**Following practice Thursday at the Methodist Training Center, Texans owner Bob McNair addressed a variety of subjects in comments to the media.
(on if he feels the Texans are on the right track) **"If we weren't on the right track, I'd be a lot more concerned about (our record). We made a decision to build our defense first as opposed to making an offensive move, and I think that was the right thing for us to do.
"Now once you make that basic decision, other things follow that. Clearly, you go after defensive players rather than offensive players. If we hadn't done that, not only would we not have Mario (Williams), we wouldn't have DeMeco (Ryans) because we would have gone for a defensive end for our second pick and we would have missed on DeMeco Ryans.
"Long term, it's going to pay off for us. This is a world in which people want short-term results, and we're not giving them short-term results, and so they're frustrated. It's easy for people to think that we're not making progress, or we're not getting there or we are making bad decisions. I see enough good things happening to know that that's not the case.
"We've got good people. We've got good coaches who know what they're doing, and we've got the best group of young players in the league. Our rookies, I'll stack them against anybody. If we have another draft like that, it will be a monumental leap next year. It won't just be incremental, it will be monumental.
"But even this year, we are playing better. Our defense is playing much better. We'd be even better if Mario were healthy. That takes something away from our pass rush. But I have empathy for the fans because there's nothing that I hate more than losing. It's just absolutely the pits. There are limitations as to what you can do and how long it takes for these things to happen. You've got to be tough and you've got to hang in there and work a little harder and, as they say, 'Dig a little deeper in the well, boys.'"
(on if he's surprised that it's taken this long to develop a winner) "Yeah, I didn't expect us to have to make a coaching change (last year), because when we did that, not only was it a change in personnel, it was a change in systems. And when you change systems, then you need different personnel, and so a lot of people that could have worked in other systems didn't work in our new system. So now you've got to replace them."
(on personnel changes causing team to start over) "Not completely, but it is moving back. You have to step back in order to move forward, and that slows you down in this business. There's no doubt about that."
(on what he's learned as an NFL owner) "How much time do you have? I think that, number one, I've learned a lot about the young players and the draft. In my case, I think it's good to get involved so that you know (what's going on). In terms of free agency, free agency is not the best way to build a team, but you can get some good free agents like we got with Anthony Weaver and Eric Moulds. You have to be very careful there. With any free agent, you're basically going to pay him more than he's worth, because you're the highest bidder in the league. No one else would pay as much money as you would for that player. Typically, when you do that sort of thing, you're paying a premium. You've got to do that in a limited way. You've got to have people that really can bring something to the team."
(on Phil Jackson's philosophy that you don't win with kids) "You've got to have a blend. Strategically, that might be the most important thing that I've learned. In terms of personnel, that's an art. It's not a science, it's an art, and you're going to make some good decisions, you're going to make some bad. And some people are better artists than other people."
(on requiring new coach to keep QB David Carr as a prerequisite for the job) "Not at all. Not at all. In fact, I was just reviewing – I keep a notebook and I went back and looked at the interviews – and I interviewed seven coaches and every one of those seven coaches, I asked them one question: 'Can David Carr take us to the Super Bowl?' And every one of them said yes. One of them actually went as far as to say, 'If you make a change here, if you draft Vince Young, I'm not coming to your team.'"
(on having a new QB meaning having to take steps back) "In (those coaches') view, it would take Vince two or three years to get ready and they thought that David wasn't perfect at that point in time. But every one of them thought that he had the ability and had the potential and that they could get that out of him and that he was that equipped. We needed to strengthen ourselves at other positions."
(on his message to fans) "We're going to get it right, no doubt. I have no doubt in my mind, we're going to win. We're going to be a big-time winner and it's not going to be that long.
"You don't appreciate good times unless you've gone through bad times."