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Houston Texans

Practice quotes: Tuesday


Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said that several players had to move into hotels because of the damage to their homes caused by Hurricane Ike.

The Texans held practice on Tuesday, their usual day off, after not taking the field since Thursday night before Hurricane Ike hit the Texas coast. The team spoke to the media about their individual hurricane experiences and how the team is trying to move on to prepare to play the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

Texans owner Bob McNair(on Hurricane Ike) "It's just such a tremendous tragedy. The breadth of the storm, it was as big as the state of Texas and we've never experienced anything like that. The people down in Galveston and Bolivar Peninsula really took the brunt of it, more than we. And our hearts go out to them because it's going to be very difficult and take them a lot longer to repair. All we have to do mainly is clean up the debris and remove trees and things of that nature. But many of them lost their houses and it's a real tragedy for them."

(on how hard it is to get back to the business of football) "Well, it is difficult. This is a distraction and certainly one that should be a distraction because there is human loss involved. And we are very concerned about that. But everybody has come together and is working well. We appreciate the security, the police, the fire, the emergency personnel. All of those people have just been very responsive for everyone. But everybody is in the same boat. We are all experiencing the same situation with the loss of power; very few of us have any. And it's one of the things that; it's the old saying, 'You don't appreciate the water until the well goes dry,' and we don't appreciate the power until you flip the switch and nothing happens. And everybody takes it for granted, but there are a lot of people in this country that lived without power and without running water for a long time, and they did very well. So, I'm sure we'll work our way through it."

(on if Reliant will be ready to play in by Oct. 5) "We've got engineers looking at it now and so far no one has noted any structural damage. But that's really what they're looking for. In terms of the roof panels, we don't know how long it will take to replace them. We'll just have to get further update on that."

(on if it is an option to play in the stadium with an open roof) "Well, I understand there's an issue with drainage; if it's open and you have a lot of rain, it's an issue. But if you have good weather like this, there's good possibility that you could just play with it open. Certainly that's what was anticipated. But I think the drainage is something that is a concern if you had a tropical deluge. Just two or three inches of rain in a very short period of time, that could create a problem."

(on if he feels that getting back on the field is therapeutic for the team as well as the fans) "It certainly is for me. I'm tired of sitting around the house and feeling sorry for myself, as we all do. And the fact that we don't have power and we have trees crashed across the front of the house and all that sort of thing. The good news is there was very little loss of human life and the trees and everything else can be replaced. We just have to get on with it and it's nice to get out here and start thinking about football and sort of get away from some of the other everyday problems. That's one of the benefits of sports."

(on Reliant Stadium) "As with anything, we build things to withstand hurricanes. Well, what level? One, two, three, four or five? Most things aren't built to withstand a level five. This one supposedly, the panels and all that were supposed to withstand winds up to 100, 110 miles per hour. And so that was borderline."

(on if he will ask them to rethink the design of the panels) "No, I think we'll get the report from them and the likelihood that you have this sort of thing happen again, really, is somewhat remote. Even though we are in hurricane country, the fact that this one came in almost dead center on us, they just don't repeat that sort of occurrence. I think that the stadium is strong, structurally. I hope they don't find anything wrong with it. I'm not aware of it and we'll look at these panels of kevlar, that's a very strong material. I think it's probably going to work out alright."

(on if the Texans would be able to play here if the panels had held up) "Well, we have power now and the air conditioning is working and other things are working. So, we're not aware of anything else that would have created a serious problem. Again, the engineers are looking for any structural damage and they haven't found it at this point but we'll have to wait and see."

(on if playing home games at Rice's stadium would be a possibility) "Well that's something to consider and we have discussed that. We've discussed that as a possibility if we could not play here. We would have to talk to them at Rice. But certainly that's a large enough stadium that that is a possibility. We, right now, are optimistic; at least I am, speaking for myself, that we're not going to find any structural damage. The damage is just going to be to the roof and that's something that we're going to be able to deal with and we'll just have to figure out what the solution will be."

