Head coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media Monday afternoon after the Texans 17-15 win against
**Head coach Gary Kubiak
**(on bye week schedule) "We're going to practice tomorrow morning. We're going to come in here pretty early and go at it pretty hard. Then our players will be off Wednesday through Sunday. They'll be back Monday for a head-start on
(on evaluating themselves as coaches) "We're going to spend the evening tonight and tomorrow. Starting tomorrow with our self-scout, we're going to go back and take our four games and evaluate what we're doing and how we're doing it and who is doing it, what direction we think we need to head as a football team throughout those next twelve weeks. Just really do a self-evaluation of ourselves as a football team."
(on evaluation easier after a win) "Yeah. The film, we looked at it a little different today. It's a way of sitting down and taking all of these plays or all of those defenses and evaluating good, bad, whatever and trying to fix it. You know, as a coach during the season, when you are playing every week you're on a routine, you've got a schedule, you really don't stop and have the time to go back to do that and with the bye week it gives you a chance we've been cutting ourselves up film-wise and it gives us a chance, it leaves us this evening to start doing that."
**(on doing that in
** "No, we didn't. It just all depend on where our bye week would fall, but I think it's very important right now that we just take a hard look at everybody and what we're doing and make sure that we're doing the right thing with the people we've got. Just schematically, make sure that maybe we're not shoving too much at them in certain situations because some good things happened this week from a standpoint of the mental mistakes went down, the effort went up. So we're really trying to evaluate all that, how it got better so we'll do that again tonight, starting tonight."
(on DE Mario Williams' change) "Yeah he definitely did, but we all did. I think the thing that was impressive yesterday was our team's energy and our team's effort; it was at a different level than it had been. It was at a different level when we came out of the locker room in the third quarter. I felt like Thursday after practice we sat around as coaches and I actually went to talk to (head strength and conditioning coach) Dan Riley Friday morning very early, or maybe it was Thursday evening and I said, 'We look tired, I think our football team looked tired physically and mentally when you're coming out of camp and you're hitting those first four weeks hard.' We did back off Friday, we did more teaching Friday, we practiced a little different than we had been practicing and thought our players responded. We're always looking for little things that may make a difference and hopefully that did a little bit. But I just thought the energy level was way up. And the kid, he did do a few different things that we asked him to do during the game and I think I said that yesterday during the press conference. We kind of scripted some things for Mario, what I mean is, we said we want to see three of these moves in a game. We did some things for him from a script standpoint and I think it helped him, I think it gave him a little confidence in what was going on and there was some pressure around him to help him do his job. But I liked the way he chased the ball, he made some plays downfield, the two-point play, his effort just to put that hand out to tip that ball is a difference from us having to go to overtime or not. He did some good stuff."
(on Mario Williams dropping into coverage) "Yeah. We ran some zone dogs where he was dropping his face, those type of things. I think he recognized what was going on when he started chasing the ball and just reacted and put his hand out there. But it's just, his effort down the field as well as everybody's was much better in the game."
(on his position not usually dropping into coverage in the zone ) "No, he's part of some of our zone schemes. You try to do that defensively. People, a lot of teams will turn their protection to a certain player, you know, to try to get help and I think some people will have to take special attention to him in some of the things he can do when he's zone-dogging and drop him off now you've got teams turning toward him and you're bringing pressure to the other way. So that was something (defensive coordinator) Richard (Smith) did in the game that was effective. It had a lot to do with our sacks."
**(on Mario Williams' play on the
two-point conversion attempt)** "Well, yeah he just started chasing the ball, as everybody did. We actually lost coverage on the crosser was what we were doing. We were locked up and we lost coverage on him because, I think it was Dunta thought that it was actually coming that way and he lost the crosser. It was just a reaction on Mario's part to get back there. It's amazing that the back even found the kid in the back of the end zone he was fixing to throw it to."
(on the running game) "No, you're right. One of the big things for us offensively is we get going is we've got to find a way to run the ball better. We did not run the ball well yesterday, but the one thing we did do is we kept running it and the thing that happened it kept our defense off the field that made our third downs more manageable. Ended our possession time as well as we've been all year and it showed on our defensive plays, I think they were fresher; they weren't on the field the whole game. Even if you don't run it real well, you've got to stay committed to it as I've said all along. But we've got to find a way to run the ball better. We have to do a better job up front and then a couple of times we were doing a better job we need to run better, so it all goes hand in hand but we definitely have not run the ball well. (DE)Anthony Weaver was defensive player of the game. Him and (LB) DeMeco Ryans, they were our two defensive players of the game. They played excellent. (DT)Travis (Johnson) is getting better as a player, he's still, I say this all the time, he's got another level to reach as a player and it's about consistency with Travis. Seth (Payne) (had) a great effort in the game, played extremely well. N.D. Kalu not only played well for us on defense, but played well on special teams, did some very nice things on special teams. And the two inside kids Johnson and (DT Alfred) Malone actually split some time; Alfred came in and played this week. So as a group they played much better and we tried to rotate them but they were definitely more effective than we have been."
