Head coach Gary Kubiak addressed the media Monday afternoon after the Texans' 31-15 loss to the Washington Redskins.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on CBs leading tacklers as a bad sign) "That's a big concern. I will say this, (CB)Dunta Robinson played really well in the game. So since you're mentioning our corners I want to make sure to give him his dues. I thought the kid bounced back and played really well this week. But that means people are getting in the back end too much. That's been happening frequently so it's definitely a concern."
(on possible defensive changes) "I don't anticipate any personnel changes. We're going to have to make some changes in what we do and how we do it. We're going to have to get better real fast. The only people that are going to change things around here are the ones that are doing it right now on a day to day basis, and they're going to have to step to the plate and just do it better. That's coaching and playing."
(on errors being more mental or scheme based) "I think it's a combination of a lot of things, but the bottom line is if you're having a lot of mistakes in alignments and technique and those type of things, then you're probably doing too much. That's what that's telling you, so that comes on us as coaches. But at the same time we're not a group that can sit there on one defensive scheme all day long against these type of people that we're playing. We're going to have to do something, so we're going to have to challenge our players, but at the same time as coaches we're going to have to do a better job so we can't come out of these games and say, 'Well the reason we gave up these plays was because we were misaligned or our technique is wrong.' That can't be an excuse; things have to be fixed. When you look at the film, you've got to be able to see that guy's better than you or they made a great play or whatever. But it can't be miscommunication or a technique issue. That's got to get fixed."
(on C Drew Hodgdon's and T Ephraim Salaam's play) "You know, (C) Drew (Hodgdon) had a big mistake early in the game after our first touchdown. We came back, (and) snapped the ball off cadence. It looked really ugly. But that was all on him, he did play hard. He played like a young player; he gets out of control at times. If he can find a way to fix those things, he's got a chance to be a good player, I think, for a long, long time. But he has got to get those things fixed. They've been a part of his game for a while and they did show up a couple of times yesterday. I thought (T) Ephraim (Salaam) was solid. We probably protected the quarterback, yesterday, better than we have the first three games, but we can still protect him better. I thought he was solid. I think he'll improve each week."
(on the issues of having new offensive linemen) "Well it's very tough, because you all know how much we were counting on (T Charles) Spencer and for (C Mike) Flanagan to be out. We brought him here to run that group up front, so that's two big misses, right there. But that's part of the game and you've got to find a way to work through that. I think leaving (G) Steve (McKinney) at guard was the right decision. I thought he played better this game than he has. I thought he was getting better, but if we have to have changes because of injuries. There's nothing you can do about it. You've got to make them and go on."
(on RB Ron Dayne's future as a starter) "I want to see him and (RB) Samkon (Gado) both play, and I said that the other day. The problem with some of these games we've been in, it's been hard to sit back here and take a look and actually evaluate both of them. I think we had 18 carries here, if I'm correct. That's not many plays to evaluate two backs from. So, hopefully we can get in a mode where we can come out of a game with 30 or 35 carries where they're splitting the time and we can evaluate both of them. But I thought (RB) Ronnie (Dayne) was better this week than he has been."
(on any defensive adjustments at half to stop the Washington short-pass game) "I think we did a lot of things. We played two-deep; we played man free; we played three-deep; we did everything. They did throw a bunch of those screens, which you know that's part of their game. That's the way they get the ball to (WRSantana) Moss' hands and some of those players' hands and some of those quick screens. The thing you hope is that those plays don't hurt you, that they're not big plays. But the way they were running the ball and us having to commit somebody else to the line of scrimmage because of the way they were running the ball, some of those plays turned into big plays. But you're right they looked way too easy and we've got to do something to fix it and make it harder on them anyway."
(on the lack of pressure from the Texans defensive line) "Yeah, I'm surprised. Coming out of the preseason I thought we did some very good things on the defensive side of the ball throughout the preseason. We expected that to only get better. We have played some good groups, some good teams, which you're going to play them every week. But it has been very disappointing and until we find a way to get some pressure on the quarterback, it doesn't matter who is on the back end, they're going to have a hard time holding up. That has been very disappointing, us beating one-on-ones up front and trying to create pressure is a problem. You can solve the problem by bringing more people and you're exposing your back end even more. It's got to get fixed will all eleven of them doing a better job, not just one or two. But it's definitely an issue."
