Skip to main content
Houston Texans

Kubiak, Smith, McNair discuss Brown


In his first game as a starter for Virginia Tech, Duane Brown faced Texans defensive end Mario Williams.

After selecting offensive tackle Duane Brown with the 26h overall pick in the NFL Draft, head coach Gary Kubiak, general manager Rick Smith and Texans CEO and founder Bob McNair talked to the media.

General manager Rick Smith(opening statement) "Obviously, there was a lot of excitement in our draft room this morning and afternoon. Obviously, starting with the trade situation, first when we were on the clock at 18 and we were able to execute a trade with the Baltimore Ravens - actually, we feel really good about that. As a young football team trying to build, anytime you can move back and acquire draft picks, and we talked about that in the press conference, to have an opportunity to do that, pick up the third round pick and a six round pick, we felt great about that. Then to be able to select Duane Brown, and I will let Gary (Kubiak) talk to you about why we feel so good about this guy on our offense. We feel like it was a productive first round, it's just the beginning, and we are excited about the rest of the weekend."

{QUOTE}Head coach Gary Kubiak(opening statement) "First off, great job by Rick (Smith). In coaching, you work all week and you hope your game plan goes the way you prepared it to. The preparation for this draft, looking at our situation for the past month, it's amazing how things just fell over the course of the last hour. We are very excited to get Duane (Brown). There were some very good offensive linemen in this draft, obviously, as you saw them go throughout the first round. We have really been in love with this kid for a long time. He fits what we want to do. He is very athletic, which we want guys to get to the second level and do some cutting and those types of things. We think he is only on the rise. This kid is going to get better and better. And the biggest thing I like, there are a couple of things that really drew me to him. I love his passion to play the game. He loves to play football, and we have a couple of kids on the team that know him. I have never heard guys speak so highly of a former teammate. We're just very excited to get Duane (Brown), obviously we're calling on him to help this football team very, very early and like I said we are just very excited to get him."

Rick Smith(on how the first round trade came down) "Well, you know, like I said the other day, once you are three or four picks away, if you are at all interested in moving then you make those calls to say, 'Hey, listen, if you've got a guy at 18, then we'll be interested in moving back if we can.' We had been in contact with Baltimore over the course of the afternoon. So, it wasn't something that was last minute in the sense that we had just contacted them. We had been in contact with them over the first round."

(on if there were any thoughts of moving back again) "I don't think he (Gary Kubiak) could have handled that. By the time we made the pick he was in the back of the room."

Gary Kubiak
(on Smith's previous statement) "I actually heard the phone ring with about a minute left in Seattle's pick and I screamed down, 'Don't answer it!'"

(on if Brown reminds him of a Broncos player and how Brown affects offensive tackle Charles Spencer) "I'll start with Charles (Spencer) first. Charles (Spencer) is doing well. He is involved with our program; he's working out with the team. He's not 100 percent but he's on his way to getting there. We've had great conversations with him over the course of the last couple of weeks. We are counting on Charles (Spencer). We will probably start with him working inside when he is turned loose to actually go back out there with them team. There's no doubt in my mind that he can help out our football team and I think he'll push some of our starters very, very hard to get on the field, so what's been going on with Charles (Spencer) has been very positive. He's not there yet, but it's going well. As far as putting that pressure on Duane (Brown) and comparing him to a player, I hate to do that. I just like all the things I see. We like his length. We like his upside. We love his athletic ability. You know, you watch this guy work out at Indianapolis, the type of feet that he has. And to sit there and to see (assistant head coach/offense) Alex (Gibbs) talk about a player like he talked about this kid over the course of the last six weeks and for us to find a way to get him at 26, job well done."

(on what specifically it is that assistant head coach Alex Gibbs likes about Brown) "Well, the first thing he has got to be able to do is to protect the quarterback's blind side. Ya'll know in our division the players that he will see on a regular basis. When you talk about (Kyle) Vanden Bosch, you talk about (Dwight) Freeney - you know, those type of players that he's going to see week in and week out. So, he's got to be able to do that, which he definitely has the ability to do. But the thing we'd like to get to in the running game, which I think is a key to our football team, is taking another step and moving forward is to run the ball better. If we run the ball better we are going to get our defense of the field some and just be a football team that can control the game better. I think this kid is an automatic fit for what we want to do running the ball."

