Head coach Gary Kubiak, defensive coordinator Richard Smith and players spoke to the media during open locker room and after practice.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on any roster changes)"Let's see changes? We picked up (WR) Charlie Adams, a wide receiver that I had in Denver a couple years, released (WR) Derrick Lewis. It looks like (WR) Jerome Mathis is going to go on I/R. We may wait until Friday to do this. (FB) Jameel Cook had his surgery. He's doing fine. Other than that, that's about it."
(on whether FS C.C. Brown will be ready to play and other injuries)"You know, I think he will. We went inside today, expecting some rain, didn't get it. We could have been outside. But because we were on the turf we held him. You know, he's coming off a turf toe. But I think he'll be fine. He could have practiced if we'd have been on the grass. Everybody should be okay other than the usual guys that haven't been working during the week. We'll be okay."
* (on facing Colts WRs Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison)*"I've (gone) against them many times in the past years. You know, they are so balanced and, you know, the best guy in football back there pulling the trigger and controlling the game. You know, they are really rolling. I think they played as well as I have ever seen their play and I have studied their team for the last seven, eight years, and the way they played Monday night was incredible. And they have a lot to play for, momentum as far as going into the playoffs, having a week off, all those things. So we're going to get the best they've got."
(on how big a game this is for the Texans secondary)"Well, anytime you play (Patriots QB Tom) Brady and (Colts QB Peyton) Manning back-to-back there's no bigger challenge for a defensive back or a defense in general. They have their work cut out for them. We're going to have to do a good job offensively somehow. Hopefully we can find a way to hang on the ball better than we have been doing, and help out defense out some. Because if you leave them on the field with this group, they're in trouble."
(on whether Colts DE Dwight Freeney may have broken out of a slump on Monday night)"I haven't seen a slump. I just know that everyone in football plays a lot of attention to him and commits a lot of people to him to try and get the ball off. They are very difficult to pass protect against. And we have a young tackle on one side and (T) Ephraim (Salaam) has been banged up on the other. I'm sure they are feeling pretty good about coming after us, so we're going to have to do a good job of containing him. The best way to contain him is run the ball well."
(on what is different about the Colts since last facing them in Week 2)"It's the same group to me. It's a defense that is built around a very simple scheme and a tremendous amount of effort with the best pass rusher in football. So they are going to be in the right place. They are very simple coverage-wise, but you don't have time to attack it because they come and get you. And you saw that the other night against one of the best throwers in the game and a great group of receivers. They present a lot of problems for you. Probably the biggest problem is you can't hang onto the football."
(on whether Jacksonville's ability to run against Indianapolis was a fluke)"Jacksonville is capable of running the ball well. They had some big plays in the game, you know, and they actually made a couple big plays in the kicking game if you go back and look it. So that was Jacksonville's day, but this team is getting ready for their run in the playoffs, and you could tell it by the way they played the other night."
(on whether RB Chris Taylor will be part of the offense this week)"Yes, (RB Chris) Taylor's part of the plan. And I have been promising you'll see him, and I promise you'll see him this week."
* (on getting balance on offense to be successful in the pass and run in a single game)*"No, I agree with that. Some of our runs have come in some different type of situations. We have run the ball better. And if you're doing that you should balance out and throw a little better. We did have some good time in play-action schemes last week; didn't take advantage of that. I don't have an excuse for you, but you know we have been running it batter. We're going to have to run it good this week."
(on whether it is more difficult for teams to play Monday night and then be on the road) "It makes it difficult, but when you're and elite team in this league you face that all the time. That team has a schedule like that every year. If you do back and look, they play a lot of Monday night games, Sunday night games. You learn to deal with that when you're that type of football team. They won't have any problem dealing with it."
(on TE Owen Daniels as a blocker)"He really has (done well blocking). And his shoulder is bothering him right now; it's a concern for us. But he has definitely improved and become a complete player for us."
