Texans head coach Gary Kubiak answered questions from the media in a Sunday press conference at Reliant Stadium. The following is a transcript of his interview.
Head coach Gary Kubiak(on if he made any cuts today) "We're going to make some moves today, but I won't be announcing them right now. We're still in the process."
(on RB Arian Foster's injury) "Obviously Arian's (Foster) number one. Everything was positive today. It looks like we're dealing kind of with the same thing we were dealing with at the start of camp. Hopefully get him back on the rehab train and get him ready for opening day. He'll be day-to-day. I'll keep you guys up to date, but we feel like we're fortunate."
(on the injuries compared to other teams) "I think we've been pretty good. We've been hit hard at the offensive line. That's my biggest concern. It seems like you get banged up in one spot. We went through the tough patch at running backs, but we made our way through it considering the heat we've been working in this past month. Not having an offseason, I think we've held up pretty good, so keep our fingers crossed through Thursday. You've seen a lot of issues around the league and hopefully we're as close to 100 percent as we can be on opening day."
(on who else was injured against San Francisco) "Xavier (Adibi), Xavier had a stinger. He's fine. Glover (Quin) just got dinged a little bit. He's fine. They're both doing fine today."
(on his level of concern that RB Arian Foster will be ready for the season opener) "Until he's there, it's a concern. All indications that I got from Kap (Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Geoff Kaplan) today were very positive from a standpoint of what they're dealing with compared to what they were dealing with the first time and Arian's very positive about it. We'll see, but until he hops back out there, there's a concern. It sounds like we're heading in the right direction."
(on the status of ILB DeMeco Ryans) "DeMeco will be back on the field tomorrow. He had a really good weekend. He did not make the trip with us. I don't know if ya'll knew that; we left him behind. He worked really hard. We left a big group of guys behind and he's ready to get back and start banging sleds and doing all that type of stuff. He's obviously missed a great deal of time. It's a concern for us, but we have to do the right thing by him. We'll have to get him some extra work this week to try to get him ready for opening day also."
(on OLB Mario Williams' performance last night) "He did a good job. He pushed the pocket extremely well, basically was a big factor in five pressures in his 20 plays or whatever there were. The one big sack that Antonio (Smith) had, Mario was there if Antonio doesn't get it. We think he continued to step forward and (Linebackers Coach) Reggie (Herring) and (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) are still very encouraged by the progress he's made."
(on how the team played against San Francisco) "Well they're a young team with a new coaching staff and they haven't had much time with them, but in this League, everybody's got good players. You've got to be ready to go. If you don't play well, you'll get beat. The thing I was encouraged about, like I said after the game, mistakes offensively in the first half that we overcame, so that was encouraging. Defensively, I thought we were very good all night. Offensively, we had the ball for 40 minutes. Defense played 19, 18, 19 minutes, somewhere in there. A lot of good things going on, but overcoming mistakes is part of this league and part of the game. That encouraged me. After the way we started, that's as bad as you can start a football game but yet to come back and play the way we did and go in at halftime with a 24-7 lead, that was very encouraging."
(on the play of FS Troy Nolan) "Obviously you can bring a corner in to go play the nickel position or Glover (Quin) goes down and plays in there and it would bring in Troy (Nolan). We do have options right there, but Glover's been playing very well. He's played corner for us and played well before and Troy keeps making plays like that. We need to get him on the field. I think the options are open for (Defensive Coordinator) Wade and the guys and we'll continue to look at guys. Brice McCain's played well in the slot also and then our young player from Miami has played well in the slot. Those guys will play a lot this week. How we settle down and go into Indy, I don't quite know yet, but we do have options."
(on DE Tim Jamison) "He just keeps making plays. Like I said, nothing really jumps at you about Timmy (Jamison), except you turn the film on and he's got four, five tackles and found a way to get him another sack last night. He plays his way on the football team ever since he's been here. He's always a guy that's on the bubble and when it's all said and done, there's not much question. He plays his way onto the team."
(on how the defense has improved) "There's a lot of guys making plays. That's what's encouraging right now. The scheme itself has been very effective. It's not like it's one guy having a great preseason or two guys, it's collectively the group's all making plays. Like I said last night, I think in the first half, our ones played 22 plays, something like that, but a lot of guys making plays in those situations. I think the encouraging thing continues to be the backup players because you'd like to play a lot of guys. You'd like to have fresh bodies on the field all the time and when you sit there and watch Brooks Reed make plays, you watch Tim Jamison make plays, then you're encouraged to rotate players. Connor Barwin even went over and played a little bit of the Will (linebacker) in the game. We put Brooks in the game at Sam (linebacker). We did that for a series and they were very effective. Connor really stood out in the game, played very, very well."
(on if he gave extra thought to play RB Arian Foster less in San Francisco) "No, not at all. Obviously it was very cool there for our football team. That was a welcome thing for us to be honest with you after what we've been through the past month. You've got to handle all kinds of situations throughout the football season, so we got to get used to it during training camp as well. I don't know if he ever got into a rhythm. I don't know. I don't know if that had anything to do with it, but hopefully we're fortunate here and he's going to be okay."
(on the competition between RB Ben Tate and RB Derrick Ward) "Well, we're still lining up as Derrick as our two and Tate as our three right now, but there's going to be a lot of football played this week. I think they both bring something different to our football team, so I could see us playing three guys on game day. Those things will pan themselves out. Like I said, let's get through Thursday. I hope they're all standing and all healthy. We'll figure out that problem if we have it."
