Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said on Friday that quarterback Matt Schaub is making steady progress in his return from a knee injury.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on QB Matt Schaub) "I thought he was still a little bit limited today, but I think he was better than he was yesterday. So we're making progress there."
(on if there is any chance QB Matt Schaub will play on Monday) "I think there's a chance, but I think we've got to be smart and know that he can go out there and do all of the things he can do on a normal basis. Like I said, we've still got a long way to go between now and Monday, but he's made some progress."
(on if he would consider starting QB Matt Schaub on Monday if he gets healthy) "Well, that's not the case yet, so we'll see."
(on if he is considering having QB Matt Schaub as the number two quarterback) "No. I'm not considering anything. I'm just trying to see if I feel like he's healthy enough to play. It was just good to have him out here yesterday. He was very limited yesterday; not as limited today, so he's making progress. We'll see."
(on it seeming like QB Matt Schaub is taking a lot of repetitions) "He's taking some. He's taking a few. He's taking, probably out of a 10-rep period, he's probably taking two or three, which is normal for a guy in a backup position or whatever. But he did a little bit more than he did yesterday."
(on how RB Steve Slaton is doing) "He's good. He's tells me he feels a lot better. He's just naturally a little beat up, but I think he's better than he was last week because he did not go backwards last week."
(on how key it would be to this season to get QB Matt Schaub back to a backup position) "It's important, I think, that Matt gets back on this field and ready to play. We'll see, but obviously, he needs to get back out here. He's missed a lot of time and needs the work. We're all expecting him to get back there. So, it was the plan all along and it looks like he's pretty much on schedule. So, what has it been, four weeks? I think this is the fourth week. So the way he's working right now the last two days, I'd say he's on schedule."
(on if he is surprised how well RB Steve Slaton has held up as a starter this season) "Yeah, I'd be probably telling a story if I said I wasn't. Yeah, I was a little surprised. We thought we were getting a third-down guy that had some speed. We had no idea he would hold up the way he's held up. He's started 10 games now and not only held up, but held up when he's not feeling perfect. Those are the type of guys you want. When everything's not right, they're still giving everything they have, and last week's a big example of that from him."
(on if RB Ryan Moats is healthy) "Yeah, he's fine. So, he'll back up (RB) Steve (Slaton), and (RB) Cecil (Sapp) will actually be playing halfback this week, too."
(on if RB Cecil Sapp helps in pass protection) "(RB) Cecil (Sapp) knows what we're doing protection-wise. He's working as a halfback this week. We're just making sure he gets his reps here going into the game instead of trying to do both."
(on if he thinks the injuries to Jacksonville's offensive line contributed to their struggles this season) "I think any team in this league is going to go through some injuries. Some teams go through more than most, and they had a problem in that one spot. So, it hit them hard right there. They have gotten their center back, which I know has helped. But that's part of this league, and sometimes you get it harder than others – you get hit harder than others, especially in one position."
(on if it is a disadvantage the week after a Monday Night game with a shorter week) "I don't think so. I think sometimes, the shorter the week, the better. Sometimes, you don't overanalyze or over plan sometimes. I think the key is how you come out of a Monday Night game. You're losing 24 hours of recovery time for your players, so you hope you come out of them clean."
(on if RB Steve Slaton is capable of taking more reps in this game than he has so far) "Yeah. He's going. Naturally, we don't want him to play as many plays as he did against Minnesota, but he's very capable of playing 45, 50 plays a game. He's shown that. He's having a heck of a year. He's right there battling with some of these other guys around the league. So, just excited to see him continue to move forward."
WR Andre Johnson
(on his "Vote for Owen" t-shirt) "Just politicking for him to get to the Pro Bowl, that's all. Just make sure everyone goes out and votes."
(on his thoughts on playing on Monday Night Football) "You know, I always say it's kind of like—you look at it like that big high school game. They say on Friday nights, you're under the lights. We'll be under the lights on Monday. Its primetime and everyone is going to be watching. It's a big stage for us."
(on if there is an extra incentive to win since they almost won the last meeting in Jacksonville) "I think you just approach it like you approach any other game. I think it's just big just to be playing Jacksonville on Monday night. It's always like a rivalry game for us, and by it being on Monday night, it kind of makes it even bigger. You know, it's our first Monday night game here, and guys are going to be pumped, but you can't let your emotions take over. You just have to go out there and play like you play any other game."
