Practice quotes: Thursday

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After Thursday's practice at the Methodist Training Center, head coach Gary Kubiak answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of his interview.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on today's practice) "(LB) Jamie Winborn did not practice, had a little calf issue. (S Bernard) Pollard is sick on us today so we sent him home. And then Cush (LB Brian Cushing), we held Cush out of practice again but I'm encouraged, I think he'll practice tomorrow and be ready to go."

(on if S Bernard Pollard has flu-like symptoms) "Yeah, just came in this morning not feeling good, in the meetings started feeling worse so we sent him home to get started on getting him ready to go, get him well."

(on how the defensive line has evolved) "We've had the same group but we've played some different combinations and we kind of—it's really competitive from week to week, who's going to be the seventh guy, who's going to be the eighth guy suiting up. So practice got very competitive with (DT) Frank (Okam) and (DT) DelJuan (Robinson) and then (DE Tim) Jamison was in the mix there. So we're getting production from all of them and I think it's a week to week deal depending on what type of team we play and which eight we suit. But they're playing hard and playing much better."

(on if DT Amobi Okoye has changed since last year and training camp) "Yeah, he's steadily playing his best football as a pro. And I think there's still another level for him to find—we could all say that—but he's obviously playing with more confidence and playing better, he's been more active, more of a factor his past month than probably any time since he's been here. So that's very positive."

(on DE Mario Williams) "Mario's fine, just we don't give him all the reps in practice but he does take the amount of reps that he needs to take to get ready to go so he'll take more tomorrow."

(on if he expects to have S Bernard Pollard back for Sunday) "Well I sure hope so. You know, like I said he was in the meeting, not feeling well so we sent him home but I sure hope so."

(on DT Shaun Cody) "He's fine, he's ok."

(on the linebackers as a group) "They're playing really well. Those three guys (LBs DeMeco Ryans, Brian Cushing and Zac Diles) have been out on the field every snap this season, so that's very encouraging. I think (LB) Xavier (Adibi) and (LB) Kevin (Bentley) are very willing guys, to take the opportunity; they've been practicing well. It's a good group. We're going light right now with five and we signed (LB Jamie) Winborn this week. They're doing a good job."

(on if he's surprised how quickly LB Brian Cushing has played well) "I think it surprised everybody how quick the mental part came to him, with all the time missed in training camp. But the physical part and the plays he makes, they're the same ones he was making last year. He's just doing it again at a new level."

(on TE Owen Daniels) "Owen is becoming a big-time player in this league. He's more consistent in the run game for us than he's ever been. Obviously, y'all know the plays he can make in the pass game. O.D. is a real pro. He's going to do it for a long, long time. This place has got a good one for a long time."

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