The Texans practiced Monday afternoon at the Methodist Training Center and after, head coach Gary Kubiak and some players answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head Coach Gary KubiakILB Brian CushingDE J.J. Watt
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on NT Shaun Cody's back injury) "Well, he's doing good. He had the epidural. We're in a process here. I think we're going to know more about it in three or four days. He's feeling a lot better; I saw him out moving around today so that's a positive sign and we'll just keep our fingers crossed and see how he responds."
(on NT Shaun Cody listing himself as being day-to-day) "Well, that's Shaun. He's played with something before in his career and always finds a way to answer the bell. It's just a little scare right now and hopefully in a couple days from now, we'll be moving forward and everything's okay. But I know the last 24 hours have been very positive."
(on DE J.J. Watt and ILB Brian Cushing being positive about their health) "Yeah, J.J.'s running, doing really, really well. I think if we rope him this week, he would be very, very close to being ready to go so we still got plenty of time. Brian (Cushing) did work with the team today, Cush was back. For the most part all the guys are back. (DE Jared) Crick was back today, so when we come out tomorrow morning, we ought to be pretty close to full strength."
(on how practice will be different now that the team has a preseason game under their belt ) "The big thing, we're playing a very good team (San Francisco) this week. I watched them play Minnesota; very physical, 13-3 football team. But we've got to keep taking another step forward, continue to look at our guys. We've got some battles that have got to get worked out, but we've got to go back to training camp mentality tomorrow. We've got to get after it for a few more days here before we get in our regular routine."
(on the importance of DE Jared Crick's next few weeks of practice) "They're real big. He's shown flashes that he can help us and has missed some time, so hopefully we can keep him upright this week and he's ready to go Saturday night. But if he's at his best, he should be able to help this team."
(on if he is working on anything specific this week) "I wouldn't say there's anything particular. I mean, we're going to go back to working the red zone. Offensively, we were poor; we've got to go do that. We cleaned up some mistakes we made at Carolina. I think the biggest thing is taking a step forward with our football, continuing to play with good effort. There were some guys that kind of stood out and said 'Hey, Coach, you need to take a better look at me in this next game,' so we'll do that. There were some guys that did some good stuff."
(on NT Shaun Cody's back) "I'm just kind of waiting. (Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer) Geoff Kaplan basically told me, 'Hey, we're going to wait three or four days with this epidural and see where he's at.' But today was a good sign."
(on if it makes sense to play NT Shaun Cody on Saturday) "No, I would not think, no. I know I'm answering that way ahead of schedule, but I wouldn't think so."
(on ILB Bradie James' spot) "He's a two-down player right now, but I'll tell you what, he's playing in our second nickel all through camp, and he's very capable of doing it. He's been very impressive. He understands (defensive coordinator) Wade (Phillips)'s defense to a T. He got us heading in the right direction the other night, been very positive ever since he's been here."
(on who impressed him in the Carolina game ) "There were quite a few guys, let me see here. Defensively, you have to be impressed with (DE) Timmy Jamison when he gets opportunities, (ILB) Mister Alexander, (ILB) Tim Dobbins played very well. There were a lot of sacks so those guys got to the quarterback. Offensively, I think you got to go with (WR) Lestar Jean, (he) did some good things, (WR Keshawn) Martin did some good stuff. I was impressed with our two young backs, I was impressed with (RB Jonathan) Grimes and (RB Davin) Meggett; they did good things on special teams, also. And our young center, good looking player (C Ben Jones). So you know those were some guys that jumped at me and jumped at the team when we were watching film."
(on if the better a player does, the more opportunities he'll get the following weekend) "Well, I think what they're doing is they're showing you they should be able to help you pretty quick. But that's one week, so we need to go to the next one and see if it continues, but there were a lot of good things."
(on the carry-over from last season aiding to the success of Saturday night ) "Yeah, I told the team this morning the thing that was impressive to me was there were three new offensive starters on the field in the game and missing (WR) Andre (Johnson), we moved the heck out of the ball. Defensively, we were missing two starters, and we went out there and played good defense. That's something we developed around here, a standard and expectation of how we're going to play regardless of what's going on with our team or who's in there. I think the effort carried over, I really liked our conditioning in the game the other night I think we showed that we're heading in the right direction as far as our conditioning level."
