The Texans held their last workout Tuesday morning before leaving for Metairia, La., where they will practice against the New Orleans Saints for the week. After practice, coach Gary Kubiak and quarterback Matt Schaub spoke to the media.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on team injuries) "Tim Carter is still out today. He's coming off a pretty good blow to the head, so we're just being smart with him. He will go to New Orleans with us; he'll be day-to-day. I think Fred (Weary) is kind of in a day-to-day mode. Andre (Johnson) did practice a little bit. But other than that, we were all out here and got some good work with the noise this morning. Now, we'll head to New Orleans and work against a hell of a football team. So we're looking forward to it."
(on what he expects the practices in New Orleans to be like) "I've been through it a lot as a coach. We used to come here and work against the Texans when I was in Denver and worked against other various teams. I think it's good. It's a good change up. Guys have got to be ready to go because it gets very competitive. I think the fact that they are an excellent team and the way people are talking about them this season, it's a great judge for us to go up there for three or four days and see where we're at. But, it will be a good change. I'm looking forward to it."
(on if he will look for the same things from the team when they practice against the Saints) "Yeah, you look for the same things. Naturally, you're competing against a team, so you've kind of got to prepare for that and we are preparing to play them anyway on Saturday. But it changes. Reps change. Actually, you probably have a lot less reps because you are working against somebody else. At this point in camp, Sean (Payton) and I both agree that that's probably a good thing."
(on if WR Andre Johnson will play on Saturday) "No, I don't see that right now. I think he could; he could push. We went through an individual with him today, and he actually did a little bit more. But I don't think it makes sense right now to push him to that point this week."
(on if he is surprised by Johnson's progress) "I shouldn't say I'm real surprised because they (team doctors) told me that should we have had a game they think he could have pushed and played. I think he's getting antsy. He's tired of going through some of these things, but we'll be smart with him."
(on if practicing against the Saints will make the team getting tougher) "I don't know if it's just the team you are playing. I think it's an overall mentality for our organization and our football team. We play in a division where it's very, very physical and we've got to be a more physical team on both sides of the ball to get better and catch some of those teams. I think it's an overall mentality. Working against this team should definitely help."
(on S Dominique Barber's progress) "Well, he made a lot of progress last week. If I had the film I could show you, he makes two plays in the game that were the difference in winning and losing – just hustle, chasing the ball down whenever they broke big plays. It's not too big for him. He knows what he is doing, very capable showing Joe (Marciano) that he can help on special teams. So his reps will up this week."
(on CB Antwaun Molden's status) "He's ready to go. We were a little cautious with him yesterday in practice. He passed that test; he passed the test this morning. So all indications are that he will go this week."
(on Barber's family having roots in the NFL) "I think it helps. I'm sure that he talks to his brother (Mario Barber) every day. It's just in his family. It's not too big for him. He walk out here like he's been around pro football, probably because of his brother and those type of things. And those guys show that they belong, and he definitely has shown that to this point."
(on what he's telling the guys about the week) "We are going to be in shorts and shoulder pads tomorrow morning. We're actually going to be in just helmets in the afternoon and shorts and shoulder pads on Thursday. I'm sure it will get physical, and that's a good thing. I think it will be good for both of us."
(on S Nick Ferguson and other veterans who keep competing) "Well, there are six of them (safeties) back there and history tells you that you are going to keep four, maybe five if there is a great special teams player. So I think they obviously understand that something is going to have to give before it's all said and done. They're competing and they're all doing a heck of a job right now. It would be very, very hard to make a decision right now. It will all work itself out."
(on what he will show the Saints in practice) "We're just going to run our base stuff. I'm sure they're going to do the same. We don't play each other this year. I don't worry about that stuff too much, but we are trying to gain confidence as a football team. So it's not like you go there and don't do anything. I think you try to progress in what you are doing and try to have confidence that you will do those things even better as you move forward."
(on the status of RB Ahman Green) "The thing that I'm encouraged of – and I think I told you yesterday – is how positive he is with me. Last year, when we went through this he was very apprehensive. He knew he was going to have a hard time. He tells me he's going to be fine. He feels good. I don't want to put a timetable on it right now. I think we just go day to day, but the strength is there so that's a good sign."
