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Practice quotes: Thursday

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Running back Ahman Green should be available to the Texans on Sunday against the Ravens. Coach Gary Kubiak talked about the injury situation on the team.

Head coach Gary Kubiak

(on any news items from the team today) "No, no news items. (LB) Zac (Diles) had his surgery last night and (he's) in good spirits. I talked to him right before we came over to practice and a bunch of guys are going to go visit him here this afternoon, but everything went good."

(on RB Ahman Green's status) "He (RB Ahman Green) should be fine. I'm counting on him being ready to go and take his normal load. He practiced full time today and probably did a little bit extra. So, counting on him being back."

(on how DT Amobi Okoye is) "Not good right now. He (DT Amobi Okoye) didn't practice today. Those high ankle sprains can be rough. So, we'll see, but as of today, nothing yet."

{QUOTE}(on how does he fill in for DT Amobi Okoye) "Well, we'll probably go with (DT) Frank (Okam), go that direction and come up with a new rotation from that standpoint. But, if (DT) Amobi (Okoye) can't go, Frank should be up."

(on QB Sage Rosenfels) "Well, he's (QB Sage Rosenfels) just going to have to do his job for the team. There's a great opportunity for him, as a player, if he does a great job for this team, yeah there is, but at the same time, there's only so much you can do. You've got to do your job and make sure your team is doing the best job for your football team. He's done a great job. The other day he played extremely well except for one play really. This is a great opportunity for him. He's been in this situation before. He responded with this team, and there's no doubt in my mind this team expects him to respond again."

(on LB Xavier Adibi and what role will he play) "Well, what we're going to do is go into the game and put a play count on him (LB Xavier Adibi), and he's going to play so many plays."

(on if LB Xavier Adibi is definitely going to play) "He's (LB Xavier Adibi) going to play."

(on if LB Xavier Adibi will start) "No, he (LB Xavier Adibi) will not start. (LB Kevin) Bentley will start, but with the rotation right there—somehow, someway we're going to come out of the game with Adibi playing. Is it 15? Is it 20? I don't know, but it's time for him to play. He's had two good days of practice. So, we'll see."

(on what LB position will LB Xavier Adibi play) "He (LB Xavier Adibi) can play anywhere, but right now, we're working those guys all over the place, basically have a rotation going because we've got concerns about (LB) DeMeco's (Ryans) shoulder right now. He (Ryans) did practice today. He'll be ready to play, but at the same time, he's banged up, too."

(on if LB DeMeco Ryans goes out of the game who takes his place) "(LB Kevin) Bentley or (LB) Morlon (Greenwood) can go to Mike and Bentley takes the helmet, correct. So, Bentley and Morlon can both play Mike. (LB Xavier) Adibi would stay outside."

(on what he has seen from QB Joe Flacco) "Well, I studied him (QB Joe Flacco) really, really hard last year and got a chance to spend a lot of time in Indianapolis. He reminds me of our two guys to be honest with you. He's athletic. He can move when he has to. He's got a big, big arm and for a small-school guy. He's responded to big time football very, very quick. I think (offensive coordinator) Cam's (Cameron) done a great job with him. He understands he plays on a team with great defense, too. So, I thought he's handled the game pretty good."

(on if Ravens LB Ray Lewis is playing well) "Yeah, their defense right now is playing as good as I've seen them play and I've seen them play very, very good. I played them in the playoffs the year they won the Super Bowl and they got after us pretty darn good. Very demanding group and (LB) Ray (Lewis) leads the group. If you don't play hard, he's not going to let you come on the field with him. We'll be tested as much physically as we've been tested all year."

(on LB Kevin Bentley wanting to stay on special teams) "Yeah, he told me that today and that's the kind of kid he is. Yeah, I expect him to do everything he can do. But if he's on the field 50, 60 snaps of defense, (special teams coordinator) Joe's (Marciano) has got to find a way to give him a break too. So, that's why we're going to bring (LB) Kevis (Coley) up and he can play special teams too."

(on bringing LB Kevis Coley up) "Yes, he will be activated."

