Notes from the Texans' practice and locker room on Wednesday at Reliant Stadium:
Day of RestWide receiver Andre Johnson missed Wednesday's practice, and if you'd like to know more about that story, click here.
Linebacker Brian Cushing continues to be a force at inside linebacker, as he leads the Texans in total tackles with 54. Further, he's impacting the game in other ways, and impressing Gary Kubiak along the way. The Texans head coach saw the success with Cushing in August.
"When I watch him have a good training camp, I knew watch out, it's going to be a great year," Kubiak said. "That's been the only thing that's kind of held him back last year was missing time. It's just hard to play this game in this League at a high level when you're missing a lot of time and he hasn't missed a day. He's been exceptional at practice, was again today, he'll play good again this week. You watch."
Cushing agreed with Kubiak's assessment about time in the system.
"I think I'm comfortable," Cushing said. "I think I'm not thinking as much as I was the previous years as far as my assignments or anything. I'm more confident now. I know we got a lot of talent surrounding us and with Coach Phillips, I think he's just done a great job of putting guys in the right positions and I think that's what's really a reason why myself and we have played this way. It's not just me. I think a lot of guys are playing at their top level."
McCoy returns to Texas
For the first time as a professional, Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy will play in his home state of Texas. The former Longhorn comes to town with a quarterback rating of 76.4, but he's drawn good reviews from the Texans. Nose tackle Shaun Cody thinks McCoy's mobility is a big plus for the second-year signal caller.
"Anytime you have a quarterback that can scramble like he does – he does a great job of it – and make some plays, you're always concerned as a defensive front," Cody said.
Defensive end J.J. Watt agreed.
"There's a lot of guys where you're watching the film and you think, 'Wow, they got a good sack here,' and all of a sudden he squirts out, so that's what we're trying to do," Watt said. "We're trying to make sure we get him wrapped up. We're trying to make sure we keep him contained and get those sacks that other guys might have missed."
McCoy himself, is looking forward to his return to the Lone Star State.
"I'll have a lot of family and friends coming up from Austin or in Texas somewhere who aren't able to come up to Cleveland for games," McCoy said. "They'll probably all be there. I had to request a lot of tickets, so I'm excited about coming down.
Quotable"Amen. Amen. That's our goal. We want more sacks. I want more sacks. I don't want to sit here with two sacks at the end of next week." –Defensive end J.J. Watt, responding to linebacker Mario Williams' statement that the defense needs to get more sacks.
"When you play Cribbs, he can beat you by himself. We've got to have a plan for him. You can't keep the ball out of his hands. He'll bring it out of the end zone nine yards deep. He's done it many times. This guy's capable of putting 14 points on the board on you as a returner. Big problem this week." – Head coach Gary Kubiak on Cleveland Browns return man Josh Cribbs.