(on what they can accomplish in these last five games) "You just have to go out and try to win them. That's the only thing you can do. You know, other than that, the playoff thing or anything like that, that's probably not going to happen. So, you just have to go out and play hard every game and just take them one by one, just go out and try to win as many as you can."
(on none of the players giving up this season) "No, that's something that we don't have around here. Guys are going to play hard and continue to play hard. That's a great thing. We know we let some games get away from us, and we're just determined to go out and just win these five games."
(on how you take advantage of playing at home) "You just have to go out and play well because if you don't go out and play well, you're going to hear some boos and things like that. But you just have to go out and play well. I think when you go out and play well at home, the fans are into the game and they're loud and they're cheering and it makes it hard for the other team's offense to execute when our defense is out on the field. So I think it helps out a whole lot. But I'm pretty sure they will be pumped. Like I said, it's the first Monday night game here, so everyone's excited for it. Every guy has been asked for a lot of tickets. So I'm pretty sure there will be a lot of people here at the game, and hopefully, it will be a lot of fun and we can go out and play the way we know how to play."
(on QB Matt Schaub taking some reps in practice and saying he wants to play) "You know, he told me when he got injured that he would be back out practicing the week of this game, the Monday night game. I told him he was crazy. But I don't know, he must have some Miracle Rub or something happen. To be honest, when you see him out there, he doesn't even look like he had an injury. He's moving around real good, he looks good. So I'm just glad to see him back out there."
(on if he is impressed with how fast QB Matt Schaub's rehab has been) "Yeah, I am. Like you said, both of injuries were a little different, but he's been in here working hard. He's been dedicating a lot of time to getting back on the field. I don't know if he has any pain or anything when he's out there, but he looks fine to me."
(on if he thinks he and QB Matt Schaub's timing will need work or if he seems pretty comfortable) "He seems pretty comfortable. At times, one of the plays, he threw a ball and you could tell he was kind of off, but once he got into the flow of practice and we were out there running routes, it doesn't seem like he's missed a beat."
(on if he is worried about QB Matt Schaub taking a hit) "I think that's the biggest thing guys look forward to coming off an injury, taking that first hit. You know, you just have to see how he reacts to it when he takes it. That's all you can do is see the reaction after you take a hit. When you're playing a game and you're coming off an injury, you definitely want to take that hit early so you know how your body will respond to it."
CB Jacques Reeves
(on the excitement of playing on Monday night) "It's fun. I've been in a few Monday night games. They're a little bit more exciting. We'll be amped up a little bit, ready to go, have a little bit more rest. So, it will be fun."
(on how much more comfortable he feels in the defense now) "Oh, yeah, I'm a little bit more comfortable with the defense, what I'm expected to do, what my role is in certain situations. I'm a lot more comfortable with that."
(on the secondary playing better when he makes plays) "Man, we just go out every day and try to make ourselves better. I've never been around a group of guys who go out every day and work as hard as we do. I've never been around a group of guys who want to get better as much as we do. So it's fun. It's fun being a part of this secondary and it's fun watching some of the young guys grow."
(on facing a quarterback like Jaguars QB David Garrard who can beat you passing or running) "Yeah, we've had that firsthand. It's rough. Only thing we can do is worry about our business on the back end, cover up their receivers, and I'm sure our front seven will handle the rest for us."
(on facing the Jaguars' receivers) "It's a different challenge, because pretty much all of their receivers are bigger guys. so it's a different type of challenge for us. We have to get ready for a physical game. There are guys coming to block you. They are aggressive to the football and they have good ball skills, so it will be a challenge for us."
(on if there is an incentive because they feel like they should have beaten the Jaguars in the first game) "Shoulda, coulda, woulda. We didn't. What we're worrying about is going to get this 'W' on Monday night. That's it. We're not worried about what happened the first game, if we should have beaten them or what could have happened. We're worried about getting this 'W' on Monday night. That's it."
QB Matt Schaub
(on how his knee feels) "Starting to feel really good, and it's just great to be back out on the practice field with the guys after a few weeks of being in the training room. So it's just good to be back out there moving around and having fun."
(on if he is surprised at how much the coaches have been asking him to do this week) "They're not having me do any more than I think I can go out there and do. I feel I can do a whole lot more, too, but it's really coming along pretty quick after the first week, week-and-a-half, just with rehab and being in the training room. It's really feeling good, so I guess I'm kind of surprised with myself at how well I've come along, given the time."
(on what his plan is for Monday night) "I feel like I'm getting to the point where I'm ready to go out there and play, so we just have to see how it goes here in the next couple of days. But I feel like I can go out there and do my job."
