Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on if the Texans make a conscious effort to stress the importance of not turning the ball over) "Yeah, we do. I think it's also a combination of we've got some players that have been playing together now for a few years. I think that helps. I haven't had a lot of changeover from an offensive standpoint. I think our guys just believe in it so much. When we protect the ball, the statistics will show you that we got a good chance of winning and it's something we talk about every week. Halfway through this thing, it's been as good as I've been around so hopefully we continue."
(on the Texans' injuries) "(NT) Shaun Cody has got some rib issues. He's actually right now being evaluated. They're doing an MRI and some things. We're dealing with that. Other than that, we came out just a little nicked. (TE) Owen (Daniels) got a hip bruise. He's going to be fine, maybe a little slowed early in practice this week. (WR) Kevin Walter's got some tightness in his groin. He's got some soreness there so he could be a little slow early in the week, but we'll know more. I would say Shaun is probably the biggest one right now, as we move forward."
(on his level of concern regarding NT Shaun Cody's injury) "Well (NT) Shaun's (Cody) dealt with other issues with his back so we've got him on a program. He's playing about 20 plays a game, maybe 25 at the most, so just the combination of those things working together would concern me. But he's always shown a way to be there for us, so we'll see."
(on if he expects ILB Darryl Sharpton to be back at practice on Wednesday) "Yeah, as a matter of fact I just left him about 10 minutes ago. He looks really good. He's basically been put through some really hard workouts the last four days and he's responded to them. All systems should be go for Wednesday to go back on the practice field."
(on if other than points there is a more important statistic than turnovers) "When you look at it historically, there's not. Point differential, you're obviously playing great red zone defense. Like yesterday for us, to me, we played good offensively in the redzone. We played great defensively in the redzone. That ended up being a big, big difference from a possession standpoint because we both had the same amount of possessions down there. There's just something about when you don't hurt yourself as a football team at the end of the day, you should have an excellent chance to win a football game or be in a dang good football game. This week, what little bit I've done with Chicago up to this point, I think they have 28 turnovers defensively. They're the best in the business and well on their way to some records. We protect it pretty good so it's kind of a strength against a strength. Hopefully we can hold up our end of the bargain."
(on if he thinks RB Ben Tate will return Sunday) "I don't think I can answer that right now. I thought (RB) Ben (Tate) would be further along when we got to the end of last week. He wasn't. We went ahead and rested him through the weekend. It's not like we worked him out or anything. He did nothing today but rehab. For me to say yes he's going to be there, I think is a little bit of a stretch right now. I'm hoping. I'm hoping Wednesday or Thursday he's back on the field doing some stuff at least with the trainers and we'll see, but not as far as long as we had expected."
(on if he's consciously not getting the ball to RB Arian Foster as a receiver because of his running workload) "No. It really has a lot to do with how we're getting played. We played a team like yesterday that plays a ton of man coverage and to do that, we'd like to get (RB) Arian (Foster) the ball in some screens and those types of things, so it's got to be conducive with what we're facing defensively. Our tight ends are much more involved this year. I think that we're really catching a lot of balls from that standpoint and yet we're running the ball more than we've ever run it. If anything, I'm trying to get him some of his breaks because of all those carries from that standpoint."
(on if the team's slow start yesterday could be attributed to the bye week) "No. We've had a few. We had a slow start against Baltimore and played three and a half really good quarters. I don't know. Some games we've been off to some fast starts and haven't responded after the fast starts so obviously you're hoping that it's just good at the end of the day, the overall picture looks good. We missed a third down early in the game yesterday, had a ton of penalties that we had to overcome and it really slowed us down, but we responded. I liked the way we didn't panic at halftime. We're in a 7-6 ballgame. We had not played real, real good, especially on that side of the ball and come in at halftime, we don't panic. We go out there and play better and find a way to get a win. I think that's important. It shows a lot of your maturity as a team."
(on if he's concerned about the team's penalties) "Yeah, that is a concern. I think we had seven, but they seemed to come in bunches. Our two special teams penalties came back-to-back early in the game. It was a difference in about 20 yards of field position. Offensively, they came in bunches early in the game with some holding calls. I think coming out of the bye, two weeks out of the bye, just some technique stuff we did as a football team. We played high. We used our hands way too much, just some things that you do every day and work on. You could see getting back into the rhythm of the game. We did it much better in the second half."
