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Quotes: Friday Practice

Posted Oct 18, 2013

Members of the Houston Texans spoke to the media following practice on Friday.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
ILB Brian Cushing
FS Ed Reed

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(opening statement) “The two guys who didn’t practice were (Tim) Dobbins and (Matt) Schaub. Obviously, we rule them as out.”

(on if he’s seen any difference in QB Case Keenum since he’s been named the starter) “No, He’s the same every day. He’s a very confident young man. He loves to play, flies around every day. It’s good for him to get all of the reps the last two days and try to get him more comfortable with what we’re fixing to go partake in and go do. I think it’s been good work from him. I know he’s ready to go and he’s excited.”

(on if his play-calling will be different with a new quarterback in Case Keenum starting) “We’ve got a defense we’ve got to deal with number one and it’s as good as there is in football. They can go get the quarterback. We’ve got to deal from that standpoint first, offensively, and go operate. Any time you play people, you try to do things that you think they do best. I think that’s why he has succeeded in the preseason and stuff because he can make all the throws and moves around. He’s a smart kid. We’re going to run our offense and do everything we can to get him comfortable with his first time out there. It’ll be very important that we run the ball and play well around him.”

(on there are some things he can do to help make sure QB Case Keenum is calm and comfortable) “He’s going to be going 100 miles-per-hour. He’s going 100 miles-per-hour today. Wait until he walks in there and hears that noise. I know what he’s fixing to walk into. I know he’s played in some big stadiums. There will be nothing more challenging than this, but he’s not going in there by himself.”

(on the importance of the tight ends with a young quarterback) “Well, we miss OD (Owen Daniels). That’s a big piece of what we do, so we miss him. We played a little bit more two-backs last week. Ryan (Griffin) played about 25 or 30 plays. We have confidence in him. We just got Jake (Byrne) back last week, so we’re trying to get him going again with what we’re doing. Every week’s a different week. Those young guys have to adjust and play well for us and Owen’s not coming back any time soon. So that’s a team adjustment for us.”

(on if QB Case Keenum is coming to him about things he likes or if it’s the other way around) “Well, we’ve been working with him now for a couple of years. We know the things that he does well and that’s why he’s here because of our offense because we do move guys a lot and do stuff like that. You obviously think about the things he’s comfortable with. I think the biggest thing as a coach is you don’t overload a kid when he’s in this situation for a first time. That’s been the biggest point of emphasis for us is to get him comfortable, with getting in and out of the huddle with the noise we’re fixing to face, the adversity you’re fixing to face form that standpoint. So he can go play and his reactions take over.”

(on ILB Brian Cushing saying loud noise is loud noise and if there really is a difference in stadiums) “Well, Cushing doesn’t call plays. It’s a little different when you’re out there just playing in that atmosphere. He’s right, loud is loud. But when you’re running a huddle with all of those guys and trying to get everybody in the right position and trying to get everyone lined up and headed in the right direction, there are a lot of challenges. We’re trying to help him from that standpoint. He’s got a lot of people to control, not just one. It’s a very difficult place to play. I know that. I’ve been there and I know the way it’s rocking right now and, the way they are playing, it’s going to be even more difficult. But that’s a challenge we need as a team and we’re going to have to play well as a team.”

(on if he would consider deferring if the team won the coin toss this week) “I don’t know what I’m going to do. We’ll see.”

(on the team’s reaction when he announced QB Case Keenum would start) “Well, we bounced around really good today. I think any time you make decisions, tough decisions as coaches, there’s always going to be maybe guys that didn’t think that’s the way you were going to go. That’s OK. They’re human. I tell them that all of the time. The one thing our guys do is I’m honest with them in what I’m going to do and I told them they would be the first ones I’m going to talk to when I made a decision. That’s the way we went about it yesterday and they’ve responded. They’ve really been behind the kid. They understand his challenge as a player. The best thing they can do is play well around him.”

(on the one best piece of advice he’s given to QB Case Keenum) “You know, I don’t know if there’s one thing. I just want him to go play and have fun. That’s what you have to do. He wouldn’t be in this position if he hasn’t reacted and done great thing sin his high school, in his college. He would have never made it this far. I don’t want him to do anything different. I want him to cut it loose and play with energy. He’s going to make mistakes, but go to the next play. Let’s play hard and let’s see if we can make more plays than them. I just want the kid to cut it loose. He’s earned the right. He’s worked hard.”

(on if it’s surprising that WR Andre Johnson is leading the league in receptions even though he’s been nicked up) “No, I think our coaches do a great job of getting Andre the ball and getting him involved. He’s been nicked up for a couple of years now. Last year, it was earlier in the season too, but he’s always going to do his job. He’s always going to make his plays. We’ve got a guy who’s the top receiver in football as far as numbers-wise and I think we’ve got out back who’s in the top two or three in football too. That’s a credit to the coaches and the position they them in and the job they do once they get there.”

