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Practice quotes: Tuesday


Williams knows the Texans have a tough task on their hands in the Broncos' explosive offense.

On Tuesday, normally the players' league-mandated day off, the Texans continued to prepare for their nationally televised Thursday night game against the Denver Broncos.

Head coach Gary Kubiak

(on preparing in a short week) "It's very different, because you've got a very short amount of time to get everything covered and get them ready to play. I think the most important thing what all we've learned is that physically they've got to be ready to go, they're going to have to be fresh. And we'll have them good and fresh and try to get them through as much as we can mentally. But good work today; I liked our work. We'll see what happens from here."

(on usually resting on Tuesdays) "Yes, it's a big mental grind for them is what it is. We're just trying to get them as many reps to look at what Denver does as we possibly can and then let them go cut it loose on Thursday. To be honest with you, it's a nice problem. We need this type of stuff; we need to go through this type of stuff to grow up, so it's a good challenge for our football team."

(on an update on injuries) "Let's see. Two guys actually didn't do anything today. DeMeco (Ryans) and Ronnie (Dayne) did not do anything, and that's basically from us. Could they have done something? Yeah, I think they could, but we held them out. We'll take a look at them tomorrow and see, so I think there's still hope for both of them even though they didn't practice."

(on if there is a chance LB DeMeco Ryans won't play) "Oh, yeah, I think there's a chance, but knowing that kid, I think he'll be ready to go. But he just basically took all the calls, stood in the back with me and watched the defense today, and we'll see where he's at tomorrow."

(on if LB DeMeco Ryans has a hurt knee) "Yes. He's got his knee banged up pretty good, so hopefully he'll be OK."

(on LB DeMeco Ryans saying earlier this week there's no way he'll sit out of the game) "I believe that. If he can go, he can go. He's one of those kids, there are certain kids on your team that all you've got to do is ask them and they tell you no, you know they must be hurting pretty bad. And when he tells me, 'I'm going to be ready to go,' which he feels like he is, I'm trusting him. I'd like to see him run around a little bit tomorrow, though."

(on how much it helps that he experienced weeks like this in Denver) "It's helped. We played in that Thanksgiving game a few times. It's hard on coaches, too, because we had to leave the game the other day and go straight to the office and prepare to play, but I think the key is you get everybody as fresh as you can, coaches so they can think and players so they're fresh when they're out there playing. We'll be that way. We'll be that way when we get to Thursday."

(on if the game will be a chess match between he and Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan) "Chess match? No, our players are the ones – he and I aren't playing, I can promise you that. But they're playing really well. They were dominant last week, probably as dominant as I've seen them in a while, and we're coming off a game where we feel good about we did, so we're excited to go play in a game like this."

(on if he has to be careful not to over-think it) "Believe me, I know that's very important because it's about getting your players in position to be successful, and I've got to make sure that we do what we do best to give our kids the best chance to win."

(on Denver leading the league in forced turnovers over the last five weeks) "Well, that's the number one thing they've done is they started getting a bunch of turnovers. They really kind of simplified what they had been doing throughout the year. They held Kansas City to 100-something yards of offense, which is in this league, that's total domination. So they've got to be feeling good about what they're doing and they're a different challenge for us, a little bit different defense than what we've been facing, especially this past week."

(on what it would mean to be 7-7 after everything the team has gone through) "Well, it would mean a lot to our football team going into the last two weeks, but I think the reason we are where we are to be honest with you is because we just keep playing one at a time. And when good things have happened to us, we've tried to go right back to work, and when we went through two tough road losses like we did with Cleveland and Tennessee, we just went right back to work and played well last week. So I think just stay focused on this week and we'll see what happens."

(on playing the team he spent half his life with) "Well, yes, you're right. Basically, my football life's been there, especially in the National Football League except for one year. Right now, it's another game. I'm sure when I walk out there and they play the National Anthem and I look across the other side and I see a guy that I spent 20 some-odd years of football with, that'll hit me, but right now we're just trying to prepare to play the Broncos."

(on the humor of quarterbacks coach Kyle Shanahan, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan and their refusal to talk to each other or other family members this week) "Well you know what, that probably all goes back to we all know that man that runs that football team, so that's probably where that sense of humor is coming from. He's as competitive a guy as I've ever been around whether you're playing golf or football or cards, and I know how competitive he is this week going into this game. Whether it's his son or me, it doesn't matter. Competition's great; that's why we all do what we do."

