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Quotes: Friday practice

Posted Aug 12, 2011

The Texans answered questions from the media after Friday's practice at the Methodist Training Center.

The Texans practiced at the Methodist Training Center on Friday, and afterward, head coach Gary Kubiak and some of his players answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews from the morning and afternoon practices.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
OLB Connor Barwin
WR Devard Darling
FS Shiloh Keo
CB Sherrick McManis
T Eric Winston


Head Coach Gary Kubiak

(on the health situation today) “We added one guy to the list today.  Johnathan Joseph didn’t practice; groin’s a little tight, so we just held him out.  I would expect him back tomorrow.  Other than that, the list you left with yesterday is the same.  (Ben) Tate did not come on the field this morning.  I was expecting him to do that, but other than that it’s pretty much like we left yesterday.”


(on if TE James Casey got hurt during practice) “He got hit right at the next to last play of practice.  He’s okay.  He can’t get hurt, just can’t do it, got to keep going.”


(on if there’s a new attitude within the secondary) “Yeah, but we found out something interesting today in my opinion.  They’re really counting on Danieal (Manning) and Johnathan (Joseph) to be leaders and they have been.  All of a sudden, Johnathan misses practice today and I thought we practiced very poorly on the back end.  Nobody else took over and that’s why you’re here.  That’s part of being a team.  We’re dragging this morning.  Somebody’s got to pick somebody up.  We’re looking for that leadership.  We’re trying to find a new identity in 2011 and we’re going to find it through days like this.”


(on being able to fix problems in camp) “Well every team is different and I told them this to start the season.  There’s a chemistry to every team.  There are leaders to every team.  You kind of think you know who they are, but they take over every year.  You don’t inherit that position.  Right now, we’re working for leadership and for guys to take over the group, lead the group through tough times because the NFL is a tough grind.  Today’s a good example of that.  Hopefully we learned a couple lessons today.”


(on if all the hamstring injuries are because of the lack of offseason workouts) “It’s interesting to me.  I keep a study every year of training camp and how many guys you had to practice with each day.  I’ve kept it ever since I was a young coach, don’t have much else to do.  The thing that’s interesting to me is that all the things that normally happen in the first week of camp since I’ve been a part of football are now happening in the second.  I think guys came in fresh, they were gone all offseason, they were excited to go and then the new wore off.  Now we’re in week two and all those nicks and those things that are normally part of the first week of camp seem to be happening a little later.  That’s just me, so we’ll see what happens.  Just a lot of little things that we got to work through and get back on the field.”


(on how hard it is for WR Devard Darling to make the team) “It’s hard, but it’s fair right now.  He’s going to play.  I just told him a while ago, ‘You grab 10 things you know you can do and we’ll make sure we run those 10 things.’  He’s got a chance.  There are a lot of guys missing.  Kevin (Walter) wasn’t feeling good later in practice.  We pulled him.  He’s going to get a chance to play.  When you can bring a guy in and be fair to him, that’s about all you can do.”


(on if Kevin Walter is okay) “He’s fine.  He just got gassed at the end of practice.  We’re right now about as wore out as we can be, so it’s time to start reeling them back in and get ready for Monday night.”


(on if all the hamstring injuries are because of the lack of offseason workouts) “I don’t know.  We have hamstrings every year.  I think we’ve had quite a few.  Kap could tell you that number (Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Geoff Kaplan). We got hit hard at one position, so it’s been difficult.  All these guys are Grad One, nick-type hamstrings, so they should be back here in a week or so.  It’s not like we’ve had anything horrible happen.  We’ve been lucky, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed and keep going.”


(on if he’s going to play players differently on Monday because of the compressed schedule) “No, not really.  I’m going to look at things exactly the same way.  I’ve just got a few decisions to make on a couple players whether or not they play.  For the most part, we’ll do it the same way.”


OLB Connor Barwin

(on if he’s had a lot of growth based on his experiences) “Well there’s a lot of things I’ve learned in those couple years playing (defense) that have carried over for sure to playing outside linebacker. Being able to take that with me has helped the transition.”


