Running back Ryan Moats talks things over with quarterback Dan Orlovsky.
Strong safety Dominique Barber got reps with the first team. Head coach Gary Kubiak talked about Barber's progress as he heads into his second pro season.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on players not participating in practice) "Cato (June), I think I mentioned yesterday, Cato is (not here). Mario (Williams) didn't work today. Little hamstring nagging him a little bit, so we just rested him to get the other guys some reps. Other than that, we're OK."
(on who has stood out to him so far in OTAs) "I'd hate to say that. I think there's quite a few guys. The thing I see is a lot of progress from young players. That's very important as we move forward. (Brian) Cushing's catching up with everybody. But we've got a very competitive roster, and it's going to be a very competitive training camp. So I feel good about too many to try to single out one or two."
(on anything new on DT Travis Johnson) "He's made a lot of improvement, and I'm hoping that next week, he's on the football field. But it's a matter of getting him healthy before we can turn him loose."
(on if he has noticed a difference in second-year SS Dominique Barber) "Yeah, I've noticed a difference. I think he's more comfortable in what he's doing. David (Gibbs) yesterday flipped him, told Nick (Ferguson), 'Hey, I'm going to work Dominique with the first group, see how he responds.' So he got some reps with the first group. You know, it's a great opportunity for him and Brandon (Harrison). They're two young players that we've made a commitment to go with behind our two veteran guys, so the opportunity's there for them if they take advantage of it. So we'll see. But we like their progress so far."
(on what defensive line coach Bill Kollar brings to the team) "Well, he's loud. I'm sure y'all can hear him. No, Bill's been doing it a long time. When I think of Bill, of course he's been in St. Louis and Atlanta and stuff, but I was always impressed with some of these guys that he would take out of college and not many people knew who they were and then all of a sudden, he's a Pro Bowl football player. He's all about pursuit, hustle. The way he coaches, the way he teaches is all about effort, and that's really showing out here with our group. And that's' what we have. We've got a big-time player in Mario (Williams). After that, we've got a lot of guys with talent that get the most out of their talent with effort, and that's what he's trying to get from all of them and we brought Antonio (Smith) to help them. So you'll be successful if you listen to him, I can tell you that. So far, so good."
(on what kind of player thought he had when they brought RB Ryan Moats to Houston) "Well, I remember studying Ryan coming out (of college), so I knew a lot about him. Liked his ability. Why it didn't happen in Philly, you know, you never know. The one thing that was constant when I talked to (Eagles coach) Andy (Reid) and a few of the guys that had had him there, they were very positive about him. Just didn't work out there. So we felt good about giving him a chance. I think what's happened, a lot of times you'll see players – Joel Dreessen's a great one that comes to mind – where they get drafted, it doesn't initially work for them, but if they're hungry enough, they'll make it in this league. And I think that's what you're seeing from him right now. Hey, there's not many stops you get in this league, and he's getting an opportunity here and he's taking advantage of it."
(on if they are counting on RB Chris Brown counting this season) "Yeah, no doubt. He's doing very well. As I think I've said a couple times here over the first few weeks, we thought about monitoring him, but he really won't let us. So that's a good sign that he feels like he can go full-gear here. We'll see what happens through the preseason, but he can help the football team, so we'll keep our fingers crossed he stays healthy."
(on if the team will keep any extra kickers or punters in training camp) "Yeah, I don't know. Of course, we're looking at this other punter (Justin Brantly) here right now in OTAs, but when you go to training camp, it's really hard to get through that month body-wise if you've got two kickers or two punters. Matt (Turk) and Kris (Brown) have always taken care of their business. We just knew this (Brantly) was a young man with a lot of talent, so we wanted to look at him."
(on DE Antonio Smith) "I'm very excited about him. When you take a guy off another team and he's had a successful run there as they went to the Super Bowl, he's a young player and had a lot of expectations walking into our building. It's taken him some time to see how our guys do things, how we coach, how we expect, how we practice. That takes some time for players, but I think he's made the transition very well. He struggled with the hamstring, but he's looked good all week. So I'm looking forward to him continuing to go."
(on if DE Antonio Smith will move inside in passing situations) "On nickel (downs), he definitely will. Well, I shouldn't say definitely. I mean, that's where he did most of his damage throughout the playoff run; he'd come inside and work in passing situations. But he should be able to do it outside, too. Big, strong player. It's not like we have a small end and a big end now. We've got to pretty good-sized bodies out there."
RB Ryan Moats
(on if his size is a disadvantage) "I mean, you can say what you want to say about a person's size. But when you're on the field, you're on the field and it doesn't matter anymore. So that's kind of how I've approached it my whole career."
(on having always been productive without being able to physically wear down a defense) "Well, I mean, it depends on the way you look at it. You look at a big back being a physical guy to wear the defense down, but at the same time, a guy my size can wear the defense down, too. It depends on how you run. Your mental way of running, if you run hard and you're a hard-nosed runner, you're a hard-nosed runner – no matter what size you are."
(on what he thought when the Texans didn't draft a running back) "I mean, of course it was a good feeling. Of course, I have a lot to prove. But at the same time, it did feel good to know that they have some type of confidence in me as a runner. And I'm looking forward to capitalizing on that more to have them be more comfortable with me."
(on coach Kubiak saying that he has a huge opportunity this offseason) "I do, I do. Opportunities only come around once in a lifetime, so I will be full-throttle at everything I do."