The team meeting was at 1 p.m.
He didn't mention his health. There was no standing ovation from his audience. Kubiak purposely wanted his return as the Denver Broncos' head coach Monday to be business as usual.
"Kube's not the kind of guy who is going to draw attention to himself,'' said defensive end Jared Crick, who also played for Kubiak in Houston in 2012 and 2013. "He's about his guys, first. First time we saw him, if we had come off a win, the meeting might have been a little more uplifting but he was pretty upset about how the game went, as everybody is. Same ol' Kubes, back to business.''
"His presence was definitely felt today,'' said safety Darian Stewart. "But we just lost two games back to back, we haven't been ourselves lately.''
The Broncos hope the elixir to their recent woes is Kubiak's former Houston Texans, whose quarterback is former Bronco Brock Osweiler. The two sides meet next Monday night at soon-to-be-renamed Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Broncos general manager John Elway welcomed Kubiak back by making a move to improve his offensive line by claiming Billy Turner off waivers from the Baltimore Ravens.
Turner started 12 games at right guard for the Miami Dolphins last year and two games at left tackle this year before he was waived. He was claimed by the Ravens on Tuesday, waived again on Saturday and picked up by the Broncos on Monday.
How's that for a week?
To make room for Turner, the Broncos waived guard-tackle Darrion Weems.
During a short practice Monday, Kubiak wore Bronco sweat pants and a hoodie sweatshirt. He stood in the middle of the field, looking pensive as always as he watched various individual and position drills.
I thought Kubiak looked a little pale, which is not uncommon after a weeklong absence. His voice was a little weaker. He says he’s fine.
Kubiak said he didn’t think the mini-stroke he suffered three years ago as he was walking off the field at halftime of a game with Houston was related to the complex migraine he had last Sunday.
“It was different for me,'' Kubiak said. "They were different to me, but they’ve obviously had some conversations (doctors in Houston and Denver) trying to discuss what happened both times, but to me they were different. I feel very good.”
He doesn’t have to play so that’s good. He is charged with getting his players to start playing well, though. That has to start this week against Brock and the Texans.
“He said three things: Detail, effort and preparation,'' said cornerback Chris Harris Jr. "Those three things right there are something we’re going to focus on. The sense of urgency is all the way up. Especially, I think we’re tied for first in the AFC West. We know our task. It’s everybody. It’s coaches, players, everybody. We’ve got to coach better, play better, play the plays better, all of that.’’
Kubiak had fallen ill following the Broncos' 23-16 loss last Sunday to Atlanta and had to be transported from the stadium to a local hospital by ambulance. He stayed overnight and was released last Monday.
“I felt bad before the game,'' he said. "I felt bad Saturday evening and Sunday morning. I went through the game. I’ve coached football games not feeling well before, it’s not the first time, but I felt really bad going through and into Monday. I was just feeling crappy. I thought I had the flu. I talked to ‘Greek’ (trainer Steve Antonopulos) before the game, so it wasn’t like it was something that just came on. I had felt bad leading up to it. I’m through with it and ready to move forward.”
He returned to Broncos' headquarters to get a little work done over the weekend, but Monday was his first day coaching his players again. In between, the Broncos lost their first AFC West road game in five years as they fell to San Diego, 21-13, on Thursday. Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis served as the Broncos' interim head coach.
“I thought Joe did a great job,'' Kubiak said. "He made some tremendous decisions to keep us in the game. Special teams-wise, we obviously got turnovers that kept us in the game. It’s a tough situation. I wasn’t very involved with those guys on Monday and Tuesday. I got a little bit more involved and talking to them on Wednesday when they went to San Diego. Nothing we did the other night was good enough, nor was it against Atlanta. We have to get better.”