Following are excerpts from coach Gary Kubiak and players following the fifth day of the Texans 2006 training camp.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on his concerns about the secondary) "It's a big time concern. You have guys getting beat up, but you also understand it's part of the process. We can't waiver from trying to get better as a football team. We're going to work with those guys and get them healthy and get them ready to go. It's the thing we have to do as an organization and a football team. There are a lot of good, young players out here and a lot of veteran players brought in here that want to play on this team very badly. We're going to keep working, and we're going to find those guys, and nothing is going to stop us from the work we have to do. We'll just have to be smart and try and battle through this time that we're pretty beat up as a football team."
(on his concerns for RBDomanick Davis) "It's a concern. I felt like we knew this was coming. We felt like he would go a few days, and then see how he responded. He is getting another look at his knee as we speak today, just to make sure everybody sees it the same way. His peace of mind is good, so he can continue on. We'll be smart with him. I wish he was here every morning and be able to work. I think we saw this coming and we'll just have to continue to monitor this each day."
(on looking to bring in other running backs) "I think we always continue to look. I like what's going on out here and I've said that everyday. Antowain (Smith) and you see this young kid Damien Rhodes) step up and make a big play here at the end of practice. (#) 34 (Vernand Morency) is getting better. I know that Vernand is becoming a better football player everyday. Those guys are paying a price for the Texans and we're going to give them every opportunity to help us win."
(on how the veteran linebackers are fitting into the new scheme) "It's a switch for them, going back to a 4-3. Not so much for Morlon (Greenwood). I guess because he had been in it before. There are battles going on in there. (Defensive Coordinator) Richard (Smith) is moving them around in nickel and various spots. Demeco (Ryans) is playing a couple of spots. We've settled him down at the mike (middle linebacker) in the last couple of days. We're trying to find the best three. The best three will be on the field and we'll find the right spot for them."
(on the competition between the linebackers) "That's the way it has to be if you want to win. You have to practice that way, everyday. These are the dog days of summer this week. It's the toughest week of training camp for any team, not just our football team. I like the way they're battling. We were very slow this morning. We were sluggish, but at the end we had some life and we had some guys making plays, and that's what you have to do."
(on WRAndre Johnson) "He's something. I've told you all before, I've been around some good wide outs in this league and there's no reason why this guy can't be one of the best. He earns the ball because of the way he practices. When you come out and operate the way he operates, I know you go up as a coach into your office and feel pretty committed to him. He's a leader on this team by the way he works. We're expecting great things out of him and we just want him to keep going."
(on bringing in TEJeb Putzier) "Jeb can stretch the field. He's very athletic. When you get match-ups with him against linebackers and safeties, you feel like you have an advantage right there. He knows what we do and he helps the other kids. He's helped all our tight ends move along in our offense just because of his presence. He has to get better on the line of scrimmage. There will always be something he has to get better at to be a down-in, down-out player. Jeb's a pro and he's going to make his plays."
** WR Eric Moulds
(on his new situation with the Texans)** "It's a new situation, a fresh start and I'm excited about it. I'm getting an opportunity to play with Andre Johnson, David Carr and some young players that I think are going to be great players. It's just fun for me. I feel rejuvenated."
(on WRAndre Johnson) "He's a talented receiver. He hasn't really gotten the opportunities like a guy like Steve Smith. They really look for Steve Smith and they really run their offense for a guy like that. Andre has those types of capabilities and adding a guy like me to the mix kind of keeps the defense honest so they can't roll the coverage one way and make it more difficult for him to get open. I think when you have a good tandem, it makes each guy better and it gives them the opportunity to do things easier."
(on his role as a veteran) "I tell the guys you have to come out everyday and work hard. If you want to play a long time in this league or if you just want to play one year in this league, you have to bring it everyday. Everybody's not going to get the same opportunities, you're going to have first round picks, you're going to have guys drafted and you're going to have free agents who aren't going to get the same opportunities. They have to make their own opportunity, that's what I tell the guys. I came in as a first round pick and I got a lot of opportunities, but I've seen guys that were free agents and make the team because they worked hard everyday."
