The Texans finished their first full day of practice Tuesday in preparation for the New York Jets. Afterward, members of the team spoke to the media about the upcoming Week 1 matchup among other topics.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak QB Rex Grossman WR Andre Johnson QB Dan Orlovsky CB Dunta Robinson LB DeMeco Ryans Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on today's practice) "Well, it's a day that we obviously need to get going on our work week as far as the Jets go. They present a lot of problems. They're a different scheme than we are, so it gives us a chance to get everybody comfortable with what spots are working out this week so we needed the extra day."
(on if it was good to have CB Dunta Robinson out on the field) "Yeah. It was really good. He came out of the workouts on Sunday very good and looked good moving around today. So we'll just take it day by day and see if we can get him ready to go."
(on how QB Matt Schaub looked) "He took a big step forward today. He took half the reps today in practice so he's progressing towards getting ready to go so a positive move forward for him."
(on the number two quarterback situation) "(QB) Rex Grossman will be our number two going into the game. I talked to both those young men today. I think they both need to get ready to play. Obviously, (QB) Matt (Schaub) has hobbled, so they both have got to be ready to go. As I told (QB) Dan (Orlovsky) and Rex, I just said, 'I'm leaning towards Rex's experience and the way he's handled himself and handled the team the other night.' I'm kind of drawing from what I've seen him do in the past and I'm just very comfortable with him right now. So as we get started, Rex will be the two.
(on how QBS Dan Orlovsky and Rex Grossman handled the news) "It was very difficult for one of them and of course one of them is very happy. That's just the nature of the business. I told Dan that I expect him to be ready to go. It doesn't mean we are this way the entire season. You never know, but this is the way I feel like we should start and I expect Rex to handle it like a pro and step up. I expect Dan to handle it like a pro and get better everyday out here."
(on how LB Brian Cushing looked) "He's looked good. His work has been good. Now it's all of a sudden game week and we're preparing for an opponent so there are a lot of heads swimming out here today but that's why we're using this extra day. But he'll be fine."
(on if it is difficult with CB Dunta Robinson and LB Brian Cushing having not played in a game yet) "It's very difficult. Somebody called in to the radio show yesterday and asked me for some words of wisdom to make them feel better, and I said, 'I wish I had some.' The bottom line, they haven't been out there. But everyone in this league is trying to get to opening day with their football team. Brian is going to be ready to go. Hopefully, Dunta will be ready to go. It's a concern but that's part of this game. You have to play through concerns and have people step up, so that's what we need to happen."
(on WR Kevin Walter's injury status) "Kevin jogged today. He and (FS) Eugene (Wilson) worked outside the football team so that's the positive, but they're day to day. We'll see."
(on the Jets offense and defense) "First off, you go back to their football team last year. Boy, they were a hell of a football team last year. They were a two-minute period the last game of the season from being a playoff team. So you start with that. They were one of the top teams in the league at taking the ball away, stopping the run. Offensively, they were in the top 10 in the league scoring points and running the ball. They've got one of the best return men in the game. They've got a new coach, so he brings a different mentality to them from that standpoint defensively. I talked to the guys today. I said let's talk about last year's team and that's impressive enough and now they've got a new state of mind, a new coach and good young quarterback. To me, they're going to be even better. We know we've got a challenge."
(on if he's ever been in the situation where he had two starters that he didn't see at all in the preseason) "I've been around it a couple times. Trying to get guys ready to go that have been out. That's part of it. We're getting our share of it this go around, but we'll see how we handle it; how mature we are."
(on how confident he is in putting LB Brian Cushing and CB Dunta Robinson out there) "I'm confident in the players, number one. I've watched Brian practice now for two and a half weeks. I'm confident in what we're going to get from him going into the game. Dunta, this is unique. I've never been around this one. But I'm very confident in what I've seen from him the last two days. The thing that concerns me, is they have not all been working together but it's time to go to work together. I think they all understand it too and so the sense of urgency, the attention to detail in getting ready to play, it's got to be good anyway but it better be great this week."