(on if he thinks Mike Shanahan would use his wife to extract information from his son Kyle) "Oh, I don't think he would do that. I don't think so."

(on how similar his team is to the Broncos) "Defensively, we're pretty different. They've had changes in what they do defensively since I left there. Offensively, our teaching's the same. That kid they're playing with at quarterback is a very, very talented young man, can do some amazing things, great arm strength. But all I would say is our teaching probably starts the same, but after that we're probably a little bit different."

(on Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan saying he might tap him on shoulder before the game to throw him off) "He would be throwing me off. He used to always tell me, 'I can't talk to other coaches before the game,' and we all learned from him, so we didn't talk to nobody. (Laughs) I'll run to my end and hide from him. We'll talk after the game."

(on if Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan would sneak up on him before the game) "Something tells me that won't happen."

(on the second opinion on QB Matt Schaub's shoulder) "You know what, I don't know. I know he's gone today, he'll be back tonight, so I'll let you guys know tomorrow."

Quarterbacks coach Kyle Shanahan

(on not even letting his wife talk to his mother this week) "No, Mandy's (his wife) a rookie at it. She hasn't been in it her whole life, so she'll have loose lips. She won't mean to, but it'll be an accident. So we'll just play it safe."

(on if he really thinks his father would use his mother to get to his wife to get to him) "Without a doubt. I would do the same. Any coach would. You do everything you can to win the game, so any advantage will help."

(on what it will be like to see his father across the field on Thursday) "I've gone against him twice, one was presesason, one was at Tampa Bay. Once the game starts, it's not a big deal at all. Really, the only difference is just the attention. It's a little different. I'm not totally used to that, but once the game starts it's x's and o's and it's players making plays."

(on his mother saying the first two times didn't count because he wasn't a position coach) "Well, I think that's more to her. To her when I was quality control or it was a preseason game, I don't think she felt torn as much. She was supporting Denver 100 percent and now I think she's still definitely supporting Denver 100% no matter what she tells me, but I think she feels a little worse about it now that I am a position coach."

(on his mother not divulging her allegiance) "That's a very good political answer by her, but I know who pays the bills and what house she lives in and where she's been most of her life, so I'd be surprised if she wasn't supporting them."

(on not being in contact with his father until after game) "Definitely not. Not until Thursday after the game."

(on his father perhaps staying over on Friday for Kyle's birthday) "If they win, they can't stay at our place. They definitely will not be welcome (laughs)."

(on his fatjer not being able to afford a birthday present for Kyle because he got fined) "I did hear that, and I'm the one who's going to pay his consequences, but hopefully he learned his lesson."

(on how his father would elicit information in a conversation) "I don't know how he would do it. I probably wouldn't know he would do it if it happened, so that's why I just don't even mess with it. I'm not going to talk to him because anything could happen. We talk a lot and when we do we can't help but to talk about football. We both enjoy it and if we just sat and had a conversation where we say we're not going to talk about football, we know it eventually will come up. Both of us want to do it; he'd be scared to say something to me. So I think it's a mutual thing that we have a hard time having a full conversation leaving football out, so we'll just stay away from it."

(on if he is sneaky in the same way as his father) "No, I'm a little smoother about it (laughs)."

(on coaches being sneaky) "Yes, I think most coaches are. We're looking for an advantage and he has a good way of doing it, and that's why you've got to watch out for him."

(on if either has ever been caught cheating) "No, no one cheats. Sneaky is not cheating (laughs)."

(on how often he and his father normally talk) "We talk a few times a week. I like to talk to him before his game and usually after our game, see how theirs went. We keep up a lot. We've been like that most of my life, even when I was in college."

(on a son following in his father's footsteps) "Yes, I think it's flattering to him because he knows if I didn't enjoy his lifestyle and stuff I wouldn't get into it. That's all I've watched my whole life, so for me to watch that my whole life and then still follow it, I think it shows that I do respect his life and what he's done and everything he's done, and I do think it's flattering. I'd think it's flattering if my kid did the same thing. But he never did push it on me or anything; it was something once he found I really wanted to do, he was excited about it."

TE Owen Daniels

(on the Thursday night game) "It'll be nice to be the only game on, and whoever wants to watch us play, they have the opportunity to. Very cool."

