The day after his team topped the 49ers by a 24-21 margin, Texans' head coach Gary Kubiak answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of his weekly press conference.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on WR Andre Johnson's injury) "He has a lung contusion. They feel good about it. Looks like he's going to be fine. I think obviously he's going to be day to day as we go into this week but they'll do some tests on him each day as we go through this week but I think we're fortunate here and hopefully he'll be ready to go against Buffalo. But he'll be day to day."
(on when WR Andre Johnson got injured) "It happened early in the game. It happened on his first catch. He got hit in the lower back pretty good and played the whole game, was having a hard time catching his breath and then after he made that big play was struggling with it. So he basically played banged up throughout the day so that's pretty impressive by him."
(on what it says about Johnson that he went back in the game and they had to hide his helmet to keep him off the field) "That's him, he wants to do whatever he can do to help this team win and yesterday was a struggle getting him the ball. He had two plays that were both big plays but you know Andre will give you everything he's got. Y'all know that. And he knew this team needed a couple more plays to win and he was willing to go make them."
(on what tests WR Andre Johnson will go through regarding his injury) "I think just doing blood work and just making sure everything's ok. I hate to be the expert on that but that's the way it's explained to me."
(on being 4-3 and the importance of being competitive in the AFC) "You're right, there's a long, long way to go, we hit the halfway mark this week but we battled our way back and you're right, when it's all said and done at the end of the year, there's so many factors that go into whether or not you're a playoff team—winning in the AFC, winning in your division—but every game is a big game and like I said we beat two good football teams these past two weeks and feel good about that but now we got to go on the road and beat a team that's playing extremely well too. I mean, they're playing well. They've won two big road games the last two weeks. We've just got to take them one at a time and try to be as good as we can be that day."
(on if he is worried about the weather in Buffalo) "I've played there many times. You're right. You can show up there some times and really only be able to throw the ball for two quarters, when the wind is at your back. I've seen that. That can obviously be a factor, but (QB) Matt (Schaub) has handled adverse conditions very, very well. We'll see. We've got to prepare either way. If we have to go down there and run it to win, we've got to do a better job running it. You never know what's going to happen there weather wise."
(on why QB Matt Schaub is playing well on the road) "I think he's got great command of what we're doing. His composure with these game plans that we're putting together for him, we ask a lot of him mentally. It's easy for him. To go from being a good quarterback to being a great quarterback is when you get so comfortable with what you're doing that you can help the rest of the team do their job. That's where he's at right now. He's heading that direction. I'll give you a good example. His numbers yesterday, not as big as they have been, but he's our Player of the Game on offense yesterday. He was exceptional. The way he ran the team, he avoided, I want to say 5 sacks—moving, throwing the ball away, making smart plays as a quarterback. He makes great decisions all day. He doesn't turn the ball over. That's the difference in us winning and losing. So even though he throws for 260, when he's had some big, big games this year, I thought it was as good as he had played and managed our football team all year long."
(on the defense not having prepared for 49ers QB Alex Smith) "There's no difference—they weren't running any different plays. They were running power-O and throwing deep-overs. No, there is no excuse for that; whoever's playing quarterback you got to go out there and defend what they're doing. I just think in the second half we didn't play with the same attention to detail coverage-wise, leverage-wise. You know, you go out and jump off-sides three times in the first drive of the second half, to me that's focus. So obviously we didn't have the same focus in the second half we had in the first."
(on what happened on 49ers' second touchdown coverage-wise) "I'm trying to think of which one it was. We're in quarters. He's (LB DeMeco Ryans) got to go get some body on that kid—that guy's a heck of a player and as athletic a tight end as there is in the National Football League and if you let him run free, there's not many linebackers going to keep up with him so he's got to go get some body on him there, he's got to get some help from (S Bernard) Pollard there and that's just kind of what I'm talking about, the attention to detail, technique of playing that coverage."
