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Houston Texans

Kubiak presser quotes


The Sunday after the Texans' 31-27 win over the New Orleans Saints, head coach Gary Kubiak talked to the media about what he liked and didn't like from the game. The biggest news of the day was that wide receiver Andre Johnson should play in Friday's game against Dallas.

Texans head coach Gary Kubiak

(on RB Steve Slaton) "(Steve) Slaton, starting with him, he played pretty darn well. He's a player that's getting continuously better every time we go out. He's a much better player this week than he was last week. He was better in protections. There are still some mistakes that concern you the closer you get to the season, but it's obvious that he can be a big help to us offensively."

(on the game) "Looking at the special teams, there is some disappointment there. We are looking for more guys to step up. I think Harry Williams has been the ultimate bright spot on special teams. He's been consistent; he's making a big push for us to find a roster spot for him on this team, just by how well he's playing on special teams. I think Nick Ferguson did some good things. Kris (Brown) continues to kick the ball well. Matt (Turk) kicked the ball well. We have to get, overall, just get better. Some of our young guys have got to come on. You look at guys like (Dominque) Barber and (Brandon) Harrison, players like that, Chris Taylor; they have to play well on special teams. I think we have a lot of room for improvement.

Looking at the offensive side of the ball, (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) saw the same thing; we were excellent throwing the ball. We made a lot of big plays, had a couple of chances to make even a couple more if we had held up a little better in protection. Kevin Walter was exceptional. David Anderson continues to be exceptional. Up front, I thought we played pretty good. We protected the quarterback pretty good, except for maybe the first play of the game; it was probably our worst one. A lot of good things going on; Owen Daniels is playing well. Chris Brown getting some work, I know he is capable of more, but it was nice to get him some work. As far as running the ball, the disappointing thing was our biggest play in the first half got called back because of a hold. I thought we were effective, but we can be much better. So, we have to continue to work on that and get the reps for these backs as we move forward.

Our second team offense, the guys upfront continue to play well. I'll mention (Kasey) Studdard has really played well throughout the preseason, continues to get better. (Rashad) Butler probably graded out as high as any offensive linemen we had. So the second group offensive line has been doing some good things. Sage (Rosenfels) came in and did well. Of course (running back) Slaton (Slaton) was a big part of that. I was happy to get Alex (Brink) a little bit of work. I would like to have seen him get some more, so we'll see how that pans out in the next two weeks. But I thought he was comfortable when he was in there.

Defensively, I thought we played in spurts. We did some good things, held up well at times when we were in trouble early in the game, late in the game. But the bottom line is we have to do a better job of stopping the run. We lost contain on Reggie (Bush) there a couple of times. We have to do a better job against the run. We continue to search for some pressure. We've moved some people around from week one to week two. We'll continue to do that to give some guys some opportunities to step up and put some pressure on the quarterback. Looking individually, I thought Mario (Williams) was good in the game. I think Zac Diles continues to step forward. I thought Amobi (Okoye) had his best outing in the preseason. You go to the second group, N.D. Kalu continues to push for a spot on this team. He's rushing the passer pretty well, he is the guy applying the pressure. (Tim) Bulman played pretty darn good, came back this week and played well. Chaun Thompson, it was nice to see him get on the field and make some plays. Overall, defensively we gave up too many big plays. That will be a point of emphasis here as we move forward. There were some good things going on, a lot of young guys making some tough decisions for us. We are less than two weeks now from having to make all these really difficult decisions. It's going to be a hard call and, hopefully, we'll get a good look at those guys here the last two games."

{QUOTE}(on if RB Steve Slaton will get reps with the first team this week) "Yeah, we talked about that earlier. I think he's earned a right to get some reps with that first group. We're going to probably go three quarters this week with our first group. Going against this team this week is as good as there is in the league, personnel-wise. So, yeah, he'll definitely become part of that."

(on some things we did and will do to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks) "There's nothing in particular we are doing. We are running our defense. We are trying to evaluate these guys and see who can get there, from a one-on-one standpoint, who can create some pressure. We did call some blitzes and dogs and those types of things. That was when we are at our best pressuring, but it's like I always tell you, in this league you have to be able to find pressure with your four downs and be sound in coverage and not put your people on an island all the time. I think the key right now is that we keep moving people around because I'm not sure that we know who is going to be there opening day right now. We've looked at Colvin with the first group. We've looked at (N.D.) Kalu with the first group. We've looked at Earl (Cochran), moved (Anthony Weaver) Weave around. We're doing some things inside out with Earl (Cochran), with DelJuan (Robinson). I think we'll just keep searching and see who steps up to the plate."

