I imagine meeting with the media when your team is 2-9 isn't something any coach gets excited about. Nevertheless, Monday afternoon press conferences are part of Gary Kubiak's job description, and he doesn't get a pass just because his team is the worst in the NFL and he's getting fired in a few weeks. Here's the full transcript of what Kubes had to say. I've plucked a few gems from there for your immediate perusal.
(on what he feels about where the team is right now) "Well, I’m looking at the game right now and obviously very disappointed yesterday. As I said after the game, I thought defensively, after the first drive, we settled down, we battled all day and kept the team in position. Special teams, we’ve been doing some better things the last couple of weeks. Offensively, we just struggled yesterday, really struggled just with some simple things, execution. Did not play very good and disappointed in that. (we’re) going to have to be a lot better. I feel the same the way about the game. As far as the big picture, that hasn’t changed. I know we’re struggling. I know it’s tough. (We’ve) got to be strong and keep going."
(on Jaguars playing saying they sensed that QB Case Keenum didn’t feel comfortable in the pocket and if that’s something that can be fixed) "I didn’t hear about that. Well, I can tell you this, when you’re a rookie, you’re probably not going to be real comfortable until you play a lot of football. That’s part of it. I just think he’s going through a growth process. I think, initially, a lot of good things going on, a lot of big plays going on. He’s getting played differently a little bit each week, so he’s seeing different defenses, different teams. How are you going to play me that day? What do I have to do as a player? He’s drifting a little bit in the pocket, which is something we’ve got to go fixed. That’s something that he has confidence to do because of the way he did in college. You can’t do that in this league because the edges get real short. That’s part of his growth process, but he’s a confident kid. Yesterday was a tough day on him, I know. It’s tough on everybody, not just Case. Just got to stay positive and keep working."
(on if he’s happy with development of RT Derek Newton right now) "Derek’s a second-year player. We’re really playing (him) a great deal. Derek’s looking for consistency. I think he does some things really well and then he’ll struggle at times. He’s the same thing and Brandon Brooks, as a player, as a young player. We can all get better and Derek’s no different. We’re throwing the ball a great deal as a football team. You start to get exposed a little bit when you’re out there throwing it 35-40 times and you’re down in games. I would just answer your question by saying Derek’s improving, but there’s still a long way to go to be a consistent pro tackle in this league performer week-in and week-out, but he has the ability to do it. He works at it."
(on why RB Ben Tate struggled so much yesterday and how they get him back on track) "I don’t know. There were a couple of times where there really wasn’t any room for him. I don’t know if he ever got in a rhythm with what he’s doing. We know what he’s battling through. He’s not practicing during the week; he’s just playing on Sundays. So I know that’s tough from that standpoint, but we definitely appreciate with some of the things going on. The young guy, DJ (Dennis Johnson), was running so well. He did some good things, so we gave him some more opportunities. I think Ben will bounce back."
(on the defense going from 29 turnovers in 2012 to 8 in 2013 thus far) "Oh boy, I wish I could put a finger on it. You go from the top of the league winning as far as the turnover ratio. Now, you’re at the bottom of the league. If you look at the people at the bottom of the league, it goes with being successful and not being successful. That’s the way it is. Yesterday we play a game, we had one turnover on the very last play of the game, but you have to find ways to make big plays in this league and you can’t get people help. We’ve struggled on both ends of that stick."
(on if their struggles are more frustrating knowing that if they won three more games, they would be tied for the final Wild Card spot) "Yeah, that’s extremely frustrating, especially when you go back and look at some of the games we’ve lost and some of the situations we’ve been in. I don’t know if I’m right but I think for five weeks in a row, we’ve lost the game by less than a touchdown. If you flip half of those, then you’re sitting here correcting mistakes and playing for opportunities to play in the playoffs. That makes it very difficult, but it is what it is."
(on CB Kareem Jackson and TE Owen Daniels and their injury updates) "Kareem, I think he’ll do everything he possibly can to play this week, but I think it’s still day-to-day. Owen, when he initially started working out, had a little soreness, but he is doing better. He did work pretty hard today. If he can come back or actually get on the practice field, would it be this week? I’m not sure, but he’s real close. We’ll see how things work out but he has improved over the course of the last week."