Head Coach Gary Kubiak
OLB Connor Barwin
TE Owen Daniels
DE David Hunter
DE Antonio Smith
DE J.J. Watt
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the team's health) "(CB) Johnathan (Joseph) did practice today on a limited basis. He'll be a game-time decision. It was very positive. I think we're heading in the right direction but the decision will be made on Sunday morning."
(on G Antoine Caldwell's status) "(RG Antoine) Caldwell practiced, and he is going to go through a test this afternoon right after practice so anytime now. If he is cleared then he will be available for the game, so we've approached as if he is going to be able available. He's been doing fine, but he still has to pass the test today."
(on DE David Hunter's injury ) "Very unfortunate situation, it's interesting, Mark (Berman) asked me about (DE David) Hunter yesterday. I knew we had just left the field. He hurt his toe on I think one of the last plays of practice yesterday and unfortunately he's got to have surgery on Monday. Hunter will not be available for us this weekend. We thought it was going to be okay, checked it out after practice and unfortunately he will not be available."
(on if DE David Hunter's toe got stepped on) "Yeah, it's my understanding."
(on if he's concerned about RG Antoine Caldwell's availability on Sunday) "Not if they pass all the tests, all you can do is put him through the protocol, the testing. I think there are two tests they take, one that gets him to the practice field, one that gets him back on the game field and he's fixing to do that. He's shown all signs have been that he's been fine at practice. As long as they're doing things the right way and going through all the correct channels and the trainers and doctors declare him ready to go, then we'll let him go. He's looked fine to me, but we'll see."
(on affect DE David Hunter's absence will have on the defensive line) "We normally only really play four or five guys anyways just ups the reps of a few more players. We only carry six on our roster to begin with. (NT Shaun) Cody is probably going to play a few more reps. Obviously Earl (Mitchell) is going to play a few more reps. That was coming anyways. It really doesn't change anything."
(on NT Earl Mitchell's versatility) "He'll continue to play both spots because that way he can spell (DE) J.J. (Watt), he can spell (DE) Antonio (Smith). He can go play the nose while (NT) Shaun (Cody) takes a break. Then you're going to see (DE Jared) Crick get much more involved with what's going on. They've all been playing, but obviously their reps, we talk about Earl, Shaun, and Crick, their reps go up just because of the rotation the way it is set right now. But they all have been contributing."
(on DE Jared Crick) "We think he's ready to go. He's come a long way, probably played his best. In our situation last week he got to play a lot late in the game and play well. He's practiced very well so it's time. It's that time of year where you got a lot of young players who maybe you weren't counting on a ton early in the season, but here you go. You get nicks, you got things happening and all of a sudden they become contributors. How they play, how the team responds, how the depth of the team that has been put together responds in the long haul is what you're all about. You need some guys to step up."
(on ILB Barrett Ruud) "(ILB) Barrett (Ruud) is doing really good. There is a possibility of him being up in this game, but he's come a long way so we'll see. We feel fortunate to get him, veteran player who's caught on to what we're doing pretty quick."
(on if the team prepares to attack the Ravens defenders filling in for injured starters ) "No. We've got to go attack their defense. They're going to play their defense and it's been one of the best in the business for a long, long time. I think it still is. They've given up some yards rushing the last two weeks, but they're 2-0 in those two weeks too and this game is about winning. I see a great defensive football team. To me, the best free safety, best safety I've ever seen and I've seen him way too many times in my career. We're going to have to beat their scheme and beat their team. It's not about one guy and attacking one guy. It's not how it works. Our 11 has got to go against their 11."
(on replacing emotional leadership on the team) "I think that happens all the time. (ILB Brian Cushing) Cush is an emotional guy. He's emotional before the game in the locker room. He's emotional on the football field. You have to adjust to those things and you have to find different personalities and somebody else has to maybe take on a little bit more than they were doing. Cush was the captain of our team. Who becomes another captain of our defense? We'll decide that after we come off the break after Week 8. We'll add another captain to our team. I think your team is forever changing and as I said we got a long way to go. We got a lot of things going on that to me we can improve upon a great deal and how we do that all the course of the way will determine what we end up being as a football team this year."
