Steadily rehabbing his sprained left knee, Johnson is eager to return to the form that allowed him to terrorize defenses in the first two weeks of the season.
Head coach Gary Kubiak addressed the media about the T-N-T Rivalry game with the Titans, while wide receiver and offensive team captain Andre Johnson spoke to the media on Thursday about his rehab and yearning desire to return to the field.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on any injury updates) "Nothing changed. (Kasey) Studdard has a little groin issue. He did not practice today, further evaluations on him today, but it looks like he's going to miss a little time. I don't know how much."
(on what they will do with T Charles Spencer) "Rick (Smith) could answer that better, but I can just tell you this, Charles (Spencer) is not going to be ready to play football this year. We don't have any doubt that he's going to be able to play football again. We're looking at next year and I think we've really been working toward that the whole time. As a matter of fact, I saw him this morning. He looks good. You would never know he has the problem he has. That was a very serious injury and for the fact that he will be back and play going into next year is good for our franchise. It's very unfortunate."
(on any other injury news) "No, everybody's fine. We all practiced today. It's just that (Kasey) Studdard's going to miss some time. We just don't know how long. We're evaluating his injury. It's a groin injury, it's not a hamstring. We're evaluating it right now."
(on G Kasey Studdard being confident that this injury wouldn't keep him down) "I wouldn't be surprised. I know there's no way he could go today and they're kind of evaluating what they saw on the pictures. They actually took some more this morning because they want to look at some other things. He's a tough guy. If he can make it back, he'll get back pretty quick, but I think this week's a big reach."
(on if they did an MRI on G Kasey Studdard) "Yes."
(on the reason for having so many big plays) "We've made our share of explosive plays. That's a credit to our receivers playing extremely well. Our quarterback's making a lot of plays. He makes a lot of off schedule plays. Like I said, normally when you're not running the ball well, you have a hard time finding explosive plays. That has been a bright spot. We've made some big plays in the passing game. We're going to have to continue to do that also."
(on Titans DT Albert Haynesworth) "He's as good as any inside player I've ever seen in football right now. He's just so dominating. I turned the film on the first play of the game against Tampa last week. He's making statements week in and week out. Teams are having to do a lot of things to really concentrate on what he's doing inside. He is as good a player as I've seen in a while playing inside in this league."
(on if WR Jacoby Jones is progressing how he would like) "Yes, he's doing good. He took all his reps today, took all the returns. He's playing in the three and four receiver sets, so I expect him to get his hands on the ball a few times this week. He's ready to go."
(on QB Matt Schaub having a high completion percentage and ranking third in yards per attempt) "Like I've said, we've made a lot of what we call explosive plays in the passing game. You look for like seven a game. You feel like you're a pretty good team if you can find seven plays like that a game. We had a game, I don't know if it was last week or two weeks ago, we had 12. You have to be able to make big plays in this business and get on and off the field quick. We've been making those plays. We have to finish the back end, finish the short end."
(on what is his yard definition of a big play) "For us, 12 yards or plus. We consider that an explosive play. If we can go out and we're able to make seven 12-plus yard plays a game, we feel like we're going to be moving the footbal. We've made a lot of improvement in that area. I think we were almost dead last last year as far as getting the ball down the field. It was a big point of emphasis and we've been able to do that."
(on not having a lot of drops this season) "I don't know. Our guys have made some tough catches, too. I think one of the things we're going to look at when it's all said and done is how many plays Matt (Schaub) is making off schedule. For a guy that's not a run around guy, he makes a lot of plays with his feet. Two huge plays last week on the first two drives, the first third down and the big play to Owen Daniels on the second drive. The thing about him, when he moves, his eyes stay up and he keeps trying to make a play."
(on if he keeps his eyes down field all the time) "It's hard to teach that. When you have a quarterback, you tell him when you're moving, the ball stays up, your eyes stay up because defenses are taught the minute they see the ball tucked, they're closing. If you have the ball up and you're still trying to make a play, they have to play defense. Matt (Schaub) does a very good job with that. He has great awareness where the line of scrimmage is."