(on if he expects it to be a couple weeks to evaluate ILB Darryl Sharpton) "Probably all depends on what he looks like. You would love to think he comes out there and practices Wednesday and Thursday and say, 'Boy, I think he can help us.' The good news is we control that. There is no pressure on him. Obviously, he wants to get back on the field as quick as he can. He's chomping at the bit, but we'll make sure he's ready to go, make sure he puts his pads on, makes sure he's been through some things that he's shown us he's ready to go."
(on ILB Darryl Sharpton as a player) "When he's played for us, he's played very well. He's an excellent special teams player. He's a very physical player, loves to hit, so all that. He can help us. Obviously, with our situation, losing (ILB) Brian (Cushing), bringing (ILB) Barrett (Ruud) along, (ILB Darryl Sharpton) Sharp knows what we're doing. He's been around (Defensive Coordinator) Wade's (Phillips) scheme and learning Wade's scheme so that's not going to be a problem at all. We see a guy that can be factor, not just be active, but could become a factor for our team. So hopefully that'll happen. We'll see."
(on G/C Ben Jones' performance yesterday) "Well I'll say this, I don't think we played one of our better games up front, offensive line. Like I said, we had too many penalties, just some technique stuff I didn't like. We're going to have to play a lot better that we played up front this week next week if we're going to win. (G/C) Ben (Jones) continues, I think, to play like a young player. There is a lot of good. There are a lot of things that got to get a lot better. Ben and (RT Derek) Newton are young players that are a little bit inconsistent and our other three are very consistent and they should be. They played a lot more football. It's something we expected and something we're continuing to try to work through, but there are flashes of very good things and that's most important."
(on how much he stresses playing to a high level of excellence) "That's the only way you get better. Every week when you play, it'd be easy to walk out of there yesterday and say everything is okay. We won so there are no problems, but we come in here today and we watch the film together. We talk about things we didn't do good, things that if we do this in Chicago it's going to get us beat. I think good teams are hard on themselves when they win. It's so easy to not be, but the good teams do that. Our guys are very good about that, very mature."
(on OLB Connor Barwin's play) "We had two defensive players of the game. I'll let you all guess who the other one was. (OLB) Connor (Barwin) was one of them. He's playing very, very well. He's had two good weeks, back-to-back. He's all around the quarterback, playing very hard. I think because of Connor's work, good things are starting to come his way more often. Yesterday was another step in the right direction. (DE) J.J. (Watt) was the other, by the way."
(on what kind of threat Bears WR Brandon Marshall is) "One good thing that came out of us going to the Pro Bowl as coaches was we know what kind of talent this young man has. He was the MVP of the game for us. He's exceptional. If they can run the ball, if (RB Matt) Forte is running the ball and you can't help your corners and stuff, you're going to get a matchup against an exceptional player. We understand that. Obviously, that's who (QB) Jay (Cutler) is looking for to make big plays. He continues to do that. They'll even make them when he's double-covered too. He's an exceptional player. We know what we're facing. They can line up and run the ball on you too. Forte is a heck of a player."
(on how the special teams fared against the Bills) "I thought we improved in some areas. Our kickoff coverage and our return game was better. We gave (WR) Keshawn (Martin) some legitimate opportunities. Our coverage game, obviously we were trying to keep the ball out of their returner's hands, so we did some different things. I thought we took a step forward in some of those areas, but we did have some things that once again, they could jump up and bite you. We had a field goal blocked. There at the end of the game, like I mentioned in the post-press conference yesterday, we've got to get that ball out of bounds. We can't serve one up to their returner in that situation. Those are some things that we need to improve upon but I think there is some positive stuff. We did take a step forward in some key areas that were really hurting us."
(on what jumps out to him about the Bears defense) "They're just physical. First off, they've got two of the top defensive minds in the game over the past 15-20 years when you talk about (Bears Head Coach) Lovie (Smith) and (Asst. Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator) Rod Marinelli. They are very good. They have one of the greatest players to play the interior in a long time with (DE Julius) Peppers. They have one of the best middle linebackers (Brian Urlacher) that the game has seen in a long time leading the way. They are very well-built in what they do and they've been together for a long time. A lot of players have played a lot of football together. What they're doing speaks for itself. Five turnovers yesterday and I think they have seven touchdowns on defense this year. I could go on and on, but we have a serious task ahead of us."
