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Practice quotes: Wednesday


Head coach Gary Kubiak told the media that Xavier Adibi will start at linebacker again this week. Texans players also spoke to media on Wednesday about their upcoming game agains the Cleveland Browns.

Head coach Gary Kubiak

(on any injury updates) "(DT) Amobi (Okoye) did a little work today. So, he was part of practice. He was limited in practice is what I should be saying. (G) Chester (Pitts) did not practice today. Who else? (FB) Vonta Leach? He was fine. He was OK. He practiced. (FB) Cecil (Sapp) practiced. All of those other guys are back. I think Chester and Amobi were the biggest two."

(on what is G Chester Pitts' injury) "(G Chester Pitts) He's got a calf issue, but I think the chances are good. So, we'll see how he progresses tomorrow and Friday, but he did play with it at the end of the game. We'll just be smart with him and try to get him to game day."

(on if he will let G Chester Pitts make the decision whether or not he can play) "He's (G Chester Pitts) proven to me before that he's had issues and dealt with them during the week and wasn't able to go sometime, but he's there on game day and does his job. He's having a hell of a year. He's turned into a heck of a player."

(on what makes RB Steve Slaton a special player) "I just think what he's (RB Steve Slaton) right now is pretty special. You get lulled to sleep sometime with these young guys and this kid what he's done over the course of the last nine weeks, and I'll be honest with you, you look up and he's third in the AFC rushing and he's in the top ten in the NFL. That's hard to do. He's just a hard worker and just a very classy kid. (He's) got a very bright future."

(on how important RB Steve Slaton's development has been for the team) "It's been huge. I don't know what we would have done from Week 2 on had he (RB Steve Slaton) not stepped to the plate and held up the way he's held up. We could have really had some serious, serious issues with (RB) Ahman (Green) missing some time. We would have kind of been back in the same boat we were last year. So, his progress is very encouraging for the football team."

{QUOTE}(on if LB Xavier Adibi will start) "Yes, yes he (LB Xavier Adibi) will. Adibi will start."

(on what he saw of LB Xavier Adibi in nickel that impressed him the most) "He (LB Xavier Adibi) made some mistakes, but he has tremendous speed. He had 14 tackles. He was flying around the field making plays. He has a lot of things he has to clean up, but then he also made two tackles on special teams. So, that's the kid we drafted out of college. He's just a playmaker. He runs all over the field, and he did that the other day. So, hopefully he continues to progress, but yes, he wills start."

(on what are the possibilities that CB Antwaun Molden will play as impressively as LB Xavier Adibi when he gets the chance) "Well, you sure hope so. He's (CB Antwaun Molden) going to get out there this week. He will play definitely this week, whether it's in nickel or in base, he'll have his reps. So, we'll see how far he comes, but he's definitely done his job on special teams."

(on if it is tough to get a reading on the Browns because at times they play really well and then play really bad) "Well, they've probably been through a lot of things like we have. They beat the world champs and then have struggled at times closing out a few football games. But when I look at them, I see a big, physical team. Defensively, they gave us fits last year. The thing that they do extremely well is get turnovers and we all know that that's a problem for us. So, that's a big challenge for us as a football team this week. That's how they've been winning their games when they win turnover battles."

(on what he thinks is the key to winning on the road) "I think it's a couple of things. It's confidence. You've got to play with the same confidence on the road as you do at home. Being a good running football team and a good defensive football team is usually a deadly combination on the road when you look at like the Giants last year, those types of teams are consistent on the road. We've been a team that has probably thrown it too much out there. When we have been able to run it like Jacksonville and last week, then we've been a pretty good team on that day. It still hasn't gotten us a victory, but we've been able to play those games the way we wanted to play them. So, no excuses there—it's just things we've got to get better at."

(on if running the ball like they did last week is what they have wanted to do the whole time) "Yeah, I'd love for our football team to feel like we can go out there and have that type of ability. You throw the ball 20 times in this league, and we were playing a good team and we were right there at the end of the game and had a chance to win, that formula wins in this league. Yeah, I'd love to see us get to that point, but at the same time we're going to do what we have to do to win, too."

