Following are excerpts from coach Gary Kubiak following the fourteenth day of the Texans' 2006 training camp.
**Head Coach Gary Kubiak:
(on today's practice)** "I liked what I saw; there was a lot of energy this morning. That tells me they're ready to go. We'll see where they're at and do it against somebody else. I'm looking forward to it (Saturday's preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs)."
(on his feelings about the first game) "I'm nervous. I wouldn't expect it to be any other way. I've been doing it a long time. We've got a great group of coaches, we've got a bunch of guys working hard. This is why we do what we do. We'll go play, and it'll be exciting and interesting to see where we're at right now and to see the young guys play."
(on how much the first team will play) "I expect them to play a quarter. We'll monitor that as their play reps get long, and they may not play that long. You'd like to see your first group get 15 to possibly 20 plays, and that's usually about a quarter in this league, so we'll see how it pans out."
(on being nervous) "It's the nature of the business. You get excited, and you're nervous about how you're going to handle every situation that comes up. We as a staff, it's our first time to take the field together. Our coaches are over there right now checking out their headsets, they've been doing it for 20 years. That's just part of it, and it'll be very exciting."
(on what he expects from DEMario Williams) "I just want to see him go out there and cut it loose, have some fun, and do his job. I know a lot of eyes are going to be on him, and deservingly so. I just want to see the kid cut it loose and play the game. I would think he's very much looking forward to this, after practicing and with the things he's dealing with on a daily basis, to be able to say 'hey, it's time to go play'. It has to be exciting for him."
(on his game plan for the game) "We're very well scripted scheme wise and what we want to see from our first group throughout that first quarter. Then time wise, we are scripted, but we've got a lot of individuals that are starters on this team but we think need to play more than an established starter does in this league. I think we're a little different from that standpoint. I think you're going to see (T Charles) Spencer and (T) Seth (Want) basically split the whole game. Seth's our starting tackle, that's unusual. We've got a battle going on there, and they need to play all day. We're going to have certain situations like that that may look a little different."
(on focusing on rookies over veterans) "I think we're a team that's going to look at our veterans more than some teams. We have to see them both. We'll be able to do that; we've got a bunch of young guys. We've got (LB) Demeco Ryans, the starting Mike linebacker for this team, and just got out of college. He's fixing to play a lot of football. We should be able to get a good look at our guys, and the fact that we have some nix and some guys out, that helps us move some guys up and take a good look."
(on how much QBDavid Carrwill play) "He'll play a quarter. If the reps get long in the first quarter, he could be out before that's over. The plan is for him to play the whole first quarter."
(on being more nervous now) "Actually, I'm a little different on that standpoint. I think the crazier things get, the more mellow I get as a person. That's the way I was as a player. I've kind of been that way as a coach. I'm nervous, I'm excited. I tend to mellow down and try to handle the situation more so then anything else throughout my football career, so hopefully it will be the same way tomorrow."
(on getting advice from Asst. Head Coach/OffenseMike Sherman) "He leaves me alone. He asked me a while ago and said 'are you OK?' I said 'I'm alright'. He's awesome for me to be able to bounce things off of. He's been there, done that. You have to listen to people like that. I definitely listen to him every day."
(on TEphraim Salaam) "I don't know, I think we're going to find out. I think Ephraim could be anywhere from a swing tackle to a starting tackle for this team. We're going to find out here over the next three weeks. He's capable of playing very good football. He's battling his knee a little bit. But when he's healthy, I think Ephraim is going to battle for a spot on this football team. Where that spot is going to be we'll have to wait and see. Ephraim can play the left side. Ephraim's very valuable to what we're trying to do right now, and I hope he's healthy enough so that we can get a good hard look at him."