(on adding new captains) "I do that every day. It's not like something different, but every year at the halfway point I re-vote. We add an offensive, a defensive, and a special teams captain to our team because I just think it's important. You start the season one way. It never fails that at Week 8 you're probably a different team because of a few situations. That's just the way it is, and then I think there are guys that start to play like captains and leaders. They evolve and when you go ask your team at week eight they'll let you know. Those votes that come in will let you know who they want leading them on the back half so we'll see."
(on if they change out the captains) "No, I don't change anybody. I just add. There you go."
(on DE Antonio Smith's leadership) "It's become even more important to me because of (ILB Brian Cushing) Cush leaving us. (DE) Antonio's (Smith) responsibility as a player has always been there, but I think as a leader it becomes even more so. Antonio is always there. He's a worker, plays hard all the time. He's got tremendous respect of his teammates. He's a big part. Anytime we're successful and doing things right, Antonio is one of the guys leading the way."
(on aggressive play and emotions causing penalties ) "There are a couple things to that. First off, I'll never take away my team's aggression. I want them to play aggressive. I don't want guys out there worrying about this and worry about that. I want them to play hard. They're going to make mistakes and you got to the next play and play. At the same time, you got to be smart. We talk about those things all the time. Your emotions can't get the best of you and cost your football team. We had a couple situations that did that last week. There is no excuse. We have to talk about it, look each other in the eye, go fix it and move on. You never want to take the emotion and the effort of your football team away. Hopefully, we get those things corrected the right way."
OLB Connor Barwin
(on his progress) "Well I view it similar to what (Head Coach) Gary (Kubiak) said, the production is not there. It needs to be. It doesn't matter if I'm getting or not getting there or getting close. It needs to happen. That's on me to make it happen."
(on an inability to close sacks lately) "It's extremely frustrating especially when the quarterbacks goes and throws a big gain, which happened in that Green Bay game. That's frustrating for me because I'm out there, could've help the team a lot and wasn't able to do it. This week all I can do is just hold on a little bit tighter and make sure that I get him down."
(on if this eats at him at all) "It definitely eats at you. It bothers you. It doesn't make it as fun when you're not doing your job. The best thing about football is just last week we didn't play well as a defense. I can go out this week and change it, so hopefully I'll be feeling better next week."
TE Owen Daniels
(on if it will be different going up against the Ravens without LB Ray Lewis) "It's going to be different. I've played against the Ravens; this will be my fifth time playing against them. We're 0-4 (in those games) and he's been out there every time. It will be a little different, for sure."
(on going for their first win against the Ravens) "There's going to be a lot of firsts for this team this year and it's another chance for another first for us. We're not looking at it as a revenge game or to get back at them type of game. We're looking at it as a chance to go into our bye in first place in the AFC all by ourselves. That's what we're focused on and getting back to playing better football compared to what we did last week."
(on the Texans two most recent losses against the Ravens at home) "Yeah, when you don't beat a team when you play them as many times as you have, it's tough. They're a good team though, when we've played them. All I can remember from those games is us struggling and turning the ball over. That really swung those games in their favor."
DE David Hunter
(on his toe injury) "It's kind of hard to say. It's kind of a freak accident. I think I just I stepped on somebody's foot and that was it."
(on how devastating this injury is) "It definitely hurts a lot. I was really excited about getting an opportunity to play with the fellas, but at the same time, it's part of the game. I just got to do whatever I got to do to come back."
(on what he thought when he heard he was out) "To be honest, I kind of like stopped thinking about some stuff. After they told me what happened, I kind of spaced out. I was listening to what they were saying, but I knew at the same I know myself. I know I'm a fast healer. I know I'm going to do whatever I can to get back faster than what they tell me."
(on if this injury will motivate him even more) "Always. This does nothing but add a little fuel to my fire you know what I mean. It was already burning. Now I just want to do it even more so I come back and show them that they didn't make a bad decision by moving me up."
DE Antonio Smith
(on DE David Hunter's injury) "It's a bad ordeal because I watched him all training camp and watched him progress during the season. He put in a lot of work. He works hard. He hardly ever comes out of practice. When he goes on defensive scout, then he goes on offensive scout team, so he might get two-three reps of rest a practice. To put in all that work and finally get your chance and something like this happens, the Lord works in mysterious ways. I know he's going to work hard and come back."
