Head coach Gary Kubiak met with the media during a Sunday press conference at Reliant Stadium. The following is a transcript of his interview.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on NT Shaun Cody's back injury) "He's got a disc issue. We're really still in an evaluation process. He received an epidural today and we're going to see how he reacts to that, so I think it's going to be a couple days before we really know exactly what we're looking at, but obviously he's going to miss some time here this week."
(on if he feels comfortable with the two guys stepping in during NT Shaun Cody's absence) "Yeah, Sunny (NT Ra'Shon Harris) has been out. We've missed Sunny so we're hoping to get him back tomorrow. Earl (Mitchell) has played well, and then Lonnie (NT Hebron Fangupo), our young guy that we got from BYU, made some plays last night. We like those guys but at the same time we are kind of beat up on the defensive line just in general, and we got a good two more weeks of so-called training camp to continue to battle through. It could be an issue so it's something we'll have to work through."
(on the right side of the offensive line in the first preseason game) "I think that (T Rashad) Butler and (G Antoine) Caldwell played like they were more veterans than the other two, which you would expect, but I think they all did some good things. The young kid (G Brandon Brooks) came in and I thought he did some good things, especially in pass-pro (protection). I thought (T Derek) Newton was a little inconsistent but continues to flash. It's going to be a good battle. We played those guys probably more than any of our older players last night and that will be on a continuous basis over the next couple weeks. I think they kind of played the way I expected them to play."
(on the return game outside of WR Trindon Holliday's touchdown return) "It's ahead of our coverage game. I would say that. I think we've been doing some good stuff from that standpoint. We're much better with our upfront guys in our kick return. We've got some veteran special teams players when you talk about (Jesse) Nading and (Bryan) Braman and (Tim) Dobbins. They've been playing together for a while. But Trindon did do some nice things on his own, too. As I said last night, the big return was nice, but the thing I liked is that the other ones were positive too. There are some things he can improve on. I didn't think he should have fair caught that one. I think he should go ahead and try to make a play there. But it was a big step for him in the right direction."
(on incorporating WR Trindon Holliday into the offense more) "I don't know if he played any offensively last night, but the biggest thing we're going to do is we're going to give him a chance to be our all-time returner. That's what we're trying to give him chance to do. Yes, he's come a long way offensively as far as knowing what we're doing. The thing he's caught up in right now is my evaluation with him is going to be a big priority on special teams, because I've got the issue with all the other young receivers, trying to get (DeVier) Posey along, and (Keshawn) Martin along, and Lestar (Jean). We've got such a battle going on there from that standpoint. Reps are kind of at a premium right now so that was kind of on me."
(on the excitement WR Keshawn Martin brings) "Y'all can see him. He has tremendous speed. He outran a couple guys right there and found a way to make a 10 or 11 yard gain, where it might be a 5-yard loss. He's a very talented young man. I thought he held himself together pretty good. (He) had some mistakes, some consistency stuff, but for a guy to be here two weeks and start at receiver in his first preseason game, I thought he did a pretty good job."
(on RB Jonathan Grimes' performance in the first preseason game) "I've been impressed with him the whole time. Y'all know that. Not only played well offensively but played well on special teams. He and (RB Davin) Meggett both showed up well for Joe (Marciano) on special teams. He's a very reliable, sharp young man, handles himself like he's been around for a couple years and it showed on the field last night."
(on if the two red zone trips that resulted in two field goals were because of rustiness or due to a lack of execution) "I would attribute it to bad execution. I thought we had some opportunities to make some plays. I thought we didn't execute one time at the quarterback, another time at the receiver. The field gets smaller down there and you got to make little plays. That's something we've been working on in practice. The key to us in the red zone is running the ball well, so overall if we play better in the red zone last night, there's a lot more points. Getting down there was a good thing, but it was a negative as far as what we did offensively."
(on who will be back this week) "I'm hoping we get Sunny (Ra'Shon Harris) back tomorrow. I'm going to know more this evening. (DE Jared) Crick should be back tomorrow. (Jerrell) Jackson, our receiver, we got a chance of getting him back, and Bryant Johnson getting back. Tomorrow might be a little early but I think by Tuesday we got a chance of having all those guys back."
(on if there was a particular unit he was most impressed with in the first preseason game) "No. First of all, I just liked our conditioning. I thought our football team showed very good conditioning throughout the course of the game. I thought we held up well. I thought each area we had some very positive things going on. Defensively, you get to the quarterback eight or nine times. That was exceptional but I hate to pinpoint exactly one thing. It would be hard to do. There were a lot of good things going on."
(on RB Arian Foster fumbling the ball and if ball security is a concern ) "Arian (Foster) knows he's got to hang onto the ball. I don't have to tell him that. I do tell him on regular basis but he knows that. I normally would have went right back to him and handed it to him again, but I had a play count on all of our ones and regardless of what happened, I was going to stick to it. He'll get his work. We'll pick up his work this week."
(on RB Justin Forsett's play) "Pretty consistent. He's played a lot in this league so it's not too big for him and he understands what we're doing. I thought he did some good stuff. He made some really nice runs a couple times when we didn't block very well. Covering kicks for Joe (Marciano) will be a big part of him being a part of this team, so he did that as well."
(on the running backs competition) "I think there's a great competition going on at three, four and five and all for our third spot. All those guys have shown good things and they've all shown that they'll be able to help Joe (Marciano), so that kind of puts them all on equal footing as we move forward. Arian (Foster) and Ben (Tate), obviously I have to pick their work load this week and make sure they get carries as we proceed to week one."