(on if DE Rosevelt Colvin is healthy) "Yeah, he's been fine. He's practiced throughout camp. He's been a one-a-day player and really just because of age and years of service more than anything else. I thought he was better this week than he was last week."

(on the possibility of carrying six receivers rather than five because of how well Harry Williams is playing) "I think, as a coach, you go into it saying five. The way he's playing right now we have to look real hard at keeping six, because he's the best guy we've got on the field right now when we are in special teams mode. That's a third of the game and the way he's playing. He's going to make us keep six, or if we keep five then somebody is in trouble."

(on CB Jacques Reeves game) "You look at the things he does in the running game and the way he plays the game overall. We're very pleased with that. From a coverage standpoint, he's not going to get outrun. He's got a lot of speed. He was right there on the big play, just got to find the football. And you know, it was a great throw. It was a perfect throw, but we have to find a way to get to that ball and knock it down. It's kind of the same way with (Antwaun) Molden. And Reeves had a couple of nice plays, had a chance for a pick on a slant that they threw. He's an excellent tackler. He'll come up and do his job from that standpoint. I like the fact that he's in position. We just have to work like heck on finding a way of getting the ball out."

(on OT Duane Brown's game) "He took another step forward. The first play of the game, for some reason, I'm not sure we knew it was for real. We went out there thinking we were still in practice on Wednesday afternoon. Of course Smith, he's one of the better players in the league, and Duane and Chester (Pitts) both got beat on the first play. But after that I thought we settled down and protected the quarterback pretty good. Most of Duane's mistakes are coming in the run game on the backside and technique and those types of things - learning how to take the proper angles in cutting people off, just the speed of the National Football League. It's not a lack of effort; he knows what he's doing, working hard and getting better everyday."

(on RB Chris Taylor's game and if he is moving to fullback) "I thought Chris did some good things. I thought vision-wise, running, a couple of times he could have been better. That comes with reps. Will he get some (time at) fullback? Let's just say, I know that Chris can play both. Until we get to that final roster decision day, whether we keep two fullbacks or one fullback or whether we count on Chris being a fullback all the way, that decision is probably going to be made off special teams, to be honest with you, and what goes on elsewhere. I just think we need to keep working Chris where he is at. He is always going to get a few reps at fullback but he needs to step up his game on special teams too, he needs to help this team and help (special teams coach) Joe (Marciano) on special teams. He needs continued improvement."

(on Duane Brown's progress as a rookie) "I think he's away ahead of any rookie, and the reason he's ahead is because he's been starting from day one. It's funny, somebody asked me that after the game and I said, 'I can't think of anything bad he did, so that means he probably played OK.' When you know an o-lineman is out there it's probably that something wrong is going on. That hasn't been the case. He's been solid. It's going to be a challenge every week for him. The players he's going to play, in our division and throughout this league and go against, this week he has to go against a 3-4 (defense). He's got to go against this team that he hasn't seen in camp. I think it's going to be a growing progress. But his effort and attention to detail and the way he's becoming a pro, the progress, I would say, is way ahead of schedule."

(on if it is good to go against 3-4 defense versus Dallas Cowboys) "There's no doubt. We definitely need it. We try to simulate it in practice and those types of things, but unless it's against someone who does it all of the time it's not the same. We'll get one of the best in the league this week that do it, and then two weeks from now we'll get one of the greatest teams in the league that have been doing it for a long, long time. We'll get our fill. It's a lot of body change up for us, but we need it. Baltimore also."

(on how he will handle WR Jacoby Jones) "Well we're trying them all. First, off we've got to get the problems fixed, and it's easy to say. Obviously we didn't fix it from week one to week two. He's (wide receiver Jacoby Jones) got to have a sense of urgency to get it fixed also because that's going to take place back there somebody else is going to do it. I believe in him. He's got a lot of ability. He can help this team, but he's got to settle down, do his job, do it consistently and we've also got to have the answer if it's not being done that way. So this week we are going to work André Davis and David Anderson with him, just even reps back there. (We) plan on probably going into the game using as a punt returner Jacoby Jones and David (Anderson). We'll make that decision later in the week, but whoever is going to be back there has to protect the ball. I think we had a fair catch situation on the first one. He was trying to make a play, but we've got to protect the ball there. (He) should have made the catch on the 12 or 13-yard line to keep us from getting backed up. (There's) a lot of responsibility there, but hey, this is the big boys and he's got to step up, handle it and do his job."

