Following are excerpts from coach Gary Kubiak and players following the ninth day of the Texans' 2006 training camp.
Head Coach**Gary Kubiak****:
**(on why practice was let out later than usual) "Well, I wanted to push it this morning. We went a little long; we got after it. There were a lot of things that we wanted to cover, and we just wanted to really send a message to ourselves about how far we've come as a football team in the past week-and-a half. I think we've made a lot of progress. I want them to feel good about themselves today, and how they've been working before we take a little break. That was the plan, and they did a good job."
(on whether the team is where he expected it to be at this point) "I'm just very excited about the way this football team is coming together. Their work habits are good. I told them just a minute ago that I think the key, on any team, is when you quit worrying about yourselves, and worry about your teammates, and I see this group starting to do that. We're going to be good as a whole group, not one or two players, and I like the way that's coming around."
(on what gauge he has on this team thus far) "It's all about your habits right now. You're setting the standard for how you're going to operate during the season. You're leaders come out of camp because it takes a man to make it through this thing and push through. When you're an older player, it's even tougher because you've been through so many of them, to get your mind right and push through. So many things come out of training camp that have to do with the character and makeup of your football team. You're going to get your work done, but so many things come out of it. I like the direction it's going, it's going to have bumps in the road, many bumps in the road, but it can't stall. We can't come back Monday and start over; we have to keep going forward, and I feel good about our group right now."
(on any questions being answered after these past weeks) "I don't know, I think we're going to answer those each time we step on the field. Next week at this time, I'll be a nervous cat; we're going to find out where we're at next week on Saturday night. I'm so excited to go find out, and I want them to keep up on their tail. It's interesting to have a team where we need to look at everybody on this football team in the pre-season, and they know that because they're getting a chance to work. It'll be very important; every one of those games."
(on DT Travis Johnson) "I don't know exactly what he did, I think it was a hamstring or an ankle, but Travis came back and he's OK, he's alright. He's developed a new habit. He's been out here everyday busting his tail, and he needs to do that for us. I think he's challenged himself. He knows what the team expects of him. I think he's challenged himself. He knows how important it is to him."
(on getting RB Domanick Davis and CB Dunta Robinson back in training camp on Monday) "Those guys need to get back to work and get their conditioning level back. We'll continue to be smart with them. We have to get Dunta uo on Monady and get him to work right away. I think with Domanick it's going to be a slow process. I don't worry about him getting mentally ready for this football season; we just have to get the physical part of the conditioning ready to go."
** QB David Carr
**(on today's practice) "It just felt like we were really getting after each other, and that's the first thing you are going to find in a good team in a competition at practice."
(on the package of WR Eric Moulds and WR Andre Johnson) "Especially on days like this, the ball almost falls out of your hands. If you put the ball anywhere near those guys, they are going to make a grab. It's definitely good to have two guys out there like that. We have multiple guys out there making plays, but those two guys tend to stand out a little bit more."
(on TE Bennie Joppru) "Jopps (TE Bennie Joppru) is going to be a good player. Talk about a chip on your shoulder, this guy he has been battling injuries and every thing to get out here and play. He has definitely proven he has what it takes. I know he does in this off-season, so it's good."
** CB Dunta Robinson
**(on secondary) "We are plugging guys in; (CB) Dexter McCleon, (CB) Kevin Garrett, we are getting a lot of guys in that can come in and help us right now until guys get healthy. (CB) Phillip (Buchanon) is still day-to-day; myself, I should be back full speed on Monday. Its one of those things were I'm going through my treatments three times a day, and just trying to get out here as fast as I can."
(on eagerness to get back on the field) Definitely; it's been killing me to be on the sideline watching because I want to be out there making plays. You're watching the rest of the team get in game shape, and I haven't been able to do that because I've been sitting in the sideline watching because of an injury. So, it's kind of tough, but luckily it's not one of those things that are going to keep me out for a long period of time, and I'll be back."
(on getting behind because of injury) "You can make it up; you still have three weeks of training camp left. There's plenty of time to make it up before Philadelphia comes in, and we will make it up."
(on younger guys getting more reps because of injury) "Definitely, I think they
will. These guys will get the opportunity this Saturday, our first pre-season
game. With all the reps they have been getting because of injury, it should benefit
those guys. They know the defense because they get a lot of reps. It's not one
of those things where the one's are getting five or six reps and the three's are
getting two reps; they get five or six themselves. It's an opportunity for them
to step up and do some good things."