(on how important a good kicker is to a team) "That's huge and I think, and I'm just watching the game (Cleveland at Buffalo last Monday), I don't know but it looked like the wind—wind is always a factor in Buffalo and it looked like it was big at Cleveland's back in that quarter. So, with that being said, those are chances you give your kicker. But our guy (K Kris Brown) is very much the same type of guy, he's very capable of doing that."

(on what LB Xavier Adibi did last game) "Well, it's a kid that we thought we drafted and we went through some tough times with him (LB Xavier Adibi), physically. And we were worried about him. Honestly, for about a three or four week period, but he's worked through it. He had fun playing the game. He had fun out here today practicing. It's funny, sometimes these young kids, just hang with them, hang with them, the light kind of goes off, and it sure looks like it went off last week. So, we'll keep going."

(on how scary it was when LB Xavier Adibi couldn't keep his weight on and he was in the hospital) "Well, it was concerned because we felt like we were checking everything out. He (LB Xavier Adibi) was experiencing head aches, which were a concern to us. All you can do is go through all the tests. We were doing everything we possibly could to basically let the kid have the piece of mind that everything seemed to be OK, let's get out there and play. You know, and I just think that's worked out and I just know his frame of mind is 10 times different than it has been. Just watching him, he smiles out here. He wasn't smiling the first six weeks. So whatever it was, we worked through it and hopefully we're through that part."

(on if it could have been a lost season for LB Xavier Adibi) "Yeah, I mean, we definitely wanted him (LB Xavier Adibi) to be part of our mix as we got going during the season and become a player for us. All of a sudden you were nine weeks into in and it hadn't happened yet. So, there's a lot of football left to play so there's a lot of ground for him to make up."

(on how an undersized center handles a 360-pound nose tackle) "Well, we as coaches better figure out a way to get him (C Chris Myers) some help - I know that. Because you can't sit there and put him on an island all day. So, scheme-wise you have to do some things to help him out. It's going to be hard enough to block him (NT Shaun Rogers) with two guys, even if you're coming down on him with the guard. So, just tremendous player. Chris played him last year when he was with Denver in Detroit. I'll let him tell you about that. He's a load, so we're just going to have to game plan and give Chris the best opportunity to be successful."

(on when QB Matt Schaub will start throwing the football around) "He (QB Matt Schaub) did throw today. None of ya'll were out here. He came out and he threw. He took very - I don't want to say too much - he took some limited drops, OK. But he took a step forward."

(on how QB Matt Schaub looked) "I was watching him (QB Matt Schaub) from afar. He was two fields over, but from here he looked like he took a step forward."

(on if QB Matt Schaub had to throw flat-footed) "He (QB Matt Schaub) was throwing. He was gingerly dropping and just trying to get back in the flow of planting his feet and making a throw. It looked like he did it for about 15 or 20 minutes."

(on how nice it is to see his players do things in the community) "Well, our guys have always been great since I've been here. Our players have always done a heck of job getting out there in the community. (VP of communications) Tony (Wiley) and our marketing department have done a great job with them and teaching them the importance. But they have to have the want-to, and our guys have always been unselfish from that standpoint."

(on WR André Davis' status) "He's (WR André Davis) ready to go. It's just a question of how comfortable Joe and I feel with him watching him catch a ball this week and Joe watching him it carry it. But he's physically ready to go, he can play. But we have to watch him work with this splint and see how confident we are with it."

(on the significance of having WR André Davis back) "Well he (WR André Davis) brings big speed to our team. We know what he did in the last half of last year. You know, we've got Andre here for a while. He just signed a contract. So, I'm excited to see him get back on the field and help us out."

(on if WR Andre Davis can return kicks) "If we feel like he (WR Andre Davis) can catch then I think he can return kicks."

LB Xavier Adibi

(on how he graded himself in his first start last week) "It was average. I left some plays out there. I had one mental error and I missed some tackles. So, I learned from my mistakes. I watched the film, sat down with my position coach (linebackers coach Johnny Holland), and he told me what I was doing wrong, just let me know what I need to work on."

(on getting better by getting reps and watching film) "Exactly. That's how you get better, through experience and just through reps."

