After the Texans' second practice of OTAs (organized team activities) on Tuesday, members of the team spoke to the media.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on practice today) "It was good. We worked on team today. We kind of bounced back and forth between our individual and our team stuff, so we got a good start on that."
(on if there are certain things they're working on) "Well, what we're trying to do--we need a lot more teaching. We've got some young players that I think can help this team, and instead of force-feeding them some of our stuff, we're going to take it a little slower. Our veterans are fine, so we're really trying to catch some of those young guys up individually to get them in better position to help our team."
(on QB Dan Orlovsky in a new system) "I think he's fine. Terminology-wise, that's not a big change for him. I think coaching-wise, probably some of the things we're telling him compared to what he's done in the past is probably different, but he's a big, talented young man. He's just like (QB) Matt (Schaub) from a size standpoint and how he plays the game, so when you're coaching him, it's not like two different guys. He can get so much better. You know, it's fun to coach a guy like that, that you see all this talent (and) that you know can get so much better as a player. And he's got some big steps to take, but I'm excited about his direction."
(on comparing QBs Dan Orlovsky and Sage Rosenfels) "This kid (Orlovsky) is smart. He's very smart. You know, Sage has been doing this a long time. This guy, not as long, but this guy has had some time on the job. I mean, he's played under about as tough a circumstance as you can play last year and kept battling every week, so it says a lot for his character. We'll just keep working with him, but I think we've got a good one."
(on DE Antonio Smith's injury) "He's had a hamstring issue for about the last two weeks, and instead of pushing him through this—we thought he might do something yesterday, but watching him work, to me it didn't look like he was doing a lot."
(on G Chester Pitts) "Chester had his elbows cleaned out. He had one elbow one week and the other elbow the following week, so he's pre-cautioned. He probably will not work much at all in the OTAs – if any, there at the end. (DT) Travis (Johnson) was doing fine throughout the offseason. Last week, he started on a few different things, so he's got to catch up physically before we let him on the field.
(on DT Amobi Okoye) "He's been fine. He was good yesterday. He has a quad problem, actually, that has given his knee some soreness, and we feel like we're on top of that. He's had a good offseason, so unless he's telling you something he doesn't tell me, I think he's OK."
(on DT Travis Johnson not being on the field) "It's not good. He needs to be out there. He needs to be out there helping the football team and he's got a long, long way to go as a player, but he's got issues, so we'll get the issues solved and then we'll let him get out there and compete."
(on DT Amobe Okoye and T Duane Brown improving) "We've just got started. They've both been very good. Amobi started a little slow with his knee injury, but he's got a higher percent participation, he's had a good offseason. Duane, the same. I could probably talk more about that about a week from now after I watch them work."
(on the importance of DT Amobi Okoye stepping up) "It's very important. He's a guy who was brought in here to be an uphill player, rush the passer. He's had his flashes as a player. We're looking for a consistency in the long haul. Hopefully, (defensive line coach) Bill (Kollar) can do the work to get him there."
(on what he's looking for from WR Jacoby Jones this offseason) "I tell you what, knock on wood, he's been excellent in the offseason. He's grown up. He's handled himself a lot better than he has in the past. He's becoming a pro to me, so with that should come better play and more consistency. We'll keep our fingers crossed. Hopefully, he continues to do it every day, but he's been a very pleasant surprise throughout the offseason."
(on if this is part of the maturation process for Jones) "I think it is. Sometimes, guys have to go through some rough times before they figure out, 'Hey, this isn't easy.' Jacoby is one of those young men who had a lot of success very early coming into this league and then all of a sudden realized how tough it was week-to-week. He had some other issues that we had to work through, but he's shown this offseason that he understands what's most important, and it's the job he does on the field. So let's hope he keeps heading in that direction."
(on CB Fred Bennett's role on the team) "Fred's a starter right now. This league is about opportunity, and through Dunta's situation, Fred's a starting corner on this team right now. We'll see how he does with it. He's really taken to (defensive backs coach) David's (Gibbs) attention and he's worked very, very hard. So he's had two good days to start off with here, so we'll see."
(on expectations for RB Steve Slaton in 2009) "I put some pressure on him. I think he's got to be one of the most improved players, too, because a lot of talk centered around who's going to help us along with Steve. If Steve goes and gets better, then our football team is going to be better. So that's a little pressure on him, but all of us guys really think he can do it, from players to coaches. So I'll be excited to see how far he can go."
(on RB Chris Brown) "He's been fine. He hasn't had any health issues throughout the offseason. We tried to monitor some of the things he's doing in the offseason. He won't let us. He says, 'No, I'm all in. I feel like I'll be able to do it all.' He's held up well. We'll see how he does."
(on if Brown is the backup to RB Steve Slaton) "Yeah, I think they're all battling. I think Ryan (Moats) and (Chris) would be 2a and 2b, however you want to list them. But the bottom line is Steve's the starter and I think everybody else is out there battling for a job to help the football team."
(on if Brown's size gives him an advantage) "He's obviously something that we're looking for in our offense, but we're going to play the best guys. I don't care if they're small or big. We're going to play the best ones."
RB Steve Slaton
(on if he was surprised by the extra wear and tear of the NFL season last year) "It's not surprising. I mean, you kind of expect it because it is going longer. Playing in college, you have those aches and pains, but coming into the NFL, you have the bigger guys and you have a longer season, so you know it's going to be that little bit extra."
(on his expectations for this season) "Just to be all around. Do a lot more. I think I pride myself on improving. I just want to be better than last year."
(on what the coaches have asked him to focus on in particular) "I think we view the same, just my pass protection. I feel like I can do better. I feel like there's always something I'm going to have to work on. I'm probably going to improve just having a year getting more into the system. I should be better just over time. "