Members of the team spoke to the media after practice on Thursday morning. Following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak Texans RB Chris Brown Texans QB Rex Grossman Texans LB DeMeco Ryans Texans QB Matt Schaub
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak (morning practice)
(on the playing time schedule for Kansas City) "Our first group will probably play 12 to 15 snaps in the game. There are some guys in our first group, very young players, who will play more than that. They will play probably 20 to 25 snaps. Our twos will basically play the second and third quarters, then our threes will play the fourth quarter, so that's the way we go about it. There'll be an adjustment here or there."
(on who those young guys might be) "Without me getting into each and every guy, there's young players. A guy like (LB) Zac (Diles), and (LB Xavier) Adibi, they need to play more than (LB) DeMeco (Ryans). Guys like that. They're first group players, but they're very young, they need more time, so they will play a little bit more."
(on who will play opposite CB Fred Bennett at cornerback) "Well, it was (CB Brice) McCain, but (defensive backs coach) David (Gibbs) got mad at him this morning, so I'll let you know this afternoon. I expect it to be Brice. Brice and (CB Glover) Quin will rotate throughout the first half. They'll play the first half."
(on what he expects from backup QB Dan Orlovsky) "Well, that's your regular season. As a backup quarterback, this is your season. Dan's going to play half a football game coming up here on Saturday, probably pretty close to the same in Week 2, not as much in Week 3, then play a whole game in Week 4, so this is his season to prove to this team that if something happens to (QB) Matt (Schaub), he's ready to go."
(on whether QB Rex Grossman will get to play on Saturday) "Yes, Rex is going to play. He's definitely going to play the fourth quarter. He may even play a little more than that. He's really made a lot of progress and done some good stuff."
(on WR Mike Jones) "(Wide receivers coach) Larry (Kirksey) has been impressed with him. He's missed a lot of time with his hamstring, but he has been back the past two days. I expect him to play in the game, and if he doesn't, he'll definitely play next week. It's probably just a feeling of where he thinks he is hamstring-wise."
(on whether he held his breath when DE Connor Barwin left the field with an apparent injury) "I thought he scraped his knee. I hold it every day. I just can't let them see me holding it."
(on DT DelJuan Robinson's wrist) "I don't know. DelJuan's had an elbow issue throughout camp. I don't know about whether he did something to his wrist this morning, but he and (DT) Frank (Okam) are getting ready to play a lot of football this Saturday. That's a battle for that job, and it's important that both guys play like starters for our team."
(on wanting to see players other than the recent draft picks play on Saturday) "I wish (RB Arian) Foster was going to be on the field. As of right now, I don't see myself putting him out there. That's probably the biggest one. But we have some very young starters when you talk about (LB Xavier) Adibi and you talk about (LB) Zac (Diles), and you talk about a guy like (CB) Fred (Bennett). You really want to see those guys start to look like seasoned-type veteran players. So I'm excited to see how (DT) Amobi (Okoye) plays. I think he's had a great camp. I want to see how he plays those 15 snaps."
(on whether S John Busing is pushing to make the team) "I think he knows that he and (S) Troy (Nolan) are up against it, where they're at on the depth chart right now, but is he capable of making a team in this league? Don't be surprised. So, he's going to play."
(on the matchup between defensive coordinator Frank Bush and his old mentor, Chiefs defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast) "Right now, with us defensively, we need to just stick with our base stuff and see who can play and who can help us. We've lost some continuity with some things going on, nick-wise and stuff like that. We just need to settle down, go out there and play our base and find out who's going to be able to help us as we work toward the season."
(on the lack of consistency on offence as a problem in the development of WR Jacoby Jones) "I wouldn't necessarily say that. I'd say a lack of consistency just overall as a pro, as a player, on the field, classroom, all those things. But he's been good; we've talked about this before, like I give you an example today. It's time to go play, and you should be practicing pretty solid today and know what you're doing, and he's got a few mistakes today. Pros don't make mistakes two days before the game, so stuff like that. But he's working toward getting better."
(on WR André Davis' play in camp) "I turned to (senior defensive assistant) Ray Rhodes in the back back here during practice and said, 'Ray, he's a starter, isn't he?' and Ray said, 'Yeah, you bet.' He's a heck of a player, and that's the way we think of him. We're just very fortunate. How many teams get a group of receivers like we've got in one spot? And we're very fortunate to have him and we've got to use him the right way."