QB Rex Grossman(on being named the backup quarterback by head coach Gary Kubiak) "I'm going to go into this game like I would even if I was number three, ready to play. In this situation, it would be a little sooner."
(on what it means that he earned the role through his play) "Obviously, I'm excited about it. It's a good opportunity for me. I'm going to be ready. Like I said, it's going to be a good opportunity for me to get some playing time at some point if needed."
(on if he has gained confidence by coming in and earning the role) "Yeah, I feel good about this offense. I don't get a lot of reps, but when I was out there, I felt comfortable. I was having fun. There seemed a place to go with the ball every snap. This situation is exciting for me, to be part of this organization and this offense. If I get another opportunity to play, I'm just going to have the same mindset: have fun and let it go."
(on being 'one play away' from entering the game) "I'm going to prepare like I'm starting. Prepare like I'm starting the first play. If something happens, then I'll be ready. That's my job so we'll see what happens."
(on if it is gratifying that things worked out in his favor) "Yeah, it did. But you know, I've got to prove myself every practice and every time you go out there. You get graded and you get judged basically every time you throw the football, so I'm going to still have that sense of urgency."
WR Andre Johnson
(on SI's Peter King picking the Texans to win the AFC South) "First time. There's a first time for everything. Well finally somebody who doesn't have us as the underdogs, although, it's just a prediction. We have to go out there and win games on Sundays for it to happen. It's good to hear. At the same time, we still have to go out and play the game."
(on his biggest concern for Sunday) "I think the biggest thing is for us just being consistent. You're gonna have bad things happen during football games and you have injuries and things like that. I think just us being consistent as a football team and going out and running the ball, scoring touchdowns in the red zone. Just not having those crazy mistakes out there."
(on if it bothers him that the offense didn't click in the preseason the way it can) "In the preseason, when you really get in the groove of the game, it's time for you to come out. So that's the thing I dislike about it but we're fine. I'm not really worried about it. We're going against a great football team on Sunday and we have to be prepared for them."
(on QB Rex Grossman being named the backup quarterback) "Rex went and played well on Friday. He looked real good out there. Those things happen and when you go out and play well, he's the backup now. So we're going to rally around him."
(on the Jets defense) "They're very confusing. They have (head coach) Rex Ryan, who came from Baltimore. They do pretty much the same thing that Baltimore does. At times, they're kind of confusing, because guys are just standing around everywhere and you don't know who's blitzing and stuff like that. You just have to try and watch a lot of film and just try to pick up some of the tendencies."
(on what he thought of CB Dunta Robinson's first day of practice with the team) "He looked pretty good. He looked like he's been out there for a while. You can tell he's definitely been doing some football stuff on his own. He looked good. It's great to have him back out there."
(on what it means to have CB Dunta Robinson back on the team) "It means a lot. I always say that, when you guys are asking about him being gone, he's a person we need in order to get to where we want to be. He's a big part of this organization, a big part of the team so it's great to have him back."
QB Dan Orlovsky
(on Grossman being named the backup quarterback) "I've been in some bad meeting rooms and bad teams, but I'm not going to do that. I'm going to do everything I can to put his team first, continue to have the same mindset. I've been through this before. I'm just going to continue to work. I will take what (head) Coach (Gary Kubiak) said to me to heart and improve on it. I have confidence in myself that when faced with this adversity, I'll overcome it. I'm excited about this Sunday for our team and continuing to learn from Coach and (QB) Matt (Schaub). Just kind of take it in stride. But I have to look at myself in the mirror and there is no one more disappointed than myself. But I also know, it's not the end of the road. It's just another obstacle I have to overcome. It's something that is placed ahead of me that I can either let beat me down or build me up. That's the way I'm looking at it. It might be cliché and everything like that, but it's easier said than done, sure. But I'm not going to let it just be words."
(on head coach Gary Kubiak saying it isn't necessarily the way it will be all season) "Yeah. It's not going to change my mindset. I know a lot of people might say that. It's just the way I've been brought up in this game and at this position. I will continue to prepare like I was going to be the guy taking snaps day one, first snap. So I'll continue to do that. Lean heavily on myself and on my faith and continue to get better every single day. I respect the heck out of Coach. I know he's going to do what's best for this team and if that's what he feels is best right now, then that's what he's going to do."
