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Houston Texans

Practice quotes: Friday


Texans general manager Rick Smith and head coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media following their team's Friday practice on a frigid day in Houston.

General manager Rick Smith

(on being appointed to the NFL's Competition Committee) "It obviously is an enormous responsibility and a tremendous honor for me to be appointed to the Competition Committee. It's something that's very important to our league, and so I'm blessed to be a part of it and am excited about the opportunity."

(on how the appointment came about) "Obviously, the situation in Detroit with Matt Millen, and so he was removed from the committee and they needed to appoint a new one. So that's basically what it amounts to."

(on who called him and when he found out) "I've talked to a couple of the members here over the last couple of months, and so I knew that it was in the works or was a possibility. I certainly didn't know where it was in the process, and so I got a phone call a couple of days ago and found out that they had, in fact, decided to appoint me, that (NFL Commissioner) Roger (Goodell) had, in fact, decided to appoint me, and I was excited about that."

(on the purpose of the Competition Committee) "The Competition Committee basically is charged with making sure the game is played at as high of a level as we can play it and to maintain the integrity of the game. That's reviewing rules, whether they're personnel rules or playing rules or officiating rules. So it's the committee that's charged with making sure our game is as good as it needs to be."

(on if this appointment came from the commissioner) "Yes."

(on the highest guy in the league, commissioner Roger Goodell, calling him for this position) "Well, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Roger and how he's running the league and the things that he is doing, so for me to have an opportunity to serve and be a part of something at the league level is obviously important. And like I said, it's just a heck of an honor."

(on how far he has come in his career in a short period of time) "Yeah, I'm blessed. What I try to do is keep my head down and work as hard as I can work. Obviously, my focus is to bring this organization and this franchise to a championship-caliber organization and team. We're committed to doing that. If other things come along the way, that's fine. But we're going to get a win here."

(on if him being on the Competition Committee gives the team any kind of advantage) "No, I don't think it gives us any kind of advantage. We've got to still go out and play on Sundays and Mondays. Hopefully, we'll go find a victory in Green Bay this weekend."

(on if he could change one rule what it would be) "I don't know. I'm not trying to change any rules right now."
(on where this honor ranks among others in his career) "I would imagine it's probably, thinking about that and having that question posed to me, it probably is the highest thing. This committee is about as important as it gets in this league. So to have that honor, it probably ranks about the highest that I've got."

Head coach Gary Kubiak

(on if everything has been OK with QB Matt Schaub this week) "Yeah, it's been fine. He's healthy. He's ready to go. He naturally has been out for a while, so (I'm) anxious to see him get back. But (he) needed all the work he got this week."

(on the weather playing a role in the game on Sunday) "Yeah, it does. Naturally, it changes something. We obviously don't play it on a regular basis, but the game stays the same. I mean, weather may slow the game down or something a certain way because of the field or the weather, but as far as the execution of what you have to do to win, it doesn't change. Protecting the ball will be of the utmost importance in this football game."

(on GM Rick Smith being an assistant coach when he met him and now being named to the NFL's Competition Committee) "Well, he's come a long way. I've known him from the day we made a call to him when he was on his way to TCU to become a G.A. and we hired him in Denver. Now, he's moved up the ladder pretty quick. I knew he would. Very sharp guy and good with people. He's a leader, and his future is very bright."

(on if he'll be able to complain to GM Rick Smith about more than personnel now) "I told him I'm going to have to listen to him at the league meetings now up there on the podium. I won't have anybody to sit with any more."

(on if it gives him any advantage having GM Rick Smith on the competition committee) "I don't know about that. You'll have to ask him that."

(on if the last couple of days being cold in Houston has helped his team prepare for Green Bay) "Are you talking about weather-wise? Well, it's nice that we had it, that we got to function in it. But you don't prepare to play in 10, 15 degrees. It's just something you have to do. You just go out there and do it. It's a mindset, and we have a lot of players on our team that are from schools where they played in a lot of cold weather from time to time. So it's just part of it. I think our guys are looking forward to it, to be honest with you."

(on if there is any advice he can pass along to his players after being in Denver for so long) "Yeah, I was in Denver for 20-something years, and there's still some times that you played where the weather was something you could never prepare for. That's just part of the game. We'll see what happens, but we're going to have to play good football one way or another."

(on if they do walk-throughs on the road) "On the road? No, we don't. We go straight to our hotel, so we do our walk-throughs here."

(on if the weather affects his play calling) "I don't go into a game that way, thinking that way. I'm going to call a game the way I think we have to call it to move the football. You may show up somewhere and all of a sudden it may affect something you do during the game, but as you prepare, no."

(on DE Anthony Weaver and S Nick Ferguson) "Anthony looks like he's ready to go. Nick did not do anything today. So, Nick's a game-time decision."

(on who steps in at safety if S Nick Ferguson can't play) "(S) Brandon (Harrison)."

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