(on how long it will take to fix the roof) "I have no idea."

General manager Rick Smith(on if he's frustrated that there's nothing he can do in a situation like this) "I'm not frustrated in the sense that there's nothing you can do, but obviously you can't do as much as you want to do. You'd like to solve everybody's problems, but you can't do that."

(on the team now having to play 15 consecutive games) "Obviously, that's not an ideal scenario, but that's something that we've got to deal with. Again, we're going to make the best of the situation. It's a tough situation, but I think we've got a mature group of guys and they understand that they've got to go do something that's not been done."

(on preserving the team's home game against Baltimore rather than changing location) "I just thought it made sense to postpone the game this weekend. I just didn't see any way that we were going to get our players in a position to go play a football game this weekend."

(on if playing 15 weeks straight is less of a burden than potentially making a last-minute venue change) "I would just say that we had players without power, just like the rest of the citizens of this city and around this region, and to ask them to pick up and leave to go try and play a football game in a couple of days just wasn't realistic in our opinion."

(on the condition of his home and if he relocated for the storm) "No, I didn't have to relocate. We, of course, lost power like everybody else, but we didn't have any structural damage to the home."

(on how you get the players to concentrate on football during a time of crisis like this) "It is part of the challenge. The thing that you do, and what we've tried to do is to assure them that any and everything that we can do to help them work through this, we'll do. After that, we've got a hand that we're going to be dealt and that's what we've got to work through."

(on if the Texans have contacted the New Orleans Saints to find out how they dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina) "I've got (Saints general manager) Mickey Loomis on my speed dial. I believe that wise men seek wise counsel, and obviously they have experienced it, so I've actually been talking to Mickey over the last couple of weeks about lessons that they learned, things that they would do differently and how we can try to approach our situation to try and work through it."

(on if he was worried as the hurricane was approaching) "I think everybody in the city was worried. I think that was a tremendous storm. It was obviously the first hurricane that I've ever witnessed or lived through, so like everybody else we were really concerned about our families first and making sure that at least everybody came out safely, and at that point to assess the damage and try to make sure that we can do everything that we can do to support everybody and try to work through this."

(on how he comes up with a plan to deal with the aftermath of the hurricane) "Well, it's no different, really, than the rest of the citizens in the city. Everybody's got jobs and everybody's got issues that they're dealing with in trying to get power back up, trying to get water, trying to get the bare necessities of life. So you're right, it's a difficult, difficult thing to try to do, but what we've tried to do as an organization is at least figure out where the issues are, what the problems are. If we can help in any of those circumstances, we will try to help, but at the end of the day the players have to understand that they have to try to focus on the football game and go play on Sunday."

(on being untrained to deal with a situation such as the one facing the team now) "It's like everything else. We have a hurricane preparedness plan; we have an emergency plan and so you work those plans and you try to think through things. Inevitably, we can't think through everything. Experience probably is the best teacher in life, so we certainly are learning that part of it on the job, and that's another welcome-to-Houston thing that I'm learning and figuring out, but by and large I think we did a decent job as an organization. Our players are safe, we're practicing today and we're moving on."

(on his experience riding out the hurricane) "We stayed at home. Our family stayed here. We had all the supplies and I had a generator that was ready, so in thinking that we were probably going to lose power at some point during the night, I got one of those big sub-zero refrigerators that I had to screw out of the wall and pull it out and switch the power to the wall, so when we lost power I just stuck that in the generator and had some lights and that kind of stuff and a DVD for my son because he was going berserk. Other than that, we got our power restored, so I was able to donate my generator to some friends who unfortunately don't have power yet. It was an experience. It was a scary, scary experience."

(on what things were like during the hurricane) "It was loud. It was very loud and I had the noise cancelling headphones on my son so that he could stay asleep and we were all huddled up in a room. So yeah, like everybody else, it was a very frightening type of evening."

Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on Hurricane Ike) "It's a tough situation for everybody in the state of Texas. There's tough people in the state of Texas, so I know we are going to make this thing work. We are going to do the same thing right here. We've got a tough situation to work through with our families and stuff, but the guys were great today and we'll figure out a way to get thins done."

{QUOTE}(on if there are any players that had to move from their homes) "Yeah, we had quite a few. I can't put a number on it. We've had quite a few guys that were out of town and have come back. Some of them have had to move into hotels because various guys have had that much damage. But like I said, everybody in the state has the same problems and we're just going to all have to rally together and figure out a way to make it work, and we'll do that."

(on how tough it is to get the team ready to play when they are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Ike) "It's a challenge we have. That's part of it. To be honest with you, we're going to be fine. We are going to get ready to go. I'm worried about everyone else in this state and the problems they have and what's taken place. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We'll figure this out as a football team and we'll get ourselves ready to go."

(on what they plan on doing this week) "Our job is to get ready to play this weekend. That's our job, but our families come first and we have to evaluate the situation with each player's family, each coach's family, and do everything we can to put them in the best possible environment so they are comfortable and they can come up here and do their work. It's a juggling act right now, but a lot of people are working extremely hard to make it work."

(on how his house is) "I'm ok; very fortunate. I have a mess like everybody else, but I'm very fortunate."

TE Owen Daniels
(on how he would say he feels about hurricanes) "I'd say I don't really like those. They last a little bit too long."

(on the damage to his house) "I got some pretty good damage on my house. I got some patches of shingles stripped off my roof to the wood showing, and in one of my guest rooms I have no ceiling. I have a big hole in another ceiling, carpet's ruined, so I've got a lot of work to do."

(on his house being a mess) "It is a mess, but you know what, I never lost power."

(on not losing power) "Yeah, I was the house of refuge for Saturday for a lot of the guys. It was cool in my house."

(on if he charged rent) "No. There was nowhere really to sleep besides the couches downstairs."

(on what he's doing now) "I got my roof patched up yesterday and I'm waiting for the insurance people to come by and assess the damage. Eventually we'll have someone coming to get it fixed up."

(on the difficulty of refocusing on the game) "It was weird being away from football for three or four days and really having your focus be completely off of it. I couldn't help but not think about football because I had to think about fixing my house and making sure my neighbors were alright. I can't do anything about what happened, so all I can do now is focus and get ready for this week."

WR Andre Johnson
(on if the hurricane caused damage to his house) "I was very fortunate not to have any house damage. I did have a little leak, but that was about it. But I know some of my teammates had real damage to their houses. We've been calling around, checking on each other and making sure that everyone was OK. Other than that, you just try to help each other and if other people around the neighborhood need help, you help them out as much as you can."

(on how hard it is to return to practice after the hurricane) "It's really difficult. You may not have any damage, but it's still hard to come out here because you think about the people who do have damage and the people that lost their houses and are in hotels. You know you easily could have been in that situation. At this time, right now, it's a devastating time. All we can do is rally together, we here and people in the city, and just go out and help each other as much as we can."

(on if he is thankful the team didn't have to play the Ravens in another city last weekend) "It would have been different if we had played somewhere else. It's a home game for us and I think by them rescheduling it, it's still a home game for us. I think it will be great that we still will be able to play here in our stadium and have the fans here. I think the positive thing is for us to bring something positive to the city, rallying together as a team and just going out and winning games. It will give the city of Houston something to be happy about."

(on what he is telling the players that suffered house damage) "There's not really anything you can tell them. You just try to talk to them about what their going through. I mean, most of the guys are pretty open about the situation that happened to their houses. You just tell them, 'If there is any way I can help, I have no problem with that.' A lot of the guys on the team still don't have power. I have no problem with the guys coming over to my house."

(on if he has power) "Yeah, I just got my power yesterday. I have no problem with some of the guys just coming over and hanging out. You just try to help out as much as you can."