(on why the Ravens are so good on third-down conversions) "Yeah, well, they are just a great defensive team. Normally as a coach, you watch cut ups during the week. Cut ups are made up of their last four football games. To give you an idea, in the last four football games there's been 53 third downs against them and only 19 have been less than eight yards. So, that tells you what kind of defense they're playing. There's two goal line snaps against them. So, there's not a lot of film to study is what I'm trying to tell you. But they've been exceptional, and they're right there neck-and-neck with Pittsburgh at number one this year. But that's what their organization has stood for for a long time. They play great defense and 52 (LB Ray Lewis) leads the group."

(on the Texans being number one on third down conversions on offense) "Well, we're going to have to be pretty good this weekend to stay on the field. But I think the key will be, you get anything over eight, as I just talked about, and you're going to be in trouble against this group. So, we're going to have to keep them manageable."

(on the success that rookie running backs are having this season) "Well, I think one of the things it tells you, the NFL - you don't want to say it's a young man's game, but there's certain positions where young players are having more of an effect. I think it was the same thing last year, if you look around the league. It's a tough position in this league. You play a lot of games and take a big pounding. These young guys are really showing up and ours are showing up for us. It doesn't surprise me. I think, probably the number of guys that are doing it surprises me a little bit."

(on Ravens QB Joe Flacco and Falcons QB Matt Ryan finding success as rookie quarterbacks) "Yeah, their both on two teams that have something in common. They're both playing very good defense and they're running the ball extremely well. That's the way you raise a young quarterback when you throw them in the fire, so to speak. They've done a great job with those two kids."

(on the key to the rookie running backs sustaining it over their careers) "Man, it's hard. I had one of the best that ever played in Denver. I think T.D. (former Broncos RB Terrell Davis) may have played seven or eight years. Those guys, when they carry that ball a ton. It's hard to have a long, long career. I saw Earl Campbell here as a kid. Because they were taking multiple shots on given days, that's a tough, tough position in the long haul. History has proven that."

(on how much confidence RB Steve Slaton is playing with right now) "He's playing with a great deal of confidence. He's seven weeks in a row now as a starter. Hasn't missed a practice, hasn't missed a game. He's tired. He's beat up because he's on his second college season right now - he and (LT) Duane (Brown) both. I love the way the kid goes about his business. I think his personality really helps him. I think he keeps it all in perspective and nothing bothers him. I think he's going to be a fine pro."

LB Xavier Adibi

(on what the opportunity to play means to him) "It's just exciting. I've always waited for my opportunity just to come here and it's here now, so I just have to take advantage of it."

(on how difficult it has been for him to get to this point) "Yeah, it's been a bumpy road. I kept my faith and I prayed and just stayed on it. I studied my plays all the time and just always working when I'm out there on the practice field. So, hopefully all the hard work will pay off for me."

(on if he is healthy) "Yeah, yeah. I'm good now."

(on what his weight is at now) "223."

(on if he is playing strongside or weakside linebacker) "More weakside."

(on what he thinks will be the most difficult thing about this opportunity) "I don't know, maybe just adjusting to the speed. But I'm going to be very excited. I'm just going to have fun and just go out there and play ball."

(on playing his first game against a team that runs the ball a lot ) "I mean, it doesn't change anything. Whether they run the ball or pass the ball, you just have to go out there and play football."

T Eric Winston

(on watching LB Ray Lewis since he was a kid) "Absolutely. I remember him (LB Ray Lewis) when he was still playing at Miami. So, it's been a long time. It's fun. That's the great part of about playing in the NFL—some of those guys are still hanging around. You get to play against some of the guys you idolized growing up. It'll be fun playing against a guy like that on Sunday."

(on if the hit on QB Matt Schaub was a cheap hit) "Of course it was. From what the rules are now, that's a flagrantly, illegal hit that should be fined or he (DE Jared Allen) should be suspended, one or the other. The thing that's disheartening about it is the fact that there was no flag thrown on it. That's the problem. To me, you've instituted a group of rules, and whether you like them or not, you expect them to be called 99 percent of the time, and I think you're seeing a lot of discretion being used in that and that's tough. I also thought that maybe there was a chance they were going to throw a flag on the delay of game when they knocked him down, too. So, I think those are the breaks that you sometimes get on the road, and we definitely didn't get those breaks. But you wish they would have at least called it in the game."

