Following are excerpts from coach Gary Kubiak and players following the sixth day of the Texans 2006 training camp.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on RBDomanick Davis' knee) "There's a peace of mind with what's going on with his knee. We're all on the same page. It's still back to us, just being smart. Hopefully he gets back out here real soon, hopefully tomorrow morning. As I said before, we're going to do what's best for Domanick; we're going to do what's best for this football team. I think there's plenty of football left in him. We just have to be smart in how we get that done; we're not going to panic."
(on his concern about Domanick)"It's a concern; I can't say that I would think we would be at this point. I knew that when he went back to work that we were going to go through some tough situations bringing him along. I'm excited about what I see. I'm watching 32 (Antowain Smith) out here, he's been in this league a long time and it looks like he could go all day. I'm watching some young kids make plays, and Vernand (Morency) get better. We have to worry about what's here, and those guys are here, and they're doing a good job. We're going to stay focused on that."
(on giving guys a break today) "Mario (Williams) had a little problem with a toe this morning. He had a little infection set in. We're just really being smart with him. We're just trying to be smart with a few guys. Steve (McKinney) overheated yesterday. He's having a good camp, there's no reason to do that today. Hopefully Dunta (Robinson) will be back in a couple of days. One of the things is that when we are running special teams in the afternoon, if you give a veteran a break in the morning, he basically gets a full day break. Those guys will be able to benefit from today."
(onMario Williams' toe pain) "It was a different deal; it was one of the other ones. He just had an infection set in last night, and called (Head Athletic Trainer) Kevin (Bastin). He didn't sleep at all last night, just working on his foot, so he needed a break."
(on TCharles Spencergetting playing time) "No doubt he is in the mix as we speak right here. This kid's capable of starting in this league, and playing a long time. He has some issues that he's battling. He's battling being a rookie; he's battling some excess weight that we have to get off of him on a conditioning level. We brought that kid in here to play, and no doubt he's in and we're expecting him to come along as quickly as possible."
(on the offensive line) "We're going to rotate a lot of guys up front. We're going to play a lot of guys. When I look at the guards right now, I think we have three starting guards. I think we have (Chester) Pitts, (Steve) McKinney and (Fred) Weary. I think Fred has played like a starting guard in this league. We're going to continue to rotate guys in there, and come up with the best five guys. We may play seven or eight on game day, but we're going to figure out what's best for this team and go with it."
(onFred Weary's improvement) "I know that ever since I've been here, this June and at this camp, there's a sense of urgency about Fred Weary. He works hard; he has not missed a rep out here. He's a great kid. We're excited about him."
(on the battle for the third wide receiver spot)"Kevin (Walter) is doing a fine job as you can see. He's bringing something to our team, toughness and a work ethic that we look for when we found him. Derrick Lewis was making some plays out here today. With what we're doing with Andre (Johnson) and Eric (Moulds), these kids are all getting a chance to make plays. Really it will boil down to how they play during the pre-season. We'll try to put them all in a situation where they can show guys what they have, and whoever steps to the plate is going to be apart of this football team"
(on the battle between DEAntwan Peekand DEJason Babin) "We're going to have an eight guy rotation; we're going to play a lot of guys on our defensive front. Those two guys need to play that position well. They compete very hard. They both bring a little something different to the table. One thing that has happened to Babin is that he's been able to put some size on him and keep it. I think he is naturally what he is right now, and that's what he was in college, so that's kind of a natural adjustment for him. Antwan put a little weight on for us to put his hand down. He has battled that weight and we said 'hey Antwan, I don't care if you weigh 250 lbs or 270 lbs, just play football.' I think he's settled down the last few days of camp. He rushes the passer very well. You're hoping one of those guys is playing so well that you can't get them off the field. The bottom line in this league, upfront, you need to rotate people to be good. You have to stay fresh."
(on whatEric Mouldshas done for the offense) "Eric doesn't know what he's done for this organization for the short time he's been here. I think he brings credibility to everything that's going on. I watch all these kids go up to him at practice and ask him questions. You're talking about a hall-of-fame football player in my opinion. He's part of our team. All you have to do is walk on that field and walk in this locker room, and he stands for something. I'm just really happy to have him."
*RB Domanick Davis *
(on confirming his knee injury with doctors) "It was just to make sure that's what it was, and nothing major. I didn't tear anything else, I didn't have to go have another surgery or anything else like that, so it was good news."
(on how frustrating it is to nurture his injury) "Its frustrating man, it's real hard. But I have to keep myself positive and do whatever I have to do to get myself healthy."
(on what's next after injury) "Just have to wait and get the proper treatment. That's it. I'm going to get on that field sooner or later and when I'm on, I'm on."
(on confidence during college and now) "We went out there knowing that we can win every game; that we should win every game. I think that's what it's all about. It's much more when you're confident here; the more confidence we build during these practices and the pre-season. I'm hoping everyone else has the same attitude."
(on his biggest transition) "Using your hands a lot. In college you get by with just using you're feet a little bit staying in front of guys. In the NFL, you really have to be good with your hands; you have to be strong, you have to get after guys, you really have to get your hands on them in pass pro (protection) and in run blocking. So that's a big emphasis on me going on in camp. I'm really trying to use my hands and get them on guys, really using them in a way to moves guys around, so I think that's a big point of emphasis. Learning the new techniques, the new plays; we run a lot of the same plays, but it's in a different language. Everyone has a different language; everyone has a lot of different ways of calling the same things. It's about learning the language and getting out here and competing."
