The Texans spoke to the media after practice on Monday. Following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
(on DT Travis Johnson's first day back from a sports hernia injury) "He did in the individual periods. He did about 20 minutes of practice. He did not do the team. We're slowly working him into that so we'll see how he does tomorrow."
(on Amobi Okoye's progress) "He started slow. We brought him along slowly in camp because of his knee. But he's been full speed the last two weeks and he's made some improvements. But he's right with the group the other night: not good enough. We can't win with that performance but we still got a long way to go. two games left and he's got to get himself ready to play against New York."
(on whether or not Okoye is a key to stopping the run) "I think the whole group is the key. They got to do their job up front with seven and if you bring eight in the box he's got to do his job as the safety. It's not about one guy, it's about them all doing their job and having their one gap responsibility."
(on whether or not certain players were line up out of place against New Orleans) "No. I didn't see much of that. We had some gap issues we had some problems with. But as far as lining up, we lined up perfectly. Absolutely perfect on the one play we didn't cover the backs. So it had nothing to with alignments. It had something to do with assignments."
(on mistakes being the fault of individual players or the unit as a whole) "No. Don't ever put it on one person. It's on the group. The group's got to play well. It's an 11-man game and we did not play well as a group."
(on the return of OG Chester Pitts) "He worked the whole practice, so that's encouraging. We brought him back to do everything. He was full go so it was good and toasty out here today but he seemed to hold up.
(on the status of C Chris Myers) "Chris did the individuals today. He's basically on Travis' program so we're going to work him today and tomorrow and see how his soreness is. If he responds well he could possibly play this week."
(on the importance of continuity on the offensive line) "Well it's important, but those other two guys have done a hell of a job. We've played pretty good up front with our first group. I think we could run the ball better than we have in the first two games but Chris and Casey have went in and they've just kept playing pretty good. Obviously we want to see Chris get back and Chester get back but you've gotta give those other two kids credit. They've done a pretty darn good job."
(on the mood of the team at practice) "When you watch the film (of Saturday night's game with the Saints) it's hard to be in a good mood because it was so disappointing. But we're out here in the middle of the day and it's pretty hot and we got some things we're trying to get a head start on for the season today and we'll work a little bit against ourselves tomorrow and we'll start going through a normal week. We'll approach Minnesota like it's a normal game."
(on what MLB DeMeco Ryans should've done as a vocal leader Saturday night) "He was doing his part. He was a bright spot. He's talking. Somehow when things aren't going good you got to stop the bleeding, whether it's offense, defense, special teams… somebody's got to make a play to stop things, and we just never got it stopped. We continued to make the same mistakes we made earlier in the game. I think Frank (Bush) was talking to the team this morning: (Xavier) Adibi makes a big play and it was the 25th play of the game. You can't wait 25 plays deep into a game to make an impact play in this league. We gotta get that changed."
(on whether or not there were any bright spots watching film of the game with New Orleans) "They were few and far between."
(on the length of time before Johnson is 100% healthy) "I don't know. He's going to tell us. With what he did today, the 20 minutes he went through today, I'll go back and see how he did. I watched him from afar and I'll go back and watch the film. But he's going to have to have a conditioning level to get back on the field. We need to get him back out there to get him a chance to compete for a spot on this team."
(on Johnson's availability for the Minnesota game) "I don't know. He went 20 minutes today and after that we'll have to see."
(on the play of LB Xavier Adibi) "He runs around pretty good. He made the big hit the other night. But I'm not going to sit here and tell you what he did was good the other night because it wasn't. He's gotta pick up his game because he's battling for a spot to start on Opening Day and he's going to have to play a lot better."
(on rookie LB Brian Cushing's status) "He did some football stuff today but not with us. If he responds to what he did today and tomorrow he could be doing football stuff by the week is out."
(on the notion that individuals made mistakes every other play against New Orleans) "I kind of disagree with you. It's a team sport and 11 guys have to get coordinated in what they're doing. If, as a group, you're not in the right gap and having the right responsibility and not talking on the back end, then obviously an individual's going to get exposed. But it's a team effort. It's a group effort. It wasn't good as a group."
Texans G Chester Pitts(on what his first day back from a shoulder injury was like) "It feels good to be out back with the fellas. I missed them. So it's back to work and ready for another big challenge in Minnesota. It's Monday Night Football, baby!"
(on how his shoulder feels) "I'm not full-on banging (in practice), but it feels really good. It feels good. I'm ready to go."
(on if returning against Minnesota will be like 'riding a bike') "No. It will be like playing against two very good defensive tackles, Pro Bowlers. I got a little rust on me, so I got to get it off. But I have all week to practice so I should be ready for the game."
(on if he feels like he's behind) "Behind? Maybe a little, conditioning-wise. Nothing gets you ready for playing football like playing football. All the wind sprints and conditioning… it's just different. You're out there grinding. But I'll be fine."
(on if his teammates gave him a hard time during his first day back) "They give me a hard time every day that I don't practice. They call it a Vet move and say 'Look at your body: there's no way you get hurt.' They give me crap all the time, but what are you going to do?"
(on the hardest part of returning from injury) "Maybe the conditioning part of it, and just getting back in the groove, in the rhythm of things. Back in tune with the cadence. Communicating quickly. All those things. You've done it before but you've got to practice it or you lose it."
(on the current offensive line's continuity) "I would always say there's the most continuity with the first group because we spend the most time together."
Texans LB DeMeco Ryans
(on the importance of rallying the defense after Saturday) "I give the guys a chance to step up and correct the mistakes. Everybody's a man here in this business so I give each guy a chance to step up and correct the mistakes that each of us made and answer the call. In this game you really have to take a strong look at yourself and see what you did right and what you did wrong. Everybody has to take a look in the mirror and see where they are."
(on if he will correct a teammate who makes a mistake) "Yeah. If it takes that, then I definitely will. I don't have a problem doing that." If it calls for it then I will.
(on if he takes ownership of the defense) "This is my defense. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. This is my defense and it reflects my leadership and obviously it (Saturday night) wasn't good enough."
(on hearing that Kubiak said he played well) "But me playing well personally doesn't accomplish the goal. I'll have to find a way to get the other 10 guys out there with me to bring it.
(on the challenge of the Minnesota run game) "The guys know we have to step up to the call. The Saints running game was good and we definitely have our hands full this week with Adrian Peterson coming in and they have a great offensive line and a great running scheme. We have to get better at stopping the run and this is the time to do it."
Texans QB Matt Schaub
(on his favorite quarterback as a child) "Growing, up I really looked up to guys like John Elway and Joe Montana. I really watched them. So those are two that I really singled out.
(on whether or not current players begrudge Favre for coming out of retirement) "No. The guy has played for so long and he's one of the best players to ever play the game so I think he's earned the right to decide when he wants to hang it up. If he changes his mind then he's entitled to that and it's just a crazy situation the way it's turned out."
(on the goals for the game with Minnesota) "We just want to get better as a team. We want to play consistently throughout the game, from the first snap through the last whistle and just play our game and not worry about what they're doing. Just go out and cut it loose."
(on the level of importance for the game with Minnesota) "It's the game that we play the most as far as starters go, but they're all important. It's a chance to show where you are as a football player and as a team. So we look at all of them as big games."