(on how fragile football can be) "The game is like that sometimes. It teaches lessons at the same time. I ain't going to hope because I'm going to stay on him and make sure he's still grinding and he's still pushing forward to being a great player because I think he's got the talent to do it."
(on facing the former Texans on the Ravens and the familiarity) "They're very familiar. It's key guys that were here and a big part of what made the transition into the Texans we are now. I love them. I love each and every one of those guys. They're going to come here fired up. They're going to come here talking mess. I'm going to be right there along with them having fun. It ain't no different than any other game, except you just got friends across from the ball playing against you."
(on spreading out the sacks on defense) "We've just got to make more sacks. We've got to make more sacks and that's just the bottom line. I think that we're all having a lot of inside pressure sacks. I think just the same, our outside rushers are getting there. It's just that people are going to notice you. It's just the little inches. The lucky step here from a quarterback or somebody else not rushing on the other side and giving the quarterback a little space to evade away. It's a team effort. It's a collective effort. If I rush and break free and (OLB) Connor (Barwin) is not out there on the outside, the quarterback is just going to go outside so I think it's up to all of us for all of us to get more sacks."
DE J.J. Watt
(on if being selected a captain would be special to him) "I'm just trying to beat the Baltimore Ravens. That's it. I don't worry about any of that. I'm just trying to go out there and do as much as I can to help the team win."
(on how different he feels playing the Ravens this week than last year) "It's a new year. We have a new team. They have obviously some injuries on their defensive side of the ball. They're a very good football team. We're excited about the opportunity. It's going to be a good challenge for us. It's going to be a good game."
(on how much he feels for DE David Hunter) "It's such a tough situation. He gets called up and the first week he's called up he gets injured. He's been working his tail off. The kid, he's extremely hard-working. For that to happen to him, you feel for him, rally around him, and hope he gets another shot. I think he will at some point."
(on how fragile the game of football is) "It's always a constant reminder that anything can happen and you have to cherish every moment you're out there on the field. I try and have as much fun with it as you can because know when it's going to end."
(on his elbow brace) "As long I need it. I still need it right now. It doesn't bother me, but there is definitely still a little bit in there that healed up slowly. I'm going to keep it on as a long as I need to."
(on opposing offenses doing different things to slow down the pass rush) "Yeah, I've been getting chipped on the inside. I'm getting double-teamed a little bit. There is a triple team or two in there .It's all part of the game. I love it. It's another challenge for me. It's another, 'Hey, they're going to put another extra guy on me.' It's a challenge I get to go through and it also gives other guys opportunities so I love it."
(on his performance in the Ravens playoff game last season) "We lost, so it wasn't very fun. It was a big game for me. It was one of games where I reminded myself of what I'm capable of. It was one of those that, 'Alright this feels like me. This is what I'm capable of, and I need to do this every single game next year.' So that's what I try to do this year so far."
(on what he did in that game) "I had some sets. I was confident. I just went out there and played, let it loose. I think that's the biggest thing, especially the thing I've been doing this year is I've let it loose. I'm very confident in my game. I go out there and enjoy it have fun playing with my teammates."
(on why he mocked Packers QB Aaron Rodgers' belt celebration) "I did that because (LB) Clay (Matthews) mocked mine. He mocked my celebration. I'm not just going to let it go to waste. I had to come back at him a little bit."
(on if it was planned) "No, it wasn't planned. He mocked my salute. I think it was one of the first three or four plays of the game so, had to come back."
(on if he's noticed a difference in Ravens QB Joe Flacco) "I think he's been a good quarterback the whole time. I don't think there is any big difference. He was a good quarterback last year and he's also a good one this year."
(on if this Sunday is a good opportunity to face a challenging opponent) "Right now, it's the battle for the top of AFC and we're excited about it. There's not much more you can ask for. As a man you want to go head to head with your top competition. Right now, in the AFC it's Ravens- Texans. If you get a chance to settle it on the field you can't beat that."