(on how Hurricane Ike rated to others he has been through) "It was bad. It was worse than what I actually thought it would be. After the hurricane was over, I just got in my truck and rode around to look at some of the things and the most shocking thing was when I saw pieces of the stadium missing from the roof."

DT Travis Johnson
(on how his children were during the storm) "My son was asleep. My daughter was asleep. She woke up a little scared in the middle of the night, but right now she thinks we're camping out. So, she doesn't understand, but she understands. We'll get over it."

(on if his house is salvageable) "Well, the insurance is going to say whether it is or not, but right not it's not looking like that. Like I said, I'm blessed to have somewhere else to go and to have food to put in my stomach and to feed my kids. So, like I said, I'm still blessed and I'll be alright."

(on the damage to his house) "A whole lot of damage, unexplainable damage."

(on where he stayed) "Ended up going to another house in Quail Valley."

(on if it was a friends house) "Yeah. We'll be alright though."

(on what part of town he is in) "Missouri City, Estates of Silver Ridge. There's a lot of stuff that I've got to figure out, but I'll be alright."

(on how sad it was to see his house in that sort of shape) "Oh, it was very sad because most of us have worked our entire life just like any other person, work our whole life to have the American dream: own a house, a car, two dogs, and a cat. To see it destroyed, it's kind of disheartening, but at the same time, you just have to pick yourself up, and the show must go on and life itself."

(on if trees fell on the house) "No, I lost the shingles first and then the water just started coming in after that and destroyed the ceilings in the house."

(on what he does with his family now that the Texans' schedule has changed) "I guess you have to give the wife instructions before you leave the house. Most wives know what to do because they have that motherly instinct. I guess you've got to move on because we still have to come to work just like everybody, just like you all have to come to work, we've got to come to work. So, like I said, we're just blessed to still have our health and to have each other, so we'll be alright."

(on if he can still concentrate on football through all of this) "You have to. When you think about it, this is what bought you the house that's fallen in the first place. It's kind of like this is my job. So, to be a professional, you've got to be able to take the good with the bad. We're still blessed to be able to come out here to enjoy our teammates and friends. So, we'll be alright."

(on if anything that he treasured was destroyed) "Not yet. I'm still in the process of getting some of my memorabilia out. Really, I'm trying to get my Muhammad Ali stuff out because that's irreplaceable really. I got the photo albums out and stuff like that. I guess it's little stuff. It's more sentimental stuff than true value stuff right now."

(on how old his children are) "My daughter is three. Three, two, and nine months. So, three to nine months."

(on the children not knowing what was going on) "My daughter, she was alright and then my son, he doesn't understand."

(on if he understood what was going on) "Like I said, it's the Lord's will. They say, 'in all things give him thanks.' So, when he brought the house down, you say thank you. It's his will. So, if it's his will, it's his way."

(on where he will stay now) "I'll be in Quail Valley. I'll be alright."

(on if the insurance people have come by yet) "No, the insurance people haven't come by yet. I'm still trying to get to it. They're supposed to come by tomorrow but you never know with these insurance people."

(on what happened to his house) "Oh, the house is just damaged really badly. So, it's one of those things you've just got to try to make a way."

(on if it was a tree that damaged the roof) "No, I lost the shingles first and then the water started coming in. My ceiling collapsed. (DE) Mario's (Williams) mom and I were really the only two houses to sustain a lot of damage in that area. We'll be alright."

(on if it was scary during the storm) "It wasn't really scary. It was more that I didn't want to sleep because you have to worry about your kids and wife. My mother-in-law is in town, so you really worry about them more than you worry about yourself. They slept in the closet. I still stayed in the bed even though my wife told me, 'A window's going to break on you.' I didn't feel comfortable being too far away from where I could hear everything going on."

(on what part of the house was damaged) "The family room, the theatre room, the upstairs, the downstairs, you name it."

(on if he lost anything) "I lost stuff. I lost a lot. But, like I said, you don't lose anything when you've still got your family. So, like I said, if it's God's will, it's his way. So, I'll make a way."

