he was wearing was a Christmas present) "Would you like it? It might look good on you (laughing). In the spirit of Christmas, I will give it to you, absolutely (laughing)."
(on whether there was a miscommunication on the interception he threw in the first quarter) "No, it was just my fault. I should have either (thrown) him a different ball – a ball where only he could have gotten it, or it would have been out of bounds – or just pulled it down and tried to hit my checkdown or run or throw it away. It just was not a good decision. I did not need to force it – it was first down and it was a bad decision."
(on whether he gets nervous during games) "To be honest, not necessarily in moments like that – that is when the adrenaline is going, that is when you are excited and when you get these unbelievable opportunities to have dream come true in games like this. (I am) playing for the Denver Broncos and it does not really get any better than that. I get nervous before the game, before it even starts – or in practice and the whole week leading up, because I cannot wait for (the game) to get here. In moments like that I just love them and try to take everything in."
(on whether he discussed making second-half adjustments with Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy) "We talk, but it is just more of what they are seeing and what (Quarterbacks Coach) Ben (McDaniels) and everyone is seeing in the (Coaches' Box) and how we are going to approach it and the adjustments that we are going to make. It is more just taking their input."
(on his reaction when he heard that the offense would be more aggressive in the second half) "I was excited about that – to be able to take some shots and be aggressive. I thought it was going to open it up and I think (the coaches) knew that as well. I think we were just waiting for the right time."
(on the hits he took from Texans' LB Brian Cushing) "I feel pretty good. My spirits are up and my body is feeling good as well."
(on whether he hears a lot of trash talk on the field due to his popularity with fans) "No, I am not a very big trash talker. I might throw in a 'God Bless,' or a 'Good game,' or something like that (laughing). But, no – I do not really talk too much trash."
(on what kind of reaction he gets when he says 'God Bless' in the middle of game action) "It is mostly in a silly situation where I am stuck under the pile and like eight guys are on top of me or something like that. Some guys might just blow it off, but honestly, most of them laugh."
(on what the mood was like in the huddle before the final scoring drive) "It was just, 'We have an opportunity to go win this game, let's get it done.' That was kind of the attitude and the momentum – we had it all and we were believing in each other and we were able to go get it done."