Head coach Gary Kubiak is looking to execute the rushing game in Sunday's opener against the Chiefs.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media after Friday's practice about the team's excitement level heading into Sunday's home opener against Kansas City.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on how the team practiced) "We're ready to go. We practiced a little nervous today, but that's a good thing. That means we're excited and ready to go. We've had good work. Everybody's healthy. Anthony Weaver's ready to go."
(on if the "price of poker" went up more in practice today) "Oh yeah, that's just the way it is. I mean you go through a preseason and all the work, and guys can say what they want to say, but coming out of the preseason for the opening week is a totally different environment, a different tempo by the players and coaches."
(on if he has talked to WR Jacoby Jones and DT Amobi Okoye about regular season jitters) "I think they've talked to their teammates more than me. Those are the guys who can tell him what it's like to step on the field the first time in a regular season game. The game we had against Dallas was a good indicator. I know they are both excited and ready to play."
(on what it was like for him before his first regular season game) "They didn't let me step out there for a very long time. You know, my first game as a rookie was in Pittsburgh against the Steelers. They started (QB John) Elway in the game and they had Jack Lambert and the boys. At halftime, we had like one first down, and John was one-for-eight and they put (Steve) Deberg in. I was like holey smokes, this is the NFL. Yeah, I remember that day. It will be a good day for these kids."
(on anything new with the team) "No. Nothing new. Like I said, we practiced pretty dang good, and everybody's real upbeat so we're just excited to get the season going."
(on how if he feels good about the team's health) "I feel good about DE Anthony (Weaver). He practiced well this week. So we'll be smart with his reps, but we're full strength and ready to go."
(on what he thinks the team's record will be) "I don't know. We're going to find out. We're trying to get the first one. I know that."
(on if he is glad that fans are so pumped about the team this year) "Our atmosphere against Dallas and our fans – it's been great. I know that they are looking forward to this season. We should be excited. We made a lot of progress as an organization and a football team. But this is the hardest part and the hardest league there is. I mean there are great players you watched last night. Two great teams go at it, and one team was really dominant. That's this league. You can play as well as you can play and get beat. But that's what makes it so much fun. It's the greatest challenge as a coach and the greatest challenge as a player."
(on how he's preparing his run defense) "We're going to find out where we're at, because this team's going to run the ball if we put 10 in the box or 9 in the box. They're still going to run the ball. That's what they're made of. That's a big challenge for our defense, but I think a challenge for us offensively is that we've got to find a way to run the ball."
(on if he is concerned with unrealistic expectations) "I look at things one game at a time. I've been in this league long enough how hard it is and how tough wins are to come by. All you can do is make sure you prepare as good as you possibly can to play that game that week and go our there and take your shot. It takes a special effort to win in this league week in and week out. There are no flukes in this league. So we're just trying to prepare the best we can."
(on if he believes that the Chiefs will limit RB Larry Johnson's touches) "You look at him as an athlete, and this kid's ready to carry the ball. He gives them the best chance to win on Sunday week in and week out. So he's going to touch one way or another. We know that. We're going to have to play well against their whole football team, but we know how important he is to that factor."
(on the pressure he is under now compared to last year) "The pressure's the pressure, really. Heck, we worked way too dang hard not to be successful on Sundays. So you feel that pressure, regardless. If you're in this league, it's dang important to you. Every time I ever went on the field, regardless of where I've been, it's important to win, and I feel pressure to do a good job for these players – to put them in the best position to be successful. That's part of the business. I think it's what makes us tick. I think that's why we are a part of it, as crazy as it is and as hard as it is, as emotional as it is. That's something we enjoy. That's a part of our lives. I just look forward to it."
(on if he's brought out his rings to show the team) "No. My kids should have those some day. Those are great things to go back and look at, but I'm working on getting this thing going right now. That's the most important thing."
(on his first game as a starter in the NFL) "The first time I ever played was in Seattle in my rookie year, week 11. (Steve) Deberg was hurt. John (Elway) was starting the game, and I was John's backup. And then about 10 a.m. Sunday morning I get a call that John had pneumonia, and I was starting. I had never even taken a snap from our center and I started against the Seattle Seahawks. I ran to the stadium. I asked the center to help me out and I took some snaps. So I went out one. You just have to be ready for your opportunity. That was the first time I ever stepped on the field."
(on what his emotions were like when he was out there) "I think I was so damned scared I don't even remember. I just went out there and tried to do the best I could. I didn't get a lot of practice, but it probably made it better that I didn't practice and I found out that morning I was going. It's a great league. There are some great days and great moments for a lot of players. I know there will be special moments for DT Amobi (Okoye) and WR Jacoby (Jones) when they step on this field. Let's not forget QB Matt Schaub. It's his first time to step on this field as a starter for a franchise. And I could see that in him today. It's the real deal."
(on if he'll be wearing all white on Sunday) "I'll be wearing whatever they put in my locker. I've got to worry about the football team."