Head coach Gary Kubiak met with the media at Reliant Stadium during a Saturday afternoon press conference. The following is a transcript of his interview.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak(on if they had any injuries) "I have not talked to Kap (head athletic trainer Geoff Kaplan). Obviously, we got in real late. It looks like we're okay. I think we're fine. We came out of the game pretty good. Actually, Shane Lechler, his plant leg was bothering him a little bit when we went out to warm ups. That's why we, just as a precaution, we did not let him punt in the game. We had planned to let him punt. Other than that, I think we came out okay."
(on if there is a chance he will bring QB Case Keenum off the bench first before QB T.J. Yates in the next preseason game) "We're going to talk about that this week. What I'm trying to do is get him and T.J. in the exact same situations as players with pretty much equal reps, so that's something that may be a topic this week. They will continue to both play a great deal. It's a very good battle going on and they both did a good job last night."
(on how important it is to determine who is the No. 2 quarterback and who is the No. 3) "Well they are two good football players, so it's a nice problem for us. I think Case (Keenum) has come a long way. That has nothing to do with T.J. (Yates) not doing something. I think T.J. is having a dang good camp. He's a better player than he was the last couple of years. It's just a very competitive situation for us right now and it's going to make our team better. It's making both of those guys better. It will help them in their careers, but it's definitely making our team better. There is a lot of confidence with our team, when they see either guy come in the huddle we can still move the football. That's a big plus."
(on seeing the young wide receivers play well) "Yeah, we did some good stuff. Obviously, things are never as good as you think they are when you go back and watch the film. There were plenty of mistakes and we can get better. We have a lot of ability out there. DeAndre (Hopkins) showed, like I said, ended up making a play just like he's being making in the whole camp. There are so many things he's going to get better from watching this tape. Lestar (Jean) had an opportunity to have a huge night, but still made some plays. I think Keshawn (Martin) is growing. We had a couple of young guys who did not get the ball, so to speak, but showed some good things like (Alec) Lemon. (Andy) Cruse did some good things on special teams and so did EZ (Nwachukwu). It's a good group. We just need to continue to push forward. We need to get (Alan) Bonner back on the field. He's a big key to the puzzle so to speak, so hopefully we get him back this week."
(on what the main takeaway was from last night's game in Minnesota) "It was encouraging. We had a lot of young players do good stuff. When you start defensively with (NT) Earl Mitchell and how positive it was. (NT Terrell) McClain, we're looking for a backup nose to Earl. Somebody that can be a rotational player for us and help and we thought he did some really good things. (CB A.J.) Bouye, the corner who has had a really good camp. Some of the guys that have been doing it here for the last two weeks continue to do it in the games, so that was encouraging. (T David) Quessenberry is a very positive thing going on with our team right now with the way he's playing. Of course, the two young quarterbacks. A lot of opportunities for them and boy they took advantage of it, so hopefully we keep stepping forward."
(on K Randy Bullock) "He did fine. He kicked off pretty good except for the last one. The one field goal that he missed, we were just looking at it before I came down here, but he actually hits the ground and behind the ball. I think Randy is in a growth process. He's a very young player, but he's very talented. The thing that I like about Randy is he has a lot of confidence in that when something does not go right, he comes right back and he's okay the next rep. It doesn't linger, so far, so good. I thought our young punter, boy he took advantage of his opportunity. He had no idea he was going to put and goes out there and punted the way he did. He did a heck of a job."
(on his young linebackers) "I think my concern is just how young we are. We're having conversations as coaches. You know (OLB Bryan) Braman is still a young player. (OLB) Willie (Jefferson) is young. (OLB Justin) Tuggle is out there working with the starting group in a lot of situations. We're just very young. We're trying to get Joe Mays acclimated to what we're doing. He needs to play a bunch. It's nice to see (ILB Darryl) Sharpton get back to work and play well. I think our concern is the actual experience of the group but the only way they're going get it is to play a bunch. We're going to find out here over the course of the next month."
(on NT Chris Jones playing at defensive end against Minnesota and if that's where they see him) "Well, we kind of like our guys to be able to do both. Another bright spot last night was (DE) Tim Jamison coming off his Achilles, going through a tough process in the offseason. We brought him along slowly in camp you started to see Timmy do some of the things he did for us last year, was a good player for us. So that was encouraging. I think (Chris) Jones has made some progress. But we're always asking those guys to not just lock down at one spot. I mean, (NT) Earl (Mitchell) has played some end for us, too."
(on QB Matt Schaub saying the difference in QB Case Keenum from last year to this year is like night and day) "It's confidence. It's knowledge of what we're doing. He's just got a little swagger to him when he plays and that's the way he played in college. I mean, he's very confident. Doesn't get caught with the ball. As a coach, you call a bad play and he makes it a good one. That's just what he can do. I've never seen a guy smile so much when he plays football. He's having a good time and he's got a lot of confidence in what's going on. You can tell how far he's come in camp and obviously last night showed you that it's continuing."
