Cornerback Dunta Robinson and wide receiver Andre Johnson watch practice from the sidelines on Tuesday.
Following the Texans' second OTA practice of 2008, several players spoke to the media about the NFL owners' decision to opt out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement two years early.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on injuries) "No scopes today. Fred (Bennett)'s back out here. Fred, he won't work this week, I would think all week. We'll get him back going next week his ankle that he come off of during mini-camp, but he's feeling better."
(on anything else unusual or different today) "No, nothing unusual, just the things we talked about yesterday. No changes as far as guys coming on the field yet or not. The guys that missed yesterday missed today. Had good work. It's always tough to come back after that first initial day, but they came back and worked really good. The defense made some really nice plays at the end of practice."
(on if every player was there today) "Yeah. Everybody's here."
(on getting a chance to see where a guy needs work during OTAs) "Well, I think you see a couple of things. First off, you watch veterans that know what it takes to get ready to play a season, so you see guys getting themselves ready to go play. You see guys that are young players that are ready to take the next step to become really, really good players, so your eyes are really focused on the Amobi (Okoye)'s and the Jacoby (Jones)'s and guys like that, that need to become better and better players and a bigger part of this football team for us to get better. So you're watching that, and then you're looking for young kids that can keep up with you because you throw so much at them, a lot of times they'll get lost. But (it) looks like all our kids are pretty sharp kids and should be able to help our football team."
(on if sometimes he sees guys that don't get it during OTAs) "Yeah, it's very difficult. You'll get young guys that come in here and after about two or three days of input, playbook stuff, they start to bog down and they just have a hard time competing because they're bogged down mentally. So that's what we're trying to get out of the way. These 14 OTAs get them to where they feel good enough so they can come to camp and compete."
(on DE Anthony Weaver) "Well, he's as good as he's been since he's been here. He's healthy. He's had an offseason, so he's been in the weightroom. He's run with the team. Really, I probably am going to need to give him a break now and then, he'll probably be a one-a-day guy during camp, but Anthony hasn't missed a thing and that's good for our team."
(on if he will use DE Mario Williams on both sides of the line again this year) "Yeah, I think he's to the point in his career now where there shouldn't be anything that we do mentally that we would hurt him because he's just become such a fine player. So yeah, he played both sides last year. He also has the ability to move inside in certain situations, so I think we're past that point where we could hurt him by moving him. I think he'll be fine."
(on a specific rotation when moving Williams around) "We're rotating everybody. It's that time of the year where you've got guys missing and just whoever's healthy and walking, we're getting them some good reps, getting ready for camp."
(on the news on the CBA) "You know, really, that's hard for me to discuss. All I know is that we're playing this year. I'm trying to get this team ready to go. I'll let Rick (Smith) and Bob (McNair) handle that; I've been pretty busy. But I do understand what took place today, so we'll see what happens."
K Kris Brown
(on the owners opting out of the current CBA) "Basically, for the next, really the next three years, nothing is going to change. All it says is that we're going to sit down and talk about negotiating. So essentially, it's not going to change anything for the next three years."
(on what happens next) "I think, obviously, as of today, the owners feel like the deal is not good for them. So our leadership, their leadership, will sit down again over the course of the next, I'm sure, year and try to figure out what the biggest issues are for both sides."
(on if this is a big deal to him) "Our league has been very prosperous. We've had a lot of labor peace over the last 10, 15 years. So any time you're talking about anything that could affect labor, it is a big deal. But there is time on our hands. We do have some time. Again, our leadership will sit down and visit with the owners and figure out where each side stands on the major issues."
(on the owners being unhappy with the current deal) "Well, that was one of the functions of the last extension of '06 was that if either side felt like it was an unfair deal, that was part of what the deal said was that that side that felt like it was unfair could opt out of it. Again, we do have three more years left in this current deal, so it's not like there are any major issues that will come in the near future. We'll have to sit down and come up with what the major points are for both sides."
(on how the labor situation affects the players that are going to sign long-term deals) "Really, right now, at this point, it's apples and oranges. Because it's not like the threat of losing a season is imminent, because that's not the case. So the deals that the rookies this year will sign have really no impact as far as what's going to happen beyond 2010. We're talking about this now and a year from now or two years from now we could certainly come to an agreement and have an extension and then all this is for nothing."
(on if this lays a foundation for continued labor peace) "Absolutely, the thing about this deal – and really, over the course of the last 15 years since 1993 - it's been a win-win for both sides, so I think that's important. We're going to sit down and again listen to what their major issues are and then obviously they're going to hear what our major issues are, and we'll go from there."
(on notifying his teammates of the pertinent issues) "That was one thing I did when Mark (Bruener) and I came back from Hawaii. We actually sat the team down and went over everything with all of the guys, because it's important that everyone is informed of what's going on."
CB Dunta Robinson
(on owners opting out of the current CBA) "They're giving away money now. Hopefully, they continue. Can't worry about it right now; just got to wait and see what's going to happen."
(on thinking about an uncapped year in 2010) "Well it's 2008, so it's getting close. You know, it's one of the things that runs through your mind, that uncapped year. (There are) probably guys that's going to be signing a lot of short deals trying to get as much as they can in the year 2010, but like I said, it's a rough situation, man, but I guess the owners feel like they've got to do what they got to do and we as players feel the same way."
LB DeMeco Ryans
(on if he is concerned about the CBA developments) "It's definitely something we're concerned about, even though it's not affecting us right at the moment. But it's definitely something that's going to affect us in the future and our players that are coming in after us, so we're definitely concerned about that because it's our union and we're all sticking together on that. We definitely would have hoped that we could've got something done."
(on how much the team relies on K Kris Brown and TE Mark Bruener for information on league matters) "Oh, Kris and Mark, they keep us pretty informed on the information and everything that's going on, so any time there's some type of thing that's happened, they're always informing us and we have meetings about that."
(on if the CBA situation is less worrisome because it's a couple of years away) "I mean, we're still worried about it but I guess not more so right now, but you have to prepare ahead for things. It's going to be a real situation for us coming up in the next couple of years. There's going to be a heavy situation on us, so we definitely have to deal with that now."
(on if a potential lockout in 2011 is a concern) "Yes, that would definitely be a big concern because I don't think either side wants a lockout. Hopefully, like I said, hopefully we can come upon some agreement. In any negotiations, there's always one side pushing for more and one side not trying to give up as much, so with that hopefully we can come to a means of some time of agreement."
(on if he thinks an uncapped year in 2010 will happen) "That's what it looks like. It looks like that will happen, but who knows. Hopefully, like I said, hopefully we can definitely get something done, but that's what it's looking like right now at the moment, that it will be an uncapped year."