(on if DE Jared Allen apologizing after the game to QB Matt Schaub shows that he was guilty) "Well, I don't think he (DE Jared Allen) was ever intending to hurt him."

(on DE Jared Allen still breaking the rules) "Yeah, absolutely, but I'm not saying he (DE Jared Allen) ever intended to hurt him. I think a guy's rushing the passer, he's trying to get to the quarterback. He's not thinking, 'Maybe I shouldn't hit him because I'm low right now.' I think he was just intense and he was going after him, but like I said, the rules are the rules. And if we're going to say that's an illegal hit, then let's flag it."

(on how difficult of a stretch this is for RB Steve Slaton and the line) "Well, it's some tough sledding—no doubt about it, but this is what it's all about. I think a lot of guys in here are relishing the opportunity to go against another great defense. I think we moved the ball well again, but we definitely left a lot of opportunities on the field. We've got to tighten our ship up. We've got to do better. We've got to do a better job of holding onto the ball and these guys do a great job of forcing turnovers. So, we're going to have our hands full, but I think a lot of guys are looking to it as an opportunity."

(on assessing where RB Steve Slaton is at the half way point of the season) "Obviously, he's (RB Steve Slaton) doing really well, and he's probably exceeding all of the expectations that everyone had for him coming in, but this is where it's going to get hard for him. About this time of year, probably even two weeks from now around Week 10, is where it really starts getting tough because last year at that time they were done with their season. They had played a full year. They had ten games, and they were ready to go home for some Thanksgiving and hang out until a bowl game. So, that's where it really starts getting tough. They just going to have to buckle in. (OT) Duane's (Brown) going to be in the same boat as far as that goes, and really have to start focusing and just really getting after their technique and staying after themselves about doing the right things."

(on if this week is their toughest challenge on offense) "I think so. You have to think so. Tennessee is obviously playing some great defense right now. The Steelers are looking as good as anybody. We've played some tough teams so far. And there's no doubt about it, we have a tough schedule this year. But a lot of people do. We have to take the challenges as opportunities to make plays and to prove ourselves. If we do that then I think we'll be alright."

(on if they have to win these games at home) "Absolutely. Without a doubt. You can't want to be talked about as one of the playoff teams without having big wins at home. This is definitely going to be a big game. So, we have to go out there and, no one gives you anything, you have to go out there and take it. We have to prove ourselves."

(on how important it would be for RB Ahman Green to be able to play) "I think (RB) Ahman (Green) always provides a lot of veteran experience back there. He's probably still a little more seasoned on the third-down plays and picking up those, and I think he's just been in those rough games before. So, asking (RB Steve) Slaton to go every single play, I think that helps a little bit to where he can go out there and really go hard for a certain amount knowing that Ahman's going to come in right behind him and be able to go the same way."

(on if QB Sage Rosenfels is any different this week) "He's a little bit more serious this week. He's a little bit more serious this week. I've been getting after him to stay a little loose. But that's the way the starting quarterbacks are. You have to be serious. There's so much put on their shoulders and so much of that pressure that comes along with playing that position. You have to take it in stride at the same time, but you have to be serious about your work and what he's doing. He understands the challenge, as everyone does, that's ahead of him. I know he's excited about it but he is being a little serious this week."

(on this being a great opportunity for QB Sage Rosenfels) "Yes and no. I think (QB) Sage (Rosenfels) is one of those guys that if you told him, 'Go out there and throw three picks and we'll win the game,' that he'd do it. I don't think he's necessarily a numbers guy. I really don't think he's that kind of quarterback. I think he wants to go win the game. So, if it means him handing the ball off 50 times then he'll do it. That's just the way he is. Obviously, he wants to have his chance and this is his chance. He's going to get a good stretch of games where he's going to be able to go in. We have some tough road games coming up too. So, he's going to get his chance just like he did last year. He stepped in and did an amazing job last year for us. I think that's where the bar is. So, we're excited about him. We're not going to miss a beat. We're not going to shorten the playbook. He's going to step in right where we usually have him."

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