The Texans practiced Friday at the Methodist Training Center. After, head coach Gary Kubiak and some of the players answered questions from the media.
Head Coach Gary KubiakRB Arian FosterILB Darryl Sharpton
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on today's bike giveaway after practice) "It's just something we started back when we first got here, doing some things for Christmas for some kids. Players got together and had a great idea. I had done it in the past. They've just kind of really taken off with it, but I think it's a good deal. We got all the kids to come here. I think the players look as much forward to it as the kids do. Our guys do a great job in the community representing this organization, so it's a good day. Hopefully it can continue for a long time."
(on pitching in to purchase the bikes for kids) "We just get together and pitch in some money and try to buy as many as we can. I think we had about 225 this year, something like that. I think last year we had like 275 and just all depends whatever we come up with, just put it together and then have the kids come out and give it to them. Like I said, hopefully we can continue this thing."
(on how special it is to see the kids get bikes) "It's really cool. Heck, you remember when you got your first bike when you were young. They're great because they get to see their heroes, too. You see the kids out there grabbing onto the players, so I think it's a nice little break away from football and the pressures of what we do and stop and thinking about something like that for a period of time instead of the next route you got to run or the next defense you got to play."
(on helping kids with the bike giveaway) "That's why we do it. That's what we really try to do. We try to focus on some of them that may not have a chance to get something like that. I think our foundation does a great job of identifying those young children out there that it could benefit the best. I think they've done a good job."
(on the team's health today) "(OLB) Brooks Reed obviously and (CB) Alan Ball will be ruled as out. (ILB Darryl) Sharpton was back to work today and it was positive so unless there are any setbacks he's ready to go. (T Derek) Newton is ready to go. Newton will start the game. (TE) Garrett (Graham) is ready to go, has been cleared. Other than Brooks and Ball, we're back as close as we can be to full strength."
(on improving the running game) "We've got to do whatever we've got to do. I think there are a couple things that could really help us running the ball. The last two weeks have been as poor as we've been all year and we had been pretty good on third downs. When you don't make third downs you're not getting snaps. If we're not getting snaps, (RB) Arian's (Foster) not touching the ball as much as he needs to touch it. I think if you go back and look that, looks like the issue in a lot of ways, but at the same time we've got to get back at what we're doing, too. Big point of emphasis, it's something we got to do well, but I think staying on the field could sure help us do that better."
(on electing to receive when winning the opening coin toss) "Well I'm an offensive guy. I want the ball. My belief is you may end up with an extra possession in the game. I've never understood, unless the weather is an issue or something, I can't understand why you would defer or not take the ball. That's just me because over the course of the game, maybe that possession is one more than the other team got. I'm not going to win a toss and give (Tom) Brady or (Andrew) Luck another possession. We're going to take the football so just the way I'm built, just the way I was brought up."
RB Arian Foster
(on how it feels to be in a position to control the team's own destiny) "It's the ideal situation you want to be in heading into a December stretch with three games left."
(on what it means to be third overall in Pro Bowl voting) "I'm very appreciative of every fan that enjoys the way I individually play the game. That means a lot. I was a fan of individuals when I was growing up. I'm very appreciative of it and it came a long way."
(on T Derek Newton starting on Sunday and how that helps the run game) "He's a big part of what we do and he's a young talented tackle. He keeps getting better. It's unfortunate that he got hurt because he was really starting to play very well, so we look for him to do what he was doing when he was healthy."
(on why the offense has struggled on third downs) "Because we haven't executed, very simple."
(on Rob Parker's comments to Robert Griffin III) "What exactly did he say? I married a white woman so his comments really didn't have any substance to it. It didn't have any merit. I don't really understand it. I think what he was trying to, well I can't speculate what he was trying to say but what it came off was it was really ignorant and not ignorant as far as a negative connotation, but just uneducated. I don't think skin pigmentation has anything to do with class or anything like that. For him to make that comment, there are people that always judge young black kids because they're from the ghetto and they're saying they're not classy or I've heard that a lot of trash talk on the field is considered not classy. But then you got a young classy kid that's handled himself the right way, whatever that is, too, just keeping his nose clean doing the right thing, then somebody says he's not black enough. It's weak, man."
(on if he's insulted by questions and remarks like that) "No."
(on Colts OLBs Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney) "Well, I think those two players are, one of them for sure is a Hall of Famer and one is on his way in my opinion. They're effective. They're still effective and they're going to continue to be effective as long as they're putting the helmet on."
(on if there is a difference in where they line up) "Obviously there is a difference in how they line up, but I don't think their effectiveness is."
ILB Darryl Sharpton
(on how tough it was to deal with another injury) "I knew I was going to be alright so I wasn't really too concerned about it. It's just something that was nagging, but it was a little frustrating. It's good to go now so I'm happy."
(on how it feels to be playing on Sunday) "It feels good. I don't ever want to miss another game if I don't have to, especially this year. It feels good. I can't wait."