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Kubiak begins clean-up effort


Head coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media Monday about the team's loss to San Diego.

After holding a team meeting Monday morning, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak spoke to media about cleaning up the team's recent turnover-prone play.

Turnover fix: The Texans know it's a problem. They've committed 23 of them so far this season, including 11 in their last two games. Now, head coach Gary Kubiak is trying to figure out how to get his players to hold onto the ball for four quarters.

"Our football has to find a way to play some football for a while without turning the football over," Kubiak said.

"I'm disappointed in all the mistakes that we're making. Puzzled, yes I'm puzzled, too, because as a coach, when you're making mistakes, you have to go find the reason that you're making them."

Kubiak, who for weeks has been stressing the importance of the winning the turnover battle, said there was one thing he was sure of: each player needed to take responsibility for his play, especially the quarterbacks. Matt Schaub and Sage Rosenfels each threw two interceptions in Sunday's 35-10 loss to the Chargers. Rosenfels has thrown five picks in the last two games.

"I think the biggest thing is just responsibility as players and that usually starts with the quarterbacks," Kubiak said. "They're the ones touching the ball every snap."

Mental letdowns have also caused several costly fumbles, leaving the head coach to evaluate every possible explanation for the rash of turnovers.

"From what guys are eating the night before the game to how you're meeting, how you're practicing, you're searching all the time," Kubiak said. "That's part of this game. We're struggling right now. We're going through a very tough period, but nothing's going to get us out of it other then continuing to battle and continuing to look for answers."

On the bright side: The team may have found an answer to their running game struggles in running back Adimchinobi Echemandu, who ran for 62 yards and averaged 6.2 yards per carry.

The four-year veteran moved up from the practice squad days before the game to back up Ron Dayne, and the two backs combined for 109 yards rushing.

"You never know with those kids until you give them a chance, and we took a chance by letting Samkon (Gado) go and giving this kid a chance, and he stepped up and played well in a tough environment," Kubiak said of Echemandu. "He protected the passer very well, too."

Echemandu broke free for the longest carry of his career, a 20-yard run in the first quarter.

"Anytime you get an opportunity to make some plays, you have to take advantage of them," Echemandu. 'That's how guys stay around in this league."

Another bright spot was the Texans' offensive line, which showed greater consistency in creating holes for the running backs.

"I thought our offensive line played well," Kubiak said. "That's a heck of a group they went against. We ran the ball as good as we've run it all year. They pass protected extremely well against one of the best pass rushing groups in the league."

On the other side of the ball, defensive end Mario Williams registered his fourth sack of the season, taking down Philip Rivers in the third quarter for a two-yard loss.

"He is playing exceptionally well," Kubiak said of Williams. "Yesterday was no exception to the rule. He's been doing that and played really well yesterday."

Schaub update: Schaub attended team meetings Monday, but was still suffering from headaches caused by a late hit in Sunday's game. Kubiak said the quarterback would be listed as day-to-day.

"I know he's having some headaches today," Kubiak said. "Like I said, he's around the football team today, so we'll just take it day-to-day."

Schaub was sent to the hospital during the game when San Diego cornerback Drayton Florence leveled the quarterback after throwing an interception. It was the second consecutive game where a late blow forced Schaub to the sidelines, but Kubiak said he did not question the quarterback's durability.

"The one that he took yesterday, that's going to cause anybody a problem," Kubiak said. "And that's why the league put that rule in – after a turnover, the quarterback's basically off-limits unless he is somehow trying to make the tackle, so you can't just turn and go after him."

Kubiak said the league would review the play to determine if Florence should be hit with a fine.

"Any time there is a personal foul called like that, it goes straight to the league, then they'll make those decisions on whether there should be any fines in that situation," Kubiak said.

More injuries: A handful of Texans left the field in San Diego with injuries.

Center Mike Flanagan, who suffers from migraines, took a hit to the head in the same play that injured Schaub and sat out with intense headaches. Two-year veteran Chris White replaced Flanagan for the rest of the game.

Tight end Owen Daniels battled through a high ankle sprain, an injury that bothered him in college. The results from Daniels' MRI on Monday have not been released.

Echemandu tweaked a hamstring in the fourth quarter and was on his way to receiving an MRI.

Wide receiver André Davis bruised his ribs and did not return to action late in the second half.

Running back Ahman Green never saw action against the Chargers because of a nagging knee injury he suffered in Week 3. Green had returned to play in Week 6 in Jacksonville and looked stronger the following week against Tennessee.

However, days before leaving for San Diego, Green's knee began to swell and the Pro Bowler pulled himself out of the lineup before the weekend.

"He did not even require treatment Monday or Tuesday, he was doing so well. We thought we had turned the corner," Kubiak said. "He came back Wednesday, practiced a little bit. The knee swelled up again, uncharacteristic from what was happening the previous weeks. Thursday, he was unable to go. He took a couple of reps Friday and basically told me, 'Coach, I can't go. My knee is bothering me, it's hurting me. I need this week.'"

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