Tuesday at the Methodist Training Center, the Texans went through Day 2 of Mini-camp. After, head coach Gary Kubiak answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of his interview.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
(on if Day 2 of mini-camp was any different from Day 1) "Not really. We were doing the same stuff. We got all our young players and we got eight brand new guys that we just signed Sunday to bring in and look at. We're just trying to make some tough decisions before we get going to camp. So we'll finish up tomorrow with much the same, and get some good conditioning in at the end. Then give them a break, from us that is, before we get started with training camp."
(on how he feels about Texas A&M and Texas staying together in the Big 12) "I love tradition, you know, so I think it's great. The bottom line, it just sounds like there are so many options for those schools out there right now. I thought it was pretty impressive for them to get together and say, 'We're going to keep this thing together and keep playing each other, because it is a tremendous conference.' As an alumnus from one of the schools (Texas A&M), I'm glad it ended up that way."
(on how important it is for the fans of Texas A&M and Texas that the schools are still aligned together) "When you think of football season, there's certain dates you think of and things happening around the country. I know on Thanksgiving it's time to sit down and watch the Aggies and the Horns get after it. It's been that way for years and hopefully it will never change."
(on if anything was done different today during practice) "No, we just did the exact same thing. Just really trying to look at those new guys we got in. We'll work them tomorrow and run them pretty good at the end. Then we got to sit down, (general manager) Rick (Smith) and I, and make some decisions before we go to camp."
(on how QB John David Booty is looking) "You know, he's really a guy who's improved throughout the camp, to me, just picking up our system. He's gotten a ton of reps. Obviously we're going to go to camp with three quarterbacks, so it's a tough decision to make here in the next couple of days. But he's done his part; he's shown vast improvement from day one 'til now."
(on if he is going to cut any players this week) "I don't know, I don't think we're going to be in any hurry until we sign our players. But if we think there's any question at all from a fairness standpoint if we're going to let a guy go or not, we try to do it sooner than later so that they can catch on with somebody else. But there are still a few tough decisions to make."
(on who the new guys are they are bringing in to look at) "There are two wide receivers (rookie Derrick Townsel & Bobby Williams) that we've brought in. One of them was on a practice squad last year, and both kind of have some experience with what we're doing. The fullback (Justin Griffith), of course, who has played in this league for a long time and has been a dang good one. He got a little unhealthy last year, so I'm excited to look at him and see what we think about him. Two corners we've brought in (Frank Walker & rookie Kasey Brown), Walker has some experience in this league. A d-lineman (DE William VanDeSteeg) we also brought in. We brought in a snapper (rookie Preston Powers) just to look at another guy as we move forward."
(on if the young guys are looking more comfortable) "Yeah, I think they're a lot more comfortable with what they're doing and I also think that they're ready for a break from us, they've been with us for a month. We'll push them one more day, but it looks like they're doing a lot better."
(on rookie WR Dorin Dickerson) "He's got a lot of ability. Obviously we're trying to settle him down at one spot. Tweaked a hamstring today, so he'll probably miss tomorrow. I like his size, I like his ability. He's got a tough group to try to crack, so to speak, and probably the way he's going to do it is as a special teams player. So we'll see how he does."
(on if he's trying to get WR Dorin Dickerson to lose a few pounds) "Yeah, I think he needs to. I think he needs to drop eight or 10 pounds. When you play receiver in this league you've got to be able to run all day. He has struggled with that, but we've had a few guys that have come from other places that have struggled in this heat initially. He's gotten better."
(on how the veterans not being on the field makes it harder for the rookies during mini-camp) "Well they get more work. We're only really out here an hour and ten minutes, they're getting plenty of reps because of the lines and there are not so many guys out here. I just want to see them kind of get more in their comfort zone and see some of their ability take over. With the amount of reps they're getting with the veterans out here it's hard to see that. I think we've gotten a good look at them; they all practiced better yesterday than they did with the older guys. I think it's just more attention to detail and more coaches in their hip pocket. The key for young players is catching them up with where they can compete. I think we've got a good group that'll do that."
(on how the young players have progressed since they arrived here a month ago) "Yeah, it's night and day. We've got some good young players that are going to end up helping the team this year. Some guys are going to push some veterans for their job and that's what you need to be competitive. They've got a good month yet to sit there and study film and get together with their coaches and even make up some more ground. It's like spring ball is what it is, it's basically our professional football spring ball. These young kids get a chance to compete a little bit sooner because of it."
(on how much rookie WR Trindon Holliday has improved in learning the playbook) "He's been better, he just has so far to go as a wide receiver because it's not something he's been doing down-in and down-out. I think we know what we have as a returner. He's got to continue to make strides as a receiver; it's going to be so important to his career in this league. He's got a ways to go from that standpoint, but it's not lack of effort. We knew what we were getting into."
(on what he's seen from rookie T Adam Ulatoski) "We moved him around; played a little guard, a little tackle. He played a lot of bigtime football at Texas (and) done some good things. It's so competitive with our young players up front right now and we're probably going to have to let a player, maybe two, go out of that group. He's done a good job and we'll see what happens."