Head Coach Gary Kubiak addressed the media following Monday's practice.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on if he'll watch the Monday Night Football game between the Broncos and Falcons game live) "Well obviously I'll have it on while I'm doing my work, but on TV it's hard to look at schemes so to speak, see the big picture like you do when you watch film. Just get a feel for what's going on in the game and stuff, but we'll continue with our normal routine but obviously I'm sure it'll be on. Everybody will be listening to it."
(on those who say this week's game is the Texans' first real test) "I think they're all real, just look around this league every week. Anybody can beat anybody if you don't play well. With that being said, these two are behind us and it's time to start looking forward. We know that we got a huge test coming down there with Peyton (Manning) leading the way for them and the type of player he is. They're very talented. They're an extremely talented team, a young, talented team that's playing very good defense. They can run the ball. There are a lot of things, great kicking game, exceptional kicking game, probably as strong a football team as there is out there right now. So it'll be a big test for us in having to go play there."
(on if this return to Denver will be special for him) "They're all special. I'm sure I'll know the streets and where to walk to the locker room and see a lot of people on the field you know. But I'll be wrapped up in the game, I promise you that. Like I said, they're such a fine football team. It's a great test for us early in the season because I know how difficult it is to play there, the noise, and obviously the good team that we're playing. We're going to have to be darn good this Sunday and our team knows that. I thought we really had a good focus today right out of our meetings, correcting our mistakes from Jacksonville and getting a head start on Wednesday. I think they know that."
(on if the altitude is a false factor) "I don't think so. I think it's been proven that if you think you're going to go the altitude early or something like that and get used to it, that doesn't work. But just to fly in town on Saturday and play on Sunday, I don't think it affected us last time we played there. I just don't think we played very good in the fourth quarter especially as a football team and we got ourselves beat. There are no excuses, no anything. We got to play good football and we got to do it at their place. We play a lot of people anyway. That's the way we're built. We play a lot of people."
(on the rotation at right guard) "When was the decision made? I don't know sometime late in the week last week. We talked about it. First off, (C) Ben (Jones) has been playing very good, showing a lot of signs. You suit seven linemen on game day. We felt like he deserved an opportunity to get a few series and see if we continue to see his progress as a player and we did. He played good. He played 32 plays. Gump (RG Antoine Caldwell) played like 50-something plays and he played better than he did last week so that was encouraging. All six of our guys up front played well for us to run the ball the way we did. Like I said, we're just kind of built that way as a team. You see what (RB) Ben (Tate) came in and did yesterday and the way he played. (TE) Garrett Graham's playing very good. We're giving OD (TE Owen Daniels) a lot of breaks. We believe in our young receivers. We're giving (WR) Andre (Johnson) a break. So that's just kind of how we're built right now and we've got fresh guys on the field we have confidence in and as they get better we should get better."
(on rotating his younger defensive players) "We're definitely rotating them. Obviously there weren't enough snaps to go around defensively for them and that's a good thing in the game. We played (DE Tim) Jamison for a (DE) J.J. (Watt) and for (DE) Antonio (Smith). I think (DE Jared) Crick, he got to play, but he still only got to play about eight or nine plays because of the number of plays we played defensively. We're going to play a lot of guys. (NT) Earl Mitchell played well. He comes in for (NT) Shaun (Cody). If you suit up for us you know you're going to get time. I think that's important. I think it keeps everybody involved in what we're doing and having an opportunity to contribute."
(on his decision at the end of the first half) "Well I knew I wasn't going to kick the field goal. That would have been 58 yards. I definitely wasn't going to do that. It was pouring down rain. I wanted to run another play, but I wanted to do it with one second. I didn't want to give them the ball back at that point. I was trying to let it go down and send (QB) Matt (Schaub) back out there. I kind of did him wrong time wise, but I just didn't want to do anything at that point at 17-nothing to give them any momentum going into halftime. Had the game been going different, 17-14, 17-17, probably run the play right away but at that point with what was going on, just didn't want to give them any momentum."
