Miller writes tribute to retiring Broncos head coach Kubiak

Gary Kubiak may be gone as the Denver Broncos' head coach, but he is not forgotten.

Denver linebacker and five-time NFL Pro Bowler Von Miller wrote a tribute letter to his former coach, who stepped down on Monday after two seasons with the Broncos due to health concerns. 

"He was a leader who was believable, a man of high character who always had a plan," Miller said in the letter, which was published via MMQB on Tuesday.

"He used to assign me what I call side missions -- after team meetings he'd pull me aside and tell me what he needed from me that day, whether it was raising the intensity level at practice or heightening the focus on the details. I was excited and proud to be called on."

Kubiak spent nine years as a backup quarterback to Broncos Hall of Famer and current general manager John Elway.

The 55-year-old then spent 23 years coaching in the NFL, including eight seasons as the Houston Texans head coach and two years back in Denver.

He led the Broncos to a Super Bowl championship last season, despite lacklustre quarterback play from Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. 

"Kubiak, a former quarterback, knows quarterbacks," Miller wrote. "He knew he had to bench Peyton Manning for Brock Osweiler during the regular season a year ago in order to get Peyton fully healthy for the playoffs. And he knew when to insert Peyton back into the line-up.

"It all worked because Kubiak always has a plan. He's not the sort of man who throws something against the wall and waits to see what the outcome will be. He always forecasted his moves and knew exactly what he wanted to happen."

Miller - Super Bowl MVP last season - said Kubiak is a players' coach who always treated his players with respect.

But he understands Kubiak's reasons for putting his health ahead of his career and will "keep doing his work."

"It's understandable that he would walk away from the game the moment he felt he couldn't put 100 per cent effort into preparation," Miller wrote. "For him, coaching is an all-or-nothing deal, and he'd rather walk away than offer less than his best."

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