CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- By last Wednesday, Gary Kubiak contacted the Broncos coaching staff. Two complete days off left him not knowing "what the hell to do" with himself.
Kubiak loves to coach, and returned Monday to work after missing a week following a complex migraine episode that required an overnight hospital stay.
He remains positive about his coaching future, encouraged by a battery of test results. After consulting with doctors in Denver and Houston, Kubiak said his recovery has left him focused on better sleeping habits.
"All my tests came back great," Kubiak said. "I feel very comfortable with where I am headed and how I am feeling."
Kubiak's doctors compared the test results to when Kubiak suffered a mini-stroke in 2013. Kubiak remains convinced this latest issue is not connected.
"It was different for me. It was different to me," Kubiak said. "They've obviously had some conversations trying to discuss what happened both times. But to me they were different. Like I said, I feel very good."
Kubiak, 55, traced back through the events that led to him leaving Sports Authority Field by ambulance eight days ago. He admitted he hadn't felt well, believing it was the flu by Saturday night. He woke up ill on Sunday, but coached through it, hardly a unique circumstance in a profession where off days are strangers until June. Feeling worse after his postgame press conference, Kubiak exited by ambulance as a precaution.
He joked that he needed to return Monday because his family had grown tired of him being around the house.
"It just makes you really appreciate what you're doing," Kubiak said. "We're in a business where you go, go and go. You've got 16 weeks to be as good as you can be. Then all of a sudden taking two days away from here? When you're a football coach, taking two days away from what you do is like, 'What the hell is going on here?' It's like having a summer off."
Kubiak returned to a team carrying a two-game losing streak. The Broncos last dropped three straight in 2011. Denver is dealing with multiple issues. Two, in particular, surface when discussing the tailspin. The Broncos have allowed 41 first-quarter points and 31 on first possessions. Last year at this point, Denver had not permitted a first quarter point. The average length of opponents' drives is 9.77 plays. Translation: The Broncos tend to start behind 7-0, leaving a feeble offense climbing uphill after watching for several minutes.
"Teams have figured some of what we do out. We have to make adjustments," cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said.
The offense hasn't carried its weight over the past two weeks. Denver averages 4.71 yards on first down, 28th in the league. The Broncos rank 17th in three-and-outs, and their run game has failed to produce since midway through the third game. Kubiak said rookie Devontae Booker will get more opportunities to run the ball after he provided a spark in last Thursday's loss as C.J. Anderson struggled and was snake bit by offensive line penalties.
"Book is doing some good stuff," Kubiak said.
Players continue to insist there's no panic. But concern is genuine after the Broncos lost, by Kubiak's admission, in similar fashion the past two weeks.
"I talked to the team about three things, our preparation, detail and then going out and playing," Kubiak said. "It starts with us coaches filtering it down to our guys. But it's very correctable."