(on if there were times when he thought he wouldn't be able to play this year) "Oh, man. It looked real bad for me at the beginning of the year. But I just stuck with it and talked to a lot of my family, a lot of players. They told me to just keep with it and keep studying the game."

(on if they ever figured out what was wrong with him) "No. I mean, I was just sick, throwing up, migraines. Never really figured out. But, I mean, that's behind me now. I haven't had anything recently, so we're going to keep working and playing."

(on how much weight he lost) "About 10. Ten pounds."

(on when the illness first hit him) "I can't remember. Honestly, I can't remember, but it hit me like a ton of bricks. But I'm better now, so I'm just going to move on."

(on if it took a physical toll on him) "It took some of my strength away. I wasn't as strong after because I lost some weight. But that's what the strength and conditioning program is for. We got in the weight room and just really worked hard. (I) got some of that strength back, but (I'm) still working on getting my weight back."

T Duane Brown

(on going against DE Kamerion Wimbley) "Wimbley, he's a pretty good player. He's a young guy, third year. A pretty rangy, long guy, very fast up the field. He gets after the passer. Pretty much what I've been facing every week."

(on playing against DE Kamerion Wimbley in college) "Yeah, he was at Florida State. We played against them my sophomore year. I was still rough at the position. I did a pretty good job against him. He's a different player now, and so am I, so it'll be a different matchup."

(on if they will try to run on the Browns like the numbers show they can be run against) "Definitely. We try to do that every week. We had success last week. It's a different team, different size guys. They run the 3-4, so you have to block a little bit different, but (we) definitely want to try to run the ball on them."

(on if it is easier to run the ball against the 4-3 or 3-4) "3-4 (defenses) posses different matchup problems for you, especially with these guys because they have (DT) Shaun Rodgers in the middle who is a massive man. He makes it hard for you in the run game. There are different ways you can block them, and if you can find seams, it can really open up for us, but I think the 4-3 defense is probably an easier defense to run against."

(on how much fun it is to block for RB Steve Slaton because he's so fast) "It's very fun because you block for a few seconds, and before you know it, he's 60 or 70 yards down the field. So having a guy with that big-play ability really makes it easier on an offensive lineman."

TE Owen Daniels

(on another chance to win a road game) "It's been over a year, so I think we're due. We're due for one. We had a close game against them last year. I think the two teams are kind of in similar positions, expected a lot more out of both teams and not in the place we want to be right now. But we've got to go up there and get a win, hopefully."

(on if there is one thing that he can put his finger on as to why the team can't win on the road) "I think the answer right now is the same, home and away. We're turning the ball over too much and we're probably not putting our defense in a good position. Then, they're missing tackles here and there. All that stuff goes together. So we need to go up there and play sound and play poised and protect the football, and I think we'll be alright."

(on only having one turnover last week) "Yeah, last play of the game. We played fairly well. We just need more snaps out there. Hopefully, we can have some longer drives this week and keep their offense off the field and posses the ball more than we had this past week."

(on if it's RB Steve Slaton's fault for breaking a long run and causing them to not possess the ball longer) "Yeah. It's Steve's fault and (WR) Kevin's (Walter) fault for that long completion. You hate big plays like that (laughs). No, no. If we can score quickly, we'll take it. We just need more possessions, I guess."

(on the problems facing Cleveland's defense) "They've got one of the best, if not the best guy in the middle there, (DT) Shaun Rodgers. He's a load. I'm sure he's close to 400 pounds. He just clogs things up inside. They've got two good outside linebackers and two good inside linebackers. It seems like every week we talk about the fronts of teams that those are the strong points of the team, and this is no exception. So we've got our work cut out for us, for sure."

RB Ahman Green

(on if there is an extra emphasis on the running game with it being cold in Cleveland) "I guess. Thirty degrees or 30-below, it doesn't matter to me. I haven't played in Cleveland cold, but I've played in cold weather, so it won't bother me. I'm trying to let the guys know here it's more of a mental thing than anything because once you're on the field playing around, you get warmed up. You aren't going to feel how cold or warm it is. So, weather factor, unless it's just an ungodly-record-below, 54-below zero or something, but I don't we're going to have that. So, other than that, just go out there and play football and have fun."