(on WR David Anderson playing to earn more repetitions) "I don't know how we can keep him (Anderson) off the field right now to be honest with you. He's played extremely well. If we lined up today, he's going to be on the field in our three wide I can tell you that, somehow someway. It's just the way he's playing. He's got a lot of confidence. (It) doesn't surprise me from what I've seen in camp. His teammates have a lot of confidence in him. It's easy to sit there and say, 'Well, where does he fit in if Andre's back healthy, you've got André Davis and Kevin (Walter). Where's David fit in?' I think David kind of has a little specialty about him, in the slot, doing those types of things. It's our job as coaches to have him in position to help us win. He's excellent after the catch as well too. Is he doing enough to get on the field really quick—yeah, at this point he sure is."

(on if anyone in the secondary that are trying to make the team stood out) "Going to the corners, I thought Petey (DeMarcus Faggins) and Fletch (Jamar Fletcher) played well last week. They didn't play poorly this week, but I thought they probably played a little better last week. As we continue with these young safeties, it's going to be a very, very difficult decision. We've got (Dominique) Barber and (Brandon) Harrison, so we tried to get as many reps as we could looking at them. I want to see them pick up the pace on special teams. That's important to me. We'll talk about this tomorrow morning with them, but to say that one guy stood out would be hard to say. I will say this; we think (strong safety) Nick Ferguson played well in the game. C.C. (Brown) and Will Demps played well in the game. We're still looking. (Derrick) Roberson did a couple of nice things. I think special teams is going to end up setting them all apart."

(on his particular disappointment with the special teams) "Well, I would like to hope that I could walk out here after a preseason game and talk about six or seven kids on special teams and how well they played. Our point of emphasis to those guys is when you are getting second or third reps from an offensive and defensive perspective you have to stand out on special teams and not just be a guy. I'm able to stand here today and tell you Harry (Williams) is standing out. There's no doubt about it. When you cut on the film, he is five or six yards ahead of everyone else. It's just the way he's playing the game. We need more of that. We've got to have these young kids do that. We're expecting that from (Xavier) Adibi. He's got a little ankle issue. He did not play last night. It happened early in the game. Some of these young kids have to be playing at that same level to help us get better."

(on where the team is at with (LB) Chaun Thompson, (DE) N.D. Kalu, and (DE) Roosevelt Colvin) "Well, they all got opportunities to rush the passer in nickel. I think Chaun (Thompson) is not 100 percent. I think he's getting close. You could tell last night that he can still make plays. He's got a nose for the ball. We'll continue to mess with our nickel this week, move it around so that we are getting reps and taking a look at all those guys. I was just glad to see Chaun get through with no setbacks. Chaun will stay isolated at the sound linebacker and then rush the nickel."

(on FB Vonta Leach's injury) "It's just really a shoulder bruise. They don't think it's anything significant. He had basically played his snaps. He made it through the first half. He wasn't going to play the second half anyways. I think we're OK. There are no problems today. They thought he had full strength. He may miss a day. He may miss practice tomorrow, but I expect him to be ok."

(on his plans with WR Andre Johnson and RB Ahman Green) "First off, we'll proceed with Andre (Johnson) as if he's ready to go this week. I think he could have played last week. He practiced with us every phase of practice except for the times we were going to bang around. He's ready to go. He's chomping at the bit. We'll work him toward playing in Dallas, but he will have to be 110 percent to play. I expect him to be ready to go. As far as Ahman (Green), I think we knew all along we were looking at about three weeks. I don't think there is much of a chance for him to play this week. I think we'll push him in his practice habits this week, his effort with the trainers and those types of things, but I don't think we'll see him."

(on any other injuries) "No. I think we're OK. Tim Carter got dinged in the last game. Hopefully, he's back on the field tomorrow. We'll get him looked at in the morning. A couple of bumps and bruises, but other than that we should be ok."

(on how the team has avoided turnovers on offense) "We just continue to hammer it, telling people to protect the ball. It's been a point of emphasis since we went to camp. If you don't turn the ball over in this league, it keeps you in football games. It keeps you within a play or two of winning every week. It's just hopefully the fact that we continue to harp on these guys, and hopefully it's becoming second nature. You just keep your fingers crossed and keep forward."

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