Head coach Gary Kubiak and players spoke to the media during open locker room and after practice Monday morning.
**Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on the self-scouting)** "What we tried to do was take a look at ourselves from a scheme standpoint and see what we're doing well, what we're doing poorly. Figure out if we're maybe putting some players in some positions that weren't their strength, just trying to look at the strengths and weaknesses of our football team with this system. We've only been together, we're in through a month of a season so we just want to make sure that we don't come out of these next twelve weeks saying, 'Why did we go back and do that? We weren't doing that good the first two weeks.' So just trying to eliminate mistakes as we move forward and we've got some issues with some players coming back. So we have to address all those issues and get ready for guys like (LB) Kailee (Wong) coming back and being back on the field and possibly (WR Jerome) Mathis, so we just had a lot of things to evaluate with our football team."
(on LB Kailee Wong and WR Jerome Mathis) "They're still out. I expect Kailee to be back against Jacksonville. Everything says we expect him to be back. CB Petey (Demarcus Faggins) is shooting for that game, we'll have to wait and see. But he's definitely running well and ran well during the by weekend and we'll wait and see. And I think Mathis is a few weeks back behind these guys."
(on lineup changes) "Yeah, there may be some things we do different personnel wise, but to say that there's a wholesale change in the lineup, no. But you may see us probably do some things different. I don't want to get into that, but as far as our starting lineup changes, no, that's not going to happen."
(on watching the Cowboys-Eagles game) "You know I saw portions of it as we were doing our work and putting our game plan together. They're a fine football and anytime you go on the road on this league and you have seven sacks and five turnovers and they're sitting on the two-yard line with a chance to win the game it tells you how good they are. They're a sound football team, a very good team that's been put together by Jerry Jones and Bill Parcels. We know we've got our work cut out for us going to their place."
(on QB Drew Bledsoe) "I don't get involved with that. I know one thing, I've been in this league long enough to have been beat by him many, many times and he's a fine player and can light you up throwing the football. You know they're' a good football team and we've got our work cut out for us and we have to go from there."
(on Dallas' defense) "Well they have great edge players. They can get to the quarterback on a 3-4 scheme, which is something that we haven't been going against. We got a little bit against Miami, but not much to change this scheme for us so today was a big help to get a head start. They've been very physical, when you watched them the other day they did. They're tough to run the football on. They've always done a good job with that. We struggled against them in Denver last year running the ball, so just a style 3-4 team that doesn't give up a lot of big plays. And we've got to find a way to make a few."
(on biggest challenge) "Just, probably, the change in scheme. They're really probably the biggest team we'll play all year up front for our offensive side of the ball. And for our defense, they're run the ball probably as well as anyone playing football right now with those two backs and they've got two big-play wide receivers. They're built very well; they're a very well built football team."
(on running game) "Really for us, we just feel like we just have to get better on what we're doing. We've had some opportunities to run the ball and we haven't run it well. There's no excuse, we've got to do a better job up-front, better job with our backs. We're bringing in a new fullback today; we've got to get better with Jameel (Cook) and him as far as our two-back offensive scheme. But we've done some good things throwing the ball. We've got to get better at running the football to help our team out."
(on new fullback) "We brought in Vonta Leach and he's here today. Hopefully he can help us, not only as a fullback, but we need a player that on game day, when we suit up 45, can be more of a help on special teams. We'll see how that works out."
(on creating roster spot for him) "Yes, we did. We released Ben Joppru for Vonta. We'll see what happens with Ben over the course of the next 24 hours. He could be back. He could be right back here; he still has practice squad eligibility."
(on what he liked about FB Vonta Leach) "He's a big defensive player. He's a nice old type of fullback. He's bigger than Jameel (Cooke). Jameel has been playing fine, it's not nothing in that regard, just that we've been playing every week with one fullback on our roster and that other spot has not been up for us, much less doing any special teams work. So we're looking for a player that we thought could add to our team and add to our special teams so we signed him."
(on running game concern) "Well there's concern, but we just know we've got to run the ball better as a team. It does two things, if we run well it keeps our defense off the field, keep our third downs manageable. And even last week when we didn't run it well we kept running it and stayed on the field for a period of time so it definitely helps our team if we run better."
(on TE Bennie Joppru) "Well, no, I'm not disappointed in Bennie. As a matter of fact, I like Bennie a lot. It's just; we're in a situation where if you're going to suit up four tight ends on your football team for game day, those have to be special teams players. Right now we're suiting three and really only one of them is playing on special teams. In this league when you can only suit up 45 guys you better have some balance and we're looking for more balance from a few players throughout our game day 45."
(on Joppru's ability) "To put Ben back there as a fullback with his height and stuff I think that's probably reaching as a coach. We were asking him to do some of that stuff just because of our roster situation. But when this young man became available we wanted to take a look at him. Ben's got a future, Ben's a tight end, he's an H-back, he's got great hands, he's done a good job for us, it's nothing against Ben and I hope he's back here."
