Texans coach Gary Kubiak said that the Texans will remain committed to running the ball.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak addressed the media on Monday during his weekly press conference at Reliant Stadium. Following is a transcript of his interview.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on why they couldn't run against an eight-man front) "Well, we ran the ball well in the first half. We came out of the first half averaging five yards a carry. We made a couple big plays and in the second half, we were kind of beating our head against a post there throughout the fourth quarter. It's just something that we obviously need to improve upon for us to be successful throughout the season, but you're right. We got 41 good looks. I can find a lot of reasons why we didn't run the ball, average-wise, as well as we need to do it. It just needs to stay a total commitment on my part, (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan)'s part offensively, because it's something that we have to do better as a team."
(on if he would make changes in his running game personnel-wise) "I think throughout the football team, you're always looking at how you can get better. Obviously, we gave (RB) Ryan (Moats) some carries yesterday and I think we got better. I think Ryan came in and did a good job for us. I thought (RB) Steve (Slaton) responded and played better for us in the game. He (Slaton) was actually our offensive player of the game. If that's what you're asking me, we're going to give everybody an opportunity to pitch in, but as far as what we're doing running the ball, it's going to have be a continuation of everybody getting better from up front, to backs, to coaches—everybody. We're just off to a very slow start running the football but we're committed to what we're doing and we need to do it better."
(on what in his scheme enables him to run against an eight-man front) "Well, you better be able to run against an eight-man front in this league. You're going to get it. If you're in four minutes situations, fourth quarter situations, and you've got a touchdown lead or ten point lead, if you totally go away from the run because somebody is playing you an eight-man front, then to me, you're going to struggle. We've always prided ourselves on being able to line up, account for those hats or those bodies that are in there and finding a way to grind out some first downs. We're not going to change. We've got to stay committed to that to be the team that we need to be."
(on T Eric Winston being disappointed in how they won the game) "Well, that's good. I'm glad that came from Eric because Eric, along with everyone else, we were disappointed in the second half offensively and the way we played. We were explosive in the first half. This is a good defensive football team. We had 282 yards at halftime. That's as good a half as you can have in the National Football League. We had three plays or four plays over 40 yards against that so we were explosive. We were very good in the first half. We had a chance to come out of that first half, but if we don't turn the ball over, possibly we'd have a 30-3 lead. It doesn't get any better than that in this league. In the second half, for us not to be able to grind out some first downs, stay on the field, finish it in better fashion than we did, then that should be something that concerns us and that's good. That means we've got the right guys, but there was some good. There was some bad. We've got to improve upon all of it, so I can understand his feelings."
(on going from QB JaMarcus Russell to Kurt Warner and what's the adjustment like between the two) "Well, we're not only going against him (Warner). Here's an MVP in this league. Obviously, last year, what they did as a football team was tremendous. We know that their strength of their team is to spread you out and throw the ball. So, we're going to get a good dose of that. They're going to be fresh. They were off this past week so a new challenge for our football team. We're going to have to score some points in there as a team, offensively, just a total different challenge from the standpoint of experience—all those playmakers that they have."
(on what makes Warner so special) "I just think he is very smart. As a play caller, you can put him in situations where you empty the backfield and stuff, and even if people blitz you, Kurt, that's his strength: making plays and getting rid of the ball quickly, spreading people all over the place. They've got the weapons to do it. I played against him when he was in St. Louis and watched him do it. He's been doing it now in Arizona. So I just have a lot of respect for him as a player, as a person. He's a big-time guy."
(on the two best receivers being on the field together on Sunday and what he thinks about it) "Well, we've got a couple young guys that are fixing to go against some great players. Like I told you yesterday, I think you kind of asked me the same question about our young secondary, but we're going to go with these young guys. I was impressed with how Q (CB Glover Quinn) played yesterday with the first-time start. I think (CB) Brice (McCain) came in and did some nice stuff. (CB) Dunta (Robinson) is getting better each week. The challenge is there for us defensively and we'll have to have some young guys grow up real fast."
(on the comparison between Arizona receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin) "Obviously Fitzgerald's a big guy. Those jump balls, those fades, those things make it very difficult for you defensively the way he can go get the ball. The other guy just scares the heck out of you. He catches a lot of screens, bubbles and stuff and all of the sudden it turns into a tremendous run after the catch. To me, (WR Steve) Breaston's making big plays for them too. I really like the (running) back. They're just very explosive offensively. They're going to make some plays. You know that. We're going to have to find a way to score some points. I think our special teams have played well and we're going to really need them step up well this week for us."
(on how S Dominique Barber played) "For not having practiced basically all week, Eugene (Wilson) got all the reps. Dominique did not. It just tells you he's turned into a pro. You find out a lot about guys when they get put in tough situations. I think he kind of knew that could be coming on Saturday night when Eugene got ill. But it tells you he's taking care of his business and he's ready to play even though he wasn't getting the reps. He had about three or four chances for turnovers if he could've come up with those plays. But I thought he filled in and did a nice job."
