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Quotes: Wednesday practice

Posted Oct 16, 2013

Read what the Texans said to the media after Wednesday's practice.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
T Duane Brown
ILB Brian Cushing
WR Andre Johnson
QB Case Keenum
SS Shiloh Keo
C Chris Myers
QB Matt Schaub
DE J.J. Watt
QB T.J Yates

Head Coach Gary Kubiak

(on how the quarterbacks were worked today) “Yeah, let me tell you all, Matt (Schaub) did not practice. Obviously, (Darryl) Sharpton did not practice. Wade Smith did not practice and (Tim) Dobbins did not practice. Everybody else was involved. I did exactly what I told you all I was going to do. I split them right down the middle. They both practiced pretty good. I thought we had a good practice, good start to our week. We practiced with a lot of noise, a lot of distraction because it’s going to be very tough in that stadium. That’s where we’re at today.”

(on if he has a better idea if QB Matt Schaub will be ready) “No, I really don’t. I’m going to sit down and talk to the doctors today. We had some other guys look at it again today and I have not had time to sit down with any of them yet and talk about where it’s at. He’s swollen, very sore. He came out and watched practice. He was not part of the meetings this morning, had him with the doctors and in rehab.”

(on QB Matt Schaub being a game-time decision) “I don’t have any preconceived notions in my mind. I know he’s a late-week decision. I will take each day and visit with the doctors and see where he’s at and do what I think is best for the team.”

(on whether QBs T.J. Yates or Case Keenum received first-team reps) “No, they split reps right down the middle.”

(on how QBs T.J. Yates and Case Keenum practiced today) “They did good. They practiced good. We had a good spirited practice and back to work. Like I said, trying to create as much distractions as we can on the field to get ready to play.”

(on if he would cater the offense to one quarterback or the other) “No, we’re going to run our offense. They work with what we do. We’re going to do what we do. Obviously, you look at certain things you think that one guy may do best or this and that. You’ve got to put a plan together first to attack the defense and go from there.”

(on if he’s been around a team in a funk like this and how to change it) “Unfortunately, I’ve been around that long. I ’e been around a few teams that have gotten in a funk, turned the ball and made mistakes. This has been very, very difficult. We worked on it. We actually added a couple of things in practice today to focus on it, not only physically, but mentally in what we’re doing. Just talking about some different things we think can help us play some mistake-free football for a change. You don’t stay the same. If it continues, you’ve got to continue to search for something each week. That’s what we’re trying to do this week by changing things up and trying to get it to go away.”

(on what goes through a quarterback’s mind when you don’t know if you can get up, like the time he got hurt in 1982) “In 1982, first off, I was probably about 20 years old, so my mind’s changed from then to now. But no, it’s difficult for quarterback’s or any player when you get hurt on the football field. I think with Matt (Schaub’s) situation, if you really look at the play and what took place, we’re probably very, very lucky. You can get twisted in that pocket. You can get rolled. So I think he’s very, very fortunate that it wasn’t much worse.”

(on the mindset of coming back from an injury) “That’s part of what you do. If you’re going to play this game and play it for a while, you’re going to get hurt. You’re going to have things happen to you. You have to have the toughness to work through it and play, and let things go. It’s kind of like what we’re going through as football team. You feel like you’re getting injured every week and have some of the things happen that have happened to us. But you’ve got to wake back up the next day and go to work and try to fix things. So it’s no different.”

(on how much QB Case Keenum’s mobility factors into the decision about who the starter is) “T.J. (Yates) moves well too. I think they both move well. Like I said, I’ve said it over and over again, you’re going to have to get it all week. I’m going to keep working them, see where Matt (Schaub’s) at and then I’ll make a decision. I believe in both of them. I think they both move. They both understand our offense. I’ve got to see what I think is best for our football team. That’s what I do.”

(on if QB Matt Schaub isn’t healthy by Friday and if he’ll want to name a starter then) “No, I could give Matt all the way up until Sunday. Like I said, I am in a process where I’m dealing with doctors and trainers each and every day. I’m going to do what I think is best. When it’s time to make that decision, I’ll make it.”

(on if the NFL requires the team to name a starter before the game) “No, you have to list a player how he is throughout the course of the week, whether he practices or not. You’ve got until Sunday before the game for if you're active or inactive. Obviously, if you list a guy or something on Friday, he’s out. That’s up to you as an organization depending on what’s going on.”

(on QB Matt Schaub being the starter “Well, you want to give every player every opportunity to get back to the football field. I’ve got veteran players that very rarely practice much and play every Sunday. So that’s not uncommon. But what we’re dealing with right here is just how long is this going to affect him? Can he go out there and be himself? Can he go out there and do what he normally does? That’s what we have to make a decision on.”

