The Texans answered questions from the media after practice on Friday at the Methodist Training Center. The following is a transcript of their interviews.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
WR Andre Johnson
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on what is new with the team today) "Andre (Johnson) and James (Casey) did not practice today. I would say James is a game-time decision but obviously, Andre is not where he needs to be right now, but he's doing well. He's doing very well."
(on if Neil Rackers will handle kickoffs in Tennessee) "We put him in last week. It was a little windy in Baltimore and he (Brett Hartmann) struggled on that one and flipped the field position for us. Neil has been kicking very well for us so Joe (Marciano) put him in there. We'll see. They are both very capable of doing it. We feel comfortable with both of them. Neil is the experienced guy, but they're both capable of doing it."
(on the importance of having James Casey in the lineup) "It's important. It's important all around to the team, special teams and everything. He's come a long way. He has not practiced this week but he's a guy that I feel comfortable could play, so I'll watch him Sunday morning and try to make a decision on it. He's been a very important piece of what we've been doing from the start of this preseason and I need to get him back on the field. Lawrence (Vickers) is working well. I thought he did some good things last week. He was even better in practice this week. I expect him to play well."
(on how WR Andre Johnson is progressing) "He's doing really well. The part that you guys don't get to come see, he was catching balls today from T.J. (Yates) and running routes. It's very impressive where he's at right now, but you know there is still another little step for him to take before we're comfortable. Hopefully he'll take it here sometime soon."
(on if he's doing anything special with the offense and discussing the fourth quarter) "We go out there and try to play four quarters every week and play a good total football game every week. If you have a bad quarter, then you have to make up for it in the other ones. Just as a team, you're right, we didn't play as well as we could play as a team from about three minutes on in the third quarter last week. You've got to give them credit for that. We go back again and battle this week. I don't know which quarter is going to be the most important this week but we're going to try to play them all."
(on if it's a knee-jerk reaction to think that its due to conditioning) "I tell you what, as much as heat and stuff that we work in, I think we have a very well-conditioned football team. I don't see it that way. We just need to execute better."
(on the receivers stepping up for WR Andre Johnson again this week) "Well, they've got to continue to do that. You go back the past two weeks, our tight ends and Kevin (Walter) have played very well and last week the ball came to Jacoby (Jones). I don't know where it's going to go but obviously the production has got to come from someplace else and so we'll spread it out amongst them and hopefully they'll play their part."
(on WR Derrick Mason's progress compared to last week) "He's way ahead as far as the game plan. He's got the full grasp. Last week he kind of played in a package. This week, he'll play in the whole scheme of things. He's moved forward."
(on how his defense has overcome the loss of OLB Mario Williams) "I think you have to be impressed with last week with Brooks (Reed) and how he played. We got the ball moved on us last week but we did hold them to five field goals, which is very, very important. We should grow. It's the same thing. Offensively, we lost two very key players. We've got to work our way through that and right now we lost a key player with Mario (Williams) and we need to work our way through that. That's all part of wherever we're going to end up, how we work through these problems. You've got to stay positive and expect people to step up and do their job and get better each week. That's what you want to see."
(on if they can get the confidence from the Pittsburgh game back from practice or does it have to be achieved on the field) "We played with confidence against Oakland. We played with confidence against Baltimore. Those are some tough games. We had a chance to beat Oakland on the last play of the game and last week, we were in a 14-13 football game. There is no lack of confidence. Okay? We just have to make a few more plays than we're making. This team is very confident. They work very confident and I expect big things out of them. This is number seven, a chance to go do it again this week."
(on the health of QB Matt Schaub) "He's fine. He's fine. He did a little bit Wednesday, pretty close to everything yesterday and took it all today. So there's nothing different about his week. He's alright."
(on if he will use WR Trindon Holliday on Sunday) "I'll make it Sunday morning. We still have to see how we're going to line up special teams-wise. Obviously (Shiloh) Keo is coming in and has to replace (Dominique) Barber. We've got to look at our body count as far as what we're doing number-wise. We'd like him to. We'd like for him to come in and help us. We'll see."
WR Andre Johnson
(on the progress of his recovery) "This is probably the greatest amount of progress I've made over the past couple of days, from Monday until today. I feel a lot better. I went out and ran routes. I had T.J. (Yates) throwing the ball to me. I felt pretty good. I'm not a hundred percent, but very happy about the way I feel. After what I did today, it just lets me know that everything is headed in the right direction. We'll come back and do the same thing Monday and see how it feels."
(on if it's still impossible to identify when he'll be back) "Yeah. I still haven't set a timetable or anything like that. Like I said, we just take it one day at a time. This week has been great, as far as the rehab. The progress I've made over the past week has been real good. Hopefully it will get even better."
(on if the previously mentioned 'six weeks' was a worst case scenario) "Yeah, that was just from talking to the doctor, worst-case scenario. It's kind of crazy. I've heard there were articles printed saying that I'll miss six weeks. The doctor told me worst-case scenario so no one needs to panic or anything like that saying that I'll miss six games because I don't even feel that way."
(on if he could see himself playing) "It could be possible. It could be possible. But like I said, I'll see how I feel Monday. I went at it real hard this week. A lot harder than I did the week before and like I said, I made a lot of progress. Things are headed in the right direction. The next two days, I'll just do some jogging and a lot of stretching and come back Monday and see how I feel."
(on if he'll be all the way back before he plays or maybe play in certain packages) "No, I don't want to go out there and be not playing at the best of my ability. You don't want to go out there and put yourself in the situation where you're hurting the team. That's the most important thing. When I go out there to play, I'm going to be ready to play."