The Texans practiced Thursday at the Methodist Training Center and afterwards, head coach Gary Kubiak and a pair of his players spoke with the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head coach Gary Kubiak LB Brian Cushing WR Andre Johnson
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on T Duane Brown) "He practiced today. He took, I would say probably about half the reps he normally takes but I think if he comes out of today ok, he's got a good chance of being ready to go."
(on if he thinks T Duane Brown would start) "Yeah, I think if he comes out of today and he's back here tomorrow taking his reps, he gets a good 48 hours rest between now and the game, he'll be there."
(on any other injuries) "Everybody was back today, our sick guys were back today. (CB Glover) Quin did not practice today, still not feeling very good. I'll have to let you guys know more about him tomorrow. So (CB) Brice (McCain) is kind of filling his role right now and we'll see how he does."
(on if CB Glover Quin is sick) "No, he took a really good shot late in the game in the shoulder, up in the neck area and just has been not feeling very good. We rested him yesterday and he didn't feel too much better today so we rested him again today. He's a kid that can play without practice, very smart. But other than that everybody's back."
(on if CB Glover Quin's injury is a still neck) "Yeah, I don't know what to say other than that he got the heck knocked out of him making a tackle."
(on CB Brice McCain being the one to start if CB Glover Quin can't go) "Well, we've got a couple of combinations we can use but obviously Brice's play picks up, is what happens."
LB Brian Cushing
(on being named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month) "It's special. A really good honor, the whole month, it means I'm doing something right. Hopefully, I can keep it up, but it's one of those things where you're rejoicing it today and come back to work tomorrow."
(on if he really thinks he would be this successful right away) "I hope so. That's the expectations that I had for myself. It really doesn't mean anything until you're into the next game."
(on if this part of the season is tougher than the end of the year in college) "You know, it's a little bit of both. This obviously is a little bit tougher, but you have to take into mind also, that whole month (in college) when we didn't have a game, we might as well have had a game with (USC Head) Coach (Pete) Carroll's practices. It was a grind the whole time. I'm not expecting to hit a wall or anything, here or there, but this is where I feel I can keep my game."
(on if he talked to anybody about the seasons and what they suggested) "Some of the guys, the linebackers of the previous years before me that played last year, told me to stay on my routine. Don't veer off of that. If you have a schedule, keep up and do what works for you."
(on if staying through his senior season helped him) "I think so. Definitely. It helped mostly the maturity of my game and myself, just to stay focused and develop my game even more."
(on if he is amazing himself right now) "I just want to continue. The biggest thing is winning. I'll be a lot happier when we get on the roll that we know we can and have the success that we know we can."
(on what's missing here to be a winner) "I can't say exactly what's missing. I think we just need to finish a little bit better. We've been right there and there's no question about it, we've lost to some pretty good teams; we've beat some pretty good teams. Our talent is there. We just have to learn as a group right now, just to finish off those games and win the games that maybe sometimes we shouldn't—or win games that maybe we should. The biggest thing is that fourth quarter finish and those last couple points."
(on WR Andre Johnson saying it felt like the air was being sucked out of everything on Sunday) "Yeah, you felt it slowly going away. It was tough because you're playing against arguably the best team in football. You're up 20-7 and you need to capitalize when you have the opportunities."
(on who enjoys these all these awards and recognition the most) "Probably my parents; that's just a pride thing, but I think my dad and I have the same mentality as far as, 'enjoy it and just keep going.' We'll enjoy that in the off-season."
WR Andre Johnson
(on the attitude of the team) "Like I said yesterday, I think the attitude around here is very positive. It sounds crazy but even though you look at our record, there's still a chance for us to accomplish our goal and the only way we're going to do that is by winning these games. I may say that to someone outside this locker room and they may laugh about it but there is a chance and everyone knows that and everyone is very positive about it. The only way we're going to accomplish that is by winning and that starts on Sunday; hopefully, we go get a win on Sunday."
(on if he can read the mood of the team from week to week) "I think the biggest thing about the team is—if you look at the game on Sunday, this past Sunday against the Colts, it just kind of seems like at a certain point in the game, I would kind of say the air was just getting sucked out of us, sort of. And I think that was like a triple effect. It started probably from one play or one bad drive and it just went on through the rest of the game. And we've talked about it, guys realize that and that's just something we hope to never have happen again."
(on if that indicates that the team isn't sold on the fact that they can get the win) "The way the season has gone, it's kind of crazy because whatever we're down in the first half, we come out and play this great second half and whenever we're up in the first half we come out and find a way to mess it up in the second half. That's kind of been the whole trouble of these first 11 games. We just have to find a way to keep it consistent, you know, no matter if it's good or bad, just try to find a way to keep it consistent. If we're down, just find a way to finish it out and get the win or if we're up just continue doing what we're doing and then stay positive."
(on if it's good to be on the road this week because of team bonding) "I don't really think it matters. I think that just by everybody knowing the situation that you have to come together because that's the only way it's going to get done. The offense can't go out and do it by themselves. The defense can't go out and do it by themselves. No one guy is going to get it done. We're all going to have to do it together. Everyone knows that and that's what we're focused on."
(on what he thinks will make the team consistent) "I think that when you have negative drives and things happening like that, I think that you just have to have—in past times, when something like that is going on, you have a plays that kind of sparks everybody and then everything starts going back in your favor. And I think if you look at the game Sunday, we had positive plays but I don't think it really sparked anything for us. And when you get in those situations I think that's what needs to happen. You just have to have someone step up and make something big happen for the team."
(on owner Bob McNair, QB Matt Schaub, and CB Dunta Robinson all giving full support to the job that head coach Gary Kubiak is doing) "I totally agree. I think Coach Kubiak is a great coach. He does everything he can to keep us fresh on Sundays during the week. He can't go out there and play the game for us. That's something he can't do. All he can do is prepare us, give us a game plan and it's up to us to go out there and execute it."
(on head coach Gary Kubiak taking the heat) "By you being the head coach, like you being the quarterback, you're going to take the heat for whatever happens. That's what happens when you're the head of something. Is it fair? No. I don't agree with it, but that just comes with the territory of the job. Me personally, I don't feel like it's his fault. We have to go out and play the games and go out and win games. All they can do is prepare us. They can't go out there and throw the ball or catch the ball or run the ball. That's up to the players."
(on if anybody ever steps up and speaks out with the wheels are falling off) "Guys say things. Guys try to encourage their teammates and things like that to change what's going on. Even though you're doing that, you still can't have penalties. You still can't have turnovers and things like that happen because those are negative things that only hurts your team and moves your team backwards. Those are the things we have to eliminate."
(on what head coach Gary Kubiak said to them when he gathered the team in the second half) "Like I said, you can kind of feel the air going out of the team. He was just telling us to keep playing. It seems like everyone was just kind of getting uptight. He was trying to keep everyone loose. Even (WR) David (Anderson) was walking around saying, 'Hey guys, let's not get uptight, let's not panic,' and things like that. That's pretty much what was being said."