(on if he has no obligation to tell the Kansas City Chiefs who the starting quarterback will be) “No, my obligation is to my football team.”

(on if he knows who his starting quarterback is tomorrow and whether or not he has to announce it) “I don’t worry about stuff like that. I’m not concerned with any of that stuff. Whatever I think I should do, I’m going to do, whether it’s Tuesday or Saturday. I’m not worried about that.”

(on if he has to tell anybody if he decides who the starter is going to be sooner than Sunday) “No, I don’t have to do anything. I’m worried about our team.”

(on if it helps the quarterback to know ahead of time that he’s starting) “My first start in the NFL I didn’t take a rep all week. (John) Elway went skiing and got sick on Saturday morning and got in trouble. Dan Reeves called me Sunday morning and said, ‘Get here early, you’re starting.’ I had never taken snap under center to be honest with you. We found a way to win. Our team played real good.”

(on losing SS Danieal Manning for the season) “I don’t know. I’ve been busy with football. I don’t know if we’ve made the move yet totally or anything. Have we? I don’t know. I’ve been busy with football. Obviously, he’s got an injury that’s going to keep him out a long time and there is the question of him going to IR.”

(on how it will impact the team to not have SS Danieal Manning for a long time) “Losing OD (Owen Daniels), losing Danieal Manning, those are really good players. I think D-Man played at a Pro Bowl level for us. I think he has done that. He’s a big leader on our football team. We’re going to miss him. He was starting to return for us because we had gotten healthy in the secondary and then this happens. We will miss Danieal as a player and a person. He’s a tremendous leader and a person. What we have to do now is you’ve got Swear (D.J. Swearinger) and you’ve got Shiloh (Keo), so defensively, whether we’re in base, whether we’re in nickel, we’ve got to make our decisions there how we’re going to go about that, but young guys have to step up and play more.”

(on if he’s thought about playing T Ryan Harris for T Derek Newton at right tackle) “I think Ryan will continue to take some snaps off of Newton, some series off of Newton because Ryan has played pretty good for us. I don’t see us being any different going into the game right now. But yeah, you’re right, they’re (Kansas City) excellent. 10 sacks last week. A lot of people don’t have 10 sacks in six weeks, so they’ve been something else.”

(on if T Derek Newton has been struggling) “Well, he’s a young player. He can definitely play better. I think I’ve said that over and over again, and more consistent. I think he has gotten better. What you’re looking for is Newton playing that way all of the time. But he is a second-year player. What was he, a sixth-seventh round draft choice? I don’t know what Newton was. Out of a small school, so he’s still an ascending growing player. We’ve got to hang in there with him and continue to do everything we can to make him better. He’s got the ability/ We’re just looking for the consistency. We’ve got to trust him and he’s go to keep working and doing his job.”

Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
(on how far QB Case Keenum has come since last year) “Well, when you see him every day, you don’t see (it); it’s like anything else. He’s come a long way, obviously. We had him last year. When we first got him, he wasn’t taking snaps from center very well. Underneath center, he’s done a lot of that and obviously understanding the system, but he’s a bright kid who works very, very hard. If you put it that way, he’s come a long way, but he’s a record holder in college. He has a lot of talent.”

(on QBs T.J. Yates and Case Keenum splitting reps with Matt Schaub out of practice) “Typically, on Wednesday, whoever is starting splits the reps. We try to taper it in to the start takes a lot of reps on Friday, so we try to split them because they just played a lot of reps. We’ll work through that. We’ll get it figured out. I think we’re pretty comfortable with getting them ready and getting whoever ready who’s going to be ready to go.”

(on if the decision of who to start will be based on how they practice this week) “I think there is a little more that comes into play. We’ll just leave it at that. We’ll make the right decision for our ball club to win.”

(on what attributes that QB Case Keenum has that tells him he could be an NFL quarterback) “He has the gym rat type of gene I guess. He’s one of those guys that scrambles and does a lot of great things without the ball, with the ball. He understands the game and works very, very hard at it. He’s got a good arm and is very athletic. You could say the same things for T.J. (Yates). We’ll make the right decision for our club.”

(on what they can do as coaches to cut down on the penalties) “We are trying it all. We can beat our heads against the wall because that’s what we’re doing right now. Mistakes are really driving us nuts. We emphasize it every week. We’re doing more to emphasize it to the point where we’re really, really focused on it, as we have all year. It’s just a reoccurring theme that has got to stop.”

(on what veterans are doing to help pull the team together) “You always look for veterans to help you and bring you along, no matter what you’re going through. Whether it’s even great win streaks so they’re not getting over confident. Our veterans have done a good job; we just have to pull together as a team I think. We have the right guys. We have just got to play better, coach better.”