(on CB Johnathan Joseph) "He did good. He played the whole first half and that was the plan for him to begin with. He played man coverage very well, which he's done that since the day he walked in the door. He's adjusting to all our zone schemes and stuff, which are a little bit different than what he played in Cincinnati. You could just tell the confidence of the secondary with him being back there and I kind of told ya'll about that from a leadership role ever since he's gotten here."
(on DE Antonio Smith) "He's become a leader defensively for our football team. The thing about Antonio (Smith), Antonio loves to play. He gets the same energy every day. You get it in the locker room, you get it on the field. He's very comfortable here right now I think. I know he's very comfortable with (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line) Bill (Kollar) and what Bill asks him to do, so he's had a really good preseason. I think he's on his way to having a really nice year."
(on the competition at the wide receiver position) "No, that is a wide open door, I can tell you that. They're all going to play those young guys this week. Whether we keep four or five, I don't know, but I'm going to give them all a chance to play. Special teams continues to be a factor for those guys. (Jeff) Maehl has done some good things on special teams. (Terrence) Toliver's done a couple good things on special teams. It is a wide open battle and it's a question on our football team, let's face it, as we go into the last week, so we'll see what happens."
(on if he saw progress on the return game last night) "Yeah, I did. Even the two kickoff returns, one got just past the 20. We did have a couple of holes there. The ball's just getting slower there. If you're going to bring it out five, six yards deep, we probably shouldn't have brought one ball out, but we've encouraged the aggression for guys right now, so we can work within the new rules. I think Sherrick (McManis) has the ability to help us there. Obviously, Danieal's (Manning) going to go back there and I've been impressed with (Shiloh) Keo. Shiloh's had a couple opportunities to play more the last couple weeks, done some good things covering kicks. I like the way he took the punt downhill and of course Jacoby (Jones) almost took one back. We did some things better there. We settled down a little bit in who we played on special teams this week."
(on where the team stands compared to his expectations) "Well we started faster as a team. I think we've started better. It has been a point of emphasis, even though we had a poor start with the first play of the game yesterday. We still played very well throughout early in the game on both sides of the ball. Where are we at with our ones? I think it's been a good preseason for our team. We have a lot of questions to answer going into this week. We've got three days to get that done. That makes it very, very difficult on coaches and players. I think we've worked very hard and we know what challenges we have ahead of us, but we've got one more game to work through here before we settle down with our 53 and go play, but I think camp's been good."
(on what he will be looking for most in Thursday's game) "Just playing a lot of young guys. They actually got to play last night a little more than I thought they were going to play when I went into the game, so we did get a little bit better views at our young players last night. We'll get a lot of views at them this week against Minnesota. Questions right now, offensive line concerns me. We're nicked up and we've got a ball game to play here, so that's a concern for me. The receiver position is a concern for me right now. On the defensive side, we have to look at a lot of defensive backs this week because we've got some very tough decisions to make there at safety and at corner, so we've got a lot of guys that need to play a lot of football."
(on if cutting the defensive backs will be his toughest decision) "Yeah, I think so. That's the place in camp we've held up very good health-wise. (Roc) Carmichael should be back this week playing, so from a numbers standpoint, we're very heavy at that position and have been throughout camp. If they're all standing on Friday morning, a lot of good football players, so we've got to weed through that. You can only keep so many."
(on the difference between the cuts today and the cuts on Friday) "All cuts are hard because they come here and they work their tail off for you for a month. Obviously, we've got to I think cut seven or eight players. We've got a few months we've got to make today, so that'll get done. It's always difficult to cut players when they're busting their tail for you. Obviously, you turn around Friday and you're cutting a great deal of players. None of that's any fun, kind of the worst time of the year to be honest with you."
(on how excited he is for the season) "I'm excited to get ready to go. It's interesting. Like I said, there's been a lot of good things going on, a lot of positive things. The football team's been very focused with no offseason and what we faced going into camp. Give the guys a lot of credit and the coaches have done a hell of a job. We're excited to get going. There is so much work though to be done. These next four or five days are very, very difficult on you and the entire organization as we try to maneuver to get to our best 53 and what's best for our football team in the long haul. While there's still another game to play and there's still what 15, 14 days until we open against Indianapolis; we've got to stay focused on the task at hand and that's putting this team together, finalizing this football team."
(on if he was able to get a good read on QB Matt Leinart against San Francisco) "Yeah, he played much better. We took a look at some of the things we asked him to do the week before. I've got to remember myself that I haven't had him long. I got him last year midway through, so he was basically getting some practice reps. It wasn't preparation game from a standpoint being our two and we missed a whole offseason with him, so I have to kind of slow myself down with him and make sure I know what he's feeling comfortable with. We did that this week. We really locked into the things that he felt good about and it showed. He played better and he's got a lot of things going on around him, young receivers, offensive line that's beat up that can be tough on a quarterback too. I thought he blocked all that out and did his job last night. He took a step forward."
(on if this is the best the offensive line has played) "Our first group's been very consistent. We've been fortunate with those five guys. They've played a lot of football together and if they can stay out there together, I think they can be a heck of a group, so we've been fortunate."