Gary Kubiak: We think the world of Brock Osweiler

From the moment Brock Osweiler was benched in the season finale against San Diego, there was no turning back for Denver. They just took a while to make it official.

Peyton Manning was named the Broncos' starter for the team's playoff game next weekend, and head coach Gary Kubiak took the podium Thursday to explain why Osweiler shouldn't take it too hard.

"We think the world of Brock," he said. "Obviously there's no discussion right now about what's happening, (Brock being a free agent after this year) those types of things. He's done a hell of a job. He's played extremely well in some tough situations, very tough kid. He knows exactly what we think of him. I'm very proud of him and I know he'll be ready to go."

He added: "I handle Brock the way I've handle him every day. Being the starter talking him through situations, talking through this situation. I had great conversations with him the minute the game was over Sunday. I spent time in the locker room together Sunday. He's been in the training room the last couple of days. We visited this morning. My relationship, his understanding or knowing exactly why we're doing things, where we're going, how we're doing things, we're on the same page together. He's a competitor, very competitive guy. You expect that from all your players."

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, especially if Manning does not perform well against Denver's opponent next weekend. Osweiler had a quick hook by design, and Manning runs a different incarnation of Kubiak's offense. We still don't truly know how comfortable Manning is on the field right now.

Still, Kubiak is caught in the delicate balancing act. He has to respect and pacify his legendary quarterback of the present while ensuring that the potential quarterback of the future still wants to come back a year later when this team will still be loaded with Super Bowl talent.

Osweiler, who missed practice Thursday with a knee sprain, was good enough to make this a tough decision for Kubiak. In terms of the future, he's done all he can do.

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