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Practice quotes: Tuesday


The Texans got back to work on Tuesday, preparing for their last game of the season against the Chicago Bears.

Head coach Gary Kubiak

(on the team) "We have a long way to go. We have an excellent football that we're playing coming in here, a very physical football team. But we had a good start today."

(on if he watched Chicago on Monday Night Football) "You know what? I didn't see much of it. I heard about the ending. We're busy. We have a lot of work we're trying to cram in because of the Christmas week and everything from the coach's standpoint and the player's standpoint. But I know it's a huge game for them and they have an excellent chance to get in the playoffs if they win. So, it's a good test for us. It's something we need to come right back and play this type of game."

{QUOTE}(on the injuries) "(LB Xavier) Adibi did practice today. He's probably a little limited but he did practice. (S) Nick (Ferguson) did not practice today. So, other than that we're fine."

(on if they are going to try harder to get WR Andre Johnson the ball this week) "I try to get him the ball all the time. He's been pretty involved."

(on the attitude they are taking into the game) "We just need to come back and play better. We're very disappointed in what happened, but there's nothing to run away from. We got our tails kicked coaching, playing, across the board. So, it's over. We get a chance to play here on Sunday so we're looking forward to that one."

(on the type of team Chicago is) "Well, for us it's a lot like playing Tennessee. That's the type of team they are. They're a big defensive-oriented football team, very, very physical. They run the football. They're tremendous on special teams. So, we kind of face that twice in Tennessee every year. So, we'll see the same thing this weekend."

(on what they can do to fix the red zone problems) "We just need to run the ball better down there. We were actually pretty good in the red zone at about the halfway mark during the season and we've gotten poor here in the past six, seven weeks. I just don't think we run the ball well down there. I can do a better job down there for them scheme-wise and those types of things. But we've had our share of trips down there and we need more points."

(on how much of not running the ball well in the re dzone is because of RB Steve Slaton's size) "Well, I mean, he's our guy, so it's up to us to do what he does best. They field gets smaller, everything gets smaller. The yardage gets tougher because the safeties are much more involved. But regardless, you have to be good at running the ball down there to be successful."

(on why they are good against the blitz) "Well, we have some places to go with the ball. We have a quarterback that is very sharp, doesn't panic when people come after us. I think the growth (RB Steve) Slaton and (FB) Vonta (Leach,) as far as protectors in our scheme, has helped us from that standpoint."

(on if anything changes because Chicago is playing to get into the playoffs) "No, it's great for us. That's what we need, especially after what we went through last week. We need a team that's going to come in here and that's going to play as good as they can play, and this team will. We need a big-time test as we end this season and we're looking forward to it."

(on what it says about the offense with the possibility of having WR Kevin Walter joining WR Andre Johnson and RB Steve Slaton with 1,000-yard seasons) "Well, we moved the ball pretty good this year when you look at the numbers overall. But to have a back over 1,000 (yards) and two receivers over 1,000 (yards), that means you're balanced. That's what it says. And we have gotten more balanced because (WR) Kevin (Walter) has become a better player and (RB) Steve (Slaton) has stepped in and done a good job. That's what you hope for as a football team, that you have a lot of guys that can make plays."

(on if playing Indianapolis twice a year helps playing Lovie Smith's defense) "No, I think they're different. I think they're totally different. I think (Bears head coach) Lovie (Smith) is very aggressive from a standpoint of they're trying to score on defense and they'll come and get you all over the field. You know, (they are) willing to blitz you a bunch and create a lot of gap situations for you inside, as far as what they do pressure-wise - so a little bit more aggression than Indy."

(on if the Bears still play the Tampa 2 defense) "They play the same defense scheme-wise, as far as assignment coverage and those types of things and the way they rally to the ball. It's just that one of them is a little bit more aggressive, I would say."

(on if the home record helps playing this game) "Into this game? Well, I mean, we have definitely played better at home than we have on the road. But it would be nice to end this season - what would our record be at home if we win this week? 6-2 again? I think that's what we were last year. You know, if you want to be good in this league, you should be good at home; you should. And you have to find a way to go out and split on the road if you want to be a playoff team. So, we haven't achieved the other one, but we have gotten better at home."

