Following are excerpts from comments from head coach Gary Kubiak and players.
(on changing the practice schedule)** "After last night, we practiced really well. We wanted to bounce back this morning. We just flipped our practices. We came out this morning with a walk-through, basically, and we'll get after it this afternoon."
(on the importance of special teams practice) "I think it's real important, especially during preseason because throughout the second half of preseason games, you're playing with a lot of young players, and you don't want to get sloppy out there. It's a time for them to get their assignments down and get ready to go."
(on all the injuries thus far during training camp) "Well, we have a lot of guys beat up, but I've also been through it many times. You're going to have that. The hard part is that we've lost some guys for the whole year, so that's very difficult. One of the things you see taking place is you see new guys stepping up everyday and making plays, and that's what we're going to have to do as a team. We're going to have to find some guys along the way that maybe a lot of guys didn't know were going to be ready to play in this league so soon. We just have to stay committed to the course and keep these guys going."
(on the progress he's seen so far) "I think the most important thing is how we went about practice, how we went about camp and our meetings, and I've been pleased with that. We're going to find out in a week where we're at. I like what's going on right now. I like the first ten days we've had, or nine days, whatever it's been. At the end of tomorrow, we want to get some good work tomorrow morning and then give them a break, let their bodies bounce back a little bit. Then we'll start preparing to play every week and see where we're at. So far, so good, but we have a long way to go."
(on where WR Andre Johnson fits into other receivers he's coached) "He has the chance to fit in at the very top in my opinion. He's a tremendously talented young man. He has a work ethic that is just great. That's always been my history, being around Jerry Rice, I've been around Rod Smith. The reason they are what they are is because of the way they work. They're talented, there's no doubt about that, but they work tremendously well, and Andre is the same way. We have to get him the ball, but I'm excited about what he's done so far."
(on how the team embraces Andre) "He's a very quiet kid. He doesn't say a lot. He leads by how he plays. He leads by example. I think he's opened up a little bit too. I think that tends to happen when a guy gets a little older and starts to feel comfortable in what he's doing that he can relax and play. Hopefully we can bring him along from that standpoint."
(on WR Eric Moulds helping Johnson) "He's already helped him a great deal. There's a reason why guys last that long: because he takes care of his body and he can go all day. He's been one of the top receivers in the game over the past ten years. I think his presence hasn't just helped Andre, it's helped the whole football team."
(on DE Mario Williams) "He's fine. He'll be out here this afternoon. He was a little stiff last night, but he'll be back. (RB) Domanick (Davis), as I said the other day, the plan for him is to get back on it Monday. We'll rest him through the weekend. Him and (CB) Phillip (Buchanon) both, we'll put them back to work on Monday."
(on any weaknesses he's seen in Williams) "Well, not with us, he's everything we thought he was. He's playing a few different spots for Karm (Defensive Line Coach Bob Karmelowicz), but I think he's become a leader on this team very quickly. He's a great young man. You can count on him. He's playing real well. We're very excited about what he's done. He's a very quiet kid. He's not going to draw too much attention to himself."
**Post Afternoon Comments
(on today's practice)** "It was a very good practice today. There were guys bouncing around, very fast, lots of enthusiasm. The group is coming together, I just like the way we're becoming a football team. You have to keep going. I want to finish the week well tomorrow, and I want to make sure we finish it healthy; that's important. We need to get after it in the morning, and then we'll take a little break over the weekend."
(on the secondary adjusting to the new guys) "It's interesting because you have a problem, but through problems in this game you tend to find other guys that can help you win. We have a situation now, (CB) Dunta (Robinson) did a little bit today; we really don't want to start him until Monday. I talked to you all about (CB) Lewis (Sanders) and the camp he's having. Now these corners that we've brought in have an excellent chance to make our team and help us. Hopefully through our issues, we'll get stronger back there, somehow, some way by all the guys that we're bringing in."
(on CB Phillip Buchanon's injury) "We'll start him Monday. Basically, he had a slight strain in his hamstring. Instead of pushing him back here before he's had a real good chance to get some rest, we said, 'Hey, lets just take care of him the next few days and we'll get him going again Monday.'"
(on not scrimmaging another team before the preseason) "You can still adjust your practice, do what ever you have to do. Our work is really good. We just didn't have the pads on today. I'm keeping them off the ground, and not having them banging. I really prefer for us to work together right now. This year is important for us as a team to learn our scheme, and learn how we want to do things. I think in the future we'll look into competing against other teams, but I think this is an important camp for this team to figure out how we're going to do it."
(on whether he knows who will start next week) "I couldn't sit here and tell you who is going to be our starters next week. I could probably come pretty close. The key is we want to keep going; we're going to play a lot of guys. We'll have to make some decisions as we go into our preseason games. We have may have a starter who needs to play more than a normal starter plays in this league. We may have a starter who plays a half of the first preseason game. We may have a starter who plays in the first quarter or 15 plays. We will be adjusting to each individual player. All of us being new, that's a process us being coaches have to prepare for, and we'll start doing that next week."
(on his impressions of T Charles Spencer) "I've told you guys that he has the ability to play in this league, and play very fast. The key is conditioning, and then mentally, catching up on what's going on. It's funny—lights just go on for some of these players when they're young. You watch this kid everyday, and he's getting better. He's massive, and he's strong. It's just a matter of when he'll be able to do it down-in, down-out, and we're working in that direction."
(on Spencer being the "nastiest" guy on the offensive line) "Yeah, he's pretty nasty. I was teasing with him one day last week. I said, 'I can watch you get into your stance, and I can tell when you are fixing to win, just by your attitude. I need you in that stance every snap.' He's raising his level of play, as has (T Eric) Winston. I think Winston has had his best two days the past two days."
(on TE Bennie Joppru playing some at fullback) "In fairness to Ben, we're playing him in a lot of spots, so he's a little bogged down right now, just mentally. His flexibility is going to give him a chance to help this team, and that's important. Getting (FB Nick) Luchey back in here with some experience at fullback has helped us because the bang-ups have taken their toll on some of those fullbacks."
(on feeling as if he owes Joppru anything) "You root for him. You really root for the kid because you know what he's been through the last three years. He basically changed his body. From what I understand, he went from a 250 pound player to 230 now. We're wearing him out. He's playing all over the place, and you root for a kid like that, and he's well on this way to being a big part of this team."
(on the battle between DE Antwan Peek and DE Jason Babin) "It's a matter of that position being played well. It is a good battle going on. Jason's the bigger of the two holding the point, and Antwan is the pass rusher type of guy. They both have something they bring to the table, and I think that battle is going to make that position better for our football team. They're both going to play. We're going to rotate people up front, and they both will be a big part of what we're doing."
(on bringing the defensive mentality to the offense)** "I believe so. That was my mentality and what my coaches preached. I try to bring that to the offensive line, especially the run block, and I think it's helped me."
(on being predictable before the snap) "Yes, Coach Kubiak told me that and I have tried to work on that everyday so I am not giving away what I am going to do that play. I'm trying to work on that."
(on where he stands in training camp) "I'm just taking it one day at a time and one play at a time, trying to get better. We have a couple of veterans on the offensive line, and I am taking the coaching from those guys. It's a great opportunity."
(on pass blocking hurting the Texans in the past) "We are trying to get better at pass blocking so (QB) David (Carr) can get the
ball to the receiver. We are definitely making an emphasis on that, and we are
going to keep working at it."