(on Bears CB Charles Tillman's ability to knock away passes and if they make their receivers aware of that) "We'll have to make a big point of it. One of the great things that this team does is when you make a play on them they don't give up on the play. If you throw a slant route or your back gets out and busts the line of scrimmage, there are people working downfield working to poke the ball out and finish plays. They are excellent at that so we obviously have to hit our guys on it. We do it all the time but it's going to be a big point of emphasis this week in practice and when it's all said and done, us protecting the ball will be huge in the game."
(on what he would've liked to do better on the offensive line) "I think our opportunities running the ball in the first half were much better. I think we actually had like nine carries for 60 yards. It was really good. We went back and did some of the same things; we just didn't do them as well in the second half. Some of the opportunities that we gave them in the second half from a coaching standpoint and what I called, the opportunities weren't as good. We did not run the ball as well in the second half. Is that what you're asking me? Yeah, we didn't run the ball as well in the second half as we did in the first."
(on the addition of RB Jonathan Grimes and ILB Barrett Ruud on special teams) "(RB Jonathan) Grimes did some good stuff. (ILB) Barrett (Ruud) did a few things, covered a few kicks for us and played on the punt return game. We like what we're getting from Barrett. He's a veteran player. With some of the things going on with us, the further we go along, I think he can help us more. Having (SS Quintin) Demps and (SS Troy) Nolan both on the field and both being active helped us. I think (Special Teams Coordinator) Joe (Marciano) got a little stronger from that standpoint and obviously we played a little better."
(on CB Kareem Jackson) "The ball is going away from him now. I'll tell you, he's playing so well. He's come so far now. Him and J.Joe (CB Johnathan Joseph) both played well. We thought (FS) Glover (Quin) played probably his best game of the year. He played really well. (CB) Kareem (Jackson) is really growing up and playing well. He handles his stuff and understands (Defensive Coordinator) Wade's (Phillips) defense very good."
(on the lack of production from WR Lestar Jean) "He's fine. I just think (WR) Andre (Johnson) and (WR) Kevin (Walter) are playing so well. Yesterday wasn't a big-snap game. I think we had 59 offensively. I think defensively we had 57 or 58. That's not a lot of snaps in the NFL. Guys are holding up good. He's doing good. He looks fine. He played some special teams."
(on the Texans tight ends) "They're the key to our versatility. We can run a bunch of offenses with those three. We can be in a two-back scheme. We can be in a one-back scheme. We can be in a three-wide scheme. Yesterday, we went to some empty stuff where all three of them were on the field. Actually, it hurt me a couple times with a couple of calls and I had to waste a couple of timeouts because I lost OD (TE Owen Daniels) in some situations and I was trying to call his number. They give us a lot of flexibility. I think Garrett's (TE Graham) development has been a key to OD staying healthy. (FB) James (Casey) is playing all over the place."
(on what was his initial reaction when he heard WR Brandon Marshall was traded to the Bears) "I didn't have one. Wow? He's a hell of a player. I don't even remember when it happened. It happened in the offseason, right? Everybody is trying to land those big-time receivers that you say are your go-to guy. Every team is looking at that. Of course you have to remember, I wasn't in Denver with (QB) Jay (Cutler) and those guys, so I didn't know them. Obviously those two guys hooking back up together after being very successful together in Denver has made it easy on (Offensive Coordinator) Mike Tice putting that offense together. It's a very scary group."
(on how CB Johnathan Joseph competes with the big, physical receivers) "(CB) Johnathan (Joseph) is all about speed. He trusts his speed. He doesn't get tangled with those guys too much. He can play physical with you, but he trusts himself with what he's doing. The thing that Johnathan does so well is Johnathan finishes plays. When somebody catches a ball on him, he's finishing, he's tackling. The play he made yesterday, third-and-2, they catch a slant and he goes in there and rips the ball out. His ability to finish, to me, is what makes him a great player."
(on QB Matt Schaub and the bootleg) "He does it very good. You're right. (QB) Matt (Schaub) has been very consistent for us when he's managing the game, protecting the ball. Like I tell y'all all the time, if I have to go out there and throw the ball 50-60 times with Matt, I'd be very comfortable with that. I just think our team is built a little bit different, but that day may come. He handles the boot so well because he sees the field so well. If I give him a chance to make a big play and it's not there, he'll dump the ball off and always make the right decision. The thing with Matt, when we do boot with him, we never have negative plays. As a coach, that's a great comfort zone for me calling plays."