The Texans practiced outside Thursday afternoon at the Methodist Training Center, and when they were finished, owner Bob McNair and head coach Gary Kubiak answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Owner Bob McNair Head Coach Gary Kubiak
Owner Bob McNair
(on if he thinks this is the organization's biggest game) "I really think every game we're playing now is the biggest game we've ever played. Because I think we've got something going and I think right now we're playing extremely well and the challenge is to keep playing well and if we keep playing well, we'll win most of these games. And that's the key but that's within our control so I'm excited and I know it's a bigger challenge up there in Indianapolis but I know that if our team plays well, we've got a very good chance to win that game."
(on if winning this game would signify a turning point in the organization) "I think that would be great, I don't know if it's a turning point as such because it can turn at any time and go the other way. I think the key is just to maintain your focus and go out there and play the way you're capable of playing each week and that's what the really good teams do. It's very seldom that they have a really bad game. And that's where we need to be, to make sure that we never have a really bad game, just go out and—you aren't going to always play your very best but you want to be able to play close to that."
(on being 0-7 in Indianapolis) "It's time for us to go up there and beat them. You know last year we came very close to beating them twice and this year we need to turn that thing around. So I'm looking forward to going up there and I think our players are."
(on if he has any superstitions) "No, but if I think of something I'll certainly try it."
(on gaining superstitions if they win) "I'll look back and see what we did, see which sock I put on first or whatever. But no, when you're playing a team like Indy and (Colts QB Peyton) Manning, you know Peyton doesn't make many mistakes. And so that's the requirement for us. You can't make many mistakes. And if you limit your mistakes and you're competitive with them in terms of mistakes, it's going to be a very close game and we've got a good chance of winning. If we go up there and make more mistakes than they make, you know, then they're going to win the ball game. So we can't do that."
Head Coach Gary Kubiak(on how things went today) "It was good. Preparing for this team is tough, just so many things that they do offensively, trying to give them the best look that you possibly can. They're just a very good football team. We had a good practice—very upbeat. We just need to finish up tomorrow and get ready to go."
(on what three turnovers in the game, like in Buffalo, against a Colts team that doesn't make many mistakes will do) "No, you won't get away with it against these guys. You've got to play a perfect football game. That's what you're always searching for as a team anyway. You go into every week hoping you can play a perfect game and do everything you want to do. We know we won't be able to go in there and make mistakes and just have to slow them down offensively with our defense. For us, offensively, we're going to have to stay on the field to help our defense out. It's a tough formula for success. They're a great football team so we're going to have to play a great game."
(on any updates at running back) "No, like I said, I'm going to play them all. I'll make a decision as they get to the end of the week, but they're all going to play."
(on if they are doing anything with RB Steve Slaton to help him hold on to the ball) "We just need him to keep working on the things we have him working on. At contact, he's got to get two hands on the ball. I understand what he's working through. He's got to get through a game where he's clean and then get some confidence back from that standpoint. We're all behind him. We're all pushing him, but he's got to do his job."
(on DT Shaun Cody) "His back has been bothering him so he missed yesterday. He had an injection today. He did nothing today. I'm hoping he practices tomorrow and he's ready to go. We'll see. So it's his back that's been bothering him."
(on if DT Shaun Cody needs to practice to play) "No, I think he'll be okay. He's played enough football. The back does concern us if you're not going to be able to do anything for two days."
(on if LB Brian Cushing will return to practice every day after the bye week) "Yeah, I would hope so. We're really trying to get him to this bye clean and get him a good two weeks there to rest his foot. He did do some things yesterday. He did not do much at all today. I hope that he'll practice tomorrow and that'll pick up after the bye."
(on if not practicing today was a setback for LB Brian Cushing) "No, we needed him to see some things we were doing. He did it yesterday. He can watch it on film today. We're just trying to be smart with him. His foot is bothering him and hopefully we can get through this game clean and he can get some rest."
(on a rookie starting, not practicing and collecting player of the week awards) "That makes practice overrated, doesn't it? No, I'll tell you, it just tells you how mature he is. Guys can do that in this league. You play so many games and guys that play all those snaps, they need breaks. He's shown some maturity, being able to play mentally very well even though he's missed time in practice."
(on if the time off will help him not hit the 'rookie wall') "I think we are the last team in the league to get a bye. Obviously, we've played 13 football games after this one straight, so it'll come at a good time for us, physically as well as mentally. Guys probably need a break too. We need to cut it loose this week and then we'll give them a break next week."
(on lack of a win in Indianapolis coming as a result of good Colts teams) "That monkey has been on my back for about 23 years. They're a pretty good football team. They've been pretty good for awhile."
(on if the losses are due to lack of mental focus) "They're just such a good team and they're led by one of the greatest constants in football. No. 18 has been there every week. I can remember being in Denver, going there in Week 15 and beating them and going back two weeks later in a Wild Card game, and I think he threw for 397 yards in the first half against us. I've been in there in a lot of wild games. You've got to beat the best this weekend. That's what you have to do. We know what our challenge is and it's going to take a great effort on everyone's part."
(on facing the Colts twice in three weeks) "The game can be huge to us, there's no doubt about that. At the same time, we just need to stay focused on ourselves and playing good football. We won't beat them if we don't play very, very well; getting all caught up in what might be and this and that, let's get caught up on trying to play good for three and a half hours on Sunday and see how we come out."
(on TE Anthony Hill's progress) "He's had a good week. He's been fine. Of course, that place he's fixing to walk into is a little bit different that any game he's ever been in. Hopefully it will carry over to game day."
(on if it is time for DE Mario Williams to get to Colts QB Peyton Manning) "No, it's time for all of us to step up defensively, but obviously, he's a big, big piece of that puzzle so we're counting on him."