Texans 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 the health of Chris Myers and WR Andre Johnson) "Well, they're both fine. Andre (Johnson), all the tests we did on him came out fine. Of course we come back home every time we're on a road trip and continue to do our due diligence on him. That's what's going on with both of them today, but we expect them both to be fine."
(on if he's made the cuts) "I'm in the process right now. I've talked to half the guys. We've got 15 moves we have to make, not necessarily all cuts, today. So I'd rather not talk about it because I have not visited with all the players today."
(on if he's going to keep someone around that he'd cut because he needs to play him Thursday night) "That's an issue. When you get to this cut, the first thing you do is you sit there and say 'Okay, who are we going to play Thursday night, where do we have problems?' So you got to have enough guys to get through Thursday night, so that is part of the process. Also at the same time, for me personally, there's always a few veteran players that I think in terms of, 'Let me give them an opportunity to get picked up by somebody else if I don't think they're going to make our team.' All those things kind of come into account, but getting ready to play again here in three days is obviously a factor."
(on if the CBA rules are preventing the Texans from signing a new nose tackle) "No doubt. If we sign one, he's got to go through a three-day period and then he'll be going on the field and playing for us. We should be fine with the guys we have they're basically going to play the whole game, they're going to get a ton of reps which they would normally get. We should be okay. (NT) Earl (Mitchell) came out fine; we can move some people around. (DE Jared) Crick can play some nose. So we'll be okay."
(on an update on NT Shaun Cody) "He's doing great. All the news is excellent. (Shaun) Cody did work out today; he hit bags, he hit dummies, he came off the ball. He will practice this week. He will be back to work. He and (DE) J.J.(Watt) both."
(on if DE J.J. Watt and NT Shaun Cody will play in the game Thursday) "Probably not."
(on if he's made a decision on who will play quarterback and when on Thursday night) "Yeah. Obviously, (QB) Matt (Schaub) will not play. I'm kind of debating with myself with (QB) T.J. (Yates) right now. I need to take a hard look at (QB) John (Beck) and (QB) Case (Keenum); we got a decision to make there. The only question for me will be will I play T.J. on Thursday, really."
(on how the right tackles looked after he watched New Orleans film) "I thought that (T Derek) Newton did some really good things in the game. Obviously, he's trying to become a very consistent player which is what we need for our football team. (T Rashad) Butler had some positives had some negatives, also. I think it's been a very good battle. I think I'll settle down on that, make a decision here in the next day or so before we get onto Thursday. They both continued to do good things, but nothing's perfect yet, obviously."
(on what the issues were with the second team defense) "We played really well, the second team offensively the first preseason game. The last two weeks it has not been very good. We struggled up front with some issues, some protection schemes and stuff. And I think in a lot of ways (QB) T.J. (Yates), some of the confidence he had, he didn't play with the confidence that he normally plays with back there. So when you get those two things going on between two groups, then all the sudden you're not doing your job. I was disappointed in how we played with the second group. You get four or five sacks in that many plays, that's not a good thing. We had our opportunities to still find a way to win the game. It's that time of year where nothing's perfect and, obviously, that has not been very clean the last two weeks."
(on if anybody jumped out to him on film) "Well, every time I turn on the film, (DE) Tim Jamison jumps at me. Just the effort he plays with. We're playing him a little bit everywhere, he's got some snaps at nose; we like that. (DE Jared) Crick played the most of anybody on the football team last night. That was important. He has some time to make up, so you can see that he has some ability to help this team. Through adversity we're going to get better, get stronger, get deeper. That's been the problem of camp as far as numbers-wise, that's been defensive line. So a lot of guys got to play."
(on if starting T Derek Newton in the New Orleans game means he's leading in the competition at right tackle) "I'll let you know here in the next couple days."
(on what he likes about T Derek Newton) "Well, as I said all along, they're a little bit different type players. Newton's a big, powerful guy. He's very athletic, too, but he's a big powerful guy. He's younger than (T Rashad) Butler. He's probably making a few more mistakes than Butler, when it's all said and done. Butler's played a lot more football than Newton has, he's been in this league a lot longer, went against some good players. Butler is athletic and can also swing from side to side and handles those types of things pretty good. They're built a little bit different. We went right down the middle with hem the whole way. We gave them each opportunities to start and basically said 'show me you're the guy' type of thing. I think where we're are right now, we need to move on and make a decision. I can very well see them both playing for us this year, but it's time to move on and give one of them the opportunity and see how he handles it."