(on SS D.J. Swearinger starting) “Yeah, there was a lot of discussion about that. We play a lot of personnel’s defensively. Nowadays in football, you’ll play dime more than you’ll play base. We made a decision we’re going to start D.J. in base. He’s a physical player, a box player. We’re sitting here talking about Case (Keenum) a lot, but there’s a lot on D.J.’s plate this week too. In theory, this is his first start as a pro. Some young guys going there that need to play well for us to be successful/”

(on how SS D.J. Swearinger reacted to being named the starter) “Oh, he’s a tough kid. Boy, he’s tough minded. Very confident young man. He practiced really good today.”

ILB Brian Cushing
(on if he was are of what QB Case Keenum was doing in college at Univ. of Houston) “Being in Houston, obviously, you heard a lot about him and what he was doing for the city, a local kid. Being with the Houston Texans, obviously he was talk of the town.”

(on QB Case Keenum bringing a spark and if he sees that during practice) “Yeah, I think so. Case is young and he runs around a lot. He’s got a really good attitude about him. I think he brings a little bit of a spark. He runs a lot more than the other quarterbacks, but, like I said, he’s got a great attitude, he goes out there and he loves playing football. We can see that spark, for sure.”

(on starting someone new at such an important position like quarterback in QB Case Keenum an if that adds something extra) “It’s got an impact. He’s the leader of the offense. Any time you make a change, that’s very obvious. One of those things that you definitely notice. Him coming in has definitely made a difference and something we’ve all noticed.”

FS Ed Reed
(on the atmosphere of Arrowhead Stadium) “What I’ve been telling guys all week is that this is where you want to play football. This is one of the first organizations out there and a great football atmosphere. They have a great fan base that supports them. Like I said, it’s just a great football atmosphere.”

(on how much extra responsibility does the defense take with QB Case Keenum starting) “One thing about winning on the road is you have to bring your defense. You’ve got to bring your defense and we’ve got to go to play. We have to play our best. We need to play our best. We haven’t played our best. We’re revving this thing up right now and feeling good. Feeling good about the corrections we’ve made and we know we have a test in front of us though because Kansas City is a good football team.”

(on how they disrupt QB Alex Smith since he doesn’t often make many mistakes) “By being patient. We’ve got to be patient because that’s their offense. Their offense is a patient offense with very explosive guys. It’s not just about Alex Smith, though he is very protective of the football that I want.”

(on what he remembers about his first start as a rookie and what he thinks is going through QB Case Keenum’s mind) “It’s not what do I remember about mine, but do I remember mine? I think Case is loose. He understands that this is a team sport and it’s not just on one person. He knows we have his back. He can just go out there and let loose and do what he’s always done and that’s play football. This game doesn’t change. The game of football doesn’t change. Schematic things do, but I think he understands football. He’s going to be a little bit nervous. Who doesn’t get nervous playing NFL football? This is going to be a very exciting environment.”

(on what he has seen out of QB Case Keenum the last two days of practice) “His poise, man, you could tell he already knew, how confident he was, in knowing the offense. He’s very poised and ready. I think he’s ready for the challenge.”

(on if he has seen the spark that Coach Kubiak said he was looking for) “I think the whole week has been a spark from an energy standpoint, from a positive standpoint in how we attacked the whole week. Case, he’s a young guy, going in to play quarterback. I don’t know how much of a spark he can give you by thinking about it, but I have the confidence in him. I know the team does. I know he has the confidence in himself.”

(on not remembering his first start) “I think I played against, I know I played against the Carolina Panthers and it was a very exciting day. My first NFL game, man, one that you’re always going to remember obviously. It was a great time.”

(on if he can offer up any more words of wisdom to the team after this rough patch) “Yeah, definitely I can offer words of advice. We’ve been going through something to grow from. It’s been tough losing of course, but when you’re going through life, ups and downs, a season of ups and downs, you’ve got to grow through the tough times. It’s how you handle those tough times and how you handle the adversity of defeats. Just keeping guys positive and turning them away from negative talk, if any, however else you can help them. I’ve been talking to D.J. (Swearinger) this week because he’s starting. There is always some encouragement you can give your teammates.”

(on what he has told SS D.J. Swearinger this week) “Everything there is about playing safety. There has really been unlimited information to give him. D.J. is a football player. I don’t have to say much to him.”

(on how his knee is) “My knee is good. I just got my knee sleeve on here, sporting a little nice knee sleeve. The knee is good though. Everything is well.”

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