Practice Report



Happy birthday Coach Kubiak: Head coach Gary Kubiak celebrated his birthday Tuesday by taking his troops outside the comfort of the indoor field at the Methodist Training Center and getting down to business. Following morning practice, Tony Wyllie, Vice President of Communications, presented Kubiak with a birthday cake in front of the team. After the traditional birthday song, Kubiak found himself covered in cake and icing as an exclamation mark to the quick celebration.

Having a good practice was Kubiak's main concern on this day.

"A birthday isn't much when you're in training camp," Kubiak said. "We were really working well. We went after it. We needed a couple of hours to take care of some things. They're continuing to work hard, and I like the personality of this football team. They're finding out how to work when everything isn't perfect, and I like what they're doing right now."

Safeties on pace:Little has been heard from the safeties, that's a good thing. Glenn Earl and C.C. Brown have kept under the radar, but that doesn't mean that they're not taking care of business.

"(Glenn) Earl and C.C. (Brown) are just pros," Kubiak said. "They don't talk a lot, they just do their job. They really have not missed a workout between them until today; C.C. missed this morning. They're very solid players, they're very professional players and they just go about their job and do their work. They're very respected by their teammates."

Not making noise, however, does not mean that they are quiet on the field.

"Glenn will hit you. C.C. will hit you, and he can cover too," Kubiak added. "C.C. has the ability to go out there and cover when he gets hung in certain situations. The two of them are good, fine players, and hopefully we can keep them going."

Starting fresh: With the new coaching staff in place, few individuals have retained starting positions. Instead many have had to work just as hard as anyone coming in to a new team to earn a spot in the roster. Defensive tackle Seth Payne, is no exception.

"I'm always worried about it (making the team)," Payne said. "I've seen too many guys that go from the Pro Bowl to the next year not being able to find a team. You should never be complacent and not worry about your job. I'm always terrified of getting cut."

Payne recognizes the competition, but keeps focus on his own performance.

"We've got a lot of good guys on this side, and we're all fighting for playing time," Payne said. "You can't worry too much about it. It's just one of those things where you play has hard as you can, you practice as hard as you can, and you hope you're one of the final guys that's in there on Sunday."

All-around:Veteran Steve McKinney saw time as a left guard during his tenure with the Indianapolis Colts and then made a successful switch to center when he came to the Texans. Five years later he's being switched to right guard.

"It is a little tough," McKinney said. "It is similar enough. I have played left guard, center and now they have me at right guard. It's just one of those things where you just have to go out there and play where they want you to play, and do the best you can."

Changes don't phase McKinney as he is confident the transition will not affect his playing time.

"I don't have any concerns, I have been starting in this league for eight years and I don't ever intend to be a backup," McKinney said. "They're going to have to pry it out of my hands."

Non-traditional: Normally, back up quarterbacks have a second job as a holder in special teams. The Texans have designated punter Chad Stanley as a holder instead of Sage Rosenfels.

"One of the reasons I think you see punters being holders is that those two guys can be together all day long," Kubiak said. "The quarterback has to go to various other drills and do other things. They have all day just to work on their craft and do what they do; I think that's why they stay complacent. (QB) Sage (Rosenfels) will be able to hold, and give him a rest if he's doing something else. We're at this stage in camp right now where we're doing a lot of stuff like that, experimenting."

No Monday Night Football:Monday night the players had the opportunity to take part in another type of competition. In an attempt to do something together besides football the coaching staff took on the players at the bowling alley. The coaching staff proved to be more skilled than the players in this event.

"I think we (coaching staff) surprised them a little bit," Kubiak said. "We had a good time. It's nice to get away from meetings for an evening and just be around each other socially and have some fun. It was a good night. When we got to the championship round nobody really bowled very well, just the coaches prevailed, accidentally. The high was I think around a 135, so it wasn't very good bowling."

Injury report: Rookie linebacker DeMeco Ryans did not participate in morning practice for precautionary reasons due to a bothering knee. He is expected to be ready to go later this week.

Linebacker Shantee Orr left midway through the first session with an unknown injury. Shortly after, wide receiver Derrick Lewis went down on a play. Lewis' injury did not seem critical.

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