(on if the mindset has changed because the teams are so familiar) "I don't think so. It hasn't changed so far for us this week, and it's a short week so you can't throw a whole lot of new stuff in. Maybe that's good for both sides not to get too crazy since we know each other pretty well. We know how their offense works and they know how ours does, too, because it's pretty much the same thing."

(on the significance of this game) "It's great to be playing this late in the year when it does mean something, when you're not just playing for your own pride and just for the guys in the locker room, but to play, to get a win, and if we keep winning, who knows what could happen, so it feels good. Everyone's real focused and ready to go play in this night game."

T Ephraim Salaam

(on if he talks to former Broncos teammates) "Every now and then. The NFL's just like moving on. It's like a divorce. Moving on. Do you still talk to your ex-wife? Oh, sorry. What about you? Do you talk to yours? There you go. I knew somebody had one."

(on if having so many connections makes this game any different) "No. It's earlier, I know that. We've only had three days to rest, that's about the thing that sticks out the most in everyone's mind, but it'll be nice to go against a team that I used to play there, he used to coach there. It'll be fun."

(on what it's like playing on Thursday) "I hope my body holds up, I could just tell you that. I need a little extra rest, but it'll be good."

(on who on the Texans should make the Pro Bowl) "We all should. All of us. Everybody."

(on if he will disclose who he voted for) "No. You'll have to read my blog."

DE Mario Williams

(on QB Jay Cutler) "He's a young player and pretty much he's out there running the whole show, but he's doing a great job at it. He keeps his composure, and it'll be another tough challenge."

(on RB Selvin Young) "Goes hard. It's one of those type of guys that you can't just throw your arm out there and try to get him. He's a very hard runner, and we'll just have to bring our hats."

(on if RB Selvin Young runs with more motivation because he was undrafted) "Yes, it's one of those things that like I said we've got to just come out and we've got to be prepared, be really physical against him, because like I said he runs very hard and he'll run through tackles."

(on what enabled the defense to play well last week) "We played together. The biggest thing is that everybody was on their p's and q's and played assignment football."

(on if the team carries momentum from that game) "You know, it's game by game. We've just got to come out there again. Just because of what happened last week doesn't mean it's going to happen again. We've just got to come and play our game."

(on a quick turnaround this week) "It's not a big deal."

(on playing at night) "Yes, it'll be different, but either way we're inside, probably; it's going to be closed. It's going to be closed, I'm sure, because it's always closed here, so it's night either way I look at it (laughs). But seriously, it's always closed, we never have it open, so I would say it's going to be the same to me."

(on if it's odd playing football inside all the time) "It is, yes, I would say so, because especially in college, you always play outside. So it's a little different, but it's something that I guess I've kind of grown into here."

(on playing on national television) "It's a very big game for us, for our program, just coming out here and playing for the whole world to see. It gives us a very big chance of just showing what we can do."

(on how he would feel if he made Pro Bowl) "I guess it would be pretty nice (laughs)."

(on it being a great honor to make the Pro Bowl) "Yes, it's a huge honor, but it's something that I'll look at later on down the road."

(on what has been the difference in his play this year) "Just being more comfortable, being more comfortable and now feeling how to respond with the players that are on the field. It's my second year of playing with these guys and it's just a lot more instinctive; it's not out there thinking a lot."

(on if he is surprised by some things he's done) "No, I mean, it is what it is. I'm out there running around just trying to play hard, and whatever happens, happens."

(on Denver's offensive line) "For one thing, they invented the stretch running game, so what they do is pretty much perfectly sound. It's going to be a very tough challenge; we've got to make sure that we stay true to our assignments and that we stay in our gaps and we don't let the guys cut back or leave seams open."

(on if it will be an advantage to either side knowing the other's offense) "I don't know. I guess. I hope so. It's one of those things that the guys who come and come ready to play is going to the difference. The guys who come and are out there executing things that they've got to do, that's going to the difference."

(on if this is a big game for head coach Gary Kubiak) "Yes, I'm sure it is. This is very big for him, I'm sure, and not just because of it being his former team, but just in the situation that we're in right now that we're still trying to cap off a good season. So it's very big for him and everybody else that's around here."

(on if he's excited for Battle Red Day) "Yes, I think that'll be pretty neat."

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