CB Dunta Robinson(on how it felt to be out with the team) "It felt real good actually; better than I thought my first day running around with a helmet on would be. I thought I was going to feel a little rusty but I felt fine—like I've been out there for a while. So it was a good start."
(on what is different in defensive coordinator Frank Bush's scheme) "It's not hard at all. It's actually simple. We have good players on defense and it doesn't make you need to think a whole lot. Just go out there and understand what you've got to do and go make plays. I've only sat down and gone over it for about three days now, but I felt comfortable out there today."
(on if we know what this defense is capable of with him and LB Brian Cushing returning) "Actually, we don't. I think as we get out there and play our first game and continue to play throughout the season, I think that's when you'll realize what kind of defense we are. But the potential for this defense, the sky is the limit. We've got to stay healthy and we live up to that potential, myself and all the other players on this defense. This is the first time I actually looked around and I was like, 'Wow, I think we've got something here.' Now it's about translating it over to the field."
(on if he is concerned about the run defense) "No, I'm not concerned. It's like anything else. If something goes wrong, then you come in and correct it. I feel good about the guys we have up front and I feel like they can get the job done and I think they will Sunday."
(on SI's Peter King picking the Texans to win the AFC South) "Wow. Peter King is pretty credible so we've got some work to do."
(on if that is a good thing) "It's a 'thank you.' At the same time, we still have to go out there and play football. That's kind of the bottom line. Every year they predict Super Bowl champions, but if you don't go out there and play, then the prediction means nothing. So we've got to take care of our work on the field first."
(on head coach Gary Kubiak talking about limiting his plays on Sunday) "I'll see how I feel on Sunday. I'm not going to make any argument to that or contest it at all because I have to see how I feel on Sunday. If I'm in a groove, then I'll ask to stay out there. If I'm a little winded, then I'll have no problem coming out and giving the guy some time."
LB DeMeco Ryans
(on what he expects from Jets QB Mark Sanchez) "When you watch him on film, he's made some good plays moving around the pocket. He's a good player. We want to put the ball in his hands and make him beat us."
(on his thoughts on CB Dunta Robinson's practice today) "D-Rob did fine. It's great having him back out there. We were missing a key piece out there on our defense. To have him back is great. It's uplifted me and uplifted the whole team to see him come in on Monday. It was great to see him."
(on if he is curious how the defense will look with all the pieces together) "We're going to be fine. I know everyone is going to step up and play. Real bullets are flying now so everybody's excited. Everybody's going to be upbeat and into what we're doing so I think we're going to play well."
(on if he has taken it upon himself to help LB Brian Cushing since he didn't play the preseason) "Yeah, I stay on him. I'm always asking him questions; making sure he's into what we're doing, into our gameplan. Make sure we're both on the same page out there. The more me, him and (LB) Zac (Diles) communicate, the easier it's going to be for all three of us."
(on the Jets plan to run with a young quarterback) "They have a good running back. They have a good offensive line. They work well together as a unit. It's going to be a challenge for us because they're athletic guys and they make it happen. They've got good running backs, good speed. We have to definitely step up and stop their running game and put the ball in the quarterback's hands and make him beat us."
(on how well LB Brian Cushing is moving around on the field) "He's moving around well. It's all kind of tough when you've got that brace on to move around but he's doing a good job."
(on how different this defense will look with LB Brian Cushing and CB Dunta Robinson now involved) "Not sure how's it going to look. I expect great things from adding two more great quality players to our defense, so I just expect the level of our play to step up and be better."
(on if the defense can do things to make things tougher on the Jets' QB Mark Sanchez) "I don't know. We're going to try. He's a great player. We'll try to. We've got to do what we do as a defense. We're not going to go out there and do something different just because we're playing a rookie quarterback. We're going to do our assignments, play our techniques and play our game. We're not going to let them dictate what we do."