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Gary Tzubiak And The Art Of Battle

Gary Kubiak recently sat down with Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle for an extended discussion of... battle. Justice hit on many of the essential 2011 offseason questions: Wade Phillips, Mario's "position change," Brian Cushing's backslide, Kareem Jackson's awful rookie year, etc. 

As he's apt to do, Kubiak repackaged most answers to match retorts he's given John McClain, or anyone else (note to interviewers; I know Kubiak isn't exactly a great interview, but maybe you could frame the questions in such a way that he doesn't just regurgitate? Yes, it's very possible. It just takes, you know, effort).

On Wade Phillips and the decision to move Mario to OLB:

"One of our biggest battles, you know, like the Mario conversation that's been going on for three months. Just watching him come to the conclusion as we entered the draft, `Hey this is what he's going to do for us. Now let's go get this in the draft. He just said, `This is what I need for us to be good."'

On Kareem Jackson:

"I'll say this about the kid. He never missed a day. He never missed a practice... Even though it was tough, he kept battling. From there, it has been nothing but uphill. I think Kareem will blossom because he stayed the course last year. He was able mentally to keep battling through what he was going through and what we were going through defensively."

Wow, that is amazing that a first round NFL draft pick would attend every practice and not miss any work days. You can sure tell a lot from a person and their performance by whether or not they show up for work!

On Jacoby Jones (prepare for BATTLE!):

We all kind of battled him for a couple of years. When you draft players, your job as a coach is to develop players. When you get somebody who has all that talent but you're battling other things that are keeping him from being as good as he can be, you've got to figure out how to go and fix it. If it's off the field, on the field, whatever. He has responded to the battle."

Okay, I'm pretty sure Gary Kubiak is secretly hilarious, because at this point I think he's just gone totally meta. When you battle battle, you have to respect the battle. And a battle is one battle where the battle is battlebattle.

Also on Jacoby Jones, Kubes uttered this head-scratcher:

"Last year was his best year as a pro."

BuuhROO? I think the year 2009 has battled its way out of Gary's memory.

On Matt Schaub (note the expert use of bookends on this one, like a spelling bee contestant):

"He battles me. That's what you want. We'll look at the pictures and I'll ask, `What were you seeing here?' Or we may have a conversation, like, `Hey, that's not what we said we were going to do. What the hell are you doing here?' He may have a good answer for me. Damnit, it's third-and-six, and I'm trying to make a play. He battles me."

On how he never reacts to being criticized by the media:

"There's pain in this business. There's pain in life, too. You go through it and you don't battle it. It fuels you. I know what it's like to put that ring on. I've been able to put it on three times. My kids all have a ring. I want one for me. I want it come from here. I'm going to stay in this business because I want to win another Super Bowl. I know what that feels like."

Joking aside, this is one of the things I like about Kubiak. I honestly think he doesn't care what the media thinks, he just wants to win. Unfortunately, that hasn't actually resulted in... winning. He's a good man, and he cares deeply about his kids players. I've heard first-hand accounts of his public generosity and interaction with fans as well. It's impossible for me not to root for him, but even for me, the battlin' is very tired. Yes, I thought he should have been fired, though I came to that decision much later than most.

I don't want you to battle anymore, coach. I just want you to win.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.