(on mistakes he wants to change) "Well first thing that jumps at me is special teams-wise. We've got some issues that we've got to get straightened out that are going to really hurt us coming up here if we don't. We had numerous penalties. I think three or four that hurt us in the return game. So that's a big point of emphasis today here in the meeting. Other than that, we got some things going on offensively, I thought (QB) Matt (Schaub) got hit a few too many times. He did a great job of getting rid of the ball. We come out of the game with no sacks, but we did some good stuff up front but a lot of it had to do also with Matt getting rid of the ball. That's something we're concentrating on. Then in the third quarter we had a sequence were they punt to us, we get a penalty. We get backed up offensively. We get a penalty. We go three and out. Defensively we give up two plays. We had a sequence in there where we let a football team right back in the game, 17-7 game, when we were getting after them pretty good and playing pretty good. It's a good reminder. We need to come out of the locker room better in the second half. We kind of did it last week also."
(on DE J.J. Watt) "He's exceptional. He was just as good this week as was last week. He's factoring in the game just incredible whether it's a tipped ball, getting a turnover, a sack. It's one thing to play plays and play well, but he's such a big play guy. He played extremely well again. He's had two as good of outings as you could possibly have."
(on having two dynamic running backs in Arian Foster and Ben Tate) "It's really big especially yesterday, it's pretty warm, pretty humid out there, especially after it rained. It keeps a fresh guy in there. A lot about playing back in this league is not only getting what you're supposed to get, but getting more than you're supposed to get. When something's not there, you got to make a great play. Nobody did that better than (RB) Ben (Tate) yesterday. Ben touched the ball 12 times. He was our offensive player of the game. That's the type of factor he was in the game every time he touched it. I think he caught three or four balls so it's big for our team. We know we can count on him. (RB) Justin Forsett came in and ran well. So like I said, it goes back to our philosophy of playing a lot of guys and trusting a lot of players."
(on Denver QB Peyton Manning) "It's the same guy to me. I just watched him briefly. I watched him against San Francisco in the preseason and last week against Pittsburgh. He looks the same to me. He's on a fine football team. John's (Elway) built a hell of a team over there. I think he's brought tremendous leadership to a good, young football team and it shows, playing with a lot of poise."
(on Denver LB Von Miller) "He's been exceptional. We thought the world of him. (Linebackers Coach) Reggie (Herring) and (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) did. We had him up there as high as any player in the draft. He's a playmaker. They're playing him a little bit everywhere. He plays different linebacker spots, a nickel. He's up roaming around. I've just briefly watched him today, but he's a guy that they're going to find a way to get free in their defense. The best thing he does is get after the quarterback. We'll be playing a group that's built a lot differently than what we played last week, a lot of mid-sized players, very fast players, quick type guys. We got (Elvis) Dumervil in there so that's how they're built."
(on DE J.J. Watt attracting more attention from offenses) "I think really when you look at (DE) J.J.'s (Watt) success you got to look at (DE) Antonio (Smith). You got to look at (NT) Shaun (Cody). (OLB) Connor (Barwin) and (OLB) Brooks (Reed) right now to me they're playing extremely well. This team we played yesterday paid so much attention to them, chipping them. They have those tight ends. They're such good players and they were constantly chipping Connor and chipping Brooks so that they could help in pass protection. When you got that going on, somebody's got to get a lot of one on ones. I think J.J. would be the first one to tell you that he'd give his teammates a lot of credit for what's happening for him."
(on combating Denver LB Von Miller) "I don't know. That's what we got to go up there and figure out here tonight. We'll see."
(on grading the replacement officials) "That's not my place. I got to worry about my football team. As I told you all before, I think they're busting their tails doing the best possible job they can do. I got to worry about the football."
(on not having to coach the replacement officials) "That's not my job."
(on DE J.J. Watt's ability to bat passes again this week) "What he does is when he can't get to the quarterback; he does a great job of keying the quarterback's eyes. When you get three-step drop and stuff, he just has a way of finding his eyes. (DE) J.J. (Watt) is so long, tall and long to begin with. He's doing an exceptional job with it. We felt like they did a few things to try to get his hands down, but he's just such a good athlete and player that he finds a way to do it. The good news is we've got everybody doing it right now. We got some other guys getting their hand on the ball too."