(on what happens when they get in close to the goal line) "I think he's been doing those things. He made the throw last week down there; we have to tuck the ball and score. It wasn't a matter of Matt (Schaub) not making a play. He missed a play down at the other end. We just have to keep playing. I hope we keep getting down there. I hope we keep having to figure out the problem. Hopefully, we keep getting in the red zone."
(on if he's seen many guys like QB Vince Young in his career) "If you go back and you look at my old roommate's career in a lot of ways, passer rating didn't mean a damn thing to him. All he cared about was winning. When people ask me about John (Elway), I used to always say that I thought his greatest strength was that he could go out there and throw two picks or throw three picks and not play good for three quarters and it didn't matter to him. He would play good enough in the fourth quarter for his team to win and he would worry about it next week. I think that's hard to teach a guy. That's a hard trait to have. I think Vince (Young) has the trait that it's all about winning. He's been that way, nothing bothers him. If he makes a bad play, he's going to come back and make the next one. The bigger the play is in the game, it seems like the better the kid plays and that's just a credit to him."
(on he sees any of John Elway in QB Matt Schaub) "I don't want to do that to him yet. That's not fair. I like what I see in him. I can get on him. He can miss a play, nothing rattles him. He keeps playing. It's like last week when I was trying to pull him out of the game. He got in my face and said, 'I'm not coming out of the game.' That's the type of player you want and we just have to keep him going. How many starts does he have now, eight? That's not a lot of starts for some of things he's been doing. We just have to keep pushing."
(on QB Matt Schaub getting in his face) "Yes, I like it. He's competitive."
(on QB Matt Schaub being able to move the ball without a running game and without WR Andre Johnson) "That's a credit to a lot of guys. It starts with him but it's a credit to a lot of guys. There are a lot of players that have stepped up. Kevin Walter, you don't have to go any further then him. David Anderson's made plays. André Davis has made plays. Owen Daniels has picked his game up. It's a credit to a lot of guys. Like I tell them, it's exciting what we're doing moving the ball and imagine if we fix these couple other things we have, we should only get better. And it's a lot of young players doing it so it's encouraging for the future."
(on if he would be shocked if QB Vince Young doesn't play on Sunday) "I don't know. I know one thing, we have to stop the run. If we don't stop the run, it doesn't matter who's out there. We better stop the run."
WR Andre Johnson
(on how he feels) "I feel a little better – just taking it day by day."
(on what the biggest stumbling block or issue is right now) "My leg's still not strong. I'm still trying to get my range of motion and things like that, so that's just the biggest thing. Other than that, I'm going out running a little bit and things like that, but I just can't do it full speed. So once I'm able to do those things full speed, then I'll be back out on the field."
(on if it's frustrating to be asked the same questions every day) "Yes. I mean, every time I talk to the media, it's the same questions over and over."
(on if he'd like to talk about something else) "I just wish I was playing. That's about it. Every day, I'm in here rehabbing, doing what I need to do to try to get myself better. I'm getting better. That's a good thing, and I'm making progress; it's just not as fast as we all hoped that it would happen. But the biggest thing is that I am making progress and I am getting better."
(on if QB Matt Schaub can stretch the field more than QB David Carr) "We have a lot of speed at the receiver position. We have a lot of guys that can stretch the field and Matt, he goes through his reads and he finds the open guy. He's great at that and he always seems to find the open guy, and that's something we didn't have before. With him back there, it's just helped our offense a whole lot. We move the ball a lot better, and he's not afraid to check the ball a lot when nothing's there, so he seems to be making all the right decisions."
(on if that makes it harder not to be playing) "At the beginning of the season, just after the first two games, I was so excited. And then for something like that to happen, it just kind of brings you down. I'm just so anxious to get back out there just to play. It doesn't matter how many games it is left in the season, but I just want to get out there and just play with Matt, it being his first year here, and it's hopefully something that we can have around for a long time."
(on not wanting to rush back and re-aggravate the injury) "No. I hate to go out there and mess it up worse than what it is and be set back, so that's why I'm not out there. And just like I said, I'm just here rehabbing every day."
(on not wanting to be at half strength on the field) "Yes. I don't want to be out there running half speed or running with a limp or anything like that. I want to be back to normal, like I was when I left."