Houston Texans (and former Broncos) quarterback Brock Osweiler and head coach Bill O'Brien spoke with Denver media via conference call to
<span style="text-decoration: underline;">After departure, Osweiler retains warm feelings for Denver</span>
Can you understand why some fans were surprised by your decision?
Brock Osweiler: "I can completely understand why everybody was extremely surprised and shocked at the time. It was an extremely difficult decision, but at the end of the day, it was a decision made based upon what I thought was best for my family and myself."
In their continuing preparation for Monday night's game against the Texans, the Broncos worked toward getting back to their winning ways. (photos by Eric Bakke)
How much influence did your family have on your decision?**
Osweiler: "I wouldn’t say influence, but I certainly had countless conversations with my parents, my wife, coaches -- going back to high school and college and a lot of coaches that I’ve spent time with and respect, and other people around the National Football League. I’m not lying when I tell you it was the hardest decision of my life. It was the hardest decision because I have nothing but gratitude, love, respect and appreciation for not only the organization, but the fan base and the entire city of Denver. Everybody was nothing but great to me for my four years. Bottom line, it was a very difficult decision that had to be made. I just tried to make the best decision for my family and myself."
How's your relationship with Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway?
Osweiler: "I think we have a great relationship. In fact, I saw John up in Idaho this summer and we were able to visit for a few minutes, catch up and ask how the family is doing. Once again, I have nothing but respect and appreciation for John Elway. At the end of the day, he’s been nothing but great for me. He gave me my first opportunity in the National Football League. He stuck with me for four years and really at the end of the day for John, nothing but love, respect and appreciation."
<span style="text-decoration: underline;">Osweiler prepared for any reception from fans</span>
What kind of reception do you think you'll get from the crowd in Denver?
Osweiler: “I’m not really sure what kind of reception I’ll receive. To be honest with you, a coach once told me, 'When you’re on the field or in a stadium, only focus on your job. Keep your focus as laser focus, keep a very small focus.' Obviously you hope for a great reception. Like I said, at the end of the day I have nothing but love and appreciation for not only the organization, the players, the coaches, but the entire city of Denver. It was a phenomenal four years that my wife and I will never forget and that we’ll always hold very close to our heart. At the end of the day, I can’t control the fans, all I can do is control how I play, what kind of teammate I am to my new teammates down here and focusing on trying to win a football game.”
Do you feel like a marked man against this defense?**
Osweiler: “I don’t feel like a marked man. Whether that’s how they feel or not, at the end of the day I have nothing but love and respect for everybody in that organization and especially the players. They were all great teammates for a number of years so if that’s how they feel, I can’t change that, but at the end of the day I’m treating this like a normal game. I understand that we have a great, great challenge going into [Sports Authority Field at] Mile High, playing in that environment, and playing against that good of a football team. That’s really where my focus is. I have not ill-will towards anybody. I wish that entire team nothing but the best and I have nothing but respect for all of those guys.”
Have you told anything to Brock to prepare him for this return?
Bill O'Brien: “We’re really concentrating on our game plan. We have enough to worry about as far as their defense and all of the challenges that they pose on defense. It’s not like we’re going to sit there and have a chat about crowd noise and, ‘hey, this guy in the front row might be yelling at you.’ Who cares, I think it’s more about understanding your game plan and doing the best plan that you can for your team as a coach and as a player to give yourself a chance to win. You look at their defense, that’s what we’re concentrating on the most from an offensive standpoint.”
Familiar foes for Osweiler
Do you think practicing against this team will help Monday?
Osweiler: “I think the more you play against somebody, whether it is practice or a game, you certainly will understand and recognize things in their game more often than not, but at the end of the day it’s going to be a football game that we know going up in to Mile High and playing against that defense, we’re going to have to make big plays, we’re going to have to protect the ball, we’re going to have to play smart, we’re going to have to play the field-position game because we know that we have a great challenge going against that great defense.”
What coaching points are there for Brock facing this defense, which is familiar with him?
O'Brien: "I think that it’s totally different. They may be familiar with him as it relates to practice and when he was in Denver and things like that. Now he’s in a different system, different teammates, just a whole different ball game. I understand the question, but I think that it’s a whole different deal. We’re just trying to do the best that we can to prepare for a very, very difficult defense. You look at their defense; it’s one of the best in the league if not the best in the league. The front seven’s excellent. [OLB] Von Miller, excellent player. Secondary, [CB] Chris Harris, [CB Aqib] Talib, [S] T.J. Ward, I mean these guys are all really good players so that’s what we’re focused on.”
Breaking down the matchup
Have you had any disappointment in Osweiler's play?
O'Brien: "I think that offensively we all need to do a better job. When play well, it’s been good. We need to be more consistent. I haven’t been disappointed in any individual player, no, but I’ve been disappointed in our lack of consistency. That’s what we’re all striving to do, is be more consistent."
As the Broncos prepare to host the Texans on Monday night, we took a look at the last time these two teams played, when Peyton Manning broke Tom Brady's record for touchdowns in a season. (Photos by AP)
The Texans' secondary is pretty banged up. What kind of difficulty will the Broncos' receivers pose for your team?**
O'Brien: "Even if your secondary didn’t have injuries, you’d still have a tough match-up against those guys. [WR] Emmanuel Sanders and [WR] Demaryius Thomas are excellent players. I worked out Emmanuel Sanders when he was coming out of college. I thought he was a really good college receiver and obviously he’s been an excellent pro. Thomas is just big, strong, physical, has good speed. These guys are difficult match ups so it’s a big challenge and our guys are going to show up and play very hard. They understand the challenge."
What have opponents done against Denver to find success in the last two gamesO'Brien: "That’s been a little bit up and down. I think the Broncos pride themselves on wanting to run the football. That’s one of their main identities is because of that scheme that they run is an excellent scheme. [Head Coach Gary] Kubiak coaches it really well. Then everything plays off of that, the play action, the bootlegs. When they’ve won their games, they’ve played well offensively. It’s the same thing with us. When we’ve won, we’ve played OK offensively. When we’ve lost, it’s been terrible. I think that we’re all just trying to see who could be the most consistent the fastest."
What have you thought about Trevor Siemian's performance so far?
Osweiler: "I think Trevor has done a phenomenal job, I really do. Trevor’s one of many teammates on that team that I can continue to stay in touch with and keep tabs on. I couldn’t be happier for him. Trevor was a guy last year that I truly enjoyed spending every single day with. He was a great teammate, he was a great friend, he’s still a great friend to this day and just to see him have success, to be playing well, to be winning football games and having fun, I really couldn’t be happier for Trevor."