(on if there are players they want to look at that don't normally get playing time) "I was asked that yesterday. We're going to do what we have to do to win the football game. There's some guys last week. We looked at (WR Darnell) Jenkins a little bit. (LB Kevis) Coley played on special teams. But we're going to play our guys. This is an important game for us."

(on if he thinks about the family stuff at Christmas time) "Oh, I definitely do. Christmas is a great week and we have our schedule arranged so we can get everyone out of here tomorrow about one o'clock so they can enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas with their families. (I) could have been a lot happier right now, but that's the way it goes, but we'll enjoy Christmas and be ready to play."

(on a lot of teams practicing on Christmas) "I think we can get our work done. Just the way we have it structured. We had a good practice today, actually even more than we probably do on a normal Wednesday. We'll come back in the morning and have our Thursday tomorrow. So, we'll get our work done and then we'll catch back up on Friday. So I feel comfortable with what we're doing."

(on if that takes him back to his playing days when he wanted a day off) "No, I've been through both. I think these guys should be at home with their family on Christmas, coaches and players. I'd like to be there, too."

WR David Anderson

(on the game this week) "You know, we have the same answer every week. It's to go win the game. I think coach Kubiak has been talking to us, stressing how important every week is - in and out. So no matter if we won or lost in Oakland, we have to come at this game with our full attention because the Bears are coming in here trying to win. We have to give them our best effort."

(on how much more the intensity level kicked up this week) "I think just the fact that we won our last two season closers, it's always intensified for us. We have to end the season on a good note and send us into next year. So, I think that's what we're all concentrated on."

(on what worries him the most about the Bears' defense) "You know, they're a fast, physical team and they run that Tampa 2 scheme pretty well. So, you know you have to be on top of everything you do and make sure you don't make any mistakes because they take full advantage of problems. So, if you give them the ball or something like that, you have to make sure you don't do that throughout the course of the game."

(on how much nicer the offseason would be to finish with a win) "Every year, it's always nice. There's only a couple teams that get to end the year with a win. So, that's ultimately the goal. So, we go in there and get us a victory and get out and get ready for next year."

(on a win making them 8-8 and how he'd tell fans that they've made progress) "I think anyone that watches football knows we made progress as a football team. We gave away a couple of wins that we definitely had throughout the beginning of the year. You can tell by watching us that we're a better football team. We have it together. We're not sneaking away victories, we're beating teams handily. So, I think we just have to concentrate more on the little things throughout the course of the year and make sure we pick up those important wins at the beginning and in the middle of the season, not just go on hot streak at the end or something like that."

(on how he feels about his 65-yard catch) "We'll I wasn't expecting to get the ball. To be honest, that was a check down. I ran across the middle and I thought a broke a tackle but apparently (WR) Kevin (Walter) just cleared the way. So, I was running and I saw O.D. (TE Owen Daniels) coming so I was like, 'Alright, I have two options here; just try to outrun this guy to the pylon or cut back and hopefully something good will happen.' And neither of those happened. I cut back and all the pursuit came. So, it's just the way it worked out."

WR Andre Johnson

(on his thoughts on the last game) "Just do everything we can to try to win the game. We have a good football team coming in here that has to win this game to go on to the playoffs. They're going to try to do it here on our turf, and our goal is to try to stop them from doing that."

(on how important is to lead the league in yards and other receiving categories) "You always want to finish first in every category. Any player that will tell you that it doesn't matter to them, I would say that's not true. All football players are competitors and you want to be first. But if I could finish first I'd be happy. If not, I'm still happy. I feel like I went out and had one of the best seasons of my career. So, I wish it could have been better as far as the wins and things like that, but I'm not going to hang my head. (I will) keep fighting to do what I have to do to get the organization headed in the right direction."

(on if he thinks there will be extra motivation to beat Chicago because of the playoff implications) "You know, you just have to approach it like every game. You can't put too much pressure on yourself. You can't think about their playoff situation. You just have to go out there and approach it like every game and do whatever you have to do to try to win that game. I don't think guys are really thinking about what they have to do. You know, you have to worry about yourself before you can worry about anybody else. So, we're trying to get ourselves ready and we're trying to get ourselves ready to go out and play against those guys on Sunday."