(on using Greg Jones more in red zone situation) “We put together a plan, and we did have some base plays in the red zone, we just opted not to use them at that point in time. I think we’ll draw conclusions on what we need to do based on the situation and how we’re moving the ball and what the defense provides us.”

(on the Kansas City pass rush) “They’re really good. They’re really good. Both edges are extremely good. The nose guard rushes very, very well so there is no place, and both ends do. They do a good job of pressing the pockets so there is no place to really escape up and in. Sometimes you get somebody that leaves a void for the quarterback to move to. They do a good job of keeping the pocket secure and obviously coming off the edge.”

(on if this Chiefs team is as good as some of the successful Chiefs teams from the 90s and early 2000s) “I think so. I’m just looking at the defensive side of the ball. They are a very, very talented team. They’ve drafted very, very well. They’ve put some great pieces together and they do a good job schematically. It’s hard for a quarterback to set his feet. It’s loud in there and that’s been a reoccurring theme. It was that way back in the day, earlier in my career, and now it is just as loud. It makes it hard for an offense, but it’s a heck of a challenge for us and we’re working to meet that challenge.”

(on how they evaluate the play of QB T.J. Yates when he has come into games in such difficult situations) “Everything he does for us, games, practice, everything is evaluated. Everything is taken into measure equally. We’ll evaluate everybody and see how it goes and make the right decision.”

(on if RB Arian Foster is where he needs to be and how important he is to the offense) “For our offense, running the ball is a key factor. He’s done a very fine job. He did a great job catching that screen the other day. He comes out of the backfield and has really done a great job with anything we’ve asked him. We’re going to lean on him, get him in the right play and hopefully he can find a crease. I don’t know if he is in the right place, but I know he’s playing his tail off.”

(on the team’s red zone struggles and if they are missing things they see on film) “I wouldn’t say that we’re seeing that we’re missing. We just need to execute better. We’ll just say it that way.”

T Duane Brown
(on if QBs T.J. Yates or Case Keenum have to play this week) “I think both can lead us to victory. Both bring something a little different to the table. We’re going to do our best to protect whoever’s back there and we have all the confidence in the world in both of those guys. We’ll see.”

(on how far QB Case Keenum has come) “He’s come a long way, a long way. We all knew about his collegiate career and all of the great things he did. He got here and it was a little rough for him, just trying to learn the playbook and getting used to the NFL game. But in a year’s time, it’s made a huge difference. He’s out there and he looks like a pretty good quarterback. He makes some big-time throws out there. Besides that, I really like his demeanor and personality. Very fiery guy. You don’t really see that in that position too much. He’s very calm, but he’s very fiery as well.”

(on how QBs T.J. Yates and Case Keenum differ) “I think Case is probably the mobile of the two. He came make some big throws out of the pocket. T.J. can as well. I think T.J., inside of the pocket, is where he works his best.”

(on the mood of the team right now) “Ready for a win. Ready for a win. We understand the challenge that we have this week. Everyone is ready to work today. One of the best practices we’ve had. I think one of the best energy levels that we’ve had as a team out today. Non one’s been down. Non one’s been sulking. Everyone’s ready to go. We know we have to get this thing turned around and there’s no better week than this week.”

(on Kansas City’s pass rush) “All of them are very good pass rushers. Starting with the two edge guys, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. Then you work inside, they have Dontari Poe, he’s come along since he got drafted. The best way to negate is to run the ball and that’s something we’ve been doing well all year. We just want to be able to do it consistently and do it for four quarters. If you can do that, the pass rush won’t really as much.”

(on the opportunity to get right back in the division race with a win this week and an Indianapolis loss) “Yeah, we can only worry about what we can control and that’s just going out and getting a win, getting our third win of the year. If the other thing happens, that’ll be great too, but we’re more focused on getting this win this week and going from there.”

ILB Brian Cushing
(on there being a lot of energy in today’s practice) “Yeah. I think the same thing. Obviously, our first day back and got a new game plan. Last week’s game in the past and just trying to get a win. The energy’s going to be good because we’ve got a good mindset and we want to win a football game.”

(on if it matters who’s starting at quarterback to the defense) “No. I don’t even know what’s going on with the whole thing right now to be honest with you. We’re just taking care of our business. It’s Wednesday. It’s still early in the game plan. It’s still early in the week. There’s a lot of decisions to be made and things that go on between now and Sunday. It really doesn’t to us and I’m not quite sure what’s even really going right now. For the most part, we’ve just got to take care of what we can on defense and take care of our assignments and our game plan.”

