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Quotes: Friday practice

Posted Nov 1, 2013

Members of the Houston Texans spoke to the media following Friday's workout.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
ILB Joe Mays
RB Ben Tate

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the health of the team) “Everybody practiced. Ben (Tate) will be ready to go. I think Arian (Foster) is still a game-time decision, but he did lot better today in practice. So we’ll see how he comes out of practice.”

(on if RB Ben Tate will be ready to go on Sunday) “Ben will be ready to go.”

(on this game being like a playoff game in terms of importance and players who are hurt feeling that they have to play no matter what) “We don’t approach them any different. No matter how big a game is, if you don’t think a guy can do the job he normally can do, you’re never going to put a player in that situation. I don’t believe in that. But I think guys are pushing themselves to get ready. We’ve got two backs that are in that position, so they’re pushing themselves as best they can. Every game’s a big game. Obviously, this one’s very big, division game. We’re in a hole, so to speak, trying to figure ourselves out. I don’t think any player that I’ve been around would do things any differently regardless. They’re battling to play every week as best they can.”

(on the importance of RBs Arian Foster and Ben Tate playing in this game) “Well, it’s very important. We’re feeling that way about Ben. If he could hold up on Wednesday with the trial run, which he did and then he did take some practice today. I think we’re heading that way. Our biggest dilemma to be honest with you is who goes with him. Of the three guys that we put on the active roster, we’ve been trying to figure out. We worked those guys all week and then we worked them with Joe (Marciano). That’s probably the toughest decision. Whether or not they’re both there, we’ll see. But who goes if one of them is not there? Who is the other guy? Who are the other two? That’s a big decision.”

(on RB Arian Foster’s health) “He got better today. He practiced better today than he did yesterday. I think he’s feeling better. I can’t speak for him, but I just saw everything improve a little bit.”

(on QB Case Keenum getting a full week of practice and what he’s seen from him in terms of confidence as a result) “I think he gets more comfortable every day, but at the same time, it’s a new game plan, it’s a new team we’re playing. You do start from scratch each week, but I think he’s getting more comfortable in the huddle and more comfortable with his timing and stuff with our receivers. I think he’s been very accurate this week. This kid’s working his tail off and trying to do everything to give his football team a chance to win. Just impressed with how he’s working. He’s ready to good. He’s had a good week. He’s worked real hard. We’ve got to try and keep him in the best position we can keep him in.”

(on RB Ben Tate playing through his rib injury and if he’s seen other guys play through pain like that) “I’ve seen some guys do it. I can’t speak for how they can do it. I just know it all depends which one’s where, how can they numb them up for the game, how can they help them out, from that standpoint. It just looks like, like I said, we did a trial run on Wednesday and he adapted to that very well. First off, the credit has got to go to Ben that he’s doing that and giving it up for his team. I wasn’t expecting anything different.”

(on if this game is a do or die type of game) “It’s about 30 years for me. I think every week’s do or die. It’s no different. This is the position we’re in. We all understand that. We’ve got to make up some ground. The best way to make up ground in this league is when you’re playing your division, to play well. I’ve been on the other end of the stick and you’ve got to keep it going. I’ve been in this situation where you’ve got to get it going. The focus is the same. The attention to detail’s been good. A lot of confidence on the practice field and need that to come across the street on Sunday.”

(on if WR Keshawn Martin is going to return this week) “I’m going to go look at how he practiced today. We actually practiced special teams at the end of practice today. I’m going to go watch how he handled things, but Shiloh (Keo’s) capable of doing that, DJ (Dennis Johnson) is capable, Deji (Karim) is capable of doing that. So we have a few more guys.”

(on if he’s reluctant to put a new guy back to return in such a crucial situation) “No. If I’ve got questions whether or not Keshawn (Martin) can protect the ball, somebody else is going back there. We’ll see how he (is). I think he got better this week. He’s feeling better. It’s still going to take some more time for him to be 100 percent, but he has improved.”

(on if the new running backs are capable of helping out in protection against Colts OLB Robert Mathis) “That’s kind of where I’m talking. The biggest concern is if one of our backs goes, who are the other two? If two of them go, who’s the other one? We’re going to suit three, somehow, someway. Trying to get all three of those guys up to speed so to speak with what we do offensively, being able to protect Case (Keenum), being able to go back there and handle the game plan. That has been a tremendous challenge for Rico (Rick Dennison), for Chick (Harris) and myself. And it’s not over. We’ve got two more days to keep going here, but we’ve got to figure out who exactly the best guys are to go back there and help out.”

(on the biggest responsibilities for new running backs when they play) “Picking up blitzes and understanding fronts. Everything that’s going on. There’s just so much more involved than go to the right if I hand you the ball. There’s just so much technical football that gets involved. Number one is protecting the quarterback when you’re responsible to. That’s the biggest thing.”

ILB Joe Mays
(on being a more vocal player) “I’ve always tried to be vocal, as vocal as I can, try to communicate as best I can. Just try to get all of the guys on the same page. That’s all I do. That’s what I just try to get us to do so we can all go out there and play ball.”

(on if he’s been more vocal since ILB Brian Cushing went out) “I don’t really feel like I have to step up per se. We all have to step up and play a little bit better for the loss of Cush. But as far as me having to speak more talk more, I don’t feel that way.”

(on if he feels comfortable playing next to ILB Darryl Sharpton) “Yeah, I feel comfortable playing in the system with all of these guys. We’ve had a little bit of time in there playing with each other. I feel comfortable knowing that he’s going to go out and give his all. And I’m going to do the same thing.”

(on if the guys came back fresher after the bye and if he senses that) “Yeah, it was much needed. Guys’ bodies were tired just physically, mentally, just drained. Just to have a chance to get away for a few days and get your mind off of football, I feel everybody’s refreshed. I know I’m refreshed. It’s just like a renewed commitment to the game. We’re feeling good.”

RB Ben Tate
(on Head Coach Gary Kubiak saying he would play this week and how he feels about that) “I’m ecstatic. It feels good to get out there and be able to play the game that I love playing.”

(on his injury still being very painful) “Yeah, the pain has gone down a little, but it’s still a little painful. But it’s a lot better.”

(on the key to being able to play with his rib injury) “Just blocking it out. Just blocking it out. Getting out there and, once the juices get flowing, you don’t think about it.”

(on if he’s playing this week in part because this week’s game is so big) “I guess so. I guess, but, at the same time, I love playing football. This is what I do. Like I said before, you don’t get to do it for too long, so I just try to make the best of it.”


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