(on if he plans to be in uniform for the game) "Like I said, we'll see how things go, but I feel like I'm ready to go out there and play, so I just need to continue to go through this week and be ready to go out there."
(on if he has lost any accuracy or sharpness) "I don't think I have, because we've been working at this thing now for a long while. So I feel like I haven't lost anything. It was just making sure I could go out there and be stable on my leg, which we've been able to accomplish through rehab and, you know, obviously I have a brace, so it's pretty snug in there. It's not going anywhere, so I feel pretty good."
(on what trainers are telling him about how close he is to being able to take a hit) "Well, it's hard to listen to a trainer or a doctor tell me how it's going to go when I get hit. I mean, I feel like it's pretty strong and pretty sturdy. Like I said, I have it braced up, so it's pretty snug in that thing and not really going to go anywhere. So we'll have to see. It's not like Coach (Gary Kubiak) isn't going to let someone just come through in practice and (say), 'Let's test it out.' I told him we can go ahead and do that if that's what it takes to show him that I'm ready."
(on if he is trying to convince coach Gary Kubiak that he can be the backup this week) "Well, I just want to be out there. I want to be in uniform. I want to be able to go out there and help my football team on the field, so that's what I'm lobbying for."
(on if he is experiencing any pain) "Not much pain. Every now and then, there's just a little stiffness, but it's not like painful. It's just a little tight, but you get it loosened up and you get moving. There's not much changing gears. I don't have too many gears to go. It's basically one speed, and that's what I've got."
(on what he thinks about this matchup with both teams not having the seasons they wanted to) "Well, it's a divisional opponent. We always have a good game against them. We match up pretty well with them, but they're a good football team. And both our seasons, like you said, haven't gone according to plan, but that's where we're at right now. All we can do is be positive and keep moving forward and keep trying to get win after win and end the season on a good note. That's what we're trying to do here in the last month."
(on if the team turned the corner last week with the win at Cleveland) "I think definitely. You know, we have five games left and that's over a quarter of the season left to play, so we can really get a lot of good things done in this last month and really end our season on a very positive note if we can just get on a roll here like we did in October and just put back-to-back wins together and just get on a little roll. But we just have to keep working and keep plugging away and let those things fall where they may."
(on if he plans to keep wearing a knee brace) "Oh, yeah. I plan on wearing it just for stability purposes. But it doesn't hinder me or affect me, you know. I guess if I was a scrambling, running quarterback, it might affect me a little bit. But that's not who I am, so it doesn't affect me much."
(on playing on Monday night) "It's very exciting. I had a few opportunities to be a part of them when I was in Atlanta, so it's definitely exciting and it's an excellent atmosphere and one that everyone thrives on. So when those lights go on, you have to bring your 'A' game and be ready to go."
(on if he always watches Monday night games) "Oh, yeah. There's not much to do on Monday night. You have a little break and a little time off to rest up, so everyone's kind of watching it and just seeing who's playing because usually, it's a pretty good matchup. They put two teams together that are pretty competitive."
(on if he will possibly have to have surgery after the season) "I don't think so. They told me initially no, and it's just one of those things I guess it's just down the road depending on how it starts feeling or if there's any soreness. But at this point, no."
(on if it will be an issue to not force the ball out earlier than before) "No, I'm not worried about that. I don't think it'll be an issue. It's just going out there and cutting it loose and playing because if I'm hesitant at all or tentative, that's not going to help my football team. And I think with the rehab and the way I've been working the past week or so, moving around and in practice here, I feel like I'm pretty confident in what I can do on it."
(on what his teammates have said to him over the last two days) "I think it's kind of given them an emotional lift, just to have another teammate out there that had been down for a few weeks. So I think it's just a little bit of a lift, but it's just fun to get back out there."
RB Steve Slaton
(on what he thinks about playing on Monday Night Football) "I think it's great. I can't wait to play. It's just exciting. To have great games in college like Thursday night games and to play now on a big stage is definitely a blessing."
(on if he ever thought he would get to the point of playing on Monday Night Football) "It was always a dream to get to this point. Now, it's just you've got to perform. There's going to be a lot of people watching. We've just got to bring our 'A' game."
(on if he likes the idea of carrying a bigger load with RB Ahman Green out) "Yeah. I like it. Whatever I can do to help this team out, I'm definitely going to do."
(on how he is feeling) "I'm feeling good. I'm feeling good – better than I thought I would be at the end of the year."
(on going into the game mentally with RB Ahman Green out) "I'm just trying to limit the mistakes and try to make more big plays than negative plays."
