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Quotes: Texans OTAs Day 8

Posted Jun 4, 2013

Members of the Houston Texans spoke to the media following Tuesday's practice.



Head Coach Gary Kubiak
RG Brandon Brooks
SS Danieal Manning
QB Matt Schaub

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on how the team bounced back in today’s OTA) “They’ve got a lot on their plate. Every other day I’m resting a bunch of the veteran guys. I think it’s really helping our team because they’re getting all these young guys caught up. It’s a cram session, like I told you. It’s going to be like that. We’re counting on some really young guys helping this team quick and the only way we’re going to get them there is to just throw it at them, so that’s what we’re trying to do.”

(on if it is about resting the veterans or giving young players more of an opportunity at this time of the year) “It’s kind of both. I look at certain guys that have got a ton of snaps under their belt, have played a ton of football; they don’t need to be out here every day doing that. And then there’s young guys that when those older guys are practicing, they’re not getting as many reps. And I like to see guys work; like (QB) Case (Keenum) worked with the first team today. What was impressive was how he practiced. That’s the kind of stuff you want to see. (WR) Lestar (Jean) worked like a starter today and practiced very well. So those are the things you’re really looking for. Are those guys getting ready? Are they getting themselves into position? It’s exciting to see some of them doing that?”

(on how WR Lestar Jean is doing) “He’s doing really well. (WR) Lestar (Jean) and (WR) Keshawn (Martin) are probably two of the most improved players out here. I could list probably 10 or 12 but they’re very important to what we’re doing. They see their opportunity. They’re also smart enough to know that the young kid has got thrown in there as a starter and they’ve got to keep their minds straight and keep going and if they do that, they’re going to be on the field a great deal for our team. And they’re handling their business well.”

(on what it means that the entire team will be attending the Firefighter Memorial Service at Reliant Stadium tomorrow) “It’s very important to us. We talked about it as a group yesterday and talked to a couple players. It means a lot to us to be there, to show our support for the families and to our community. We’re going to move our day up in the morning and looking forward to being there to support the families.”

(on what FB Greg Jones does for the red zone offense) “Well, he’s got to lead the way for the other guy (RB Arian Foster). He was brought here to be a physical presence and we know that. He’s what, 10 years in the League? So I’m going to bring him along the right way, be smart with him. He went through an injury-filled season last year in Jacksonville. (I’m) trying to do everything I can to see that doesn’t happen.”

(on the right side of the offensive line) “Well, (RG) Brandon (Brooks) has been consistent. Brandon’s been there. The right tackle situation right now obviously is a concern because we did not play as well as we needed to play there last year, especially late in the year and then we’re missing the whole offseason. There’s no fault of (RT) Derek (Newton) but it’s just a fact; and then the young man we drafted (T Brennan Williams) really hasn’t been on the field other than one day. So there’s concern there. We’ll keep pushing. (T David) Quessenberry has made a lot of strides. I think that (T) Ryan (Harris has had a really good camp for us, his second year with us; he’s played a lot of football. Due to that situation, I think he’s gotten better for us as a player.”

(on S D.J. Swearinger) “He’s an impressive young man because he acts like he’s been doing it for a while. But we knew that when we studied him coming out in college. He looks like a player that you could  see very, very quickly for us on the field. Very confident.”

(on the Firefighter Memorial Service at Reliant Stadium tomorrow) “It’s important to us as an organization and a team. The players, we talked about it yesterday. We want to show our support for our community and for those families. We look forward to being there to show our support tomorrow.”

(on how far WR DeVier Posey has come in his rehab) “He’s doing great but he can only do so much. He’s doing everything he can do. The old ‘ahead of schedule,’ that applies here. But remember, we’re making a decision on him at the end of camp because of the PUP and those type of things. He’s doing everything he can. He’s going to come back and he’s going to play for us next year. How early is the question.”

(on if he likes seeing WR DeVier Posey out at OTAs helping out) “He’s making sure he gets better because the biggest thing he struggled with last year was just catching up on what we do. Once he did, he was very competitive and played well for us. He’s staying involved in that and that will help him when he comes back.”

