The Texans practiced Friday at the Methodist Training Center and after, head coach Gary Kubiak and receiver Andre Johnson answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head Coach Gary KubiakWR Andre Johnson
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on WR Andre Johnson's status for Sunday) "He had a good practice again today, so as long as (Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Geoff Kaplan) Kap and them tell me he's clear to go, he's going. That's a good thing because we need him to play a little bit for our football team and for him before we get into next week. Like I said, I'll have a play count on him, but he will definitely, looks like he's ready to go. It looks as though he's ready to go to me, unless Kap or them come to me for some reason. Everything looks like it's fine."
(on how many plays WR Andre Johnson will play) "I don't know. Put it this way, it won't be 30 or 40. Let's put it that way."
(on G Mike Brisiel's health) "He's doing amazing. He's two and a half weeks from having a pin inserted in his leg and he's out here running yesterday. Danieal (Manning) came back off that same surgery. So, I wouldn't put it past him to be ready to go next week, but I think there's still some progress to be made and so let's wait until we get there."
(on how important it is to have WR Andre Johnson working again this week) "Yeah, it's important to Andre because as a player, when you miss that much time, what's it been, 10 weeks, nine weeks of football, you don't just hop back out there. So, he knows he just needs to go out there and get his wind and feel good and get hit again and all those things that go with playing the game. For us to get to the point where he looks like he's going to be able to go on Sunday, I would say that was a big step forward because we were wondering if that was going to happen, but we got there so that's good."
(on if WR Andre Johnson will do what he normally does in a game on Sunday) "Yeah, he'll do what he normally does. We just got to be smart with how many plays he plays and make sure we come out of the game positive with him and then we move into next week and he's ready to take a load on next week."
(on what he did to get K Neil Rackers back on track after missing a few field goals) "I can't say that I know a whole lot about kicking. I think he was a little bit like our football team. We started doing some things that we don't kind of stand for as a team, got a little sloppy and it hurt us. He got a little sloppy in some technique things there over the course of a month and we got away with some of his misses, kind of like the team got away with some of the mistakes we made in Cincinnati, but those things come back to bite you. It's a matter of tightening it up. He did his job last week and needs to continue doing it going forward."
(on field goals being even more important in playoff games) "Yeah, I think our brand of football has been very close and the difference is going to be a great punt here or field goal here or there and I would imagine these games moving forward are going to be no different. Everybody's got a job to do."
(on how nice it is to have Bum Phillips out at practice) "Yeah, he's my old boss. I used to be a ball boy for him, so he's kind of intimidating for me. No, it's been great, good to see coach out here and (defensive coordinator) Wade (Phillips) back. That's a pretty special deal when you're out here coaching and your dad gets to come out and hang out with you. That's pretty neat."
(on if defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has been the Texans' top offseason acquisition) "What he's done and the staff, the defensive staff has been tremendous. We've had some great acquisitions. Like you said, with Wade and you look at the players we brought on this team that have not only been great players, but leaders for this team also. There's a pretty good lineup of acquisitions on this team, but obviously he's at the top. He's done a tremendous job."
(on if defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will still be in the press box on Sunday) "Yeah, I expect him to be in the press box unless he doesn't feel like he can do it. But everything looks like he's going to be able to do that and we just got to be smart."
(on what changes on game day for defensive coordinator Wade Phillips) "Nothing, you just call it from there instead of on the field. We're definitely not going to put him in any situation down there where he might get hit or run over. We're not going to do that."
(on how much defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' influence has helped since he joined the team) "Well it helps you a great deal. I like having coaches with a lot of experience. This is a tough, tough business week to week and trying to be successful and the more opinions you have or good opinions you have, the better off your football team. So, you get a guy who's been successful in every phase of coaching and for us to have him around every day not only defensively, but offensive coaches, me, everybody, it's just been good for the organization."
WR Andre Johnson
(on being able to play on Sunday) "Well, that's what I want to happen. It was all depending on how the week went. Everything went fine this past week, so I'll be able to go out and play a little bit on Sunday."
(on if there are any issues with his hamstring) "No, I haven't had any problems with it this week. Everything's been going fine. Everything's been pretty normal, so hopefully it will stay that way."
(on if he will have to deal with any mental issues on Sunday) "No, I think you kind of get over that during practice. My first day out at practice, I was worried about it a little bit, but as the days went down, I wasn't worried about it. I feel confident in it. I feel fine when I'm running and not thinking about it, so I'm not worried about it."
(on if he was more stunned about the second injury than the first) "Yeah, I was. Just from everything I've been through, what happened the first time and everything, I feel pretty confident right now."
(on if he's learned patience through his injuries) "Definitely, it's been a long season, a lot of frustrating times, but there's still a light at the end of the tunnel."
(on what he wants to accomplish on Sunday) "I just want to get back into the flow of playing a game. It's been a while since I've played, so just trying to get back into the flow, get back to the game feeling and I think show fans that I'll be ready to play for the playoffs, so it will give them something to be excited about."
(on if he will be back to full speed in the playoffs) "I have no choice. I have no choice but to be full speed because there's no games after that. Either you win or you go home. Our goal is to keep winning, so that's pretty much it."
(on if he's thankful that he'll be able to play in the playoffs given that some of his teammates can't because of injury) "Yeah, you hate to see guys get injured, period, especially have season-ending injuries. I've just been very fortunate to be able to come back and play. Lucky that it wasn't season-ending, but knock on wood, hopefully I can go out here and make it through this play count and nothing bad happens."
(on if this season could still have a happy ending for him) "Yeah, it could. Like I said before, after everything I've been through, all the frustrating times, I still get a chance to go out and play and help this organization go places that it's never been before. I just have to make sure I'm at the top of my game."
(on if he's grasped what he's going to be able to help this team accomplish) "To be honest, it really hasn't hit me yet. I hear it everywhere I go. People see me out, they always tell me thanks for helping the Texans get to the playoffs or whatever, but I don't think it has really hit me yet. I think it will once I'm able to go out and run out the tunnel for the first playoff game."
(on what it means that defenses play differently when he's on the field) "I don't really look too much into it. I'm just out there playing having fun. We do notice that they do play us different, but I don't really get caught up in it. My teammates, they always tell me 'We're going to hold it down 'til you get back.' Even there in practice, Antonio (Smith) was like 'You look good, but we'd rather wait another week.' It's all in fun, but just to see that your teammates think of you like that, it's a good feeling."
(on if he worries that the team is expecting too much from him on Sunday) "No, it'll be different if we were going into this game and we know we didn't have a game afterwards, but we have something to look forward to that is much bigger, so that's nothing to really worry about."
(on the importance of not going into the playoffs on a three-game losing streak) "Yeah, that's the plan. We want to go out and win this game and get back to playing football the way that we had when we went on our win streak. We need to come out and eliminate those mistakes that we've been having for the last couple weeks and just play football we know how to play it."