(on his involvement in different packages) "It's fun. I've probably done it everywhere I've been. In (the University of) Miami we did a lot of stuff like that. We overloaded sides and did things like that. So that's a fun thing to do, mess with the defense. That way you can create a lot of mismatches for the running game; they don't know where to go. So it's been a lot of fun; it's like normal. I'm just taking one big step from where I'm usually playing."
WR Eric Moulds
(on leadership) "In the past I've just tried to lead by example and not by talking to certain guys individually. I've been talking to the linebackers and to the younger players and just letting them know that every day you have to bring it. I talked to Mario (Williams) a couple of days ago and I told him, 'even though you're the first pick in the draft you still have to go out there and work just as hard as if you were a rookie or a free agent trying to make it,'. I think those guys take those words when you're a veteran player that's played a long time and they take it to heart. They've been doing a good job so far."
(on sharing pointers) "I want to win. I see we have a lot of players in this team and athletes that can get it done so in order to be a good football team we all have to be on the same page. You just can't have the offense and defense separate; you have to fight for one another. You'll see me as the biggest cheerleader for the defense when they're on the field because if the defense plays well then we get the ball back. That gives us an opportunity to score points and make plays. We have to stay together. That's what I've been preaching to the guys that we're in this together."
(on WRAndre Johnson)"Before I got here Andre (Johnson) was expecting to get double-teamed every game. When I was in Buffalo (Bills) and we were preparing for the week our first thing was take number 80 out of the game by putting two people on him and not worry about the rest of the guys. When I brought myself in I leveled the playing field and you'll see Andre have the best season he's ever had."
* Head Coach Gary Kubiak **
(on getting the team ready to play) "I gave the older guys the afternoon off, to get them off their legs. We need to push through this Saturday, and then we will take a break Saturday evening. Just trying to get some of these young guys ready to play a game, their very first pre-season."
(on CBChris McKenzie's injury) "I still can't say that they have read the x-rays. Dr. Muntz, I know is on his way over here as we speak. They do feel that he is going to be fine, so we will wait and see."
(on giving the veterans a break) "Yeah, and we need to pay attention to the special teams and detail what we are doing. Because you get to the pre-season and you play a lot of people, and if you are not given those two's and three's reps, you don't want to get sloppy. We wanted to rest those guys and pay attention to detail with these young guys out there."
(on CMike Flanaganand the offensive line) "He is a winner. He has been a winner in this league, and has been very successful. He has been one of the top centers in this league for a long time. He brings credibility to your team, kind of like WR Eric Moulds does. When you play center you have to lead a group, and he has done that for us."
(on C Mike Flanagan's knowledge) "He has been around one of the greatest leaders in the game, you know a Hall of Fame player. I don't want to speak for them, but I'm sure that they probably talk a lot in the locker room when they are away from the football field about some situations and how Green Bay QB Brett Farve handled things. That is an interesting perspective, and I'm sure it has helped for QB David Carr."
(on credit given while with Denver Broncos) "I never felt that way, because one of the things you know if you are in this business is that it takes everybody to be successful. Sure, when things go good somebody gets a lot of credit, and if they don't, somebody's going to get some blame. That is apart of the business. To be successful in this league as a football team, as a franchise, you have to have a lot of good coaches working in the same direction and a lot of good players. It's not about one person, and I think when you realize that you have a chance. If you ever think that it is that way than you will have a hard time succeeding."
(on the change of time management) "Going through camp is a lot like what I have done in the past except I am concentrating on two sides of the ball in between practices all the time as compared to worrying about my side of the ball all the time. It adds a little bit to it, but it's also a lot of fun for me. It's very interesting, I found a way to do it and keep going. As a head coach you are evaluating a lot more and watching a lot more as compared to doing a lot of paper work and preparation for practice, which DC Richard Smith and OC Troy Calhoun have to do, and that frees me up to get that done."
(on applying for the coaching job twice) "What I meant by that, is by going through the interview process, and knowing what people are looking for when looking for somebody to lead their football team. I am not sure I was ready to go do that and convince Bob McNair or the owner of the New Orleans Saints at the time I interviewed with them. The second time around, there was no doubt in my mind that I could convince anybody I sat down with that I was ready to do it. I don't know if that answers your question, but it was really just a frame of mind and a confidence in what I wanted to do as compared to maybe four or five years earlier. I look back at the first interviews; they lasted about two or three hours. The two I got before this job lasted eight and nine and a half hours. I had a lot more to say I think, or they wanted to listen more. I could have sat there all day, and I was just so much more confident in what I wanted to do. The best piece of advice I ever got when I went through the second time was really go back and be your self again and it will fall into place, and it did."
(on players playing multiple positions) "Those are the type of guys you need on your football team. You are going to have core starting group on your football team, and they have a job to do. After that, nobody makes an NFL team as a second or third if they don't play special teams and be able to do a lot of things. You know Jason's (Emmons) value showed up in practice the other day when we lost some people and he went all over the place and played. Derrick Lewis is trying to make this football team, and one of the things he has going for him is that he plays three different spots every day. You have to be able to do that as a pro. If you do, you will stick around for a long time."