Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on what was working well in the red zone for the offense when it was succeeding) "Finishing, that's the biggest thing. You get down, the field gets smaller. You've got to make the little plays down there and that's probably the biggest thing we need to look in, especially the other day. We had a lot of second-and-nines down there from that standpoint, but we got to make the small plays whether you check a ball down on a three or four-yard pass. You've got to do that so you're giving yourself a legitimate chance. One time we had a first and 20 that we didn't overcome and had to kick a field goal. I think that was the last field goal that we kicked, but we just got to finish. We moved the heck out of the ball and had a good day offensively. We've got to finish, got to put those points on the board."
(on if he's happy with how the offense is running the ball in the red zone) "Well it all depends on how you're getting played. We got played the other day in a bunch of quarters defense, people sitting on the goal line makes it tough to get behind people, those types of things. If people are going to play you that way you got to run the ball efficiently. You've got to check the ball down efficiently. It all depends what's going on and sometimes you show up on a given week and somebody may blitz the heck out of you in the red zone, where you've got to beat man coverage and do different things. It just all depends what week it is."
(on if Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison is ready to be a head coach) "I think he's been ready for awhile. I think (Offensive Coordinator) Rick (Dennison) is a very smart guy. He's selective. I've been called on him for about three years in a row now, but I think Rick knows what he wants to do with his life and if he's going to take an opportunity to be a head coach, he's going to be selective in what he does. He's got a great background in the National Football League. He's a 10-year defensive player in the National Football League. He's been a special teams coach in the National Football League. He's been an offensive line coach. He's been an offensive coordinator. There's nothing this guy hasn't done. He would do an excellent job if he gets the opportunity."
(on what Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison does to help him most) "He's my teacher. He's a guy that comes down here every day and puts it together with the players, teaches the plan, teaches his scheme, teaches what we do and coordinates everything with the offensive coaches and how we go about our business getting ready to play every week and then right there with me on game day calling plays and helping me out. He's the leader of what we do offensively."
(on capitalizing on the possibilities of getting big offensive plays against the Patriots) "The word 'finish,' which I just used. You go back to our first game, we had a couple opportunities early in the game. They were excellent offensively to start the game. They were three for three. I think we penetrated the 30-yard twice on the first two drives and we have nothing to show for it, turn the ball over. When you're playing them, missed opportunities they hurt all the time, but against these guys they're a lot worse because of what they do offensively and how good they are. When you get opportunities to go down there and score some points, you better. You better not hurt yourself. We've got to find ways to do that. They're going to make plays and we understand that, but we got to find a way to make quite a few ourselves."
(on his philosophy regarding assistant coaches getting their names in for jobs at this time of year) "It won't be a distraction. I'm a little bit different there. I think guys bust their tail for you and for you as a coach, a head coach, you as an organization. You should want the best for your people. Opportunities for guys and stuff don't come along very often in this business. When you've got somebody who has been giving you everything he has and he's got opportunities like that, then we should support him, but as far as distractions that's not a problem. I can promise you that. The guy is here all night long. He won't be distracted."
(on TE Garrett Graham's status) "We're going to talk about injuries on Wednesday. So we'll update you guys. That'll be the first time we'll talk about that."
(on why he now talks about injuries on Wednesday) "I've got a new philosophy, that's what I was told. That was my philosophy, starting today so that's my philosophy. We'll talk about it on Wednesday."
(on if he has anymore new philosophies) "I don't know, ask me some more questions. I might find one."
(on if he had to pick one thing that his team absolutely has to do against New England to win) "It's early, but I would think the biggest thing that jumps at me is this team is number one in football in turnover differential. I don't think there has been a game they've played this year where they haven't gotten a turnover. I don't know if I'm totally right, but they get them. They don't give it up. If we go in there and do anything to help them you're in trouble. It's tough enough as it is. If you ask me, the most important thing we can do is win the turnover battle."
(on SS Daniel Manning's performance returning kickoffs on Saturday) "He showed a little rust from not doing it, but he gives us a chance to make a really big play. He'll come back this week and I think he'll be better just after getting back there and doing it again. He gives us an opportunity, and not that (KR) Keshawn (Martin) doesn't. I think Keshawn's done a good job. (SS) Danieal's (Manning) made some really big plays, made one for us in the playoffs last year at Baltimore. We'll go back and give him a chance to do it this week. But we're excited about his opportunity to do that."
(on Patriots QB Tom Brady) "Well he's been at the top of his game for many years, not just this year. He's a tremendous player, Hall of Fame football player. He's got his group in the right play, you know what I mean? He gets rid of the ball extremely quick, which can frustrate a defense from that standpoint. They'll just sit there and nitpick you and make you pay for every little mistake that you make. He's exceptional. They're going to make plays. We know that, but we're going to have to step up and make some big ones ourselves. That's what we got to do. We got to do down there and be aggressive as a football team, offensively, defensively, special teams. If we're going to get it done, we're going to have to step up and make our plays. We got to challenge our self to go get that done."
(on the importance of the offensive line playing well against Patriots DT Vince Wilfork) "If you sit there and think you're going to run it at him consistently, it's very difficult. He's been one of the best players in the league, most dominant players in the league. They're very good against the run. I think they're ranked like sixth or seventh. They have been all year long. The thing that is so difficult, is he plays everywhere. So he doesn't just play one spot. It's not like you go the other way with the ball or try to avoid something. You're going to have to deal with him all day long. We know the importance of us playing well on the line of scrimmage. It was a key to what we did last week and I'm sure it won't be any different this week."
