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Quotes: Coach Kubiak Press Conference

Posted Sep 10, 2013

Head coach Gary Kubiak addressed the media on Tuesday following the 31-28 win over San Diego.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on if DE Antonio Smith was reinstated today) “Yes, my understanding to be honest with you, we’ve been going 100 miles an hour since we landed, but, yes, he could be back in the building today is my understanding.”

(on if DE Antonio Smith will be back on the field at practice tomorrow and what the corresponding roster move will be) “Yes, expectations are for him to be. Well, (T David) Quessenberry will go on IR today. Antonio will take his spot.”

(on what the team will do with T David Quessenberry) “He will go to IR.”

(on if T David Quessenberry will go on the injured reserve with a designation to return or the full injured reserve) “Full IR, yeah.”

(on if WR Andre Johnson is okay) “Yeah, he’s fine. He just cramped up and had to leave the field for that period of time. I don’t remember how many plays it was, but made it back and finished up. He made some big plays there at the end.”

(on RB Ben Tate waving off  RB Arian Foster and Foster looking like he was angry about it and if he was tempted to run Tate more at the end of the game) “I wish it would have come out a little more closer to even. I think I said that after the game. Obviously, it was Arian’s first time out this year. He didn’t play any in the preseason. I think Ben’s had an excellent preseason. I want to keep it somewhat close right now and watch them working to what’s going on. As far as waving a guy off, they’re competitors. They both want to be on the field. I understand that. I think that’s a good thing for the team.”

(on if he talked to RB Arian Foster after RB Ben Tate waved him off the field) “No, I actually didn’t see the waving off.”

(on QB Matt Schaub’s performance) “I thought it was exceptional. He got off to a rough start, gets the ball tipped to start the game. It’s such a negative play to start your football season. A lot of people could go into the tank. He kept battling. I think the thing I was most impressed with Matt is his extension of plays last night. I think he did a tremendous job in some tough situations, third-and-long where he found ways to extend the play and move around and give people a chance to get down the field to keep us on the field. When you get caught in a situation like that, especially on the road, it’s tough to succeed unless your quarterback’s got total control of what’s going on. I was just very impressed with what he did.”

(on the Texans having a lot of fans at the game last night) “Yeah, it’s awesome. I think I said that a couple of times last year. I want them to know how much we appreciate it. There’s a big difference than three or four years ago with us going on the road, arriving at a hotel, seeing our fans, them supporting us on the road, coming out for warm ups, seeing how many people are actually there at the game. That means a lot to the football team. It means a lot to us as an organization. I just want them to know how much we appreciate it.”

(on how he will handle FS Ed Reed this week) “Well, we got so close last week. It would be so easy to say, ‘OK, we’re ready to go.’ I just walked by him. He’s in the training room right now going through some rehab stuff with Kap (Head Athletic trainer Geoff Kaplan). I think we’re very close. We’ll see. I expect him to practice tomorrow. Does he take more of a load than he did last week? We’ll see, but I know were’ very, very close. I think it’s still a day-to-day thing right now.”

(on if the game last night had been in the playoffs and if FS Ed Reed would have been able to play) “I think he probably could have given us some snaps. Is he ready to go out there and carry a game-type load? That’s why we made the decision because we’re not there yet. Like I said, Ed’s been through it before. I think I’ve said this many times, we’re listening to him; we’re listening to what’s going on. The process has been very good. The progress has been excellent in this past week. So hopefully we get much the same this week.”

(on if he thinks he’ll have ILB Darryl Sharpton back this week) “He will hit the field tomorrow. He has to pass the final stages of the concussion protocol, which can be done for him Wednesday and Thursday if things go well.”

(on the protection of QB Matt Schaub) “Actually, for the situation we were in as a team I thought it was pretty good. What we’d give up? Two sacks but the whole stadium knew we were going to have to throw it for two-and-a-half quarters. (LT) Duane (Brown) is over there battling (Dwight) Freeney down-in and down-out. So I think the situation we were in, it actually was pretty darn good. You can always do things better but we totally abandoned the run game from the third quarter on until we got that last five or six minutes. Just don’t want to be in that situation again, I know that.”

(on how important P Shane Lechler’s punting was in the game) “I think there’s a lot of confidence there. I know there is from me, as a coach. To me, he’s a weapon. He can get you out of a hole when you’re backed up and you’ve had a bad series. He can pin people down there on the goal line. Usually when you pin somebody inside their 10, if you get them three-and-out, that’s points for you football team.  I think we’ve got a punter right now who’s a weapon for our football team. Hopefully we don’t send him out there too much, but when we do, we’ve got a lot of confidence in him.”

