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Practice quotes: Thursday


Tight end Owen Daniels studied meteorology in college.

Members of the Texans talked to the media Thursday about their preparations for Hurricane Ike.

Head coach Gary Kubiak

(on any changes for the game on Sunday) "No, not that I know of. We are just approaching it like we are going to play. I think we are like anybody else, concerned about this thing and how it's going to be. But we haven't been told otherwise so we are preparing as if we are going to play."

(on what it was like to have WR Harry Williams at practice today) "It's really good to see him out here. I've been talking to him quite a bit and sounds great on the phone but looks even better in person. It's good to see him out. I know the fellas have been talking to him, same thing, it's good to see him walking around."

(on anything new with the team today) "No, nothing different. I don't know if (vice president of communications) Tony (Wyllie) has told you, but we are in two-a-days today. We are coming back tonight to practice. We're going to basically have a short practice; it will be like our Friday, so I can get them home with their families tomorrow and Saturday morning and see what happens. There will be no work tomorrow. We're fixing to take a little break and come right back out here in three hours, four hours."

(on what WR Harry Williams being at practice means to the team) "I know one thing, the guys that are out here and it's hot and sweating a little bit feeling sorry for themselves, it kind of makes you stop and think how lucky you are. We are down; we had a rough week last week. Trying to bounce back from that and looking at a guy like that, that would love to be out here with them, it kind of puts it in perspective."

(on anything new with RB Ahman Green) "No, didn't practice today and he'll be day-to-day."

(on ruling RB Ahman Green out for Sunday) "Not yet, we'll wait and see how he is tomorrow."

(on if there is someone that could play Monday that couldn't play Sunday) "For us? I don't know. Between Travis (Johnson) and Ahman (Green) would be the question. We'll have to wait and see."

(on who starts if DT Travis Johnson can't go) "Who starts? It will be Amobi (Okoye) and (Jeff) Zgonina and then DelJuan (Robinson) and Big Frank (Okam) will be the backups."
TE Owen Daniels

(on if it is tougher to play the 3-4 defense at opponents fields) "It's always more difficult to communicate on the road. It doesn't help to play a 3-4 team on the road."

{QUOTE}(on why don't more teams play the 3-4 defense) "It takes certain personnel. I guess it's just different defensive coordinators mentality and what works best for them and what they have the most success with."

(on if the blocking assignments are harder with the 3-4 defense because you don't know where players are coming from) "You have a pretty good idea, but it just looks so different from what you are used to seeing and what teams are used to seeing. Most teams are used to seeing four guys down, maybe a linebacker on the ball, three linebackers off the ball. But with the way Pittsburgh did it and the way Baltimore does it, they have guys wandering and maybe starting on the right side and end up on the left side. It's something to look at, but if you look at it enough, it kind of sorts itself out."

(on not being able to duplicate the 3-4 defense in practice) "It's always different. That's why the film part is so important."

(on if it helps to face it 2 weeks in a row) "It does. It always helps. We have some familiarity with it. They (Baltimore) move around kind of like Pittsburgh did, but they do different things."

(on which team (Pittsburgh or Baltimore) has the scarier look) "That's hard to say. Baltimore's linebackers that play on the ball on the edge are a little bit bigger, a little bit more powerful. Pittsburgh's guys were a little bit smaller, maybe a little bit faster but just as good. It's going to be just as tough."

(on the 3-4 defenses keeping guys together for a while and try to gain experience with the system) "The longer they work together, the better they become. They have a lot of veterans on this team. If you look at how many years each guy has been in the league for, it's up there."

(on if he has any hurricane preparedness plans) "I'm taking it minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour like you guys are. I have never been in one before. I'm interested to see what it might be like. I know it's going to be bad if it comes through. I'm smart enough to know that since I have a little background in meteorology. The way it looks right now, we're on the bad side of things, the wrong side of the storm. I don't know if some of the other guys realize how bad it might get."

(on if he is more fascinated by it than anything else because of the background in meteorology) "I would say more fascinated and interested to know what it's actually like or what it looks like or what it feels like than scared by what is going to happen. I think if we were out closer to the gulf I would be a little more scared, but just my interest I think. This whole is intriguing to me, for sure."

(on if this hurricane messes with the preparations for the game scheduled at 3) "We'll focus on three o'clock Sunday until they tell us otherwise. They're going to play the game. We're going to play no matter. That's what we've been hearing, so it's three o'clock Sunday or some time Monday."

C Chris Myers

(on if he grew up in Miami) "Yep, born and raised."

(on if going through a hurricane is an old hat to him) "I wouldn't say it's an old hat, but you don't flip out right away as soon as a storm is rolling your way. Sometimes things are happening and it turns away at the last second, you never know. But growing up in south Florida, I've seen my share of hurricanes."

