Texans head coach Gary Kubiak and a few players met with the media on Monday at Reliant Stadium. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head Coach Gary KubiakT Duane BrownTE James CaseyLB Brian Cushing
Head Coach Gary Kubiak(on rookie CB Kareem Jackson putting the blame of the loss on himself) "He's a tough kid. He's a good kid. Obviously, he's in a big, big situation for a young man to start from day one at corner(back) and he gave up some big plays yesterday; but that tells you what he's all about. He's going to be a heck of a player. (He's) going through some tough times, especially yesterday, but he has been doing some good things. We got a lot of confidence in him, he just needs to keep working. I have no doubt in my mind that he's going to be one heck of a football player. Now, at the same time, he's got to start making those plays. We expect him to do that, his teammates expect him to do that. What he's telling you is that he expects to do that."
(on if he'll continue to stay with Kareem Jackson at cornerback) "You bet."
(on how QB Matt Schaub appeared when he took deep breaths this morning) "He was fine. He was in the meeting. All the X-rays were fine. He's very, very sore. We don't do anything physical today from the standpoint of practice. When I saw him, he was fine."
(on what the team has done on defense to improve and what can the defense do to improve that it hasn't done) "Obviously we've had to settle down some people, starting two weeks ago, and moving (MLB) Brian (Cushing), that was number one. We had (SLB) Kevin Bentley going yesterday. He played a great deal. We tried to simplify it so we that can get some of these new faces involved; with (DE) Mark Anderson, losing three defensive ends. In that situation, we had to kind of settle that down. And I think we've done some things better over the course of the last two weeks. Obviously, we still gave up too many big plays yesterday. When it's all said and done, I think there has been some improvement. Hopefully we can get (DE Jesse) Nading back. He gives us some flexibility up front. We come out of this game and we go back with the same 11 for two weeks in a row, so that's a positive thing. So we just need to continue to get better and, like I said, find a way to not give up the big plays we've been giving up."
(on if QB Matt Schaub had bruised ribs from Sunday's game against San Diego) "He just got hit in the lower gut and he was real sore. They took him inside and gave him a shot so that he could come back and finish the game. But just very, very sore. Everything worked out fine."
(on if the mistakes CB Kareem Jackson has been making are the same mistakes he's seen all year and why hasn't he considered making a change at that position this year) "Well, I believe he is the best guy to be back there. It's the best thing for this football team. He gave up the big plays and we got beat in man-coverage. He was in three-deep on the first big play; he should be getting a little bit of help right there. But he got beat on man-coverage on the fade inside. He got beat on an under route that ended up being a big play because we don't tackle. I believe he's the best guy to be in there for our team and I think he has done some good things, too. I think we could show you a lot of positive things the young man has done, but when you give up big plays it's like anything else; if you play 70 plays in a game and you play 65 of them pretty darn good and five of them aren't very good, well, the five that aren't very good are gonna get talked about when you don't win."
(on why CB Kareem Jackson's negative plays don't outweigh his positive plays) "Because I believe in the kid. I believe in the kid. I'm watching him practice every day. I'm watching him work. I'm watching him do his job in this room and I'm standing behind him and his teammates are standing behind him. You gotta believe in people or you're not going to get anywhere in this business. I believe in the kid."
(on if believing in CB Kareem Jackson has cost the team some games this season) "There are a lot of things that have cost us games. You don't win in this league with one person. One guy doesn't lose games. You win and lose as a team."
(on who has played consistently well on defense this season) "I think 94 (DE Antonio Smith) has played very well throughout the season. Yesterday was exceptional. (SS) Bernard (Pollard) played his best game yesterday of the year for us. They played very, very good. I think (DE) Mario (Williams) is being consistent. I think (MLB) Brian (Cushing) is getting better in what we're asking him to do every week and he was better this week. (DT) Shaun Cody has been a very consistent player for us throughout the season."
(on how frustrating it his to see his team not get turnovers) "You're right. We haven't gotten any turnovers. I think we have a total of eight. Right now, at this point in the season, if it's not last in the league, it's at the bottom. We've got to strip the ball out and try to make some big plays. To me, those things come in bunches. If you keep playing hard, you tend to find some. We haven't. So hopefully, this back half of the season we can get a lot better from that standpoint. Some of those things will start to go our way."
(on if they need to sweep their four remaining AFC South games against Jacksonville and Tennessee) "Our football team is worried about Jacksonville (this week). I'm not worried about the sweep of the AFC South. We've got to play the next game. We've got to figure out a way to win our fifth game. We did a lot of good things yesterday and should've been in here making 10-15 corrections with the win. But we've got to come in here today and try to make them after not getting it done. I'm not focused on the long haul. I'm focused on the next football game."
(on why this football team cannot close out games) "Well, yesterday we just didn't make the plays to close it out. Like I said, we had a couple of drops that could've made a difference. We had two 4th and ones that could've made a difference. We had a play at the end of the game that could've made the difference. There are five or six reasons going on right there that we can all look out at each other. It's not one area or two areas. There are a lot of things going on. We've got to find a way to finish those football games and yesterday we did not."
(on how far away is SS Troy Nolan from taking the field) "He played about 15 or 20 plays yesterday. He did some good things. He will continue to see more time. He's done some good things with the team and he'll continue to see more time."
