Head coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media Sunday following the Texans win over the St. Louis Rams, 27-20, Saturday night. Below are his comments.
(on last night's game)** "I kind of saw the things I thought I would see. First off, let's start on the offensive side of the ball. We had some opportunities early in the game to make some big plays and be very productive, and we didn't do that. It was disappointing. Really, it's a bit like last week when I talked to you guys. You really prepare offensively for those first 15 plays of the game, you really have an agenda and something you're trying to accomplish. We had some opportunities to really get off to a great start and make some big plays, and we didn't handle those situations. We have to as a group, and so we have to go address that as a group tomorrow and make sure we're headed in the right direction there. We did settle down. We played solid from the standpoint of turnovers again. We protected the ball fairly well, we ran the ball pretty well. We needed to close the game at the end, but we have to get better at the start of the game, we have to find a better way of handling that first portion of the game. I feel like maybe we're over preparing, I don't know. There are some mistakes there that need to be corrected."
(on ***David Carr**'s play)* "I would assess that with the same conversation I just gave you. I thought early in the game he has a few plays that he has to make for our team, and to give us a chance to get off to a great start. He needs some help to make those plays too. He has to get the ball in a couple of situations to a few receivers. We have to protect him a little better, get the ball to those receivers, and then we have to make those plays when they're there. I saw the same thing, but I did see him settle down and play well in the second quarter. He did a good job right before that half. He did calm down from that standpoint. We just have to get the front end corrected. It's something we all have to address as a team, and be honest with each other and make sure we're getting better."
' defense)** "They didn't quit, they did it all night. I don't know if it was a little hyped up during the game or whatever. We knew it was coming, that's apart of (St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator) Jimmy's (Haslett) defense, that's what he does. It was a great test for us because we were a little off the ball early with what crowd noise there was there. It wasn't like a regular season game, but there was some noise. You have to make those plays, you make them Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in practice. You have to make them on game day too. We just have to make sure that's transferring to the field."
(on who will start at left tackle) "I think we're still searching. I think we saw what we felt like was going to happen to (T Charles) Spencer. He did some good things, but he struggled getting off the ball. He was late off the ball in a foreign stadium, not in his comfort zone. He struggled with being late off the ball. He had a few busts, but when you're asking a rookie tackle to do that, I think you're going to have some growing pains, and we understand that. We love his effort; we love his upside. He's headed in the direction we, but to sit here tell you who are starter is today, I can't do that."
(on ***Chester Pitts**playing tackle)* "
and (G Fred) Weary. He has to continue to get better as a guard for our football team. I don't see him going out there. If anything else, you may see (T) Ephraim (Salaam) getting a few reps at left tackle. You may see (T Eric) Winston at left tackle. The experimental stage is over. We have to stand pat, and we have to get better at what we're doing."
(on the starting guards) "Yes, I think we have three starting guards with him (Chester Pitts), (G Fred) Weary and Steve McKinney. Between those three, two of them are going to start on opening day. That's a competition, I think I've said that since day one.
has done a good job, he did some things better this week, he has to continue to get better for us. Who those two out of three will be, I don't know. I think there's two starters there, but they only let you line up with two on opening day. Who those two will be, we'll wait and see."
(on**Fred Weary**'s play last night) "He played well again, but it's very much expected because that's the way he's practicing. He has played well, and he was solid once again. With
, don't get me wrong, but he was better this week than he was last week, but there's still some more stuff to take. He can play better."
(on**Steve McKinney**'s injury) "He twisted his ankle pretty good about a week and a half ago. He struggled with that and came back. He had a slight groin pull on Wednesday or Thursday of last week. Had it been a regular season game he would have played. We made that decision Friday night to hold him because we think it would have set him back. He will play a ton this week. He'll make up all his reps and all that time this week, so it's just a hard decision not to press the issue."
(on Vernand Morency's game last night) "I liked the way he got the ball downhill, which is something we've been preaching to him. Also, one of the things I was impressed with was that he struggled with pass protection in camp and understanding schemes, understanding protections and blocking schemes. He's had some mistakes, he was mistake-free in that department in the game. I thought he was very aggressive cutting people, very aggressive on a couple of blitzes. You have to be able to do that as a back, you have to be able to hold up in there against the blitz. He did some good stuff; he wore down a bit there, and I told him I want him to be able to go all day, but it was encouraging to see him play well."
(on whether Morency earned another start at running back) "I don't know; we'll decide that at the end of the week. We're going to play two guys, possibly three guys again and we're going to rotate those guys. Which two or three I'll let you know later in the week."
