Head coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media after practice on Thursday afternoon.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on today's practice) "Practiced really well today, (it was) very sharp. We came inside really just to get out of the wind and to get their attention. Bounced around really well and practiced well. (RB) Ronnie (Dayne) did not practice today, and really that was more so because of on the (artificial) turf we held him. I think he'll be ready to play."
(on what he hopes to see the team accomplish in this last game) "We're going to naturally get to look at some young players again. (DE) Earl Cochran's going to be playing. (RB) Chris (Taylor) is going to get the ball some more. So naturally we're going to get to look at those guys, but there are some great challenges. Like for our offense, we haven't played well against the 3-4 scheme all year. We've struggled with it. It's a different type of deal, so I'm interested to see how we come out and play against that type of group. You know, their offense, they are able to come out here right now; they have a back who I had in Denver that can pound the ball. They have maybe, arguably the best tight end in football. I just think it'll be interesting to see how we finish and how we step up and play. And this team can beat you on special teams, so if we're not ready to go, they'll come in here and get after our tail. So I'm just looking forward to seeing us finish strong."
(on whether he worries about a let down after the emotional win over Indianapolis) "Well, it's nice to be able to talk about that; it's nice that we played that way last week. We practice well today, I told y'all. We did not practice very good yesterday. Our attention to detail has been good. We looked a little slow yesterday, but we were fast today. And I expect their full attention, and we're getting it right now. I expect them to come out and play well."
(on whether RB Ron Dayne's play excites him about his potential) "You know, it really does because if he gains that type of confidence and he's physically fit, the way he can be with his weight down and playing week-to-week, I think Ronnie can be a dang good back in this league. I don't think that has happened. This is the best stretch. He has got to be excited about that because I know we sure are."
(on what has enabled Dayne to be more productive) "I don't know. Sometimes change is good for players. A lot of expectations when you're a top pick like that going to New York. He came in to Denver with us last year, and relaxed a little bit. Played good football for us. And really for him here it is about opportunity; he got to play. He knew that in a lot of ways probably that his future was on the line during that span. Basically he stood up and said I want to be here, I want to be a part of this. That is the why he's played."
(on why he thinks the team has struggled against 3-4 defenses) "Well, it's a totally different scheme. What happens in this league is some years you will play it six, seven, eight times. Other years you might catch it three or four times. For us this year it's been three or four times. They haven't been backed up from a work stand point of what we do in practice, so hopefully we've improved on that. You have to attack it a little different way. It's tough to make big plays against it because of the way they have played us with Jets and I would assume we're going to be played a little bit the same way."
(on whether he thinks he should have played Steve McKinney at center earlier) "I don't know. I thought Steve was beat up early in the season. I didn't think he was himself. But he had health the past six or seven weeks; he's bee great, a very positive attitude. Yes, he goes in (and) we play our best game of the year. He deserves a lot of credit for that, but they played well as a group. You've got to have five guys going in the right direction, and he was the leader of that on Sunday. So I'm proud of what he did, and when guys get opportunities to step up and play like that, you know, what more can the kid do? He's done his job."
(on whether he sees QB David Carr working like his job is on the line) "I know how important it is for him right now, and for everybody. And he stepped up in a game last week and played very consistent, and led his football team down the field at the end of a game. What more can you ask of a quarterback? But it's about consistency with him. He needs to finish strong this week. It's kind of been about consistency with our group and with him personally, so I'd like to see him pay well this week."
(on whether DE Earl Cochran will start this week) "We haven't made that decision. We'll play eight guys, so they'll rotate. But he's looked good in practice. He played good in the preseason, so it is kind of nice that we'll get a chance to see him play."
(on what the DT's have done this season) "I think (DT Anthony) Maddox has been special. I think we found a player that has got a chance to be a heck of a player. You know, those other guys, we have been rotating them. They have been playing hard. (DT) Thomas Johnson has done some good things; played well last week. The (DT Cedric) Killings kid is a real try-hard guy. I really like what he's doing, so I think we have been fortunate, and I think we have been very fortunate to find a player in Maddox. I think we have."
(on what has lead to Maddox success) "You have to remember were he was hiding out. He was down in Jacksonville, you know. And they have a pretty good defensive front so I think they knew they had a player, but you can't keep them all. It was a great job by (General Manager) Rick (Smith) and our staff of finding him. He's another example of a player that all of sudden got a chance with this football team and has taken big time advantage of it."