Following are excerpts from coach Gary Kubiak following the fifteenth day of the Texans' 2006 training camp.
**Head Coach Gary Kubiak:
(on the first practice since Saturday's game)** "It made me feel good. We had some good things happen the other night, and that was exciting. To come back out here and practice the way we did, it was impressive. Our players are ready to come back out here and get better. We've corrected our mistakes from the other night. We have to keep making up ground and we have to keep getting better. If we can keep the attitude and the attention to detail that we had today, we'll continue to make up a lot of ground. I was very impressed with the practice today."
(on giving more running backs more reps) "We're looking at (RB) Vernand (Morency) to play this week. We'll get him ready to play. He'll definitely play. We'll make that decision on exactly which guys are going to go. Vernand will definitely be in the mix this week; however we go about doing that."
(on Saturday's victory carrying over to today's practice) "I don't know, we're finding out about our team everyday because it's our first go around together. The thing about football, especially the years that I've been around pro football, is that you're not going to feel good everyday. Coaching, playing, it doesn't matter who you are, you have a job to do everyday. They came out here today and they were kind of quiet; they're beat up; it's the first time they've hit on other people. We kind of got going real slow, and all of a sudden the minute they got into the team period, they got into it and they got into practice. They practiced fast, and they practiced the importance of the fixing the mistakes we made, and we got those cleared up. I like the way they went about their work."
(on the players believing in the new system) "I think that's going to be a process that hopefully goes on for a long, long time. We're asking (QB) David (Carr) to do a lot, and he can't do a lot. We're going to help him out by moving him around. It's something we have to continue to get better at. As long as he's working the way he's been working, he's going to get better everyday."
(on using DE Mario Williams in too many spots) "Well that's something that concerns you as a coach because you don't want to take the game out of the kid's hands because you're doing too much. He's been handling those things, and we'll settle him down to where he's not thinking too much. We're going to help him be a better player in the long haul. He's shown the ability to handle a lot, and we'll just have to be smart with how we do it."
(on playing three running backs again on Saturday) "We'll probably just play three again like we did the other night. That way we get a good look at them. You can't play too many. All I know is that Vernand (Morency) will be in that mix this week, and how that pans out we'll wait and see."
(on playing DE/DT Anthony Weaver at defensive end) "We'll probably rotate those guys all the time. Anthony will play inside or outside, Mario will play inside or outside. We just want to make sure we're always monitoring how much time we give to every detail we have on this football team. So we thought we'd move him around today, but you're going to see that happening every day."
(on the fullbacks' play Saturday night) "I told you guys I wasn't real happy with how it went the other day. I think they're both better players than they played. I think a lot of it might have been their first time out in our system, and hesitant in some of their assignments. I know one thing, they came out ready to go today, and they fixed them (MA's). That's what we're going to do as a team. We're going to make mistakes, but we come out here and get them corrected, get ready to go next week. I liked the way they practiced and I like the way they responded."
(on the particular fullbacks in question) "(FB Jameel) Cook and (FB Nick) Luchey, the two guys during the game, they struggled a little bit with some of the things we were doing. They came out here today to fix it, and those are the kinds of players you want."
(on what they did in practice that they didn't do in the game) "We actually had some busts. The defense did a little switch on us against Kansas City in moving some people. Then at the point of attack, we weren't as good as I think those two players are, or have the capability to be. I made that point to them, and I think they know that. They would have said the same thing. They would have expected to play better than they played. That's a battle just like many on this team. Those two kids came out ready to practice today; it was probably their best practices of the year."
(on using fullbacks) "We like them both. When you have a fullback involved, it helps you in an eight-man front. If you can run the ball in this league, you're going to have a lot of eight-man fronts. For some people that runs you out of running the ball, but that's not going to do that to us. We're going to stay committed to this. We've got an eight-man front, and we'll find a way to get it picked up somehow because we're going to stay committed to running the ball."