(on whether or not he could enjoy the victory) "No, I enjoyed the victory. Believe me: you all get me wrong on that when I come in here after a game. It's just that the wheels start turning on the things that you got to continue to get better at to be successful over a 16 game season. You see things a little different the next day, obviously from watching film. Like I said, I'm sitting there offensively watching the first half of football and I'm so impressed with how we played against a very good defensive football team. But you want to see us do that all day long. Defensively we did do it. We did it all day long yesterday. That's what I was most impressed with our defense. I liked our effort from the first snap to the last one."
(on how he feel s overall about the defense right now) "Well, you see some great things going on. I mean, you sit here and watch number 56 (LB Brian Cushing) play right now, and I think we all know what we've got on our team right now, so that's so encouraging. I think (LB) DeMeco (Ryans)'s level of play is as good if not even better than since he's been here. You watch (DE) Antonio (Smith) and (DE) Mario (Williams) yesterday, how they factored in the game, that's so encouraging. And then the back end, we're young, and we have to understand that and we have to go ahead and go with these guys. We're going to have to live with some mistakes, but we've got to just stay after it and keep coaching them. Obviously, they should gain some confidence from this past weekend. You know, it's a long, long haul. And if we'll just keep those guys working, like I told y'all yesterday, I think we can be a good defensive football team before this is all said and done."
(on how he explains the Texans' success against the NFC in the last few years) "Well, I don't know if any of us know about this league. This league changes every week. You start a season and everybody thinks that they can identify the 10 great teams and those type of things, and all of a sudden the season gets a month into it and you look and there's some teams you thought were going to be great teams that are struggling and some teams that you thought were going to struggle that are going to be great teams. This league changes every week, every year, like I said. We're playing a team that was in the Super Bowl last year that's off to a 1-2 start. You know, you've got to worry about yourself. You've got to play good football yourself and not get caught up in records and this and that, and I think our team understands that. It's just something that we battle every week. I think we're understanding that if we don't play well, it's not going to matter."
(on any injury issues) "Yeah, we've got two significant injuries with (LB Khary) Campbell and (SS Nick) Ferguson, knee issues that I think it's pretty safe for me to say you're not going to see them this week. And we'll have to evaluate them over the course of the next couple of days; we've got some decisions to make. Mario (Williams) banged his shoulder and (RB Ryan) Moats has a little bit of a turf toe, which concerns us, so they'll both be day-to-day, but the two most significant being Khary and Nick."
(on if the injuries are sprained knees) "Yes. MCL on one, not quite sure right now with Campbell, but both significant enough that I think they would both be safe to say they will not play this week."
(on what the team learned in Tennessee that might help it in Arizona) "Well, I think the thing that we as a team probably learned is it's about 60 minutes, because a little over a quarter-and-a-half into that game, we're down 21-7 and found a way to win on the road. So hopefully, we just draw from that. We're going to go to a place this week that's going to be very tough, very loud, very good football team. We just need to make sure we go in there and battle for 60 minutes and that you're there at the end of the game with a chance to win. You can't get too high, too low. It's going to be a great football game, and we're going to have to make the plays at the end to beat them."
(on what you can do as a coach to help your team win on road) "Well, you don't do anything different preparation-wise. Obviously, you practice noise and those types of things, which we've been real committed to. Game-plan wise, whether we play them here or there, we've got to beat their defense, we've got to beat their offense. Obviously, on the road, you need to go in there and just battle, and hopefully you get a couple of breaks. I think one of the things I feel good about right now is the way our special teams are playing. I think (special teams coordinator) Joe (Maricano) has done an excellent job. I think our special teams can be a difference for us week in and week out right now."
(on QB Matt Schaub) "He's been playing well. He was not feeling well yesterday. He was, to me, not his total self. But yet he made some big, big plays in the game. And I've said this before: I think Matt's playing at a high level, at a top, whatever, five or 10 level, around this league right now. And when it's all said and done, whether Matt ends up in the top five or top three in this league, to me all depends on protecting the ball. That's what it's all about. So for him, throwing that one decision out right before the half, and he probably couldn't have been better in that game."
(on DT Amobi Okoye making big plays) "He's playing better. He was very active yesterday, had a big sack early in the game. But our whole front played better. I mean, our front eight guys that we rotate, they were all factors in the game. On the production chart, they were very high. They played extremely well. Our two defensive players of the game were Antonio (Smith) and Mario (Williams). Both factored extremely well in the game."
(on if he feels good enough about S Eugene Wilson that he is not worried about maybe having three safeties going to Arizona) "Yeah, I'm OK. I'm hopeful that Eugene will be fine this week. You have to remember, we still have four because we have five on the roster, so if Eugene comes back, if Eugene's fine, then we've got (SS Bernard) Pollard, we've got (Dominique) Barber and we've got (FS John) Busing. So we're one heavy at safety right now on the roster, so I would still feel OK."
(on if SS Bernard Pollard is better suited as a run stopper) "Well, I think what you're asking me is yeah, this team can spread you out. There's a way that they can get safeties off the field, if that's where you're heading. So yeah, obviously a different task this week of how we're going to be attacked."
(on if CB Glover Quin's arm is OK) "Yeah, he is. Right before the half, they were very concerned and at halftime even told me that he may not come back. But the x-rays were negative and he's fine."
(on if Quin and Pollard played well enough to hold on to their starting jobs) "Oh yeah. They definitely did a good job."