(on the play of OLB Willie Jefferson) "A lot of good things, a lot of things that have to get a lot better. Some indecision. I mean, Willie's (Jefferson) playing a new spot. Obviously, he's stepped up a big, big level from that standpoint. Very talented. Played a lot for (special teams coordinator) Joe (Marciano) on special teams. We think he can help us right there. As a pass rusher, he's got to be up there right now. If we're sitting there playing tomorrow against San Diego, he's going to be on the field rushing the passer in a lot of situations. But he's got a long way to go. He's sure working toward it. Hasn't missed a day."
(on rookie WR DeAndre Hopkins) "It's easy as a player, you make a big play or something, 'Boy, I had a great game.' We always talk about being a pro and being a pro is being consistent. There's a lot of things he's going to learn: depth of routes, landmarks, where he's supposed to be, releases. I could sit here and talk to you all day about stuff like that. He's going to look at his grade and probably not like some of the things he gets graded on. But that's what we do. We're always looking for perfection. The same thing with (FS D.J.) Swearinger. Those guys are making plays but we need to get them to where they're very consistent in their approach, day-in and day-out and how they do things."
(on how the secondary played overall) "We had some guys stand out, as I said. I like the fact that we got our hands on a couple balls. That's always important. Disappointed in some third-and-long. It's something that hurt us last year. We gave up some big plays. It's been a point of emphasis in camp and yet, we didn't go fix it in the game, so that concerns me. We'll go back to work on that tomorrow and Monday. I think it was a step in the right direction. For J-Joe (CB Johnathan Joseph) not to be out there and playing a lot of guys, I think there was some good stuff going on."
(on if some of the guys who missed the Minnesota game will be playing against Miami next week) "I don't have it in front of me. I know I'm expecting a good six or seven of these guys that have had some hamstrings and those to return to practice this week. I can let you know more tomorrow. "
(on DE J.J. Watt and RB Adrian Peterson not playing at all last preseason and whether or not the special players like RB Arian Foster need to play in the preseason) "I think both of those players are special, but with Arian, I think we're close. I think we're real close here and I'm hoping that my conversation with Kap (head athletic trainer Geoff Kaplan) says that it's time to go, to get to work. You know, I look at Arian and I tell Arian the same thing that I'm telling you. Arian came up the hard way. Arian was a free agent, working and playing and I think that's when he's at his best, so there's a process he needs to go through to get ready for San Diego, but we think he's very close to starting that process so I'm not concerned right now. Were very early in what we're doing, but yes, I would like him to get some good work before we play."
(on what he said to RB Cierre Wood when he talked to him on the sideline) "Oh, you have rules on how you coach and how you approach things as a football team. We want our guys to get everything they can get, just teaching the lessons. That guy's learning, but he did some good things in the game, had a chance to play for (special teams coordinator) Joe (Marciano). He's going to have to play good for Joe if he's going to make this team. Offensively, I think he can look at himself last night and say, 'I took a step forward, and special teams I'm going to have to do more.'"
(on RB Deji Karim looking the best out of the young running backs) "Yeah, he's probably the back that's the furthest ahead from a special teams standpoint. So if you put all those young guys in a group right now, he'd be ahead from that standpoint. Some of those other guys have some special running skills, but really, whether you keep three, whether you keep four, normally you're going to always keep three, but whether you keep four, it always depends on whether or not those guys will line up and start for (special teams coordinator) Joe (Marciano) so we will see how that pans out."
(on what he looks for when watching QB Case Keenum) "Well I think as a coach, you are always looking for instincts. You sit there and coach the game and you coach plays and 'throw it here' and 'throw it on time', but once the lights go on, probably half the game is played off schedule and played off rhythm. It's just the way it is. He's kind of got that knack when things aren't the way they are supposed to be, he finds a way to make plays. Kind of like the play he made in the red zone moving around the other night. We caught a blitz last night that nobody knows that we couldn't block, but he gets the ball out in the flat and doesn't take a sack. He can do those types of things and he can really bail you out of some bad situations with his athletic ability."
(on the young running backs and their pass blocking) "Yeah they've been pretty good. (RB Dennis) Johnson was really good last night; he did a good job. They've been pretty good with what we've been doing. Of course, we see plenty of it in camp so we get a chance to get good at it."
(on TE Garrett Graham responding well after illness) "Yeah, he's becoming a really good player. He's come a long way and is very confident in what he's doing. He's been a really steady player for us, so just got to keep him healthy but he's fine. He's got his weight back and he's had a really good week."
(on if TE Garrett Graham's role will increase this year) "Well, I think it got big last year. When you go back and look at when we missed him due to the concussions last year, we struggled. We had to change some of the things we did. We played a tackle at times at tight end, so he's a big part of what we're doing."
(on WR Lestar Jean needing to work on being more consistent) "Yeah I think so; he had some opportunities to make. The thing I did like, when he missed plays he came back and made plays so you're always looking for that in players. Yeah, Lestar has a lot of talent. I think his confidence level is growing every time he touches the ball. Obviously, he's sitting there staring at (WR) DeAndre (Hopkins) coming on this team, so he's got to sit there and battle to find another roster spot. I think that can be a positive for Lestar. He's had a good camp and he could have walked out of there last night with a 100-yard night, so I know that's encouraging for him to know 'hey I played good, but I could have played a lot better.'"