(on the two outside linebacker spots being competitive) "There are good battles going on there. You have (LB) Barrett (Green) and (LB) Morlon (Greenwood) working at the Will, and then (LB) Charlie (Anderson) and (LB) Shantee (Orr) at the Sam, and (LB Kenneth) Pettway has moved up and down. By the way, Pettway played exceptionally well on special teams the other night. That is a battle. Barrett has been a little nicked up. He's missed some time, so we liked what we saw out of the young kid at Mike linebacker. Those two other spots, that's a wide-open battle that's going to take place here over the next two weeks."
(on RB Domanick Davis' knee) "The good news is, for the first time in about a week, Domanick and I have had a conversation, and he said 'coach, I'm feeling better.' I know he did actually run a little bit in the past 48 hours, and that's encouraging. The key is his mindset, he's been through this befor. As I've told you all along, we're going to be patient; we know he can play the game. We just have to know that we're going to get there at some point. We'll keep our fingers crossed, and hopefully it'll work out."
(on how much work Domanick will be able to handle when he comes back) "Well, you'd like to have a lot, that's just part of football. It's hard to go out and play without the work. With his situation, we have to do what's right. We want to get something out of this year. We have to do what we have to do to get him to that point, and we're not going to hurt him in the preseason because I think he needs the extra reps. We're going to be smart with that. If Domanick is full strength for this football team, be it in week four, week five or week six he's going to help this football team win, so we have to be smart with that."
(on running out of patience with him) "You try not to run out of patience because you have situations like that all the time. They tend to work themselves out, but the one thing that remains constant is that you're working with them everyday so they can be there on game day, so you're going to have to make sure you're getting them ready to play. That's our focus, and (Head Athletic Trainer) Kevin (Bastin) will do a great job with Domanick and let us know when he's ready to go, but we have to get these guys out there ready to play."
(on Domanick needing reps during the preseason) "I don't want to answer that right now. I think that would be hard, that would be very hard to do. I think he'd tell you the same thing. I don't know, stranger things have happened. Let's wait and see."
(on TE Owen Daniels) "He's a two-way player at tight end, they're hard to find. He has a chance to be very effective at both. He's a fine young player; the preseason is going to tell if he's going to be able to help this team quickly. He's a very smart, young man."
(on Daniels' stock going up after the first preseason game) "It did. He played well, and he played a lot. He's going to play a lot this preseason. One of the things Owen has going for him is that he has great guys helping him. (TE) Mark Bruener, you guys know what type of person he is. In this league, when somebody is out there competing for your spot, those things don't always happen that way, but Mark has taken him under his wing and really helped him develop. (TE) Jeb (Putzier) has helped him on running routes. They see the talent in the young man, and they've really helped him."
(on what he saw in Daniels in college) "I think you have to give credit to (Former GM Charlie Casserly) and the scouting staff and everybody on that one. He was a quarterback, and they moved him to tight end coming off of a major knee injury, actually two of them if I recall correctly. He played pretty good as a junior; he played well as a senior. We took our break on Saturday night during the draft, and we spent our evening talking about where we were going with the first pick of the fourth round. In all honesty, there were many names that came up at that point. Charlie stood up and the scouts stood up for this young man with me and really made a believer out of me that he was the best fit for this football team. I have to give them a lot of credit, they're the reason he's here. They did a heck of a job with him."
(on Daniels being a willing blocker) "He's a very physical young man. Technique wise, he has a ways to go. What happens is those ends he played against in college, all of a sudden he lines up on Mario (Williams) everyday, so that's a different person he's lining up on. His technique has to get better, but as far as wanting to do that, he's an every-down player. He played every down on special teams too."
(on LB Barrett Green) "He's a savvy veteran. His struggle throughout his whole career has been nicks. If we can get that under control, he has played well when he's played for us. He's battling the same thing right now; he's been nicked. He's having a hard time staying in one piece, but he's working hard, and we're going to stick with him. Hopefully he can get all that under control and just settle down and be consistent playing."