(on the team's confidence level) "Yeah, I think. There's no doubt, there's a different bounce in everybody's step today and that goes with winning. But, you know, the NFL that's the way those games are, I mean they are so tough and all you got to do is look around and see what teams like, I mean you know what types of offense Indy has and you watch what Washington did this week, they're a very good offensive football team. As a coach, I didn't think there was concern with what was going on, but when you look there were some very good groups that we're playing against and you felt like if you could get a few things corrected you could bounce back and they proved that yesterday. I think we gave up 286 yards and I want to say about 130 of it was in the last two drives of the game. Defensively I thought Richard and our defense did an excellent job."
(on the defense's last drives) "We were doing the same things, we were aggressive. I think we dialed up 36 or 38 blitzes in the game. That's an enormous amount of pressure, that's putting a lot of pressure on your secondary. But we wanted to send that message to our players, we told them that going into the game that we were going to be very aggressive and we didn't stop doing it on those two drives, it's not like we did something different. We had them fourth and four and we were in pressure man-coverage and the kid ran a great route and they made a big play. But we kept coming and that's what held him to the field goal the previous drive, what kept them out of the end zone was pressure so we didn't do anything different."
(on the final drive being the biggest play of the game) "Without a doubt, because that had the game, time-wise, it changes the game big time because now they go for two. But there's a ton of time from that standpoint and the way the game was playing out you knew that if they did not make the two-point conversion you're down to an onside kick. So had that happened right there it's a different scenario."
(on if he was a Cowboys fan growing up) "No I wasn't a Cowboys fan, I was an Oilers fan. I worked for the Oilers remember? I worked for them for a couple of years."
(on the Cowboys game after bye week being a good or bad thing) "Well you understand that, being from down here, how big that game is. They've got a heck of a football team that they've put together. I've actually had a chance today to start to take a look at them, especially their defensive side of the ball. They've worked really hard to put this football team that they have right now together. And I know that they have tremendous expectations. They went down and played extremely well in
yesterday. They have Philly this week, if I'm correct. They're a heck of a football team and we're going down there and I know it'll be a big time game, so we're looking forward to it."
(on the first game here) "Yeah I remember it. I remember the coaches here talked to me about the atmosphere being one of the greatest atmospheres they've ever been around in pro football. I remember how much hype there was for that football game. Being from here you never lose sight of the fact of that rivalry and I'm sure it'll be the same next week."
(on whether he hates the Cowboys) "Do I hate the Cowboys? I don't hate anybody."
(on whether he hates the Texas Longhorns) "I told you, I don't hate anybody."
(on the importance of the Dallas-Houston game to fans) "Hey, you try to win them all."
**(on whether playing the Cowboys means more to him having grown up in
) **"Yeah, it means a lot.It does.There is no doubt about that. It will be a special, special game. I thought you guys were going to ask me questions about yesterday."
(on QB David Carr's fourth quarter play) "I think its mental toughness (that) is what I see from him. We're four games into a season, but just in my dealing with him on the sidelines during a football game, I know that has been a challenge for me with him, and I can tell you all that. When we were in Indianapolis, we had a very strong conversation with him late in the third quarter on the sidelines and told him how important it was that he play very well from that point to the end of the game to show his team how important the game is to him and how he wants to lead. And he had a real big fourth quarter there. Now I know there wasn't a lot of stock put into it because the game was out of hand. But I think along the way, one thing he has learned from me, hopefully, is that I want him to prove to everyone here, along with his teammates, how important it is for him to become a very good player for this organization and to lead this team. And I think he has taken on more responsibility. And yesterday, hey, he took some shots. We busted some protections, none bigger than the third or fourth play of the game. We bust protection and the kid gets killed. A lot of people look at it and say, 'David's going down again.' Well, it's not the case. It wasn't the kid's fault. He's getting beat up, and he's getting up off the turf. To do what he did in the fourth quarter against an excellent football team when he was continuing to take some shots, I think he's showing some signs of really growing up as a player."
**(on whether he thinks their discussion at
could be a turning point)** "I don't know about that because I think it's a challenge with him all the time, because I got on him yesterday at a certain point. I want him to know that I'm going to be there to do that. We're not going to let it go back, so to speak. He's made a lot of progress, and I'm on him to continue to make progress. I don't want him to think, 'okay I'm fine now', or 'I'm playing better now', or 'my rating's better now'. It can't be that. It has to be a sense of urgency everyday as a player for him to get this football team and him going for a long period of time to come, and I don't want him to ever lose sight of that."
(on the wide receivers) "Yeah, there was a time there in the offseason where I was very nervous about where we were heading with our receiver situation. Picking up Eric (Moulds) and Kevin (Walter); Kevin played really well yesterday. He's got a couple efforts on third down that were the difference in us staying on the field and having to leave the field, just stretching the ball. And I'm very excited about (Edell) Shepherd. He made a couple nice plays yesterday; he's getting better as a returner. And Derrick (Lewis) had a fine preseason. So you have to be willing to take some chances. We took a big chance in the offseason with some of the wide receivers we let go, but I really think this group has a chance to be a good group."