(on the competition on the right side of the offensive line and RG Brandon Brooks) “I’ve been very impressed with how he’s handled himself. The competition needs to exist more and I mean that from a standpoint of we have too many guys out right now. We need (RT Derek) Newton out here working. We need (T Brennan) Williams out here working and then there should be great competition. But we’ve got to get us to that point and so there’s got to be some patience here as we work toward July.”

(on what specifically the team is trying to improve on to get to the next level) “I think everything’s new. Every season is different. My concern is how good our team is, not just with the win-loss; how good is our football team? You can win a championship and win 10 games in this League. You can get knocked out in the first round and win 13 or 14. My key is, can we get better? Can we get these young guys to help us real quick? We lost a few more guys again this year to replace. I’m just trying to get this group heading; find out where we’ll be in 2013. But I expect us to be a good team.”

(on what impresses him about RG Brandon Brooks and G/C Ben Jones from their rookie seasons to now) “The game is easy for them now. They don’t have to work so hard at it. They used to have to live in their book every day. That part is easy for them now. Now it’s about repetition and the physical part of what they’re doing.” 

RG Brandon Brooks
(on proving himself a starter despite all the other young offensive linemen) “Yeah, competition brings out the best in anybody. Although they picked up young guys, it creates competition and brings out the best in all of us.”

(on looking quicker and if he feels quicker) “Just being a younger guy last year, you kind of feel your way around until you know concretely what’s going on. I got a pretty good understanding of the playbook so I can just go out there and play instead of having to think. That’s where you’d see me playing a little slower last year.”

(on head coach Gary Kubiak saying that Brandon Brooks is practicing like a starter) “I appreciate the compliment, but for me, I want to keep it going and become more consistent, do it every play, every day.”

(on having veterans on the offensive line as role models) “The first thing I did when I came back was get with Wade (Smith) and just let him know that I am completely serious about this and that I would appreciate it if yourself, Chris Myers and Duane would took me under their wing and they did that. When we would meet in the offseason, I would go an extra 30-45 minutes with them, so I would know what they would see along with what the coach sees, so we could all be on the same page.”

(on the key to his weight loss) “Mostly salads and fruits to snack on.”

SS Danieal Manning
(on the entire team attending tomorrow’s Firefighter Memorial and that not every team would necessarily come to it) “This is why they’re one of a kind. You don’t have guys like this. You want to have an organization, you want to have a community in a city that’s like this. We’re expecting maybe 50,000 or 60,000 people here and I think that’s great. We’re pushing time up and nobody’s complaining about being here early in the morning because we know what this really is about. It could have been anyone’s family member, so you always want to be able to show support in that way.”

(on it not taking long for the team to decide on going to the Firefighter Memorial) “It doesn’t take any time to just go there. You should want to do that. We’re all supposed to all treat each other right and do the right thing, so that’s what we should do.” 

(on having relatives who are firefighters and knowing what they go through) “It’s not fun but those guys keep us safe. They bravely go above and beyond. Somebody has their life in danger, you’re going into it to save people’s lives. You’re pretty much sacrificing your own life. That’s what happened with these guys.”

(on how the secondary is coming together during OTAs) “I’m excited. We’ve still got a lot of learning to do. Still trying to play with those guys. We’ve still got some positions that we need to get solid players in again; that’s all through the defense, even offensively. The secondary, I think we’re starting to thicken up a little bit and it’s pretty exciting.”

(on if OTAs can be used to set the bar high for training camp) “When  you get in, it’s always putting on the pads and seeing exactly what type of team you have. Right now, guys running around padless, you can make plays staying off of guys but you really don’t know how good of a football player when the lights are on. That’s why camp is so good. Before you get into those big lights, you go through camp, see what type of player you have and you can start moving pieces around. I think that’s what OTAs also are for.”

QB Matt Schaub
(on the entire team attending the Firefighter Memorial Service at Reliant Stadium tomorrow) “It’s huge. It’s something that as players we talked with the coaches and just tried to work it out when we found out it was going to take place in our building tomorrow. It’s important for us, being members of this community to be a part of that community and when something like this happens, we all rally around each other as citizens. So I think it says a lot about what’s important to us as a football team and an organization.”

