HOUSTON -- The offensive linemen noticed as they walked up to the line of scrimmage in the middle of their red zone period.
They knew coach Gary Kubiak might show up on Thursday or Friday, but he did so stealthily.
"It was a shot of energy," Smith said. "... He basically told us he appreciated all of our text messages and calls. ... He looked good. He looked normal. ... It was good seeing him again."
Kubiak is still going through his recovery process after suffering a "mini-stroke" during halftime of the Texans' Sunday night game, but players enjoyed seeing him even briefly at the end of practice. He told them he missed them, thanked them for their kind words and cracked jokes with them.
"It was a breath of fresh air," defensive end Antonio Smith said. "That takes a lot of the guessing out of it. Everybody was wondering how is he really doing, is it some kind of conspiracy theory? Is he really worse than what they say? He's right there in front of you doing good."