The Houston Texans released 21 players from their roster on Friday. The team has one more move to make before the 53-man roster limit deadline Saturday at 3 p.m. CT.
Coach Gary Kubiak and general manager Rick Smith discussed the moves Friday in a press conference at Reliant Stadium.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on the roster moves) "I think you guys are going to see, if I'm right, 21 names right there (on the released player list). So there is still one more move to make and we'll make that one here sometime in the next 24 hours. Ya'll can take a look at that and I'll field your questions without me going through it."
(on releasing DE Rosevelt Colvin) "Rosevelt, very difficult decision. I think we all know why we brought him here. We brought him in to try to use him as a specialist-type of player; a pass rusher. We worked with him at the end position; we worked with him at the linebacker position. The bottom line, when it was all said and done, to have a player on your team to just play nickel or just have that type of special role, it had to be special. We had to sit there and weigh him against other players that could play special teams and do some other things for the football team. When it was all said and done, we went in the other direction. You know, he busted his tail and did everything he could do. We tried to move him around as best we could, but when it was all said and done, the decision was made for a player that would do more things, especially from a standpoint of special teams."
(on if he is concerned with RB Chris Brown's back injury) "That's the other issue right now. We are evaluating his injury as we speak. So he's part of that process right now; that last move or that last thing that's going to take place here over the course of the next 24 hours. We are still evaluating. We have some people looking at his back and some of the work that we've done over the course of the last three days and we're trying to make a decision. That's why there is still one missing (from the released players list)."
(on the decision to release DT Anthony Maddox) "Yeah, it was a tough decision between (DT Frank) Okam and Maddox. It was very close; Anthony did some real good things in the game last night. Frank took a step forward as a player last night. I'll tell you just like I told Anthony. When it gets real close like that between two players, you know, we went young. And we did that in a couple spots. We are going with the young player that we think has a lot of upside. Is (Okam) there yet? No, he has a long, long way to go. But we think he gives us a big, big presence that we don't have on this football team inside. We are expecting him to make a lot of ground. We are letting a good football player go in Anthony and the job he did for us. It was a decision of going young at that spot."
(on how tough the decision at defensive back was) "Yeah, it was very difficult. We ended up, as of right now we've got nine (defensive backs). We went with four corners, of course (CB) Dunta (Robinson) being on PUP and we expect him back. Tough decision to make on (CB Derrick) Roberson to be honest with you. Played really well throughout the preseason. Struggled a little bit last night at times, but it wasn't a lack of effort or anything he was doing. I think the fact that he has some practice squad eligibility came into our thinking there. So we'll see what happens from that standpoint. Kept five safeties. We really like our two young safeties. Of course (S) Glenn Earl got caught up in that. Everything I just said about the (DT Anthony) Maddox situation, I could echo the exact same thoughts right there. We went with two young guys in (S Dominique) Barber and (S Brandon) Harrison. We do plan on playing Harrison outside some with some of the things we are doing. He'll be one of the safeties that will play outside like he did in college, so he'll play some corner also. We kept two young players here that we think have a chance to be good special teams players."
(on the quarterback situation) "Well, it's obvious who our two are and the type of players that they are. So we chose to go with two again. As far as the two young kids, we are considering both of them as a practice squad player. In all honesty, we are going to look at the wire also to see what's going on there. As I told both of them young men, one of them could be coming back as a practice squad player or we could go in another direction. I don't know, we'll see how that pans out. You know, right now, we'll go with our two, but you definitely like to have a third one around one way or the other. You all know I feel that way."
(on going with three running backs) "Well, right now the number is four total, right? There's three halfbacks, if you don't count (RB) Chris (Brown) depending on what happens here with his injury. So we're obviously short there. I think we all know, standing here today, there's some moves to be made over the course of the next couple of days. We understand how short we are there if he is not available and ready to go. If that happens, you're looking at the wire. You're still making a decision. You could make a decision between (RB Marcel) Shipp and (RB) Darius (Walker) to come back, but to get down the numbers today we made these decisions."
(on C Chris White being the backup center) "We see (G Mike) Brisiel and (C Chris) White. Chris, we've listed as our backup center. If we suit seven on game day, Brisiel will be our backup center. We are going to work as far as who we are going to suit on game day. As far as the roster and how we list them, Chris White will be listed as our backup center. Brisiel can do both, though."
(on if there is concern about linebacker depth) "Yeah, I don't want to use the word disappointment, because there is nothing you can do about it. We've got six guys there right now. Those six are pretty cut-and-dry decisions, but two of those players have basically been inactive. I mean, (LB Chuan) Thompson and (LB Xavier) Adibi have not played much at all this preseason. We know, potentially, what they can do for our football team. We needed to be done, so we've had patience with them. We expect Thompson back full speed for Pittsburgh. I think there's still a little doubt about Xavier and his Achilles right now, but that has made it very, very difficult on us. It's made it very difficult on (special teams coach) Joe (Marciano) as far as linebackers helping him on special teams. Another thing that was tough today was this (LB Kevis) Coley kid. He played his tail off last night. A really, really hard decision for us. We like him a lot. There's still a possibility he could come back somehow, someway, so we'll see."
