Head coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media after practice on Wednesday afternoon.
*Head coach Gary Kubiak *
(on today's practice)"It was more of a walk-through today. We needed some extra reps, and we've got some beat up bodies that couldn't have practiced had we done it another way. We just changed the tempo and tried to get a lot more reps to prepare for this game. I just wanted everyone to be involved."
(on whether there is any team or roster news)"No, no, nothing's news."
(on the injuries issues)"Well, the biggest one is we have a decision to make on (FB) Jameel Cook this week. (S) C.C. Brown's day-to-day right now. (TE) Owen (Daniels) is a little beat up. Other than that the same guys that are beat up and they should be ready to go."
(on WR Jerome Mathis' readiness)"I don't know. He has a slight groin pull on top of his leg bothering him. He would have not been able to practice today. So we'll know more about him tomorrow or Friday."
(on whether RB Chris Taylor is an option at kick returner if Mathis is unable)"No, I think (CB) Dexter (Wynn) would probably go back there. We talked about (RB) Chris (Taylor), but I would think with the job Dexter's done we'd put him back there."
(on who will start at RB)"I don't know. We'll make that decision later. They are both (RBs Wali Lundy and Ron Dayne) going to play, and like I said, we'd like to get Chris (Taylor) more involved here at some point. If that's this week or not, we'll have to wait and see."
(on RB Ron Dayne long-term with the Texans)"Well, I feel good about Ronnie. He's a good football player, you know. When he's healthy and his weight is right and he has all that under control, I think he's a solid NFL back. He needs to go through a great off season, a training camp where he goes through all of that, and I think he can be a very effective football player. He was behind the eight ball when that happened this year; so he was behind. But he's done a good job for us, and I look forward to him in the future."
(on Ron Dayne compared to other RBs)"I think he's totally different from what you would see around the league. I think everybody looks for somebody that can make a big play and somehow that you can get off the field fast. That's not Ronnie's deal. Ronnie's a banger. He's hard to tackle when a defense get tired. So he has his role. Could he be an every down back? Yes, he definitely can, but having the big speed or the big play, that's not really his deal."
(on whether he is tempted to let Dayne have lots of carries with the way he has run)"Yeah, you know he's played that way. He got a little wore out the other day in the game when we rode him those two quarters, especially after that third quarter drive. I think he has the ability to do that, (but) I think he has to have a full season under his belt to be getting through everything physically to be able to do that. I'm not sure he can do that right now."
(on FB Vonta Leach's play)"Yeah, he's been special. He's a guy that got a chance through an injury and I would label him as a guy that in a lot of ways plays better than he practices. I'm not saying he's not a good practice player, but for some reason he goes into a game and everything looks a little better. He catches the ball better; his body quickness is better. And you know he made a big play down there in the red zone the other day catching the ball and turning it up. There are some players like that; they are gamers. And this might be one of them, because he's really taken advantage of this opportunity."
(on whether he expects New England to have corrected the problems of last week)"Well, you know anytime that football team's ever struggled, the next thing they do is put it in that quarterback's hands. But a lot of people struggle against Miami. They are a good defensive football team, and have been for about the past 10 or 12 years. And that's a great division rivalry between those two. I'd imagine, let Tom (Brady) take it and go because when their team hits any type of adversity that's who they turn it over to. So we know he's going to be throwing that ball around."
(on DE Mario Williams' foot)"Yeah, he's going to play. It's better, or it looks better on film than it did five or six weeks ago. Is it still bothering him? Is it still affecting his play? Yeah, it is, but there's not excuse. We're going to treat him right during the week. We expect him to get in there and play and play well."
(on New England potentially missing RB Laurence Maroney and TE Ben Watson)"I don't think we know definitely that they are out, but (RB Laurence) Maroney is a big play player. But (RB Corey) Dillon, they rode him to the playoffs for a few years. And (TE Ben) Watson, of course, is a big mismatch for linebackers, a big tight end. We'll see what that process is, but the guy that makes them go is that quarterback, and he can spread them out and get it in the right spot and get it to the right guys. He's the guys that you need to play well against."
(on whether he scouted Patriots QB Tom Brady while with Denver)"We, like everybody else, had him ranked as a fifth or sixth round pick. He's just been amazing. Some guys, they just have got something to them that you just don't know. And this guy's got a chance to play in very adverse conditions, and lead their team to a Super Bowl and has been doing it ever since. So he's special. I think he's as good as there is in football."
(on why Brady wasn't drafted higher)"You know, I can't remember back that far as far as sitting here talking about a scouting report or something like that. I don't know. There have been a few Michigan quarterbacks come out that haven't been real high draft choices. At Michigan they run the ball well. They don't have like a quarterback who is the dominant piece of their puzzle. You know that Elvis Grobac that came out of there as a seventh round pick and ended up being a heck of a player. (Brian) Griese, you know, late pick, a heck of a player. And then this kid, and then where is he at now, Arizona, did some great things in college. That's kind of their system. They have really had some sneaky guys come out of there who are great leaders and good players."
(on why he thinks RB Ron Dayne has struggled in the NFL)"Probably a little bit physical (problems) and I think he's battled his weight a little bit in his career. I know he did in Denver, and we got it down. And he has had some physical things that have held him back. He gets hit hard when he runs because he's just a big, lumbering, downhill player. So being able to withstand that punishment is probably a big key."
(on how the defense tackles an offense that makes very few mistakes)"Yeah, these guys coming up don't make many mistakes. And this one is special, and they really like to spread the field and put him in the shotgun. He's got total control of the game, total control of the protections. We've played him many, many times and I don't go against him because I was on the other side of the ball, but he's capable when he gets going, he's hard to get off that field. We're just going to have to be disciplined in what were doing, and hopefully have some good things happen."
(on how likely he thinks RB Domanick Davis' return to the NFL is)"It's easy to sit here and say that he feels fine. He's working out with (strength and conditioning coach) Dan (Riley). He's doing all those things, but that's one of those things that I think we really don't know. Until he comes out and starts running around and doing the things that you've got to do to play, I don't think we're really going to know. So it could all be speculation at this point."