During his weekly press conference, Texans coach Gary Kubiak discussed the Texans' Monday Night Football victory and the health of starting quarterback Matt Schaub, among other topics.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on if QB Matt Schaub will start versus Green Bay) "Well, I think if everything goes OK this week, then expectations are that he goes back into his role as our starter. But let's wait and see how he works this week. He did come in today and work out, and that went good. Obviously, we'll pick his reps up on Wednesday, but all indications are that he should be fine."
(on how you know when a guy can take a hit on a torn ligament because you can't practice it) "Yeah, I don't know. That's not something you're going to find out on the practice field. You just trust the doctors and the times they've dealt with players with that situation. They feel very good about it. They felt very good about him going into the (Jaguars) game after we all viewed practice on Friday. They were very confident that he could play and play well. But I think we're very fortunate that he did not have to play in that game. I think the extra rest will help him."
(on if he can trust when QB Matt Schaub tells him he is ready to play) "Yeah, I mean, you have to as a coach. I mean, he was beating my door down last week telling me he was ready. But as I studied him, I was comparing his work before he got injured to how he was practicing last week and I saw a little bit of a difference of Wednesday and Thursday. I thought he closed the gap on Friday when he practiced more. I'm expecting him to close the gap even more this week. But that's something that we have to deal with. There are players that don't think they can go that you have to push to go. That happens, and then there are guys that tell you, 'Hey, I'm fine, I'm going, I'm playing,' and you have to stop them and say, 'No, not yet, you're not.' So that's just part of what we do and of a lot of things he wants the evaluation."
(on if playing on the cold, slippery surface of Lambeau Field will affect the decision to play QB Matt Schaub or not) "No. If he can play, then he can play. That's not going to play into it. Weather-wise up there, you know it's going to be cold. That's just part of playing up there. But they do a great job with their field, so regardless of what the conditions were, if we think he can play, we'll go from there."
(on how you prepare differently to play in the cold at Green Bay) "Well, I mean, being in Houston, there's no way we can find a place to prepare for what we're going into to. We were in Cleveland a couple of weeks ago. I'm being told today that it's supposed to be 10 to 15 degrees colder (than in Cleveland), somewhere between 12 and 20 (degrees) is what I was told today. So, cold is cold. We're going to have to go down there and function, you know, protect the football and do a good job."
(on preparing with a short week coming off of a Monday night game) "Well, we had a little chance with it last year playing on Thursday coming off a Sunday. That was even shorter. The coaches got a head start all day Monday. They were up here in their offices Monday before the game yesterday working on Green Bay. And of course, we're cramming today. The biggest thing is your players are lacking a day's rest. We'll have to kind of structure our practice schedule from that standpoint to get them as fresh as we possibly can. We're at that point in the season, anyways, so we'll get the work done. It's really just making sure we take care of the players, that they are full speed come Sunday."
(on the key to being in every road game) "It usually comes down to protecting that ball. If you go on the road and you do something in games in the first quarter, second quarter, that gets the home crowd going, whether it's turning the ball over, getting sacked, getting sloppy somehow, that adds to your problems on the road. I think any team that goes on the road in the National Football League would like to tell you, 'If I'm there in the fourth quarter and one play away from winning, I would consider that having a chance for success.' So this won't be any different for us. We've won the turnover battle the last couple of games, and it will be extremely important against this group. Running the ball is usually a big key for us."
(on if RB Steve Slaton came out of the game healthy) "Yeah, he's fine. He was exceptional in the game. He played extremely well, got stronger as the game went on. I'm very proud of him. That's a heck of game by him."
(on if QB Sage Rosenfels' early interception caused him to be more conservative in his play calling) "No, we actually threw the ball a bunch in the first half. I think we called 22 passes, probably too many. We got a little too aggressive at times. Did the interception change (the strategy)? No, it didn't. You know, we stayed aggressive. In the second half, though, we did feel like we needed to run the ball more. Our defense was playing exceptional and we were running the ball pretty good in the first half, just didn't run it enough. So I think our philosophy may have changed a little bit going into the second half, but it wasn't because of an interception."
