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Practice quotes: Sunday


Texans wide receiver Jacoby Jones says he will now carry a football with him at all times in response to fumbling problems that plagued him in the first two preseason games.

After Sunday's practice, head coach Gary Kubiak and members of the team spoke to the media. Safety Nick Ferguson discussed his collision during the Dallas game with wide receiver Harry Williams, who went in for spinal surgery in Dallas on Sunday. The Texans will have an update on Monday on Williams' condition.

Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on if there is anything new on WR Harry Williams) "He's in the surgery right now, the way I understand it. I thought he went in about midday. It's my understanding that it's about a five-to-six-hour surgery. So, the minute we get some information coming out from the surgery, we'll pass it on to you guys."

(on if QB Sage Rosenfels proved to be one of the best backups in the NFL) "Sage is a starter. Sage is a very capable starter in this league. We're just very fortunate to have him on our football team. He's done a great job for us. Very unselfish. He always does his job. Helps Matt (Schaub) a great deal. It's a nice situation to have."

(on QB Matt Schaub being the starter) "Well, I didn't see any reason why he shouldn't be. He was the starter last year. He played well. He got hurt; nothing you can do about that. He didn't do anything to take himself out of that job. He came back this camp and earned his keep. Sage (Rosenfels) pushes him everyday."

(on how he will approach the running back situation assuming RB Ahman Green doesn't play in the final preseason game) "I'm probably not going to have that answer until Thursday morning. We'll see how far Chris (Brown) comes. Ahman did work today, but I would think that he will not be ready to play Thursday. I don't know that for sure. Steve (Slaton) is out today with a little turf toe, so you've got Chris (Taylor), Darius (Walker), and then we'll work Marcel (Shipp) at the halfback position also."

(on how much patience he has for RB Ahman Green and RB Chris Brown) "Well, you've got to be patient in this business. Guys get hurt, and there's nothing you can do about it. The key is that you expect them back, and I would say right now there's no doubt we expect Ahman back here pretty quickly. As far as Chris, I think it's a day-to-day situation. Today's not a good day. He's not feeling good today, so I don't know. We'll have to see."

(on if there were any roster moves) "We just added (FB) Jon Abbate. Harry (Williams) goes to the IR, and we signed Jon Abbate. We brought him back. We're going to take a hard look at him at fullback this week."

(on how much better he thinks the Texans are today as compared to this time last year) "How much better are we? I don't know. We're going to find out here over the course of the next 16 weeks. I think our team has improved throughout this training camp, but every season is a new season. We'll go see where we're at. We open up with a tremendous opponent on the road, and every week is going to be a big-time challenge. We're going to take it one week at a time and find out."

(on the injuries to big-time players around the league and if it opens the door for the Texans) "Well, I don't worry about other people. I worry about us. We've got our problems, too. That's part of the NFL. Everybody's got people nicked up. Everybody's trying to get to opening day with what they think is a healthy football team and go from there. I've got to worry about our problems and see where we're going to be here in the next 10-to-12 days and get ready to go to Pittsburgh."

(on if he was encouraged with a lot of things in the Dallas game) "Oh, no doubt. The first thing we preach is getting turnovers and protecting the ball, and that's what we did the other night and it kept us in the game when their offense was playing extremely well. We had our chance to win there at the end, but it just didn't happen. That's part of the game, but if we can continue to get some (turnovers) and protect it, we should have ourselves in position to win every week. So, positive from that standpoint."

(on WR André Davis and his fall on the opening kickoff return against Dallas) "I think we were all scared. We thought he had fallen on his shoulder. He's been exceptional. He's always dangerous to go the distance from back there. Our team gets excited when people kickoff to us. They get off the bench and watch him because he's got a chance to make a big play. So, he's had a good preseason. He got his new contract and everything that he deserved. He's come back, and he's even better."

(on if there is any particular knack to returning kickoffs) "Fear factor. You better not be worried about contact when your back there because you've got one team starting at one end of the field and the other team at the other going full speed. There are some tremendous collisions on kickoff returns, so you better be a fearless runner, and that's what he is."

