Denver Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
What's your impression of what the Saints offense did in the first half of the season?
"They've been exceptional. They've gotten that running game going the last couple of weeks. They're obviously very explosive. Drew's (Brees) playing as well as I've ever seen him play and he's done that for many, many years. (They are) very balanced in what they're doing right now. Rather than focus on one person, a lot of people are touching the ball. (They have) a big group (and are) a big test for us."
How much of a difference does the emergence of the running game make for that offense?
"It's about balance. Right now when you watch them play, from a receivers standpoint, everybody's making plays. They have two tight ends going and the last two weeks the running game's been going with two different backs. When you're getting ready to play people and looking at where the ball's going and those types of things, it's hard to zero in on anything because they're so consistent and so unified throughout, because of everybody contributing and knowing what's going on."
What's it like to watch a player in the prime of his career like Von Miller right now?
"Von's been exceptional. Obviously he missed the offseason for us with the contract issues, but he's come back. He's played extremely well. He gets extra attention as far as doubles and those types of things, but he continues to make his plays, so Von's become a tremendous player and leader over here."
What do you see from Zach Strief on film and the type of tackle he is?
"Zach's a pro. He's been doing it for a long, long time and has always been a consistent player. When they're running the ball well, that obviously helps any tackle in this league. So, you ask those tackles about protecting the quarterback and they'll tell you the best way to protect him is to be able to have some type of running game. Obviously they've had it real well the last couple of weeks."
Your team's defense has obviously been good, but I think I just saw that you've allowed points on seven of nine opening drives. Why do you think that is?
"We've started slow as a football team. It's both sides of the ball, not just them. It's something that we have to improve on here in the back half of the season for us to be successful. I don't know. There's always something going on that you have to try to correct and improve. We're just trying to continue to stay in the grind here. We know we're going to have to play extremely well here. You guys are playing really well. It's a tough place ot play. Just try to stay focused on the big picture."
Two of your former players are here now. What can you tell us about John Phillips the tight end and Shiloh Keo?
"They're both great kids. John's been with us through the course of this year, did a good job for us. We had some issues in our secondary, so we had to let somebody go. I think the world of John. I'm happy that he's working and back at it. He's a great guy and good football player. Shiloh played for us last year, was a big contributor for us late in the season on our team, especially on special teams, played for me in Houston, same thing, great kid, good player, you're always happy for guys. They bust their butts. You want them working. We're happy for those guys. We got great respect for them."
How do you describe John's strengths, is it as a blocker?
"Yes, that's John's strength, (Blocking) at the line of scrimmage. John's also very bright, plays special teams, does a lot of things, has been in this league a long, long time. So, John's a guy that can come in real quick, adjust and help you out just like he did here."
The Saints had a need for special teams guys, but what do you think of the gamesmanship of them adding a couple of your former players this week?
"I don't worry about that. Like I said, I'm happy for players (to get new jobs). I have great respect for the Saints and Sean (Payton) and the organization and the job they do. Every week's a challenge in this league and we have great respect for the Saints organization."
What can you share with us in your thoughts about Drew Brees?
"I think he's a Hall of Famer. That's what I think of him. Nobody goes through progressions like he does. I just have great respect for him and the career that he's had. I've been watching him from many places. I was watching him when he was in San Diego and obviously now I watch him in New Orleans and have played against him many times, so nobody does it better. He's one of the great leaders in the game and he's been doing it for many, many years."
His numbers have been much better in New Orleans than in San Diego. To what extent can that be attributed to maturity?
"It's credit to him. Everybody in this league if you play long enough, you're going to go through times of adjustment and stuff in your career. He got a new start there in New Orleans and went in there full speed and look what he's done. He's just played at a level that's been incredible. That's a credit to Drew, his drive as a person and player and the job that Sean (Payton) and them have done with them."
Given your defense and it's reputation, how surprised are you that they've struggled against the run the last couple of weeks?