(on how tough of a loss SS Danieal Manning is) “It’s very tough. He’s a very energetic guy, great leader back there, very good football player. Any time you lose a guy like that, it hurts your defense, but everyone else around him has to elevate their play. That’s something we’re going to have to do. Everyone’s going to have to play better football and play better defense without him.”

(on what the defense can do differently against the run) “I’m not really sure. Just stop it better, as simple as that sounds. Especially against going against one of the best running backs in the league this weekend. It’s going to be a challenge, something that we’ll definitely focus on. Obviously, if we take care of that, it’s going to help our chance of winning a lot more.”

(on how much one win can cure a lot of things) “I think that’ll be important. This league is really based on winning and losing, as is everything in life. I think it’ll have quite an effect on our season, especially going into a bye, it’ll give a lot of good momentum. We’re going against a good team in their place, they’re undefeated. Most importantly, it’s about us. We need a win. We need a win more right now. It’s something that we want to get done, want to get going and start getting on a role here and playing our type of football.”

(on what sets Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles apart) “I think he’s very explosive. I don’t know what one thing sets him apart. I think he’s definitely in the category of top three running backs in the NFL. I think he’s very good. I think he’s very fast. I think he’s got really good vision. I think that’s what’s probably his best attribute.”

(on Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles being a threat in the passing game) “Yeah, he can catch the ball. He’s dangerous wherever he is on the football field. Coming out of the backfield and catching balls or running with the ball, you always have to know where he is.”

(on how his knee feels six games into the season) “Good. Really good. Very pleased about the progress it’s made and where I am right now. I wasn’t really sure about how it would react to certain games and long flights after games and 70-play games and things like that. But for the most, it’s been tremendous. I haven’t really thought about it much at all. I’ve been very happy about that.”

WR Andre Johnson
(on how practice went with QBs Case Keenum and T.J Yates taking reps) “It was just like any other practice. I feel comfortable with both guys. Whoever is out there with us on Sunday, that’s who we’re going with. That’s who we feel comfortable with. We get a lot of reps with all of the guys so. It’s up to the coaches decision and we’ll go from there.”

(on what they can do to help alleviate the turnover and penalty situation) “It’s just something you have to make yourself more aware of and just focus in on protecting the ball every time you have it and stuff like that. We did some turnover drills and stuff today in practice. I’m pretty sure that’s something that we’ll keep doing from now on. Hopefully, it will carry over into the game.”

(on if it is strange they didn’t struggle with turnovers and penalties last year but they are this year) “You don’t intentionally try to go out and turn the ball over. That’s not anybody’s intentions, but it’s part of the game. You just have to find a way to eliminate them.”

(on tough is it not knowing who your quarterback will be on Sunday) “I don’t really have a problem with it. Like I said before, I’m comfortable with either guy. I’ve caught balls from all of them. I’ve run routes with all of them. It doesn’t matter to me. It’s the coaches’ final decision, so it really doesn’t matter. Whoever goes out there, the team is comfortable with.”

(on the differences between QBs Case Keenum and T.J. Yates) “I like them both. Case just has sort of like an aura about him. When he’s out there, he’s real excited, having fun. T.J., he just goes out there and plays. He takes more of a business approach to it. Like I said, I feel comfortable with both of them so it doesn’t matter. I wish them both the best because I know both of them want to be out there playing. It is up to the coaches. They will have the final say, but whoever it is, T.J. or Case, I’m behind them. I’m rallying behind them and we’re going to go out there and try and win this game.”

(on if QB T.J. Yates surprised him two years ago when he stepped in to play due to injuries) “I wouldn’t say he surprised me. I think, as a team, you know what type of players you have. You get to see stuff form practice and things that they do. A lot of times, when you see it happen in a game, it surprises other people because they don’t know about them if they don’t play. I wouldn’t say that it really surprised me. I think it surprised a lot of people, not with us, because they probably weren’t even expecting T.J. to play. For him to play and do what he did at that time, it was big on his part.”

(on it being easier for a quarterback to start a game rather than coming in with the team down in the game) “It was a tough situation, period. Like I said, I don’t have that say-so about who plays and who doesn’t play. Whoever dresses out on Sunday, that’s our team and we’re going out there to win the game. That’s it.”

(on the state of the locker room during this four-game losing streak) “You would think guys would be walking around mad at each other or just down, but everybody is just talking about getting out of this funk. That’s a great thing. Guys are still able to keep a positive energy around here. Even at practice today, the energy was very positive. You could feel it from when you walked in the building this morning. Guys were just talking about what we need to do to get things back right. Like I said, that’s a great thing to have.”

(on if it’s easier to stay positive because they know they have good players and talent to succeed) “No matter what the situation is, you have to stay positive. That’s the only way you’re going to be able to get through it. Do we know that we have the team that can go out and play well and win games? Yeah. We know that we can do that, but we haven’t been doing that. The thing about it, guys are just talking about getting out of this funk and if we can go up there and get this win on Sunday, it would be big for us. It would be something big going into the bye week.”