(on 49ers WR Michael Crabtree) "I think he's got a chance to be pretty good. For him to go out there and what'd he have, five or six catches in the game and was very close to coming out of some of those catches with some big runs. He's a big body and he's going to be a great player. I think everybody knew that coming out of college."
(on how he plans to get the Texans pass rushers to pressure Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick) "Well, we're going to have to stop the run, too. They've got (RB Marshawn) Lynch who's a fine, fine player and depending on the weather there you better start with the run first but obviously he's got some good weapons outside with (WR Lee) Evans and TO (WR Terrell Owens) and so we've got to stop them, regardless of what we've got to do. It won't just be about rushing the passer, it'll be about doing a lot of good things."
(on if they were playing quarters, would it be the defensive backs fault) "You're a coverage expert now? When you're in quarters, both of them have their responsibilities. (LB) DeMeco (Ryans) has to go over there and get somebody on the guy. You've got to go push him wide; help push him out there to (S) Bernard (Pollard). Bernard has got to squeeze the play some. You're right. It belongs to both of them."
(on if they had any other injuries) "(CB Antwaun) Molden had a little hamstring, but did go back and play in the game. (RB) Chris (Brown) got a hand, but the x-rays are negative. We're okay. We came out pretty good."
(on the run defense being a source of pride among the defense) "It's been very good for the last month. This back yesterday is a fine player and they had (RB Glen) Coffee also. We played very sound in the run game and I think that's gone with the success of our team here the past few weeks because our defense has stepped up and played so well. We had a lot of ground to make up. Hopefully we can keep going and we'll face another good back this week."
(on where they are at with RB Steve Slaton and holding on to the ball) "Obviously, it's a concern when you put it on the ground as much as he has this year. It's a concern to him. It's a concern to our team. I also believe in Steve and our team believes in him and trusts that to be successful and accomplish some of the things we want to accomplish as a team, we need Steve making those plays. We've got to stand behind him. To me, it's up to all of us to help him get over this issue—me, (running backs coach) Chick (Harris), everybody on the staff, the whole team helping him in practice. We're going to stand behind Steve and help him get this corrected as a football team because we need his big plays to win."
(on guys hitting RB Steve Slaton to stand him up and others coming in to strip the ball) "Well it's like anything else, I think when you go through a season, regardless of what position you're playing or whatever, another team's watching you and something is happening to you in a game, then they're going to exploit that issue. When you put the ball on the ground a few times, I'm sure they're out there talking to them about it. Obviously, holding him up, trying to strip it in every situation, so it comes with the territory. If you put it on the ground, that's something you're going to have to deal with and he's going to have to work through that, but we're going to be here for him to work through it."
(on why they are playing better on the road) "I think it starts with the quarterback. I think our defense has started to play better football and so that's been the consistent thing. I'd like to see us run the ball better on the road, but when you get good quarterback play and your defense is playing sound, you should be in that football game. Now you have to make the plays at the end."
(on why so many 300-yard passers are winning games) "I don't know. I was just up talking to (Texans owner) Bob (McNair) about two weeks ago when the Jets had 300 yards rushing and lost the football game, but then you look at that game and they had six turnovers. I don't know. That is a big swing in this league. People are throwing it around a little bit more than they have in the past. I look at yesterday and one of our goals yesterday was to win the turnover battle. We thought we'd win the game if we won the turnover battle and it took the last play of the game, but we did. So I think that will be a big factor this weekend."
(on why teams are throwing it more) "I don't know, just opening things up more, I don't know. It could be personnel. It could be issues of those type of things. Obviously, we've started to throw it a little bit more. I still like the fact that we came out yesterday and did have 27 runs, if I'm right. Even though we have been a little bit more on the passing side, I think we've tried to stay somewhat balanced because that's the best thing for our team."
(on if he knows if Bills QB Trent Edwards will play or not due to the concussion) "I've been told no, but I don't know. I was just told today that they have already ruled him out, but I don't know if I'm totally correct on that."