(on if the weather makes it harder to pass the ball, especially in Cleveland, where it can be windy) "Yeah, if it's windy and it's just a bone-chilling wind chill, then the balls get a little bit heavier out there, which is a factor because it does happen where the ball gets a little heavy and slick, trying to be a quarterback to throw the ball and trying to be a receiver to catch the ball. So for both sides, both teams might have to revert to the run game if it gets to where the weather predicts what we have to do."

(on what makes Browns DT Shaun Rogers so good) "Obviously, one, his size, and not only his size, a guy that big can still move. As a runner, we basically want to run away from that (laughs), to run away from him. He knows that. So in terms of the passing game, our offensive line has to be ready because like I said, he's a big guy but he's still quick. He can get around blocks very well. So everybody's got to be on their P's and Q's with him and (Browns DT) Corey Williams and other defensive lineman and linebackers that they have. They have a pretty good corps."

(on DT Shaun Rogers not being one of those guys he enjoys picking up to block) "It's not high on my list (laughs), but I know I have to do it."

WR Andre Johnson

(on why he is wearing his "Vote for Owen" T-shirt) "Because I think (TE) Owen (Daniels) deserves it (getting to the Pro Bowl). I think he's having a great season and I think it's something he's worked hard for."

(on how many shirts they printed) "I don't know. I heard they were giving them out at the (Go Texan) store. He had a signing at the store. I had been begging for one and I finally got it. Yeah, I got a ("Vote for Owen") button first. I have a button that I wear on my book bag."

(on it being tough for TE Owen Daniels going up against all the tight ends in the AFC for the Pro Bowl) "It is, but anything can happen."

(on if he has been doing any politicking for TE Owen Daniels) "No, I haven't. I just got the button Saturday before we left, and I just got the shirt today, so I don't worry about it. I got it. I'm going to make it happen."

(on making a win happen on Sunday) "We're going to do our best. It's going to be a tough test for us. We're on the road. It will be a hostile environment, but if we go out and play like we're capable of playing, we should be able to get it done."

(on if he is feeling good about the way the offense is moving the ball) "Yeah, you can feel good about it, but the main thing is just winning. That's the frustrating thing about it. You look at it and you're like, 'Man, we're able to go out and we're able to move the ball up and down the field and we're not winning the games.' That's the frustrating thing. We just have to eliminate those turnovers that are causing us to lose."

(on what he thinks needs to be done to get him more involved) "The only thing the coaches try to do is just move you around. Guys, when they break the huddle, they're going to find you no matter where they put you at. But sometimes, they just try to move you around to hopefully get a mismatch or something like that. But you just have to take the opportunities when the opportunities are there and you just try to make the best of them. That's pretty much all you can do."

(on what he thinks of the Browns' secondary) "I don't think they're a bad secondary. I think they have some athletes back there. They force a lot of turnovers. They're good at stripping the ball when you're running with the ball. We just have to protect the ball and go out and, when we get those opportunities, just try to make the best of them."

C Chris Myers

(on head coach Gary Kubiak saying he's going to get him some help this week against DT Shaun Rogers) "You look week in and week out, he's been all over every single center. So whatever it takes to get the job done, we're going to do it."

(on getting him some help from the guards) "Hey, however the game plan works, I'm going to go out there and do it. I mean, he's (Rogers) been wrecking shop the whole season, so we have our work cut out for us."

(on what kinds of challenges DT Shaun Rogers poses) "Specifically, in that spot? In the 3-4 defense? Last year, he was in Detroit in a 4-3, so he's got a completely different game scheme now with a 3-4 defense. So he's getting used to it and he's doing wonders. He's making plays week in and week out. It just proves to you his talent and his versatility being able to go from defense to defense and still produce."

(on what he thinks head coach Gary Kubiak could do to help him out with DT Shaun Rogers) "It's just whatever it takes. Week in and week out, we'll have guys helping on the left side with (T) Duane (Brown) and certain rushers out there. This weekend, it just happens to be the middle guy. He's the star of their defense. He's their glue. He holds everything together. You just watch every single week, different centers and different guards having trouble on him. Whatever it takes to get the job done, we're going to do it."

(on what it's like to go against a guy who's just physically much bigger than you) "You have to take your lunch pail to work. It's a work day, and you have to have your hard hat and be ready to do whatever it takes."

