Head coach Gary Kubiak addressed the media Monday afternoon after the Texans' 24-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
(on watching the Colts last night)"Saw a little bit of it. I've been watching it all day today though."
"That's a tough place to play (
). It's probably the loudest place and they've got a good football team and a heck of a challenge for us. But we knew that before the season started. We need this. We need to go to places like these and grow as a football team, so I'm looking forward to it."
(on his feelings) "I was very disappointed. I was very excited about the way our football team started. I thought we did some very good things in the first half as a football team. And that was a good football team we were playing. When they came back and scored right before the half, I think it deflated our football team, which it shouldn't. That's part of the game, that's part of the league. I didn't like the way we responded in the second half. I was encouraged by some of the things that happened early on both sides of the ball."
(on watching the film)"We have a long, long way to go. I didn't look at that film and say, "Boy, if we had only made that one play it would have been different." No, there are a lot of things that we have to do to get better. I echo again, early in the game I saw some things that were very, very encouraging. Just from some of the plays we made on both sides of the ball to the energy and intensity our football team was playing with. As I said, as we went to the halftime you could have never convinced me that we were going to come out the second half and get dominated like we did. Let's face it, we did in the second half when they got after us on both sides of the ball. I'm trying to figure that out today, I'm trying to figure out why that happened. It's tough to figure that out, but it definitely happened so we've got to address that as a football team and move forward."
(on early running game expectations)"It's a new week in the National Football League. Preseason is preseason. I think we all know that. Opening day in the NFL is the best there is to offer as far as players. Everybody is healthy, everybody's ready to go. That's a fine, fine football team that's got all it's players back ready to go. They're well coached. We knew we had a tremendous battle on our hands. And we knew that we would have to play, all day, the way we played early to be in the football game with them. There's no reason why we shouldn't have been there in the fourth quarter with a chance to win that game. We've got to figure out why that is or why it didn't run out that way.
"We didn't run the ball well at all. We need to do a better job up front, just our pad level* *and stuff like that. It was not what it had been, I think, through the preseason. We need to be more physical and we have been. We have been through the preseason, I think our first group was very physical. But we knew this team was that type of football team that comes after you physically and you better be able to match it. Our young backs can both run better. Wali (Lundy) missed some things and he can be a better player and will be a better player every time that he goes out there. There's a combination of things. It wasn't just upfront or the backs, it was a combination of things. When you don't run the ball well in this league, you get third and long in this league you're going to get beat. I guess this team is no exception."
(on defensive line personnel ability to get to the QB without blitzing every play)"It has to be. Did we do that yesterday? No, just like every other part we could talk about in our football team right now. We've got to get better, we've got to figure out a way to get there. I thought in the first half we did make him do some things quick. Part of rushing the passer is not just about sacks. It was obvious in the second half that he had way too long to throw the football and we talked about that as a football team this morning. Addressing as coaches, we need to figure out a way to get some pressure. You can't ask your back end to hold up as long as we asked him to hold up yesterday."
(on DE Mario William's performance)"He's got a long way to go just like everybody else. Inconsistent, did some things good early in the game and made a couple of plays early in the second half. But he needs to be consistent assignment-wise, gap-wise, those type of things. But really no different than anybody else who was on that field so he's got to get much better, as we all do."
(on switching Williams around) "That's something we debate everyday. I don't think it's hurting him, but maybe we'll try the other. He shows no signs of the mental part bothering him as far as where he's moving around and where he's playing. A couple of his nice place, actually, were made inside. I don't want to say that we will not do that anymore. But if we think that makes him a more effective (player), by keeping him in one spot then we'll do that also. But I don't think the fact that we've moved him around has hurt him. I just think he's a young player, going against some good players trying to get better."
(on Williams' leverage problems)"I don't see leverages. I see leverages as one of his strengths, very strong guy that gets under your pads. He's very disruptive and pushes people back. The thing we don't want to lose sight of is that he's very athletic too and when he has a chance to take a gap and create some havoc in there and get to the quarterback sometimes I think he gets a little apprehensive assignment-wise instead of cutting it lose. We got to get him to cut it lose in some of those situations. Sometimes you are, in a lot of ways, guessing paths and if you get beat on the run, you get beat on the run. That's part of getting after the quarterback."
(on moving Williams to aid confidence)"I'm sure it could. We haven't gone that route, yet and said, "Hey, you're playing right here all day," to go back and take a look at that. But as coaches you have to do that type of thing. There's not a week that's going to go by that we don't do something different with him and see how he performs in that role. And that's no different in any other player, be Owen Daniels or anybody. We've got to continue to search as coaches for Mario and try to make him as successful as we can. That will be week to week. There's nothing edged in stone as we go on."
(on whether the same players will start on the offensive line this week) "Yeah, and we'll rotate those guards. I thought (G) Steve (
) came in and did some good things. He's been beat up. He's had some problems, and actually went into the game with his foot bothering him a little bit. But he came in and he played well. We'll rotate these guys. Outside, I thought (T Charles) Spencer played like a rookie but he played like a talented rookie, too. He's going to only get better, and I'm really looking forward to watching him progress. Now, he's got a whole new world this week, so it'll be a learning experience for him. And I thought (T) Zach (Wiegert) was solid. As a group, I thought we made some mistakes in pass protection that we can't make, that hurt our football team in some key situations. We have to correct those mistakes."