(on if winning this game is important still) "Yeah, you always want to end on a good note. You always want to win on a winning note. That's our goal. We're going to go out and try to win this game against Chicago."

(on if he watched Chicago play on Monday night and what he thinks of their team) "You have to play 60 minutes. Anything can happen in this game and they have a great defense. Those guys, for some reason, always come up big for them. So, they had a big blocked field goal there which could have won the game for Green Bay, and they did that and then went out and won the game. So, they find ways to win games."

(on how much the rookie class has helped out the team this year) "They helped us out a whole lot. They came in and stepped up big for us. (RB) Steve (Slaton), he's been tremendous for us, so I'm real excited to just see what these guys can come in and do next season after going through their first year and learning a lot about this game."

(on if he can put his finger on why they have so much trouble in the red zone) "I can't put my finger on one particular thing. I just don't think that we've—when we get down there, we're just not executing the plays like we should. I think that's the biggest thing. I think if we just go out and execute the plays like we know how to, then that wouldn't be a problem. We'd be able to score touchdowns."

(on if it's frustrating that they are third in the NFL in yardage, but they can't seem to get points on the board) "Yeah, it is. You always want to score touchdowns and keep the field goal kicker on the sideline. But you know, sometimes things happen and you just have to keep working to improve."

(on if he has more motivation since he didn't have a good game last week) "You're not going to have a 10-catch 100-yard game every game. That's not going to happen in football. But you definitely want to go out and play well and you want to go out and do whatever you can to help your team win. So, like I said, I just try to make the best of every opportunity that's given to me. I didn't get many opportunities last week, but you never know what can happen this week. So, I'm just going to prepare myself like I do for any other game and go out and try to end the season on a good note."

(on how he can explain why he can go out and get 200 yards one week and then nothing the next week) "I mean, the quarterback drops back and goes through his progression and they throw the ball. I really can't pinpoint that. It's not like I'm out there throwing the ball to myself. So, you have a lot of things that come into that. The o-line has to protect and things like that. You can't go out and do it by yourself. It's a team game."

CB Dunta Robinson

(on how important is it to win this next game) "It's very important. The only thing that can take the feeling of a loss away is a win. So, it's important for us to end the season on a good note. I think guys are going to go out and play hard and we're going to leave it all out on the field. We have to put what happened last week behind us and we've got to move on."

(on how important is it to finish 8-8) "It's important. We want to finish as best we can, but I think it's important to try to win every football game. So, we'll put the same importance on this game as we do all of the games. You want to come away with a win no matter who you're playing, no matter what it's for. You always want to win football games. So, I say in a nutshell, it's important."

(on if they win, can they look upon the season as somewhat successful) "No. The only thing we can probably take away from it is the fact that we won the last game. I'd like to be sitting here going into game 16 in a better situation, but this is where we are right now. So, let's try to end it on the best note we can. No one wants to have a losing season. So, to finish at .500. I know we finished this way the same exact way last season, but we've got to take what we can get."

(on if things are going to be amped up a little more on Sunday because of what is at stake) "I'm sure it's going to be a lot at stake, especially for those guys (Bears). I think maybe a win gets them in with a couple of different scenarios. So I know they're going to come and play as hard as they can, but we're not going to lie down. We're not going to the playoffs, so we don't want to see anybody else go. We're going to go out and play hard. Anytime you end the season on a loss, that's a long offseason. At least with a win, you have something to look forward to for next season."

(on if he takes the frustration he had from last game out on the Bears this week) "Well, yeah, you definitely want to come in and play a lot better as an individual and as a team. Anytime you come off of a loss, there's definitely some frustration and you definitely can't wait for the next Sunday, so you can come back and try to rebound a little bit. But with that being said, it's a totally different team coming in. So, we've just got to make sure we're ready or things can go bad quickly."

(on his thoughts on the Christmas season) "Christmas. Man, this is my first time I have my kids in town, my daughter and my son. I did a lot of Christmas shopping. I think I'm going to dress up and play Santa Claus this year with dreads."

(on if he will tuck the dreads into the hat) "No, I'm going to let them fall. I'm the 2008 new Santa. Yeah, let them fall out (laughs)."