(on if he has ever been through a nasty hurricane) "Hurricane Andrew in '92. I was about 11 years old, batting down the hatches . Back then, you didn't have shutters and all that stuff. You just had little plywood boards to put on your window and you went from there. But yeah, it was rough and nasty."

(on if that was the hurricane that knocked out Homestead) "Yeah, that's my area of town. Homestead, Country Walk area in South Florida, Miami."

(on if it was scary going through that as an 11-year-old) "Scary? Yeah, I had all the family there. Everyone came over to the house. But you learn to live with it. After going through a category five hurricane anything else is kind of, you know, nothing after that. So, I'm kind of working with it right now and we're trying to work through practice, but we are focused on Baltimore right now."

(on if there is a buzz in the locker room with players who are not used to hurricanes) "A little bit. Luckily, Houston is inland a little bit. I mean, it's not right on the coast so you won't see the full effect of the storm. But, you still have to be able to prepare and protect your family and do what's necessary. But we have to take care of business first. Football is first and foremost, and we'll go from there."

(on if everyone is fine with the game still being scheduled for 3:15 on Sunday) "Cool or not, we have to do it. The league isn't going to listen to what the players want; it's about what's going to be able to happen with the storm. Either Sunday, or if they decide to move it, we have to play on whatever date they move it to."

(on going from the Steelers' defense to the Ravens' defense) "Yeah, top defense to top defense. The Steelers' were tough and going into Baltimore, it's another rough one. We have to go in there and prepare like we did, they have a similar defense to what the Steelers' had. We just have to be able prepare and do the same. They have a lot of tough guys up front but our game plan is going to be pretty successful."

(on if the Ravens' middle linebacker Ray Lewis can still create havoc like he's done in the past) "Yeah, they always do. You have to respect what they've done in the past and be able to adjust to it."

(on if they have to help RB Steve Slaton in his first start) "I think Slaton will be fine, he's a real confident guy. As long as he gets the ball and does what he's been doing during training camp and the preseason games, he'll be alright."

G Chester Pitts

(on how to keep focused on the game) "Well, the thing is you prepare like it's not going to hit or you hope for the best. That's what you prepare for. But then, by the same token, you just know if it does hit, you run, duck and hide until it's gone and then you go play the game. You have to be kind of focused all the time and be somewhat resilient minded to be a football player because there are always things going on, and at the end of the day you have to do your job. If you don't do you job, you'll get somebody killed. You really have to focus on that, and that always comes first."

(on if he is buying into all of the hype of the storm) "After Rita, it's hard for me to buy into it. I know so much more now about hurricanes than I once did, but to be 50, 60, 70 miles inland - for a storm to really come through and really knock over homes and buildings, it would have to be something special, not something that just a run-of-the-mill hurricane would do. So, I expect once it hits land to kind of dissipate, not be such a big deal, get a bunch of rain. But, we'll see. You just never know."

(on what he thinks about the storm possibly pushing the game back) "It is what it is. If the commissioner says play Monday, we'll play Monday. If he says play next Thursday, guess what, we're all going to play next Thursday. They'll give us the word as soon as they know and when we know, we'll get ready to go play."

RB Steve Slaton

(on RB Darius Walker saying it's frightening and exciting to start in the NFL) "I definitely can agree with that. Now you have to be more on your P's and Q's because you don't know what they are going to bring at you first. And you're going to be in there for a while so you definitely have to study a little bit more and know your protections as well as you can."

(on how much playing in the game last week helped) "Well, the defenses are kind of similar. It's easier. Teams that face them got a chance to go against them, but it will be different personnel but pretty much the same pass protection. So, I think that's a lot easier. So, I have sort of like two weeks to study for them."

(on if confidence was what helped him in the fourth quarter in last week's game) "Yeah, it's confidence and just wanting to put points on the board. We're just trying to move the ball and show that we do have a good offense."

(on how much RB Ahman Green and FB Vonta Leach help him) "A lot. Vonta (Leach) helps me, he's in the backfield with me and just makes sure I know my protections. Ahman (Green) is doing the same."

(on if he is thinking about the hurricane at all) "Yeah, but I'm not too worried. The area codes that were supposed to be evacuated, mine didn't come up, so I'm pretty good."

(on if he knows how Coach Kubiak will use him this week) "Not yet. I'll hopefully go over that today and just go over more game plan stuff."

(on if he knows if he is going to start) "I think I am, but nothing is set in stone."

(on what the opportunity to start at running back means to him) "It means a lot. Coming into the second game of the season and starting is a big thing and I'm just willing to help my team out."

(on if he has ever been through a hurricane before) "No, I have not."

(on if he just concentrating on the game or if some focus is on the hurricane) "Well, Kubiak said if we don't play Sunday then we will play Monday. So the game is still going to be on, so I'm just worried about the game. I'm not really too worried about the hurricane right now."

