Gary Kubiak on Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Arian Foster and more

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- In what is usually one of the longest stints for an NFL coach in front of the inquiring minds all season long, Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak covered a far-flung variety of topics Tuesday in a little more than an hour at the owners meetings.

Beyond what will happen at quarterback, how Mark Sanchez fits in the offense and Brock Osweiler's departure, here are some of the more meat-and-potatoes issues Kubiak touched on for the Super Bowl winners:

  • On the leadership void left behind Peyton Manning’s retirement: "That’s a big locker to fill ... we all understand that." Kubiak added that Manning wasn’t somebody who simply served as a leader to only his teammates, but to "a lot of people in the organization."

  • On the potential of a trade for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick: "I can’t talk about him, he’s under contract with another team, so I can’t talk about him." And when asked if the 49ers have agreed to let Broncos talk to or about Kaepernick, Kubiak added; "We can’t discuss him because he’s under contract with another team."

  • On the possibility of the Broncos looking at former Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (Foster is still recovering from a torn Achillies tendon): "I know how he’ll work to get back, I know how driven he is to come back and play. We’re going to look at everybody who’s out there, there’s no doubt about that ... It’s my understanding he’s not quite ready yet, he’s still got some time yet, so we’ll see," Kubiak said. "We’ll look at everybody."

  • On the prospect of looking at a defensive lineman early in the draft: "We’ve got to get better there in the draft, and it's something we plan on doing."

  • On tight end Jeff Heuerman, who missed his rookie season in 2015 with a torn ACL suffered in rookie minicamp: "We’re counting on him big time ... it’s a big offseason for him."

  • On looking for more safeties in free agency or the draft: "We went five deep last year and ... it’s a place where we’re very thin if you’re looking at our roster right now."

  • On wide receiver Demaryius Thomas' potential to rebound from the dropped passes in 2015 and move around the formation more in 2016: "I think the big thing for us, with D.T. and Emmanuel (Sanders), is they need to be moving around a bit more than they have in the past, so that’s something I want to do with him ... (Thomas) had some balls go through his hands that he’s got to hang on to. If you go back and look at some of those, I think his year would be just as big."

  • On Shane Ray's rookie season: "I think he’s ready to make a jump. I think one of things about Shane is you go back and not many guys come on to a team as a first-round pick and then they’ve got two potential Hall of Famers in front of them. He came into a unique situation and I think it was a shock for him initially, and I think it took him some time. And to say 'OK, I’m over that, now lemme learn from those guys.' We’re expecting big things from him ... Tattoos and all."

  • And on the potential to re-sign free agent wide receiver/punt returner Jordan Norwood: "I talked to Jordan (Monday) ... we’d love to have Jordan back."