Texans head coach Gary Kubiak answered questions from the media during a Tuesday press conference at Reliant Stadium. The following is a transcript of his interview.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak(on if he wishes he ran the ball more in the game) "As far as running the ball more, I think we would have. That was a comment I made after the game. Being 0-for-6 on third downs in the first half and then getting down by two touchdowns, to me, got us out of whack. Even though that was the case to me, gosh, you still look at it after three quarters and we were somewhere like 15 and 18. Even after being in three quarters of a game like that, so I think that's what calls that. We ran the ball well. I'm sure we'd love to be sitting here today, coming out of that game, running the ball a great deal more and being in a closer football game. With what happened, it was going to happen that way. I think we were headed that way."
(on playing from behind a lot in the second half) "It is confusing. I've spent a great deal today just going back and looking at that and looking at early in football games. We've actually moved that ball early in football games the first drive, but we have not been effective scoring points. We've had a bunch of sacks in first drives of games like that and actually some of our biggest penalties offensively have been in the first drives of games. I'm looking hard at that today and come up with a reason or trying to see what we may do differently or take a look at some of those things as we move forward, but we have been poor early in games."
(on if he's looking at pre-game or once the game starts to determine how they start) "No, not routine or anything. I'm looking at what we're doing and how we're coming out in games, what we're asking them to do. How we do our first fifteen, those type of things, to see if that has something to do with that because we've been doing it for a long time. We've usually been a pretty good team early in games, but we have not been this year."
(on if he will look to use the tight ends more in pass protection) "We did some of it in the game. Every time we play them, as long as I've been in this league—I played them quite a few times—I think you chip them with how you run the football and how balanced you are in your attack, not just sitting there banging on the ends on every snap and that takes away from your ability to attack coverage. I think you do some of it, but not totally committed to it from my standpoint. Like I said, we did it a few times last night. Obviously, we could've done it a couple more times."
(on if he considered replacing LT Duane Brown with LT Rashad Butler) "No, I never thought of making a change. Duane is our guy and Duane did a lot of good things in the game too. He fought one of the all-time great players (Dwight Freeney) in football last night, not just this year. This guy has been doing this to a lot of people for many, many years and doing it there makes it even tougher. We've got a lot of confidence in Duane. We've put him in some tough situations. That tells you how much confidence we have in him. He can play better and we can also help him better by what we're doing too."
(on any injury issues coming out of the game) "Other than (WR) Andre's (Johnson) ankle being sore, (TE) Owen 's (Daniels) hamstring is a little sore and (LB Xavier) Adibi's hamstring. We'll see where they are at when we go back to work tomorrow."
(on throwing 26 times and rushing 9 times on first drives this year) "Am I supposed to trust you on that one? I've got to go back and look. I don't know. I always try to be balanced. Let me go and see. We're always trying to work toward balance in what we're doing. That's what I want to be in."
(on if he's concerned about the pass protection and how do they improve) "last year, we protected the quarterback pretty darn well. This year, we've protected in spurts. We've got too many snacks. I've talked to y'all about that. We need to cut those down. The best way to cut those down is how you run the football, how you control the line of scrimmage from that standpoint. That also is something that we're taking a look at, but we've got to do a better job if there is an area offensively category-wise right now we're not very good, it's that one. We've got to do a better job."
(on if he knew he was going to go for the fourth down conversion when they threw the ball on third down in the first quarter) "I can't say that hey, I know I'm going to go for it on fourth down. It's just my gut feeling during the game. You're right. If you know automatically that's something you're going to do, you may feel good about getting half of it, but I wasn't thinking that way. I thought we had a play to make on third down. We didn't make that play. We caught a blitz. We got man-coverage. We came back, tried a different play that we've had built in for man coverage and we still didn't get it done. At the time, I can't say I knew exactly what I was going to do then."
(on what he thought of LB Brian Cushing playing in the middle and if it took away from his playmaking) "I think to get thrown in there like he did, asking him to do a lot against that football team, I thought he held his own pretty good. He held the group together. Like I said last night, I thought we played pretty darn good in the first half. We kept our football team in the game. Second half, we didn't play as well. Couldn't get off the field and we needed to do a better job on third downs. To ask him to go take over our defensive football team, make all the calls, do all those things, I think you've got to give him some credit. I think he did a pretty good job."
