Head coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media Monday afternoon about the Texans' loss on Monday Night Football and the team's growing injury list.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on QB Matt Schaub's ankle injury) "He has a sprained ankle. He'll be day-to-day, so we're shooting for opening day. There will probably just be an update every day to see how he's doing but it's a sprained ankle."
(on if he is worried that QB Matt Schaub will not be ready for the Jets game) "No, I'm not at that point right now. Just coming off of it, he's very upbeat about it. He called me actually, on the way home last night as I was driving home, he called and told me, 'Hey, I'll be fine. I'll be ready to go.' But he does have the ankle and like I said, I think it is something we'll be dealing with day-to-day and see how much progress he can make."
(on WR Kevin Walter's status) "He's got a good hamstring. He's the same way, trying to work towards week one with him. It'll be day to day with him. Obviously, it'll be a little time but we're hoping he makes it back for opening day and it'll be the same thing for (FS) Eugene (Wilson). We're in the same boat with all three of those guys."
(on who fills WR Kevin Walter's position if he is not ready) "Naturally, (WR) André Davis steps in for Kevin. For (FS) Eugene (Wilson), I don't know. There are a lot of combinations we can use. Let's hope that doesn't happen. Let's hope all these guys are okay."
(on if he is looking for help on the defensive line outside of the current personnel) "This is the time of year, not so much today, but next week at this time, there's massive cut downs in the National Football League and a lot of good players let go. We're always looking to improve our football team and look at guys. Right now, we're going with the guys we've got. Obviously, we moved some people around last night, we started (DT Shaun) Cody at the nose and he did some good stuff in the game. These guys have got to step forward and play well."
(on if any positions were solidified after last night's game) "No, I think we've got some big questions to answer here as we go to Tampa. Obviously, it's a very, very difficult turnaround here to come off of last night, get a little short practice tomorrow, about 45 minutes Thursday morning and then we've got to go to Tampa. So, short period of time, but we've got some questions to answer. We've got some starters on this team that need to play a great deal in this game. So I think it is a little bit different than it's been the last couple of years so hopefully we can get those questions answered in Tampa."
(on if playing starters in the fourth preseason game is unusual) "Yeah, but we've got some unusual situations. You know, (G) Chester's (Pitts) situation is unusual. You know, he's only played a quarter and a half of football this offseason. (C) Chris Myers—unusual. He's missed a lot of time. So things like that and a lot of questions that we've got to have answered on the defensive side of the ball. We can only do that by playing and even though it's a short, short week, we've got to get these guys back on the field. They need to play."
(on the status of LB Brian Cushing) "Cushing is ready to play. He put the pads on last week for the first time. He did not go against our guys. He put them on and went through individuals and stuff. Obviously, we're not going to out there and beat on each other tomorrow of Thursday morning and then try turn around and play on Friday. But we will probably put him in pads some tomorrow and Thursday morning, so that he can get some physical work even if it's after practice. I think he will be available to play. I just think we have to see how he responds to tomorrow and Thursday morning and then make a decision from there. I have no doubt that he will be there on opening day. So I think he is still a question mark for this game."
(on how difficult it would be for a rookie to have his first game be the regular season opener) "That's very difficult. We had a big conversation about that today but the bottom line is we'll have him available. So we're glad we've got him available and he'll be there that day. He's played in a lot of big football games and you've got to give him a lot of credit right there. We've got to do what's best for our team and our team needs him on that Sunday."
(on if LB Brian Cushing will be thrown right into the starting lineup) "Well, we'll see. We'll have to see what happens. To think that a guy like that could start on opening day and play 70 plays is pretty farfetched, but I think this kid is capable of going in there and helping us be successful that day so we've just got to go about it the right way."
(on Viking's QB Brett Favre's crack back block) "I'm not going to comment on that. That's in the leagues hands. I'm going to stay away from that."
(on DT Shaun Cody playing the nose position) "I like his energy. I like the way he plays. He's a big effort player chasing the ball. He's always going a hundred miles an hour chasing the ball down the field. I think he fits good with our group. He's a veteran guy, knows what's going on. I liked what I saw with him in terms of fitting with our group. I feel good about him going forward. To sit here and say, 'He won the nose spot' or something like that, I don't think we're right there yet. We'll make that decision here in the next week but we like what we saw from him."
(on who he is excited to see play in this last game) "Well I think there are a couple issues. Obviously, with (WR) Kevin's (Walter) issue that he's dealing with right now, (WR) Jacoby (Jones) is going to play a great deal in this game. (WR Darnell) Jenkins will play a great deal in this game. (WR Glen ) Martinez has really done some good things when he's had a chance to play so I think that's interesting. Those guys will play a great deal. These two tight ends (James Casey and Anthony Hill) need to play a bunch. They've done some good things. We gave them a chance, especially Anthony, to play with the first group last night. He struggled some with that group so I'm anxious to see him come back and see how he responds in this game. (LB Xavier) Adibi needs to play some more football. I want to see how he responds in Tampa this week. Like I said, (C) Chris (Myers) and (G) Chester (Pitts) need some more time this week. There's a lot of things going on there but there's some good battles going on at the safety position so we'll see what happens Friday and make our decisions from there."
