Texans coach Gary Kubiak said on Thursday that rookie running back Jeremiah Johnson's shoulder pops out when he gets hit.
Members of the team, including the Texans' two newest players, spoke to the media after the team's two practices on Thursday. Following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak Texans RB Andre Hall Texans CB Deltha O'Neal
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak(on today's practice effort) "Yeah, we took the pads off, like normal. It's just the point where we're run down. But we took the pads off and I thought we got some good work, and we'll work without them tonight, and then we'll get after it Friday afternoon and Saturday morning and then give them a little break, but we're making progress. We've got some guys banged up, we're light at running back, but if we keep pushing like that we'll be alright."
(on the team's situation at cornerback) "Well, we're just playing them all. Everybody is asking me who's starting opposite of (CB) Fred (Bennett), and they're all going to play. (CBs) Brice (McCain) and (Glover) Quin and (Matterral) Richardson, they're getting so many reps because of the shortage of guys. After Fred, it's an open competition right now, so we'll get a chance to look at all of them."
(on the potential of adding a free agent CB) "I think we're fixing to have a workout here in the bubble (Methodist Training Center indoor facility), and I don't think I'm supposed to give y'all that information or who that's going to be, but y'all will probably figure it out."
(on if the team is looking for a free agent RB) "Yes, we are. We're looking at that this afternoon. (RB Jeremiah) Johnson was able to do some things today. Since we're in shorts, I think he'll be able to do some things tonight, but yeah, we're short there, too."
(on the injury situation at RB) "(RB Arian) Foster has a tweaked hamstring. They felt good about it, didn't think it was too bad. It could be a two- to four-day type of deal, so I think probably we're sitting here looking at Monday, and anything other than that would probably be a plus, but it's not bad. He'll be OK."
(on C Antoine Caldwell getting more practice snaps) "There's a big question there as a staff, because we want him to learn center first. It's the hardest spot to learn, so that's important. At the same time, we're trying to let him compete with (G Mike) Brisiel, with (G Kasey) Studdard, and all that going on at the guard position, So we're zeroed in with him staying at center. We moved (C) Chris (White) up with our first group of centers. When we get Antoine where he feels comfortable there, then we start to move him even more around, but right now we need to get that accomplished."
(on C Antoine Caldwell's overall potential) "Well, I know one thing. We've got a great kid. He's been a leader at Alabama. I think he's going to be a leader in this league. When that's going to be, I don't know. But he's obviously got the potential to play in this league for a long time."
(on if the injuries at cornerback put pressure on the team's safeties) "No, it doesn't change how they have to play the game. If we were in a certain situation in the season it might, it may put pressure on us to maybe move a player like (S) Eugene (Wilson) outside, but at this point where we're at right now, no, I wouldn't say it's changed."
(on CB Jacques Reeves' injury accelerating the timetable of CB Dunta Robinson to sign his contract tender) "Well, somebody asked me that the other day. I felt the same before anything happened to Jacques. We need him here. I think he needs to be here to be as good a player as he can be, and for our football team. We've got to let this situation play out, but I didn't feel any different now than before. I've felt the same way. I've wanted him here a long time ago."
(on how reaching the playoffs is the primary motivation for WR Andre Johnson) "No, Andre is never going to change. He's a leader by example, just how he does his job off the field, on the field. It's just nice to know that here's a guy who is a dang good football player and very smart young man, to think that he's got a team that he feels is ready to take another step, that breeds confidence for all the players, in my opinion."
(on the injury to RB Jeremiah Johnson) "He can't come out and get hit right now. His shoulder pops out. We knew that when we brought him in; we knew what we were dealing with. Since we're in shorts today and tonight, you're going to see him working right now, but he's not ready for contact."
(on if the team will have a newly signed CB on the field tonight) "I don't know. It all depends on how the workouts go. We'll probably know in an hour and a half."
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak (afternoon)
(on the signings of CB Deltha O'Neal and RB Andre Hall) "Deltha O'Neal. Obviously, we're in the need for a veteran corner, with all these young kids we have out here. Deltha is familiar with our system, he's been with (defensive backs coach) David (Gibbs), he's been with (senior defensive assistant) Ray (Rhodes), he's been with (defensive coordinator) Frank (Bush), so that was a comfortable sign for us as we try to get him out there to help us. Hall, he's a young man who had some success in this scheme running the ball. I know a lot of people that know him well, and he's also a guy who has some special team ability. We need another back out here because we're down a few guys, so the key with both of these guys is to kind of know what we're doing already."
(on how their familiarity with head coach Gary Kubiak's system made their signings easier) "It just means you know them. You know you're not bringing some guy in here that doesn't know what he's going to give you, or that type of thing, so we need somebody to come in here and kinda help us real quick from a practice standpoint, so those guys made the most sense."
(on senior defensive assistant Ray Rhodes' impact on the defense) "Ray just brings a wealth of experience, about four or five Super Bowl rings, I don't know how many. Just a wonderful man. Great with the young coaches, and (defensive coordinator) Frank is the type of guy that will use Ray. He'll listen to Ray. Ray is in there basically to monitor what we're doing and help Frank and be a nice, calming force for the whole room.