DT Amobi Okoye

(on if it is the left side that is hurting him) "Yeah, the left side (ankle) is what is hurting me."

(on his situation now and if he is back) "We don't know that. We don't know that, but we're hoping so, and I'm hoping so for Sunday. I want to get back out there and compete and show my teammates what I've got."

(on what happened to him and when) "It happened in the Minnesota game in the fourth quarter when they had one of the big runs. It was just a block, a cutoff block, and I got cut. So (a) foot-got-stuck-in-the-ground kind of deal while I was planting to turn around, so that's how it happened. We've been rehabbing it, getting it better. It's looking good."

(on if he thinks he can go this week) "There's no way of knowing. It's just the pushing off. So I'm surprised with the way it's healed so far, because I had the same deal in college. I think it was less severe than what I had here, but (my) push off is getting better, as is the side-to-side movement. The straight ahead stuff is looking good."

(on if it is frustrating to not be able to build on his rookie season) "It's been frustrating in the fact that statistically, that's the frustrating part about it, I don't have any sacks. Play-wise, I've been happy with the way I've been able to get better from last year, last season. I've seen a lot of improvement in myself."

(on if he is seeing things better) "Everything is a lot more comfortable. Things make sense to me, you-know-what-to-expect kind of deal. It's just a whole lot more comfortable for me."

(on the DT position not being designed to get sacks) "Very true. That is very true, but my thing is it's a drive when you get a sack. So, me personally, sacks are very worthy."

(on what it feels like to see the defense struggling and he can't help because of the injury) "It feels bad, because you're seeing people you fight with struggling a little bit and you know they can play a whole lot better and you know things could be a whole lot better. But the only thing you can do is to give them as much advice as you can give them sitting on the sideline and watching. So that's what I was doing all throughout the game."

(on if he feels like he has been hit by the sophomore jinx) "No. No, because I've got six more games where I can go out there and turn this thing around statistically."

(on having a lot of injuries and lineup changes) "We never really went through this much of a shuffle with the defensive line last year, if any at all. But there's been a lot of injuries and just things here and there that we have to do. Like I said, it's been an eye-opener for me as far as just the whole business aspect of the game."

RB Steve Slaton

(on if he was wearing something on his chest today) "I had ice. I fell on the ball, so I had a little soreness. But this weekend, I'll be great."

(on what it means that his teammates are marveling over his play) "The most respect you want is your teammates' respect. If they know that you're working hard, they'll work harder for you, too."

(on if he is more sore than normal at this point in the week) "It's typical. You go out there running for 60 minutes, you kind of get these nicks and knacks. But I mean, as long as you heal up before Sunday."

(on if he feels like he's getting the brunt of the blows) "No, I don't feel like I'm getting the brunt. Everybody is doing their part, and I'm trying to do my part to help the team win."

(on how tough this year has been for him) "It's a whole new level. The NFL is any given Sunday. There were a couple of games that the score could have been easily for us. But you just have to get used to it and we know we have to play hard until the end of the season."

WR Kevin Walter

(on what he has to say about last week) "You know, last week, it's disappointing. But you can't drag your head. You have to move on. We have six games left and we have to go out there and win them all. We anticipate doing that. It's a new week, and we can't drag on with what happened last week. We had a great practice today and we have to keep going forward."

(on if it is an advantage that the Browns played on Monday) "No, not really. They're going to be ready. Maybe an extra day of rest for them would help them. But we know they're going to playing hard. They're going to be playing at home this weekend. They're going to give us their best shot. They feel like they can get on a win streak, same as us. They're 4-6, and we know what they're going to play. We have to go play our game and play sound."

(on it being more than a year since a road victory) "Yeah, it has. I think it was Oakland last year? It's been a while. Yeah, we definitely need to do that. Good teams win on the road, and we feel we are a good team. We have to prove to everyone that we can win on the road. We're going to do that. We have to take it one day at a time and continue to work hard."

(on if he watched the Monday Night game) "I watched parts of it, yeah. I did."

