Head coach Gary Kubiak addressed the media Monday afternoon after the Texans' 43-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
**Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on whether T Charles Spencer had surgery)** "Yeah, he did. He had a fracture of the tibia, a severe fracture. The surgery went well. I don't think they'll know probably a whole lot about his recovery for another couple months. They'll probably go in and do more scope and stuff. It's a very, very severe injury. We just hope things work out well. We probably can't give you a lot of answers from a recovery standpoint. It'll probably be a couple months before we can give you guys that answer, but it was a very, very severe fracture, so we'll see."
(on whether there is one area that he is especially worried) "No, I don't see one area. I have a lot of concerns about a lot of things. That was the same a couple weeks ago, and it's the same now. We have a ton of work to do, and that hasn't changed. And that's not going to change next week or the next week. We have a lot of work to do as a football team. There are so many areas that we have to improve in, that to sit here and finger point one spot, I don't think it's fair. I think we have to continue to get better as a total unit. We have to approach it that way."
(on whether there is anything that is not concerning him) "Something that I'm not concerned about? I think our guys are playing hard. I like our effort. I love the way some of our young guys are coming along, and I'll continue to mention (LB) DeMeco (Ryans) as he plays. I'll add (TE) Owen Daniels to that. With his effort yesterday (he) did some really good stuff. I'm encouraged by the two backs we have as a part of our team right now. They are going to make us better. I would just reiterate that there are so many things that we have to work on and improve on that I have to give too much credit in one area and too much blame in one area because it is a team situation we have to continue to deal with."
(on whether he will continue to play all three RBs) "I think we'll continue to play them all three. We'll keep preparing all three of them. I think one of them will end up standing out ahead of the others. That's just the way it tends to work out. I thought (RB) Wali (Lundy) did some good things. He put the ball on the ground, he played in a tough environment, (and) it's a new step for him. (RB) Ronnie (Dayne) did some good things. He got a little tired; hasn't played in a while. (RB) Sam(kon Gado) came in and showed that he has some flash, some big play ability, so just in general they are going to make us better. And Ronnie and Sam(kon) also played on special teams and did some good stuff. And with those two guys being a part of the rotation now, it should free up Wali some to do some things on special teams too. As a group, I think they are only going to bet better."
(on the defensive line's performance) "Well, there are times that they did make him get rid of the ball rather quickly. You're not going to get to number 18 (QB Peyton Manning). He doesn't hold the ball. He's not going to go down with the football. It's just the way he plays the game, but you've got to do something to try and make him throw the ball quicker than he wants to throw it. And there were times we did that. The majority of the time, you're right, we still have to get better at out pressure. That's us (the coaches) coming up with ways, scheme-wise, to do that, and getting better at winning one-on-ones. And it's just kind of part of everything else, getting better as a group. And they have got to do that. But at times there were some good individual efforts in there that need to be consistent throughout the game."
(on whether he feels good about the defensive line's effort) "Oh, yeah, I feel good about the group. They are busting their tail. They're trying to get better. As a group, we have to play better, but I feel good about the guys. There's no lack of effort in there. They can all get better as technicians and just doing a better job of getting to the quarterback, but they're chasing two pretty good ones the last two weeks. I don't want them to stop, just keep work and I think things will get better for them."
(on who will fill the spot on the line with T Spencer out) "You know, we have to talk through that, but right now the best thing for the team is to get (T Eric) Winston going. It's a tough role to ask a young player like that to be a swing guy on game day and know two spots. But for the future of the football tea, we need to do that with that young man. So we'll put him in a tough situation, but I'm sure he'll respond to it. Hell, he's a good kid. He's been working hard. But for the future of the team, and to get better, we need to bring him a long, so I think he's the guy to do that. We also have to look around and decide, do we bring in a young tackle here or do we go find another veteran guy. We have to go make that decision, but we definitely have to go get another player here pretty quick."
(on whether Seth Wand is a possible candidate) "He's a possibility. He is somebody we have talked about, but that is going happen over the course of the next two days. We have to figure out what the best direction for us to go for the long haul, not the short term. We'll have to decide that here."
(on whether G Chester Pitts might move back to tackle) "No, Chester's a guard, and needs to keep playing and busting his hump and get better. But Chester's going to stay there unless something really hits the fan. He's going to stay inside."
(on C Mike Flanagan's status) "Yeah, we'll see how (C) Mike (Flanagan) is. I think Mike is day-to-day. He's had some bumps and bruises, but with this ankle right here, he's day-to-day. And then the decision we have to make there, do we leave (G) Steve (McKinney) at guard and start (C) Drew (Hodgedon) if Mike can't go, or do we start Steve at center. Either way if there is any question on Mike, Drew would be up and then we get the rotation going a different way because Drew hasn't been part of the 45 here the first two games."
(on what T Ephraim Salaam bring to the team) "Well, he knows our system, so that was an easy transition for him. I wanted him here to help (T) Charles (Spencer) become a pro, and to teach Charles whenever we, as coaches, are not there for Charles, I wanted him there for Charles, and he has been doing that for us. And he's been doing a good job from that standpoint. Now that the situation that we have, we could not have a better guy to go out there and play. He's played a ton in this league. Played a great deal last year, and I expect him to step up and play well."
(on G Chester Pitts)"Yeah, I expect him to step up and play well."
*(on DE Mario Williams' play) *"Well, he has got about 15 or 20 plays in a game. If we can get that to 50 or 60 plays, they were big time. But the key in this league is you have to be able to do it for a long time. You can't just do it for 15 or 20. I think he's going to learn a great deal from this film. He sat in one spot, as you all well know, did not move around. He showed some flashes, but we need more than flashes, so we're trying to move him along. The kid's working hard. I think he took some steps forward, but we have to take big steps."
