Following are excerpts from coach Gary Kubiak and players following the twelfth day of the Texans' 2006 training camp.
Head CoachGary Kubiak**
(on how the practice went this morning)** "It was good; we had a lot of things we wanted to cover today that are special situations that are going to occur throughout the season. We finished up with a walk through in some of those situations, but we're pushing through. Now we're going to concentrate a bit more on Kansas City, freshen up and get ready to go."
(on new injuries during the morning practice) "(C Mike) Flanagan and (G Zach) Weigert (were injured) at some point in practice, I wasn't sure when it was. Mike's having a little problem with his thumb, and Zach has a little problem with his shoulder. They missed the last half hour of practice, but I think they're fine. (LB) Barrett Green re-aggravated a groin injury that he's had. We think he'll be ready to play. We have a few guys down that are day-to-day, but we're going to really pay attention to getting them fresh right now."
(on utilizing the tight ends) "We have some guys that can stretch the field with (TE) Jeb (Putzier), (TE) Bennie (Joppru) and (TE) Owen (Daniels). (TE) Mark (Bruener) is more of our line of scrimmage type of player, but he's made some plays out here in camp catching the football. We have a good group; we should be pretty diverse with them and what we do, and cause some problems for some defenses."
(on GChester Pitts) "Chester did work today; it was just individual, and we kept him out of team situations. He is better today, though, the swelling did go down."
(on who will start at running back on Saturday) "(RB) Antowain (Smith), Antowain has done everything we've asked him to do. He's been here a long time; we'll take that pressure off of those young guys Saturday night. He'll be the guy; he'll be ready to go."
(on where LBShantee Orrfits in the new 4-3 defensive scheme) "They've been working him in one-on-one pass rush, so in nickel situations, you're going to see him still rush the passer. You're going to see him do it, and you're going to see (LB) Charlie (Anderson) do it, so you'll see those guys moving around in nickel situations. Other than that, from a standpoint of (defensive coordinator) Richard (Smith)'s defense, he is very aggressive with his linebackers. You'll see him get after the quarterback; that's one of his strengths; we all know that."
(on LBCharlie Anderson) "He's doing well. He had a baby yesterday, I don't know if you all know about that, him and his wife had a little girl. He's in a battle with Shantee for that position, that's going to work itself out; one of those guys has to win that spot. I thought that when Shantee missed a couple of days of practice, I thought that Charlie really picked his level of play up those couple of days. He has to become more consistent in what he's doing, but it'll be interesting to see how it pans out. Those two are battling to be our strong linebacker."
(on defensive coordinatorRichard Smithand what he's been doing) "I think the world of Richard, you all know that. I like the passion he brings to the football field everyday, and it rubs off on his players; they're playing with enthusiasm, and that's what you have to do on defense. You have to be sound in what you're doing, but you better be going hard and being physical, and that's what Richard demands."
(on DTSeth Payne) "He's been fine. I actually was going to practice him once a day, and actually he came to me and said 'Kubiak, I want to go. I want to be apart of this team; I want to help; I want to play'. He's a veteran that stood up real fast and said 'I can go two-a-days; I'm ok.' I've been very impressed; he's a professional in the way he works, and he's going to help us."
(on DEN.D. Kalu) "He does a good job rushing the passer. He'll be a spot player for our football team and the way we're going to rotate people. I think he can still go get the quarterback, and I think he can do that well. I think he has to be sound on the running game, too."
Defensive Line CoachBob Karmelowicz**
(on what would be a good season for DE Mario Williams)** "If you are going to put criteria on someone's development as long as he stays healthy and plays hard I think the results will come. From this stage out it's not a physical challenge it is a mental challenge. His production and his numbers will be outstanding if he holds up mentally. I always give this scenario to my guys. Do you want to have ten sacks or every time you are out on the field rushing the passer, you don't have any sacks but it's always an incomplete pass.? What would you rather have? Sacks are the most popular thing we can do. In today's game with the one step and three steps and the quick five, when you play on the edge you are chasing a lot of mirages out there. We are all into launch points and how long the quarter back is holding on to the ball. As long as Mario Williams is effecting in the mindset of the quarter back, we are going to be fine."
(on DEAntwan Peekand DEJason Babin) "They're having fun. They're challenge is going to be to fit their block protection and holding up for sixteen minutes. Our plan is to pretty much roll those two through. They will both be starters in a sence, so we don't wear one or the other out."
(on communicating with the athletes) "It's all about teaching and demanding. You have to demand. How do you get the dog off the couch? Some dogs need a pet; some dogs need be kicked and told get off the couch. It's your call, which dog are you talking to? Not that they're dogs, but how are you going to motivate? Some kids need hugs; some kids need a kick in the butt."
**Post Afternoon Comments
**Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on giving the veterans extra reps in the first preseason game)** "No, we kind of have a same pattern we follow over a period of time. We'll change it a little bit; I think they need to play a bit more as they get some continuity in the group. The thing we're fighting right now is availability; we're missing some guys. We want to give them some good work, but the biggest message you want to send is being able to see every football player that's paid a price over the last two weeks, so we'll give them a chance."
(on the game plan for the offensive line) "I don't know, we'll meet on that tomorrow. We're in camp right now; we'll just meet every night and go through those issues, and we'll wait and see how that pans out. I could probably answer that question better tomorrow."
(on how many guys can make it on special teams) "You never know. As a football team, you need guys that can do both; they need
to be able to help you on the field and on special teams. For the most part, there's
usually a player or two that you may look at him as strictly a special teams player
and that's how they make this team. How that happens, I don't think you ever know
until you play the preseason games and see how your roster is going to pan out."