(on what the nickel and dime situation is) "Well, we can move some people around in there. Of course (CB) Fred's (Bennett) a guy that goes inside. That is a concern, as far as who backs up Fred inside. (CB) Jacques (Reeves) has played some inside, so we can move some guys around. As we move forward here, over the course of the waiver wire here, over the next 24 hours, that is something we will be looking at. That is a little bit of a concern for us, but we thought both of those guys can do it."
(on when he expects to make a decision about either Chris Brown or the last player to be released) "I don't know. I have to wait until I have more information. Rick and I have to sit down with that. Rick can probably answer that better than I can because I've been involved with some other meetings here over the course of the last two hours. But we have a tough decision to make there, we just have to make sure we use all of our time and do the right thing about the kid."
General manager Rick Smith
(on how disappointing it was about DE Rosevelt Colvin) "It is. As (head coach) Gary (Kubiak) talked about, the idea behind adding (DE) Rosevelt (Colvin) to our team was to add an element of pass rush. When you do something like that at the position of defensive end, he's got to show something special if you're going to carry a specialist on your roster. Those 53 positions are very sacred. We just didn't feel like that element was there enough for us to carry a specialist. It's disappointing. Everybody knows our relationship, and so I had hoped that he could add something to our team that obviously we feel like is not going to be there. We decided to move in a different direction."
(on if DE N.D. Kalu's performance in training camp had an affect on the decision with DE Rosevelt Colvin) "I think the two are mutually exclusive. I don't think it had anything to do with it. (DE) N.D. (Kalu) did an excellent job this summer in the offseason, and you're right, he did do some really good things, but I think that there is a place for another pass rusher in this defense. So I don't think the two were related at all."
(on the chances of CB Derrick Roberson getting picked up by another team) "He (CB Derrick Roberson) does, and that's a risk you run when you elect to go this route. We certainly have been pleased with what we have seen as he has developed over the course of the summer and training camp. We're hopeful that we can get him back to the practice squad. I think that the kid is on the come up. I think he is a developing player. I think he is a very diligent player. He's a hard working kid, very competitive. We're hopeful that we can continue that developing here, and at some point, he'll realize his potential and make our roster."
(on what went into the decision with cutting CB Jamar Fletcher) "Well, it was not anything different than any other thing. You've got to weigh what you feel like the guy adds to your football team versus some other positions. When you put a 53-man roster together, there are so many variables, as you all know, the different numbers of players at a particular position. We elected at this point to go with four corners and go heavier at some other positions. The complexion of what this roster looks like today and the 53 guys that are on here today, we haven't even gotten to 53 yet. We're still at 54 at this point. What that looks like when we get done tomorrow at 3 p.m., it could change in a week. It could change in two weeks. It does that. We're constantly retooling, and our practice squad could change relative to what happens on the 53-man roster. It's fluid. It's a fluid process, and we understand that. The thing that we tried to do and the goal we set out to do was to put the best 53 guys together that we felt that would give us the best chance to go beat Pittsburgh. That's what we're doing."
(on the tackle position situation with six players) "Yeah. We went a little heavy just like we just talked about. We went a little heavy on the offensive line. As you put a team together and you assess value and one position versus another position, we just felt like all those players at this point deserve to be on our team and give us a chance to go win and be competitive. If you look at our offensive tackle group, there's a bunch of guys there, but (T) Ephraim's (Salaam) been off for a little while with the knee. (T) Rashad (Butler) had a little bit of a shoulder deal yesterday. He's going to be fine. All of the sudden you look like you're heavy at a position, but injuries can take its toll on positions at certain times. I think a little bit of that has a little bit to do with it. Again, it's just trying to get the best 53 guys at the end of the day."
(on what is going on with the evaluation of RB Chris Brown) "We are trying to be as diligent as possible. We had another MRI ordered the other day, and we're assessing that and assessing where we feel like he is as a player and what his contribution can be on our football team this year. We want to exhaust every opportunity that we can to make a good decision on that. So that's what we're doing."
(on if the team realizes that RB Chris Brown can't play, will the situation at RB be a problem?) "Well, I don't know if it's a problem. We've got three guys that we feel pretty good about, but we've only got four running backs when you count the fullback in (FB) Vonta (Leach). I think (head coach) Gary (Kubiak) talked to you about the fact that we're really going to be watching the waiver wire over the next couple of days. We've already done some work as a pro scouting staff to anticipate where we think some players may be or who might be available. Certainly, we will continue to look at that, and then once the releases actually happen, we'll take a look at who might be available and what are some of our other options if in fact (RB) Chris (Brown) is not available to us."
(on the affect that Hurricane Gustav has on Texans' upcoming plans) "What I'm learning is that we could have this conversation a lot during this time of year. The thing that I would say to you is similar to what I said before a couple of weeks ago. We've got a hurricane preparedness plan. We've got various scenarios and various levels of that plan. Whatever happens will dictate where we go and what we do. We're ready for it. We've got anything from nothing and just tracking where we've got internal communication going where everybody understands what's going on, or the potential all the way up to packing everything up and leaving. So it runs the gamut. We'll be prepared. We are tracking it. I actually spoke with Ron Hill at the league office a couple of days ago about it. We're in touch with the league. We're in touch internally, so we've got a plan."