(on DE Mario Williams playing well in night games) "Yeah, that was something. I tell you, he's been playing really well. He hasn't had the numbers in the last few weeks, the sacks haven't been there, but he's played as good in those games the past few weeks as he did last night. He gets a lot of recognition for the sacks and those types of things, but he's a heck of a player and he's slowly on his way to becoming a great player. To give you a little insight to where he's at in his career right now, this kid's here at 2:00 yesterday watching film of his opponent he's fixing to play. When you start to do that as a player in your career, then you're ready to take some giant steps. So it was a heck of an outing by him, and he's getting some help."
(on any injuries in the game) "You know, our biggest question is (DE Anthony) Weaver. I think I told ya'll after the game last night, I think I mentioned hamstring. Actually, his knee is bothering him more than anything. He had gotten an injection after the game. You know, he battles both his knees and has been playing very, very well. So he will be our biggest question mark as we go into this game. (LB) Chaun Thompson had the hamstring, (but) I was wrong when I spoke about Weaver. It was his knee."
(on FB Vonta Leach and what he means to the team) "He's becoming a leader on this football team. He's been our sixth captain the last two weeks and he tells me he needs to be a captain again this week because he's a good one. So he's played very well for us. He's taken to (assistant head coach/offense) Alex's (Gibbs) system. He's learned from Alex what Alex wants from him. (He's) a very physical player. He's got a great personality on the field with everybody else and he has become a leader in his own way. Really, he's one fullback for us. We've got (FB) Cecil (Sapp) in here, but we've held up with one guy all year long. So it's been pretty darned good."
(on what makes FB Vonta Leach such a good lead blocker) "He's willing to stick his head in there. He's not going to take an edge on a linebacker. He'll take them right down the middle. He's a very smart player. He understands protections. We can get away with him blocking big players like 3-4 linebackers, those types of things that give you a chance game-plan wise against 3-4 football teams. But he brings a lot of energy to the group. He plays well on special teams, also."
(on if he is happy with where the team is with big plays) "Yeah, I don't know where we rank. I know we're in the top 10 somewhere, but we have made our share of big plays this year. It usually comes from running the ball well. Our play-action has continued to be pretty good, which it has been the last two years. (RB) Steve's (Slaton) speed is adding to that right now. Actually, we didn't have a very good play on the screen. That was all him making a big play, taking the ball back out the back side. But having that opportunity to have a player back there who can turn a small one into a big one, that's helped."
(on if the goal-line offense at the one was the worst thing that happened last night) "That was not good. We had first-and-goal at the two. We had the play that we wanted and felt good about against the looks they gave us. We just got pushed around up front both times and stubbornly tried it a third time. So that was the down part of the evening. Let's say that."
(on if the defense playing well is from the competition and how much better will they have to be to stop the Packers' offense) "Well, the Packers move the ball extremely well. They're going test them spreading them out probably more so than these last two teams did, but the thing we're doing on defense is we're making our share of plays. We're still making mistakes and we're having people move the ball. This team moved the ball on us last night. They had 380 yards of offense. But we're coming up with turnovers. We're coming up with plays. Fourth down, we come up with a big play, things that are getting us off of the field. So to me, it boils down to guys doing a little bit more, and they'll be tested as well as they've been tested all year long down there in Green Bay, so need to continue."
(on getting turnovers on defense and what is accounting for those) "Well, I think sometimes those things just come in bunches, but I just think we're more aggressive right now as a group. We've had the same guys on the field for a couple of weeks on defense, which we couldn't say earlier in the year. So we settled down from that standpoint at safety, with (CB) Dunta (Robinson) going back to his spot, with (LB Xavier) Adibi and (LB Kevin) Bentley. So I think they're just playing better together right now, and it's turning into some plays."
(on if he has heard anything on LS Bryan Pittman's appeal) "You know what, I have not. I have not. We do expect to hear something here very quickly, but I have not."
(on if that is a problem to have to bring in a new guy to long snap if the team has to) "We've had (TE/LS) Clark (Harris) here, so we've been preparing for this. So if it happens, that's why Clark Harris is here on the practice squad. So it would just be a quick move for us, and he's been practicing as if it could happen, so we'll see."