(on if he feels more banged up after this season than a regular college season) "I think it's about the same. I think my body adjusted pretty well."
(on if the wear and tear in the NFL is worse than he thought it would be) "No, not really."
(on if it is a mentality on the field not to count the number of carries he has when he has lots of carries, especially now that RB Ahman Green is out) "I don't think you think about that, the plays that you're in. I think you just go out there and play. It's just more of a mentality."
(on if having more carries in the game hits him afterward more than during the game) "Yeah. Afterwards, you look down and you're like, 'Dang, you really did play a lot of football.' But that's not happening during the game. You're just out there."
(on the Texans' history with Jacksonville and his thoughts on playing them again) "I think it's a good rivalry that we have and is a big stage we're going to play on. Hopefully, we can come out with a win."
(on carrying the ball a lot and how it shouldn't be unusual for him since he had games at West Virginia where he carried the ball 35 times) "Not quite 35, but I carried a good load at West Virginia. So, hopefully it's no different."
(on if he remembers the most carries he had in college) "I think 33."
(on how much it helps that he's played the Jaguars before) "It's a positive and a negative, because (there are) a lot of things we've been working on to get better against them that we didn't do the first game and they also have the time, too, to get better in the things that we did well against them."
(on if it gives the team a lift to see QB Matt Schaub out there practicing again) "Yeah. It's definitely a positive for him, for us, because you know he's getting healthy and you know he wants to go out there and make some plays for us."
(on how he is feeling) "I'm feeling good. I'm feeling a lot better than I thought I would at the end of the season."
(on not talking about his sore ribs because people will go after them) "Yeah, you don't want to give the opponent any negative things about you."
(on the injury not slowing him down much because he's still out there taking hits) "Yeah, it's not as bad as you would think it is. It's just a little tender. It's just one game, I landed on the ball, so that's what kind of flared it up a little. But the rest I had this week and last week has helped me out."
DE Anthony Weaver
(on the Jaguars' two running backs, Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor) "Fred Taylor's a guy (who), I think, has been underrated his entire career. He's a guy who is very shifty, patient and very difficult to tackle. Maurice Jones-Drew, he's kind of just the opposite. He's kind of a bulldog out there and he won't hesitate to run you over. So you've got to be prepared to go and tackle him."
(on how big the win last week was for the defense and on holding Cleveland to two field goals) "I think it was huge for our confidence as a defense just to know that we're capable of going out there and doing that. We'd like to the same this week. We know that we face a very talented offense. It's basically the same offense they had last year. They're struggling a little bit, but hopefully we can keep them struggling."
(on if he is lobbying to get in the nickel package) "I'm lobbying every week to get in the nickel package and try to get those sack numbers up, but I do what's best for the team."
(on if he has talked to the guys on the team about what it's like to play on Monday Night Football) "I haven't had to talk a whole lot yet about it. I'm sure when they drove in this morning and saw those Monday Night Football trucks outside, they realized probably twice as usual now. If that doesn't get you pumped up, nothing will."
(on what he says to guys who ask what playing on Monday night is like) "I just say go out there and showcase your stuff. Like I said earlier, it's one of those games where all your peers are watching you. You're the only game in town. So, it's time to show them what these Houston Texans are all about."
(on dropping into coverage and getting the interception at Cleveland) "That zone blitzing, it's been around the league for years. Fortunately, the Golden Domer man (QB Brady Quinn) took care of me and threw me one. But I've been doing that the past two years. Maybe that's why my sack numbers haven't been as high as I would like, but it's something that comes with defense."
(on his ability in zone defense keeping him in the league) "That's why I'm sticking around. If you know what to do when you're in the right spot, good things happen.'
(on people questioning the defensive scheme and if he can question the scheme) "I don't think you can. In this league, everybody's doing the same things. In the end, I think you've got to look in the mirror and it comes down to the players. It's up to us to go out there and make plays. It's like Lance Armstrong said, 'It's not about the bike.' It's about going out there and making plays."
DT Jeff Zgonina
(on playing on Monday night) "It's more exciting because everybody gets to see it. It's not a regionally televised game, it's a nationally televised game, so everybody back home, guys I've played with, are able to see it."
(on him still making plays with the team) "I try to, you know. But yeah, being able to play in a game, it's great on Monday night."
(on what they need to accomplish in the last five games) "Win all five would be great. At least have a winning record this season, that's the goal. You know, if it's 8-8 or 9-7, that's the goal."