Rick Smith
(on being worried they wouldn't get Brown after moving back) "We were worried. I think I tried to be the calm in the storm because I had a room full of people who were scared to death that we were not going to get him. So I had to put on a good face, John. So we thought about that, we ran some scenarios, but at the end of the day I was just very confident that we would be able to get it done and I'm just thankful that we were. You know you got to have a little luck in this process. Gary (Kubiak) talked about our preparation and I really feel like we have had a real good month of solid preparation, and so I think that this process will go well this weekend but you've got to be lucky as well. You got to have some luck with it and I think we were fortunate today. We're just excited about adding this player because I think his upside is tremendous."

(on if there is a chance the team will move up) "There is. And we will go back down and start setting that up and maybe make some phone calls and try to put some value together to see if it makes sense for us to move into the second round. If not, we will get two good players in the third round and are really fortunate enough to pick that sixth round pick up again that we had given away for Chris Myers. So we will get some good players. There is value in this draft in the third and fourth rounds, so we feel good about that and will be able to help our team."

Gary Kubiak
(on discovering Brown through tape of last years pick from Virginia Tech, Brandon Frye) "Oh, we definitely knew who he was. Of course Brandon (Frye) was a little bit of a different situation. We saw Brandon (Frye) going inside as a pro player and we saw him becoming a guard, which is where he works for us now and will battle for a job. We did have a little insight on the kid. But I think what happened was that he switched over. He went to left this year. One of the things that hasn't been mentioned is that this kid has played against players that he is going to play against in this league. He went against Chris Long. This guy went against good players on a week in week out basis. That was one the things that caught our eye about him. He's going to see that same type of speed and those same type of guys."

Texans founder and CEO Bob McNair(on how excited he is about Brown given the team's history at left tackle) "Well, I'm really excited about him because number one, he's healthy. A lot of the tackles that we looked at in the draft weren't quite as healthy as he is. With most football players, they have something wrong with them – a shoulder, an elbow, a knee, an ankle or what have you – and he's a very solid guy, very healthy, so I feel real good about that. Also, the fact that he was a tight end and then converted to play tackle, Eric Winston's in that same category; he was a tight end in high school. Those players have a little more athletic ability than the guys who have just been offensive linemen all their lives. So, we think, and I think speaking for coach Gibbs, Alex Gibbs and for Gary Kubiak, I think they feel real good about his athletic ability and what our coaches can do with him, how they can develop him. So we think he'll be a first-class offensive tackle and it may take a year or two, probably will. Ephraim Salaam has been playing very well for us, but we need depth there and we need a young player to be coming along, and Brown fills that bill."

(on how excited he is about the offensive line in general with Alex Gibbs on staff) "Well, it's exciting because everyone in the league acknowledges that Alex is probably the best offensive line coach around, and to see him work is going to be very exciting because he's very colorful, and so I'm looking forward to see how he works with these young players. He has a reputation for really getting everything there is out of a player, and I think that's really what it's all about is getting everybody to play not just as good as they're capable of playing , moving it up another level and playing a little better, and Alex is able to do that. So I'm excited about seeing him work with these (players). And John Benton, our line coach, offensive line coach, did a wonderful job last year. We think the world of him and we just think having Alex here is just going to make John that much better, and so we're very excited about him. You try to strengthen your football team and we talk about our players all the time, but you want to strengthen your coaching staff, too. And if you can upgrade that every year just like you upgrade your player personnel every year, you're just going to do nothing but get better every year, and so coach Kubiak has done that with the coaching staff. I think Rick (Smith) is doing a fine job with the personnel."

(on trading down and still being able to get the player they wanted) "Well, that was terrific. And I've got to tell you, I was just holding my breath because I think we traded down eight spots, wasn't it? From 18 down to 26, and we had talked about it and said well if we trade down two or three, maybe four, not as worried about that. Start talking about five, that's getting kind of edgy and then we go beyond that, we go down eight, and so I think that's an indication that Rick (Smith) really had his finger on what the other clubs were looking for in terms of personnel and what they were going to be doing and he felt very confident that we were going to be alright because (Duane) Brown was the person that we wanted at that point, and so we could've taken him then and not gotten another third round pick and a sixth round pick, or trading down as we did and sort of rolling the dice a little bit and we still got him and we got those extra picks. But I think that's to Rick's credit that he really sized that up properly."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content