(on how daunting of a challenge this Kansas City team presents) “They’re a good football team. They’ve always had a great defense. They have a lot of Pro Bowl players on the defensive side of the ball. With Andy Reid coming in, they’re putting up points and they’re 6-0. It will be a challenge for us. I know that it will be a great atmosphere at their stadium. It’s a very loud place to play in. We’ve been practicing with a lot of noise and stuff out on the practice field so we’ll be up for the challenge.”

(on how opposing defense are playing him down in the red zone this season) “A lot of times, teams are bracketing me. They’ll have a guy outside, a guy inside, but that happens a lot. It’s nothing new.”

(on if there is any frustration that he leads the NFL in receptions but has no touchdowns) “Every player loves to score touchdowns, but unfortunately for me, I haven’t been able to score many. That’s just the nature of it. I think when you go out and do things the right way and go out and make plays, teams take you away. At the same time, there are times where you can make off-schedule plays and things like that. You just have to be patient. You really can’t force anything. I’m not discouraged about it or anything. I’ll just keep playing and when it’s time for me to score a touchdown, I’ll score one.”

(on where he is health-wise today compared to last Wednesday) “I’m feeling better this Wednesday than I did last Wednesday. I went out and did some stuff out on the field today, so I’m getting better week by week. I’ll be out there Sunday.”

QB Case Keenum
(on what it means to him to maybe be starting this week since he hasn’t even been active in his career) “Today, it means I got a lot more practice reps and it was fun. It was fun running our offense and getting ready to play a game. That’s how I’m seeing it right now and trying to bring a lot of energy and fun to practice this week and the game. I think today was a good start.”

(on what Head Coach Gary Kubiak wants to see out of him and QB T.J. Yates) “I guess the same things he’s told y’all and that we’re going to split reps. I think operating is going to be a big key to this game, just operation before the snap and getting us into the right plays, dealing with the noise and silent cadence, and putting the ball in the right place. Managing the game I think is going to be a key this week.”

(on if he would prefer to know ahead of time who’s going to be starting) “I’m not seeing it any different either way. I’m going to prepare this week. I’ll be watching the same amount of film. I’ll be doing the same things, same process that I’ve been doing. I try to do more and more each week, but I’m following the same process I’ve done each week. I think it’s the same system, same process, just adding more each week.”

(on how he feels about the possibility of maybe making his first start) “it’s really cool. It’s not something I’ve thought about too much, but as far as actually right now in this moment, it’s something that I’ve thought about for a long time, playing quarterback in the NFL and being able to start for a team. In that sense, it’s a dream I’ve had for a really long time. I haven’t just worked this week. This isn’t the only week that I’ve worked. I’ve worked my whole life. I’m going to go out and get as much prepared as I can this week and go out and do the best I can on Sunday.”

(on how far he’s had to come and players saying that he’s come a long way) “It means a lot. For guys who have not only been in this league a long time, but have been in this locker room, years in this locker room. I think being a young quarterback, you need some veteran guys, especially at the o-line position to have your back and I think they have both T.J. and I, both our backs.”

(on Kansas City’s defense) “Yeah, you guys can all see the numbers and the Pro Bowlers and the pressure that they’re able to put on offenses. I think we’ve got to stay within our game, being able to run the ball and throw when we need to. I think we’ve got a good game plan and I’m looking forward to going out and operating and doing what we do. I think their defense is going to put a lot of pressure on us and I think how we deal with it is going to be key.”

(on how the competitions between him and QB T.J. Yates differs between now and the preseason) “It’s a lot of the same. I think we’re making each other better, which I think is very important. I think we made each other a whole lot better during preseason and I think we’re going to make each other better this week. I think we’re both pretty self-motivating, but having another little aspect to get after it. It helps that we can bounce off, we see things the same way. I think we’ve made each other better in a lot of ways.”

(on bringing a lot of energy to the huddle) “Yeah, I agree. I think we had a high intensity, high energy practice. Got things going and really just focusing on the next step. That’s today. Forgetting everything’s that happened and working on today. Getting us as good as we can today, as well prepared as we can today to be ready to go on Sunday. We’re going to do the same thing tomorrow, bring high energy one play at a time, one rep at a time, one day at time.”

(on if it’s hard being on the practice squad when his goal was to be an NFL starter someday) “I don’t know if it’s hard. I think everybody has roles on a team and, last year, I knew my role and that was to get our defense ready and earn the offense, learn the system, learn defenses, how our offense works into different defenses. Being able to have a year, really as a redshirt year. That’s what I took it as last year and tried to come as far as long as I could. That’s kind of how I viewed last year.”