(on whether he's had that kind of stability in the receiving corps before) "It's the best group of workers I've ever had as a coach, but I think I said this the other day, the group didn't happen because they're all first-round picks. It happened because they're coached very well, they all work. They're all kind of overachieving guys that have made their way in the business and just working their tail off. That's the way they play. So it's a credit to (wide receivers coach) Larry (Kirksey) and the job he's done, and the way that (WR) Andre (Johnson) leads the group."
(on what he told young players about preseason game) "I told them last night that people tend to say preseason games aren't important. I told them I thought that would be an insult to the guys and what I have put them through the past two weeks to tell them that this Saturday night is not important. There's a group of veterans that have a pattern. They know how they have to get ready to play and get ready for New York, but the majority of those guys in there are fighting for their life. How they play in the preseason will determine what they do. I told them that you will always remember the first time you stepped on a pro field, because I did. I was teasing with them and said, 'I was two for two. I completed one for the Broncos and one for the Falcons.' They're going to remember it, they know it's important, and they know that it's important to me."
(on the team being in game shape) "They're going to play this game more fatigued than they would a normal game. That's just nature, we're in training camp, so they're going to be a little more worn out going into this one, but that's what you're trying to find out. You're trying to find out who can think when they're tired and who can push themselves. I told the guys that when we are walking in here Sunday, there will be some surprises. They're going to be talking about so-and-so who surprises on offense, defense or special teams. Are you going to be that guy? Ultimately, they're trying to prove that they can play in the National Football League. Yes, they want to make our team, but the bottom line is everybody is trying to prove that they can make it in this league."
(on how much players will play in the game) "Basically, the rhythm will be: starters, first quarter; backups in the second and third quarter; and third string, fourth quarter. That's where we'll start."
(on FB Boomer Grigsby's play in camp) "Boomer has done some good things. (FB) Vonta (Leach) had some family issues and he (Grigsby) got a lot of reps and took advantage of those reps. He has proved to us that he fits what we do, and now it's time for him to go prove it on the field."
(on the overall injury situation) "Nothing has changed, we're the same. The only thing is we were hoping (RB Arian) Foster would be ready to go, but right now, I would say that he does not look ready to go."
(on DE Connor Barwin appearing to have gotten injured) "That's my understanding, I don't know. I thought he just scraped his knee."
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak (afternoon)
(on the last practice of the day) "Well, we're just talking about organization today. You always worry about the first time out, just players being organized. You have so many guys and so many young kids, so we're working on that. We'll actually have a light practice in the morning before we get on the plane."
(on the injury situation) "No, like I said the only one, (Arian) Foster, I was hoping he would play in this game, but as of right now I don't expect him to play."
(on priorities in the first preseason game) "Number one priority is looking at everybody, trying to evaluate a lot of players. Naturally, you'd like to see your first group go out there and be sharp. They're not going to play long, but after that we've got many, many guys to evaluate, and hopefully we find some surprises along the way. But it's time to see where we're at. You go into this game a little more fatigued than in a normal game just because the fact you're in training camp. We'll see how guys respond."
(on surprises up until this point in camp) "Yeah, there have been some surprises, without me sitting here trying to pick out four or five. There's obviously been some guys that we think have an excellent chance to help this team and be on this team, but they gotta go do it in Kansas City, against New Orleans, against Minnesota, against other people."
(on what he wants to see out of his rookies and young players) "You're looking for effort, number one. They're going to make mistakes, so you kinda talk them and tell them to just go hard. If they make a mistake, do it going fullspeed. It's their chance to impress people, people around the league – everybody sees this film – and prove that you belong. As I always say, they're trying to make this team, but it's really about proving you can play in the National Football League."
(on the opportunity for QB Dan Orlovsky to make a first impression Saturday) "Well, it's his first time out for our team, but he's going to play a lot in the preseason, and obviously he and Rex gotta step to the plate. It's competition going on there, but this is the point where backup quarterbacks prove to guys that if something happens to Matt (Schaub), then I can help you win. It's an important time for him. I know he's probably a little antsy his first time out, but I'm excited to see him play."
(on what he wants to see from Orlovsky) "I just want to see him to basically do what we're asking him to do. Go out there and get the ball in the right spot, lead the team, not turn the ball over. All those things you look for in a quarterback, and he's very capable of doing that. This'll be his first chance to do that with us."
