Following are excerpts from coach Gary Kubiak and players following the thirteenth day of the Texans' 2006 training camp.
**Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on how prepared the team is for Saturday's game)** "I think they're ready. I think they're excited. We had some mistakes this morning by some young players as we start to polish up for Saturday night, but that's expected. I think they're really geared up to have an opportunity to play, and they're probably a little nervous. I'm going to try and settle them down before Saturday night."
(on being vocal with QB David Carr) "It's just things that we're doing that we've covered a few times that we have to get fixed. We can't come back and make those mistakes again and he knows that. That's the way I coach him all the time, and I'll keep coaching him like that. We have to settle down, and we have to be consistent in what we're doing."
(on players being nervous) "I think there are a few young guys out here who made some mistakes, just some nerves of what we're trying to get done, and we're trying to get ready to play. Our (second team) got a ton of reps this morning and this is what they do for a living. They're fighting for a job and if I was one of them, I'd be a little nervous too. I think that's a good thing, you root for players as a coach. You watch guys bust their tail for two weeks and you just want good things to happen for them."
(on the younger members of the team) "It's very difficult. This is the most competitive football team I've ever been around in camp because there are a lot of young players. We have a lot of new faces. It's not like we have 25 or 30 faces that are locks. We're starting from scratch, and everybody is competing. You get really close to those kids, and when they pay the price to play, you want all of them to make it, some how, some way. I always tell them that the key is that you're trying to prove you can play in the NFL. If you do it here, do everything we can to find a way for you to play for the Texans. When you're a player trying to make it in this league, and you step on the field Saturday and you make plays, the other 31 teams are going to notice. Just do your job, have fun and try and make plays."
(on who might return punts on Saturday night) "We will look at (WR) Derrick Lewis, (WR) David Anderson, (RB) Wali Lundy, and possibly (WR) Richie Ross."
(on (Wali) Lundy returning punts previously) "I think he's done it before in his younger days, I don't think he did it last year because of course you guys know he got hurt. He's looked good out here with us so far."
(on cutting players prior to the deadline) "I'm sure we'll go right to the deadline. The way the NFL has it moved back this year, you really only have two cuts, and they happen in a five or six day period. It's going to be a crazy period for all the clubs I would think."
(on CB Lewis Sanders hurting his finger during practice) "He dislocated his finger; they popped it back in, and he's right back out here. That's Lew, if he's here, he'll play."
(on Sanders starting at cornerback on Saturday) "He's impressive, no doubt. He's earned that right. He's been out here everyday busting his tail, playing well for this team. He has tremendous respect from his teammates. He deserves the opportunity to go out there and start."
(on playing G Chester Pitts and G Steve McKinney) "I don't think you'll see Steve. I'm probably premature in saying that, but I would think that we're going to hold him, even if he is ready. Chester, I think, is going to be fine. He should be able to get his quarter of work. We'll see how he comes out this morning. We'll see how he does overnight and make sure we're doing the right thing with him. I'm actually expecting him to play."
(on who will start at left tackle) "(T) Seth Wand will. He and (T) Charles Spencer are basically going to play the football game for us. You're going to see them bouncing in and out periodically, but those two guys are in a battle. They're both neck-and-neck, and they'll go the whole game if they need to play."
**CB Dunta Robinson
(on today's practice)** "It went along pretty well. I think once we get (CB) Phillip (Buchanon) back, and once we get Petey (CB Demarcus Faggins) back, I think then we'll be where we want to be. Right now, we have a lot of new guys we're trying to adjust to. We're just trying to make it work. We lost some guys with injuries, so we had to replace them with guys. (CB) Dexter (McCleon) has come in and done a good job for us; (CB) Kevin Garrett has come in. We're just trying to adjust to each other, and I think once that happens we'll be alright."
(on Saturday's preseason game being important) "Definitely, we went 2-14 last season. The first chance you get to test your skills against another opponent, you want to do all you can to make sure that you're prepared. We're taking this preseason serious; we don't want to go 0-4; we don't' want to go 2-2. Our goal is to go 4-0; to win every preseason game. We're going to concentrate hard on that, and we're going to go out and play hard. Nobody is trying to just make it through preseason. We're trying to come in and establish something."
(on advice for Lewis Sanders) "Just go out and play the way you're capable of playing. I've seen a lot of tape on him from when he was in Cleveland. Lew made a lot of good plays. It's his seventh year, and this is my third year, so I should be asking him for the advice. Just go out and play the way you're capable of playing, don't try and do too much. Just go out there, play comfortable and make plays."
**CB Lewis Sanders
(on proving himself on Saturday)** "I'm not really trying to go out there and prove anything; I'm just trying to go out there and do what the coaches have been teaching me to do. I am just going to play hard and try to make plays."
(on the injuries to the team bringing opportunity) "Its difficult, but you have to understand your roll on the team and understand that any play a player can go down, and you can be thrust into the starting line-up. You have to be ready. You have to go out there every snap, whether you are on third team or second team like you are one snap away. You have to go out there and perform."
(on the team competing for spots) "To me personally and I know a lot of others, we like the competition. We won two games last year, so we need that competition, it helps out here in practice as well."
**OT Charles Spencer
(on being the best for the job)** "We will see. I will let the coaches decide that."
(on being quick and strong as a big offensive lineman) "I think I get the quickness from basketball, I've played basketball my whole life. That footwork is key. I am a powerful guy and I work harder to get stronger every day. It different for a guy my size, but I try to use it to the best of my ability."
(on going against DE Mario Williams) " (DE) Mario Williams is a good player, and you can't let up on him. If you give him a second he is going to get to the quarter back. Guys like that you can't let up, you have to play to the whistle every time."
**RB Wali Lundy
(on having a former NFL coach in college help is growth)** "I definitely think it did. Just with the system and the way practice is set up, Coach (Al) Groh (HC, University of Virginia) set up the practices the same way coach Kubiak does. It's an advantage to how he wants practices to be run with the tempo and everything like that. The only thing that's different is the heat."