(on the A&M tragedy) "Well, it's hard for me to comment. I know what you're talking about, I've heard about it, but it's hard for me to comment. Obviously, you keep those people in your prayers, but I don't know that much about it."
ILB Brian Cushing
(on if there was anything threatening about last week when in the hospital) "No, I think it was more precautious than anything, being smart, and not pushing it right now. You don't want a setback and then miss multiple practices, so the best thing was to get in the hospital, get back to feeling normal and then get back with the guys."
(on if he's full speed now and good to go) "Yeah, I'll be good,100 percent fine."
(on why he was in the hospital) "It was a virus, but I'm good now."
(on what he wants to accomplish in the next two preseason games) "Just get where I need to be. Get sound right now, fundamentally. Get my assignments down. That's the most important thing right now."
(on the importance of getting game-speed reps) "They will be. Just to get back out there against two good teams, back-to-back, New Orleans and San Francisco. I'm just excited to get some real game reps."
(on the importance of getting the continuity between him and ILB Bradie James) "Well, we've had that already all throughout our camp and OTAs, but this will be the first time in a game situation so it'll be good."
(on how it felt to be back today with the team) "It felt good. Any time you're away from the guys and see them play on TV, it just doesn't feel right, so being back is a lot better."
(on how the defense played in the first preseason game) "They always play hard and that's something to be proud of. Any time you turn the film on, whether it's the ones, twos or threes, guys just play with a great effort and it's something great to be a part of."
(on continuing last year's defensive success this season) "Yeah, especially the way we ended last year and how hard we were playing fundamentally and how sound we were. To go into this year and kind of keep the ball rolling is a really good feeling."
(on how he felt there was a high level of comfort on the defense in the first preseason game) "Yeah, they were playing fast. They were playing physical and I think just left off where they were last year."
(on if he feels a difference about this team after coming off the best season in franchise history) "No, I think it's a pretty similar atmosphere and mindset that we had last year. Guys are hungry and we're going to keep it that way."
DE J.J. Watt
(on if he will be ready for the regular season) "I'm a hundred percent sure I'll be ready for the Dolphins, maybe even earlier. We're going to see on that but it's definitely a possibility. I wouldn't rule it out."
(on if his injury will inhibit his playing when he returns) "No, I'll be a hundred percent. I might even be better. I'm working on my strength. It's going to be a lot of fun. I use this time to watch some film, so I'm getting even better mentally, too."
(on what it means to him that he is missing preseason games) "You want to be out there. You want to get your legs back under you and get that game action, but having played a whole year last year and being a student of the game and understanding how it all works, if I'm going to miss, obviously I want to miss the preseason. When the games count, I'll be ready and that's what matters."
(on if he does mental reps) "Yeah, every day. When I finish my running and my conditioning and my workout, I go over there. Then they'll call the play and I'll watch the guy and think about what I would do, and then watch what he does and try to help coach them up if I see something a younger guy can do better."
(on if he will wear a brace this season on his elbow) "Yeah, for the first part of the season I'll wear a brace on it just to make sure, but I should have all my strength so it shouldn't be an issue. I would say probably by halfway through the season it should be off."
(on if he would like to get rid of the brace sooner) "Yeah, I'm sure I'll try to rip it off before they want me to rip it off, but I'm going to do everything I can to make sure it's safe."
(on ILB Bradie James' leadership) "I think Bradie (James) commands respect right away because he's been in the league for nine or 10 years so he's a guy with experience. He knows what he's doing in Wade's (Phillips) defense. We all respect him because he's a hard worker. He comes in and works hard every day, so we look to him as a leader. Your guy in the middle has to be a leader and he does that. He has that quality."
(on if the rehabbing hours wear him out) "It wears me out but it wears me out more than I'll be on the field, so I need to do everything I can. If that means showing up at 2 a.m., I'll show up at 2 a.m. I just want to get back on the field."
(on the way DE Tim Jamison played in the preseason game) "I think he played well. He's such a hard worker. He's fun to watch. I love watching the kid play. He's awesome. He did a good job. Our defense gave up like 160 yards so everybody did a good job."
(on having depth on the defensive line) "It's really nice to have that depth. Even when I'm back, it's nice to know that if you need a breather, you got a guy like Tim Jamison to step in and guys like Earl Mitchell, so it's good to have depth."