(on WR Andre Johnson's ankle injury) "Same ankle, just sore. He tweaked a little bit on the touchdown, but he came back, came to the sideline, said he was okay and went back in and did it again late in the game. I think playing on turf, that's something we're going to deal with probably. Hopefully, we can get through a few weeks with him being fine and not continuing to tweak it. But we don't feel like there is anything worse being done to it."
(on QB Matt Schaub coming out playing better after halftime) "He wasn't the only one. We didn't play good offensively as a group. We didn't line up well a couple times early in the game. We had trouble in the huddle. We had trouble with some splits. We dropped the football. It wasn't like it was all Matt. The fact that we were 5-for-15 throwing the ball, we weren't getting much out of ourselves from that standpoint but it wasn't all Matt. We had some other guys pitch in also."
(on explaining players lining up wrong) "I don't know, really. It really struggled for me today. Those are things we're pretty automatic. We got a group of guys who have been doing it together for a long time and to all the sudden get in that environment last night and not be ourselves there for a period of time was kind of confusing because we came back, like I said, in the second half and moved the ball well and played pretty solid football. But (we) definitely didn't do that in the first half."
(on if he wishes he was a little more patient running the football with Arian Foster) "I would answer it the same way; I think it would have happened. I really do. Whether I sit here today and do I wish would have carried the ball 35 times? Yeah, because we were probably in a totally different football game if that happens. I think it happened due to the fact that we're 0-for-6 in the first half on third downs. We couldn't stay on the field. We ran 10 plays in the third quarter. We got back in the football game in the third quarter, down 24-3 and we had, I think our first drive in the quarter. We had five runs and two passes, so we were patient. I think we were trying to be as patient as we could be. But it got out of whack to me for the simple fact that we didn't stay on the field. That's my point."
(on the problems Chargers QB Philip Rivers presents) "I'm trying to catch up today because we got in real late; but he is. They're trying to make a lot of big plays. I mean, they're a play-action football team. They've got a great tight end. They can run the ball. They young back they have is doing some good things. But (with) Philip (Rivers), they do a lot of max protext and getting the ball down the football field. With that happening, he's putting up some pretty big numbers. A very explosive football team that wouldn't be number one on offense if it wasn't for him. He's a pretty dang good players.
(on motivating players who played well in the past to play like they used to on both sides of the ball) "There are some guys playing some good football. Obviously there are some guys who may not be putting up some of the numbers they did last year, but we got a long way to go. Hopefully, we're heading in that direction. I think one of the biggest things we need to do as a football team is we've got to find some plays within the game that are some difference makers. We've got to find a way to create some turnovers on the defensive side of the ball. We've got to find a way to continue to make some big plays on the offensive side of the ball, whether it's via run or pass. I thought that last night we were better in the return game and that was one big bright spot from that stand point. Our field position was better. (WR) Jacoby (Jones) did a better job but we've got to create some more of those game-changing type of football plays."
(on if DE Mark Anderson will get more playing time because of his sack against Indianapolis) "Yeah, he'll definitely get more time. He played lot more. He's a lot more comfortable with what we're doing. Bill (Kollar) did a good job with the rotation last night and he will definitely step it up? He played on special teams also."
(on if rookie CB Kareem Jackson had the best game of his career against Indianapolis) "I think he's been getting better each week. For (Colts QB) Peyton (Manning) to throw for what he threw for last night, we've got to feel good on the defensive side of the ball when you look at the numbers. Holding them to 2-for-4 in the red zone; those type of things. I think he's continued to improve. He doesn't get real down when plays are made against him. He doesn't think he's got it all figured out when he makes a few plays. So I think what you're seeing is the growth of a very young player who is going to continue to get better and better."
(on if DE Mario Williams' groin is bothering him) "I think he's fine. There's a lot of guys beat up this time of year. But he's got no excuses. He's playing hard. He was close last night. I thought we made (Colts QB) Peyton (Manning) move around, get rid of the ball and did a pretty good job as a group from that standpoint. You're never going to have a lot of sacks against him. It's just about making him get rid of it."
(on if he is worried about his run defense) "Well, I think last night, our whole focus was trying to make them run the ball. You hope you can put them in a situation where they feel like they want to run the football against you. So, I felt good from that standpoint. I think they had three big plays that were a factor in the game. This team that we're playing this week can beat you either way. So we have to get better."