(on WR Andre Johnson coming up big for the team against San Diego) “He’s had a great camp. He’s been exceptional through camp. Once again, we have to move him all over the place last night because they were paying special attention to him. But he always responds to that. He finds a way to make plays. The thing I’ve been really impressed with, I think he’s running better after the catch right now probably better than maybe he has. I just see a point of emphasis right there. It’s something he’s improved upon.”

(on what it says about the leadership on the team that they were able to close out the win against San Diego) “They’ve come a long way. There’s a belief there that regardless of what happens on any given Sunday, we can find a way to win a football game. And you’re right, if you don’t have that, you don’t have that type of mind set and that type of leadership, you get caught in those situations. There’s a lot of times people say, ‘We’ll get ‘em next week.’ Well that’s not part of this team’s make up. I think at halftime, as poorly as we had played, there was still confidence that if we play a good half of football, we’ll find a way to win this game. And yet, we start the third quarter really poorly, too, on the defensive side of the ball. I’m just proud of how we hung in there. It’s not something you want to get really, really good at, but proud of the way we hung in there and found a way to win.” 

(on the explanation for playing so poorly in a season opener) “Well I think it was a combination of them playing good. You start the game with a turnover. That’s as bad as it can get. But they played extremely well on offense in the first half. They moved the ball, made big plays. We moved the ball but had a lot of movement backwards. Had some big holding penalties from the wide receiver position. Had some things that set us back. We expected a tough situation there playing in their stadium. I think they’re a good football team. Everybody’s fresh on opening day and we got their best. Their best was pretty darn good there for two-and-a-half quarters.”

(on the direct snap in punt formation in the fourth quarter) “I just called it and walked away. I’m glad it worked, I know that. We didn’t do anything with it. That’s what makes me mad.”

(on who called the direct snap and why they did it) “It’s something we work on all the time. Really, we kind of put it in (FS) Shiloh’s (Keo) hands. I mean, we kind of give him the ability to leave it on or call it off depending on what he sees and he had confidence in what he saw, that he could go get us a yard. Like I said, they executed extremely well. It’s just a shame we didn’t take that and do something with it right away. I think we ended up punting three plays later.”

(on NT Earl Mitchell’s  big play) “That is effort.  When you win games in this league, it is easy to walk in this room and show the big plays that everybody is looking at today, but it is plays like that that you pick out show your team because that is the difference in winning and losing. Earl hustling and putting them in a third-and-3 situation and that was the difference in us getting off the field.   Those are the types of plays that are the difference when it is all said and done.”

(on how the defense came back to finish the game strong) “Our energy was excellent, we locked up our coverage much better, we made him (Phillip Rivers) get rid of the ball. Probably the biggest thing is they had some success running the ball early in the game and throughout the first half that they weren’t able to find in the second half. I think the last five possessions, we had them three-and-out, the last four or five possessions.  You don’t get something like that done unless it is a total turnaround, and it was across the board.  Special teams, offense, defense – everybody did their job for a quarter and a half.” 

(on OLB Whitney Mercilus’ play) “He played really good. To miss all of camp, to play as many plays as he played, he played extremely well. It was a big factor getting to the quarterback and even when he didn’t get there, he was a big factor pushing the pocket.  I was very impressed with how he played without camp.”

(on WR Keshawn Martin’s play in the return game) “I thought he did a good job. He created some of his own space.  We can do a little bit better job for him, but for the most part Keyshawn has been coming along and getting a lot more confidence in what he’s doing.”

(on FS Shiloh Keo’s play) “Shiloh played really good. He’s been working as a starter the whole time. The fact that don’t have (FS) Ed (Reed), obviously there is a big spotlight on him back there and he’s playing against a really good quarterback.  I thought he held his own and the hit he had in the third quarter, knocking the ball out and giving us a chance to get back on the field was a big play in the game.”

(on the confidence he has in K Randy Bullock) “They froze him a little bit, called a timeout. What a situation to be in your first time kicking in an NFL game and you are put on the spot right there and you’ve sat there for four quarters and lived with a miss on a ball that he didn’t hit very good.  He’s been consistent through camp and we have confidence in him.  I like the way he’s kicking off.  I think he had five kickoffs and four of them were for touchbacks.  The other one we need to cover better. I think Randy has a bright future and obviously getting some confidence early has got to help him.”

(on any injuries incurred in the game) “(CB) Brice McCain got his knee banged up a little bit during the game, we are looking at that today.  Other than that, just some bumps and bruises.  I think we came out OK.”

(on the secondary’s play as a whole) “I thought we locked them down good once we settled in.  They made a couple of big plays in some contested situations.  The one to start the third quarter was a real big play.  I thought Danieal Manning played extremely good, J. Jo (CB Johnathan Joseph) played well, so did (CB) Kareem (Jackson). I think we held them to 50 percent or less throwing the football, but the biggest thing is we dug ourselves such a big hole as a football team, but they battled at the end and found a way to make the plays at the end.” 

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