Defensive coordinator Richard Smith

(on CB Antwaun Molden) "Molden's doing a nice job. I like his athletic ability, his speed and his toughness. Sometimes with those corner positions, once in a while you're going to give up a big play. I like his demeanor. He gives me the impression that it's not going to bother him a ton, where he can go back and play the next play. He's got good size, he's got some good speed and you saw the one play in the second half where we had him in a cloud coverage and they ran a play at him where he was able to take the receiver. He got caught inside and worked back outside and made a nice, firm tackle. I'm excited to watch him play this week because, once again, he was injured and missed that first preseason game. So, I know what he is out here on the practice field, but this will be a great game to see what indication his playing ability is. I like Molden and I think he can help us also on the special teams."

{QUOTE}(on LB Xavier Adibi) "Adibi is a guy that his weight is a little bit of an issue. Let's go back, why did we draft him? He's got good athletic ability. He's got smooth feet. Those are the things you like about him. The thing that concerns you a little bit is he has been injured. How well have you done a good job of evaluating him on this field? You have to practice and you have to play to be able to be evaluated, which I haven't seen that much. He's a smart kid. He does have athletic ability. I'm praying to God that he can play this week so we'll get a good opportunity to evaluate him. If not, then this organization has to make a decision based on what we saw of him in college. I know he can run and I know he has good feet, he's got good instincts. How does he play the game at this level? I haven't seen yet. I'm hoping he can play this week."

(on if Adibi is underweight or overweight) "Any time you have a backer, he's about 225, 226, you'd like him to get bigger. You have to get bigger and stronger. But let's go back. You look at Zac Diles a year ago for this time. Who is Zac Diles? Nobody knew who he was. We liked something about him, and he was able to continue to develop and get stronger and you look at him right now, he's one of your starting linebackers. I'm hoping the same thing – if Adibi does make this football team, that he can make the same amount of progress that Zac Diles did."

(on DT Frank Okam) "Frank, Big Frank, he's got size and he's got athletic ability. This will be a big determination for him this week. He got to play last week against Dallas. I thought he played a little better in some areas, but some areas not. But he will get plenty of reps this week to be able to evaluate him. He's a big man; he's the biggest man on our football team. He's got size. He does have good feet. His quickness can improve a little bit, but once again, he does weigh 347 pounds. His determination will be on this week also."

(on the defensive end position opposite DE Mario Williams) "First of all, last week we did not pressure well enough. When I look at Mario, and I'm not trying to just say everything positive about Mario, but he's played hard and he's done everything we've asked him to do. I have no problem with his performance, but we need some production and pressure from other people. And it just doesn't come up front; it's a combination of things. Up front, we have to get better. We have to put more pressure on the quarterback. We have to win the one-on-ones, because that's not fair to the back end. In return, if we bring a linebacker where we did last week, we have to be able to slip a block and make a play on the quarterback. Not make the sack, it's not the sacks that concerns you, it's making the quarterbacks throw off-rhythm. Go back and look at our offense against Dallas last week. How many sacks did Dallas get? Zero. But you know what; they made that quarterback throw off-rhythm. And that's what we need to generate. And along with that, on the back end, we've got to play some tighter coverage and make that quarterback have to hold that ball. And trust me, as coaches, we're not pleased with that performance last week. And what did I do? We went back and looked at every single play that we had in preseason with our starting unit to evaluate it. Is it something you called? Is it the way you're teaching it? What area are we getting hurt in? You know what I mean? That's our job as coaches to fix it, and it's the players' job also."

(on his approach for the final preseason game) "I think there are a lot of decisions that have to be made, and when we talked about who we are going to play and who we aren't going to play, that in terms of how much playing time, everyone is going to play. But how much playing time, that's up to coach Kubiak. So when he makes that decision, we'll go with that. But right now, there are a lot of hard decisions that need to be made which we've talked about here. And to be able to make those decisions, those players have to play quite a bit. It's more or less, you'd like to go into this game and beat Tampa Bay and perform extremely well, but more importantly, you have to make sure you make the right decisions on who to keep on this football team."

(on what is going to be the strength of the safety unit) "Right now, it's like go through it in your own mind, look and see which one of those guys doesn't belong on an NFL football team. I can't say any of them. All of those players are really good football players, so when you have that decision to make, it's hard. You can't keep everybody. There are other spots on this football team and the starters are starters and then the backups have to be guys that can be for your future and also they have to be dynamite special teams players to contribute in that area for (special teams coordinator) Joe (Marciano). Those things are being determined. They've been evaluated every day on a daily basis, and what's positive is our organization has given us some good players to make good competition, and now it's our job to make sure we make the right decision."

