Members of the team spoke to the media after practice on Tuesday. Here is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak Texans defensive coordinator Frank Bush Texans LB Brian Cushing Texans WR André Davis Texans WR Andre Johnson Texans CB Brice McCain Texans LB DeMeco Ryans Texans WR Kevin Walter
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak (morning practice)
(on how DT Shaun Cody has played) "We've been impressed. He had really good OTAs with us. I like his quickness off the ball. And what we're trying to do with Shaun, it's about me practicing him the right way, keeping him off the turf, and I think he can contribute to this team a great deal."
(on if WR Kevin Walter's role has changed) "No, Kevin is the same old Kevin. I tell you, he's just a worker. Hasn't missed a snap or a rep. When it comes time to play 11-on-11, Kevin just seems to make plays, and it's been no different."
(on S Dominique Barber getting reps with the first team defense) "Yeah, we're just trying to give reps to guys we see earning those type of reps, and Dominique has had that kind of camp, and we're going to give those guys opportunities. I tell the starters all the time, when we call the first group out here, we have 22 guys who step out on the field, but all 22 of them have to prove that they belong there every day. So Dominique is pushing (S) Nick (Ferguson) right now, but Nick will respond. Nick's a pro, so it'll be a heck of a battle. Just impressed with how much progress Dominique has made."
(on whether S Dominique Barber covers more ground at safety than past Texans safeties) "Well, to me, that comes from playing a bunch. Guys that really know what's going on, smart to schemes, smart to routes, those are the guys who cover the most ground. And (S) Nick (Ferguson) has seen routes for many, many years. Dominique, not so many, so I think he's going to only get better."
(on DT Jeff Zgonina) "I used him as an example to the team the other day. One of the things you find out in pro ball is that it takes time for young guys to become what we call pros, practice every day and take care of their body, and I told those guys, we were out looking for another defensive lineman two weeks ago. To think that a 17-year vet's name would come up when we're talking about two practices a day and what we're going through right now, you'd think it would be impossible. But the reason he keeps getting opportunities is because he can go all day. He's in tremendous condition, he has not missed a practice, I don't have to practice him once a day, so when you can do that, you're probably going to find another way to get a job. It's pretty amazing."
(on DT Jeff Zgonina's comments that he loves training camp) "Yeah, he's a little sick that way, but he loves the game. He loves the game and he still thinks he can contribute, and I'm not sure he can't. We'll see what happens."
(on the team's reaction to more game-like situations) "Well, you guys see them. I just think it's important that we keep putting them through tough situations, the noise, no coaches in their hip pocket. You find out where players are quicker that way, and that's what we're fixing to go find out Saturday, so we need to go get a head start on it now."
(on how long starters should be expected to play Saturday) "We haven't talked about it, but my history over the past would say they're probably going to play a quarter at the most, but I'll probably put a play count on them. I'll let you guys know Thursday."
(on LT Duane Brown's development as a player) "Yeah, he's a better player in year two than he was in year one. He's got to become one, because think about the guys he plays. You talk about (Kyle) Vanden Bosch and (Dwight) Freeney, those guys that he lines up against on a regular basis, he's got to work to a Pro Bowl-level player, so he's having a good camp. He's a better player this year than last year."
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak (afternoon)(on how helpful it is to have someone who can play special teams and receiver) "Well no doubt. (WR) Jacoby (Jones) is capable of doing both returns, he's capable of making plays for you on the offensive side of the ball. The key is does he prove to his team that he's going to be there for them day in and day out and be able to do that, and he's on his way to doing that right now and we'll see how far he goes."
(on the team's most recent injury update) "No, we're OK. We got a couple of guys back this morning, (RB Arian) Foster practiced a little bit, (WR Mike) Jones practiced a little bit. Everything else is pretty much the same."
(on the play of CB Brice McCain) "Nice surprise. We knew we were getting a talented young man, and he's been forced into some serious action because of some situations at DB, but he doesn't make the same mistake twice and he's getting better every day."
Texans defensive coordinator Frank Bush (morning)
(on what the players are buying into to improve) "Hopefully, they're buying into a simplistic and aggressive approach. Guys that have a chance to understand what they're doing keep it simple and have the player play really fast."
(on head coach Gary Kubiak wanting a defensive unit) "Yes, Gary has been absolutely awesome in allowing me to do my deal and letting the defense do our thing. He helps me along the way, telling me what offenses see and how they do things, but he's been awesome."
(on the advantage or disadvantage to being a Texans assistant previously) "It was a little bit of both. It was an advantage because I have a feel for the guys. I know the players and I know the system, so I can implement my program within the system. It was also a little bit of a disadvantage because I was with the other group and there's a lot of good guys there and a lot of good things we did there, and you don't want to frown upon everything we did there."
(on being nervous about first preseason game as a coordinator) "Oh, yeah, but I'm fired up and excited about it. Guys have put in so much work and have done a real nice job on the field. Now, it's time to get on some other people and see how we look."
(on what concerns he has about Kansas City) "Everything. We've looked at them, and they can be a wide open bunch. Their quarterback moves around real well, and I'm sure (Kansas City head coach Todd) Haley will have those guys going, so there are a lot of different factors that we worry about."
(on DT Shaun Cody) "Shaun has done a real good job for us. He's a veteran guy that came in extremely smart. He's playing two positions and working his butt off. He's done a real nice job for us."
