The Texans wrapped up another week of OTAs. Coach Gary Kubiak discussed tight end James Casey's development Thursday, and also praised defensive tackle Frank Okam and tackle Duane Brown
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on using crowd noise during practice) "I thought we were at the point where we didn't need the coaches in their ear, so we go them another distraction out there. I thought we handled it pretty well, for the most part. It gives us a good indication of where some of these young players are."
(on what he needs from LT Duane Brown) "He's a really quiet guy, but I am looking for him to take a big step as a player. Whether he is ready to take on a leadership role or not, I think those things come naturally as you move forward. The key think we want with him is to see him become one heck of a player. He was a good player last year, especially for a rookie to play on the left side and with some of the people he played against. But now it is time for him to take the another step."
(on Brown dropping 10-15 pounds) "You can tell just watching him move around. He's much more comfortable with what we're doing. Usually, that happens to guys. It's an old saying, but usually, guys make their biggest jump from year one to year two. You can see it going on the (Xavier) Adibi right now. Hopefully, it goes on with Duane, too."
(on DT Frank Okam) "Frank's taken advantage of an opportunity. Travis (Johnson) hasn't been out here practicing. DelJuan (Robinson) and Frank have been given an opportunity to step up and make the most of the opportunity, and they're doing that. Frank has dropped a lot of weight, which was important for him to get himself into better shape. The more he works with Bill (Kollar), the more he sees himself as a player in this league, and that's what we need."
(on Okam's size) "It's nice to have that big of a body, but you still have to be athletic. You still have to be able to run the stunts and do those type of things, and Frank can do that at 335. He can't do it at 360, so he's working hard to get down. I think he weighed in this morning at 339, which is a big step in the right direction for him. He needs the same discipline when OTAs are over."
(on DT Travis Johnson) "I didn't let him do team (drills); I let him do individuals. Hopefully, next week he'll do some more."
(on when he expects CB Antwaun Molden back) "I would love to sit here and tell you he will be at training camp ready to go. I think what is going to happen is that when we get to camp, he's going to be a light worker. We are going to see where he is. To sit here and say that he will 100 percent when we walk out there July 31, I don't think I can do that."
(on if only the rookies will attend minicamp) "I want to make sure that we work the young players, but we will all be here for minicamp. Nobody will be excused."
(on G Chester Pitts) "Chester has been good; he's done individual (drills) this whole week. We haven't put him in any team situations, and I don't know if we will next week. We know who Chester is and what he does; we just have to make sure we get him healthy."
(on if he is concerned about Pitts coming back from his elbow scopes) "No, I think it actually helped him. He came to us and said they were bothering him and that they had found a couple of chips in there. They got them out, and he says he feels a lot better."
(on Okam) "It's just a discipline thing for Frank. If Frank gets out in his environment – and I don't know what that is when he leaves here – but it has put a lot of weight on him (before). When he started the offseason programs, I wanted to say that Frank was 365. That's way too big, but he's been one of our most disciplined guys. He does the work with everybody. He does extra every day, and he's showing the signs of that discipline. But it's got to continue when someone is not right there with him."
(on TE James Casey's long snapping) "I think it's important that he learns to play tight end first. The advantage would be for the football team. If we have a player, let's say a tight end like Casey or (Joel) Dreessen, who can play the position and be a snapper, that saves us another roster spot. We'll have to wait and see. For that very reason, we are working Clark (Harris) at tight end also."
TE James Casey
(on how he likes the NFL) "It's fun. I'm enjoying it. I'm having fun with it and trying to do the best I can."
(on if anyone has told him he goes too hard) "If you're in NFL, almost everyone is an overachiever; everybody works really hard. I know I have to work as hard as I possibly can to have any kind of chance of making the team. I've got to do everything I can to make myself stand out a little bit."
(on the hardest part of his transition to the NFL) "The toughest thing is learning the playbook. I knew that everyone is bigger, stronger and faster. The hardest thing for me is learning the personnel groupings and formations and all our different plays. They throw so much at you at the beginning, and it's a lot of information. That's the toughest thing right now."
(on focusing on playing just tight end) "That has simplified things a little more than what they were for me in college because I played a whole bunch of different positions. But in the NFL, there are so many more personnel groupings even with just tight ends. We have two- or three- tight end sets. That's a lot of information, so I'm just trying to get that down."
(on if he asks a lot of questions) "If I don't know something, I will definitely ask a question. I don't want to come out and be unsure of things. Any time I'm uncertain of things, I will ask a coach or O.D. (Owen Daniels). All the tight ends stick together and help each other out and make sure we all know what's going on."
(on getting anxious to put on full pads) "I am anxious to go full pads and practice. That's when you really can show your stuff and make the team. I think right now with OTAs, the biggest thing is getting all the rookies and young guys like me able to learn the offense and understand what's going on so when we do go to training camp, we have a fair shot to make the team and to impress people. I'm just trying to learn everything right now so that when training camp comes and we put pads on, that I'm a capable blocker and pass catcher and really prove myself then."
(on if he compares himself physically to the other guys on the team) "You judge yourself a little bit. Obviously, you have to think that you can play in the NFL. The team has to believe it, or you aren't going to be on the team. You have to show the team that you can help them win. So far, I think I am doing OK, but there's still a long way to go, and that's for the coaches to judge. I learned through my professional baseball experience that I don't worry about what everyone else is doing or how well that guy is doing. That doesn't matter to me at all. I can only control how well I do and how hard I work. I can't control what anyone else does. In baseball, I did. I thought, 'Oh, what's that guy doing? How good is he? How good is that guy?' Now, I don't worry about that at all. I just worry about how good I can be."
(on working on his long snapping) "I am trying to do anything that can help me make the team. Long snapping is one of those things where there are only a certain amount of roster spots. If you can do something like that, you can be valuable to the team. I am really trying to work on that every day to show them that I can be trustworthy if they put me in there to do that. It's something I think I am capable of doing, and I want to just keep working on it."
(on when was the last time he long snapped) "I did it in high school. In college, I was the backup, but we had a guy on scholarship that just snapped so they didn't need me at all. I have been working on it ever since I declared for the draft because I wanted to show teams that I could do it. So I've been working on it ever since then. I haven't done it in a game for awhile, but I have been practicing it a lot."
(on if he hopes they run a "Wildcat" formation) "Obviously, I hope so, because it would give me a chance to get on the field. Again, that's out of my control, so I can't worry about it."