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Practice quotes: Thursday


The Texans practiced on Wednesday at the Methodist Training Center, and afterwards head coach Gary Kubiak and a few of his players answered questions from the media afterwards. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.

Head coach Gary Kubiak Wide receiver Andre Johnson Running back Steve Slaton

Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on practicing in the elements) "Yeah, this is good for us. Tough day—wind conditions, rain, but we've got to be mentally tough enough to handle it and so we got some good work. We had a good practice."

(on the health of the team) "Health-wise, everybody was back except (DE) Tim Bulman did not practice and (S) Eugene (Wilson) still did not practice, but everybody else practiced. (WR) Andre (Johnson) practiced so that's a step in the right direction there."

(on DE Tim Bulman's injury) "Timmy's ribs are bothering him, a little sore. Had him checked out this morning, everything checked out just fine so we'll see where he's at tomorrow."

(on WR Andre Johnson's progress) "Very encouraged. He took probably pretty close to almost all the reps he normally takes and didn't seem to have any problem. We'll see how he feels."

(on if WR Andre Johnson will play Sunday) "It's not Sunday yet so we'll see."

(on any further developments with RB Steve Slaton and his fumbling issue) "Like I said, everybody's trying to help him. Coaches, players, everybody's trying to help him out here. Did some extra things with him yesterday, trying to change his technique a little bit with the ball but like I said, we're all here to help him, we're all here to support him but he's got a job to do and that's to protect the ball."

(on what they're changing about how RB Steve Slaton holds the football) "Just some different things we're trying with him and just trying (to get him) more conscious of what's going on, you know, anytime you've got a problem you do everything you can to fix it and that's what he's trying to do."

(on Sunday's game against the Bills) "We won't win if we don't play well. We'll probably play in tough conditions and that crowd is a very good crowd and it's another road game in the NFL. So if we go down there and get sloppy, it doesn't matter who we're playing, we're going to get beat. So we've got to stay focused on ourselves."

(on QB Matt Schaub playing well in tough conditions, especially Green Bay last year) "The thing about this place (Buffalo) you never know is wind. And Green Bay is cold as it can be but there still is no wind. Wind can change a game probably more than any element there is, so we'll see. But bottom line we're going to have to play good as a team."

(on how important the secondary has been to the defense's success) "It's obviously important because we haven't given up big plays. When people have busted the line of scrimmage we've tackled better as a team and so normally that's what goes with big running plays is whether or not you're good on the back end tackling."

(on if there's a new mindset with the secondary) "I think they've got some confidence because they've got (CB) Jacques (Reeves) back and they've got a young kid who's playing extremely well in (CB Glover) Quin and (CB) Dunta's (Robinson) playing as good as he's played all year, so every week that we get together and we're healthy, they're gaining more confidence. We've got more confidence in (S) Bernard (Pollard), too."

(on if S Bernard Pollard has stepped up) "Yeah he's played very well. We've got a lot of leaders on defense so he's obviously, for a guy who's been here short period of time, has been very impressive."

(on RB Marshawn Lynch) "Very good. He's capable of a big, big game against you and he's how many games into the season now for him, three or four? So he's just really now getting going and their receiver's very capable on the offensive side of the ball, giving us problems."

(on S Eugene Wilson's injury) "Eugene's got a groin issue. He did it in the game, sore coming out of the game. We're being smart with him and he should practice tomorrow and be ready to go."

WR Andre Johnson
(on if he plans to use extra padding/equipment) "I've added something to my shoulder pads to protect me, because they don't want me to take another hit there. So I had some extra padding and stuff like that in my shoulder pads and that's just part of it."

(on if he will continue to use the extra padding) "I'll use it if it's going to protect me. I'm pretty sure in a few weeks, it will all heal up and I won't have to wear the stuff anymore. Some of it I will probably still wear.

(on if it is restraining at all) "No, it doesn't affect me. Of course, I haven't played in anything like that since I played Little League, so it's been a long time. I don't think it will restrain me in any way. I think it's something I definitely have to get used to a little bit but I don't think it will restrain me."

(on what it means to him that he has progressed) "It feels good. Like I said, I wasn't in any pain or anything like that, so that's what made me feel that I would be out there on Sunday. I'm still not in any pain. I feel good. I feel fine. My breathing is fine when I'm out there running. I'm just ready to go get this scan and see if they see stuff. I'm excited about it and hopefully there's nothing bad when they look at the scan."

(on if he felt anything today while working out) "No. Even when I ran yesterday, nothing felt wrong after. I felt normal. Like I said, I feel like I'm ready to go."

RB Steve Slaton(on the opportunity of going up against Buffalo's rush defense) "I think we just have to go in there and stick to the game plan. Hopefully everything will work our way and we'll come out with a 'W'."

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