QB Matt Schaub
(on the aftermath of Hurricane Ike and its effect on the team) "The state of Texas and the city of Houston and the surrounding areas took a big blow, and it's a tough situation for everybody out there. Our deepest sympathy goes out to those people who were most affected, but we've got to come back and refocus as best we can to go out there and play well and be successful this week."

(on how the players separate the effects of the hurricane on their lives from their ability to prepare for the game) "It's a very tough situation. It's tough for anybody to go through, but it's some adversity with this game and life in general, and when we get between these white lines and in those meeting rooms, we just have to focus all we can on what it takes to be successful this week and in this game. And once we leave here, we can start thinking about those other things and what it takes to get our families and everything in order."

(on playing the first three games on the road) "It's obviously a tough situation, but it's one that we have no control over and we just have to go out and play good, fundamentally-sound, smart football to be successful. Whether it's here, whether it's a neutral site or whether it's on the road, that's what we have to focus on."

(on if the team returning to the field can be therapeutic for the players and for the fans) "Yeah, a little bit. To come back out here after three or four days of worrying about those types of situations and those things with your personal life, but to be able to come back out here and play the game that we love and have some fun and just smile and laugh with the guys is very therapeutic, and to know that we have a chance to go out and give our fans the same thing, give them a smile and let them think about something else other than their situations personally."

(on the condition of his home) "Everything's good with the house, there's just no power. No structural damage as far as I know. That's something that I'll have to look into further, but I was very fortunate, very fortunate."

(on if there were any leaks) "No leaks that I know of, yet. We'll still have to look for those, but we were very fortunate given the circumstance."

(on if his home survived the storm) "It did. It did. We haven't checked all the nooks and crannies, but we were very fortunate. We are very sympathetic and it was very disheartening to know what went on around us and in the surrounding communities. We're going to be here for our fans and for the people of the city of Houston and the surrounding areas. It was very devastating, but as a city and the state of Texas, we're going to work together to get back to normalcy."

(on how scary it was riding out the storm on Friday night) "It was very scary. I probably got like three hours of sleep; my wife not so much, but it was very scary to hear the wind and everything rattling and leaves and branches hitting the house, but we were able to try and get as far away from any windows as we could and get cover so that we didn't have to hear so much."

(on the challenge of focusing on the game) "It's going to be very challenging for us, but it's something that, collectively, I think we can get done. It's very hard on an individual basis, but as a group, if we just stick together and hang tight and keep working through things, we're going to be just fine. That's what we have to focus on coming out here every day: when we're between the white lines or in the meeting rooms, we focus on what it takes to be successful at our jobs this week, which will not only be therapeutic for us, but for the city and for our fans out there. But once we get outside the facility and back home, that's when we can think about those personal things that we have to deal with."

(on if he worries whether the team will be able to play at home any time soon) "We can't think that far down the road. We've just got to take it one week at a time and one day at a time. This is the hand that we've been dealt and we just have to play with it to the best of our advantage and take advantage of these opportunities to go out and play a game that we love to play."

(on whether it's difficult to think about the game plan right now) "It's actually – it is tough. Mentally, it's very challenging, but at the same time, it's part of our job and it's what we're here to do. Given what we've had to deal with the last three or four days, it's kind of nice to come out and think about X's and O's and game plans, so that's the way we have to look at it."

(on having unexpected time off from football) "Time off, I think it affects you. We're only into Week 2 and we had three or four days off there, but we needed it, given the circumstances at home and with what happened here, but we just had to come out here. It was good to get out here and sweat and run around and get some of that time off out of us."

(on the hurricane's impact on his family) "We came out of it just fine. We were very fortunate. Our home is in order; there's just no power yet, but we were very fortunate."

(on if the hurricane and its impact puts football in perspective) "Definitely. This is a time where you realize that football is just a game and just a sport and there are much, much more important things than just the game of football out there—your family's well-being and health and your community's well-being and health. So it definitely puts things in perspective."

