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Quotes: Friday practice


Head Coach Gary Kubiak
OLB Connor Barwin
ILB Brian Cushing
CB Kareem Jackson

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the team's health) "(CB) Alan Ball is our only guy that did not practice today. Other than that everybody was at work. That's where we're at."

(on TE Owen Daniels' health) "He's fine. He took everything today. Like I said, we rested him yesterday, pretty cold day, hamstring a little tight so we were smart with him. He took everything today so he's ready to go."

(on finding players like ILB Bryan Braman and his emergence) "It's huge. The inspiration of things that happen in our business carries players, carries teams. I think there should be a big, big compliment to (Assistant Linebackers Coach) Bobby King. In this business, you go to draft meetings. As coaches you study a lot of players and every now and then a coach jumps up on the table and stands up for a kid that may have had a few issues or some things going on in his life. That's sticking your neck out there in this business because when it doesn't work out, usually people are going to hold you responsible for that. He did. He stuck his neck out for the kid and he said he will do right and he will play good. He's done every bit of that. To see a young man like that turn himself around, that's why we do what we do. That's why you coach. It's fun to watch those types of things happen."

(on seeing leaders like SS Danieal Manning step up this week) "We've had a good week. We had a good week last week too. This group stays very focused. I think anytime that you have disappointments, we've had three disappointments this year, leaders take responsibility. When you got a good team when things don't go good guys stand up and say 'Hey it wasn't good enough or I didn't play my best and got to go back to work and I will. You can count on me.' We got a bunch of guys like that. That's why we've won a lot of games. He's a great example of that to everybody, but we got a bunch of players that handle things that way and in my opinion have handled things that way for a long time."

(on Sunday's big game and the atmosphere) "We treat all games the same. Every game is big. We went to Tennessee a few weeks ago. That was huge because we had to make the playoffs. We had Indy coming here a couple weeks ago. We had to win a division. Last week was big because we could wrap up a one seed. This week is big because of the same reason. All the games we're playing in right now because of what this team has done during the course of the year makes every game big. I think we always approach things that way. You're right. This atmosphere we're fixing to go play in, we know what it is because it's been a very tough one for this organization. Our focus has been good. Our guys are locked in. it's another opportunity for us to go out and come together as a team and find a way to win a game. That's the way we're approaching it and we need everybody's best effort. I expect us to get it."

(on this franchise having never won in Indianapolis) "If you go back over the last 12-14 years, there is probably a hell of a lot of teams that haven't won over there. They were winning a lot of games for a long period of time. Been in there a few times as a Texan and a few times as a coach in another place for a long time. Tough place to win. Tough place to play. You've got to be at your best. You can't help them. You've got to have some guys really rise to occasion. I think it's good for us. This is really good for us. We played in some tough games here at the end of the year. Our status was such that we were a playoff team a month ago. The tougher things are on you, the more seasoned you are I think when it comes time to play the next one. It's a good environment for us to have to go do what we need to do and it's a tremendous test for us."

(on the team's penalty issues) "It's been a big concern. I thought we were better last week. We had a really poor month leading into last week. I thought we improved last week. We still had a couple of big ones in the game that took away a big return of ours. We let them out their own end one time with the holding call. We had a couple holding calls offensively. Anything you do to hurt yourself or set yourself back is a concern. It's something we've been talking about, stressing. I think we did improve last week, but it's going to have to continue to improve."

(on WR Andre Johnson nearing more milestones) "He's been an exceptional player ever since he's been here. Those numbers and all those things are nice and I don't think there is any number he probably hasn't kind of found somehow along the way. Told the guys the other day, we're talking about the Pro Bowl, I think you're watching a Hall of Fame football player when you watch (WR) Andre Johnson. That's how much I think of him. Whether or not he gets the record, I think he'd be the first one to tell you he wants this team to win, but usually when he's doing good things our team is doing good things. Hopefully those types of things come whether it's (DE) J.J. (Watt) or him, but most important thing is that we win a game."

