Texans general manager Rick Smith spoke to the media Tuesday about the team's roster moves.
Texans general manager Rick Smith and head coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media Tuesday after the fourth annual Texans TEAM luncheon.
General Manger Rick Smith
(on what roster moves were made) "We made our final move that we had to make today to get to 75. We released Patrick Pass and Harry Williams and then we place Charles Spencer on reserve PUP. He will be unavailable until the sixth week of the season."
(on making the cuts on both Friday and Saturday) "We don't have to do it Saturday, but we feel pretty good about our evaluations process thus far. We want to get it done on Friday because that gives us a head start to prepare for Kansas City."
(on the numbers game in the secondary) "It is. We have a numbers game at a number of positions, at wide receiver. All the way across the board on our football team, we have some tough decisions to make. Gary (Kubiak) makes mention of that often. It's certainly going to something that we have to give considerable attention to. The thing that we're trying to do is put the best 53 guys on the final roster however that's configured. Whether it's four tight ends or three tight ends or five receivers or six receivers. We'll make those decisions after this game on Thursday.
(on his evaluation of where Charles Spencer is at and his likelihood of playing this season) "I'm hoping so. I'm not a medical guy. I can only listen to our doctors and any kind of possible projection that I can tell you doesn't have a whole lot of value. He's working extremely hard and our guys are smart with the way they are trying to manage his rehab process. We're hopeful for him."
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on if he made a decision on how he is going to handle the last two roster moves) "We did that last night with Patrick Pass. We let Patrick Pass go. We brought Harry Williams back, briefly, for practice. We had a situation going on with Bethel (Johnson), but he is back today, so we're fine. We're down to our 75. Charles (Spencer), as I said, I think the proper term is reserve PUP, he's been placed on, so our number is fine going into Tampa Bay."
(on what the situation was with Bethel Johnson) "It was just a family issue and he missed practice yesterday. We felt that we needed Harry (Williams) to get through practice and we actually didn't have to be down to the number until today, so it was just a quick move we made."
(on what that means for Charles Spencer) "It basically puts him on the Week 7 plan. It's just like LB Kailee (Wong), which I talked about all along. He's making some progress. He's doing some good things. I think it's still a pretty long shot that he plays this year, but, who knows? Let's see what happens, but we're dealing with the same situation we did with Kailee Wong last year."
(on if he made any decisions positional wise) "I have a pretty good idea which way I'm leading or which direction we're going. But, I think there are a lot of other things right now that are extremely important as we work towards Thursday and get ready to play this game. I'll make those final decisions or final say on Saturday. I feel more comfortable doing it then. We have a lot on our plate right now. We're just trying to play this game and get down to our number."
(on when he will make the next round of cuts) "Rick (Smith) and I will probably come to a conclusion on Friday. They'll be released, probably to you guys, sometime Friday evening. We actually don't have to do it until Saturday."
(on if it's been tough to get the team's heads out of the clouds after Saturday's win) "No, it really hasn't. They've been great. Our guys worked extremely well. We're going to play a lot of young guys in this game so that attention to detail is very, very easy because they get a little nervous. They know they're fixing to get to play probably more then they've played the whole preseason. They've been good. They worked well. It will be good for us to go down there and play in the heat. We need to work and get a chance to look at the some of these tough decisions we have to make."
(on if Matt Schaub will be sitting this game out) "Yes, Sage (Rosenfels) will start the game. Other then that, everybody else I plan on going, but as you all know, these is probably a good chance that some of them, if they go, they're not going to go very long. We're going to look at young players in this game."
(on if Sage Rosenfels will play the first half and Jared Zabransky the second) "I don't think you'll see Sage (Rosenfels) play that long. I think you'll see Sage play a couple of series, a quarter at the most. I want to look at (Jared) Zabransky and see if he has a future with our football team."
(on how he is looking at the receiver unit) "It's either going to be five or six. We'll see. We're going to look at those guys extremely hard and what we're doing in this game. They're going to all play a lot. That includes Keenan (McCardell), getting a big look at him, especially throughout the first half. We have some very difficult decisions. Bethel (Johnson) is going to return kicks. We're going to do everything we can to let those guys sort that out themselves, but that will be a difficult decision."
(on the importance of having a guy that is versatile) "It may or may not. The reason I say that, when I look at Kevin Walter, I see a starter that is going to play special teams. I'm going to change what the does. He's an asset to this team playing special teams, so he's going to play. Jacoby Jones is a special teams player and pretty dang good as a returner. Jerome Mathis is a returner. He can cover kicks. I think we have some guys in place right now that already play special teams and that's going to be the strength of the group. Whether we keep a sixth, that sixth player, what he does for this team maybe a little different. It could lean in a different direction other then special teams."
(on if that gives him the luxury of keeping a guy that does not play special teams) "We'll see, but it definitely makes you take a second look at that situation because of the fact we have guys already contributing on special teams."
(on how many days he's been working on the Chiefs' game plan) "I've got some guys getting started on it from a players stand point. We have some of our older players getting going on that this week. The coaches have been so busy with Tampa Bay. Me personally, I've kind of moved on this week and started getting a head start on Kansas City. But, we have plenty of time. We play on Thursday, so we have a long time before we open on Sunday and it's a football team that I've been against many, many times. I feel comfortable from that standpoint."
(on if it's an advantage for you going against them so much) "Of course, Gunther (Cunningham) is there for me. To go against Gunther as the defensive coordinator, I think he's one of the better coaches in football. They've changed philosophy wise as a team under Herm (Edwards). They are going to run the football and not give up big plays. They've got their guy back to go back and play the philosophy that he played the majority last year. We know which team we're going to see on opening day. It's the one that's going to line up and hit you in the mouth and run the ball with one of the best running backs in football."
(on if he feels good about his run defense so far) "It has been good. It's been good through the preseason. Preseason, it is what it is. We'll find out. We'll get tested opening day because there's no doubt he's going to touch it a bunch."
(on he was glad to hear that Chiefs' Larry Johnson said he won't be 100 percent for that game) "Something tells me he will. I think he'll be fine. If you look at the kid, he takes care of himself. There are a lot of great backs in this league that never touch the ball in the preseason. The one down in San Diego doesn't even suit up. I don't think that time that he's missed, he'll be fine. He'll be fresh."
(on putting a lot of pressure on Jared Zabransky) "I put some pressure on him. Yes, your right, but that's good. He felt some pressure at practice today. He took the majority of practice. That's the only way you find out about guys like this, giving them an opportunity. He's going to have to go in there against a good defensive football team, a Monte Kiffin defense, a visiting stadium. I'm interested to see how he handles himself. Our decision is simple. Do we think he has a chance some day to be a player in this league, and if he does, we have to find a way to keep him on this football team."
(on if it's not a given that he will be on the practice squad) "I don't think there are any givens. We have to come out of this game, check the injury report, check a lot of things that are going on. I've seen a roster altered by five or six spots just because of this one game. Let's see what happens."