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Practice quotes: Thursday


Pitts said he has been voting 'round the clock at for teammate Ephraim Salaam's Super Ad commercial to be aired during the Super Bowl.

Several Texans spoke to the media after practice Thursday, with only one practice remaining in the regular season before their home finale against the Jaguars on Sunday.

Head coach Gary Kubiak

(on injuries) "Anthony Weaver looks very likely that he won't play. I'm going to start Sage (Rosenfels). Sage will be our starter going into the game. It will be a game-time decision on Matt (Schaub) on whether he'll be our backup or the third. Over the course of the next couple of days, we'll see."

(on how important the game is for the veterans) "I think it's important for everybody. It's very important for the makeup of our football team. I think they've come a long way. We've felt very good at times about what we're doing and how we're doing it, and last week wasn't the case. It's a very important game for us as coaches and as players. The big thing, like I said two weeks ago, if we're going to win our eighth game, we're going to have to beat a real good football team. This one, boy, they're playing well. So we're going to have to play extremely well."

(on how much weight the last game carries with free agents) "You take into account everything. I think you find out a lot about people right now. Let's face it, everybody's got to get into the car at some point over the weekend and we don't see those guys for a while. How they go about their business and the way they play until the last second is extremely important. This group, I've never questioned anybody in this group. They've played hard all year long."

(on setting a franchise record for points in a season) "We've scored some points. We've moved the ball. We've gotten better in the majority of the categories in the game, which is a good thing. But it also just tells you that there is another step to take. We've scored some points and we've also turned the ball over at an enormous rate. If you get rid of those, we should have put a lot more of points on the board. That's something positive to look forward to."

(on DE Mario Williams validating himself this season) "It tells you we did the right thing. Our purpose was to build a defensive football team. To go get a player of his stature and athletic ability that you know is going to play for you in 12 to 13 years and do that at a high level, you can't find guys like that. We can continue to build around him, DeMeco (Ryans), Amobi (Okoye), Fred (Bennett) - now, when I watch Fred play. It makes you feel good about the direction you chose to go. That's a call in this business. You know, Miami's got to make that call this year. The amount of money you spend on that player, the step you take when you stand up and take that player is amazing. Boy, we feel good about this kid. He's going to be doing it for a long, long time."

(on T Ephraim Salaam's performance this season) "It's been anything short of amazing. We talked to Ephraim, 'Hey, you hold up until we can get you some young help.' God, the guy's played every week. It's amazing. We held together upfront, and right now I think we are sixth in the league in sacks. Boy, that's a big step from a couple of years ago. Those guys held have held up well, and the quarterbacks have had a lot to do with that. I'm just very pleased with him and I think he's got some good football left in him, so it's very encouraging."

(on QB Sage Rosenfels' performance) "He's only played in how many games? I mean, very few. How many (touchdowns) have him and Matt (Schaub) thrown together? 24 or 23? Something like that. I really think that we're capable of putting up some big numbers down the road. I think we are a few hundred yards short of 4,000 passing yards. That's a big step. That's learning how to throw the ball. We should only get better with the group of people we have."

DE N.D. Kalu

(on the team's mindset before the Indy game) "After we played Tampa then Denver, we were kind of feeling ourselves and agreeing with the people telling us how good we were. Then we go out to Indianapolis and looked like an egg shell out there, so I think we just have to be more mature and just be more consistent next year."

(on if they thought they were gelling before the game) "Subconsciously. I mean, we weren't going in there thinking, 'Oh, we're great,' because we beat Denver and Tampa, but the media was great to us, people were calling us (saying), 'Oh, y'all have arrived,' and I think subconsciously we started believe it and Peyton Manning just stuffed it back in our face. So I think for us to be a better team, we just have to be more consistent and stay hungry, even after things go well for a while."

(on if the team thought they had arrived despite an up and down season) "That's why I said subconsciously, because we weren't sitting around here saying we've arrived or we're the next great thing, but that's just my guess. I don't know exactly what it is, but that might be my guess, because I don't understand how we can play so good sometimes and not play so well other times. That's just my opinion."

(on LB Morlon Greenwood being unheralded) "I mean, you've got those guys on every team that they do everything they're asked of and they don't get much publicity. You don't know what the reason may be – maybe because we have a number one pick, we have the best middle linebacker in the game, so it's going to overshadow somebody and it seems like Morlon (Greenwood) is the guy on our defense who doesn't get the respect that he deserves. But what matters is what your teammates think about you, and everybody on this team respects him and if we could all vote, he would definitely be in Hawaii. And that's really what you care about, the people who are your peers, what they feel about you, and he should be happy knowing that we all feel that he's one of the best outside linebackers in the league."

G Chester Pitts

(on if he has been voting on for T Ephraim Salaam's Super Ad commercial that tells a story about him) "Every computer that I've seen, I've jumped on the computer and jumped on the internet to go vote for Super Ad. Thanks E (Ephraim Salaam). You're my buddy. You're my pal. My best bud."

(on if T Ephraim Salaam reminds him that helped start his football career) "Every opportunity he gets. Between breaths, he finds a way to every time mention that to me, remind me and let me know that I owe him a car. (I'm) forever indebted."

T Eric Winston

(on how his back feels) "It's doing good. I woke up this morning, it was kind of a day the first time it hadn't really progressed, it felt like, and so I came in here and we warmed it up and got it going. It started feeling a little bit better, and they were like, 'Let's give it a go at practice and see what happens,' and I went out there and it felt pretty good. It did. It felt a lot better than I thought it was going to actually feel, and so that's good. You're kind of usually optimistic about those things, and I was kind of a little pessimistic I guess, but it performed well and it felt good and now it's just a matter of getting nailed on it and we'll see what happens, but I expect to do the full practice tomorrow. I did about half today. I'll do a full practice tomorrow and just get it ready and go."

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