Texans head coach Gary Kubiak met with the media on Monday afternoon at Reliant Stadium, and the following is a transcript of his interview.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
(on Giants' ability to take away the cutback lines during Sunday's game) "I wish we had more runs to see that they took it away. I think we had about eight carries in the first half for very few yards, eight or nine yards. In the second half we probably didn't run the ball but another three (or) four times. I don't know that we ever were able to evaluate what we were doing running the ball. We got behind 21-0; I started throwing it a bunch trying to get back in the game. They stopped pretty much everything we did. It's really hard to evaluate what we did running the ball yesterday because we didn't do much at all."
(on if SS Bernard Pollard's shoulder is an issue at all headed into this week) "Not that I know of. I think he's fine. He held up fine in the game. Everybody's beat-up. We're beat-up as a football team right now. We just got to push through and try to get some of those guys good and fresh during the bye week."
(on if he sees that his team is up-and-down ahead of time or just on game days) "We have been (up and down). That's a good observation. We've played some very good games and a couple poor ones in big spurts as a football team. Very good in spurts and very bad in spurts. So we're trying to find some consistency there as a football team. That's the key to being a great football team; when you find that same level of player, that same sense of urgency every week in this league. That's the hardest thing in this league to find and we're searching for that. Obviously, we've got a long way to go to get that done but somehow we've got to find some consistency in what we're doing."
(on what he saw during his time in Denver as a player and coach that he'd like to see his team do now) "If you're asking me if I've had my tail kicked before, yeah, I have. That's so long ago, I just know that being a good football team is about consistency in everything you do, regardless of who you play, where you play; it doesn't matter. It's just like yesterday; we had been missing some players and had some issues and have stepped up to the plate and won some games. Yesterday, we get a hell of a player back and I told the team Saturday night, we're getting him back, but what matters is how we play as a team. It doesn't matter that we're getting (LB Brian) Cushing back. It matters how we go play the game and we didn't play the game very good in any phase. We're battling that right now. We've got some big, big issues we've got to get fixed or we're going to have a hard time throughout, not just this next week or two weeks from now. The consistency level of what we're doing right now is not going to hold up in this league. It's not going to do it right now."
(on telling his players they needed to play with an edge at home) "I had a talk with them on Saturday night and I felt like coming out of the Dallas game that some of that edge that I think we find sometimes on the road, when you know you're fixin' to go out there and take your 53 against 70-80,000 people. Some of that edge coming home, I felt like maybe we weren't quite the same with that edge, so I challenged them the night before the game to make sure we've got that same edge, that same sense of urgency as a football team and obviously, we didn't. I didn't get that accomplished."
(on the thought that he abandoned the running game against the Giants) "We abandoned it when it was 21-0. I think we had run 13 offensive plays and it was 21-0. I don't know that you could establish anything in 13 football plays. At that point, it was abandoned. I did not try to run the ball; that's on me, not on the players. I'm trying to get us back in the football game. But to say you abandon something when you've only run 13 snaps, I don't think that's the right observation."
(on how to improve the pass rush) "Well, we've tried a few different guys. Yesterday, obviously (New York Giants QB Eli) Manning didn't go down at all. We did make him get rid of the ball quickly sometimes and they still made plays, but it's going to continue to be about the group. We've gotten some pressure from (DE) Mario (Williams); we got some pressure from a few other guys against Oakland. We've got to continue to search as a group. We'll give this Anderson kid (DE Mark Anderson) that we brought in, we'll give him a chance this week and see if he can help us out. I think Cush (LB Brian Cushing) did help us out yesterday. He put some pressure on the quarterback. But it's about the group. It's not good enough as a group. It's not about one player or one position; it's about the whole group playing better."
(on whether he and general manager Rick Smith would consider a trade) "I'm lining up with who I've got. We've got to go play."
(on what reasons there may be for a seeming lack of urgency in home games) "Well, I didn't say that I thought there was a lack of urgency at home. I didn't say that. What I said was I thought that there's an edge sometimes when you go on the road and when you don't have your home crowd and you're not sleeping in your bed and when everything's not perfectly laid out for you during the week. I think sometimes you have a little bit more of an edge to you when you're on the road and I told them I didn't think I saw that same edge against Dallas.
"I thought we came out yesterday playing 100 miles an hour. We make a big play on the first play of the game, we get a ball knocked down and then we've got third-and-13. That's OK, we punt, we pin them, and we go three-and-out. That's good football; the Texans are playing good football, and then over the course of the next 18 plays we give up 185 yards and 21 points and we run 10 more offensive football plays. So there was nothing wrong with the start of the game, but about five minutes into it, they totally took over and they dominated us for a half of football and we're sitting there down 24-3."