(on the community possibly rallying around the team for good news) "I don't think it's a burden at all. If anything, it's a positive thing because what you see is a group of people in your community and your fan base really rally around you and come together, and when you're faced with such adversity as our community and our region of the state of Texas has been affected, you get through these things as a group. It's very hard individually and to deal with it can be very cumbersome, but as a group trying to take something on, it just makes things a whole lot easier."

(on the prospect of playing 15 weeks in a row) "We've just got to take them one at a time. It's the hand we were dealt and what we have to deal with, and we're just excited to get back out here and play this game."

(on if this Sunday's game takes on added significance) "We haven't thought too much about the bigger picture. We're just trying to get our legs back underneath us and get back to the grind here of a game week and focus on what it's going to take to be successful this week between the lines."

(on whether he got out and ran over the weekend) "No. I probably could have gotten some good resistance running in the wind if I would have been out there running, but no, I didn't get much running. It was more just running around the house and running around town trying to make sure that we had the things that we needed."

(on what impact having four days off has on the team's regimen) "You get into a rhythm once you get to the season. You get into a routine and a rhythm that you're used to and it's one of those things where when you throw a wrench in the wheel, it doesn't spin as good, but we just need to get our legs back underneath us. Today really helped a lot just to come out for about an hour and a half and get some good running in."

(on having to focus in spite of the situation around them) "You really do. Mentally, it's very challenging, but the good thing is, like I said before, when we all put our heads together and we all rally around each other, we can accomplish some great things. We just have to work on standing together and doing this as a team."

DE Mario Williams
(on how he fared through the storm) "I'm missing a roof at my mom's house. A tree fell on my house. Everybody is without power. But, you know, I'm just thankful that nobody got hurt and that's pretty much it."

(on where he currently is staying) "At my house."

(on if it's dangerous to stay there with a tree through it) "It's on one end of the house, so you can't really do much."

(on how difficult it is to go back to work with this going on in his personal life) "It's really difficult. Not just for myself, but everybody, you've got to go to work and you've got to make a living but at the same time in the back of your mind you're thinking, 'I hope my place is still alright,' and you see on the news about all the looters and things like that that's going on. It's difficult, but you have to block it out a little bit."

(on if it was scary to stay at his place through the storm) "I mean, it was pretty bad. I managed to get some sleep on and off, 30 minutes here and there. But it was pretty bad."

(on if it's difficult to concentrate on football) "Like I said, when you come out here to work, you've just got to block it out. After practice, I've got a lot of things to do just like everybody else does. And we'll just try and take care of stuff as much as we can."

(on if he's thankful that the team didn't have to play somewhere else this weekend) "I'm just thankful that nobody got hurt that I know of. I hope all of those that are injured and everything, that they bounce back, but that's pretty much it."

(on when he was able to leave his house after the storm) "It was raining pretty much most of the day on Saturday, and I actually left to go check on my mom because phones were out. The cell phones had no service over there toward Sugar Land, so I actually left at like 8:00 in the morning while it was still raining and there was a little bit of wind."

(on staying at his house with damage to it) "I mean, it didn't fall all the way over the whole house. It was on one end of it, thank goodness, so everything's OK besides the fact that we still don't have power."
(on if a pine tree fell through his house) "Yeah."

(on how lucky he feels that his house wasn't more damaged) "I feel very lucky. There are a lot of bad spots out there, but my area is very bad. It could have gotten a lot worse. There's tons of trees that were down, tons of trees that could have fallen on people's houses. But thank goodness nobody was injured."

(on practicing through the distractions) "It's like living a double life. When you come out here, you've got to block it out and play football."

(on the damage to his area) "I managed, but Memorial's still bad. You can go over and look at it now."

(on if parts of the road are blocked off by trees in the Memorial area) "You have to go into oncoming traffic to drive through the neighborhood, yeah."

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