(on if he thinks the 3-4 defense is a perfect fit) “Oh yeah, I definitely feel that way. I’m comfortable standing up. I think it’s going to allow me to do a lot more things. I don’t have any problem dropping in coverage. I think the ability to drop in coverage is something I think is just going to help me with my rush. So yeah, I still think the 3-4 is really good for me.”


(on if he has a chip on his shoulder this year) “Well, I don’t know if I think about it but maybe unconsciously. You definitely come out here and remember not being able to play the whole last season. I try not to think about it every day but sometimes you appreciate it a little bit more.”


(on if the team needs to play angry) “I don’t know about playing angry. My personal feeling is emotions go up and down. I believe you just play passionate. I think if you just play hard and play passionate I think that’s the way to do it. I don’t think playing angry makes you play any better because if you get angry then you start making mistakes. I think if you just play passionate that’s the way you have to do it.


WR Devard Darling

(on how practice went) “It was great, man. It feels great to be here, back at home, having a great time on this football field.”


(on if today is an emotional day for him)”It’s just, I can’t even explain it right now, man. Just to come out here and be a part of this team and to put this Texans helmet on, it means a lot to me.”


(on what he was thinking when he was told he was getting signed) “Oh man, I was happy. I went in there, came in for a workout, they loved it, and I was happy that they wanted me to be part of the team.”


(on what kept him going through his rehab last year) “Just knowing that I still have a lot to give and knowing that I have that dream of fulfilling me and my twin brother’s dream of both playing in this League and I wanted to continue to do that. That’s what it was, that drive just to continue on and keep pushing through.”


(on if he has conversations with his late brother) “I always have conversations with him. That’s all the time. He’s always with me and I know he’s proud of me right now.”


(on him and QB Matt Schaub going way back) “We came out together. We both have the same agent so we trained for the combine together. We had a good time back then. Hopefully we can get that connection again.”


(on what he would’ve said if someone said last year he’d be playing on Monday Night Football) “No, man. I would say bring it on. It was a long, hard road coming back from the ACL (injury). I feel good, the knee is 100 percent healthy. I’m ready to go.”


FS Shiloh Keo

(on what he does on punt returns) “It depends on what position I’m playing. They got me at a couple different ones. Sometimes I’m just supposed to bee-line for the ball and try to make a play, and then sometimes I’m the forcer and my job is to force everything back the other way and keep (the punter) contained.”


(on if coming down early helped him acclimate to the weather) “It definitely made a difference, I’ll tell you that much, but it’s hard to get used to this weather. It’s kicked my butt every day. You look at me right now and I’m sweating from head to toe. It’s definitely something you’re not just going to get acclimated to. It’s going to take time, but I definitely think it helped.”


(on J.J. Watt doing so well in camp) “It’s awesome because that’s the future of this program. They chose him number one for a reason, and he’s going to be a backbone of this team. When your front line is dominating like they are, you’re going to be a very successful defense.”


(on what it was like being on the field for the first time with the Texans) “It was awesome. Like Barry (Warner) was talking about earlier, I was down here earlier and got to meet those guys, got to build a relationship with them before camp. It was almost like it was back in college days. You’re with your buddies and you’re on the field for the first time.”


CB Sherrick McManis

(on if the secondary has a chip on its shoulder) “Yeah, I feel that’s the way we have to be every time we come out for practice now. We feel good together, we like the scheme, the system that the coaches provide for us and we’re just trying to execute.”


(on if bringing CB Johnathan Joseph and FS Danieal Manning in sparked something into the defensive backs) “We know what we have to do; we got to fight to make this team first of all and bringing those guys in is definitely a plus. They have experience; they’re talking to us, helping us learn schemes and different patterns. Just the experience helps in general.”


(on if bringing in CB Johnathan Joseph and FS Daneial Manning motivated him) “I’m sure, like everybody else in the room, you really don’t care who they bring in. I have the mindset of once I get on this field I have to compete, I have to fight, I have to show my ability and then let the chips fall.”


