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Quotes: Monday practice

Posted Dec 17, 2012

Head coach Gary Kubiak addressed the media following Monday's practice.


Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the team’s health) “We came out pretty good. Our biggest concern right now, (ILB Tim) Dobbins got a thumb (injury), but we think he’ll be fine. It’s something that may have to get casted up for him to play. Other than that, the guys that went in, you look at (T Derek) Newton. He came out fine, got those guys back healthy and playing. (TE) Garrett Graham came out fine. We’re trending in the right direction from that standpoint getting some guys healthy.”

(on what it would mean to Houston for the Texans to make a Super Bowl run) “We’re going to take it one week at a time, one day at a time. Obviously, in the playoffs we control an opportunity to play our playoff games here at home. That’s huge. Like I said, that’s the next step for us, but still I think the most important thing is how you’re playing. You go through history how teams have gotten to the Super Bowl. A lot of teams have won a championship, it still always goes back to they’re the ones playing the best football. It is an opportunity for us right now. It’s something for us to focus on. If we can get another win then we’ve got a chance to do that. We’ve got to stay focused on this next game and those things will take care of themselves.”

(on what it’d mean to the fans to make a Super Bowl run) “I understand. It would be huge for our city, but it’d huge for this team because playing at home in this league and having the benefit of your crowd and getting off on cadence and all those types of things, it’s a big, big factor in success in this league. The good thing about this business in this league, you work 16 weeks for that. We worked hard to get to the playoffs. We worked hard to win a division and now we got to continue that same effort to try to find a way to possibly be a one seed in this playoff hunt. Like I said, it’s a step and a time deal, but being at home is obviously a big benefit.”

(on San Francisco’s win over New England last night) “I saw a little bit of it. I didn’t see the whole thing. Two great teams going at it, some tough weather, amazing game, San Francisco is playing great and obviously New England comes back and they’re never out of any game. That’s this league this time of year. I think you’re just going to continue to see great football games. It seems like it changes every week, but it does give us an excellent opportunity this week to put ourselves in good position so a great deal to play for against a very good football team.”

(on how important it will be to have young players step up) “I think what’s happening right now is some of our young players on our team are giving us a chance to continue to improve right now. Probably, you’re asking me a little bit about (WR DeVier) Posey and what he’s done. He deserves an opportunity to go out there and play. He’s made plays. He’s been good at practice. (G) Brandon Brooks is making us better right now up front. He’s playing really good. He’s going to play more. (DE Jared) Crick, Crick’s doing good stuff for us. We’re watching some young guys really contribute to this team. I think (OLB) Whitney (Mercilus) may have played his best game for us yesterday. Our young players and how they continue to progress and how they can take the big stage and go out there and play well adds to our football team. You know what I mean? It’s not just that position. It’s at a lot of places, but we are getting some help and it is very encouraging.”

(on if he’s surprised that WR Andre Johnson has only four touchdown catches this season) “It doesn’t because I just know how much attention they pay to him down there. I think we’ve been a really good red zone football team. I think we’re in the top five before this week. We obviously weren’t a good red zone team this week. A lot of that has to do with so much attention is paid to him down there. We don’t care who scores, but he gets a lot of respect down there, a lot of cut cove rages. People double him, doing those types of things. I think it helps us run the ball. It helps us get the ball in some other people’s hands to make plays. I’ve been through that before had some great, great players and people wonder why they’re not getting the touchdowns and it’s usually a compliment to them and what’s going on defensively. He’s been tremendous, went over 1,300 yards. I didn’t even know. He leads the AFC. He’s having an excellent year.”

(on if DE J.J. Watt still reminds him of Howie Long) “You go back and I actually called him into my little locker room that I have in there yesterday after the game. I gave a few game balls and I went in there and picked up the stats. I looked at what he had done and I was like, ‘Boy, I missed him.’ He’s been exceptional. The game he played yesterday, and you all know how he’s played all year, was probably his best this year. Usually a lot of linemen have a specialty, defensive linemen, whether it’s rushing the passer, playing the run, this kid does everything well. He made some plays crossing the ball. I think he had five tackles for loss yesterday. He’s had a good a year as a football player as I’ve ever been around in the National Football League and we’ve still got two weeks to go. He’s just been exceptional.”

