The Texans worked on the two-minute drill on a windy Day 11 of OTAs. Texans offensive lineman Charles Spencer spoke to the media about his long road to recovery from his 2006 injury, and said he's close to being back at full strength.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on how the strong wind affected practice) "Well, it's almost like practicing with crowd noise because we can't hear anything, you know, but we weren't able to film today. Our guys weren't real excited about going up in those towers and filming today with this breeze, so we don't get any film to look at, but we had good work. We were working on a little two-minute stuff today, so it was good."
(on QB Sage Rosenfels saying the offense picked apart the defense throughout OTAs) "Obviously, he's wrong today. He got picked. So that defense did a heck of a job; they picked him off and ended that one drill. But it's competitive. We're just trying to get their mind right for camp, the things we'll be doing in camp that are competitive, and at the same time trying to finish up here in over these last few days healthy and know that we've got everybody ready to go."
(on the defense having a lot of energy) "You know, they've been that way the whole camp. They're making more plays on the ball than they have in the first two years, and that's what we need. We need ways to get our hand on the ball, create some turnovers. (Xavier) Adibi made a nice play. (Kevin) Bentley comes back and make a nice play. But for us to get better as a team, we've got to protect the ball better and we've got to find ways to get some turnovers, so somebody's going to lose that battle every day in practice."
(on any new injuries) "No. Ephraim (Salaam) didn't work today. His knee swole up on him a little bit, so we just kept him out. Scott Jackson was back. We worked him at tackle. But other than that, we're OK. I'm hoping that (Steve) Slaton gets back on the field by next week, but I don't know right now. He's a little gimpy."
(on his expectations for T Charles Spencer) "Well, I think it's still a delicate situation. We're trying right now, in all honesty, to figure out the day – what day that is, whether that's tomorrow, whether that's Monday – to really push him hard and see how he responds to that push. We have done a little bit more each day, but we haven't put him in a – I don't want to use the word combative – but a competitive situation where he could be around some piles, so we hope to pick that day here rather quickly and then we'll see how he comes out of it."
(on sticking behind Spencer for all this time) "Yeah, I mean, it's been a long, long haul. You're talking about a year and a half of trying to get a player back on the football field, and you know, in all honesty, we may be looking at some more time, if he's going to make it back. We have to evaluate that as an organization, and that's going to be a big decision. But the kid's doing all he can do and it's just, it's tough right now, but I really think it's important that we do push one day and see where we're at."
(on if that day would be before the end of OTAs) "Yeah, I'd like to do that. That's not going to be my call. That's (head athletic trainer) Kevin (Bastin) and the doctors' call. That's something we have been working toward."
(on what he remembers from S Nick Ferguson in Denver) "Well, he was a big special teams player, very smart player that worked his way into the starting lineup. Good kid, very competitive, very good in the locker room. I knew he'd fit in with our guys. And our safeties are a bunch of veteran guys trying to make a football team, so he's been good for our group."
(on needing another corner to step up as a leader with CB Dunta Robinson sidelined) "Well, I don't think you can ever look at a particular guy to be a leader, you know. They have to do it their own way and how they play, but Jacques Reeves is brought here to do a job and he's having a good camp. I think the young player (Antwaun Molden) is further ahead right now than Fred (Bennett) was last year, and that's encouraging, just because he's got a lot of reps. So we'll see how it pans out. The (Derrick) Roberson kid's had a great offseason, young kid that we had on the practice squad last year, so it's very competitive as many of our spots are and we'll see how it plays out."
T Charles Spencer
(on when he will return to action) "I'm getting close. I'm real close. I'm still working out the little kinks. I'm getting real close, and I'm excited to be getting ready for camp."
(on being out for so long) "It's been a while, man. September '06. It's been quite a while. Every day ever since, I've been working to get back on the field. It's (been) a little over a year and a half."
(on if he has questioned why this happened to him) "No, not at all. God does things for a reason. And I had a chance to sit back and spend a little more time with family, which I hadn't done being away at college, so God does things his way and I responded, and I'm willing to work hard and get better."
(on if he expects to be back in the starting lineup) "Absolutely. I'm looking to be one of those top guys on this team, and I'm working that way. I can't wait to get there."
(on the team staying behind him) "That's huge, for this coaching staff and from the owner and the GM, because it gives me motivation to come out here and work. They allow me to come out here, and it could've easily went south for me, so I'm very thankful for those guys."