(on the pace of the Patriots' offense and the Texans' style of play) "Well first off, we are built a little bit different. We're built around a runner, that we're going to get his touches, those type of things. We're built to hang onto the football, control the football game. That's something that we've done really good this year – time of possession, those type of things. Hopefully that answers that part of the question. The other part, you're right. They do a lot of hurry-up and it even gets faster at their place. As a coach, if you break them down of how they're doping this on the road as compared to what's going on at home, when they're at home, everything gets quicker. Obviously the advantage of being at home as far as the noise standpoint. So it makes things even tougher going there."
(on what the team can do throughout the week to get over the hurdle of scoring in the red zone) "I just want to go right back there. I want to be down there that much again. I want to move the ball like we did this week. We moved the heck out of the ball. It's the negative coming out of the game, but there were so many positives. To move the ball the way we moved it. The third downs, we were excellent on third downs. To hold the ball 39 minutes in an NFL football game. Let's take those positives, let's work on that negative. It's going to be extremely important, but we're going to stay committed to what we're doing. And like I said, hopefully we have just as many chances, but we have to take advantage of them."
(on the postseason play of DE J.J. Watt and OLB Brooks Reed) "First off, getting (OLB) Brooks (Reed) back was huge. You could see the difference in the game for us this past weekend. He's a big part of what we're doing. He looked like himself and he came out of the game good, so that's a very positive thing. It's that time of year where your big players, so to speak, have to be even bigger than they've been during the course of the season. That's just the way it is. Whether you're (RB) Arian (Foster), whether you're (DE) J.J. (Watt), whether you're (WR) Andre (Johnson). Everything gets magnified. Getting Brooks back, I think makes us more balanced in our pass rush and what we're doing, and that's going to be important. We didn't have Brooks last time we went down there, so that's a nice thing to have back. We didn't have (OT Derek) Newton last time, so it's nice to have Newton back. That'll be important."
(on how much it will help young offensive linemen to have already seen DT Vince Wilfork once this year) "I don't know, (DT Vince Wilfork is) going to look the same. He's the same player. He's one heck of a player and he's a load to handle. The thing about him (is) he's so athletic. We like to cut, we like to do those things up front offensively. And he jumped over us a couple of times. They're built right down the middle with the young linebacker and (Wilfork). They're built very well right there. Against us they squeeze the ball really good off the edges with their outside players and let him do his work. Us containing him, for a player that plays inside, as many big plays as he makes, causing fumbles, those types of things, That's the thing that concerns you the most. We can't let him do that."
(on what teams do to keep the Texans from throwing fade routes to WR Andre Johnson in the end zone) "They put a lot of guys on him sometimes. There's just certain coverages and certain things people do where they're not going to let you do that. So when that happens, somebody else has got to make a play. I don't know what else to tell you. You can't throw it up against every coverage. It wouldn't be the smartest thing to do in some of the coverages we see."
(on if being an underdog will be a motivating factor this week for the team) "I think we understand where we're at. We went down there a month ago and did not play well. Like I said, there's no excuses in what took place. You have to give them all the credit. We battled the past few weeks to get back to where we're at and have a chance to go there again. I don't think players pay attention to that type of stuff. But what we do pay attention to is the film and what happens on that field. And we know that our effort and how we performed last time wouldn't give us a chance against anybody on the road. It's about right now refocusing on all the things we have to do go down there and have a chance to be successful, and I'm sure that's what they're thinking about."
(on if there will be differences in the game plan with TE Garrett Graham being in the lineup) "I mean, we're going to game plan just like we always game plan."
(on if he feels more comfortable with TE Garrett Graham out there) "Yeah, we want everybody out there. You obviously want everybody on your team out there and we'll go to work this week. But we're not going to game plan any different than we normally do."
(on there not being a backup tight end when TE Garrett Graham is out) "Well, we have OD (TE Owen Daniels. (TE) James (Casey) can play tight end. We have OD."
(on having TE Owen Daniels, FB James Casey and TE Garrett Graham on the field a lot at the same time) "Yeah, but we can still play two tight ends with (TE) James (Casey) and OD (TE Owen Daniels). That's something we're able to do. We're able to run a two-back offense, a one-back offense regardless in that situation."
(on the play of the offensive linemen and the rotation at right guard an right tackle against Cincinnati) "I thought they played really good. (G) Ben (Jones) and (G Brandon) Brooks continued to split some time. Ben probably played a little bit more then Brandon. But I think they've both gotten better throughout the course of the season. What's going to really help them is next year coming back. They won't be second-year players. They'll be third-year guys with all the football they've played. I think (RT Derek) Newton is getting healthier. He went through a period of time where he was nicked and struggling a little bit. But he has battled back, and I really liked the way he competed this past weekend. And it's a big stage for him. He wasn't part of our last trip down there. So it's obviously a big, big stage for him. He's played against some good players the last couple of weeks. He caught (Indianapolis Colts OLB Dwight) Freeney and (Indianapolis Colts OLB Robert) Mathis the week before. He's trial-by-fire growing up and I like his progress."