(on if the team wasn't calm and were working too quickly on that fourth down play in the fourth quarter) "No, we're doing the right thing. I thought we were very calm. We went down the field twice, as a matter of fact. If you're talking about the fourth down play on the quarterback sneak, like I told you yesterday, I wish I had it back. I wish I had it back but I don't. I thought we needed about a half a yard once I saw (TE) Joel (Dreessen) go down and the spot of the ball. We ended up needing a yard and we didn't get it. Give them credit, they gapped out, did a good job. I wish I would've called a timeout and went in another direction, but didn't do it. But I thought we were very calm. We've been very calm in the two minute drill all year long."
(on if his record at home concerns him) "Yeah, I mean heck, everything concerns me. Four losses concerns me. Three of them are at home. But like I said yesterday, it doesn't matter where you play in this league. It doesn't matter if you play on the road or at home, you have to play good to win and we played good enough yesterday to win in a lot of areas. We just didn't make the play to finish the game and say we got the victory. It just didn't happen that way."
(on if rough stretches in past years helps the team right now) "Well, dealing with getting beat is a hell of a lot harder than the day after a win, so it doesn't matter when it happens. I was very disappointed yesterday. Like I said, there are so many good things that happened on the film. So many good things that happened from players, groups, everything. A lot of good stuff going on, on film. A lot of guys playing very hard. A lot of positive things happened yesterday, but we don't get to come in here and talk about those things because we couldn't make the play or two to get the game over with. That's very frustrating. We are 4-4. That's where we're at. We've got to get ready to go play next week. There is a lot of football left to play. If we keep playing as hard as we played yesterday, keep doing a lot of the good things we did yesterday, I think things will go our way. I think we'll win our games. We've got to find a way to get that done. Like I said, we've got to lick our wounds and go back to work this week."
(on if they can afford to rest TE Owen Daniels for a couple weeks due to TEs Joel Dreessen and James Casey playing so well) "The only rest he'll get is if he can't play. When he's ready to play, he'll come back. But they did, you're right. They both played very good."
(on how close TE Owen Daniels was to playing yesterday) "He couldn't play. I can't measure. He couldn't play."
T Duane Brown(on where does the team go from here after its second consecutive loss) "We just got to keep plugging. We have a great team that we are about to face in Jacksonville. We just got to learn from the mistakes we made. Learn how to finish plays and finish our games. When we get in the red zone, we got to get seven instead of three. Defensively, we need to keep trying to get turnovers. In special teams, try to break one here or there for a touchdown. Everybody has got to keep working. Everyone has a positive attitude and we'll be ready to go."
(on how frustrating it was with the lack of scoring in the second half against the Chargers) "Definitely. We thought we did a great job in moving the ball. We just didn't get the points that we thought we should have. We left a lot of them out there and came up short."
(on the issues scoring touchdowns in the red zone) "Well, we got on our blocks. Sometimes just pushing a guy five or six more inches could've opened the hole up in the protection. I thought we did a great job, but had some drops. We had that one call that took that touchdown away from (RB) Arian (Foster). It was just little things like that that cost us."
TE James Casey(on if the locker room is still positive) "Yeah, everybody's positive. You could let it hurt for a day or two, but once we get back to Wednesday and get back to practice, we are all going to be focused on Jacksonville. We got to let it go. This is the NFL. We are professionals. It hurts, but at the same time, we can't let one loss turn into two or let it affect the rest of our season. We still got everything in front of us and we got to make sure that we are focused on Jacksonville come Wednesday."
(on if he's pretty confident that the team can make a playoff run) "We are very confident. Looking at the film and looking at how well we played throughout the game on both sides. We're making plays, but it's about making those plays that wins the game. Guys are not stepping up to make those special plays when we need them. We know we are a good team. Yeah, they were the number one defense and offense in the league and we thought, offensively, we played well against the number one team in the league. We are confident that we can play with anybody. I know that the media and the fans are down on us right now, as well as they should be. We didn't play very well, but I wouldn't count us out. We still got the second half of the season and we are going to come out fighting. Our backs are against the wall. We got to make sure that we are on top of everything."
(on how the team could control its own destiny with four divisional games left on the schedule) "Exactly, we got Tennessee twice and Jacksonville twice. I think Indianapolis and Tennessee both have three losses. So we are right there. We got four losses, but we still got a shot. There are eight games left. We have a lot of season left. We play four divisional games. We play tough teams, but we play playoff contending teams. If we come out this second half and play well, we'll hold tie breakers against some of those teams. Anything can happen. Nobody is saying can't win out."
*LB Brian Cushing *(on how frustrating it was that yesterday's game slipped away from the Texans) "Yeah, it is. There is no question about it. It's one of those things that we needed to win. We had the lead in the fourth quarter and it did it slipped away."
(on how does he view things now at the halfway point at 4-4) "It's one of those things that you know that you're halfway through and got to determine what type season you want to finish out with. Do you want to win eight straight or not? That's just the bottom line. Everybody's got to get on board if they want to do it."
(on if he would prefer a return to outside linebacker) "No it's not something that I would prefer. I'm the middle linebacker of this team right now. That's my job and responsibility. That's what the coaches are asking me to do and that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to do it at a hundred percent."