**WR Andre Johnson
(on what he wants to establish during training camp)** "You just want to work hard everyday that you are out there. You want to get better. You have to expect change. When I'm out here, I start to get better every day. The thing about training camp is you have so many practices that you don't want to take any steps back. You are going to make mistakes, but when you make mistakes, you want to make them going 100% or a hundred miles per hour."
(on his own progress) "All I can tell you is that I am going to try and make the best out of every opportunity I get. My biggest thing is getting the team to a place where we win a bunch of games and get into the playoffs."
**CB Phillip Buchanon
(on new opportunities)** "I feel like coming into this season I want to be the best. Right now, I'm working on being the best corner in the league. That is my vision and my goal."
(on the team as a whole) "Right now things are going well. We just want to take it play after play and practice after practice. We want to win, and our goal is to go to the playoffs, and we want to take it game by game."
(on being a veteran) "The responsibility is doing your job. We really want everybody on the team to make plays. We just want ever body to go out there and do what they do, strip balls, make interceptions, score touchdowns on kick-offs and punt returns and whatever you have to do to help us win."
Post Afternoon Quotes
**Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on CB Chris McKenzie)** "They x-rayed him. We don't know the results of the x-ray yet, we'll find that out this afternoon. (Head Athletic Trainer) Kevin (Bastin) feels good about it, but we don't want to jinx it. We'll keep our fingers crossed and see how it goes."
(on TE Ben Steele's condition) "Ben Steele has a fracture in his upper leg. He got rolled up this morning. It's very unfortunate, he's a great kid. He would have made a good push on this football team as a fullback, tight-end type player. It looks like he's done for the season."
(on the number of injuries thus far during training camp) "I have to do a better job of protecting us somehow, someway. I love our tempo. I love the way we're practicing. That's what we have to do if we want to be a good football team, but we have to practice a little smarter. We have to stay off the ground. I have to find ways to make sure as coaches we keep them off the ground. We have to keep working, we have to keep plugging. That's our job, to be ready to play. We can't let that affect us. At the same time, it concerns you."
(on letting Bum Phillips address the team) "I just knew he was coming out to practice. It wasn't like he and I had planned anything. I knew he wanted to come by, and I walked over and asked him if he would like to address the team, and he just got so excited about doing that. He told one of his old stories. It was great. He got really fired up and just talked about being a teammate and loving your teammates. You all know that's what his teams were about, so it was a great message to our football team."
(on fights between players during training camp) "You preach to your football team that things like that are going to happen during the season, and the team that keeps their composure is going to gain from that.. That's something we preach all the time, it's why we run these quarters after practice for off-sides fighting, those type of things. We can't have that, but one of the things I think you see going on is that you see some unbelievable competition in this football team right now. The young kids, they can smell it. They think 'hey, I have a shot at this, we're getting a chance to make some plays out here.' I think that competition is bringing out the best in everybody. It's a very competitive week in the NFL this week. You like to see the competition going, you just have to calm that stuff."
(on RB Vernand Morency) "He's trying to do it the way we want him to do it. I told him when I came here, 'I don't like the way you run. You dance too much, and you spin around to much.' We're going to go north and south, and he's listened. He's trying to do it the way we want him to do it. I like his progress and I'm looking forward to watching him in the pre-season."
(on his contribution to the team)** "If the game were to start right now, I think I could contribute. I can't say I'll be out there carrying the ball 35 times a game anymore. My thing is, I think I can still go out there and get the job done."
**(on being affected by RB Dominick
, Deuce (McAllister) went down. The thing is you just have to be prepared. I wish him well and I hope that he gets back, but until then, I just have to go out there and do the things I'm capable of doing to help this team win."
(on altering his mind set)"No, I have to get my reps and get a feel for the offense and what we're doing out here. It doesn't alter my state of mind. My thing is, I have to go out here and prepare everyday as if I was going to be the starter."