(on an overview of the quarterbacks) "I thought it was pretty good. I liked what I saw from Matt (Schaub). I thought he was sharp. It had been a while since he'd been in the pocket. Other than the turnover which we caught a corner fire, a blitz that we did not pick up, but he's got to protect the ball right there. But I thought he looked like himself. I think T.J. (Yates) is growing as a player, getting better and better. John Beck handled himself really well. And then I think Case (Keenum) did a good job; he's working with our young offensive line. We had some breakdowns up front, but he found a way to keep things positive and move the football. So I'll give him some more this week, but I thought all four of them did some pretty good things."
(on if WR Andre Jonson and ILB Brian Cushing will play) "Yeah, I didn't mention Cush (Brian Cushing). Cush should be on the field in the morning. He's doing great, he's feeling really good. Y'all know we left him at home and he's had a good weekend, so he's back to himself. Andre (Johnson), it's early. It's Sunday, but yeah, he should play. If everything goes according to schedule, he should play this week. He could have played in the game, but he was behind everybody else practice time-wise, so it didn't make a lot of sense to me. He did get a good workout yesterday. We'll continue to push him forward. I expect him to get his reps this weekend. Is it as many as the ones we'll play? I don't know, we'll see."
(on TE Garrett Graham) "Well, he's a very much-improved player, and we've seen that the last two weeks; it didn't just happen last night. He's come a long way. He's bigger, stronger, he's faster. He's had a great offseason with (strength and conditioning coach) Cedric (Smith). Cedric really did a heck of a job with him. And if he continues to step the way he has in his first few weeks, it's going to be a really nice year for him. I've been very impressed with his play."
(on WR Lestar Jean) "Did some really good stuff. Needs to get consistent because he has a chance to be a heck of a player. But made some tough catches last night for us, did a pretty good job in the running game, made a couple tackles on special teams but needs to continue to get consistent with what he's doing because he has a chance to be a big-time player in this league, not just a good player. So we're going to push him, trying to find that next level."
(on areas that need improvement with the defense) "Just penalties, really. The guy we played so well, and the one touchdown drive we gave up, I think there was three big pass interference penalties or holding penalties. So as I told them after the game, we play a lot of man-coverage so we've got to be disciplined in our approach and how we do things. But overall defensively, you give up 160 yards in any football game, you're playing darn well. And the way we got to the quarterback, there were a lot of people getting to the quarterback. That was impressive."
(on which were the most concerning penalties) "I would just say overall just penalties in general. We had our share. We jumped off sides on special teams, we were off sides on a kickoff one time, just things that are discipline that you can't have in a game. So we had our share, and we'll have to go back and fix those tomorrow."
(on the kicking competition) "I think maybe Shayne (Graham) kicked off a little bit better than our young buck (Randy Bullock), but I think they both kicked well. I was very impressed with Randy, the last field goal. I don't know that I'm kicking that filed goal in a regular season game right there in that situation in the game, but we wanted to give him a chance. Boy, he put it in the net from what, 52 or 53 (yards)? He's been impressive, but Shayne (Graham)'s having a good camp too, so it's going to be a good competition."
(on what he thought about the replacement officials ) "Like I said last night, I've got so many things to worry about myself. I know they're working hard and trying to get ready for the season themselves. My concentration has got to be on fixing penalties, so that's what I'll try to do with our team."
(on FS Troy Nolan's interception) "Yeah, that's just finishing plays. We talk all the time to our players about finishing plays. Troy played to the whistle right there and was able to get that ball out. Troy has a knack for coming up with fumbles, interceptions, he has a way of getting his hands on the ball and last night was no exception. "
(on if WR DeVier Posey was targeted at all in Carolina and the plan for him for the preseason) "He had one that I can think of where (QB) Case (Keenum) missed him on a curl route. I actually told him last night, I said 'Hey, I know you didn't get a chance to touch the ball like some of the other guys, but you'll get your opportunities.' He worked well. He worked well in the game, he played a little special teams. The thing I want to see him do better, and I told him this, I told (wide receivers coach) Larry (Kirksey) this, when he makes mistakes, we need to correct them where they don't come up again. I think a lot of that has to do with missed time last year in college. But the ability is there and us getting him consistent in what we're doing, he's going to be able to help us so we got to get him consistent."
(on what he's planning to do differently against San Francisco) "We'll really pick up our reps. (RB) Arian (Foster) has got to get his touches, start to get his touches and get ready for the season. Obviously, we just won last night, very physical football team. We'll play our one's at least a quarter-and-a-half as we move forward. It will be a good test for us. I just got through watching the film of them against Minnesota; they look very good."
(on what he felt about the players who started in place of injured starters) "They did a heck of a job. (ILB) Mister (Alexander) gets his first start as a pro, and we played well defensively so Mister's out there doing his job. I think (ILB Tim) Dobbins is a much-improved player, kind of like Garrett Graham that we talked about. Dobbins had a great camp and played very well last night. (DE) Timmy Jamison jumps at me, he's had a lot of reps because of (DE) J.J. (Watt) being out, played very well in the game. Defensively as a whole, we played hard, and we were very productive. "
(on how he would characterize the Carolina game: good, bad, or ugly?) "There was some ugly. I should have brought you up to watch the film with me, there was some ugly. When you play a lot of people, you're trying to find some consistency in what you're doing. The thing I worry about in the first game, I tell the guys all the time, 'Hey you're going to make mistakes, let them go. But I want to see you play hard. I want to see you give effort.' We gave great effort in the game, so I'm very pleased with that. There are a lot of things for us to move forward on but at the same time, there are a lot of things we can't do if we're going to win in Week 1, and we're smart enough to know that."