Quarterback Matt Schaub found out Wednesday he will play in the 2010 Pro Bowl. He answered questions from the media about that honor, via a conference call. The following is a transcript of his interview.
QB Matt Schaub
(on if he had made plans for next week) "I kept my week open just in case this might actually work out."
(on making the Pro Bowl team) "I'm extremely excited. It's a great opportunity. It represents a lot of good things that we're doing down here in Houston with our team. I'm excited about the opportunity to play in a game, that as a player in this league, you've always hoped to get to this point where you're recognized amongst so many other great players in this league. It's exciting to be able to go down there with a few of my other teammates."
(on playing without missing time to injuries this season) "It was great. My offensive line and backs and tight ends, when they were called to block, did an exceptional job of keeping me upright. It was great to be out there for all sixteen games with my guys and be healthy throughout the year, with the little stumble there against Jacksonville, where I missed a little bit of the first half, but I was able to complete the whole year and be out there with my team."
(on teaming up with WR Andre Johnson in the Pro Bowl) "That's going to be fun—to have another game together and be able to throw to him down there in Miami, it's going to be fun. I'm looking forward to it."
(on how he will prepare for the game) "I started last week, going in and working out a little bit, just in case a call came in, but also because I can't sit around for too long. I took about a week and a half to two weeks off and just was itching to start working out again and at least just maintain some physical conditioning. It's different to get back out there and get ready for a game, but I don't think there will be too much rust because we finished the season a couple weeks ago."
(on what is next for him going forward) "There are things that we each need to improve on and myself personally. There were some games that we left out there; some points and some things that we could do better. We can still improve in our turnover margin and just overall, getting better. Some of the individual things, some of the more focused details, I still have to go through and reevaluate our season and what we did and start preparing for the offseason as far as things I personally want to work on. We're still up in the air about that."
(on his improved stats in the fourth quarter later in the season) "I continued to work and continued to get better and just worked through things."
(on what head coach Gary Kubiak said to him upon getting the news) "He was excited for me. It's something that he thought was a possibility the whole time, if enough guys were to back out that I could get in and be a part of the game. He was excited for me and for that opportunity to go down with some of my teammates. He was definitely excited."
(on the growth of the Texans) "In the last three years since I've been here, we've improved each and every year. Each and every game we've gotten better. Even though my first two years we were 8-8 and this year we improved by a game to 9-7, I think the details of our team and with the direction we're heading, we're light years ahead of where we were at the beginning of the 2007 season. I think that we made a huge improvement this year across the board as a team, both offensively and defensively, to where next year, barring injuries, that we can accomplish a lot more of our goals."
(on if he has had a chance to talk with Patriots QB Tom Brady since he found out he was replacing him) "No, I haven't."
(on how much better of a player he is now compared to when he first got to Houston) "When you're a competitor and an athlete, you always have the confidence that you can accomplish things and do some really good things. A lot of it comes with on the job training. I think just getting the opportunity to be out there for a number of games, things start to slow down and you start to understand your role and understand what you're doing—game management things and things of that nature. The more I played, I feel the more comfortable I became with my role and my job, but with my teammates and everything in general."
(on if he has talked to Vikings backup QB Sage Rosenfels this week) "No, I haven't."
(on if he thought someone would drop out and he'd be playing all along) "I had to prepare for that possibility. I couldn't just sit around and be a couch potato for a month. I was definitely thinking that it could happen and playing for it so I could be ready. You've got to stay ready in this business. At the same time, it was just for my own personal well-being that I wanted to get back in the gym and working out and stay in shape."
(on how he found out he made the team) "Actually when I woke up this morning, I hadn't even heard anything. I had a text message from both my mom and sister back on the east coast and I guess they had already seen it on the Internet. They were the ones I had a text message from. I didn't know where they got it and so I turned on the TV and still hadn't seen anything, so I went on the computer and read it on espn.com. So that's how I found out from the get go."
(on going from a backup quarterback to being a franchise quarterback) "I did spend a few years backing up in Atlanta and then got an opportunity here. It's kind of the natural progression of things. We have a great amount of talent on this team. To be a quarterback and the one pulling the trigger, it's an honor and a privilege to do that with the weapons that we have on this team. I'm excited about the guys that we have on this offense and the offense as a whole and the system we're running. I'm just excited to be a part. Hopefully, this is a launching point for things to come."
(on how important it is to keep the continuity of this offense) "I think continuity is a huge thing and a huge factor in this business because there is so much turnover from year to year on teams. When you have a good thing going, it's just a huge thing to be able to stay together and keep working and progressing to accomplish greater things down the road."
(on if he has thought if they made the playoffs, that they might still be playing) "You always play that game as a player. The fact that we fell one game short, we were still so close that you always play that game. What if we got to play these guys? What if we were in? It's definitely a hard pill to swallow, but something that we have to deal with."
(on breaking down the Jets and Colts defenses) "They both play a different style. The Colts, they're extremely athletic and fast and rush the passer. The Jets, they come after you. They play multiple fronts and do a lot of different things on third down, but they're very athletic as well."
(on if he has spoken to new offensive coordinator Rick Dennison yet) "I have not yet, not personally to him yet."
(on if he has spoken to former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan since he left for Washington) "I spoke to Kyle right before he left. Obviously he's busy and tied up right now, but I talked to him and met with him before he left."
(on how happy he is to make the Pro Bowl) "I'm very excited. It's a great opportunity to go up against the best players in the league. To be recognized in that group is definitely an honor and to be invited to the game. I'm excited about going down there and being a part of things and to have five guys from our team be a part of it, that says a lot of what we're doing down here in Houston."
(on if head coach Gary Kubiak ever told him that becoming a Pro Bowl quarterback was the goal) "He never necessarily said that. We've figured things that we're trying to accomplish as far as trying to win a Super Bowl championship, but that's something to be amongst the best quarterbacks in the league, you've got to expect and prepare to be that. He definitely mentioned that I have that potential as long as I continue to grow and improve and continue to get better each year and that's been my job."