(on if RB Arian Foster will get some more carries) "Yeah, he was a bright spot in the game. Offensively, he didn't play many plays, but he had a nice run, he picked up a nice protection on a gap call which is a tough thing to do as a back. On special teams, he showed up a couple times. He's obviously a player that is on the bubble in the backfield and so he helped himself last night and he's going to play a great deal Friday night."
(on the progress of backup QB Dan Orlovsky) "He's making progress, but he's continuing to make some of the mistakes that can get you hurt. I visited with him today. I was impressed with him coming on the field last night to start the second half, taking us right down the field, making a couple of really nice plays. You're disappointed in the play he tries to make on the 13-yard line. You just can't do that. He understands that. We talked about that, but that's the key to him helping this team win and the key to his career—eliminating those 3 or 4 plays that can get you beat. We'll keep working with him. (Offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) and I have got to do a better job with him. We've got to get him more comfortable, just out there and in and out of the huddle and all those things. Obviously, you can't make those mistakes and win."
(on if Orlovsky will play the entire game on Friday) "No, he will not play the full game. I'm going to play him and (QB) Rex (Grossman) and (QB) Alex (Brink) may play some also. Grossman will be back and ready to go."
(on if he is comfortable with QB Dan Orlovsky if QB Matt Schaub can't play against the Jets) "Yes. Dan is our backup if something happens to our starter. He has to go in there and perform at a high level. He's got some good opportunities to play in this preseason and to me, that was more important last night, the way he got pushed into a situation with the first group there, against the Minnesota ones in the third quarter. Obviously, we've got to eliminate those mistakes but if something is wrong with Matt, he's got to be ready to go."
(on if he saw anything in film that helps with why the running game is struggling) "No, we didn't run the ball well. We struggled. Our first group ran the ball well a little bit in the second game against New Orleans, but overall, we've not run the ball very well at all during the preseason. That's the cornerstone of our offense. When we run the ball well, our play-actions are good, our boots are good—all those things. It's been disappointing, We're doing some stuff today, going back and researching ourselves a little bit but bottom lines is it hasn't been good enough."
(on what happened on the play where QB Matt Schaub was called for grounding) "We were running a naked boot and the end came up the field, so it's called calling a bad play. Normally, if the defensive end is going up field and hitting your quarterback on boots, you ought to be able to run the ball. That means you've got a cutback lane. So they go hand in hand. Their hand was better than ours was yesterday. "
(on if he is happy with where RB Steve Slaton is at right now) "Yeah, he's improved as a pass protector, so that was important going into training camp. Obviously, we have not run the ball well. I think he takes on a portion of that. Our guys up front and him, they're all in that together. He's had a good training camp. He's ready to go play this year. Would I have liked for him to come out of this preseason averaging five yards per carry? Yeah I wish he would. But that's not the case. Let's see if we can go correct it and get it better."
(on if he feels better or worse after watching film) "I think we played a dang good football game against a good team. Obviously, we started poorly. I like the way our defense responded. They kept our team in the game. It could've gotten real ugly. They kept us in the game and played very well. Offensively, we played poorly for the first 15 plays of the game and then came up with two big drives before the half and you're in a 17-10 football game against a good team and that's part of this league. Third quarter, you're on the 13-yard line, right there to tie the ballgame up. But the bottom line, you gave up two big plays and you gave up points with our two turnovers. When that happens, you're not going to win. That game last night was no different than the one we're going to play in a couple weeks here. That's the way this league is."
(on FS Eugene Wilson's missed tackle at the end of the first half) "He should've made the play. I think he thought he was knocking him out of bounds, you know? I think he thought he was knocking him out of bounds but a good back is not going to just go out of bounds. He is going to lower his shoulder and stay inbounds and that's what he did. He did a good job. Eugene needs to make that tackle."
(on how he thought LB Xavier Adibi played last night) "Not as well as he's capable of playing. He had made some progress. Obviously , we started camp with him and (LB) Zac (Diles) in a battle for the Will (weakside) linebacker spot, assuming that Cush (LB Brian Cushing) was going to the Sam (strongside) spot. Then with Brian going out, they split ways, so to speak. I would say Zac has upheld his end of the bargain. He's played pretty darn well. X (Adibi) has been a little inconsistent and probably last night was not one of his better preseason games."
(on what will happen when LB Brian Cushing returns to the lineup) "We'll see. We'll take it day by day. We're going to play our best three players, whoever they are."