(on the kicking competition) "You know what guys, I'm not in a good mood today and that's the number one reason. Let's get this over with. We lost Randy (Bullock). Randy is going on IR. I just found out 15 minutes ago. He has torn a muscle somewhere in the groin area. I don't know all the specifics. Obviously, it's going to be a long process back, so it's been a disappointing last half hour for me and for us to find this out. It had been bothering him for a couple of weeks and he continued to kick through it. He's very tough and he kicked very well last night. He came in here today, black and blue. We ran some tests on him and so it's a sad situation. He's going to kick in this league. He's going to kick a long time. He's going to go on IR this year and thankfully we've got Shayne (Graham), who has done a hell of a job, too. He was pushing him neck and neck to kick for us. It's a tough deal."
(on if K Randy Bullock's injury is convenient in allowing there to be one less decision to make) "I don't like dodging things that way. I feel bad for the kid. It's sad. I just got through visiting with him."
(on what he likes about K Shayne Graham) "He's been real consistent. Heck, he's made every kick he's had in the preseason and made another (53)-yarder last night. He's kicked off well for us. He's a guy, who throughout the course of his career has been a very, very accurate kicker inside of 40 (yards). He's done a heck of a job. Like I said, it was right down the middle between those two guys. I think we would've been proud with either one of them. I think this situation obviously calls for Shayne to move forward and be our guy. We expect him to do well."
(on if he has been surprised with K Shayne Graham's leg strength) "Yeah, he really has. He's kicked really well for us. He's done it in practice also, so he's been very consistent with what he's doing. I've been impressed with his kickoffs. They've been pretty much three to five yards deep consistently for us."
(on there are any other plays being placed on injured reserve) "(NT) Sunny Harris is going on IR. (Darryl) Sharpton will go on PUP (Physically Unable to Perform). So that's some of the things going on right now."
(on how tough cuts will be at cornerback and if there are still jobs to be won on Thursday) "There are a lot of jobs to be won Thursday night. I tell you, the corner position, when you start looking at four, five and six. Are you going to keep five? Are you going to keep six? It's very competitive when you go from (CB Alan) Ball to (CB Sherrick) McManis to (CB Brandon) Harris to (CB) Roc (Carmichael). That's very, very competitive. Our safety position is extremely competitive. We have six really good football players right there that we're trying to sort out. How many do we keep? The backend of our offensive line, that's very competitive in my opinion as we move forward. There are a lot of questions right there that need to get answered and Thursday they will get to play a bunch."
(on if WR Keshawn Martin will return kicks if WR Trindon Holliday does not) "Yeah, he could do it."
(on WR Keshawn Martin fumbling twice last night and how he views the return situation) "Well, I've been very pleased with what (WR) Trindon (Holliday) has done, but he can't turn the ball over. Trindon's deal, first off, he can help this football team. With the way he's played this preseason, he should be very proud of his preseason and what he's done. The question is going to be, when we go and set this roster next week, we've got to look at the big picture. Is there a room for just a returner? That question is not going away. He's definitely doing everything he can to answer that question. If he was not returning, Keshawn can do it. (SS Shiloh) Keo can do it. (SS) Danieal Manning, to me, could be the best kick returner in football if we let him do it. We've got some other options there, depending on what happens with our team."
(on if WR Trindon Holliday will get all of the returns against the Vikings) "Yes he will."
(on how TE Garrett Graham got so wide open last night) "That's a good thing. I hope it stays that way. He's played really well. He's had a really good camp. He's played well. Last night, our tight ends as a group played really well. I'm lumping (FB) James (Casey) in there. James has really had a couple of fine weeks of preseason football for us the last two weeks. Between OD (TE Owen Daniels), Garrett and James, I think we know what we're going to get all the time."
