ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Eighteen years after Gary Kubiak tried to talk John Elway out of retiring, the roles were reversed. The result: the same.
"He said, 'Remember when you did that to me?' " Elway recounted. "I said, 'Yeah, okay.' "
Kubiak, 55, left the NFL pressure cooker over season-long health concerns, stepping down Monday with two years left on his contract, a grateful family and a Super Bowl 50 ring.
In 1999, Elway's knees were shot after leading Denver to back-to-back Lombardi Trophies, so when Mike Shanahan dispatched his offensive coordinator to try to change his quarterback's mind, Elway told Kubiak not to waste his breath but to have a seat and chase some beers instead.
Two years ago when Elway, now the Broncos GM, lured Kubiak back to Denver a little more than a year after Kubiak had suffered a mini-stroke and collapsed at halftime of a game while coaching the Houston Texans.
Kubiak had another health scare in October when he suffered a complex migraine and had to take a week off, and he said their were other things during the season-long grind that convinced him it's time to move on.
"I'm doing great, I'm okay," he said, choking up several times. "But coaching is a very demanding business, a tough business and I've struggled big-time this year."
BILLS: Quarterback Tyrod Taylor is unhappy with the decision to bench him to close the season and questioned whether he has played his final game for Buffalo. Unless he hears otherwise, Taylor said he can only assume the benching reflects the team having lost confidence in him.
CARDINALS: Running back David Johnson's knee injury will not require surgery, coach Bruce Arians said.
COLTS: Coach Chuck Pagano planned to meet with team owner Jim Irsay, saying he felt the need to make his case to stay after missing the playoffs for the second straight season.
DOLPHINS: Coach Adam Gase said he doesn't know whether quarterback Ryan Tannehill will return to practice this week after missing the final three regular-season games with a sprained left knee. … Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is drawing interest as a head coaching candidate.
FALCONS: Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, expected to be one of the top targets for teams looking to replace head coaches, could be available for interviews late this week.
TEXANS: Coach Bill O'Brien said he doesn't know who will start at quarterback for the wild-card game against the Raiders on Saturday. Tom Savage started the last two games after Brock Osweiler was benched. But Savage's status is in question after he suffered a concussion in the second quarter Sunday.