(on his confidence in RB Ben Tate) "I have just as much confidence in him as (RB) Arian (Foster) or (RB) Justin (Forsett) as far as run, throw, those type of things. (RB) Ben's (Tate) got great hands. Ben understands pass protection. He's become a three down type player and that's what makes Arian such a great player, three down player nickel, never leaving the field. I don't call or do anything any different with those guys in the game. I think they both have maybe certain strengths and may be a little bit different. But I don't really change what I do. I think Ben's just as capable of catching the ball and making big plays also."
(on rotating the offensive linemen moving forward) "We're going to continue to play those six guys right now. I think (T) Ryan Harris is coming along. He's only been with us a short period of time. What is that rotation? I don't know. There will be one so we'll see."
(on RT Derek Newton) "Well what you're looking for in this league is when you watch players you want to see growth. Miami was (RT Derek) Newton's first time ever to start an NFL game. There was some good and there was obviously some not so good. To watch him go from that game to the next game was exceptional. Now he still made mistakes in this game. He's still got a long ways to go. But just to watch him go correct himself, that's what you're looking for. As I told you all along that's the thing we really like about him we like his upside because he played at a small school. He's had to come a long way, football knowledge-wise, but the talent is there. The more plays and snaps he plays he should get better and we saw signs of that. Now he's got a different test this week. He's got two great pass rushers, one on each side."
(on WR Andre Johnson's quiet day against Jacksonville) "First off, you always try to get (WR) Andre (Johnson) with us regardless of who we're playing. That's very important, but they played us in a bunch of two deep. Like I said, we felt like we'd have to go in there and execute pass scheme, dink and dunk the ball a little bit, not sit back there and hold it so that's what we did. That's the way it came out, but I promise you there is nobody any happier than Andre the way we won. I know he'd like to catch a bunch of balls, but he wants to win too."
(on the Texans' "sugar huddle") "We wanted to push the tempo of the game is what we wanted to do. We wanted to come out of the game with more snaps than we may normally average in a game so tried to push the tempo that way. Obviously we got I think 84, 85 offensive snaps so that was accomplished from that standpoint. At the same time, we're on the road we didn't want to flip personnels a bunch, that type of thing. You go into every week with an idea of what you think it's going to take to win that game. It was just a mindset going into that particular game and something we're capable of doing all the time so hopefully we gained some confidence in it."
(on WR Trindon Holliday's performances on kickoff and punt return) "Well, like I said, I'm concerned special teams-wise and (WR) Trindon's (Holliday) part of that. He mishandled a punt yesterday when we had them backed up right before the half and then of course the one that hits GQ (FS Glover Quin), that's his responsibility to go get GQ out of the way. Yeah, that's his part of the bargain, but we've got other issues on special teams that could help him be more successful too. Like I said, we're going to have to play better there. Hopefully we (OLB Bryan) Braman back this week. He's been unable to get going right now, but he did work today so hopefully he comes back and can help us out."
(on if there were any new injury developments) "Just (ILB Tim) Dobbins. Dobbins got a little hamstring so we won't know until Wednesday."
(on if he's worried about the Texans' average per carry) "We got a long way to go. We're committed to it. We're going to run the ball. What'd we run it yesterday? 40-something times. Hopefully along the way we'll make some big plays that get that type of thing up there. At this point, I worry about a lot of things but hopefully that average comes up with our play."
(on the Texans' commitment to running the ball) "I think it depends on how your team is built, what type of team you put together. I've got a running back back there making a good living that he needs to touch the ball. I think one of the strengths of our guys up front is running the football. We got a defense that if we don't put them out on the field very long, they're going to play very well. I think it depends on how you're built and what you believe in as a staff and what you're players believe in. But I tell you one thing, I think we feel like we can do both on any given day. If we got to go throw it to win, we'll go throw it. We're going to play our brand of football and hopefully find a way to get a 'W'."