Running back Samkon Gado finds a crease during practice Saturday.
Coach Gary Kubiak and Texans players spoke to the media following Saturday's morning practice at the Methodist Training Center.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak (on today's practice) "I think we came out here, we wanted to bang a little bit, have some enthusiasm and that's what we had. I think our defense continued for two hours. Offensively, I think we did it for about an hour, and we've got to find a way to do it for two. They're ready to go; they knew that's what I wanted this morning. I liked it, the enthusiasm we practiced with."
(on the fact that practice today was physical) "We need to bang around. We're going to get hit next Saturday. A week from today we're going to get hit by that group. We've got to get ready to go. We need to talk about being a physical football team, (but) we need to do it out here."
(on how Texans cornerback Von Hutchins and cornerback Dexter McCleon are transitioning in camp) "They're doing fine. Von has really had an excellent camp. You see him showing up. We've been pretty healthy at corner, knock on wood. What they give you is versatility. They give Jon (Hoke) a player he's very comfortable with in a role that he can do a lot of things. Right now, they're all in one piece and hopefully it stays that way, but there are some tough decisions to make."
(on whether there are any players who haven't gotten much playing time in the past improving) "I think Earl Cochran has definitely flashed. When I look at the defensive side of the ball, I think Charlie Anderson's really separated himself. When you look at the linebacker group, you look at Morlon (Greenwood), you look at DeMeco (Ryans), and you look at Charlie. Then right away you go to Zach Diles, and you go to Danny Clark. Shawn (Barber) is missing time but Shawn looked good. You look at those six, and chances are you're going to keep six. Those guys have kind of distinguished themselves day in and day out."
(on whether Texans linebacker Shantee Orr is hurt) "Yea, he got bruised, some type of bruise the first day of practice, and just continues to not be able to be out here, but it's very important for him to get out here for him to make this football team."
(on the biggest difference between this training camp and last years training camp) "I would say probably the biggest thing is I don't see the long periods (of bad things). Some bad things would happen, and they'd happen for a while before they stopped and got corrected. I mean we're in camp and we're going to have some bad things happen. I see the groups go correct them and come back the next period and play better. I think we're growing up from that standpoint. I think on the offensive side of the ball we're still looking for that big leader to step up. Andre (Johnson) is a quiet guy. He leads by how he plays, but somebody's got to take control of the group when things are kind of in a lull. I think Matt (Schaub) is trying to do that, trying to grow into that position, but I think we still have a ways to go on the offensive side of the ball."
(on Texans Quarterbacks coach Kyle Shanahan) "He's doing a good job. He's with them around the clock. That's what's most important, because he gets a ton of feedback from me and 'Sherm (Mike Sherman), and somebody's got to be with those guys all the time. He never leaves them; he meets with them when Joe (Marciano) is in special teams. Just a constant earpiece for them, and for me as I visit with him everyday about them. (He's) waiting on a baby. Hopefully he has that baby on his night off."
(on the effort from the players during training camp) "I think our effort has been excellent. I think our week has been very physical. We've had some guys push through it. We had some guys that were on the "if" list I guess this morning when we got over there at the stadium, but they put their pads on and came out here, so as long as we're getting that type of effort, we need a break before we get going next week, so we'll try to get a few of these guys some extra treatment in."
(on the fact that Texans LB N.D. Kalu is practicing regularly this year) "I take blame for that, and I think the fact that our team wasn't very deep last year. As a coach you sit there and look at your depth, and we got him out here too much last year and we wore him down. This year I feel better about our depth. He's practicing once a day. He's probably as good a pass rusher as we have right now on the football field, so I think we're just using him smarter and he's responding to that."
(on Texans G Drew Hodgdon making the transition to the guard position) "He's doing some good things, and then he has struggled some times with things. The preseason will tell. After Chester (Pitts) and Fred (Weary), who I think have turned into very solid players. Then you look at (Kasey) Studdard, you look at (Drew) Hodgdon, you look at (Mike) Brisiel who is having a very good camp, and really looking at three guys with possibly one job maybe two. We'll find out in the preseason."
(on what he will do with his night off) "I'm not going to have much time off. We've got a lot of decisions to make, and a lot of things to get ready for next week, but I may find dinner with my wife before the evening's over."
(on the competition in camp)"Here's what I saw this morning. I saw aggression. I saw a lot of physical play. I saw respect. If you're going to be a good football team, that's what it's got to be. If we're going to come out here and bang on each other, and hit each other in the mouth, it cant turn into a bunch of jawing and a bunch of problems on the field, because you lose focus on what you're doing, and I didn't see that. I think our guys were getting loud and talking a little bit to each other, but nobody lost focus of their job. They respect each other. They're trying to get each other ready to play; that's the difference."
(on Texans CB Dunta Robinson) "He made a lot of plays today. That's what makes him better. In practice, you're not going to sit there and go away from a player, you're going to challenge. Everybody's got to get ready to play. Anytime Andre (Johnson) is going against Dunta our football team is getting better."
(on Kalu's leadership) "He's a class act. He leads by how he plays the game. He's great with young kids, and I think we're using him the right way right now. He's fresh, and he's just playing better."
Texans linebacker Danny Clark (on being called "Dan the Assassin") "That's my whole image, is try to go hit someone out here. I think that's what we are trying to be is a physical football team, and that will be something that gives you the right steps."
(on what he plans to bring to the defense) "Leadership and getting a physical presence. I think that's something any defense can get better at. Putting contact on ball carriers and slicing the ball, turnovers. I want to help lead these guys to the next level."
(on competition for his position) "Oh it's huge, guys are fighting everyday. It is very competitive, guys are all good, and guys can make plays. It's going to be great to see this thing finish off. I'm going to definitely try to be a starter on this team."
(on the most challenging thing other than the heat) "Oh, the heat! It's the toughest thing out here. You get to a point where camp gets drawn out a little bit and you get lethargic, but you have to come out with a breath of fresh air everyday."
Texans cornerback Jamar Fletcher (on what he thinks he has shown this first week) "Guys, first and foremost, are going to com and help the team in any way. You know, that's my main thing is to come help this team get over that hump and get better."
(on playing special teams or nickel packages) "Oh definitely. Like I said from day one, you know, my thing is to come here and help this team in any way possible. Wherever the team feels that I need to be to help win, I'm all for it; whether it's defense or special teams."
(on what it will take to crack the starting lineup) "Just continue to show consistency. You know, that's the big thing, guys are gonna come out here and tackle and cover and do all the necessary things needed to win ball games. I think I have shown that I can come out here and compete with the best of them. I would say the most important thing is to stay consistent."
Texans cornerback Dunta Robinson (on some of the hard hits during practice today) "Oh, definitely. If you are going to put the pads on, you might as well use them. You know, and if we are going to be out here you might as well have some fun. So, guys are just flying around making plays, it's nothing personal, you know, we just want to give each other game speed looks, and that's what we're doing."
(on what he's going to do on his day off) "The biggest plan I got is to sleep as long as I possibly can. You know, I haven't had a lot of sleep since camp started, you know, we've been going everyday and practicing everyday, so my first off day I'm going to take full advantage of it."