(on how to get the team to play with a 'back against the wall' mentality when things are going well) "I think that's about maturity. If you relax in this business any week—it doesn't matter who you're playing, where you're playing—and you don't play well, you're going to get beat. If that's something we're battling right now, I didn't see guys relaxing. I saw us not play very good, but I don't think there's anybody out there just relaxing and not giving effort. I didn't see that; I just saw us play very poorly as a football team. But that is a nice challenge to have. I hope we're at that point as an organization where we've got to keep them from relaxing, but I don't think we're there. I think we've got to push every week to be as good as we can be, and that's what's going to give us a chance to win our games."
(on whether QB Matt Schaub has audibled out of pressure as much as he would like) "We do some. We check some plays. We're not a big, 'Matt, take over at the line of scrimmage, do what you want,' team. That's not how we do things, but yeah, he checks off some plays, we flip plays, we do stuff like that. So we're somewhat like that."
(on whether QB Matt Schaub has not been as sharp this year as he was last season) "He wasn't yesterday, but I think we helped him not be sharp, too. He didn't have a lot of help. He didn't have a lot of help up front; we dropped some balls; we need to do a better job protecting him; we need to run some better routes. He'd be the first one to tell you he wasn't good enough for us to win, but there's a lot of people involved in that. We've got to be able to win games when our quarterback goes out and throws for 180 yards, too. You can win games that way in this league. You can't expect him to throw for 400 or 300 a week and that's the only way you can be successful. That's never going to get us to where we want to go. I don't know what we're going to have to do this week to win, but if he throws for 150, we've got to find a way to run the ball more, but if he throws for 350, we've got to do that. There can't just be one way to be successful."
(on the Chiefs defense not allowing a touchdown to Colts QB Peyton Manning) "I'm so into us right now, I haven't even looked. I'm a little bit behind today."
(on him usually looking ahead at this point in the week already) "I've been busy with my team today. That's what I mean. I haven't got to that point yet."
(on he meant when he said he needed to look at himself) "I am really disturbed, looking specifically on the offensive side of the ball, like I said, we ran 13 plays. We're down 21-0 and we must've had eight, nine M.A.'s (missed assignments) in our first 13 plays. That has not been us at all. We've been somewhat consistent from that standpoint. I'm trying to look at, what did I do in that game? What did I ask them to do that was abnormal or not good? Or something they couldn't do. I was concerned about the focus and when I'm concerned about the focus, I have to go look at what we asked them to do as coaches and me specifically. I was just very, very concerned by the first 13 snaps of the game. I don't know where they came from. Hopefully, we can get rid of them."
(on the health statuses of WR Jacoby Jones, RB Arian Foster and WR Andre Johnson) "Jacoby is day to day. I'll know more about him on Wednesday. Arian, it was positive today. He did go back in the game. He did come out today and did run with the team, so other than having a sore knee, I think we're heading in the right direction. Andre came out of the game fine. Obviously sore today after playing, but no setbacks so he should be better this week."
(on QB Matt Schaub's passes getting deflected at the line of scrimmage against NFC East opponents) "They obviously were very good in our three-step drop game. They've got some big bodies in there, (DT Chris) Canty and those guys. They got their hands up. What we have to do as an offense, we have to be able to cut people and get their hands down when you're throwing a three-step drop. That goes with something that we do all the time. We just didn't do it very good yesterday. You're right. They did a heck of a job in our three-step drop in knocking balls down. They must've knocked down four or five."
(on how LB Brian Cushing looked after missing four games) "I'm glad he was out there. He was very active. Wasn't perfect by any means, but he was very active. He played with a lot of effort. He played many, many plays. I can't remember exactly how many. I want to say he played close to 60 plays. He looked like himself to me. He's some snaps behind, but man he looked fast and I'm glad he was out there for us."
(on what changes are available to improve their defense and if they can make a dramatic change) "Oh, yeah. There's no doubt in my mind that we can and we have to. First off, we have to believe in what we're doing and I believe in what we're doing. I believe in who we're doing it with. Do we have some young players on the back end? Yes, but we're going with those guys. I've told you guys that from the start. We've got a lot of improvement to do. I continue to see flashes of good stuff, but there's no consistency in what we're doing. So that's what we're struggling with today and struggling with the players, as we talk to them, is trying to fine the consistency and the edge to do things right all the time and not some of the time. That's our battle right now. Can we get there? I don't have any doubts we can get there."
(on if he is second guessing cutting the veterans at corner they had a year ago) "You know, no. When you make those decisions, you have to move on. We went young and we know who we're playing with. I think they're going to all be fine players. I think it's part of the growth process but we need that process to hurry up. I'm with you on all that."
(on if CB Sherrick McManis will get more playing time after his interception yesterday) "Well, he has been playing a little bit it in nickel. He got a little hamstring from yesterday so I'll have to see where he's at this week."