After the Texans practiced Thursday, head coach Gary Kubiak and some of his players answered questions from the media. The following is a trasncript of their respective interviews.
Head coach Gary Kubiak LB Brian Cushing LB Zac Diles
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on LB Zac Diles and other injury updates) "Yeah, I think he, the next to last play of practice, stumbled and fell. He's okay. We just pulled him out at the end. I think he'll be alright. (LB Brian) Cushing did not practice today and (DT Shaun) Cody did not practice today. Cody is sick."
(on Brian Cushing's MRI on his foot) "Yeah, his foot has been bothering him. He came out of the game a little sore. He practiced yesterday and went through the whole practice and it was sore so we'll give him a break day. Hopefully, we'll get him going a little bit tomorrow. We're expecting him to play."
(on if the MRI showed anything) "As far as I know, it's fine. We did that yesterday. We're expecting him to play. We were just giving him a break and hopefully he can do a little bit tomorrow. It's just that point in the season, you get six, seven weeks in to it and these guys are beat up so you have to do what you've got to do to get him to Sunday."
(on DT Shaun Cody's sickness) "Yeah, he got sick last night or early this morning I should say. We got him taken care of and sent him home.
(on if DT Shaun Cody had flu-like symptoms) "I don't know. I don't want to speculate there. Actually, (TE James Casey), y'all missed him, he wasn't here yesterday. I didn't tell y'all. If you would've done your homework... He was sick yesterday, so hopefully we're okay."
(on if S Nick Ferguson is the only one for sure out on Sunday) "Nick, yeah. Nick is still a good week away. (CB Antwaun) Molden is practicing but we're kind of bringing him along slowly. So other than that, we should be okay."
(on if having two first-time starters on the offensive line changes how they will run) "It doesn't change what you're doing and what you're teaching. It doesn't change any of that. These guys have been just as much a part of what we've been doing as those other guys. My comment was that we're going to stay committed to (the run). If we get there on game day, and we're not running the football well, we've got to do what we have to do, but we're never going to run away from our commitment to running the football. Whether it's (G) Kasey (Studdard) and (C Antoine) Caldwell, or (C)Chris White, whoever is in there, we've got to feel like as a football team that we can get that done."
(on if RB Ryan Moats will get any carries) "Well we had 17 carries last week. It's kind of hard to split up 17 carries between three guys. So yeah, I'd like to see him touch the ball, but at the same time we'll have to see how the game goes."
(on the play of LB Zac Diles) "Zac has played well. Zac is kind of the silent one of the three. The others two get a lot of notoriety, so to speak. Zac has played well. I think he's probably about as healthy as he's been."
(on beating Cincinnati last year) "That's a totally different team. That team came in last year missing their leader (QB Carson Palmer). They were missing (LB Keith) Rivers. They had so many injuries up front—two totally different teams. They're back intact. They got stronger in the offseason and playing as well as anybody in football right now."
(on the Bengals winning close games) "Yeah, that's the thing I said yesterday. They've been in all close games and in crunch time, they've made every play. Except for a tipped ball against Denver on opening day, they've made them all. That's what this league is about. Making those plays in close games is the difference in winning and losing."
(on the Bengals regrouping from a losing season last year and a tough opener this season) "Well it tells you how strong (Bengals head coach) Marvin (Lewis) is. Marvin does a great job with those guys and they've been through a lot. They've obviously got some good leadership on that team, to bounce back from that and go to Green Bay and win. They've been very impressive."
(on the impact of the Texans special teams unit) "Special teams has played extremely well. (Special teams coordinator) Joe (Marciano) has done a great job. They've given us a chance every week for some big plays and field position. They almost won us the game last week with the two big returns. (WR) Jacoby (Jones), early, could've went the distance in the second half and then of course, (WR) André's (Davis) at the end, they got us in position to tie the game. They're playing well. Joe does a hell of a job with them."
LB Brian Cushing(on the status of his foot) "It's just a little sore right now. I've got to be smart about what I'm doing. Whether today, or tomorrow, I don't know if I'm going to practice yet, just to be sure. I think the best thing for the next couple days is just getting a little rest and I'll be fine."
(on if he had an MRI yesterday) "I did. Nothing showed up on it which is really good, just a little inflammation there. So I knew it was nothing serious. X-rays were negative too, so we've just got to move forward and be smart with it."
(on if he is worried about it) "I'm not worried about it because I practiced yesterday and it was just a little sore. I could've easily gone yesterday if it was a game. I was able to go on it, which helps a lot and I know on Sunday that I'll be fine."
(on if he'll play on Sunday) "Oh yeah, I'll be fine."
(on what he thinks of the Bengals offense) "Well they're explosive. They have a lot of talent. They have what seems to be a whole different team with (Bengals QB) Carson Palmer playing his best. It's a different team than the Texans played last year. I feel they are very capable. They have the leading rusher in the NFL right now, so they can hit you from every angle."
(on what makes Bengals RB Cedric Benson so good) "He's a tough runner and I think a lot of people underrate his speed because he's a bigger back. He can make a lot of people miss and he can also run a lot of people over. He's strong and physical, but he's fast."
(on how they plan to contain Bengals RB Cedric Benson) "As best as we can. We just have to play our best defense. We have to come out and fly around and hit our gaps and do what we know we can."
(on the keys to playing a full 60 minutes) "Well, just the consistency in general, we have to find a way in some fashion to fight every single down, every single game. Coming out and execute as best as we can so we can have second halves, like we did against Arizona, for whole games. That's the kind of defense we know we're capable of."
LB Zac Diles(on if he likes the way the group of linebackers work together) "Oh yeah. We're out running around making plays. That's the biggest thing as linebackers, running around, making plays. That's what we're doing right now. So long as we keep it rolling and stay on our P's and Q's, we're going to have a lot of fun out there."
(on if they push each other to be better) "Yeah, because you watch tape and when we're watching film, we're all in there at the same time and so if someone else makes a play, you're like, 'Damn. I gotta make a play now.' We feed off each other."
(on if the run defense is better now than earlier in the season) "I would say so. We've taken more time out and got assignments down. We've taken more time walking through stuff and watching the tape from our 9-on-7 periods, just to makes sure everybody is where we need to be. I think we are better than when we started."
(on keeping discipline against RB Cedric Benson) "Exactly. He is the first 100-yard rusher Baltimore has allowed in 40 games so he can bring it. So we definitely have to bring it this week."