Texans head coach Gary Kubiak met with the media on Monday afternoon at Reliant Stadium. The following is a transcript of his interview.
Head coach Gary Kubiak(on Football Night in America criticizing the coaching for CB Jason Allen's positioning on the 42-yard pass to WR Braylon Edwards) "I don't know anything that happens on these shows, so obviously you know more than I do. We're playing two-man. He was not supposed to be on the outside. He's working his inside hip. We're in trail all the way, but we've got to stay with him. Obviously, as a safety we can keep our width and not get so involved with the inside routes, so we can play the coverage better. I don't know what they're talking about."
(on the positioning of CB Brice McCain on the four-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards and leaving the middle open) "We're in a zero-coverage. You're right. We should take away the inside. No, there's no way we should get beat on a slant right there, so we've got to get that fixed. That's our fault as coaches."
(on the same positioning error with CB Brice McCain on the 41-yard touchdown pass to WR Santonio Holmes) "No, we're in man coverage right there. He's got help in the middle of the field. We're in a totally different coverage. Brice is supposed to be playing his leverage the way he played it. He just needed to play it tighter and play his hip better. That's two totally different plays and two totally different coverages."
(on how he can justify keeping defensive coordinator Frank Bush right now) "Because I believe in him. I think we played much better defense yesterday. I think if we finished the game yesterday, we'd be talking about how much better we were. There were a lot of good things that went on. I believe in the guy. That's why he's here with me. We'll figure out a way to get it done."
(on the improved pass rush yesterday and if there is any defensive back playing well right now) "First off, yesterday was the best we've rushed the passer all year long. Probably the thing we did which wasn't good, was we had about four or five chances, where we've got to get ourselves, body-wise, in better position to finish the play and sack the quarterback. We even had two opportunities in the last four plays. We were very active up front. As far as the back end, yesterday, I thought (CB) Kareem (Jackson) played better on the back end. There were a lot of good things that went on back there. You give up a couple plays late in the game and it negates everything that you did positive. It's the same thing. If you get beat, it goes back to the two or three negative things that you did. When you don't win, it's not good enough by everybody, but there were some guys doing some good stuff."
(on people saying he didn't even want to score a touchdown following the interception and that's why they continued to run the ball) "We want to score a touchdown every time we run a play. We ran our three best four minute, two-tight plays, where we tighten down the formations. We're trying to make sure we stay in bounds. The goal was to make them use their timeouts. The other goal, obviously, is if we can score, we want to score. I think we did everything we possibly wanted to do there other than the fact we didn't score a touchdown. We made them use their timeouts. We gave them the ball back with 49 seconds. We're up by four. We should win that game."
(on FS Eugene Wilson's positioning QB Mark Sanchez's deep pass to WR Braylon Edwards to set up the game-winning touchdown) "We just need to keep our width better. I don't think anybody is out there trying to do something wrong. We need to play better from both perspectives, from a corner and safety. The kid made a tremendous throw. He made a great play, give them some credit. Nobody is out there trying to make that mistake. I know (FS) Eugene (Wilson) and he's not trying to either."
(on what FS Eugene Wilson said to him after the game regarding that play) "Not much, other than the fact that we need to get wider and blow it up and stop the play."
(on why DE Mario Williams hasn't showed up like a big-time player since the Washington game) "I disagree with you. I don't think it's been since Washington. (DE) Mario (Williams) has been consistent. Mario gets doubled, tripled. He gets battled all the time. He sees a lot of variations for people to stop him. I think his effort has been consistent. His play has been consistent. Obviously, it shows up more yesterday because of sacks, but I think Mario gives us what he's got week in and week out. Anytime you're not getting it done, everybody can do something better and that would include Mario."
(on why they are giving up more yards passing than last year) "I could sit here and give you all kind of—there're no excuses. We're obviously struggling back there. Statistically, that's where we're struggling so people attack us that way. It's like the Jets yesterday. They've got a 23-10 lead and we've got them backed up and they come out throwing. That actually gets us back in the football game. In this league, when you're struggling in one area, that's where people come after you. That hasn't changed. That's the way I see it right now."
(on if he has considered going up tempo the entire game) "I look at the start yesterday and we had three possessions in the first quarter. I could be wrong. You know the stats better than I do. I think we had the ball at the 5, 19 and 22 (yard lines) and so we had poor field position. We got the ball out of the hole a couple times. We did flip the field and got them pinned on their end a couple times. When you're playing a team that good defensively and of that caliber, that's okay. Would I like to score 28 points in the first quarter? You bet. We did a couple things that got the field position flipped the way we wanted it. We got a big drive against them and took the lead 7-3. We had a chance to make a huge play in the second quarter that I know (WR) Kevin (Walter) would love to have back. It could've been a big play in the game. This team has given up, I think, 71 points in the first nine games in the first half, so it's a pretty good football team. You can't get frustrated. At the end of the day, you've got to find enough to win the game. We moved the ball pretty good and over the course of the third quarter, we had seven snaps, but we found a way to score 27 points. We should find a way to win the game. You're always looking for more when it's not enough."
(on why a timeout wasn't called as time wound down in the first half of Sunday's game against the Jets) "I should have (called a timeout). I wanted us to spike the ball. I was trying to get that relayed to (QB) Matt (Schaub), to spike the ball. There would have been about 11 seconds left, we would have had a timeout left. The ball was on the 40 or 41. I was not going to try a field goal from there because I thought the ball wasn't carrying that way, which was evident when their kicker kicked the field goal. I would have loved to have the timeout and the 11 seconds to run another play but we didn't get that done, so I wish I would have called it."
