Texans head coach Gary Kubiak answered questions from the media during a Friday morning press conference at Reliant Stadium. The following is a transcript of his interview. * *
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the injuries from last night) "We're still sorting through those. We got home so late. We got a few guys nicked up. Bryant Johnson has got a quad issue that we're dealing with this morning. Other than that, just a bunch of bumps and bruises. Don't have anything really definitive for you right now."
(on what adjustments QB T.J. Yates needs to make) "I think T.J. continues to do some good things. He did some good things last night. You complete 13 out of 16 throws in this League, you're doing something right. The issue last night, we didn't protect him very well and gave up four sacks in 16 throws. That's about as poor as it gets, so we better address that first as we keep moving him forward. But I think he continues to get better and like I said, for where we're heading here, he needs to continue to get better and we just got to trust him and move forward. But like I said, everybody's got to do their job around him."
(on if it was a bad game for the offensive line) "No, I wouldn't say that all. I think we had some issues at certain spots in pass protection that we struggled most of the night, but there were some guys that played very well. Duane Brown played extremely well, went against one of the great players in the game in Dwight Freeney. We ran the ball very, very well as a football team. There was a lot of good stuff going on too."
(on how concerned he is about the penalties) "I don't know where to start. Penalties and turnovers get you beat in this League and last night, we had a little bit of both. We still turned the ball over twice. We did get one back, but we have to address it from a two turnover standpoint because it's been a problem. Eleven penalties, obviously I don't agree with all of them, but that's neither here nor there. Our job's to keep playing and play through mistakes and play through issues. We had our chances to do that and we didn't do it. We'll turn them into the League. We got to make sure we're on the same page because a few of those we just don't understand why they were roughing calls. I'll wait to hear back from the League and we'll make sure we address it as a group and players take responsibility for it and coaches and move forward."
(on if QB T.J. Yates is the starter going forward) "Oh yeah, he's done a lot of good things."
(on what happened to the defense on the Colts' last drive of the game) "The difficult thing right now defensively, that's two weeks in a row we played really good football for three quarters and the last two weeks, in the fourth quarter, there's been four fourth quarter drives over 75 yards. That's what's happened the last two weeks. That's a little disturbing because we've been pretty consistent in what we're doing. That last drive, a couple things bothered me. We did let them out of bounds a couple times. You're trying to keep them in. They had no timeouts. We jumped a route with about 50 seconds left that we don't need to be jumping. Just make them throw it and tackle, so that's discipline in what we're doing. Obviously, the penalties at the end game them a lot more opportunities to beat us. It was an accumulation of things in that last drive, but the fourth quarter in general over the course of the last two weeks has been a little disturbing."
(on only converting one third down last night) "Yeah, that's been poor the last two weeks. First off, last night, a lot of our third downs were very long yardage. We ran the ball very well, but we had some situations, some second-and-eight, second-and-nine runs that were negative plays for us and ended up some third-and-12s. In that place, with those pass rushers and that speed coming off the edge, when you get in those situations, it gets very, very dangerous. Some of that was me making some calls trying to keep us out of harm's way and not make some things worse, but at the same time, we had four or five of them that we should have made too and we didn't. When you're one-for-10, you're going to lose the time of possession. I think we've been the top of the League throughout the course of this year in time of possession and last two weeks, we've lost it both games and we lose both games, so that tells you how important it is."
(on why RB Ben Tate struggled last night) "Yeah, I think he had six or seven carries and it was not good. Their defense, they're a lot like that. They're an up-field, get-off-the-ball, gap-type defense and when you catch them right, you make some big plays. You catch them wrong, you have some negatives, so that is going to happen from time to time, but over the course of the day, we ran the ball very well. But you're right. Especially, it seemed like our negative runs came in the red zone. We'd bounce in the red zone, get to the 20, 25-yard line, have first-and-10 and now we have second-and-13. It seemed to happen that way. It was definitely a problem."
(on if the offensive problems can be fixed in one game and how much the return of WR Andre Johnson will help) "Well the biggest thing offensively is we've got to find some points. We're kicking too many field goals, have not played well in the red zone. We just talked about the third downs. One of the strengths of our team has been controlling the clock in the game. We haven't done that the last two weeks. Yeah, we've got to play better from that standpoint. Andre, until Andre gets back on the field, we got to get the guys that are out there to do it. I'm hoping he is back out there this week. We'll see what happens, but he'd be a nice addition to get back. Even with that being said, we've got to improve with the group we got right now, so it's not good enough."