(on practicing inside today) "You know, I think it was a good excuse from some of the weather this morning. We could've practice outside. It wasn't a problem, but I think it really worked out good for us. The noise level inside our bubble compared to outside is not even close and what we're fixing to go into we really needed to work cadence wise and some of the things we're doing offensively. I liked our focus. I like the way we ended the week."

OLB Connor Barwin
(on the emotion the Indianapolis Colts will be playing with) "Maybe early on it will help them, it will get them motivated or going. Obviously it's an incredible story what their head coach went through. But at the end of the day, we still have to go out there and play football. It's still the same football. Maybe early on it will have an effect on those guys. But we know they're a good team and they have good players. That's who we have to beat."

ILB Brian Cushing
(on how he keeps from not getting down while being on the injured reserve list) "Certain things help. Going home to my new son helps every day, too. Those are the kind of things that really help me get through everything. It's kind of a crazy time with how everything happened. But in a bright way, I get to spend more time with him. That's probably been the focus of what I do now."

(on when his son was born, the emotions around that time) "About two and a half months ago. A week after I tore my ACL. It was a (rollercoaster). But like I said, it's helped me with everything."

(on just wanting to be on the field) "Of course, but at the same time, when you sign up for this game you understand that injuries are a part of it. I've grasped that a long time ago. Now the next step is just getting back out there. Rehab is not fun, it's not easy. But to get back out there and play again and envision myself going through that tunnel again. I just have to put in that work."

(on how his rehab is going) "I'm way ahead of schedule. I'm doing really good. But at the same time, there's no real reason to push it right now. I'm still a ways away."

(on if the Texans have what it takes to make it to the Super Bowl) "I think of course they have what it takes. These guys are extremely talented and at the same time they want to win. That's more important than anything, and they work well together. You look at teams that have all the talent in the world and they just can't put it together. But this team is unselfish. They just want to win. And that's the most important thing and that's what they have done."

(on how excited he is looking ahead into the future with this team) "Yeah, it's a great opportunity going into the last game and sitting where we are and just the opportunity we have to go into Indianapolis for the game. And to clinch the No.1 seed and home field advantage would be huge."

(on what he has been working on in his rehab) "A lot of weighted stuff. A lot of single-leg things. We haven't started jogging yet, but I probably think within the next month we will."

(on seeing OLB Bryan Braman now being an alternate for the Pro Bowl after going undrafted) "You get drafted or you don't, I believe everyone pretty much has the same shot. Obviously some guys with higher draft picks might be given more of an opportunity to play right away. But I believe the best players play. And this league will get rid of the weak real quick, whether you're drafted first round or you're not at all. So that's one thing, that they will expose you and the best players will play."

(on OLB Bryan Braman being inspiring) "It is inspiring, and it's good for him. He's a kid that knows what he wants and has played hard since day one when he's gotten here. And he's taken advantage of his opportunity."

CB Kareem Jackson
(on the fine he received for a hit against Minnesota) "Yeah I'll definitely appeal it. I thought it was a clean hit. Most of the time if the ref thinks it's a bad hit or whatever, they will throw a flag. But there wasn't a flag. I thought it was clean."

(on if it is difficult to know what is legal and not legal) "It's definitely hard because nowadays you have guys running 4.3s and 4.2s and the only thing we can do to slow them down is to hit them and to touch them. So at the same time, it's kind of unfair to us as players, especially defensive players because after five yards you already can't touch them. Once they get a full head of steam, the only thing I can do is when the ball is thrown, try to make a solid hit. We're not trying to make any dirty hits as defensive players, but at the same time, you never know if you make a big-time hit, it could change the game around. Especially in the situation we were in in that game. A caused fumble there would have been big for us. But at the same time, like I said, their rules, there's really nothing we can do about but continue to play. But for me, I'm going to continue to be a physical player. That's just my style of play."

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