After Thursday practice, the media heard form Texans head coach Gary Kubiak and Texans Cheerleader Crystal, a third-year veteran and recording artist who will be singing the National Anthem before the Governor's Cup game against Dallas on Saturday.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak (on the punting battle being slowed down by the success of the offense) "Well, that's a nice problem to have. But you know, we've been working them head to head. We feel like we've taken a good honest look at both of them throughout camp. We'll see what happens this weekend and see if we make that decision after this game or if we continue it through Tampa Bay. We'll wait and see. But they've both done some positive things."
(on what position will be the most difficult in terms of cutting players) "That's a good question. I'll start with receiver on offense. There's no doubt that's a very, very difficult decision for us to make right there. I think on the defensive side of the ball at linebacker, we've got a couple of tough, tough decisions to make and you know, I think we're deeper right now at corner than we've ever been since I've been here. With adding (Tyrone) Poole, and the way Dexter Wynn has played, that's a very tough decision."
(on if he could make a decision on the punter situation prior to Tampa) "I think we could. I think we very well could, but it'll probably depend on how we come out of the game health-wise and stuff. You know, it's easy to sit here today and say we may go in this direction, but if we come out and lose a player or two, then we'll have to change some things."
(on how long he plans to play the starters during the Cowboys game) "I would say they would play two-and-a-half quarters at the most. I think that's where we would stop it. To say they would play a full three quarters, I don't think that will happen because we've still got some players we want to look at."
(on if the Dallas game will give him a good feel of the offense's progress) "Oh, we're going to get a good feel for our whole team because like I said, these guys have been smokin'. They've been something, you know. From all my years in the league, watching a team play two preseason games the way they're playing, it's going to be a big-time test for us. So we're going to find out a lot, and we know that. But it's going to be a great atmosphere and we're looking forward to it."
(on his friendship with Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips) "Wade's a very good friend of mine, and he deserved that opportunity he got right there. He's been exceptional in this league. I've gone against him for many years as a coordinator. He's a great football coach and even better person. I'm happy for him and his family and he deserves this opportunity. He's got a hell of a football team."
(on injuries for the Dallas game) "The things that would be an issue right now would be (fullback) Patrick Pass probably won't play. He's battling a hamstring. We think (center) Chris White will be able to play. And (fullback) Jon Abbate looks like a no for the game. That could change – we've got a couple of days – but it looks like that's where we're heading right now. (Defensive end) Anthony (Weaver) will definitely not play."
Texans linebacker Charlie Anderson (on if he's looking forward to the challenge of playing the Cowboys)"Oh, yeah. The Cowboys are stacked. They've got all kind of Pro Bowlers on their team, so it's going to be a real tough challenge for us."
(on the rivalry between the Texans and Cowboys) "Well I mean, Houston and Dallas (both) always try to be the big city in Texas. So it's great for the fans. It's great for us. They're a good team, so it's going to be a really good test for us this preseason."
Texans tackle Ephraim Salaam (on if there's a more competitive atmosphere in the locker room this week)"Well, any third preseason game, no matter who you're going against, is usually the game where starters come out and they play the majority of the time. For most teams, starters won't play in the fourth game or (they will) play very little. So this is our final tune-up for the regular season from that aspect, on top of it's another team here in Texas. I guess it's a rivalry. The first game in the franchise against Dallas, we won, so that built up a little bit of a rivalry. Guys are ready and intense and ready to play."
(on if Dallas' strong defense will be a good test for the offensive line) "Oh, I think so. I'm anxious to see exactly how far the offensive line has come. I have full confidence in the guys I'm playing next to, and the offense as a whole. I'm very excited and looking forward to this test."
(on how much he would like to play on Saturday)"It doesn't mater. I don't make that call. I just work here – just do what they say."
Texans Cheerleader Crystal (opening statement) "I am honored to be doing the National Anthem at this game. It's been something I've been wanting to do for a really long time, so I feel very privileged."
(on if she'll be nervous Saturday) "I'm hoping not. I'm praying now – I started early. So I hope not to be nervous. We (the Texans Cheerleaders) will be performing as well, so we usually do a little ritual in the locker room to get ourselves prepared. So maybe that'll help."
(on if she has the words down pat) "I feel like I do. But for some reason, when a lot of people get out there on the mic, they totally lose it. So I'm going over it. I'm going over it."
(on if her experience performing in front of the crowd every week will help) "That helps a lot, and then just past performances and things that I've done really come in handy at this point. I've had the opportunity to do the National Anthem on a couple of occasions. So this will really play into that well."