Texans coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media after the 10th practice of organized team activities (OTAs) on Wednesday.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak(on how the team did today in the heat) "I thought we did better today than yesterday. We're trying to do a lot of team situational stuff really trying to find these next four or five days, counting today, just how far guys have come now that they're by themselves. Getting the coaches off of the field, they don't like that. We find out about young players and where they're at. I was impressed with what we did today. We had two tight ends at practice; James (Casey) and (Garrett) Graham did a hell of a job. We had seven wide receivers. Just watching young guys watch older guys kind of find a different gear and push through days like this, they did a good job with it."
(on CB Brice McCain and how he's doing) "He really showed some nice stuff last year. We're trying to get him to be more aggressive as a player, and he responded to us later in the year. He has an excellent opportunity because it's just a bunch of young guys battling back there. His knee bothered him a little bit early in OTAs, and he missed a couple of days. He has an excellent opportunity. He has great cover skills. We just want to make sure he's physical in the run game and does his job in the run game."
(on the look they got at kicker today) "They're (Kris Brown & Neil Rackers) both automatic. They were both 8-for-8 today and right down the middle. So it's going to be a great competition, but you're looking at two very successful guys in the NFL so you wouldn't expect anything different."
(on the big competition at running back outside of Arian Foster and Steve Slaton) "Really, outside of those two guys you look at Ryan (Moats), Jeremiah (Johnson) and Henry. It's a battle, and to be honest with you, we're probably not going to be able to take them all to camp. So the battle is right now. Good young players, but obviously Foster and Slaton are leading the group right now."
(on T Eric Winston and the offensive line having a sense of urgency all of the time) "You really do. If you lose that edge as a player, you don't get better. That's for teams, coaches, and players. It's very competitive, and I think everybody's talking, including this guy here, about the competition inside. But (T) (Rashad) Butler has become a better player, too, and we're seeing some good things from (T) (Cole) Pemberton, the young kid who's out here as a free agent. So Eric and (T) Duane (Brown) have been very stable at what they do and have done a good job, but there's another level. I would love to see those guys go to the Pro Bowl. Everyone's trying to get better."
(on RB Steve Slaton having more burst) "I think it's about confidence, too. I think he's regaining his confidence every day that he's out here. He's obviously a little lighter. I think Rick's (Dennison) done a great job with him with getting him back in his mindset exactly to what we want and some of those things. I just think you see a guy who struggled last year that's saying, 'I'm not going to struggle again; I'm going to get back to playing the way I'm capable of playing.' That's what's I'm seeing right now."
(on tight end James Casey running with the ones quite a bit) "Well we only had two, so between he and (TE) (Garrett) Graham, they could've flipped a coin today. James has had probably as good an offseason as anybody. With our tight end situation, he's getting an excellent opportunity to prove that he can start in this league. So if he keeps going, he's got an opportunity to be a heck of a player. Two tight ends, to get through two hours like that is pretty impressive."
(on if he envisions tight end James Casey working a little bit at fullback) "I'd like to tell you yes, but as long as we have this situation at tight end, we'd be doing him and the team an injustice. I think James' brain will always allow him to do more than the average guy, but we need him to be good at something and good at one thing. Right now, tight end is more important than anything."
(on LB Zac Diles) "Zac's at that point right in that career where he's been a starter and a chance to step up that latter. As I told y'all, the reason we're not moving him, at least not at this point unless we feel like we have to, is because I think he's on the verge of becoming of a Pro Bowl Will linebacker. I don't want to confuse him or have us get weak at two spots or not good at two spots. So we're going to leave Zac where he's at, we'll decide as we move into camp if we work any differently. Somebody will step up. (Xavier) Adibi, you guys saw today, made some great plays in practice. I think everyone understands our situation, and someone will just have to step up and take control of it."
(on T Eric Winston not allowing himself to get comfortable and the message it sends ) "He knows that. I don't have to tell him that. His team can't seem to get comfortable. There's obviously another gear for him and (T) Duane (Brown), as I just said a minute ago. Just start getting Pro Bowl votes and have that type of status as a player in this league. That's what you want to do, and for your team to win division titles and win championships. They've got to get better for us to do that, and I've said all along we've got some new guys that are going to help us, but the key to our team always is the core getting better and Eric is a huge part of the core."