* (on WR Andre Johnson being selected to the Pro Bowl)"It's very well deserved, you know. For him to have the type of year that he had had and to have the catches he as had with all the attention that has been paid to him on a weekly…some of the defenses I have seen I haven't seen for a while in this league, just trying to keep the ball out of his hands. So for him to still find a way to make some plays is a credit to him, a credit to our guys. I'm just very proud of him, you know. It makes you feel good as a team when you turn on that TV and its everywhere that one of your players is there playing. So it's a big time compliment."
* (on him asking Andre Johnson how he would feel about 100 balls in their first meeting)"Yeah, and you know what, I'll tell you what, about a month ago I thought he'd catch about 120. I really did. I felt that way, and things have slowed down that last few weeks, but the kid's done his part. And as a coach I know you just stay up here at night trying to figure out ways to get him the ball. He's a special kid."
(on why CB Von Hutchins is playing)"Well, he's done a good job in practice and we wanted to look at him. We faced two teams that we played a lot of nickel against, and that won't be any different this week. So it should be a chance to check him out."
* Defensive coordinator Richard Smith
*(on what has helped the defense improve since the first few games)"Well, I think what happened is we know our players a lot better now than we did then, number one. I think the player understand out system a lot better also. That was the second game of the season. Going into the first game of the season what if felt with our football team, I was very confident going into the Eagle game, and what happened? They scored a couple times on us and our guys kind of went into the tank to be honest with you. And we talked about it. Then the second game against Indy we had some filed position issues there, but we weren't effective in the redzone, and that's where those point look outrageous on you. What happens is from that time I think our players have grown. If you watch our games now, someone will score on you and it's not like the whole game's over where guys are on the sideline complaining; they're dropping their heads. They continue to compete and they'll continue to make plays, and I think that is the biggest difference that I see. Its not that the coaching has changed, the players haven't changed; I just think they have matured more as a defensive football team."
QB David Carr
* (on the possibility to finally beat the Colts)*"Yeah, that would be awesome. It's going to be sweet. I want to go out there and obviously I want to win, but they are trying to win the game too, right? And this week I think they might wrap up home field advantage and get to stay at home. Everyone knows that is obviously important. But we're hungry too. It's been a long time coming as far as playing these guys and feeling good about yourself when you leave. We definitely could use one."
* (on the Colts' Monday night game)*"They played probably the most complete game that I have seen a team play all year as far a defensively and offensively the Bengals weren't playing bad defense up to that point. He made them look like he makes everybody look. He did a good job. We definitely have a task on our hands, but we'll be ready for it."
WR Andre Johnson
* (on the help the other wide receivers have given him this season)*"Like I said, they have helped me accomplish what I have accomplished. You know, I couldn't do it by myself. I give them the offer (of going to Hawaii) if they want to go. Like I said, I did it before; I took the receivers that were here before with me when I went there on my first time. We went over there and enjoyed ourselves and had some fun. I'm willing to do the same with this group of guys."
* (on the help that WR Eric Moulds, specifically, has provided)*"You don't even have to question Eric much. I mean, just look at the way he practices, look at the things he does, you can just watch and learn. You can tell that he's a guy that has been in the league for a while and he can still play the game of football. You can just watch him and learn."
* (on the importance of this game to Indianapolis)*"They have a lot to accomplish. With a win I think they get a first round bye in the playoffs or something like that, so we're going to get their best football. We have to be ready for it."
**WR Eric Moulds
(on the effort level in these last games) "Yeah, that's what I tell the guys, you have the whole offseason to heal up if you get hurt, so just let it all hang out and just see what you've got and see what you can do. Like I said before you have the whole offseason to get healed up if anything happens. Just see what kind of team we can have for next year and try and build on it."
(on how he tried to help QB David Carr keep his spirits up) "I just tell David to go out there and play and just do the best that he can. I think that, like you said before, it's been a difficult year for him, but at the same time he has had some flashes of being a pretty good quarterback. Like they said before, the old cliché, the quarterback's going to get the glory when we're doing well, and then when we're not doing so well he's going to get the bulk of the blame. And I think that's the case of what's happening right now. Last week he maybe didn't play a flawless game, but at the same time as players he is still our quarterback and we have to go out and support him. He's going to get the ball to myself and Andre; we just have to make plays when those opportunities come." **