(on OLB Connor Barwin’s game against Indianapolis and what he does for the Texans) “It’s very important. But I’m going to go back and I think (OLB) Connor (Barwin) has had a fine year. I think players’ statistics sometimes don’t always tell the whole story. Connor has been consistent. I think Connor may have played more snaps than any other player on our football team this year. He had to go from one position to another. We had a nice little moment together on the field after the game yesterday but I’m just happy for him for something like that to come his way late in the game because he sure deserves it. He’s been very consistent. I think he’s going to continue to step up here as we go down the stretch and get into January. But we’re very pleased with Connor’s play. When you keep playing that hard, those numbers come your way.”

(on the adjustment Special Teams Coordinator Joe Marciano made to move around OLB Bryan Braman) “To give you an example, it’s like us trying to get (WR) Andre (Johnson) the ball when everybody is doubling him and doing things to take him away offensively. You have to move Andre all over the place, you have to do different things with him. Well, (Special Teams Coordinator) Joe (Marciano) has a player that other teams pay tremendous respect to. (OLB) Bryan (Braman) was tripled on the first kickoff return. That tells you what they think of him. So Joe has to move Bryan to try to get him in position to make some plays. He made a great adjustment and Bryan took advantage of it. He’s been very close a couple of times this year and that play was used in the football game. And like I said, Joe did a great job of getting him free.”

(on not being able to finish drives in the red zone yesterday) “It was disappointing because we could have really put some points on the board. We were one for five. The first time down there, we should make that play. We had a really good play that we should make. We had a third and 14, third and 15, which you put yourself in about as bad a position as you can put yourself in. The last one doesn’t bother me, I think we’re doing the right thing to win the football game. You only get so many opportunities in this business and boy, you have to take advantage of them. And we had been pretty good down there. As well as we ran the ball, we didn’t run the ball very good in the red zone yesterday. We had a sack in the red zone. It was disappointing coming out of the game.”

(on RB Adrian Peterson and the challenges he offers) “This could be a two-and-a-half-hour game the way they run the ball, and hopefully, we can run the ball. He’s tremendous. They’re just lining up and pounding people right now. Nobody has probably ever done it better than he’s doing it right no over this stretch. What a difference, from a challenge standpoint, we have defensively. Going from being spread out, spread out and all of a sudden here they come downhill at you with one of the great backs in the game. We have a huge challenge there. Then offensively, I think we’re facing as good of a defensive front as we’ve played all year. This is a very physical, physical football team. You look at the times they’ve beaten this year. They have been beaten by some excellent football teams. I think they’re very well-built, especially for a young quarterback. It’s going to be an extremely physical challenge for us.”  

(on what NT Shaun Cody has done for the team this year) “(NT) Shaun (Cody) is consistent and when he’s out there for us it helps a lot of things. We have a five-guy rotation going. When Sean is getting his 20 snaps (DT) Earl (Mitchell) can move around, we can take some things off of (DE) J.J. (Watt), we can take some things off of (DE) Antonio (Smith). I think when you have seen Shaun be a part of what we’re doing, I think you see Antonio and J.J. play better because they’re more fresh in what they’re doing. And he’s played through pain for us all year long, so we’re very appreciative of that. He, (ILB Tim) Dobbins, we’ve had some guys do that. Like I said, Shaun is a big part. He makes us better when he’s there.”

(on the difference in QB Matt Schaub’s throwing motion and his play this week) “I didn’t do anything that I know of. I let him throw it the same way this week that he threw it the last week. We just didn’t play well last week. We could have protected him better. I think he set his feet better in this football game. But I haven’t messed with his motion or anything. We’re just trying to settle his feet down , protect him a little better. And we had a tough job yesterday. Those two guys coming off the edge yesterday are probably as good of pass rushers as this league has seen in the last 10 or 12 years. And it took everybody we had to slow them down yesterday.”

(on if RB Ben Tate will get more carries this coming week) “I think it all depends on how it goes. What (RB) Arian (Foster) did yesterday, that looked like Arian to me. The load started to come, the carries started to come and he got better, he got stronger. I think our football team showed some life in their legs. I didn’t think I was seeing that the last three weeks with some of the length of these road trips we’ve had. I like the way we played strong late in the football game and Arian was a big part of that.”

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