S Shiloh Keo
(on the team’s mind set and mood) “Good right now because this is the only week we get to improve from what we’ve been going through. I think there’s a sense of urgency that we’ve haven’t maybe the past couple weeks, which is a good thing. People are starting to understand, ‘Hey, we’re not where we want to be and we don’t want to settle into this. I think the mood is good and the mindset is right where it needs to be.”

(on if the mood is dampened by SS Danieal Manning being lost for the year) “Whenever you lose a player, your heart goes out to them and you feel bad for them because no one wishes for anyone to get hurt out here. And then when you lose a key player on your team, like Danieal (Manning) is, you really think about the loss. It’s a tough loss for us but at the same time, you have to understand that there’s a job that needs to get done and it doesn’t matter who’s doing that job. Everyone has the same expectations as the starters. Everyone’s got to hold each other accountable.”

(on if he’s looking at this as a major opportunity to show what he can do) “I try to take any kind of reps I get out there, whether I’m practicing or not, as an opportunity to showcase what I can do. We’ll see how much playing time I’m going to get. It seems like we’re going to rotate a lot out there. Every day, whether I’m practicing or it’s gameday, there’s an opportunity for me to showcase my skills. At this level, everyone’s basically trying to make a resume for themselves so they can make it to that next contract or stay around longer. You’ve got to take advantage of all your opportunities. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a starter, a backup or a special teams guy. They’re always looking for guys to make plays out on the field and that’s what I’m going to try to do.”   

C Chris Myers
(on preparing for three different quarterbacks possibly being behind him) “It’s something that we’ve done here before. It’s not too long ago that we did this before in 2011. If everything is down south for Matt (Schaub) this week, then T.J. (Yates) and Case (Keenum) are the guys. Obviously, this week will be a big competition for them. Coach (Gary) Kubiak will pick out the best one for the job. All we can do is prepare and that’s what we’re doing right now.”

(on how far QB Case Keenum has come since he’s been here) “Big time. He’s made huge strides. You guys have seen what he can do in the preseason. T.J. (Yates) has been a playoff-winning quarterback here and led this team in the past. Case Keenum is one of the statistically better quarterbacks in college football history. That’s a pretty good couple of quarterbacks to have just in case (Matt Schaub) can’t go.”

(on the mood of the team) “There are a lot of veterans on this team to the point where they’ve been through a lot with other teams and they can bring up the young guys and let them know the season’s not over by any means. If we get this win and a couple of other things happen, we’re sitting at first place again in the division. All you can do is focus in on week-to-week and it hasn’t been going our way the past month and we understand that. We haven’t been playing the kind of ball we need to play, offensively, defensively, special teams. All you can do is your job and everything will come together.”

(on the makeup of the locker room and there not being any finger pointing depicted the struggles) “It’s the way it has to be, strong character on this team. Like said before, the older guys are bringing along the younger guys and understanding that, when that kind of stuff starts happening, the team starts separating. All you can do right now is stay together.”

(on how different the offense is when QB T.J. Yates is back there compared to when QB Case Keenum is back there) “Nothing. They’re the quarterbacks and you don’t change the offense for a specific quarterback. The quarterback comes in here and runs the same offense no matter if we have Matt (Schaub), a 10-year guy, compared to Case, a second-year guy; it’s going to be the same one.”

QB Matt Schaub
(on if he’ll be ready to go on Sunday) “Again, there are a few days left here this week and I’m just trying to do the best I can to get to a point where I can go out and function and do my job.”

(on if he’ll practice) “That’s my hope. I definitely am shooting for that. If I want to go out there and play on Sunday, I need to get out there at some point to move around and do some things. I’m just doing as much as I can from sun up to sun down to get myself as healthy as possible.”

(on the progress he’s made since Sunday) “Very significant from the way it felt on Sunday night to Monday, to getting some injections, to doing some of that stuff with the doctor, the trainers Here all day and night. Here very early this morning. There’s been a lot of progress.”

(on the extent of his injury) “There’s nothing broken. If there was something broken, I probably wouldn’t be able to walk in here right now. There’s a few things going on, but just a lot of soreness and swelling.”

(on if he has ligament damage) “Any time you get rolled up, there’s always some ligament damage if you have a sprain of any kind. So there’s definitely some of that.”

(on helping QBs T.J. yates and Case Keenum prepare) “You just try to give them any insight into the defense, into the plays, some of the nuances of our offense and what we’re doing. They have a good grasp of the concepts and things we’re doing. I’m just trying to give them any type of insight into the run game, some of the looks, some of the defenses that they run and just watching on them on film and understanding what type of things we’re trying to get done.”