(on whether the other receivers had taken some coverage from Andre Johnson) "Oh, he's getting the attention. I can tell you that right now. It's hard to get him the ball right now because of some of the things that they are doing, but the thing I have been impressed with Andre, and I told him this from the start, is you're going to have to move for us to get you the football. People are too good in this league, and if you sit at one spot, they're going to find a way to take you away. Yesterday we had him inside, we had him outside, we had him right, we had him left, we had him all over the place formation-wise, and he's handled that. He's become more of a pro from a study standpoint. When I watch him work, and as a coach that is the only way you can feed those guys is if you move them around, and so I've been impressed with how he's handled that."
(on having 33 run when the running game wasn't going well) "It was very difficult, you know. As play caller if you know you're not running the ball well, to continue to run it, that is very hard to do because human nature says, 'well let's just start throwing it'. But the one thing I know with our group right now is that if we get that aggressive, protection-wise, at some point we have had some problems. So if we're throwing it too much they're probably going to rear their ugly head at some point. If we don't commit to the run and make some third downs, then we're leaving our defense on the field too long. So there was a conscious effort to run the football yesterday. It wasn't good enough, but it did have a big effect, I think, on the outcome of the football game because our defense was rested and we found a way to make some big third downs. I think our third downs were more manageable yesterday than they have been. They weren't so long."
(on whether there were some lanes that the rushers missed) "We saw a few, but we have to do a better job on the line of scrimmage. They are a very stout football team against the run. You guys noticed, we went to a different scheme yesterday. We played 80% of the game with three wide receivers on the field. We tried to spread them out to create some running lanes for us. We felt like there were some there, but at the same time we felt like at the line-of-scrimmage we just have got to get better. So we're going to do what we've got to do to try to move the ball. We felt like it was important against that team to try to get their nickel on the field."
(on whether he has looked at the upcoming schedule) "No, you really don't. I know about the stretch of six out of eight on the road. I knew about that ever since it came out, but that's okay. That's another challenge for this group. I think it's a great challenge for this football team. As we continue we are playing some very sound, sold teams. When you talk about Dallas and I think the next one is
, but some very good football teams. The only way we're going to get better and get ourselves in a position where we can play with these people week-in and week-out is to go toe-to-toe with them and try to get better as a football team. I think our players and our coaches, we look forward to the challenges that we have, and there are some big ones."
(on whether the QB sets the tone for the team) "Yeah, I think he does. For one, he's in charge of the ball. If something bad that's going to hurt your football team, he's in charge of the ball, with the ball, whether it's in a pocket or throwing it or making decisions. As a coach you want to be aggressive. I think I mentioned this yesterday, but we had the second and 10 when we had the eight point lead, and we had ball back and we tried to go up top to Andre. I'm trying to send a message to the kids, 'hey, make this play, make the throw, make the catch and we can go up two scores here'. We're not going to sit here and be passive in what we're doing. I want him to know I have confidence in him and the growth of this team is very dependent on David Carr's growth, in my opinion, as we move forward. So it's been a good month. We have to get a lot better."
(on the end of the first half) "Yeah, as I said yesterday, my thought right there was if we get a first down there we have our timeouts to use and try to do something with the ball. We had two left; they used two of them. They had one left from going into our third down. We made sure they had to use it, and also to be honest with you, the way our ends of the half had went for a couple weeks, I was very concerned with our team's mentality going in at halftime. And I wanted to make sure that we did not make a mistake right there. Had we got the first down we could have been aggressive, but we didn't. We made sure they used their time out; we got off the field feeling good about three to three, and came out and played better in the second half. I was a little concerned about our frame of mind after what I had seen happen the past couple of weeks."
(on whether he wants to be that conservative) "No, we want to be aggressive, but the point I am trying to make is (that) I think we had time to be aggressive if we get a first down. It was third and four; we ran the ball, (and) we didn't get it. If we get the first down there, we have our time outs and I think there is 49 seconds left, if I'm right, or 46 or something like that. There is plenty of time for us to throw the ball down the field, but it didn't happen that way."
(on WR Andre Johnson compared to talented receivers he has worked/played with) "Well, I have only been on one place, but I think he has a chance to be as good as there is in football because he is big, he's very fast, he's dynamic with the ball once it gets in his hands, he's very strong and has a chance to go the distance. I think he has a tremendous opportunity. He's fun to work with everyday. His work habits, you know I was with Jerry Rice for one year, and this kid practices like Jerry Rice used to practice. And that's a very big compliment, you know. And I think that makes him what he is because the kid really works at his trade. He loves to play. And to watch him, he never says a word, and yesterday when he made that big play on the sidelines, how excited he was for his team, and his team's feeding off that. I just like the direction he's heading."
(on growing up an Oilers fan and how he felt about the Cowboys then) "I told you guys, I don't hate. My mom and Dad told me not to hate. I worked for the Oilers when I was a kid."