(on if he has any family in town he has to worry about) "Well, my girlfriend and my son are here. Like I said before, the area codes, mine is not up there so we didn't have to evacuate."

(on if he is amazed on far he has come since he first came in) "Yeah, coming in with OTAs and mini-camp, I don't think I could picture this right now. But I'm just happy that my teammates help to prepare me well and I'm just looking forward to this weekend."

(on if he has surprised himself on what he has been able to do on the field) "Yeah, picking up the pass protection I think is going to be the thing that surprised me the most. Coming in, it was mixed up and I didn't really understand it too much. But now, it's getting a little easier for me, so it's surprised me the most."

RB Darius Walker

(on being called up from the practice squad) "It means a lot to me. I'm excited about the opportunity again to get a chance to showcase what I can do, but I also know that I have a job to do and they expect me to perform at a high level."

(on how his mindset has changed with being called up) "It actually hasn't changed much. I've been working this whole time to try to get to this point and to make it to this spot, so for me, it's just again more hard work and a little more focus and trying to understand the defense and who we're playing. Personnel and things like that come into play more severely now."

(on facing a complicated defense) "Definitely. The Ravens, they do a lot of stuff and a lot of games, a lot of guys jumping around in different spots and stuff. So it takes some understanding and some working out."

(on the ups and downs of his short career) "Man, I don't know. It's just been really, really crazy. And I think for me this whole time, it's one of those things that's unpredictable with everything, so you've kind of got to stay level-headed with what's going on with this business in this league because you never know where you're going to end up."

(on how he keeps his opportunity this week in perspective) "Well, again I just think it's focusing in on what you've got to do, going out to practice and showing the coaching staff and showing everyone that I'm ready to play and that I can play."

(on what areas of his game have improved since last year) "Well, everything. Experience really has helped me a lot. It really has. To be able to get out there and play, I tell you, game situations are so much different than practices, just completely different. So to have that experience helps to push me while I'm out there."

(on if he remembers watching LB Ray Lewis when he was younger) "Yes I do, I do. I remember watching Ray Lewis as a kid and watching Ray Lewis now, and let me tell you, he's a beast."

(on LB Ray Lewis being in his grill this week) "Exactly, all in my grill. So that'll be interesting."

WR Harry Williams

Statement – "I'd just like to thank God and my teammates. I'd like to thank the fans. The fans have been great through the emails and Facebook and MySpace and all of that. I'd like to thank the nurses and the doctors, especially the doctors and the nurses. They took care of me a lot. I'd like to thank Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Everybody has just been great and I just thank everybody for the support they have given me, even throughout the years and especially throughout this time right now. I'm just happy to be back walking again. I might not be able to play football again, but one day I'll have family and kids and I'll be able to run with him. That's what I'm planning in my journal right now."

(on what it was like to see his teammates at practice today) "It was great. It was real great. I was peaking through the fence for a minute and (media services coordinator) Zac (Emmons) came over and said this practice was closed (laughs). He was just playing, but it felt real good. It brought a lot of memories back and to see these guys again and give them a little motivation for Sunday's game, if we play Sunday. Just tell them to take it one day at a time, just like I'm taking it one day at a time."

(on if he is going to the game this week) "Yeah, if we play Sunday I'll be there, or Monday. I'll be there. That's number one on my list. I was in therapy and people were like why are you working, you're working so hard. I was like, 'I'm trying to get to the game. I'm trying to get out of here.' They released me yesterday and I was so happy."

(on what his teammates said to him when they saw him) "They were like, 'Man, we didn't even expect you to be walking.' Some of them were saying, 'Man, you're a miracle. It just happened like two weeks ago and you come out here walking.' Some people were like, 'You just lost weight; you aren't buff like you used to be. I was like, 'Hey I got to get back on those weights. When I get back on those weights I'm going to come holler at you.'"

(on if he is limited at all right now) "Pretty much every thing is going good, as planned. I'm getting feeling back and everything. Pretty much I can do everything; I haven't found anything I can't really do. They took a bone growth out of my left hip, so that still feels a little bruised. As far as that, everything is great. Everything has been real great. The doctors have been good and I'm doing alright."

(on if he is coming to grip with everything) "Yeah, I'm coming to grips with everything. You are still sad about the situation that you can't play football anymore, but at the same time you just have to look at the brighter part of life. You have to really think about what life is about. It's about God, family and helping other people. You know, I'm walking. When I was down there in Dallas, I couldn't walk. When I was down there on the field when the play happened, I couldn't walk; I couldn't feel anything. That was scary; I thought I was going to be paralyzed from the neck down. I'm happy to be walking. That's a big part of life to walk around be able to do the things you want to do. So, that's what I'm happy for and that's it."

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