(on**Mario Williams**' play last night) "He progressed this week. He did some good stuff. We moved him around again, but he was not as hesitant alignment wise. Assignment wise, that's starting to lock in for him. He was disruptive pushing the pocket. He knocked a couple of balls down. He made a real nice play on a stunt. He showed up more individually and athletically in what he's doing. I think that's only going to get better because when he has to quick thinking so much, and when he can settle down and play, I think his ability is going to come out more and more. We see him getting more comfortable doing that. It was definitely a step in the right direction for him."
(on moving Mario around playing different positions) "I think it's tougher, but if there's a time when we have to find out how much he can handle and how much he can do, this is the time to do it before we get going here in a few weeks. We'll get him reps at both spots, he's handled that stuff. That hasn't been much of a problem. Hopefully that makes us better as a defense if we can move him around. Like I said, if we're going to experiment at all, this is the time to do it."
(on**Travis Johnson**playing well enough to leave**Anthony Weaver**on the outside) "Travis played better. He did step up and play better. He played with very good effort chasing the ball down the field. He needs to continue to get better as all of us do. He definitely took a step in the right direction. He was a better football player this week then last."
(on Anthony Weaver staying at defensive end) "I don't know; that's hard to answer. I'll give you all the answer I gave the other day. We'd like for him to stay out there, we'd like Anthony to stay out there. I think we need to continue to look for another player to help (DT) Seth (Payne) and help Travis and help (DT) Robaire (Smith) in there. (DT Earl) Cochran has done some good things, (DT) Alfred (Malone) has done some good things. I think we need to continue to try to get some help in there if we want to stay consistent with Anthony outside."
(on making additions to the defensive line) "I think we're going to keep looking. The way the cut downs are designed this year in the National Football League, it's going to be a mass cut for that first one, and five days later, there comes the next one. For the Texans, it'll be a little bit like the draft as we look at those players because we have first rights on all of those. We have a lot of things to look at as we continue to fill out our team here for the season."
(on the cornerbacks) "I thought (CB) Dexter McCleon played pretty darn good. He played outside; he played inside nickel. He made some plays; he did a good job blitzing. I've said this before that through our adversity, our secondary is getting better. (Defensive Backs Coach) Jon Hoke has done a heck of a job. He's been the coach of the camp with the things he's been through. Through adversity I think we've found some new faces, and he's definitely a new one and he (Dexter) has done a good job, a really good job."
(on Phillip Buchanon) "It looked like it was his first time out. I thought he was in position, we just want him to make more plays on the ball. He looked very good as a returner, which should be strength of his in this league. I think he got tired, that was his first time out compared to any body else."
(on Sage Rosenfels potential to start in the NFL) "He operates like he is. If you are a good player in this league, and you think a lot of your ability you always feel that you want the opportunity to be a starter. That is the way he handles his self everyday. He knows his role right now on this football team, but I think he goes out there every day trying to prove that he is good enough to be a starter. If not on this team, somewhere else in this league. That's what makes him what he is, he is very competitive, under control in what he does, good leader understands pro football, understands defenses and that's why he performs well when he gets the opportunity."
(on the fullbacks) "They were much improved. (FB) Jameel Cook played fairly well. He was in the right spot and he had his pads down and played much better. (FB) Nick Luchey came in and played better too. That's important they realize it's a big battle, and it's going to come down to if we can keep two or one. That is a very competitive situation for those guys."
(on WR Derrick Lewis) "He played better and I know the couple plays he made really stand out catching the ball. I look at the big picture where he struggled last week with some alignments and things and that scared me. I think that is his strength on this football team being able to play in a lot of spots. He settled this week and was automatic in his responsibilities and making plays too."
**(on playing in
)** "I know how this organization approaches the third pre-season game and how important it is to them. They treat it like a regular season game. Preparation, every thing they do and our team needs to go see that. We will do it the same way. We are going to a tough place that is loud. There is an excellent football team there that's trying to air mark that game as getting ready for their season. It is a great opportunity for us to go in there and find out where we are at. I look forward to our players getting to play in that environment and playing against a football team like that."
**(on what it means to play in
)** "I am sure it will be a lot of emotion. I have not seen my wife and kids in a month. It will be nice to see them, they'll be at the game. We have to find out as a football team where we are headed. It will get down to business once we get started."
(on injuries yesterday) "We were good. I think (DE) Jason Babin had a bruised hip, took a shot when he went to ground. Other than that we are pretty good. Of course hopefully (CB) Lewis Sanders and (G) Steve McKinney will be back fine. (FS) Jason Simmons didn't make the trip, but hopefully he will be back and ready to play this week. For the most part we are starting to get healthy. We will probably try to take an extra day this week and make sure we do that. We may not practice Tuesday, we will see."
(on**Domanick Davis**) "Domanick Davis progressed, he ran last week and came out of that positive.
He is in here having treatment today. We will see where he is at tomorrow. To
say that you will see him all of a sudden this week, I don't think that is going
to happen right away. I think the next step is to get him on the practice field
and we will go from there."