(on the difficulty of pressuring quick drops) "With some of those things they do it's hard. Washington will max protect you or else they'll throw the ball quick on those screens and those type of things. And when they do max protect they're very good at what they do, so it's a guessing game from that standpoint. But it's a guessing game from the defensive standpoint, from an offensive standpoint. They guessed a heck of lot better than we did and we just have to do a better job."
(on whether teams are playing their best games against the Texans) "No, I think that's too easy. That's way too easy. We have not played well and yesterday was the worse and that's a fact and we have to take a hard look at ourselves and how we're doing it and who we're doing it with, why we're doing it. And there's got to be some drastic improvement very quickly. There's no excuse for what happened yesterday. There's no reason for that to take place like that."
(on whether he ever expected to play like that) "As I told you yesterday, I take full responsibility for it. It was very disappointing and we've got tremendous amount of improvement to do to become competitive on a week in week out basis. Yesterday was very bad and I don't have an excuse for you."
(on how he avoids a similar game) "The only way I know how to do things is to keep working. I know that is something you hear all the time, but all you can do is stay committed to what you're doing and keep working. There are some good times. They are very short. They have been short lived in the first quarter of a couple football games. But until we can consistently go out and play a football game, and this league is too tough; you'll get exposed so fast. And right now we're getting exposed on a regular basis from that standpoint. The only way I know how to do it is just keep busting our tails in here and out there on the field. Hopefully that work, along with some confidence gets us playing a lot better very quickly."
(on what the team is doing different between the good and bad times) "Well, just look at it. If you look at the offensive side of the ball, we have a nice drive then we come back and, I don't know if I have the plays in sequence correctly, but we come right back and (QB) David (Carr) comes back and makes a great play on second-and-10 on a blitz, getting the ball to (RB) Ronnie (Dayne). So we get another first down there, and here we go. We got a play called with a particular type of cadence that we like to use as an advantage, and we had just done it, four plays later as a football team. And all of a sudden we can't do it this time. We snap the ball, (and) we're lucky that's not a turnover. It's just lucky that the ball bounces back to us, so some of those things like that. Then the next series we put a snap on the ground, (and) we had two false starts. It's like a snowball, and bad teams do that. Bad offenses do that. That's what I told the players today, and until we can get that out of our system it is hard to grow from that standpoint because it just starts happening and snowball effect. It's hard to fight out of that. And if you look at it from a defensive perspective, we have a three-and-out to start the game. After we score, we kick off to them. They have a penalty. We really have them pinned back. We're pretty good on first down, pretty good on second, and now we have them third-and –six. They run a shovel pass where, just between us, in all honesty, the stunt we have going on inside, it couldn't have been any better. It couldn't have been a better stunt to stop that play. And we got a guy out of position and we don't make that play. And the guy goes seventy-something yards. That's the difference in winning and losing in this league. If you're wrong with a snap or you're wrong with a stunt you get exposed real quick, but those are plays. And the thing we have to look at is the big picture because after those plays it continues on for a very long time. Just like I said, we have to figure out a way to fix it."
(on how to keep the players from turning negative) "First thing you've got to do it convince them of some of the things that they are doing that are positive, and there are some things that we can pull from. There are some performances from people that we can pull from that we can say we need more people playing like this and doing things like this. But until something positive, something good starts to happen, I think it's very, very difficult as a group because of the negative effect. But the only way to fight through that is to fight through that. If you're not willing to do that, its not going to change. As I tell them, I'm willing to fight through it. It's hard. I see a group that is willing to fight through it. I have had no problem with the group, as far as doing their work and having a positive attitude about what they're doing. And I know these coaches are willing to fight through it. It just has to be a lot of people willing to pay a price, from an organization standpoint, to turn it around. And not one person is going to do it; it's going to take everybody to do that."
