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Kubiak assesses draft


For the last month, Texans' coaches and scouts have been holed away in their war room preparing for the NFL Draft. Head coach Gary Kubiak took a break from meetings to talk to Texans TV about how the Texans are approaching this year's draft.

Brooke Bentley (Texans TV): Coach, this is your third draft as head coach with the Texans. The Texans have the 18th overall pick this year. Talk about your approach to the draft this year as far as evaluating talent alongside general manager Rick Smith and the team's scouts?

Gary Kubiak: We approach them all the same, Brooke. We try to evaluate every player that's coming out. It gets very clouded with juniors entering the draft, but we try to approach it all the same. I've never been a part of a draft where we haven't evaluated each player and then figured out how they would fit in what we are doing and then prepare for Saturday and see what happens.

{QUOTE}Brooke Bentley: There are only seven players under contract on the Texans who were selected before you became coach. Do you feel like you and Rick are ushering in a new era for the team?

Gary Kubiak: I don't know about that. Naturally, when somebody new comes in, you try to find people who fit to your system. You try to find kids who are doing it the right way and the way you want it done, and, naturally, that usually means there's some turnover. I think that's just part of the business, but I feel very good about our program and the kids who are here doing it. We've just got to get better.

Brooke Bentley: Over the last two years, you've drafted some players who have made an immediate impact- Owen Daniels, Mario (Williams). How would you grade your two drafts with the team?

Gary Kubiak: Well, I think they've been excellent from the standpoint that we've got good, young players that should play here for a long, long time. That's what you want. You don't want to miss on those guys. You want to know, especially when you draft really early, that these kids are a part of your program and your team for a long time. Now, the bonus to me that has come is that they are all good kids. They've been great in the community, great with our team, great in our city. That adds a bonus to it.

Brooke Bentley: Everybody, now, is talking about the Texans' needs this April. And everybody is pointing to corner, left tackle and running back. Of course, you can't talk about players, but how do you evaluate those position groups?

Gary Kubiak: Well, we evaluate them – I 'm not avoiding the question – but we evaluate them all the same. Naturally, every football team's got needs, and people focus on that. But we've got to evaluate all the players in the draft because we've got to make sure we take the best player, the best kid at that position. We can't go reaching for players just because of a certain position need, because when you do that you make mistakes and the key to the draft is not making mistakes.

Brooke Bentley: Many might say that you are under the Denver philosophy that it pays off to draft running backs in later rounds. Would you agree with that?

Gary Kubiak: I don't know about that. I think it still gets back to who the player is and how you think they fit in what you're doing. I think you look back in history and things tend to work out that way, but I'm not sure it's always planned. I think it's just seems that's the way things worked out.

Brooke Bentley: You, Rick, the coaches and scouts have been holed up in the war room going through all the different scenarios. How important is it to go through those different scenarios and have you reached out to your friends in the league to talk about draft needs?

Gary Kubiak: Basically, it's an information gathering process and we've been in there for a month. And you're right, the walls are closing in and I'm ready for next week, but it's been a good process. Our coaches have done a great job. Our scouts have done a great job. Now, Rick and I have to sort it out and get ready for next weekend, but I feel very confident.

Brooke Bentley: On draft day, what is your role? Are you hands-on or do you let Rick take the reins?

Gary Kubiak: Rick is in charge of our draft and I'm just right there beside him, trying to lend any information that I possibly can. He does a tremendous job, but I think one of the reasons we have been successful is that Rick involves everybody – not just me but our scouting staff and coaching staff. The bottom line is that these kids are going to play for all of us, not just one.

Brooke Bentley: Adrenalin is always high on draft day, but how does it compare to your adrenalin on game day?

Gary Kubiak: It's a little different. It's a little slower pace, naturally, with the draft being so long. But I think that the time, the few minutes that lead up to your pick, the things that can happen with trades, discussions that can go on right before that pick – you can really get up there from an excitement standpoint. But it's a different type of weekend. It's a long, drawn-out process, but you better be ready when it's your turn.

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