(on coach Kubiak giving them the full Christmas day off) "Well, he (head coach Gary Kubiak) doesn't want to be Grinch and take away our Christmas. No, it's greatly appreciated. We get to spend this time with our family. We don't have tomorrow off. We only have Christmas off. So, we've got to get back to work as soon as possible, but I'll take any break I can get at this point."

(on his most memorable Christmas) "Most memorable Christmas—I'd probably have to say 1994. I think I was about 12. One of the cousins that I grew up admiring—he had been gone for, he was a marine and he was gone for about four years and I woke up on Christmas morning and he was sitting down in the kitchen talking to my dad. So, I don't even think I opened any Christmas presents right away. Now, I opened them, but it wasn't right away. So, I'd probably that was my most memorable moment. That was probably the best Christmas I got."

(on what his cousin thinks about where he is right now) "He was actually the guy that I looked up to. In the 8's when I was a youngster, he played at my high school and he was this superstar athlete and he went to college for about two years at South Carolina State. So, he was kind of my idol growing up before he went to the army. So, he's always happy. He's always calling me before every game and just letting me know how proud he is. So, he's happy for me now, definitely. This is where he wanted to be, but he didn't make it, so he's living his dream through me."

(on what he thinks about RB Matt Forte) "He (RB Matt Forte) doesn't play like a rookie. I know there are a lot of rookie running backs in this league that are playing great and we have one ourselves. But anytime you get a rookie and most of the offense revolves around that one guy, you know you've got your hands full. We know that for us to win this football game, we've got to contain him. We've got to stop him."

(on how RB Matt Forte and RB Steve Slaton compare) "He's (RB Matt Forte) a different back. He's bigger than (RB) Steve (Slaton), but I think maybe he runs with more power. But I think they give you the same thing. Steve's a good running back. He's a good running back and they're both good receivers out of the backfield. So, I think the comparison is pretty close, but I think the only difference is he's a little bit bigger."

LB DeMeco Ryans

(on if it adds any extra motivation knowing they could knock the Bears out of the playoffs) "I don't see that as motivation. That's their deal that they have going. But for us we're just trying to go out and finish our season strong and win this game. It's not about knocking them out of the playoffs or anything like that. It's about us winning the game. That's how I see it."

(on if them needing the win will change the atmosphere) "I mean, I know they are going to come in and they have to win this game to get there so I know they are going to come in ready to roll. But we're coming in ready to roll too because this is our last game so we want to finish our season 8-8. Finish up strong like that."

(on what he thinks of Bears RB Matt Forte) "He's a strong running back. He's a young kid that has come in and run well. It's one great class of rookie running backs this year. I mean, he's one of those guys that's come in and done a good job. Kind of a big back that can make things happen. He's the reason why they're in the position they're in though."
QB Matt Schaub

(on what kind of attitude does he take into the final game after the last game) "We're moving on. We're going to remain positive. We've got something to do this week. We've got a game to go win. So, we're going to buckle down together as a team and we're going to go out and play this game to win."

(on if he is a little angry) "No one likes to lose. We hate to lose, but we can't change what happened on Sunday. All we can do is go out this week and win this game."

(on if knowing that Chicago has to win to get in the playoffs) "The intensity level is going to be big no matter what game or what's on line: playoffs or division titles or just playing for next season. It's always going to be intense. It's a football game. You're competing against another guy, another team across the way ,so it's going to be intense no matter what."

(on if he is comfortable with his number called on third- or fourth-and-one) "Without a doubt. We got two yards on a quarterback sneak earlier in the game. So, yeah, I want that. Anything we can do to get the first down, that's what we want to do whatever it is."

(on what did he learn about his football team this past week) "We learned that we're going to move on from this. We're not going to dwell on what's happened. We're just going to move on and we're just go to the next game."

(on if he feels like their making progress as a team) "Well, we just need to concentrate on what we need to do to win this game and end on a positive note, and that's beating the Bears this week."

(on if it helps that they have played teams in that division with similar styles) "Well, their defense is very good. For years and years now, they've been hanging together. They've got experience. They're going to come and they're going to line up and hit you in the mouth and you have to fight back against them. You have to execute your game plan and not give them opportunities."