(on how it has been for him dealing with loss with so little of it in his past) "Well. It's been tough. I'm not going to lie about that; it's been extremely tough. But I think it's why I'm here, to see us through this, and I'm going to see us through it somehow, someway. It's a tremendous challenge, and I'm looking forward to getting up there tonight, trying to figure out a way to hopefully answer that bell this week and get something positive to happen around here. I understand my challenge and I'm going to stick with it. We'll get it done."
(on QB David Carr's game) "I don't want to sound like a broken record, but (QB) David (Carr) did some very good things. He is improving as a player. He still has a couple plays a game that there is no excuse for, and I told him that today. A fumbled snap, that's on him. It's on him (the center) or the quarterback. That's the only place it goes. Fumbling the ball in the pocket, that's on you as the quarterback; you have to protect the pocket. We're trying to grow off the positive things he's doing, and I see a much improved player, but we have to find a way to do away with those other things because... And I tell David this all the time, 'David, that's your group out there. Those 11 guys, that's your group, and they are a direct reflection of you and your leadership and what you do with them every time we're on the field.' I have to get him to understand that and become a complete player."
(on DE Mario William's game) "I was disappointed in his play. I was disappointed in the way he played. There were some communication issues that we have to get corrected with him and what we're expecting him to do in some certain situations. And we'll get those corrected. But he's done some things and progressed and dome some things, but he did not do that this week. And I'm expecting him to bounce back this coming week and become the type of player we want him to become. I don't want to pin that all on him. I don't want y'all to take it that way, but he knows I was disappointed in his play. And he has to play better."
(on whether Mario Williams' mistakes were physical or mental) "I was just disappointed. I don't wan to pin it in one area, but I was disappointed overall."
(on whether DE N.D. Kalu might see more plays because of that) "He's getting them, whether it is for (DE Jason) Babin or for (DE) Mario (Williams), he is playing. His specialty is an up-hill type of player, but he's getting his reps. N.D. plays hard. He has a hard time holding up for a long, long time. He is a guy that has been in this league for a long, long time, but the down-in and down-out player we need playing good everyday is Mario. And he's going to have to do a much better job."
(on whether he feels he has enough talent upfront to pressure passers) "Yes, I do.Yes, I do. Am I disappointed in the way they're doing it right now? Yes, I am. I think it is in them. I think they are trying to grow together as a group, that type of thing. But that's not an excuse. That's something that has to happen fast for us to improve as a football team and become effective. But if you're asking me, as a group do they have the ability to be a good group. I think they do."
(on whether he will spend more time with the defense to address issues) "I spend time with both sides of the ball. I'm not going to lie; I spend more time with the offensive side of the ball. That's my background. But I spend time with both of them. I spent a lot of time with (defensive coordinator) Richard (Smith) and the defense today. My message there is, what can I do to help, to be honest with you. I have to sit there and evaluate what they're doing and how we're doing it and who they're doing it with. That's my job as a head coach, but I also got to be there anyway I can to help them get better. If it's finding a player or if it's helping them with the scheme or if it's helping them with a player or two that they're having a problem with on their side of the ball, I got to do what I can so they can be effective. But I want to say, I believe in (defensive coordinator) Richard (Smith) and the people that are doing it. I want ya'll to know that. Nobody's working harder. Has it been good? No, it has not been good, but that same group of people is the group of people that have to get it turned and going the other way, and I believe in them."
(on what defensive coordinator Richard Smith would say to Kubiak wanting to help) "Just hop in there and help, you know. Just come on in. Just like I would if he wanted to come in the offensive room. There's no gurus in this business. A guru has good players and good things going on. We're all just in there battling, and if I can help Richard (Smith) on that side of the ball or he can help us on our side of the ball, we're all in it together, so we have to figure out a way to be good together."
(on whether CB Demarcus Faggins will be returning for Week 6 vs. Dallas) "I don't know about that one. I'd have a hard time giving you that answer until I see him starting running, but I know his boot is off. so we're hoping. He's a player that could come back anytime (because he is on the active roster not the Physically Unable to Perform list) so we're not necessarily waiting for Dallas like we are with (LB) Kailee (Wong). So we'll have to wait and see."
(on C Mike Flanagan's injury status) "He actually jogged today. (C) Mike (Flanagan) probably could have played in
the game, but we probably would have hurt him so that's why we held him (out)."