The Texans wrapped up their week of preparation Friday for the 2009 regular season home opener.
Following the Texans' final practice Friday before the team's Week 1 matchup with the New York Jets, coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on if the team named captains today after practice) "Yeah, our two on offense are Matt (Schaub) and Andre (Johnson) again this year. Our two on defense are Mario (Williams) and DeMeco (Ryans), so that's the same as last year. And then we ended up with two special teams captains, the vote was so close – Kris Brown and Kevin Bentley. So we'll carry six. And then as I always do each week, I'll name some guy that I think deserves an opportunity, and this first week I've just been very impressed with Zac Diles. He played well for us last year, got hurt. I told him when he came in he didn't have a starting job, he was going to have to earn it all over again, and he did it. So he'll be our other guy this week."
(on how long the captain designation lasts) "Those guys are captains for the season, and then we'll do one a week to add to them."
(on LB Zac Diles seeming like he's just happy to be in the building) "Well, that's just the way he plays. He never asks for anything, just works. Very unselfish in camp. We couldn't have got through camp at one point at linebacker had he not been so flexible moved to the other side and done all the things that we asked him to do. That's why the guys can count on him."
(on an injury update) "We practiced basically the same way we have all week. Kevin (Walter) and Eugene (Wilson) still worked with Kap (head athletic trainer Geoff Kaplan). Kevin is the furthest along. We will work him before the game. He'll be a game-time decision. Eugene will not go."
(on if he's happy with the way they've run the ball) "No, I'm not happy with it. I'd liked to have run the ball better in the preseason, but it's time to go, and this challenge this week will be tremendous. It's like watching the game last night. There's two teams (Pittsburgh and Tennessee) that run the ball pretty darn good and two teams that said, 'No, you're not.' This football team right here is very good, but it still doesn't diminish the fact that we've got to stay committed to it and run the football, and the key to winning will be us running it good enough to win the football game. They're a good defense, but we're going to have to stay committed to what we do."
(on if he expects the Rex Ryan's defense to look the same as it did with Ravens) "Yeah, he's doing the same things in New York. He gives you a lot of looks with your three-man fronts, four-man fronts. A lot of movement. It's his defense. It's aggressive. As an offense, if you turn the ball over or get sloppy with the football through their aggression, it's a long day for you. So we've got our work cut out for us, but we need to play extremely well."
(on RBs Steve Slaton and Chris Brown) "Well, Steve's a better player right now than he was last year coming into this season. And he's got some great challenges. He's no longer a surprise; everybody knows who he is. But he's a better player. And then Chris' health going into this game is a big plus for our football team. But we'll need them both. We'll need Ryan (Moats) also. So those guys'll have to work well as a group."
(on how CB Dunta Robinson held up this week) "He's been fine. One thing, he said he was doing his part and he was working, and he was. You could tell, conditioning level, he's fine. He's ready to go. He'll play. He'll start the game, so we've got to make a move as a football team here this afternoon. But we will also monitor his reps. It's not right to throw him out there and overplay him, so we'll be smart in what we're doing there."
(on if Robinson made his decision easy) "Yeah, he really did. He was good from day one and he's gotten better as the week's went on. We were actually kind of probably blessed a little bit from this cool weather we had. We got in the 80s this week. So we should be as fresh as we've been all year, and I think he's held up well."
(on if anything surprised about Robinson surprised him this week) "Well, when you're not part of football, you're not doing it, you don't know technique-wise how a guy is doing. But he looked good. You could tell he had been in Florida working and covering a lot of guys and staying up with what was going on. Probably the most impressive thing was that David's (Gibbs) had to really have a crash course with him and he's held up. He's done it well."
(on how important C Chris Myers is on Sunday because of the matchup with NT Kris Jenkins) "Yeah, he's one of the best nose guards in ball. Chris has got a full-time job come Sunday. Our guards will have to do a good job in there helping him. But Chris is going to play against a great one, and he'll have to play extremely well."
(on why he named LB Kevin Bentley a special teams captain) "Well, the team did that; I didn't do that. We vote as a team. But he's obviously impressed his teammates in how he does his job and how he goes about it in the meeting room. So that's a compliment from his (teammates)."
(on if the coaches vote on captains or if it's just the players) "Just the players."