Texans RB Chris Brown
(on the faith the coaching staff had in him) "It meant a lot. They had confidence in me that I could go out there and perform; now I just have to prove it.
(on what he did during the offseason) "I've been here most of the time training, trying to get back, showing that I'm trying and that I'm doing everything I can."
(on the mood of the team) "It's a good mood. I think everyone is excited to tip someone new. We know what the defense is going to do and the defense knows what the offense is going to do. Just giving someone else a chance to hit somebody new."
(on dealing with this season's expectations) "Oh, you know, we're just taking it one day at a time. Just taking it one day at a time to try and get perfect everyday and to try to get better."
Texans QB Rex Grossman
(on how he resists trying to throw TDs every play just to make an impression) "I want to play well, you know, make my right reads, throw the ball to the right guy, throw it accurately, make good decisions, and most importantly, move the team down to score. So, there are the same temptations I always have playing football. This is nothing different. It's a game. I'm going to treat it like any other game I've played."
(on if he's any different as a QB now than in years past) "I'm a couple years older."
(on if his approach to the game has changed at all) "Not really. There's a lot different in the fact that it's a totally new offense, new personnel, new philosophy on offense, and I'm just trying to get on-board and run the show the way the coaches want me to."
(on if he feels like he's getting the opportunity to prove himself) "Yeah. I mean, I'm not getting a lot of reps in practice, but third-string guys don't get a lot of reps. So when I do get in there, I've got to make the best of my reps and when I'm not, just make sure I take a mental rep every time (QBs) Matt (Schaub) or Dan (Orlovsky) go. I've been doing that. I feel like I know the offense and I'm pretty comfortable with it, so we'll see what happens."
(on if he's been given any indication of how many QBs will be kept) "No. They really haven't. I'm just trying to go out there and play well on Saturday, and we'll see what happens."
(on how he's grown since he's been here) "Well, just learning a whole different scheme, a whole different offense has helped me understand the West Coast passing game a little more and what (head) Coach (Gary) Kubiak does, and I've enjoyed it. There's a lot of things we didn't do in Chicago that we do here that I think will help me as a quarterback, so I'm looking forward to going out and doing that on Saturday."
(on if the offensive differences between Chicago and Houston have helped him grow) "Yeah, the more offenses you learn, the more you know about football. Everybody has their own personality on a different type of offense and everybody does things a little bit different, and if you can expose yourself to as many offenses as possible, you're going to understand the game that much more, understand how to beat defenses and all that. I've had my fair share of offenses in this league and in college, so this is just another one and I'm just excited to go out there and play with this offense and these plays and the personnel around me, and I'm looking forward to it."
(on the receiving corps around him here versus in Chicago) "Well, we had guys in Chicago that were playmakers, and there's playmakers here, too. Just different types of guys for different types of offenses, and obviously (WR) Andre Johnson may be the best receiver in the league, so nobody is as good as him, but I probably won't be out there with him. The guys that I'll be playing with, I'm real impressed with. The guys in the huddle, they've really impressed me with their speed and the way they get open and catch the ball, so I'm just looking forward to making plays."
(on if there's an advantage of having a head coach that was a QB) "I think so, definitely. Somebody that understands the position and can put the quarterback in the best position to win the game, I think only someone that's played really knows how to do that."
Texans LB DeMeco Ryans
(on the strength of the LBs) "We have a great group. When guys go down, we still have quality guys that step up and play. I think we're one of the strongest groups on the team depth-wise. We have a great group with good depth all around. We have all around players, guys that can play all positions, so we're stacked at linebacker."
(on his first preseason game as a rookie) "Oh, yes, my first preseason game was against Kansas City, and I remember making the first tackle of the game and I think I made about seven tackles that game. I will always remember that game. I thought, 'This can't be that hard.' Once I got out there and actually did it and got the first hit, I knew it would be easy."
Texans QB Matt Schaub(on the difference between how he feels this year compared to last year) "Well, we felt pretty good both last year and this year at this time. Obviously this year, we're a little more healthy. Last year, (WR) Andre (Johnson) was a little nicked up. We feel really good. We're clicking real well and playing good football."
(on if it's more important to not get hurt or to look crisp) "It's important for us to go out and play well, play smart football for the time we're in there. That's the key to our game."