(on WR Jacoby Jones' practice) "Well I told (owner) Mr. (Bob) McNair we need to bring the Texas Southern band to every home game, because if he's going to play like that…but he's been having a great camp. He's been playing well, and he's been a pro. There's a long way to go, but Jacoby is making some improvements."
(on his improvement in ball security) "Well, I don't think you know if that's behind you until you start getting hit. But he's obviously conscious of it. (Special teams coach) Joe (Marciano) has done a lot of work with him, we've done a lot of work with him, but that time comes when we start playing, so hopefully that continues."
(on injuries today) "(CB Matteral) Richardson came out to practice, his foot was sore, so we held him out. (DE Tim) Bulman's groin was a little sore, so we pulled him out, and (WR Mark) Simmons I think may have tweaked his hamstring, so just little things going on every day, so all those guys are day to day."
(on WR David Anderson's role on the team) "Well, David is a role player. He works in the slot for us and a lot of things we're doing, he's kind of a third down specialist with a lot of routes he runs. He's a leader in his own way on this team, a very outgoing young man but a hard worker. He's earned his keep. And, he can help us on special teams."
(on how he lifts the mood at practice) "He thinks he does, let's just say that. I don't know."
Texans RB Andre Hall
(on coming to practice) "It was a tough day but I'll do anything for a job right now. It's a lot harder sitting at home watching ESPN watching all your friends practice and do everything. It's tough."
(on what he offers to the team) "I feel I can help out, but we'll see. I feel like I can help this team out a lot and I hope (head) Coach (Gary Kubiak) gives me a chance to make a big impact."
(on the day's schedule) "I came in and worked out at eight this morning and had a good workout. They worked me pretty hard. Then I saw doctor after doctor, getting my rest and checking the rest of my body. Then they handed me some cleats and a jersey to go practice."
(on if he ever thought unemployment was an option) "No, it was not. I prayed to the Lord and asked him to give me another shot, and he did today."
(on his thoughts about the offense) "It's the same as the (Denver) Broncos'; I don't have to study as much. Because it's the same as Denver's, I really don't have to beat myself up. I can get rest, wake up and study a little more. I feel comfortable doing it."
(on his role to the team) "I'm a special teams guy. I love special teams and I will fight who I have to fight to play a little running back, but I really want to have a major impact on special teams."
(on RB Steve Slaton) "I like him. I played against him in college. Steve is a great back. Maybe I can push him along and help him out. If he, (RBs Chris) Brown or (Ryan) Moats or an injured guy needs a break, I'm here. I'm willing to do anything they need me here for."
(on having previous experience helping him get signed) "I'm not sure, but if it did, thank you."
(on when he got contacted) "Yesterday. I sat at the airport for four hours yesterday. My flight was delayed and I shot straight here coming from Tampa Bay, Fla."
(on his feelings about today's practice) "It felt so good to get a helmet and cleats. That's all I wanted, and here I am today. I'm excited."
Texans CB Deltha O'Neal
(on what it's like coming into camp) "It's a learning process, just trying to learn the feel of the game, feeling what's going on with Texas."
(on how it feels signing with the team) "It's been good, you know. It's a blessing. It gives me one more year on my experience being in the NFL, so I'm happy. The coaching staff I'm really used to, because I was with them in Denver. It's a cool feel. (General manager) Rick Smith, he's a real cool guy and I'm just happy to be here."
(on what he can bring to the team) "Just wisdom and just add a little Deltha O'Neal to the flavor, maybe grab a couple of picks and do something. Something different."
(on how far behind he thinks he is) "Very far behind, but you know, it's just X's and O's. It's easy, if you've been around it for as long as I've been, to play football. All it is, is terminology, just getting used to that."
(on how long he thinks it will take to get used to the team) "All it is, is man coverage, cover two or cover four or what have you. There's only so many coverages you can run, so I'm just going to try and feel my way through it and hopefully it'll be before the beginning of the year."
(on whether or not his winning experiences with the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos will influence the defense) "Yeah, I mean, you got a lot of guys here already that have that, like (LB) Cato June and (SS) Nick Ferguson and (FS) Eugene Wilson. Those are some veteran guys on the defense that can really bring that tradition here. I just want to add to it."
(on if he's ready for the Houston heat) "Man, I already got a piece of it today, but I have to get accustomed to it."
(on if he sees himself making an impact on special teams) "I'm just going to fit in where I can fit in right now. Whatever they want me to do, I'm just like Iron Man right now."
(on if he's the answer to the injury problems at the CB position) "I'm trying to be, you know. I know they've got (CB) Dunta Robinson, who is an excellent corner. We need him back. I just want to, like I said, help where I can."
(on what advice he can give the rookies) "Man, just take it one day at a time, don't get overwhelmed with the coaching. Coaching is always going to be hard on a rookie. Just soak it in and just have a short-term memory and just stay focused on the game. Don't worry about what's going on right now, you're in the NFL, that's one stride now. You've got to stride yourself into being a starter and maintaining it."