"Not for nothing, but I'm pretty sure I could go out there and be better than Blaine Gabbert right now."
Fresh off the first practice after his Houston Texans improved to 2-0, Gary Kubiak spoke to the press. Here's a complete transcript, and I've included a few select quotes for you to review and discuss here.
(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 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 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 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 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 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 returns) “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.”