Texans quarterback Matt Schaub is approaching Saturday's game against Dallas with a regular season mentality.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak and Texans players spoke to the media before and after Wednesday's practice.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
(on how the coaches are preparing the starters for the Dallas game like it's a regular season game) "They know the format and how we go about it. And they're going to play upwards of a whole three quarters, and they know that. So their preparation and how we prepare this week and how we rep this week is exactly the way we'll do it for Kansas City. It's the veteran players getting into the frame of mind of the regular season is what it is."
(on how he is addressing the Dallas game) "I think on the offensive side of the ball, we ran the ball better last week, but we didn't run the ball good enough. We've got to create some cracks for number 30, and none tougher to try to do that than this group. It's a great challenge for us, but we've got to get him going. On the defensive side of the ball, we continue to concentrate on getting pressure. But one of the things this week for sure, is that this team will run the ball right down your throat. We're going to find out how stout we can be. We've been pretty good against the run for two weeks. We'll see how we hold up against it this week."
(on what the coaches can learn from playing starters for three quarters) "I think you find out a lot. You look back through the years, and I've seen some great performances in the third preseason game that didn't equate to the season and I've seen some bad ones. The team we play is pretty good. All I know is this, we're playing a heck of a football team. And you watch what they've done the first two preseason games, and they've been dominant. So it's a great challenge for our players, and we're really working hard. I'm just excited to see this atmosphere and watch us get after it."
(on the depth at the Texans' receiver spot) "It's amazing. Last year we knew it was an issue. We talked about it- how we had to get better. But the reason it got better, really, is just because of work habits and giving young players a chance. Did we know Jacoby Jones was going to make up this much ground? No. That's been a big plus. Did we know that Jerome Mathis was going to be on the field every snap this year? No. And that's been a big plus. You start to put that all together, and it's just a deeper, more well-conditioned group. Everybody's still standing so it's going to be tough on us as coaches."
(on which running backs and fullbacks will make the roster) "We're really in a big battle for a third at the running back position. And we may keep more, depending on how that goes. At fullback, I've been on teams that I've kept one and counted on a back-up tight end to be the other fullback. We really like what (Jon) Abbate has done. Jameel (Cook) is back this and he looks good. We'll play him hard these last two weeks and see how he does. And those are tough decisions, and as always it comes down to how much they do on special teams."
(on the how many tight ends he will carry) "I've carried four most of the time with most of the teams I've been with. But I've seen it done with three. If you are doing it with three, you'll probably definitely have two fullbacks here. And sometimes maybe six back. You know, it's funny, those number, you play with them every day- I sit up on my board and play with those numbers and we talk about this and if we pull one from here, we can add one to here. It's like a chess match. The things that always comes into to play, and I know that I'm killing you saying this, it's just what they do for Joe (Marciano)."
(on the advantages of having versatile tight ends) "It's good. But you know what their strength is, so you basically have to work your offense around their strengths. Youtry to get Jeb (Putzier) more involved in the passing game. Owen (Daniels) can do both. (Mark) Bruener's more the physical player. So it's a challenge for you as coaches, and the biggest challenge is Sunday getting the personnel exactly the way you want it in a game so you don't put a player in a vulnerable position."
(on the position battle on special teams) "I think we have an idea. We've talked through a lot of situations, and we've put ourselves through that every day- Rick (Smith) and I and the coaches. But I still think something's going to happen here this week and next week that you're going to see some surprise players make the football team. It happens all the time. You've got a pretty good feeling, and then all of a sudden someone steps up this week. And then next week, you play all those young kids and somebody goes out there and lights it up and they make the team. So that's what's great about it. They know they're going to get a chance if not this week, next week to stand out. That's where keeps them going right now."
(on why wide receiver Jacoby Jones has made so much progress) "It's all about confidence. You can scout talent and all those things, but you really can't scout just self confidence. The kid thinks he belongs. It's been that way since day one. The thing I've been impressed with is how well-conditioned he is. He can go all day. He's on his way to helping this football team big time."
(on the competition at long snapper) "We looked at (Joel) Dreessen and we looked at (Jeff) Zgonina. If you have a player that plays other spots and long snaps for you that gives a lot on your team, but also is not going to hurt you special teams by going with that other snapper. I guess I'm answering that question by saying that (Bryan) Pittman's done a great job, and it looks like he's going to be out snapper."
(on the status of defensive end Anthony Weaver) "Anthony Weaver's knee was bothering him a little bit yesterday, which was a surprise for us. We're hoping he was going to play for us this week, but, as of right now, we he's not. So we're working toward opening day for him"
Texans cornerback Demarcus Faggins
(on what it means to face the Cowboys in the preseason) "It really doesn't mean nothing different, but it's just the fact that there's going to be a lot more attention. You're playing against another Texas team. There's just two in Texas, so we want to be the best team out there."
