HEAD COACH BILL O’BRIEN
What is it about Denver’s offense that makes them constantly able to have a productive running game?
“It starts with a combination of the coaching and the players. They do a really good job of coaching that scheme and then those players do a great job of executing it. It’s a very unique scheme. People call it a zone scheme, which it is, but it’s different than a lot of other zone schemes. The backs are coached really well. The offensive line is coached really well. The quarterback, getting them into the right plays. Tight ends. There’s a lot of things that feed off of that. Their play action, their bootleg. They just, they have a great way of coaching and they’ve been doing it a long time in this league.”
What did you think of WR Will Fuller V’s week of practice and do you think he will play on Monday?
How is G Jeff Allen doing on the right side of your line?
“Yeah, he’s back. He’s been in there. He’s good to go.”
Why don’t more teams try to mimic what Denver does with their zone scheme?
“Well, I think there is a lot of carry over to how other teams do it based on how Denver has done it if that makes sense. So, the deal is here, it’s not just about the scheme. It takes a certain type of player, so it has a lot to do with personnel evaluations. It has a lot to do with the offensive line, the type of lineman they bring in. Big, athletic, rangy. The type of back that they have. When they were here with Arian (Foster), he’s one of the best zone runners when he was here with them and obviously with us when he was in there. He ran very well. Lamar Miller is a very good zone runner. The runners that they’ve had. C.J. Anderson. Going back all the way to the Super Bowl years, they’ve had great running backs. It takes the personnel in addition to the combination of the personnel and the scheme to get it right and I think they’ve done a good job of that.”
ILB Brian Cushing is the second player in Texans history to pass 600 tackles. Can you talk about his attitude towards the game and how much effort he puts in on every play?
“He plays hard. He practices very well. To have that many tackles in your career, that says a lot about the player. I think the guy loves, I know he loves football. This team means a lot to him. He’s been a very productive player. He’s come back from injury. He’s done a really good job. He’s a great teammate. He’s a heck of a tackler.”
Given Denver’s defense, negative situations are going to happen. How important is it to overcome some of those negative situations, but also understand that sometimes it’s okay to punt and just play great defense?
“I think that one of the big keys in this game is first down and making sure that you definitely limit the lost yardage plays. If you have a multiple lost yardage play game, you’re in trouble. So you have to limit those. You have to gain positive yards. You have to be efficient on first down. Then you have to do a great job against Denver of playing field position. You cannot be punting from your own 10-yard line, you cannot, and if you go to the 50-yard line and look let’s just say you’re out of field goal range and you have to punt, there’s nothing wrong with that either at certain points of the game. We’ve got to play the field position game. That’s one way to compensate for some of the things that they do. We’ve got to just go in there with that type of mindset, but at the same time, we’ve got to be aggressive on first down and make sure that we’re efficient on first down.”
CB KAREEM JACKSON
How does it feel to be back?
“It feels good to be out there running around with the guys. Definitely missed being out there and playing with the guys and stuff, especially how the last couple weeks have been. But the guys that have been out there have been doing some great stuff, but it’s always great to be back out there.”
How are you feeling physically now?
“I’m great. I’m feeling great, feeling good. Just kind of eager to go.”
How hard was it for you to have to watch?
“It’s always tough when you have to watch your guys go out there and play, especially last week how the game unfolded. Just want to be out there and compete, and just being the competitor that I am, part of me just always wants to be out there to help and do whatever you can. It’s definitely hard to watch.”
What about their offense?
“Definitely talented. They can definitely run the ball, they have some weapons at receiver. We just have to go out and we have to execute, do everything possible to not let them make any big plays. Definitely have to stop the run, and we’ll have to communicate and be in the right place.”
Will you stop by and say hello to Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak before the game?
“If I see him, I’ll speak. Coach Kubiak definitely was a great coach. Definitely enjoyed the time playing with him. If I see him, I’ll speak.”
Why is it so important to stop the run this week?
“Like you said, it’s important every week. I think if you can stop the run, make teams one dimensional, things can work in your favor. For us, we harp on it every week. It starts with stopping the run. They definitely have a good running game and I feel if we stop the run we’ll definitely make our chances that much more greater.”