Thursday at the Methodist Training Center, the Texans went through an offseason training activity (OTA). After, head coach Gary Kubiak answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of his interview.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak(on the cooler weather and today's practice) "Golly, it's nice. It's like December in Houston. Yeah, it's a nice break, but we had some good work. Had some pretty good days this week. Once again, covering some situational football and had some guys doing some really great things. Guys that stood out today: (CB) Glover Quin, and (SS) Troy Nolan are really standing out and doing some really good stuff."
(on how the coaches were pulled off the field and the reaction of the young guys) "Well they get so dependent on coaches standing right next to them, and you need to be there. That's your job, getting them ready to play, but sometimes you don't know how much a guy is retaining until you get away from him. So that's what we're trying to do right now, trying to figure out who's caught up and ready to compete during the summer, or who still needs a lot of personal attention. That's what we're trying to do right now as a group before we give them a break here in a couple of weeks."
(on rookie RB Ben Tate's participation in today's OTA) "Yeah, he did a little individual and a little seven-on-seven, so that's a step forward. We're hoping he's full go next week, and we get six good days out of him here the rest of the way. So far, so good."
(on how he keeps a guy like RB Ben Tate feeling good about himself since he's not out on the field) "That's tough. He hasn't (practiced) since he's got here. He's been paying attention; we've put him through all of the walk-thrus just to check his hole card, so to speak, seeing if he's keeping up with what we're doing. I think he's been doing that. Now we'll find out physically, but the players know he's here to help them. He's got some ability; we've just got to get him up to speed with everybody else."
(on how rookie CB Kareem Jackson looks to this point) "He's been really good, and I'm probably being repetitive but he's very well-coached. You see it coming out here. Nothing's too big for him. He's been around big-time football on a weekly basis, so he has fit right in. When you're the number one (draft pick) and you get thrown in as a starter right away, you've got a lot to prove to a lot of people. He's well on his way to doing that. He's been very good."
(on if he is every hesitant to put CB Kareem Jackson as a starter right away) "No, not really. I hope the day is coming when we get a first-rounder that we can groom for a few years. We had a need for that guy going into this draft and we had him targeted all along. We thought he was the ready player to go out there and play. We'll make him earn his keep. Dave (defensive backs coach David Gibbs) has done a great job with young players, the job that he did with (CB Glover) Quin last year, and hopefully we're on the same path with Kareem."
(on what he is looking to see from the players on the bubble, since there is a possibility of cutting one running back) "It's hard because you're not in pads, so that makes it tough. My point is if we have to go to camp, obviously we're going with two kickers; we go to camp with a snapper; if we go to camp with five or six tight ends someplace, we have to cut down somewhere. We have some tough decisions to make and it looks like about two to three tough decisions on where we go light in the training camp and right now that could be one of the spots."
(on if he's been able to see anything from rookie RB Ben Tate so far) "I haven't really, other than watching him in walk-thrus, and checking his brain from that standpoint. Doing a little bit today, that's been it. We haven't had him out here, so hopefully his time will pick up next week."
(the his involvement in the upcoming Impact A Hero Weekend, which benefits wounded soldiers) "I have a little bit of it in my family, from that standpoint. I just have so much respect for what they do, and not only what they do but the strain on their families as well. I'm fortunate that I was asked to just come be a part of it. It's really meant a lot to me along the way and watching it grow and what they do for those families and the support they give them, it's been pretty special. I look forward to Saturday."
(on if the wounded soldiers impact him because of how young they are) "Yeah, that is amazing. I'll tell you what, what's amazing to me probably more so is how strong they are. Some of the things that are happening to those young men and women, and to come back and have the attitude they have about life and going forward to watch their families support them. And the amazing support I've seen the city give to them; there's strength all around them, so I'm really impressed with them."
(on if it helps the players to come out to see these guys and what they do) "Yeah, we've always had a few guys come out. I'll tell them, 'If this somehow has impacted your life or touched your life and your family or whatever, come out and be a part of it.' We've had some of these guys come out and visit our players, too. Our organization has been really good about supporting them and will continue to be."
(on if there is any significance of the longer talk he gave the team today) "No, not really. Just talking about situations and what we did at practice. Also talking to them about how we do things. Really, just trying to get your football team ready to operate in the summer the way you want them to operate. So we've got to get those 30 guys that haven't been with us headed in that direction."
(on if cool temperatures like this ever make him yearn for Colorado) "I'm glad to be home."
(on if he would ever push for moving training camp to another site) "No, I think it's great to have it here because it's great for our fans locally. For a player to go and sleep in his own bed if he's responsible enough and then come in the morning for two-a-days, I think that's a big plus, too. I like being here. Obviously, we battle the heat, but our guys have done a good job with that. I think it's good for the city that we're close. I've enjoyed it. I think it's been really good."
(on how CB Glover Quin behaves like a true pro everyday) "As a matter of fact, that's what I was talking to the team about. I said, 'Last year at this time, we had a fourth-round draft choice who was just trying to figure out what we were doing, and he started 12 games. You're watching practice today. That's what the game's about: if you step up and do it you're going to play.' I told them there are examples all around you; he's a great one, so pay attention."
(on if he sees anyone in that mode now) "We've got a long, long way to go. Obviously, our number one (first-round pick CB Kareem Jackson) has been very impressive. Our three (third-round pick DT Earl Mitchell) has been very impressive too. He's going to help us and push some people up front. I think we can, just like we did in the past few years, we can very well have a majority of those kids helping us this year, and that would be a good thing."
(on how well the defense has been the past few days) "I said the other day, I think they're ahead. They played extremely well during the last 12 weeks last year, and they've continued through the offseason. (Defensive coordinator) Frank (Bush) does a good job of having them gunned up and ready to go every day. They're all growing together; (they're) such a young group. (SS) Bernard (Pollard) has really added something to the group. You can see a pretty confident group right now, and that's a good thing."
(on what he saw of rookie RB Ben Tate today) "He didn't do much, just a little individual drill and seven-on-seven. It's really just his first day to come out, so he should be full go Tuesday."