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Quotes: Kubiak press conference


Head Coach Gary Kubiak

(on if any other players require surgery besides WR DeVier Posey) "Oh, you got me. I couldn't tell you that right now. Obviously going through all the checkouts today and doctors evaluating everything, I don't know. It will be a couple days before I could tell you something like that."

(on how much of a blow WR DeVier Posey's injury is) "It's a big blow. You just feel bad for the kid because I think he had put himself in a position to come back here next year and push for a starting spot on this football team with his play over the course of the last five or six weeks. I just feel really bad for him. We're still in an evaluation process here. We know he has an Achilles that has to be repaired. Now there are different levels of how they're repaired and whether we're talking about six months or eight months. So we're going to sit here and hope for the best right now, but obviously it's a big blow to a young player who has a bright future."

(on what QB Matt Schaub could have done better this season) "Well first off, we could all do something better. But when you're the quarterback of the team, obviously that's where a lot of praise goes to and a lot of criticism goes. So I understand that. I would talk about (QB) Matt (Schaub) like I would talk about every player on our team. We left a lot of plays on the football field as a football team. And when you're playing a great team like that, you can't leave any. There's plays for him to make, but he did make a lot of plays, too. We could help him. We could have got him off to a great start if we make the play early in the game. Those plays help a quarterback. It goes with the territory, he understands that and he's tough enough to work through that."

(on if he would draft a quarterback in the second or third round of the draft if he liked a certain player) "Well we always look at everything. We get ready for the draft and those types of things. If you're asking me that question from the standpoint of what I think of (QB) Matt (Schaub). I believe in Matt. He's the quarterback of our football team, I've got no doubt about him. I think over the course of the last two years, he's won 70-plus percent of his starts. That's hard to do in this league. I feel very good about our quarterback. Our whole team has got to get better, that includes coaching and playing, for us to take the next step. And Matt is part of the team, but I've got a lot of confidence in him."

(on what message he imparted to the players today as they left) "It's a tough day. You talk to them after the game and you give them your feelings after the game, but today is more about just telling what you thought about their season. What you expect from them coming back and going from there. It's a brief meeting today. I'm kind of a little bit different. I'll meet with them, I'll wait a couple of weeks, and then I'll go back and start calling them again and talking with them again after I've had a chance to sit down and digest things a little bit better. The first part of the process is over. I'll work on the other part here in a few weeks."

(on why the team ran so many underneath routes) "I thought we threw the ball down the field yesterday. Our quarterback threw for 300-plus yards in the game. We were going to have to make some big plays. We went in there to be aggressive. There were a couple of times that we had a lot of third-and-longs, first off, and had to get rid of some balls because of pressure. We were hot in some situations. They busted some protection schemes, so give them credit. But that's part of football. Sometimes you have third-and-11, you throw a 7-yarder and somebody's got to go get another four. That's part of the game. But we could have been better on third downs."

(on why the team never went in any four wide receiver sets) "Well we did do a lot of three wides in the game. We had four wides in the game plan, that's not been us.  We're more of a two tight end, sometimes three wides. But we were very aggressive in the football game and what we were trying to do. They gave us a chance to make some big plays. We made some of them, but we didn't make enough."

(on having ILB Barrett Ruud on the edge covering RB Shane Vereen) "That's not unusual when you play these guys. They shift to empty sets, and some of those things they do you're going to get caught in those matchups. And we were caught in quite a few of them throughout the course of the night. Some of the plays they made, some of them they didn't. They made a great play right there. When you play New England and they go to a lot of those empty sets, you're going to get caught in some of those things."

(on who evaluates him and how his self-evaluation process goes) "Well, my first process is I sit down with Mr. (Bob) McNair. That's the man who evaluates me. I always take a look at what I did and how I handled situations and those type of things. I'll be doing that as I watch cut-ups and go back and review our season. But as far as this guy personally, Bob is the guy who evaluates me and I'll sit down with him here pretty quickly."

(on if he feels like the team took a step forward even when the team lost in the same round of the playoffs) "Oh no doubt. No doubt in my mind. We're very disappointed. We didn't win a championship, that's the big disappointment. But our franchise won 13 football games and there's a lot to be said for that, even though as tough as it is to swallow right now, I think this organization continues to move forward. And no doubt in my mind it's got a chance to win a championship. For us to be sitting here last year, we're excited to be in the playoffs and all those type of things and now we're really, really disappointed because we're not in a Super Bowl. We're not playing this week to get in a Super Bowl. That's a big compliment to everybody in this building and how hard they work and the coaches and the players and that's the expectations of this franchise now. That's a huge compliment. And I expect it the same way. And we will always be that way now, and I expect to be that way for a long time."

(on how he evaluates how close he thinks the team is to where he wants to go) "I think every year is different. I don't think you can sit here, couldn't sit here last year and say, 'If we just had this or this, we would get over the hump.' And I don't think you can say that today. I think the biggest thing is you have to be in the position every year to be a playoff football team. To have your team good enough to where you can win on any given day. Obviously there's things that go with that, a few breaks along the way, that give you a chance to win a championship. But there's no one player or one thing. Next year's team will be totally different, too. As I told y'all before, there were 21 new faces playing in these playoff games for this team. And really a lot of good things going on. Next year I'm sure there will be a lot of new faces again. We have to go back and put a team together next year that has a very strong nucleus right now that gives us a chance to be, in my opinion, successful for a long time."

(on what the biggest thing was that limited RB Ben Tate this year) "That's the biggest thing. Ben (Tate) is a three-year player and really a one-year big-time contributor. It's been about injuries. It's been about staying on the field consistently. You know there's nothing you can do about that as a player. His first year was totally lost to surgery. I thought he played extremely well last year. This year had some good moments and then got set back by injuries and missed a lot of time. Obviously you're not taking the ball out of (RB Arian Foster's) hands, especially late in the season. He needs to bounce back next year, and we're looking for consistency from him as a player and helping us on the field."