(on if the team will sign another running back) "We have talked about it. We will continue to talk probably on the airplane as we move forward. It's day-to-day right now by position as to what we think we need. Right now, these four players have got to work because we need to figure out who the players are going to be."
(on if the team will sign a running back before Saturday's game) "I hate to tell you one way or the other. We are discussing it all the time. It could very well happen; it could no happen. We got (through) clean these two days. We feel good getting on the plane to go there. Something could happen while we are there and all of a sudden we could add a player, so we'll see."
(on how much it helps to have TE Owen Daniels) "Yeah, you know, I tease him all the time. The other day I was asking him how many catches he's had in camp because its funny some times as a player you'll go through two or three days and the ball doesn't come your way. He's a much better player from a receiving end. The thing I've been impressed with is he is much better on the line of scrimmage than he has been. That's probably been the thing that has kept him from getting some of the respect that some of these other tight ends get and if he continues to make that development, I think he could be even better than he is."
(on TE Owen Daniels' fumbles last year) "Well, I think he runs high after the catch. It happened the other night too after he catch that ball he was very, very high and takes a lot of hits. We've got to get his pads down. I think that was the biggest fault of the fumble."
(on how DT Amobi Okoye got better in off-season) "Well, his work habits are better. Just from being here, I think the pressure of everybody around him living here, 'hey, get your butt in here lets go to work', 'this is my workout partner', all of those things make you grow up a little and he's been better, but there's still a year we've got to go find with him as we move forward and he's working towards doing that."
(on whether last year was just a glimpse of what DT Amobi Okoye can do) "Yeah, I think last year you saw flashes, right now you see more consistency as a player, and that's what he has to do, but still I think his strength should be rushing the passer on 3rd down. He's very quick in there, but he hasn't missed a day, he hasn't missed a practice, hasn't had those little aches and pains that keep you from getting better each day. He's tougher mentality, so that's making him better."
(on expectations of him) "Oh, they're very good. For us to get better as a franchise, those young players have to become great players, guys that are battling for Pro Bowl spots, that's when you're making progress. That's a lot to ask of him but that is why we brought him in here."
(on whether or not Chaun Thompson will play) "I don't know. We had him do individual and seven-on-seven (drills), (which) scared me a little bit yesterday. Let me go back and look at the film. I hope so, I hope so."
Texans QB Matt Schaub
(on what he is thinking about going against the Saints in practice this week) "It's a good chance for us to get some work, some good solid work in against another opponent. We've been banging against each other, going against the same guys day in and day out. Our defense starts to pick up on what we're doing and we pick up on what they are doing. It will be nice to go down and face somebody in a different color jersey and get a few different looks, some live-type looks. We are excited about the opportunity to get down there and get some good work in."
(on if he has done a joint practice before) "I did it before in my rookie year."
(on if he knows what it's going to be like practicing with the Saints) "The interesting thing is we will be down there working against them, and then play them on Saturday night. That will be interesting to see; kind of get a little scouting report live and in person. We are excited about the opportunity, a change of scenery and mix it up a little bit."
(on the advantages of being able to travel and practice with another team) "I think it just gives you a chance to see some different defenses for the offense and for our defense, some different looks on offense. You get to work on certain schemes that they might not get a chance to in practice here against us. It's just a good opportunity for us to go down there and get some competitive work in and make ourselves a better team because they are a great challenge for us in the NFC. They are going to be a good football team, so we are excited about the chance to go down there and compete."
(on if the team looks to gain some toughness from practicing against the Saints) "Oh, we definitely look to gain. To go down there and work situations against them and not just running plays, but working on our two-minute drill, working on our third downs against their guys. They have a lot of talent over there and we are looking to go down there and be a physical football team and improve our team. Come Saturday when we come home, we want to come out of it a better football team."
(on if he is worried about the red zone offense) "We aren't worried about it. It was one game and we were, I guess, one for three down there. We obviously want to get touchdowns, not field goals. We will just clean up what we are trying to get done and be smarter down there and make our plays. We obviously want to run the football and run it in. That's the importance of it because the field is shorter and they don't have as much area to cover, but we just have to be more precise with what we are doing."