Head coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media Monday about the team's 38-36 loss to Tennessee.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said wide receiver Andre Johnson, who sprained his left knee in Week 2, would probably not be ready to play against the San Diego Chargers. The coach does expect the Pro Bowler to start easing into practice this week.
Heart of the matter: After Sunday's gut-wrenching 38-36 loss to the Titans, head coach Gary Kubiak blamed himself for the team's early struggles. The head coach said he did not prepare the offense for Tennessee's blitzing package and he should have recognized that wideout Jacoby Jones' shoulder was not ready to take hard hits.
On Monday, Kubiak explained to the media why he takes each game so personally.
"I feel a big responsibility to those players," Kubiak said. "Whether you're coaching the linebackers or whether you're a coordinator or whether you're a head coach, the thing that makes you feel good as a coach or the thing that makes me feel good as a coach is when you have your players in a position to be successful. That's the greatest feeling in the world when you see a kid walk in that locker room that has just thrown three touchdowns or just ran for 150 yards or just had three interceptions. That's why we coach, to make those kids successful."
Now, the head coach wants to move forward and put his team in position to be successful against San Diego.
"The great thing about this league is that you get to go fight again," Kubiak said.
"It's hard because you work your tail off to win games and for players to be successful, and when it doesn't go that way, it's very, very difficult to handle. But the great thing about it is you get to wake up the next day and go try again."
The other great thing is that the coach saw what his team is made of: heart.
"I mean, our kids play hard," Kubiak said. "They all played hard yesterday. I've been around games like that where you struggle, struggle and struggle, you just can't make the play to get out of a funk, so to speak."
"But I've never been around a quarter like we had in the fourth quarter, neither."
Schaub's status: Quarterback Matt Schaub watched from the sidelines as his team scored a franchise-record 29 points in the fourth quarter. The starting signal caller suffered hip and lower leg injuries, forcing him to leave the game in the first half.
MRI's did not reveal structural damage, but the team will list Schaub as day-to-day.
"He's got an extremely beat up hip, a lower leg, he's got the thigh that he's been nursing for a couple of weeks," Kubiak said. "So he's just generally beat up, but we think he's going to be OK. We will say that he's day-to-day right now and hopefully he's out there Wednesday and can do something."
If Schaub is not ready to play against the Chargers, Kubiak will start Sage Rosenfels, who tied an NFL record Sunday by completing four fourth-quarter touchdowns.
"Sage, he's a fine player, and if Matt can't go, we go with Sage," Kubiak said. "And if Matt's capable but we don't think he's 100 percent, then maybe he's (Schaub) the backup. I don't know; that'll play itself out, but we're sure hoping that he is somewhat available once we get to the weekend."
As far as Rosenfels' backup is concerned, the Texans are considering signing a quarterback who is eligible to play on the practice squad. Their first choice would be Jared Zabransky, who played with the team in the preseason and was cut in early September. Kubiak said the organization would make a decision by Tuesday evening.
Determined to run: The Texans recorded only 39 rushing yards Sunday, but Kubiak is determined to find a way to make the running game an offensive threat.
"It's a combination of things, but the bottom line is we're running 12 to 13 times and that's not a lot of opportunities there," Kubiak said.
"We need to find a way to get back to running the ball, and the only way we're going to do that is if we just keep pounding away and hopefully find a way for it to get better."
The Texans' pass first offense certainly ignited a gutsy fourth-quarter comeback, but Kubiak said the team can't survive throwing the ball that much. And neither can the quarterback.
"We've been in some situations where we're going to try to find a way to win that game, and if that means we have to throw it, we'll throw it," Kubiak said. "You sure would like him to come out of a game here at some point and throw the ball 22 to 25 times and feel like you're running the ball better, but that hasn't been the case.
"If you're throwing it 40 times a games, you're probably going to be getting hit in this league and that's definitely what's happening."
The Titans kept the pressure on Schaub, sacking him twice and sending him to the sidelines with severe hip and leg bruises.
"We played against a good front," Kubiak said. "Could we have played better? Yes, we can all play better; that's part of it. But I don't see anybody up there who's not battling, doing everything they could possibly do for us to win a football game."
The other side: On the other side of the ball, the defense played its best red-zone football of the season.
"I thought it was amazing what they did to keep our football in the game for the position they were put in," Kubiak said. "I've never seen a team hold somebody to two-for-nine in the red zone. That was something else."
Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans also amazed, sacking quarterback Kerry Collins, forcing a fumble and returning the fumble for a 26-yard touchdown. Ryans also recorded nine tackles for the game.
Defensive tackle Travis Johnson continued to impress coaches with his tenacity in the pass rush.
"The kid's playing hard," Kubiak said of Johnson. "He's found another gear. He's playing the way I think everybody expected him to play from the day he walked in the door here."
And cornerback DeMarcus (Petey) Faggins, who was called for pass interference in the end zone, recovered from the call to post a solid game.
"You know, the pass interference call, he looks like he was playing good defense to me," Kubiak said. "That's part of the game. You understand that, but it looks like he was in good position, looks like the ball was long.
"I thought that Petey played good."
Of note: Due to brush fires sweeping Southern California, San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium is currently being used as an evacuation center. There is a chance that the Texans game in San Diego on Sunday will be played in Arizona. For more information, click here.