(on the secondary) "Well they struggled yesterday. I thought last week they played well the first half and struggled on the second half. I think we struggled some this week. We had some communications problems in the noise. He's (Peyton Manning) a guy who works in the line of scrimmage and if you show him your hand at all, he's going to pick you apart and he did a good job in that which you know he's going to do. It wasn't one of our better efforts in the amount of time that I've been with that group, we've played better. They've got to understand that they played against one of the best. But they're going to come back this week and play better than last week."
(on why he believes QB David Carr does not deserve blame)"We're all to blame. When we don't win, we all lose, as a group, coaches and players. Good things happen when we win as a team and it'll always be that way. David sets his performance, in the past two weeks his numbers are very, very good. You guys can tell by looking at the quarterback ratings and those type of things, but we're not after numbers. We're after figuring out a way to win. That's the way I coach David, and David knows that. He's got to be a consistent player. He played unbelievable the fourth quarter yesterday, but he's got to play well in those first three for our football team to have a chance; he's got to be a four-quarter player. I'll keep coaching him to become that, but he is getting better as a player. but just getting better sometimes isn't good enough. You've got to take big steps. We're after him to take big steps and plan on him doing that."
(on concern about not many guys around with winning experience)"That's part of this business. If you don't think there are going to be tough times, you're in the wrong profession. We've got some tough times here and we're struggling. And that same group of guys for the most part struggled too, the last year and we're trying to fight out of it. We're going to fight out of it, but nobody's going to give us anything. It won't be easy. No one expected it to be easy. They're playing hard, they're meeting hard. If we keep doing that, they'll be able to carry that out somewhere and if we're not going to lose sight of that fact. That's part of this business and if you're not willing to look that in the face, then you might as well not be in it. We're going to continue to look at it in the face and bust our tail and get better."
(on watching Washington last night)"I saw about a quarter and a half when I got back last night. I know they've got a great defensive football team, a lot of pressure looked like Dallas did a good job as a football team. To look at their talent across the board and they're a 0-2 football team, you wouldn't expect that. They've got one of the top coaches in the game. They're going to be very hungry with their situation, but we can say that about every team that's coming in here. They've got some good football teams in the front-end of this schedule and we've got to be ready to go every week. We've got to be at our best on every shot."
(on his experience losing ) "It's not fun, by no means. It's hard, it's a grind. I've been through some tough times in this league. And I think that's why I'm here, to see this team through these tough times. I'm not going to stop until they get better. The guys that sit here every day with me, players and coaches, feel the same way. I guarantee you that. And we'll keep plugging until it gets better."
(on concern on new starters on defense) "There's a lot of concerns. I don't want to pin it on one spot. Our defense played two very good offensive teams. There's still no excuse for some of the things that are happening. There are a lot of new starters and they've got to grow together and come together as a unit and I think they'll do that. The key is: are we learning from these mistakes? Are we going to get better? Are we going to get better each week?' It's just something that we've got to continue to battle and we will battle."
(on building Indianapolis-like fans) "Well hopefully there's a day coming when it is that way here. That's what I'm going to keep fighting for, I guess I really don't know what you're asking me. But we're going to keep fighting our tail off until our fans feel that way about us. Our effort from our group and our people around here is exceptional. Yeah, this game is about winning and people don't give you that. They just don't drop down on your lap and say, "OK, here you're a winner." You've got to be willing to pay the price to do that and all I can tell you is that we'll do that, we're willing to do that."
(on the meaning of winning the next two games)"It'd mean a lot. Like I've said, to have it carry after all this work that we've put in. We knew what type of schedule we had and we knew what type of football teams we're playing right now. If we're not exceptional, it's going to be hard to get away with a 'W' against these teams. You're not going to get away with playing average. We're just worried about our football team getting better. We've got to get better to compete with these groups, we're planning on doing that."
(on the running game) "When you get down 17-0. The run first gets kind of tough and we ran the ball better we just didn't run it good enough against that group, in my opinion, when I look at the film. We still could have ran it better. I think running the football is the key to winning, it's not just what we do. Running the football is the key to winning in this league. We won't waiver from that commitment, no matter how long it takes. We will figure out a way to run it and we'll stay committed."
(on whether the Colts or Texans affected the game more)"It's a combination of both. They're pretty dang good. It's a tough environment to play in, but when you start a game and we go down the first play of the game, we've got to figure out a way not to go down. You're almost snapped the second play of the game and you've got a sack and a ball knocked out I think on the fourth play. You can't start a football game like that, I don't care if you're playing here in Reliant or you're playing on the road, you're going to be in trouble. We've got to figure out a way to start a clean game, you can't dig a hole like that you've got no chance."**
(on the gameplan) **"Our whole game plan, going into the game, was trying to avoid the pressure and the sacks. The first thing you've got to do is account for 93. in our game plan was built around trying to find a way to help (Charles) Spencer with 93. You start here but at the same time, as I told David the night before the game if you play in that dome, you're not going to have time to throw, there's going to be people swatting out the ball. It's not an excuse, you've got to operate in that environment. As a quarterback, you've got to be above and beyond the call of duty from the standpoint of protecting the ball. You know, we felt like we had a good plan from that standpoint of how we go about how to protect the quarterback. If they get ahead of you like that, it doesn't really matter what you're doing. Because they're all pinning their ears back now, it's not so much 93 as it is the whole team getting involved. They've got a lot of players that can come get you. That made it tough getting behind."