(on how he can help the team limit turnovers) “Just understanding the importance of possessing the ball and not putting it in harm’s way and trying to be smart with it. As far as the fumbles are concerned, just protecting it. Just understanding when you have it in your hands, just protect it. When you’re in traffic, you’ve got to understand when there are defenders around and putting two hands on it. As far as us as quarterbacks, just being with smart with where we’re throwing it. If something’s not clean, just move onto the next guy.”

(on the trainers helping him in the middle of the night) “I had Geoff (Kaplan) here at 4:30 this morning.”

(on how many days he’s had the trainers in early) “When did we play Sunday? Today’s Wednesday. So every day.”

(on if he thought his injury was going to be worse) “At the time, I definitely did, just how I knew I felt and how it got rolled up between my knee and my ankle for that matter. For what was going on, I definitely thought it was going to be worse. Having been the same foot that I injured a couple of years ago, so we definitely escaped the less of severities that it could have been. It could have been a lot worse.”

(on if the injury reminded him of his past foot injury) “no, it was different than that, just the nature of which way it rolled and how the guy fell on it. It was definitely different.”

(on if he would have been panic mode had the injury been like his past foot injury) “Yeah, if it would have been that way, it would have been more and more panic mode.”

(on QBs Case Keenum and T.J. Yates) “Both of those guys have a lot of experience in what we do. T.J.’s in his third year and Case has been here for two years. They have a great grasp of the concepts and what we do and how we operate our offense. So there’s a lot of confidence in them being able to go out and do that. They’ve got a great group of guys around them to help them do that. They’ve got to understand the environment we’re going into and going out and just doing their job, focusing on their responsibility and leaning on the other guys in the huddle.”

(on him playing if at all possible) “If there’s any way I can go out and play, I would do it for sure. I would definitely be out there without question.”

(on how far QB Case Keenum has come) “Oh, absolutely. Case, coming from his past where it was at U of H and the type of offense that they ran and coming into our system and trying to almost do a 180 on how to operate at his position in our scheme. He’s just come such a long way, understanding the run game, understanding the pass concepts, our play-action. It’s just so different from his past. He has a huge football IQ and he can make all of the throws. You have those two things and you give him a playbook and he can go out and do it.”

(on if he would have gone back into Sunday’s game if the score was closer) “There’s no question. I was fighting to get back in even down 25. No question I was trying to getting back in there. I wanted to be out there with my guys and my team and ultimately the Coach said that it wasn’t the best situation to do that. Any chance I can try to get back in the game and be in there, I want to be in there for sure.”

(on how frustrating the penalties have been, especially with when they have been happening) “Yeah, that’s the tough part of some of the mistakes that we’re making is when they’re occurring. When you have third-and-goal from the three and you have a false start, it takes you to third-and-eight. That’s a lot different situation, especially for a defensive play call when they can rush three, drop eight and it’s tougher to throw under that situation. Some of third down situations. Again, the holding or whatever type of penalty you might get and moving it back to a virtually impossible converting situation. We’ve just got to hand it off and punt and go play defense. Those things hurt you, especially when you have a manageable situation to begin with and then you’re backed dup. It makes it tough.”

(on playing against Kansas City’s swarming defense and if that impacts the defense of whether he’ll play this week because of his injury) “No, that doesn’t matter. Every game’s so important on this level. Every week you’re going up against good defenses, good players that swarm around and make plays. If you go into it with those types of thoughts, you’re bound to get injured again. You’re bound to play tentative and bad things will happen to you anyway. You’ve got to go in there and you’ve got to just attack.”

(on if it’s his call about whether he plays) “Well, I think it really comes down to the head coach. What he thinks is best for the team and best for the players. If you can go out there and perform your job and protect yourself and move around and do the things necessary to win the game. It’s ultimately his call, but I’m going to do my part to where I can get myself in the best position I can given my situation to where I could do that.”

(on his relationship with Head Coach Gary Kubiak and if the decision about whether he plays will be made together) “I think we’ve been around each other long enough and have a good feel for one another that I’m going to be honest with him with my situation and he’s going to be honest with me the way he sees things and the way he feels. We’ll make a decision together, along with the other coaches. We’ll have to see how we progress throughout the week.”

(on how hard it is to want to be playing but also being injured) “It’s very hard. It’s very hard because I want to be out there every snap regardless of any type of injury or whatever happens. But it’s the nature of the game. It’s stuff you have to deal with and understand it’s a long year. Especially in our situation, you want to be out there. Every game is dire for us right now.”

