The Texans practiced Friday at the Methodist Training Center. After, head coach Gary Kubiak and a few players answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head Coach Gary KubiakDT Amobi OkoyeSS Bernard PollardCB Glover Quin
Head Coach Gary Kubiak(on any injury updates) "(DE) Mario (Williams) practiced and (WR) Andre (Johnson) practiced. They are right where they normally are during the week. They'll be fine. The only guy out today is (TE) Garrett (Graham). He's out this week. He's got a pretty good hamstring (injury). Other than that we are back to full strength."
(on if Dorin Dickerson will get more playing time) "The problem is that you can only suit 45. He's always the guy sitting there on Sunday. Are we going to suit him or are we going to suit a ninth DB? Do we have a sixth healthy linebacker? So he's caught in the wash. Would I like to suit him? I'll love to suit him every week and have him play special teams and get experience, but when you show up on Sunday and you got 45 guys you just kind of get caught in the wash. He's been doing his job. There's a chance that he could suit up this week, but I don't know."
(on how much of an advantage it is to have a longer week between games) "To be honest with you, I wish we could've played two days later or a day later. Anytime you get beat, you want to get back on the field to get it right and get a better feeling. That's the way this schedule is set up. We needed the weekend. We've got some guys that definitely needed it. This team is tough to prepare for, so those extra two day just mentally helped us a little bit. It's been a long week. It's been a long wait until Monday. We practiced well today. I liked the way we practiced."
(on what is CB Jason Allen's role on defense) "He's basically starting at nickel. We're trying to take a series or two off of (CB) Kareem (Jackson) somehow throughout the game. I would tell you he's probably playing, depending on what people are doing against us, he's probably playing 70-80 percent of the game."
(on if CB Jason Allen is playing better) "Yeah, he's playing better. He's getting a feel for what we're doing. We actually had to go back and do some things because of the things he's missed throughout camp and early in the season. He's shown signs that he can help us. So we stopped and went back and got them done."
(on if there is anything in this season's defense that will make them play like last season's defense in these last four games) "There have been flashes that we're getting better. I told you I thought in New York we play our game. Tennessee, we obviously played our best game. We played a heck of an offensive team in Philly and we got off to a horrible start in the game. So we took a step backwards. That's the NFL. Let's hang on to the two weeks that were better and lets be as good as we've been all year this next month. We'll see. I don't know. We're working hard. We're practicing hard. We're playing everybody and giving everybody a chance to help us out, but we need to play better."
(on the progression of QB Matt Leinart) "I've been very impressed with him. When you're in the season, you hope number eight (QB Matt Schaub) takes all the snaps. That's part of this league. For a guy and what he's been through, I'm very impressed with him mentally and how much football he knows and where he's come with us. I'm very impressed on how he practices. He's a leader. He's got that kind of 'it' factor when he's around people. I've seen this happen before with guys careers. I don't have any doubt that it's going to happen to him. I think he's going to be a fine player."
(on if QB Matt Leinart is still listed as the third quarterback in the depth chart) "Yes he's still our three. There's no reason to change. (QB) Dan's (Orlovsky) doing his job, but we got a lot of confidence in him, I'll tell you that."
*DT Amobi Okoye *(on what new weapons the Ravens have on offense) "Obviously in the offseason, they wanted to step up and improve their receiving corps. I see a group that tries to pretty much do as much as they can as far as in the run game and the pass game, trying to mix it up a lot. There's been some noise up there about a few players complaining about running the ball more and a few others complaining about being more aggressive and not conservative. Left up to us, I don't care. It's Monday Night Football and it's the start of the playoff for us. It's just going out Monday night and giving it all we got."
(on winning out the rest of the regular season to get to the playoffs) "That's the AFC South right now. Every team is approaching each game as a playoff game because the way the new schedule is structured and having more division games at the end of the year it makes things more interesting."
(on what makes Ravens RB Ray Rice so tough to bring down) "I have a little personal grudge against him because he spoiled my senior season in college when he was at Rutgers. Ever since then, I've known how good of a back he is. He's just a stout guy that when you tackle him low and you don't bring it, it's just like hitting a tree branch. You have to just not only hit the lower body, but his whole body because he has a low center of gravity. He's just stout. When you hit him, hang on and make sure you bring him down because he's going to stay there for a little bit and wait for you to slip and fall down and keep running, like most backs do."
SS Bernard Pollard(on the problems the Ravens offense poses against the Texans defense) "I think we all understand what they have and what we think they are going to do. They're coming off a tough loss. They are coming in here to win. It's a big game for them. I think for us, we understand where we are at. This is a must-win. I think the way the division and the AFC is going I think that we need to understand that this is a must win for us."
(on if he thinks a loss Monday will be it for the Texans) "The thing for us is just that we got to win. We got to find a way to get to our sixth win. There's no ifs, ands, buts about it. I don't care what happens in the past. I don't care what happens over the last couple of weeks. I really don't care. We've had more than enough time to practice. Kub (head coach Gary Kubiak) has given us more than enough time off to get ready for this game. We got to show up and we got to play."
(on if he sees an edge that he hope the Texans will bring when he watches the Ravens tape) "Yeah, you have to look at their defense. You have to look at their offense and special teams. They are coming to impose their will on you. They are a confident bunch. They have swag. They have everything that you'll ask in a team. I think they know and understand that whereever they go, they are going to punch first and they are going to try to finish that fight. That's where we want to be. That's where we need to be. We have the talent. We have the players to go out here and play. The big thing with us is that we have to play for 60 minutes and we have to punch somebody in the mouth and keep punching them."
*CB Glover Quin *(on if he sees any similarities between Ravens FB La'Ron McClain and Texans FB Vonta Leach) "That's a pretty good comparison. He's (FB La'Ron McClain) a big dude and I think a couple of years ago he was a running back. So he's also pretty versatile, so we have to watch him on the fullback dives and fullback screens. Things you don't usually see from a typical fullback. He's a versatile guy and I'm pretty sure been out the last few games, I think. They may give him a few touches in this game to get him back on."
(on whether or not the long break between games is good) "I think it's a little of both. You get a couple of extra days to get your body to feel as good as it can feel this part of the season. Then a couple of days mentally to get prepared for this part of the season, knowing that we are pretty much in a must-win situation. Then it could be a bad thing because if you want to stay in a rhythm, you have to keep playing. Hopefully it works out for the best for us. Hopefully, guys will be fresh, healed up, healthy and ready to go."
(on how does he avoid the rust from having a long stretch between games) "It's just practice. We're practicing fine. We just got to take what we do in practice to the game field."