(on if there is an advantage to being able to watch their game on Monday night) "To tell you the truth, not really. No, because you're going to see the same game on film today or tomorrow. What Buffalo did, obviously, they turned the ball over four times, and that's what really hurt them. If they didn't turn the ball over, it could have been close. They could have won that game in Buffalo. And Cleveland didn't turn the ball over. That's how it is. If you don't turn the ball over, you have a great chance to win. That's what we need to do this week is not turn the ball over and play our game."

(on if the Browns not finishing games is something they pay attention to) "Yeah, definitely. We have to start off fast and finish strong. We know, the past few games, they haven't finished as strong as they'd like to. If we can keep playing our game and playing like we do in the first quarter and play it all four quarters, there's no reason why we shouldn't be up by quite a few points and, obviously, winning that game."

(on how WR Andre Johnson drawing coverage opens things up for him) "Yeah, well Andre, he's the best receiver in this league. He deserves the coverage. Those guys are going to try to take him away. But that opens up opportunities for myself, (TE) Owen (Daniels), all the other receivers, and we have to take advantage of that. My job is to make Owen's job and Andre's job a lot easier. I'm trying to pull that double coverage off of him so he can go out there and make plays. But we're doing a good job of moving Andre around. It's going to be tough to cloud him every time and have two guys on him because we're moving around him around pretty well. We have a good game plan this week and we anticipate going out there, not turning the ball over and executing."

(on how badly the Texans need a win) "We need a win. We need a win. That's what it's all about. It doesn't matter if you move the ball up and down the field, it's all about wins and losses. We need a win, big-time. We need a win for us, we need a win for the organization, the city, a win for (head) coach Kubes (Gary Kubiak). That's what we're doing. We're going to go out there and continue to work hard. We have guys that aren't giving up. We have guys that are going to work hard, and that's what type of character we have on this team."

T Eric Winston

(on it being over a year since this team has won a game on the road) "It's bad. There's no other way to put it. It's not a good record to have. It's not a good stat to posses. So we've got to find a way to get a road win. It's as simple as that. We've got to find a way to just get it done at the end and find that way to win."

(on what it is like to come from a winning background and then struggling) "It's tough. It's definitely a new experience. I kind of was ready for it coming in here knowing what the struggles were and trying to just do everything I can to help the offensive line turn it around. They weren't much of a line when I was coming in. We've gone that far and we've just got to keep moving. We've got to keep moving forward. It's a bump in the road. That's the way I look at it. I think it's just a bump in the road that we've got to just keep moving through and getting over."

(on stressing not turning the ball over) "We've been stressing it for a long, long time. It's something that we've got to just be self-conscious about, everybody. Everyone's got to protect it a little bit better. In Indy, I thought we did a really good job. (RB) Steve (Slaton) got stripped that one time when he was trying to stay up, but we recovered it. That was really it other than the last interception when (QB) Sage (Rosenfels) was just trying to get the ball downfield to make a play. So, in Indy, I thought we were pretty good about it. It seemed like we were covering it up through contact a lot, and I think that's all you could ask for."

(on the Browns' run defense being 27th in the league and trying to take advantage of that) "Sure. To me, it doesn't matter whether they're first or last, I want to run the ball, and I think we can run the ball on anybody. Indy had been doing pretty well until we came in there and we ran the ball well on them. So I think that will still be the key. We've got to control the ball. We've got to win the time of possession. Unless we're hitting 70-yard runs, I think that's the only reason we shouldn't be winning the time of possession. So (RB) Steve's (Slaton) going to be running good. (RB) Ahman's (Green) starting to find his groove, I think, and if (RB Ryan) Moats gets in there, I'm sure he'll break a couple. So we've got to open up those holes. We've got to spread those 3-4 defenders out and let our backs get in there."

(on what problems Browns DT Shaun Rogers causes on his side of the line) "Shaun's on both sides of the line (laughs). When he plays in the middle, he's on both sides of the line because he's that big. They just have a really big 3-4 scheme. Some teams, like Dallas, are more athletic, I think. You've got a guy like Rogers, which he's got the combination of speed and power, but they're just a bigger set of guys. So we've got to do a good job of mixing it up—outside zone, inside zone, trying to get them spaced, like I said, and just try to open up a few tiny creases to get Steve and Ahman through."

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