"Yes, it's been tough. We can definitely help them offensively. We haven't stayed on the field. That's hurt them too, being out there. we're battling, going through a few nicks here and there and issues which everybody does in this league, but this league's a grind and up and down, highs and lows. We're battling right now. We had a rough week last week and we have to try to bounce back and play a lot better. I believe in our football team. I believe in our players. We just have to keep at it."
Lorenzo Doss and Taurean Nixon are two guys from here. What did you see from them over the two years you've had them?
"Two good young players that this organization's counting on in the future. Obviously they've been a big part of what we've been doing lately because we've had some secondary issues with Aqib (Talib) and Kayvon (Webster) being out. So, they're two good kids who work their tails off, both very bright and just working hard for their opportunity to become a player in this league."
What could you say about your relationship with Sean Payton both in the context of both of you having your first head coaching jobs in 2006, also being former college quarterbacks despite you going farther than him there?
"I think the world of Sean. I think he's a tremendous football coach. His football teams play hard. That's the greatest respect that I can give any coach, watching his teams play, they play very hard. Sean and I talk quite a bit. I talked to him a lot a couple years ago when I was let go (by the Texans). We had great conversations. Obviously I know Dennis (Allen), I've known Billy (Johnson) there for years (Texas A&M). That staffs been together and have been pretty consistent in this league. That's difficult to do."
Do you recall the conversations with Coach Payton?
Just talking football and stuff more than anything. That's it. I had a little extra time on my hands, so we talked a little bit."
Denver Broncos Linebacker Von Miller
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Sean Payton said today that you were the best pass rusher in the NFL right now, how much do you ever think about yourself compared to your peers?
"Especially where we are right now, we're right in the middle of the grind and the season. I am just focused on trying to play big time defense for my football team and (to) try and win games."
What kind of a challenge was the Raiders six-man front?
"No, I mean it's not the first time that we've seen that before. The Colts did it, the Cincinnati Bengals did it, the Houston Texans did it and it's something that been reoccurring and we just have to hunker down and be ready for it."
How do you combat the jumbo packages?
"It's not like we're going to substitute another defensive end or anything like that. We just have to be ready for it and anticipate what they'll do and be a great run defense."
What kind of challenge does Drew Brees pose and what have you thought of how he has performed this season?
"I think Drew's the best passer in the league right now. I mean he's leading the league in passing yards and it's not the first time he has done it either. Over the years he's always been up there at one or two (in passing yards). He's just a great quarterback and he's going to find the open receivers and go through all of his progressions on the field and find the open receiver."
Have you found a trend for Drew that could knock him off his game?
"I mean just the same things that Drew Brees always has, great arm, high IQ and he's able to see the whole field."
What causes Drew Brees to struggle and how would you knock him off his A game?
"I know for me we have to have a great pass rush and that is always a strength of ours and getting the quarterback out of their groove. We have a great pass rush and secondary. It's going to start with the pass rush though."
Why has the defense struggled in the last 3 weeks?
"I don't know; we are just going through a tough patch right now."
What is the mentality of defending the super bowl title?
"I mean for us I just don't think we need to change anything. I mean it's a whole new year, it's not like it's boxing where you have to defend the title or you have the belt, nobody has that right now. We are just trying to go out there and get another one."
Are you going to have any family in town?
"For the Saints, no I'm not going to have anybody there."
What have you thought of Zach Strief on film so far this year?
"(Zach) Strief has been consistent, he has been good (for) however many years he has been in the league, I remember in 2012 he did a pretty good job and he is the same type of guy consistent. He (Zach Strief) has great feet and great hands."
Why do you think the right side of the Saints offensive line hasn't shown their age yet, considering they have been playing for 11 seasons together?
"I think they are just solid fundamental players and on top of the fundamentals they have great talent and still have talent. For offensive linemen you have to be consistent and solid and not give up sacks you can play for a long time."
What do you guys do on defense in trying to help a young quarterback like Trevor Siemian succeed?
"We're just playing our style of defense and can't go out there and say we have to get an interception to win the game. That's not possible, we just go out there and try and play our style of defense try to give the ball back to him (Trevor Siemian) on a short field and that's been working for us."