(on whether players might have tried to make plays that weren't there) "Yeah, I think we have a lot of that because we have a lot of young players. When you look at our secondary, one of the things that we felt like, as coaches, when we watched the game is that they played extremely well early. Then when they ran that play-action pass, which was a heck of a play on their part, a heck of a fake, it was almost like we panicked a little bit and quit trusting some of our things that we went into the game with technique-wise and coaching-wise. A lot of times stuff like that will rattle you. That's a point we have to get past because that's one play in the game. You know, it's 7-7. It was heck of a play on their part. We looked bad, but it's an all-day game. You just have to come back and play. That's what we're talking about as a team today. It was frustrating because at halftime it was a 14-10 football game. It was a good football game. Yeah, everybody's disappointed about the way the half ended, but there is no reason for that to affect us throughout the second half. And that's something we have to address and get better at."
(on whether the offense was able to play as wide open as he would like with the protection breakdowns) "Well, it's definitely something that bothers you. You know, you're trying to get back in a ballgame or you're trying to do something where they know you're in a throw-mode quite a bit. You're struggling protection-wise, especially a group like that. It concerns you as a coach because you're trying to protect your quarterback. We were in max-protect one time, and I had (TE Jeb) Putzier in a very bad situation as a coach, and that's my fault. It's something that you're very concerned about because you're trying to protect your quarterback. It's hard to keep everyone in there and attack coverage. They go hand-and-hand, to get out there and affect a defensive backend you have to get some people out and do some things. To protect a quarterback you have to keep some people in. They go hand-and-hand. You have to make the right call at the right time."
(on whether he thinks RB Ron Dayne might help the backfield protection) "I don't think those two kids (RB Wali Lundy and RB Vernand Morency) did anything wrong in protection. They were where they were supposed to be. I can't sit here and say Ronnie (Dayne) would have made a difference protection-wise."
(on QB David Carr's play) "I though he took a big step forward. I'll tell you like I told him, I think he took a big step forward, but he still has a long way to go for this team. Is he perfect? By no means. He got away with a couple mistakes with the ball. But he competed well. He bailed us out of some really, really bad situations as a player. I was pleased with his progress. That's the type of progress we need to see week-to-week, but I thought he did some good stuff."
(on how he viewed the secondary's play) "Well, if you give up 311, when you give up that many yards passing it's hard to sit here and say you thought they did some good stuff. I really thought they did, especially according to the fact that (QB Donovan) McNabb had a lot of time to throw back there. If you gave that guy that much time he's going to pick you apart. They won't tell you that they played well. I'm telling you that they did some good things, but we have to get some pressure on the people up front for them to hold up on the backend. One of the things that I was disappointed in was I though we'd have the opportunities to make some plays back there, interception-wise. And he gave us a couple opportunities and we didn't come down with the ball. That could have been a big, big difference early in the game if (CB) Lew(is) Sanders makes that play. That would have been a big momentum swing right there. They have a long way to go, just like everybody else. They have to get better, but for the amount of time that they were asked to hold out back there, I thought they did some good stuff."
(on whether that compounds the urgency to get pressure from the defensive line) "There is no doubt. There is no doubt. You have to figure out a way to make him get rid of the ball. That one play before that half, he held the ball forever. For (CB) Dunta (Robinson) to even be there to have a chance to break that play up was really amazing. It starts up front. We have to get better up front."
(on T Charles Spencer's game) "Well, I thought he actually protected the edge well. Technique-wise he's still late off the ball and stuff. He's still getting used to playing in this type of noise and this type of environment and this type of speed. He's very physical. He makes mental mistakes which cost us. There are going to be some growing pains, we know that, but he shows you a talent level that should be able to hold up for a long, long time. We just have to get better, and the faster (that happens) the better."
(on LB DeMeco Ryans' game) "I thought he was special in the game. I've said that over and over. He's a fine football player. What did he have? 12 tackles (and one assist), if I'm right. He just plays hard, loves to play, (and) is in the right spot. I told him, I don't care if you've (only) been here for six months, go ahead and lead this defensive team. I'm expecting him to become a big defensive leader with this group."
(on whether on the coaches' film it looked like Carr stepped out while rushing along the sideline) "Yeah. Yeah, he did."
(on whether he talks to Carr about the success teams like the Eagles and Colts have with their play-action) "Yeah, actually we run the same scheme that Philly was running as far as that particular protection. You have to be able to hold up on the edges well to do that. And if you're not running the ball well, it's a little scary if you're going to hold up on those edges. Yeah, those are things that (Eagles QB) Donovan (McNabb) does really well. (QB) David (Carr) sees that tape as well as he sees his. Hopefully, I'm sure he gets better watching all those players."
(on the play of TE Owen Daniels) "He played well. He played really well. He needs to stay on the field. You're not going to see him come off as we go on. He's another young player that's going to make us better in the long-haul. I expect him to be here a long, long time. I was impressed. I asked him to hold up on (Eagles DE) Jevon Kearse a couple times so we could max-protect, and he did a heck of a job. I was very impressed with him."
(on whether he thinks it is asking for trouble blitzing Peyton Manning) "Asking for trouble, well, if you blitz you'd better get there, I know that. When
you go in their place, in their dome, it makes it more difficult. There is not
a bigger challenge in football than going to play him at his home spot, so we
know what type of challenge we've got. I'll tell you like I told our team, I think
it's good for us. It's what we need. We need all these challenges to get better.
It's the only way we're going to get better as a team."