(on what can they do to work on their red zone efficiency) "Just executing our plays better and taking advantage of those opportunities when we're down there. Plain and simple."

(on why they are so good against the blitz) "Because we recognize it and have proper adjustments, and guys make plays. Bottom line is you have to go out and make the plays to win and to be successful. You know when they blitz, you know you're going to have one-on-one coverage and if you win, then you're going to have plays down the field."

(on if there was a blitz when he hit TE Owen Daniels early in the game in the first series) "Well, it was a screen play and we had man-to-man coverage and the guy blitzed when (TE) Owen (Daniels) looked to block and then he threw the defensive end down and we had a play."

(on if the receivers are good at reading what they're supposed to read) "All of our plays are built in and it's just a matter of getting the time to drop back and hit them when they are open. They don't really have to see and adjust to things. They just have to get in and out of their route."

(on head coach Gary Kubiak saying he was doing a lot of screaming at people and if he has been doing that a lot or was it just one game) "When you're called to do something or you feel it necessary to be vocal and get on guys, you've got to do it as a leader of the team. There were some moments there and certain situations that calls for it, but obviously you don't want to do it too much or you don't want to do it in the wrong situation. You pick you're spots and when you've got to do it."

(on if he is uncomfortable getting on people or has he grown into it) "I'm comfortable in it. You've got to do what you've got to do to help your team win. When I've got to do something or let someone know or a group of people know that, 'Hey we're not doing the right things and we've got to do it, no matter who it's voiced to and that's just the name of the game."

(on the lack of production in the red zone and what they try to do better) "You try to do your best plays. You try and do the best things that you're the best at doing and executing them to the best of your abilities. Bottom line, that's what we've got to do."

(on if the best plays don't work he's second guessed and if they do he's a hero) "I guess so."

(on his thoughts on the holiday season) "Is it a holiday season? Gosh, we've been working so hard this season that you kind of lose track of time (laughs). No, coach (Gary Kubiak) is very grateful to give us Christmas off and so we came in here today. But, it's the holiday season. It's great to be around family and those that you're closest with."

(on wanting to be playing meaningful football at this time of the year) "You definitely do and you want to be apart of some special things and playing meaningful games like you said in December because that's when things are important."

(on what he thinks about WR Andre Johnson over 1,000 yards, RB Steve Slaton over 1,000 yards and WR Kevin Walter close to being over 1,000 yards) "It's a great accomplishment. It's just a lot of guys doing a lot of good things. You don't see that type of production very often and hopefully be a part of something like that, you know that's special. But, we've got work to do and we can end our season on a positive note as long as we go out and take care of business this week."

(on how big is that for the team to win) "It's huge for our team. It's huge. It catapults you in a positive direction heading into the offseason and into things. So, we've got to take the necessary steps this week to accomplish that."

RB Steve Slaton

(on what stands out on Chicago's defense) "They've got a great defense all around. It's one of the best defenses we're going to go against this week."

(on what are some problems that Chicago's defense causes) "They tackle well. They tackle pretty well. They've got a good four-man front."

(on if he watched the Monday night game) "No. I was delivering my little boy. I didn't get a chance to watch the game."

(on if he saw the video of their defense and what they bring) "Yeah. They've got one of the best linebackers in the game (LB Brian Urlacher). He pretty much runs that defense. They've got pretty good safeties and cover corners."

(on what is his and the team's mindset going into this team) "This is going to be the last one for a long time and this is going to be the one we remember a lot. So, we've just got to go out there and finish with a win."

(on his thoughts on the intensity that Chicago is going to bring) "Yeah, looking forward to it a lot. It's like an early playoff game for us and for them. So, I think both teams are going to bring their best."

(on if they go into this game a little angry after what happened in Oakland) "A little angry—yeah, you could say that. You know in this league that any given Sunday, you have to play your best and be prepared to win."

(on if he will come out with an attitude) "Yeah, I think we have a lot to prove and we know they're going to try to establish from the first play to the last whistle. So, we've got to go out there and match their intensity."

(on what they can do to improve in the red zone) "Put points on the board. I think that's the best thing, just take advantage of our opportunities we get in the red zone."

(on how they can take advantage of the opportunities in the redz one) "We've just got to catch it and run it in, I guess."

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