(on DT Shaun Cody's role) "He's a guy that can come in that can play two different spots, start for us at any time, and he's a veteran, so (DT) Amobi (Okoye) and the other kids look up to him and his work ethic. He has done a real good job with leadership, and his versatility is a plus."
Texans LB Brian Cushing (morning)
(on defensive coordinator Frank Bush's approach to defense) "I think it's great. I think we're an attacking defense. I think we're doing a great job coming out here, just the attitude on this field is good right now. We're going to keep up the tempo and keep going after the ball."
(on whether or not the linebackers will be the motor that runs the defense) "You know, I hope so. Every defense I've played on seems like it's that way. You know. it's the hybrids between the D-Line and the defensive backs. It's usually the loud, talkative guys so hopefully we can get that going."
Texans WR André Davis (afternoon)(on the new wedge rule) "I guess this is where the preseason really comes into play, that we'll be able to see how the rule takes place, where guys are supposed to be lined up and what we can get away with and what we can't get away with. We'll be able to figure that all out now. Hopefully, it will be better for safety because a lot of guys were getting hurt on plays, on kickoff returns and kickoffs because of that but hopefully we'll be able to get that stuff fixed. But we'll still be able to have a powerful special teams."
(on what the team's been trying to practice) "Well, I can't give away our game plans or anything like that, but we're continuing to get the guys that are going to be there in the wedge, getting them used to not having four guys across, just really getting used to having those two that are there and then just the other guys that we have lined up just getting them used to where they're going to be at and where they're going to be positioned at. We're just going to keep on practicing that and go from there."
Texans WR Andre Johnson (morning)
(on the development of the young corners) "I think they are improving every day. There's a lot of competition at the cornerback spot. They're making the receivers better and we're making them better. There is a lot of competition going on between both receivers and cornerbacks."
(on CBs Brice McCain and Glover Quin saying they're learning a lot from the receivers) "Yeah, well at the same time, we learn from them. We have our battles. Some battles are real physical and it just makes us better. Not only in knowing how to beat a guy and be wide open, but learning how to beat a guy when he's right on you. So we're out here just trying to make each other better and get ready for the Chiefs."
(on if he's looking forward to playing against someone else) "Yeah. You kind of get excited about going against someone different. Everybody's looking forward to the preseason game on Saturday. We get the chance to see where we're at as a football team and get to continue to just get better."
(on if he sees them making the playoffs and where he thinks they stand) "The thing is, since (head) Coach (Gary) Kubiak has gotten here, the team has gotten better. We can get better all we want to but if we don't win games then it's not going to happen. Like I've said before, I don't like talking about the playoffs. You have to go out and earn it and that's the only way we're going to get there.
(on if he's taken any grief about his commercial) "Everybody on the team was kind of messing with me about it. I think (FB) Vonta (Leach) and (G) Chester (Pitts) have probably given me the most hell about it. They were in practice yesterday reciting the whole commercial. So it's been fun. A lot of my friends have been calling me, texting me saying they've seen it. A lot of people were surprised that I did it. Everyone says that I don't talk and they were wondering what did they do to get me to talk that much on the commercial? It was a lot of fun."
(on if they are ready for their preseason game) "Yeah, I think we're ready. Even if we're not ready, we still have to go out and play the game. I think the guys are ready to go against somebody different. It kind of gets old going against your teammates over and over. But guys want to play against somebody different and it's a good chance to see where we're at as a football team."
Texans CB Brice McCain (afternoon)(on ever being beat in a race) "I lost in a couple of track meets, but a track meet is different from a 40, that's a 100-yard dash. No, I never lost even in a street race."
(on the possibility of an end-zone celebration) "I don't know. If I happen to get in the end zone, I really could not tell you because I don't know what my mindset would be."
Texans LB DeMeco Ryans (morning)
(on where he thinks the defense is at this point) "I think this is the furthest along we've been since I've been here. This is my fourth year and this is the furthest we've been and it's headed in the right direction. We have a good foundation and base. Guys know what we're doing, we just have to clean it up more and more each day. That's why we come out here to practice, just to clean our act a little bit more each day. Once we get it right, we should be ready to roll once the season comes around."
(on talking about getting it right) "Oh yeah, we're very anxious to get out and go against someone else other than our own offense. We pretty much know what they're going to do every play and they know what defenses we're lining up in. It's going to be fun to go out there and play a little unscripted football to where no one knows what the other team is going to do."
(on how many of them want to go out and crush someone) "I better have 10 other guys with me and I feel like I'm going to have those guys. There are 10 other guys that are going to go out there and be ready to lay the hammer on someone. That's what we set out to do. Our goal is to be a lot more physical as a defense this year, as well as an entire team. We're going to go out there and showcase it Saturday and see just how physical we can be."
Texans WR Kevin Walter
(on the upcoming game versus the Kansas City Chiefs) "We haven't scouted them yet. We're doing that tonight. We're going to look at the film and see what they're all about. I know that they've got a new coaching staff down there, or up there, and (head) Coach (Todd) Haley is going to be pretty good up there."
(on being ready to play against someone other than teammates) "Oh, it's true. Yeah, we've been competing against ourselves every single day here. It's going to be good to go against somebody new that doesn't see you every day and know what you're all about."
(on if the receiving unit is where it should be) "Yeah, we're getting better. We're not there, where we want to be yet, but we're close. We're working every day and we're working hard. It's going to be a fun year. We're going to be explosive out there."