(on if the safeties are physical as a whole) "Yeah. The thing is, last week, not just the safety position, I didn't think we tackled well as a whole defense. There were a lot of missed tackles. I think there were eight missed tackles for over about 100-and-something yards that we left on the ground. And part of that is drilling it better and doing it better and having a better attitude when you go to tackle. But the group is a good group at the safety position."

(on if he misses having CB Dunta Robinson) "Dunta Robinson, I love Dunta Robinson. I love what he's all about. I love the man as a person. I think he's a great person, a great human being. I think this football team is extremely important to him, which means a lot to me. I think he's a very physical corner; in my opinion, last year he was the most physical player on our defense. That coming from the corner position. That speaks in volumes. Also, he has the ability to cover. From those standpoints, you're going to miss him. It's hard to replace a Dunta Robinson. The nice thing about it is he's rehabbing. He's in that room everyday with those guys; they listen to him. The presence of him, just being around him, helps. But I can't wait 'til he can get healthy and get back on this field.

"That's nothing to take away from anybody else and what we are trying to do at that position. See if someone else can step up to that standard of play. That's kind of the pressure we put upon that unit. Who's going to be Dunta? Dunta is not back right now. Who's going to step up? Who's going to be that physical presence back there at that position? And that's what we are looking for. I think when you look at it as a whole, even the last week we had some missed tackles, but I thought, you know, you look at "Petey" (DeMarcus) Faggins last week. He made a nice play. He had the one faded ball caught on him, and I explained to him today, I said, 'Hey, listen. You know, if I'm playing that position and I see you challenge that receiver, that was a great throw. That was a great catch. You know what you do? You tell that guy, 'Hey, that was a nice catch; next time, I'm going to get you.'' At least he was up there competing. A couple times, he set the edge in the running game. A year ago, that was his weakness, and he performed well. I was pleased with his performance throughout this preseason. He's done a nice job of throwing his body around for us, which he'll need to continue to do. And not just him; everybody else. And it's hard to replace Dunta Robinson. But at least he's there with presence and if I'm playing that position, I'm trying to be that guy."

FB Jon Abbate

(on how it feels to be back with the Texans) "It feels really good. I'm just happy for the opportunity that I was given. It's great to see the guys that I'd been around the last year and the coaches. It just feels good to be back."

(on what he has been doing since he left the team) "I just went down to Miami and I've been training at the place that I trained at for the combine, just training down there. And came back thinking I was in shape, but you can't really simulate football, so I've just got to get back in that football shape."

(on if he had been in talks with other teams while he was gone) "Well, I talked to my agent last week, and I was about to go to Canada and play. This was the last week I was going to give it, and then I was going to head to Montreal and play and move back to linebacker like I was in college. I'm just grateful for the opportunity that the Texans have given me. I'm just going to work and go from there."

(on if he was surprised to hear from the Texans) "A little bit. I thought there was a slight chance that I would come back when I got released, and in this business, you never know. I'm just grateful for the opportunity."

(on what the coaches told him about his opportunity) "They were just saying, 'Come back and start to learn the offense again.' I was really starting to get it down during the OTAs after we switched it to the zone scheme, so I've just got to get used to it again and just work hard."

WR André Davis

(on the first kickoff return) "I just ended up landing on the ball. It took all my breath away. I had a little bit of trouble breathing, but other than that, you've just got to kind of suck it up and keep going."

(on how he feels about how the preseason has gone for special teams) "I think for our special teams, we just have to continue to keep working. We still have a lot of things that we need to work on. We were able to make two big plays on kickoff returns. Hopefully, this will just be good and help prepare us for the season."

(on how the receivers as a group have been playing) "We're just continuing to try to get that chemistry going. We know that we have a bunch of good guys that can go out there and play and make plays when given the opportunity to. We're just continuing to fight for that playing time so we can go out there and show everybody what we can do."

SS Nick Ferguson

(on his thoughts about competition) "Well, for me, competition is always great. I've said this before: I truly believe that competition brings out the best in you, and each year, competition gets better. So, it's how you come out and adjust to that competition. There are some individuals who don't like competition. I think this is a great position for any of the safeties to be in and most importantly the organization to be in and say, 'We have to make some hard decisions.' We have a couple of great guys at safety, and each team in the league wants to have that problem. The thing is that it's not how good your starters are, it's how good your backups are, because when they (starters) go down, those are the guys that have to step in. That's why you see the teams like Green Bay, the Giants, the Patriots and the Colts always in the playoffs and they advance to the Super Bowl. It's not how well the starters play, it's the backups."