(on starting fast offensively, how the offense can improve its tempo) "I think we started fast in a lot of football games. We did not play the way we would like to play toward the end of the year as a team, not just offense or defense or special teams. As a team we didn't play as well as I think we could play. Yesterday we had a chance to start real fast. We had a big kickoff return. We should score right there, but we don't' execute and we don't get it done. But you have to overcome those things. You play four quarters. You play all day and you have to have the character and  everything about you has to be able to move on from stuff like that. It was disappointing. We could have started a lot better yesterday than we did."

(on how tough it was for ILB Brian Cushing to watch the last 11 games from the sidelines and what he talked with Cushing about in his meeting today) "Injured players are guys that I haven't' talked to because they're going to be around here, so I'll be seeing a lot of them. I know it's difficult. I watched (ILB Brian Cushing) stand there as we were warming up for the game. The hard thing in this business is you only get so many opportunities. And for him not to be there with us over the course of the last two weeks, first off hurts our team. He's a great player and I know that as a player you can't take those opportunities for granted. I know it's been difficult on him just like it was for (QB) Matt (Schaub) last year. But Cush will be back. He'll be back better than ever and we'll be a better team because he's back."

(on the one thing he wished the team could have done better during the season) "Well I just didn't like our consistency down the stretch. I could say that's as a team. But offensively, this year we scored more points than we've ever scored in the history of this organization. We had the number two receiver in football. We had the number three or four rusher in football. We had a 4,000-yard thrower. We want to be the best. There's a lot of good things going on right there, but we want to be the best. And being the best meant that we could have been more consistent in the last month of the season that could have been a difference for our team. That's the biggest thing right now for me is why weren't we more consistent in third down playing and those type of things late in the season like we were in the first three quarters of the season."

(on how important it is to get another player who is explosive if WR DeVier Posey can't return to start next season) "Well you're always looking for playmakers. This game comes down to making plays, and no bigger example than last night. You watch that football game, you watch the film and I see the opportunities that we had to make plays and like I said, we made some, and there's a lot of them we just did not make. And then you watch some of their opportunities that they had, especially in the first half. Some of the third-and-tens, third-and-nines that they converted on just some great plays by (WR Wes) Welker, some of the catches he made. So it's a playmaker's game and you have to have plenty of them. We've got some good young guys that to me are only going to get better because of their experience this year."

(on his mood at this point and if he is down) "I haven't been to sleep. I'm not down. I'm okay. It's been a late night. I'm alright."

(on if he'll try to incorporate some youthful mobility into QB Matt Schaub's game) "I think you build your team a certain way and I feel really good about our football team. You've got two guys lining up in the AFC Championship this week that don't run around for 100 yards a game that are pretty darn good in (Tom) Brady and (Joe) Flacco. I think there is all kind of ways to win and be successful in this league and I think our guy has done that. I'm committed to getting this team better to where we can continue to help him do that and continue to win at a good clip. You build your team a certain way. You go play and try to be as good as you can be."

(on DE J.J. Watt's evolution this season) "I had a great visit with him today. His year, I think of all my years in football, and I've been around a couple of MVPs, is as good a football season as I've ever seen and he's a second-year player. That's what's amazing about it. I think the sky is the limit for this guy. I think you're going to watch a big-time career and like (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) has said this guy is playing like possibly a Hall-of-Fame-type guy as he moves forward if he continues to do these types of things. The thing I want him to do is raise this team's level of play and see us get past that step that we haven't gotten past in the last two years. I think he's committed to doing that. I think he's going to be a leader on this team for a long time."

(on OLBs Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed not getting to the quarterback as much this season) "I think we lost some balance in our pass rush with (OLB) Brooks (Reed) being injured. I think (ILB Brian Cushing) Cush being out for our defensive football team, not an excuse but we had a lot more balance rushing the passer with some of the things that he can do inside and some of the things (Linebackers Coach) Reggie (Herring) and (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) do with him. I think Brooks and (OLB) Connor (Barwin) played well. Sometimes because they're not numbers, the perception out there is somebody is not playing well because they don't have sacks, but I can tell you that can be far from the truth.  I think they play well. I think they were productive. You're always trying to get to the quarterback, but I think they're both two fine young players that we can count on for a long time."

(on if he's happy with the offensive line) "I was really impressed. I think with first off coming out of last year I thought we had one of the top offensive lines in football. I really felt that way and then we have a situation where we have to start over on the right side, which that's part of the game. I think (Offensive Line Coach) John (Benton) and (Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison) Rico did a tremendous job with (RT Derek) Newton, with (G Brandon) Brooks, with (G) Ben (Jones), working through the situation. Like I said, you sit there and you've got a guy doing what (RB) Arian's (Foster) doing and doing what (WR) Andre (Johnson) did, somebody's got to be up front doing a hell of a job. Last night we throw the ball 50 times and I think we had one sack and it shouldn't have been a sack. That's a ball that we ended up dropping. These have come a long way. The future is very bright. The left side is very good and the right side is very young, but it's got a very bright future."

(on the Patriots giving the Texans problems when they played fast) "They'll catch you. They don't change personnel. They do a lot of speed formations and those types of things, things that we worked on throughout the course of the week. We did not handle them as well as we practiced them. That was a big disappointment on the defensive side when you go back and look at the film. They did catch us from some assignment standpoints and those types of things. Other than telling you it was a disappointment the way we handled some of them, that's all I've got."

(on if he's been asked permission for other teams to talk to coaches other than Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison) "No, I have not."

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