(on what sticks out to him about WR DeAndre Hopkins) “What we do every day is not too big to him. He comes out, he’s learning. He’s gotten a lot thrown at him but he’s like a sponge. He’s absorbing as much information as he can. He’s listening, he’s taking instruction and he’s really applying it to what he’s doing on the field. The more he grasps, the more his playmaking ability; what he can do with the football in his hands will take over. It’s impressive to watch his progress as we move through OTAs.”

(on how important it is now to get timing down with WR DeAndre Hopkins) “It’s huge because right now he’s going against (CB) Johnathan Joseph, (CB) Kareem Jackson; they’ve been doing it a long time. (CB) Brice McCain. And so the more reps he gets against defenders, obviously we’re not in pads, we’re not combative in anything we’re doing, still he’s able to feel route adjustments and understand where we’re expecting him to be as quarterbacks and where we’re going to put the ball. It’s all very important for him, and all those receivers for that matter, because once we break camp here, it’s just going to be us throwing on air rest of the summer. That’s going to be good for us and vital but it’s important to get these reps before we go to camp.”

(on the importance of timing with receivers re-emphasizes the need to be out at OTAs) “Absolutely. This time period is huge for us because for veterans, it lets us get back into the groove, get back into what we’re doing, drill work and just seeing things and play. For these young guys; how we practice, how we prepare, how we meet, how we go about our business, so when camp comes, we can just go.”

(on the importance of the team attending the Firefighter Memorial Service at Reliant Stadium tomorrow) “It’s huge for all of us. When we heard it was going to take place here tomorrow at Reliant, as players and members of this community first and foremost in the Houston area, for us to show our support and rally around each other as a collective group and Houston really says a lot about what we are as an organization and what this city is about. As I understand, it’s going to be a pretty large crowd tomorrow and rightfully so, because the tragedy is just unbelievable.”

(on the additions of FB Greg Jones and WR DeAndre Hopkins helping in the red zone) “It’s huge for us. When you’ve got a guy like (FB) Greg Jones, who’s done it for a number of years, nine years now, who we’ve had to face twice a year for nine years, I understand what he’s all about; and the ability to open up holes for our halfbacks, for (RB) Arian (Foster), for (RB) Ben (Tate). It’s going to be huge because down there, the best thing you can do in the red zone is run the football. When you have a fullback that can create those holes for him, it’s huge. (WR) DeAndre (Hopkins), his playmaking ability with the ball in his hands, being able to go up and get the football in the red zone, it’s going to add a dimension to our offense.”

(on FB Greg Jones being in on play action making the offensive more effective) “Absolutely. If we can run the football and be effective with that when we play-fake; we’ve always been a good play-action team. It’s just going to sell it even more. The more people that we can bring in to help that process, the better.”

(on WR Alan Bonner’s progress) “He’s doing well. He’s making plays, he’s doing what we’re asking. He’s doing a lot. We’re doing a lot more than he’s probably every had to do in his past and position. He’s understanding his adjustments and what we’re asking him to do. So the more he can grasp and understand, the more he can just let his athleticism and playmaking ability take over so then he won’t have to think as much on the field.”

(on the most important thing to him during OTAs) “Just keeping sharp in our skills and integrating all these new faces into our offense because it’s a time period where we all try to get onto the same page going into training camp.”

(on how often he sits down with WR DeAndre Hopkins) “We definitely have a lot of that. It’s hard to find that time right now because of all the meeting time we have as a group. We have a lot of time this summer to go back and watch film, watch last year, talk through things, let him understand what we’re trying to get done with certain routes.”

(on if he likes seeing all the young competition at wide receiver) “Absolutely. It makes everyone better. It makes me better. It makes everyone in our group work and compete that much more when you have that many guys working for a handful of spots. It’s making everyone better and they’re all in the meeting rooms taking notes and trying to do the best they can.”

(on what the young players have brought on the right side of the offensive line) “They’re doing well. They understand their role. Making that step from year one to year two is huge in any position in this business and you can really see those guys understanding their responsibilities, what their calls are, what they’re being asked to do.”

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