(on the challenges Kansas City presents whether or not he’ll be playing or if QBs T.J. Yates and Case Keenum will be playing) “Absolutely, I have complete faith in them. It is a difficult situation given where we are in our season, against an undefeated team in their building. I’ve been there before and it’s a tough place to play for a visiting team and all that goes into it. We just need to wire into our responsibilities and what it takes for us to win and move forward and go do those things.”

DE J.J. Watt
(opening statement) “Kansas City has been playing some very good football this year. Obviously, this is an opportunity for us to go up on the road, in a tough environment, against a very good football team who is obviously undefeated in the AFC and get ourselves some momentum heading into the bye week and get ourselves back on track. We’re looking to do that. Their quarterback is playing really well. Obviously, the coaching staff up there has done a heck of a job. I’m hearing nothing but good things about the environment. For us, from our standpoint, our fans don’t want to hear about how we’re going to fix it. They don’t want to hear me stand up here and tell them anything. They don’t want to hear any of the words that I have to say. They just want to see results. I fully understand that so all I can do is go to work. All we can do as a team is go to work. That’s what we’re going to do. Words don’t win games, work does. I’ll be on the practice field working, watching my film, working. That’s all I can do. That’s all we can do as a team. I apologize for the concise statement and the lack of answering questions, but that’s all I can do. Honestly, I don’t have words for y’all. Just work. I’m just going to work and like I said, the fans want results, so that’s what I’m going to try and give them. Hopefully I’ll answer all your questions with my play on the field and if there are any further questions, I will see y’all Sunday after the game. Thanks.”

QB T.J. Yates
(on how practice went today) “It was good. It was a really good practice. Everybody was flying around, good energy. Had the music out there for the first time. That was something a little new. It gave everybody a little bit of life. It was a good practice.”

(on if he’ll tell the coach to play music at practice every day) “That wasn’t my decision but I think we’ll keep it for now.”

(on both he and Case Keenum preparing to play Sunday) “This is nothing new to me and Case (Keenum). We did this all preseason long. It’s kind of back to normal for us. But it was fun. We’re splitting first-team reps and we’re also splitting the scout team, so we’re out there getting a ton of reps, running around, being able to kind of go out there and just play football. It was a fun practice.”

(on what the coaches have told him about the competition at quarterback this week) “Just that right now. We’re spitting reps and we’ll see how it goes. We’re going to take day-by-day. Matt’s (Schaub) going to see if he can go, that’s going to be up to him and see how he feels but me and Case (Keenum) will be ready.”

(on if practicing all week and not knowing if he is going to play is an issue for him) “It’s not too much of an issue. You’re getting a good amount of reps in there. We’re splitting it 50-50, right down the middle, so we’ll both be getting a good feel for the offense throughout the week and we always stay after and get work otherwise, so I think we’ll be ready.”

(on if he was surprised that Head Coach Gary Kubiak said it would be between him and Case Keenum to play instead of just him) “No, I wasn’t surprised. Obviously, I didn’t play particularly well in relief for Matt (Schaub), so I understand.”

(on how tough it will be if he finds out he’s playing close to game day) “I don’t know when Kubs (Head Coach Gary Kubiak) is going to make a decision, if it comes to that. One thing I learned from training camp is just control what I can control, not worry about anything and just get ready as best as I can and leave decisions up to the big guy.”

(on how much it helps him that he has a fair amount of experience now) “Yeah, definitely I have a little bit of edge there, being in tight games, being in loud games. KC is going to be one of the loudest we play all year. So that’s going to be something that everybody’s going to have to take into account. I’ve been in those situations before so I think that will help.”

(on if the reps will be split 50-50 between him and Case Keenum all week) “As far as I know right now. That’s what he’s told us.”

(on Kansas City’s defense) “It’s one of the best defenses in the league other than ours. We know the challenge ahead of us. It’s a fast defense, strong defense. They lead the league, I think, in takeaways, too. We know the challenge ahead of us. We’ve talked about it as a team. What we have to do to be able to win this game is take care of the ball, control the ball and run the ball really well and keep it out of their hands.”

(on if he thinks that if he played well last Sunday that he wouldn’t be in this competition right now) “Maybe. Maybe not. Kubs (Head Coach Gary Kubiak) has kept me and Case (Keenum) in a pretty close competition kind of no matter what either one of us do, even since training camp. Throughout these weeks that we’ve been the backups, he’s always been keeping us in a very good competition. I think it’s good. Keep us both on our toes and always out there competing, just making the best out of it and making each other better.”

(on what sets him apart from Case Keenum and maybe gives him an edge) “Like I said, as far as the experience, I’ve been in multiple situations, playoff games, loud games, tough situations, tough road games. Obviously, Case (Keenum) has never started a game but you can’t take that away from him. He’s a great player. It’s going to be a tough decision for Kubs (Head Coach Gary Kubiak) once again.”

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