(on Joppru coming back after waivers) "Yes, he could come back to our practice squad."
(on the coaches self-scouting last week) "That's what we did. We spent Monday and Tuesday evaluating ourselves and met throughout the evening Tuesday to take a look at each other and talk about what we saw and started into Wednesday into Dallas and going through our evaluations in where we wanted to head. And then presented that to our team today, that's why we got extra work on Dallas today and we presented to our football team what we saw over the last month and what we've got to get better at. I just wanted everybody on the same page."
(on difference after a victory) "We've got a tough opponent this week. We've got to go to their place and we know what we're facing and they're coming off a disappointing game that was a huge game for their team yesterday in Philly. We're going to get their best shot, we're going to have to play extremely well and hopefully the freshening will help our team"
RB Samkon Gado
* (on FB Vonta Leach)* "Vonta (Leach) is a good friend of mine from Green Bay, and I know what he is capable of. We have been talking, even before he came up, he told me that the Houston Texans we looking and interested. We kept in touch through the whole process, and when it finally happened I was excited. I honestly think that Vonta is going to be a great addition to this team, and he's going to help us with the run game tremendously."
(on Leach's strengths) "His biggest strength is being able to get up and cover up blockers, because once he does that, the defender is eliminated. He's not afraid to come down and hit somebody in the mouth. He will take everybody on head-to-head, I think more than anything. He can catch, he can run, but I think his biggest strength is his downhill."
**FB Vonta Leach
(on when he found out he was coming to Houston) ** "I came and worked out on Monday. I had a good workout last Monday when it was the off week. The organization and my agent were talking, and then they made the decision sometime last week that I'd be coming here."
(on being signed by Houston) "I thought it was a great opportunity for me to come here and help the team. This is a young team on the rise and I thought I'd come here and fit right in."
(on what he feels he brings to the team) "I'm hoping to bring to them more of a power fullback, a fullback that can get in there and move guys out and stuff like that. I'm a head buster, a head banger, so that's what I do."
(on catching up to his new teammates) "In this league you have to be able to adjust to whatever they throw at you. All of my plays are going to be the same. You're going to have your four and five holes, two and three holes, but the difference is the terminology. You just have to get the terminology down in some kind of way based on the other terminology that you learned, and you're going to put it all together."
**G Steve McKinney
(on whether he hates the Cowboys)** "No, I don't hate them. Obviously I respect them. I know guys on their team. Obviously Aaron Glenn is a good friend of mine. It's just a good rivalry. Yeah, you're not a fan of them, never will be, but that doesn't mean you hate them."
(on Texans fans enjoying being 1-0 vs. Dallas) "They love it. It gives them bragging rights. The Cowboys have a lot over us right now. They have the world championships, the storied past, you know, 'America's Team'. That's all we have to hang our hat on is that we beat them, that we're 1-0 against them. I think the fans are really fired up, and I know how much they would like to be 2-0 against them."
(on what it means to the players) "I hope it means a lot to this whole locker room. But I think Dallas will be ready to play. They took a lot of heat and a lot of criticism after losing to us that first game, four years ago. I know for sure their owner, as well as the guys that are still left around from that team understand the importance of this game."
*DE Antwan Peek *
(on having an extra day of practice this week) "Well, just having a long weekend like we did, it kind of knocks out the kinks (and) a few of the weekend enjoyments that you had. It's just about getting fresh again, and we're going to be fresh because we came in and got a practice, tomorrow we have off, and (then) we come back and get another pain day. It's going to be a physical week."
**CB Dunta Robinson
(on the coming game)** "It felt a lot better coming in the locker room last Sunday than it did the previous Sundays, so it's a feeling that we want to continue. It's going to be a tough game. We're playing against a team, a good football team, a team that had five turnovers (vs. Philadelphia) and was still in a position to win the game at the end. We know we're going into a hostile environment. We think we can get the job done if we go and execute on both sides of the football, then it should be no problem winning this game."
(on the Dallas passing game) "They are running the ball so well that it is opening up the passing game. Because you have to stack eight, nine guys in the box, it's giving those guys on the outside a lot of chances to make receptions. T.O. (Terrell Owens) is a big, physical guy and he's hard to bring down, so it will be a challenge for us. But as DBs these are the kind of games that you look forward to. You look forward to going against the best. It makes you feel good when you make plays against a guy like that. It a challenge that we're looking forward to, and the position that we want to be in as corners. It's going to be a lot of fun."
**DE Anthony Weaver
(on having a few day off to physically rest)** "It helps a lot, especially, I think, for the young guys. They are used to an 11 game season. With the four preseason games and now games of the season, that's eight games. They are used to the season being about over so them to get that break, I think, rejuvenates them."
(on the benefits of bye week) "It's a special job, and if you're constantly at it 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it can wear on you. To get those days off, you get away, not completely, you know a lot of guys were watching football yesterday and the day before, it definitely recharges you."