(on if he is in the same holding pattern this week with WR Andre Johnson's injury) "I have no hold on him. When they tell me he can go, he's going. It's been a process. They've been working with him off the field, trying to get him ready to turn him over to me and put him on the field. It's my understanding that we're real, real close. I'll let you know. If it happens, it'll be early next week."
(on what Indianapolis did to take away TE Owen Daniels) "They didn't do a whole lot. I mean, they played a lot of three-deep. Like I said, 13 of our 16 passes were complete. They went to other guys. Yards per catch was very good. We didn't throw it that much. We threw it 16 times. I don't know where it's going to go. Coverage dictates where the ball is going to go. You don't just drop back and say, 'Throw it to this guy.' You go where the coverage tells you to go and T.J. (Yates) did a good job of getting it there."
(on if there is an update on defensive coordinator Wade Phillips) "You know, I just made a call to him before I walked in here. I did not talk to his wife. I left a message. It is my understanding he's either coming out of the hospital today or was released yesterday. I have not talked to him."
(on how he will handle the schedule with some extra times in between games) "I gave these guys the weekend off, give them a break. We need to freshen up and enjoy Christmas with the family as they went through a real tough two weeks there, not only losing two games but physically and mentally with our schedule, as difficult as it was. Try to freshen up them up, come back in here Monday, correct our mistakes, look forward to what we've got to do to get better as a football team and get back to work."
(on if he expects defensive coordinator Wade Phillips back for the Tennessee game) "I can't answer that. I'm just worried about him getting well. I'm not worried about when he comes back."
(on what plays from the Indianapolis game he is going to send into the NFL) "I couldn't tell you. I know it's about six or seven of the 11 (penalties). That's the best I can describe it."
(on if he felt the need to talk to DE J.J. Watt about the roughing the passer penalties called against him in the Indianapolis game) "Well, yeah, you talk to guys. Let me tell you, you turn on the film and this kid played one hell of a football game. Unbelievable game. If we're right on a couple of those, then it got even better. If we're wrong, then we've gotta make those corrections so it doesn't happen again. But just don't understand a couple ways that it happened, us understanding the rules and the way they were called. But it can't happen. You can't have penalties and there's no excuse for them. But at the same time, the kid deserves a lot of credit for the football game he played. It was off the charts, now. He's been a big-time player all year long and he plays with great energy. Obviously, we've got to fix penalties."
(on if RT Eric Winston's penalties and pass protection in the last month are a concern) "No. Eric's a consistent player for us. He struggled with (Robert) Mathis. I mean, they've got Pro Bowl players on both sides. Two great players, been doing it a long, long time. The biggest disappointment for me, we had four sacks. Three out of those for sacks came when we were actually trying to help our tackles. They weren't even singled up. We didn't play well toward our help, without me getting into a bunch of football stuff. We need to play to our help better when we're getting it and we didn't do that. We've got to protect our quarterback a lot better than we did."
(on if Indianapolis QB Dan Orlovsky's familiarity with Houston's defensive personnel helped him in the game) "I don't know that. We played a lot of man coverage in the game. They've got some excellent receivers with Reggie (Wayne) and (Pierre) Garcon. I mean, they've got a good group of guys. We got beat on a couple plays in man coverage. We made some plays, too. No, you've got to give Dan credit. For him to take that team 78 yards with no timeouts in two minutes, some of the things he's been through in his career, I know it was a highlight for him. It was at our expense but he's a good man. He did a heck of a job."
(on if the fourth-quarter issues in the last two games were because of a lack of focus) "I don't see a lack of focus. I see great effort. I don't see a lack of focus. I just think you somebody's got to make that play. It's almost like responsibility and that's the way I talked to the team. When you got a chance to close somebody out. Offensively, we had an excellent chance. We had second-and-six. If we get a first down, we're going to hit a knee, we're going to go home with a win. And we had a couple opportunities, to me, that we should make those plays and we didn't. So we're going to be sick as an offensive group when we watch that. Defensively, you need one interception, one sack, one strip. Somebody's got to take the responsibility, step up and make that play. We just got to look at ourselves and be willing to step and do those things that would've got you out of there with a win. But we didn't do that."
(on how concerned he is going into the playoffs with the inconsistency of the way games are called by the officials) "I do not get into the refs' deal. You guys know me. I never will. That's part of football. You're going to get some calls. You're not going to get some. Be a big boy and keep playing and find a way to make it work. We should've did that last night. No complaints."