(on if everything seems compressed) “I guess it could be if you let it get that way but it is what it is; that’s how I look at it. Once we get the information, it’s our job to learn it and execute it as well as we can.”


T Eric Winston

(on if there is an emotional leader on the offense) “Defense and offense to are so different in the sense that on defense you can have just one guy, everybody and 10 guys getting blocked, and you’re alright. You don’t really see it but, on offense you got to have 11 guys doing the right thing. So for me, it’s not about emotion as much as it is about energy and focus. I think we have such a veteran group that has come back and returned starters that there doesn’t need to be a rah-rah guy. There needs to be more of 11 guys focused on what they’re doing and the attention to detail.”


(on DE J.J. Watt) “He’s playing good. I think he’s going to be a good addition to the defense, I think he’s a guy who has a lot of upside and I think it’s impressive when you can step in and hold your own right out of college because there is a different pad level and there’s a different motor but he’s got all that stuff. So he’s got a lot of work ahead of him but he’s impressed a lot of people ahead of him. But at the same time, I think it’s going to be a different world when you got on the field and get the real jerseys on.”


(on if he’s ready to hit someone other than a teammate) “Yeah, you get 10 days in, 12 days in and you’re kind of tired of looking at the other guys. Things get frisky usually. You end up getting in a couple of fights around here. So, it’s about that time. I think all the vets feel it that it’s about that time to go get after someone else and we’re excited about that. They (the New York Jets) are going to be a great test for us. It’s going to be so something that they show so many fronts and so many blitzes and that’s what we need. We need a lot of work on a lot of pressure and I think that teams that beat pressure are the ones that consistently win in this league so we got to be able to do it.”


Afternoon practice

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
TE Owen Daniels

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on if there is anything new on CB Johnathan Joseph’s health) “No, he actually got an injection so that takes some time to come back but everything looks fine. He’s ok. I expect him to be out there tomorrow.”
 

(on the team’s injuries) “No, we’ve got a lot of guys nicked up, but whatever was taking yesterday is still the same. Nothing has really changed.”


(on rookie QB T.J. Yates) “I thought he did some good things early. I think he’s leveled off the last few days when all of the sudden (QB) Matt (Leinart) came back in and took all of the reps with the twos; so we’ll see where he’s at. He’s a young player that’s got ability, so we’ll see where he’s at.”


(on whether RB Javarris Williams will make the roster) “(He’s) been here one day so that’s a tough go, but it’s part of the NFL; and I would say because of our situation he’s going to get an opportunity, so we’ll what happens.”


TE Owen Daniels

(on what the offense is looking to improve on this year) “We’ve got a lot to improve on.  We have put up some good numbers in the past couple years and we’ve got a lot of pieces to the puzzle.  We’ve got a lot of playmakers.  Obviously, having a big run game last year helped us out a lot and hopefully that will continue this year.  I think maybe starting faster, being able to score more points early in games and being able to close out games.  You can always find things to improve on.  I think those are the glaring spots from last year - starting faster and closing things out.”


(on how they work on starting faster in training camp) “Coach Kubiak has been setting up practice a little differently in terms of coming out in an individual period and going straight to a team period, not easing into practice, and expecting us to be crisp right away.  Obviously, you want that all the time.  It’s just something you can focus on during practice and hopefully that carries over.”


(on playing someone besides his teammates on Monday night) “It’s always good to have new faces in a different color jersey on the other side of the ball.  These are the days of camp where guys get a little chippy and it gets a little frustrating.  We’re looking forward to Monday.  I think we put in a lot of good work and it’ll be a good test for us.  The Jets are a good team.”


(on what he hopes to get out of the game on Monday) “I think we just want, as an offense, to just be consistent.  We want to be able to get off to a good start, put a good drive together, however long coach lets us stay out there.  The Jets have a good defense and a lot of good players over there.  It’s going to be a really good test for us.  Like I said earlier, starting fast, getting off to a faster start this season than last year in some games, I think that will be a focus this first preseason game.”

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