(on the television graphic shown during the game regarding Houston's two-minute offense being 0-for-14 on the season) "I'll have to go back and look at that. But I don't think that's right."
(on if QB Matt Schaub suffered any setbacks with his knee injury) "No. He was very gutsy. He missed practice, a lot of time, and had a swollen knee. We were playing against a hell of a group. I thought we protected him very good; the only sack was right before the half. I liked our plan, the way we went about protecting our quarterback yesterday against this time because that's how you really get in trouble. He hung in there. I thought he did a good job, gave his team a chance to win."
(on the progress of TE Owen Daniels' injury) "You know, we'll see. We'll see when we take back to the field Wednesday. He was pushed a lot last week. We'll see how he comes out of that going into this week. Hopefully we can get him back, but obviously we're going to do what's best for him."
(on whether or not WR Andre Johnson was open against the Jets) "They (the New York Jets) do a good job. Like I said, they got two guys that can match up with him. They not only played us in a great deal of man and two-man, but when they did play us in man, they cheated the safety toward (WR) Andre (Johnson). So it made it very difficult. I mean, I have got to do everything I can to try and find a way to for him to touch the ball in those situations. So I can do a better job than I did yesterday. They're a good group. Our receivers were challenged all day to beat man coverage. But our tight end stepped up and was huge in the game. Somebody else has got to step up and make a play and (TE) Joel Dreessen played very well."
(on what he would tell fans who have given up on the Texans' season) "I would tell them that we sure as hell aren't giving up. There is a lot of football left to play. We're two games behind in our division. We're going to play a bunch of division games. We get ready to go play again this week; a big game against Tennessee here at home. We got a lot of things that happened yesterday that we need to hang onto. But in some tough situations, I've got to do a better job. I've got to figure out a way. I've got to put us through every possible situation I can in practice so we can handle some of these things better. So that's what I'm concentrating on right now. The effort is good. Obviously, we need a win with the effort."
(on the play of CB Jason Allen against the Jets and his plan for Allen going forward) "Well, he played 40-something plays. We've only had him eight days, so that's a big, big challenge for (defensive backs coach) David (Gibbs) and (senior defensive assistant) Ray (Rhodes) and (defensive backs assistant coach) Perry (Carter), to get a kid ready to play that many plays in an eight-day period of time. But I thought he came in and did a good job. We got to go talk about the end of the game there and just staying with your coverage right there and staying in his pocket. But for a short period of time, I think the guy helped us and should help us even more in the future."
(on words of encouragement he has offered to defensive coordinator Frank Bush) "Well, I thought he came down and handled the group very well. I thought we re-grouped better yesterday and I think that has a lot to do with (defensive coordinator) Frank (Bush) being down there. After they went down and scored, and we got beat in the zero coverage that time, Frank calmed them down on the sidelines. He kept them going and we made big plays on defense to get us back in the game. The one fumble gave us a chance and of course, the interception, which we thought had a chance to close the game. So, I thought he had it under control very well. There were a lot of good things going on but the last 49 seconds were not good enough. I'll keep Frank going. Frank works very hard. These players will keep him going. We'll get it fixed."
(on if it was his decision to bring defensive coordinator Frank Bush out of the coaches' box and onto the sideline against the Jets) "It was just to do something different. We needed to do something different with our guys. I think we need to continue to do that. I don't know what that'll be this week or next week, we'll see. But I think anything that we try to get better at something, and our business is always about trying to improve; I've got to improve this team in situations, situational football at the end of (the) game. I have to figure out a way for us to handle those situations better. So, start by looking at myself."
(on if Eugene Wilson will continue to start at free safety) "Yeah, he will. We're playing (S) Troy (Nolan) more. I think Troy played 30 plays yesterday; he played a lot of special teams. Yeah, (FS) Eugene (Wilson) will stay back there and like I said, Eugene did do a lot of good things yesterday. But everybody is contributing, everybody is playing."
(on the play of LBs Brian Cushing, Kevin Bentley and Darryl Sharpton) "That's the best the group has played. (SLB Brian) Cushing obviously went back to his spot, (he) has factored a lot more. (MLB) Kevin Bentley gets better every week. I thought he played exceptional yesterday as a veteran player in really leading our group. (WLB Darryl) Sharpton got an opportunity, an unforeseen opportunity, he took advantage of it. He's going to play a great deal; he deserves the opportunity to go back out there and play some more."
(on if he thinks the players still believe in this season) "You know, our job is to win. Our job is to win football games; it's very difficult right now on players, coaches, everybody, families, fans, you guys (the media). It's very difficult on everybody. All you do, is you work hard, keep pushing, keep battling at what you're doing. I've told you guys over and over again that our players are great. They work extremely hard. They work extremely hard in here, extremely hard on the field and I know they will continue to do that and we will do so."
(on if he is worried about losing his job) "I told you all before, I never worry about myself. We've to a lot of players, coaches, people to worry about; I don't worry about myself."
(on if he's worried about the coaches he's hired) "That's what I said. I worry about a lot of other people, I don't worry about myself."
(on if he has had a chance to look at the Tennessee Titans) "No. I don't really know much about their situation right now. Obviously, the things I've heard today regarding injuries and that type of stuff, so I don't know. I'm just getting started on it."