(on how TE Garrett Graham compares to TE Owen Daniels) "They're a lot alike. The thing that has surprised us with Garrett (Graham) is how he's played on the line of scrimmage. They're about the same size. They're both about 250 (pound) players, but Garrett has really held his own on the line of scrimmage. The thing that has really kept Garrett from moving forward in his career is he's been dinged up. He's had things happen to him. He's missed a lot of time and he's had a really good offseason with (Strength & Conditioning Coach) Cedric (Smith) and it has showed."
(on WR Kevin Walter only having one reception in the preseason thus far) "I don't know where the ball is going to go when we call plays. It just all depends. Y'all saw how we were rotating the receivers last night. That's something I plan on doing when the season starts. We're going to rotate those guys, those four right now, in my mind. I think you never know how it's going to pan out, but Kevin has had a good preseason. He's done everything he's ever done for us and I expect him to play well."
(on the job QB Matt Schaub has done this preseason and WR Andre Johnson's level of play heading into the regular season) "I'll start with Matt (Schaub). First off, he's had a really good camp. I thought he was rusty when camp opened. I thought he was very challenged when camp opened because Andre (Johnson) wasn't out there. We were working all these young receivers and I thought that was tough on him. But I think it's really made him better. He's come a long way. He's comfortable now with Lestar (Jean). He's comfortable with Keshawn (Martin), with these new guys on the team, with Garrett (Graham). I think Matt has grown into a better player here over the course of the last three weeks through some trials of the other things that were going on with our offense. Boy, he's had one heck of a camp. Last night was a great statement that 'Hey, I'm ready to play.'
"I thought Andre in the last week had looked as close to himself as I've seen him in probably about a year, before we started last season. I think he was starting to practice this past week the way I've seen him practice, to be able to go all day, hold up. Andre, that's what he's always been about when I've been around him. So I think his process has been good. Last night's just a little bump in the road. He's fine. I mean, he'll be back out there and I think he's had an excellent couple of weeks with us."
(on if he's developed a relationship with Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier because their sons are teammates on the Rice University football team) "We do because our kids are over there playing. I'm sure we won't get to see much of it. I've got another kid playing over at (Texas A&M) Thursday night, too. So I won't get to watch any of them play. Yeah, it is interesting. I'm sure Leslie (Frazier) would love to see his boy. He's a heck of a player over there, but we've got work to do; put our team together here and finish up the preseason."
(on WR Lestar Jean's play this preseason) "He's played really good. He's getting better and better. He's got a lot of confidence in what he's doing. I like his command of our offense right now. Lestar (Jean), I can play in a lot of spots and he won't bog down, it won't hurt him. I feel really good about those four guys right now and that should help us keep Andre (Johnson) fresh, Kevin (Walter) fresh as we move forward. We played some four wides last night, we went to some four-wide sets."
(on what RB Arian Foster has done that prompted him to say Foster has had the best camp of any running back he's been around) "He's been there every day; has not missed a day. He's been a workhorse. His work habits are as good as anybody I've ever been around. I think he's ready to go. I think he's done everything he can do. It wasn't important to me last night to see him carry it 15, 20 times. I know he's ready to go."
(on if rookie K Randy Bullock's injured groin was what was keeping him from kicking off deeper) "I think so the last two weeks. He was complaining a little bit about it. It was contributing to just a sore leg. You know, kickers get a dead leg like a quarterback gets a dead arm in camp because they're working so much. Normally you work your way out of that in this stage for the season. But if you really go back and you look at the last couple of weeks, he was not himself, but yet, he was pretty darn good. It wasn't like it was that obvious. But you go back and chart his kicks, there was a little bit of a difference."
(on what made the Texans decide to look at K Randy Bullock's leg now) "Well, he came in today and his leg was black and blue. It had been bothering him. They had been treating it. He actually took some days off last week. He only kicked one day last week and then you look at the game last night, he kicked fine. Heck, he kicked the ball off to the goal line, a yard or two deep; he makes his field goal, everything is fine. He comes in this morning and he can't even pick his leg up and we knew we had a problem."
(on if he expects to have a traditional blocking fullback on the roster Week 1 of the regular season) "We're going to have fullbacks on the roster, we will. It's tough because obviously James (Casey) is our fullback and boy, he's turned into a really good one. He's handling himself in the run game as well as anything else he does and then we've got questions with the other two, so we'll see."