(on how important the game is for the starters) "This game, we're pretty much going to (play) most of the game. And then the last preseason game, we're going to kind of lay off a little bit, getting ready for the regular season game against Kansas City."
(on what he wants to get out of the Dallas game) "I want to get a win. And I want to come out accomplishing our goals that we set for the defense."
(on if it's important for the secondary to shut down the opposing offense) "Of course. Not just this game. I want to do that every game. As I said, secondary-wise, I want to come out with turnovers and tackles and make big plays."
Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson
(on the depth of Texans receivers) "I'm excited about it. You know, it helps the team out a whole lot. It's great to have a bunch of guys that can make plays and have a lot of speed on the field, so I think it's going to help us out a lot."
(on Texans wide receiver Jacoby Jones) "I just like that he has a lot of confidence in his game. When I talk to him, I just tell him just go out and play. You know, don't put so much pressure on yourself. Just go out and relax and just play and have fun."
(on how the Cowboy defense will test the Texans' offense) "I've seen the preseason games when they played against Denver. And, I mean, they just threw the whole package at them. So I think it'll be a good test for us, and it'll give us a chance to see where we're at right now."
(on the Denver Broncos complaining that the Cowboys played too hard in their preseason game) "Well, a lot of people say, 'Hey, it's the preseason.' But, you know you have to go out and play a football game. That was Dallas' game plan for Denver and you never know what they're going to throw at us, so we just have to be prepared for anything."
(on if defenses will begin to react to Jones) "When you make plays every week, people will have to worry about you. He's made some big plays for us in the past two preseason games. If that's something that continues to happen, they have no choice but to worry about him."
(on if the third preseason game is the most important for the starters) "That's the preseason game I think most starters look forward to. Because you pretty much play most of the game. You get the feeling of a real game because you're out there for about three quarters or something like that. You just want to see where you're at and how you would do if you had to go out and play a regular season game at this time. . It's something I'm looking forward and I think will be a big test for us.
(on if it's nice to hear people saying good things about the offense) "That's something new around here. I'm excited about it. We have a lot of guys that can go out and make plays. It's going to benefit us, so the thing we just have to do is become consistent and I think if we become consistent, we'll be fine."
Texans wide receiver Jacoby Jones
(on if the significance of playing Dallas in the preseason) "I take every game as a regular game, but I hear it's a big rival game. So it's going to come out a big game."
(on how he feels after a strong performance in his last game) "It lets me know that I can play with the big boys. But it was fun, more than anything. We're having fun."
(on if he gets anxious to be out on the field) "Oh, yeah. I'll be antsy, that's why I took that chance fielding that punt. That was the only one I fielded the whole day, so I took my chance."
(on what he has in store for an encore against Dallas) "Hopefully we can get another big block again, from (wide receiver) Harry (Williams) and (cornerback) Fred (Bennett). Maybe I can take another one."
(on if he's heard from Deion Sanders after his touchdown dance) "Nah, I didn't hear nothing from Deion. I don't think I picked my legs up high enough."
(on having a receiver like Andre Johnson to help him along) "It's a plus, man. Andre with the skills he has, the guidance and teaching me things, and (wide receiver) Keenan (McCardell) with wisdom to impart, and other guys that's on this team that's helping me a lot out, too, as well as (quarterback) Matt (Schaub)."
(on the whistle his mother used to bring to games at Lane College) "Oh yeah, I could hear her whistle she had. She would sit behind the bench and I knew she would be there, but I couldn't hear it last game. And she did whistle."
Texans wide receiver Kevin Walter
(on if the Dallas game offers him opportunities) "Of course. In the preseason, obviously, we're going to go out there and play quite a bit. It's a good test. These guys are a top defense in the league. And it's a great challenge for us. And we definitely need to bring our A-game, because we know these guys are going to be physical. We've just got to match them."
(on how he asses his camp) "I think I had a pretty good camp. You always get better. Everybody gets better in camp- you're never content with where you're at. In my career, I think it was one of my better training camps. I'm excited to keep moving forward and get better."
(on Texans wide receiver Jacoby Jones) "He's funny. He's a great guy. He been making plays when his number is called. You can expect him to keep doing that his year. You know, there's a lot of receivers we've got making plays. And Dre, obviously, Dre's going to get a lot of balls. You know we've got a lot of guys that make plays, and he's one of them."
(on the depth at the Texans' wide receiver spot) "That's right. That's what I'm saying. There's a lot of guys that can make plays, and it's exciting. We have a lot guys who can run- run downfield. It's exciting, and I'm glad to be a part of it for sure."
(on how the offense proved itself against the Cardinals) "In the OTA's and everything, we wanted explosive plays, and that's what we tried to do. Last week, we had a few explosive plays and whether it's running the ball or throwing the ball deep. We need to stretch defenses out, and last year we didn't do that. We're trying to do a better job of that this year.