(on if he can see the young talent around him at safety) "I really do. I was a rookie once in this league. Sometimes, you have to learn on the go, and these guys are learning on the go. Part of being a veteran is helping these guys out. Since I've played a long time, I've been in so many systems and played players like John Lynch and Henry Jones. You learn from things from those guys, and you just try to pass those things on to some of the young guys like (FS Dominique) Barber and (FS) Brandon Harrison, who will be great players some day in this league."

(on WR Harry Williams) "Well, I actually had a chance to talk to Harry last night, and I talked to his mom. When I called Harry, it's a very difficult situation, because I told Harry I've been in this situation before in the Buffalo game I played in Denver last year. It puts a lot of things in perspective to make you realize how much of an aggressive sport this is and at any point in time, you could be that individual person. You have to try to go into each game thinking, 'You know what? I'm going to put that aside.' If you think about getting hurt, then that's how things happen. You have to cut it loose and let the chips fall where they may, and hopefully God is looking out for you. He's (Williams) in good spirits. He said the one thing he wanted to do was to make sure the guys knew that this season was really important to him and that we go out there and handle our business. He didn't want me to feel bad about what happened because I was feeling really bad knowing that I couldn't avoid the situation, but it's always difficult to see a teammate go down in that particular manner."

(on what he remembers about the play with WR Harry Williams) "Well, to be totally honest, I didn't even know it was Harry that I had collided with until I saw it on the JumboTron. I guess the strange thing about it was, and I told him that I went back to the sideline and my chest was hurting. My sternum was bothering me, and when I looked at the JumboTron, that's when I realized it was Harry who I collided with. So, once again, it's a difficult situation to be in and then to know that you were the other guy who ran into your teammate and put him in that difficult situation. Sometimes, it's hard to deal with."

(on how he deals with the fact he ran into WR Harry Williams and if it has been constantly in his head) "It has been, because to know that at any point in time that can happen to anyone of us – to put it into even better perspective, that could have been me as well. That could have both of us. It just took me back to that Dennis Byrd incident back in the '90s when he and a teammate ran into each other on the side. That's the world we live in. That's something that you don't want to think about, but your wife and your family know that at any time, that can happen to you. So, if anything, it just kind of makes you appreciate things a whole lot more."

(on WR Harry Williams' spirits) "His spirits were pretty high. His whole thing was he told me, 'Don't worry about the situation. It's football. It's an aggressive sport, and we were both trying to go make a play on the ball.' He just wanted the guys to think about this season and what it meant to him and to go out and play well. That would be a great dedication to him. He's going to be around, and he won't be able to play this year. His biggest thing was that he'll be able to walk, so that was really important and was a bright spot."

(on if he thinks WR Harry Williams will be able to play football again) "That's one of the mixed things that were coming out. Some people said that they were not sure and now some people are saying that he might not ever play again. I think somewhat right now he's coming to grips with that situation, but the big thing is that he is happy that he'll be able to walk. That's the most important thing, so he's happy about that."

Texans WR Jacoby Jones

(on carrying the football around all the time) "It's a little thing. I'm trying to get better and not fumble, so I'm going to walk around with this (football) all day. Like, if you've ever seen the movie 'The Program.' I have to keep these guys from touching my friend right here."

(on whose idea it was to carry a football around with him all day) "(Special teams coordinator) Coach Joe (Marciano). I've been walking around with it tucked all day, running with it, conditioning. It might help me. It will help me, let me say that."

(on if the football is going to shower with him) "It might. I might need to wash it. It's been under my arm, so it might get a little musty."

(on when he is going to put it down) "I don't plan on it. I'll put it down when… never. I don't think I'll put it down."

(on other players trying to knock it out of his hands) "Yeah, that's one thing; I think Joe kind of put a bug in their ear. He probably has a treat for them if they get it from me. I don't want them to get that treat."

(on the coaches wanting him to do this meaning he means a lot to the team) "Coaches probably think a lot of me, so I'm going to work harder and try to get my potential up there where they want me to be."* *

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